UK: New Dolby sound makes automotive debut

By just-auto.com editorial team | 24 August 2006

Land Rover's new Freelander 2, will showcase the first automotive application of Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 surround sound technology.

The technology works by processing two-channel stereo audio into seven channels of surround sound plus a subwoofer channel for low frequency sounds. It detects directional cues that occur naturally in stereo content and uses these elements to create surround sound. The technology has been developed specifically to suit the unique listening environment of a vehicle, enabling all passengers to experience enveloping audio regardless of their position within the car.

The technology, more familiarly seen in high-end home cinema and entertainment systems, and adapted for this application by Alpine, is claimed to immerse "occupants in an all-enveloping sound experience".

This is Alpine's first Land Rover sound system and it developed a new 440 watt amplifier to suit.

The 14-speaker system was also developed for the Freelander. The three way front speaker layout of mid, bass and tweeter together with centre fill speaker replicates the 'sound stage' right in front of the occupants. Tweeters and bass drivers in the rear doors and rear fill speakers in the pillars, deliver an enveloping sound through the rest of the cabin. Thumping bass comes courtesy of a twin channel 80 watt subwoofer.

Two headphone sockets give rear passengers the option of listening to a different music source from that being played on the cabin speakers.

Alpine began supplying systems to Land Rover for the Discovery II and 1998 Range Rover.

With surround sound specialist Dolby, it has previously collaborated on systems for other Premier Automotive Group models: Aston Martin's AMV8 Vantage, Jaguar's XK and Volvo's C70 and XC90.