Audi itself makes the Sonos sound system

At TechTalk this week, Audi talked about how they think when it comes to car audio. There is no doubt that they are serious, because when they decide how the sound system should be in a particular type of car, they do so after careful calculations of the 3D models and the acoustic properties of the cabin in terms of shape and resonance.

If, for example, the A-pillars do not have a suitable auricle resonance, they must be modified or replaced. In a vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine, this is carefully calculated for something that matches well with the rest of the vehicle, road and wind noise. There should be absolutely no doubt that you are sitting in the Audi acoustic environment, regardless of whether it is electric or diesel powered.

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When Audi develops a new car model, it takes sound into account along the way. SQ5 is measured here. Photo: Audi

The sound system was designed early in the process

When stereo sound is identified, it must be adapted to cabin acoustics and resonance.

Once we calculate where each component of the speaker should be located to produce the best possible sound, Audi said, the car must be designed for this early in the process. In other words, the prism may need to be moved or reconfigured in order for the spokes item to come at exactly the correct angle. That’s a very different sound philosophy than they clearly have in their sister company VW, at least before Our audio tests with ID.3 And ID.4 to judge – as it was not yet possible to choose an upgraded audio system. Whereas, the sound in standard stereo is very dim.

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Audi speaks the sound. From left to left: Wolfgang Rother (TV Communications), Tobias Gründl (Chief Sound and Sound Engineer) and Michael Wisniewski (Sound and Acoustics Development)

Sonos – Just for the Name?

Audi already has a partnership with Bang & Olufsen on its premium models. We also have a great experience with the B&O facility in the e-tron 55.

But for the upcoming Q4 e-tron, Audi has managed to reveal that it is the first automobile manufacturer to partner with Sonos. And the Sonos system in the car looks very exciting! At least that’s what we thought when we first heard about it. But we had a hard time knowing exactly what that meant. Audi had no further information when the car was introduced in early March, and when we contacted Sonos, we were only referred to Audi.

It now turns out that there isn’t a single component in the audio system that actually comes from the Sonos. The system consists of components from Audi’s own warehouse and with Audi’s expertise in acoustics and sound. Which in itself is not a trifle.

Audi Q4 e-tron
The interior of the Audi Q4 e-tron houses the Sonos system. At least two Sonos logos. Photo: Audi

The voice signature is Sonos

This is the last fine tuning of the sound that Audi makes in conjunction with Sonos. So the familiar sound of Sonos’ amplifiers should be recognized when sitting in the Q4 e-tron.

But you cannot stream music or otherwise control the system with the Sonos app. It also means that the car system cannot be part of the Sonos multi-chamber system. It was great to be able to open the doors of a parked car onto a lobster plate, and use it as an outdoor accessory to the living room …

However, the chief sound and sound engineer, Tobias Gründl, said soon after during the online meeting that such a job could come later:

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– At the moment the Sonos function is not offered, but we’ve talked about finding a solution where the Sonos system can be integrated into the car. So you can use the Sonos app to control the system.

Immersive in-car entertainment from Audi
The immersive in-car entertainment from Audi, shown at CES 2019.

Immersive Audi

Finally, Audi said they are working on something they call Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment. It’s about taking the audio experience a step further and transforming the car’s interior into a living part of the entire experience.

The concept was first shown at CES Las Vegas 2019. There, visitors can sit in the car and watch a movie clip on the built-in screens – and on a giant screen sitting outside directly in front of a camel. The chassis and shock absorbers are connected to the infotainment system in such a way that the vehicle moves parallel to the screen contents.

When an earthquake occurred on the screen, the car shook and gave the impression of an earthquake suitable for the spectators. In the same way, the car can move in time with the roller coaster and provide a truly real virtual ride. Of course only when the car is parked. or…?

Of course this is not safe with today’s cars. But someday in the future, when cars are self-propelled, we can imagine you can have that experience on the road – even when you’re driving.Michael Wiesnewski, Audio and Sound Engineer at Audi, said.

We believe it when we see it.

Photo: Audi

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