The pioneer of wireless multiroom audio Sonos has just joined the list of big names in audio present in the automotive sector which already includes Focal , McIntosh , Cabasse , Bang & Olufsen , Bose or Naim . Indeed, Audi has revealed that the Q4 e-tron, its latest fully electric vehicle, will be equipped with a Sonos audio system.
According to Audi’s press release, the Sonos system installed on board the Audi Q4 e-tron is a “high-end audio system” which will be fitted as standard on Vorsprung versions of the e-tron Q4 and will also be available in the other vehicle variants as part of the optional Comfort and Sound package.
The Sonos system uses the Sonoamic Panorama algorithm, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, to process the sound and distribute it to the 10 speakers integrated in the passenger compartment. According to the institute, this algorithm “uses stereo recordings to generate three-dimensional surround sound, by positioning the different sound sources in a virtual U-shaped soundstage”. The listener thus has the impression of being seated in the middle of the orchestra or music group.
This Sonos in-car audio system includes four tweeters and a center speaker powered by a dedicated amplifier built into the architecture of the Audi MIB 3 infotainment system, as well as a separate eight-channel “booster” amplifier that powers four woofer speakers and a subwoofer located in the trunk. With the two amplifiers combined, the total power of the Sonos system is 580 watts. Enough to offer the passengers of the Audi Q4 e-tron exceptional sound. At this time, it is not known whether the system will include additional Sonos features or different sound modes.
This brand new Sonos / Audi partnership is not only about the e-tron Q4, but also the future A1, Q2 and Q3 models. We can therefor wonder what this means for the existing agreement between Audi and the Danish manufacturer. Bang & Olufsen . Indeed, Bang & Olufsen on-board systems are currently available as an option in a large number of vehicles from the German manufacturer. What we do know is that the sound of Audi vehicles will take a whole new direction if this collaboration becomes sustainable.