[CES 2013] Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is a company known for putting out high-end audio equipment, but whether you regard them as being truly worth their price or as a hype, you cannot deny that the company has created some pretty futuristic looking audio equipment and in their latest collaborative efforts, B&O has joined up with Audi and Fraunhofer IIS to create a concept car (the Audi Q7) where the audio experience of the car will be the main highlight, rather than the vehicle’s capabilities itself.
While B&O has seen itself integrated into vehicles in the past, the highlight of this concept car would be the introduction of what they believe will be the next-generation of in-car audio systems where the sound stage within the car is no longer limited to the size of the cabin, but can be either extended to sound very “big”, or to sound like a controlled environment such as a recording studio.
This is thanks to the collaborative efforts between the engineers at Audi and B&O, together with the audio knowledge brought to the table by the Fraunhofer team. This and together with psycho-acoustic knowledge allowed them to distribute the input signal to the speakers “intelligently”, thus creating a realistic 3D sound impression. Of course this will mean that the standard speaker configuration will no longer suffice, and according to the setup, they are boasting 23 active loudspeakers placed strategically throughout the car, providing more than 1500 watts of amplification power. According to the press release, this is how the audio system will be laid out in the vehicle:
• Two loudspeakers in the dashboard center (tweeter and broadband)
• Two tweeters in the dashboard (left/right) with acoustic lens technology
• One mid-high loudspeaker in each A pillar
• One tweeter in each A pillar
• Two loudspeakers in each front door with a woofer and a midrange
• Three loudspeakers in each rear door with a woofer, midrange and a tweeter
• Two surround loudspeakers in each D pillar, consisting of a tweeter and broadband
• One closed subwoofer box in the spare wheel compartment
Sounds pretty elaborate although we’re not sure how many of you guys will actually need such a complex sound system setup in your car, but then again there are probably audiophiles out there who care just as much about their car’s audio system as they do their home’s audio setup. Since this is a concept at the moment, we’re not sure how much it would cost, but given the names and brands involved, we expect that this will cost a fair bit.