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Dolby Atmos & Apple Provide High-end Audio for Luxury Vehicles {Is it Worth It?}

Mercedes Benz, Apple Music, and UMG partner to bring studio sounds to drivers

Exciting auto & audio news has arrived for fans of studio quality sound. Dolby Atmos & Apple provide high-end audio for luxury vehicles.

What does this mean for the automobile industry? Will we come to expect bigger and better audio quality in our cars?

Mercedes, Apple and Dolby are industry giants making huge sound waves. Let’s find out how this will affect our experience on the road.

Dolby Atmos & Apple Provide High-end Audio for Luxury Vehicles

Recently Mercedes Benz made an announcement with Apple about their Burmester Audio system integrated with Dolby’s immersive audio platform.

They will become the first non-Apple device to offer ‘Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos’ from Apple Music.

Dolby Atmos 3D and 4D sound with Apple Spatial Audio will be available in Mercedes’ Maybach models in 2023, followed later by the S-Class.

What Is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Laboratories created the surround sound technology known as Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is a game-changer because it:

  • improves sound quality.
  • gives the impression that sound is coming from all sides.
  • includes height channels.
  • adds more space, clarity and depth to music.
  • enables sounds to be perceived three-dimensionally.

The Lucid Air car from Lucid Motors was the first vehicle announced to implement Dolby Atmos and now the Mercedes has decided to welcome it into the fold.

How Does Apple Spatial Audio Work With Dolby Atmos?

With compatible Apple devices, Spatial Audio is a 3D audio technology that produces a more immersive soundscape for a “theatre-like” experience.

According to Apple, sounds may be positioned “almost anywhere” in the hemisphere using spatial audio.

The system utilizes Dolby Atmos object-based audio. Dolby Atmos’ spatial audio operates differently since head tracking is not used. As a result, you may use this version of the function without the use of Apple headphones.

How Much For Atmos in Mercedes Cars?

However, for customers hoping to obtain studio-quality sound in their Mercedes cars, the full Atmos experience will be difficult to come by without having deep pockets.

  • These features will only be available for cars that have the Burmester 3D or 4D sound systems
  • It costs an additional $4,550 to $6,730.

Mercedes and Apple believe that it will offer a more realistic audio experience and give the experience of a concert hall.

What Cars Support Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos will first be available in:

  • Mercedes‑Maybach S‑Class
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • EQE
  • EQE SUV
  • EQS
  • EQS SUV

Spatial audio compatibility for Apple Music, which was introduced last year, is now effectively integrated with the MBUX infotainment system.

Through a software upgrade, spatial audio capabilities will be added into the vehicles listed above.

What Does This Mean For Recording Artists?

Mercedes Benz has a relationship with Apple Music and Universal Music Group (UMG) that allows recording artists to test how their songs sound in a Mercedes car.

If the final mix is signed off, it will earn an ‘Approved in a Mercedes Benz’ seal. It will sound exactly as it did when their creator mixed them.

This means that Apple Music customers in compatible Mercedes cars can be sure they’re hearing ‘Approved in Mercedes Benz tracks’.

What Apple’s VP for Apple Music Oliver Schusser Says

Apple
Apple’s VP for Apple Music and Beats Oliver Schusser

“Sound quality is incredibly important to Apple Music which is why we are so excited to be working with Mercedes to make Spatial Audio on Apple Music available natively in the car for the first time.

Spatial Audio is revolutionizing the way artists create and fans listen to music and it’s an experience that is impossible to explain in words; you have to hear it for yourself to appreciate it.

Together with Mercedes, we now have even more opportunities to bring wholly immersive music to our subscribers all over the world.”

Quote from UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge

“This important step in the history of recorded music is the culmination of years of working together with our partners at Dolby to develop the Dolby Atmos Music format so we can provide our artists with an even wider palette for their creative expression.”

Does Apple Support Dolby Atmos?

Apple Music members may listen to the music that are available in Dolby Atmos via the Music app.

On stereo headphones, speakers, or receivers that support Dolby Atmos, users may enjoy an immersive, three-dimensional audio experience.

The Apple Music Voice Plan does not include Dolby Atmos audio.

Apple Spatial Audio Is Expanding

This is the first time that Apple has extended its spatial audio capabilities beyond:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • AirPods
  • HomePods

Recently, Apple announced that Apple Music has amassed over 100 million songs in its catalog. A good portion of these tunes are spatial audio and lossless high-resolution audio files.

Conclusion

As the best-selling smartphone globally, many people who own luxury cars also have an iPhone.

Apple is now attracting customers that normally would have leaned toward other streaming services, such as Spotify.

Through partnerships with brands like Mercedes Benz, some audiophiles can now enjoy studio-quality sound on the road.

 

Thanks for visiting Music Biz Asia covering all aspects of the Asian music business and music-oriented technology.

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