Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with Apple to bring Dolby Atmos-enabled spatial audio to a car for the first time.
Spatial Audio is best known as Apple’s surround sound audio technology, which it claims provides a “completely immersive listening experience with unprecedented, multidimensional sound and clarity.”
To date, it has been limited to certain Apple headphones and devices, and is only available for certain types of audio content.
Apple Music streaming service is one platform that supports Spatial Audio on certain albums and tracks.
The first Mercedes cars to receive this audio technology directly in the MBUX infotainment system are Mercedes-Maybach S-classas well as Mercedes-Benz EQSEQS SUV, EQEEQE SUV and S-class. It will be rolled out to other models later.
In order to take advantage of Apple’s Spatial Audio technology, these Mercedes vehicles must be equipped with one of Burmester’s optional High-End 3D and 4D Surround Sound systems.
The Burmester 4D sound system has a total of 31 speakers, including six 3D overhead speakers, 4 in-ear speakers in the front seats and an 18.5L subwoofer.
There are also eight audio converters and two amplifiers that help bring the system’s power output to 1,750 watts.
The Burmester 3D sound system, on the other hand, varies by model and has 17 to 26 speakers, including a subwoofer, and a system power of 1,220 to 1,570 watts.
If you already have an Apple Music subscription and a compatible car with a Burmester 3D or 4D sound system, Mercedes-Benz says you’ll have immediate access to songs and albums available with Spatial Audio.
“We are joining forces to offer our customers a benchmark music experience unmatched in the industry,” said Mercedes-Benz Group AG Chief Technology Officer Markus Schaefer.
“We are proud that our cars will be the first ever non-Apple devices to be embedded with immersive spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.
“This seamless experience shows how in-car entertainment can reach exciting new levels through the perfect integration of hardware and software.”
This isn’t the first time a car company has teamed up with a premium audio company to offer surround sound. In fact, it has become common over the past few years.
The phenomenon reportedly began back in the 1980s, when General Motors introduced Delco/Bose-branded sound systems to its cars.
Over the years, companies like JBL, Bang and Olufsen, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, Beats, McIntosh, DynAudio and Meridian have partnered with car companies to install their speakers in their vehicles.