US: Bang and Olufsen launches first automotive sound system with Audi
Denmark-based quality home hi-fi sound and vision specialist Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has made its first foray into the OEM automotive market with Audi, supplying the so-called Advanced Sound System for the production A8 and S8 models plus the new Roadjet concept unveiled this week at the Detroit motor show.
The system is being shown to the public this week and will be available from next summer. B&O claims it sets new standards in automotive audio in the clarity of its sound staging for all passengers, its controlled tonal balance, and its exceptional response to changes in background noise conditions.
The new system has been adapted to conditions inside the car and uses a powerful digital signal processor, discrete amplification for each loudspeaker and so-called Acoustic Lenses, technology licensed exclusively to B&O.
This provides a wide horizontal sound dispersion of high frequencies in the car's interior. The acoustic lenses automatically rise out of the dashboard when the sound system is turned on, ensuring an extremely detailed acoustic stage from any seat in the car. The system also employs Bang & Olufsen's patented digital amplifier technology, ICEpower, which supplies the 14 loudspeaker units with a massive 1000 watts of power.
B&O claims the system stands out from others on the market because it was created to solve the problem of uneven spatial characteristics of the 'sound stage'. It can be optimised for up to four passenger settings with its 14channel digital signal sound processor, and each of the 14 loudspeaker units are powered by its own amplifier in a self-contained cabinet, which results in minimal exterior sound leakage outside the car.
The system also continuously compensates for changes in interfering background noises such as those caused by the engine, tires, air conditioning, wind or even changes in pavement or rain conditions.
The Advanced Sound System will be offered as an option in A8/S8 models. It costs EUR6000 in Germany but US pricing is not yet set.