• Jun 16, 2010
Audi Q7 with Wave Field sound system – Click above for high-res image gallery

Right now, if you happen to find yourself in a honkin' German SUV and you want a great sound system, you're in luck. Audi will be happy to supply you with a Q7 that boasts a Bang & Olufsen sound system with a dizzying 14 speakers, but that's child's play compared to what the Four-Rings are up to with the Institute for Digital Media Technology. The two have partnered to create a special Q7 prototype with 62 speakers, including five woofers and five tweeters. This isn't some Pimp My Ride exercise, though. Each one of those speakers is individually driven by an advanced computer to create a universal audio sweet spot in the cabin.

IDMT calls the technology wave field synthesis, and the system can individually delay speaker impulses to keep the sound in check. It's less of a cacophony and more of personalized stereo experience no matter where the listener is sitting inside the vehicle.

The wave field tech has been applied to the Linden Lichtspiele Cinema with an epic 192-speaker system. The only downside is that neither movie companies nor the recording industry are creating material with wave field encoding.



[Source: Gizmag]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really hope this technology takes off into the mainstream.
      • 4 Years Ago
      too many speakers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, and marketing as a whole is filled with and run by total morons.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There can NEVER be too many speakers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        More is always better, isn't it? That's what marketing tells me anyway.

        /s
      • 4 Years Ago
      All those speakers and only ONE subwoofer. Sounds like it's all highs and no lows. I think someone was high when they thought about this idea.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And people wonder why cars keep getting heavier...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Note to self: invest in companies that produce hearing aids.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone remember the single dash mounted oval 9" Hi-Tone speaker attached to the optional in-dash Wonder-Bar AM radio? If you were extravagant, you'd also buy the factory optional rear deck mounted 9" dual-cone oval speaker for $12.00

      There's a certain point when too much of a good thing makes you want to become a Luddite. Sixty-two speakers is too much.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now the Germans can listen to Hasslehoff in 62 speaker surround sound, "Talkin' 'bout freeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom"
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Right... So lets give them the benifit of the doubt and say that Audi is probably up to its usual over-engineering thing and looking to research sound in the cabin...

        ... isn't this something that has been done before? Sound delays in the car have been in existence for years: what makes this so different?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Automakers count every tweeter, mid-range, and woofer as a separate "speaker", while home-theater systems count them as one if they are driven from the same amplifier channel. A typical 5.1 home theater system has between 11 and 16 "speakers" if you count ever tweeter, mid-range, and woofer separately.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's just the delivery van from Audi's speaker supplier.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These go to eleven
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definitely needs more speakers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think the point of this system is to be able to hear (identify) sound from each speaker. The intended reasoning is to be able to reproduce the life-like nature of sounds that may come from numerous sources from multiple locations around you. Though much of this can be achieved with the latest in-car 8.1 channel stereo system, the shear number of speakers needed is a bit comical...even "cartoonish" maybe.

        The in-car music/entertainment systems are fast becoming ridiculous. It's like the number of razor blades on the newest shavers ---- 7 ot 8 blades, really? ---- what happened to 1, 2, or maybe 3 blades?
        • 4 Years Ago
        and if one of them blows... good luck finding out which one went...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Does Audi have an ear upgrade available so I can hear more channels?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tekdemon - yeah.. even though it'll already be in the car, you will need to pay to upgrade to use it :D
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ nicholiservia

        "The human ear can't percieve this many speakers"

        That's the whole point!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @nicholiservia:

        Well, considering that "the human ear can't percieve [sic] this many speakers," are you actually gonna notice when one goes out?

        Just playin'. :-P
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or better yet, vuvuzelas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

        The human ear can't percieve this many speakers ...and what happens when individual speakers blow out and you are off warranty?
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