Audi has stepped up the luxury quotient on the new A8 by addressing the look, touch and now sound. It will now come with a new Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System that promises to deliver a unique acoustic experience through '3D sound'. The system makes use of 23 speakers with lightweight neodymium magnets assisting in low-distortion, hence delivering high-resolution sound quality. The 3d audio system was first introduced in the Q7 back in 2015 and the A8 has been supplied with an evolved version of it that includes the rear of the cabin. Two full-range loudspeakers in the A-pillars and two in the headlining above the rear seats develop surround sound.
The 1,920-watt amplifier by Bang & Olufsen, which operates efficiently due to ICE power technology, generates 3D sound with its digital signal processor. It produces little waste heat and therefore abundant audio output. Above all, it amplifies the signal of the woofers, which reproduce sound that is especially energy-laden, such as a low note from an organ.
When the infotainment system is switched on, the two tweeters extend electrically out of the instrument panel. Bang & Olufsen uses Acoustic Lens Technology to ensure that the sound is distributed in a horizontal 180-degree fan.
To produce the 3D sound, the new sound system draws on an algorithm that Audi has developed in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen. It uses stereo or 5.1 recordings to calculate the information for the third dimension and processes it for the four 3D loudspeakers.
The sound system can be configured to best optimise the audio depending on the number of occupants in the car. The passengers can configure the system using the MMI system as well as a separate operating unit for the rear that resembles a smartphone. The focus of the sound can be shifted between front and rear as preferred. As well as treble and bass, the occupants can also adjust the subwoofer volume independently of all other loudspeakers.
Then there is a special function for film sound tracks, known as Movie Set. The 5.1 sound track plays in the same quality as in front of a big screen in the cinema. The system localises every voice individually and adjusts the balance accordingly. For instance, if a character appears to the right of the picture, their voice is also played from the right.