Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with Apple to introduce its Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support for the first time in a car natively.
Spatial Audio is best known as Apple’s surround-sound audio technology that claims to bring “a fully immersive listening experience with unparalleled, multidimensional sound and clarity”.
It has been limited to certain headphones and Apple devices to date, and is only available on specific types of audio content.
Apple’s streaming service Apple Music is one of the platforms that supports Spatial Audio on certain albums and tracks.
The first Mercedes vehicles to receive this audio technology directly in the MBUX infotainment system are the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, as well as the Mercedes-Benz EQS, EQS SUV, EQE, EQE SUV, and S-Class. It’ll be rolled out to other models at a later date.
In order to take advantage of Apple’s Spatial Audio technology these Mercedes vehicles will need to be fitted with either of the optional Burmester High-End 3D and 4D Surround Sound systems.
The Burmester 4D sound system has a total of 31 speakers, including six 3D speakers that emit their sound from above, 4 near-ear speakers in the front seats, and an 18.5L subwoofer.
There are also eight sound transducers, and two amplifiers which help bring the system output to 1750 watts.
The Burmester 3D sound system on the other hand varies depending on the model and has 17 to 26 speakers, including the subwoofer, and a system output varying from 1220 to 1570 watts.
If you already have an Apple Music subscription and a compatible vehicle with the Burmester 3D or 4D sound system, Mercedes-Benz says you’ll gain immediate access to songs and albums available with Spatial Audio.
“We’re joining forces to offer our customers a benchmark music experience unparalleled in the industry,” said Mercedes-Benz Group AG chief technology officer Markus Schäfer.
“We are proud that our vehicles will be the first-ever non- Apple devices to natively feature immersive Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.
“This seamless experience shows how in-car entertainment can reach exciting new levels by perfectly integrating hardware and software.”
This isn’t the first time a car company has teamed up with a high-end audio company to offer surround sound. In fact, it’s become quite commonplace in the last few years.
The phenomenon is reported to have started back in the 1980s when General Motors introduced Delco/Bose-branded sound systems into its vehicles.
Over the years companies like JBL, Bang and Olufsen, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, Beats, McIntosh, DynAudio and Meridian have partnered with car companies to have their speakers installed in their vehicles.