Dolby Atmos music is becoming more widely available and accessible on a growing number of devices: soundbars, AV receivers, televisions, headphones and IEMs, for example. A real revolution in the world of music that Dolby Laboratories also wants to put to good use in car interiors thanks to an exclusive partnership with Cinemo, one of the main suppliers of car audio systems. Named the Dolby Car Experience, in-car Dolby Atmos promises to deliver an unparalleled listening experience during your daily commute.
Dolby Atmos technology made its debut in movie theaters in 2012 and quickly made its way into the living rooms and private home theaters of many individuals. More recently, Dolby Laboratories has extended this technology for music, with many Dolby Atmos tracks available on streaming platforms like Apple Music and Tidal. To make this three-dimensional surround sound format available absolutely everywhere, Dolby has announced at the Munich Motor Show that it has partnered with Cinemo, a leader in automotive infotainment systems. A collaboration that saw the creation of the Dolby Car Experience and of which Cinemo is the first licensee in the world.
“Dolby Atmos is a more popular feature than ever in smartphones, home theater systems, connected speakers, and computers,” said Andreas Ehret, automotive director at Dolby Laboratories. “However, bringing high-quality sound to the automotive world requires different solutions than consumer electronics. Car manufacturers need infotainment specialists who understand their requirements.” Cinemo is in the best position to meet these needs thanks to its automotive solutions, which already equip several million vehicles worldwide.
The new Dolby Car Experience technology can be seamlessly integrated into new car systems, but also into existing installations. It can adapt to any speaker configuration and provide the best possible experience for each passenger. This collaboration provides car manufacturers with an easy way to install an immersive audio system in all their vehicles.
With the Dolby Car Experience technology, Dolby aims to provide a new immersive music experience, with more space, clarity and depth. Instead of hearing sound in stereo, Dolby Atmos places the driver and passengers in a sound bubble in which the artists can more freely position the different audio arrangements. The resulting three-dimensional sound field provides a fully immersive and deeper soundstage.
This isn’t the first time Dolby Atmos music has made an appearance in a car, as the brand recently partnered with Lucid Motors to create the sound system for the Lucid Air electric sedan. Developed hand in hand with Dolby, the Surreal Sound system that equips this exceptional vehicle has no less than 21 drivers positioned at the front, in the rear, on the sides and overhead. The passengers can feel the movement of the sounds through the car.
The implementation of multiple drivers coupled with Dolby Atmos technology also benefits the driving experience, as well as the various indications and warnings. For example, an audible seat belt warning may be emitted from the seat belt that is not fastened. The same is true for blind spots where the sound can be pinpointed to the location of the obstacle. Even sounds as familiar as turn signals can be heard by the driver as if they were coming from the indicated side of the vehicle. The Dolby Car Experience technology, whose development Cinemo is accelerating, is therefore on its way to revolutionize both the driving and listening experience in cars.
German manufacturer Mercedes has also announced its participation in the race for Dolby Atmos in cars. This experience will be offered as an option on the brand’s 4D and 3D Burmester premium audio systems, but will come standard in the upcoming Mercedes Maybach and Mercedes Benz S-Class. The latter feature no less than 31 speakers combined with 8 amplifiers to deliver truly immersive sound. The speakers are distributed throughout the interior, including in the seats. In total, the Dolby Atmos system in Mercedes vehicles is capable of delivering a colossal 1750W and transforming the cars into genuine concert halls.