We in India are far too
familiar with 3D cinema. Movies like the Avatar, Transformers (4th
edition), Iron Man 3, The Avengers, etc regaled large audience in India and
across the world with their 3D effects. Now sitting in your car you can get to
hear 3D music, thanks to the new technology brought in by Audi in its cars.
Yes, 3D sound will shortly be
going into production use. This enables the listener to experience spatial
height. The addition of the third dimension makes the acoustic impression even
clearer and more vivid. This rich audio experience redefines the benchmark for
in-car listening pleasure, says a press release from Audi.
This latest technology, 3D
sound, will be making its debut in the Audi Q7 in 2015. It is available as a
component of the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen and also of Bose
Surround Sound. At its core is a complex algorithm that calculates the control
signals for each speaker swiftly and precisely. Audi developed it for the Bang
& Olufsen system in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated
Circuits in Erlangen.
In the first stage of the
process, the software breaks the data for the music source down into its
spatial components. It does this by using the spatial information contained in
the data. For example, when an artist is singing from a stage, the floor,
ceiling and walls of the concert hall reflect the sound with different time
lapses. It bounces off the floor in just a few milliseconds, while it is only
reflected by a wall 40 meters (131.2 ft) away after more than 200 milliseconds.
Using these different sonic reflections, the algorithm is able to calculate a
mathematical model of any recording room. It is irrelevant whether the audio
signal is recorded in mono, stereo or 5.1 Surround Sound. The data format of
the music and its source – such as online streaming, VHF radio or CD – is
The second stage of the
process involves reassembling the sound portions so that the sound pattern
inside the car corresponds to the original recording room. This calls for
intensive calculations. In the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, the
digital signal processor energizes 11 channels with a total of 23 speakers in
such a way that the sound is equally precise and harmonious in every seat. Four
speakers installed in the A-posts and each supplied along their
own channels broadcast the portions that generate the spatial height. Newly
developed speakers such as a subwoofer enlarged from 200 millimeters (7.9 in)
to 250 millimeters (9.8 in) and a new amplifier now with an output of 1,920
watts guarantee listening enjoyment of the very highest calibre. The Bose
Surround Sound system, which generates the surround sound with 20 speakers,
also features four speakers located higher up to generate the third dimension.
The year 2005 saw the advent of high-end sound
in the Audi A8 with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. The Danish hi-fi specialist’s premium sound reached the compact category in 2012, when
it first featured in the third-generation
Audi A3. The new Audi TT took a major step towards 3D sound in 2014 with the
adoption of Symphoria technology, software again developed in partnership with
the Fraunhofer Institute for the processing and reproduction of audio
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