Mercedes partners with Apple, Universal to launch 4D sound

Mercedes partners with Apple, Universal to launch 4D sound

Sometimes hearing is believing. Based on a new partnership with Apple Music and Universal Music Group announced last week, Mercedes believes it has the best sound experience of any car on the market.

A resounding demonstration of the brand’s new Burmester 4D audio system in a 2022 Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class made me a believer, too.

First, the new hardware is standard on the Maybach and available on the S-Class. The 4D upgrade to Mercedes’ existing Burmester Premium 3D audio system features 31 speakers, two transducers in each seat (eight in total) that transmit music through your body, two amplifiers, a huge 18.5 liter subwoofer and 1750 watts of power. . With six 3D speakers cascading sound from above and two speakers near the headrests of each front seat, the system creates a “concert hall at your fingertips”, according to Mercedes.

In the demo, piano notes danced inside the cabin, twirling around the corners of the car. The snaps on Glass Animals’ “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” sounded like they were coming from inside my ear. The first drumbeat of Imagine Dragons’ “Enemy” sounded like a bubble bursting, from within, and the lyrics haunted the space. It has created a mindful and active listening experience that is impossible to overlook.

When the demonstrator said, “We’re gonna give you a lot of bass now,” to Sevenn and Tiesto’s song “Boom,” I experienced what it must be like inside a speaker. of clubs. It made my precious Cerwin Vega speakers that I dragged from apartment to apartment in my twenties sound as dumb as my 20s.

This immersive music experience sets “a new bar for how music should be heard in the car,” said Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO of Dolby Laboratories.

The car has become the Walkman or mobile Boombox of a bygone era, according to the latest Mercedes-Benz survey of 1,750 people in five countries. More than 70% of people who listen to music said it mostly happens in a car, and sound quality, especially “realistic spatial sound”, is important to more than 76% of respondents.

This realistic spatial sound is created by integrating Apple’s Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, which uses a three-dimensional sound field to add more space, clarity and depth to music, Dolby explained. It also delivers music to the listener’s ears as intended when the artist cut the track. Instead of shifting the sound left or right as in traditional stereo, or even forward and backward, Atmos gives performers an infinite range of sound moving around the listener. Based on the demo, Spatial Audio with Atmos also moves sound through the listener.

“Spatial Audio is revolutionizing the way artists create and fans listen to music and it’s an experience impossible to explain in words; you have to hear it for yourself to appreciate it,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats. .

The partnership with Apple marks the first time that sound quality has been available in a non-Apple device, and these Mercedes-Benz sedans are in a different universe from an iPod. Mercedes-Benz owners who already subscribe to Apple Music will have access to the growing portfolio of music available in Spatial Audio with Dolby.

Universal’s contribution to the partnership comes from the musical source. “UMG is allowing its performers to base their song approval process on the sound of the final mix in a Mercedes-Benz and introducing the ‘Approved in a Mercedes-Benz’ seal as the gold standard for sound” , said Mercedes.

The gold standard also applies to price. The Burmester 4D sound system bundle costs $6,730 in the Mercedes-Benz S580 2022. Lower version of Dolby Atmos with Burmester 3D sound system may be optional in EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and SUV EQS.

Mercedes-Benz paid for airfare and accommodation for Driving authority to participate in the demo.


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