Surround sound: Mercedes-Benz brings Dolby Atmos into the car

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Surround sound: Mercedes-Benz brings Dolby Atmos into the car

Image: Mercedes-Benz

Dolby Atmos, the surround sound developed by Dolby, is expected to find its way into Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the summer of next year. The surround sound format is to be offered for the optional sound systems from Burmester in the versions 3D and 4D. The current MBUX 2 (test) is also required.

Originally developed for cinemas as part of Dolby Cinema, Dolby Atmos, which creates surround sound in a hemisphere around the listener, has now made it into numerous electronic devices such as sound bars, notebooks, tablets and even smartphones. What Dolby Atmos should actually stand for has long since ceased to be a real seal of approval. In the car, however, the surround sound format could come into its own again in view of the number of high-quality sound systems available.

Dolby Atmos is coming to Burmester 3D and 4D

Mercedes-Benz is planning the integration of Dolby Atmos in vehicles with the current second generation MBUX, provided these are equipped with an optional sound system from the Berlin manufacturer Burmester. In the S-Class, for example, this option costs 1,463.70 euros (3D) or 7,913.50 euros (4D). The smaller version offers 15 loudspeakers, supplied by a DSP amplifier with a total output power of 710 watts. The top model consists of 31 loudspeakers including a subwoofer and 8 structure-borne sound converters in the seats and is supplied via an amplifier with digital and analog filters with 1,350 watts of power and an additional amplifier with 400 watts of power for the subwoofer.

First at Mercedes-Maybach, then in the S-Class

Dolby Atmos is expected to arrive at Mercedes-Maybach in the summer of 2022, and the current S-Class will follow shortly thereafter. Basically, however, it is planned to offer the standard in other vehicles as well, provided that these are equipped with the new generation MBUX. The MBUX 2 is offered, for example, in the new C-Class and soon also in the new SL. In the electrical EQS as well as in the EQE, the system is also offered in an extended version with MBUX Hyperscreen.

Streaming apps and USB are supported

Dolby Atmos should be able to be played both within streaming apps and via USB storage media. Amazon Music and Tidal offer pieces of music in Dolby Atmos and both providers have native apps on the MBUX 2. Spotify is also on board at Mercedes-Benz, but has not yet made the format available. Apple Music also relies on Dolby Atmos for “Spatial Audio”. Apple’s service was submitted to Mercedes-Benz this summer with an OTA update.

OTA update option is being investigated

Speaking of OTA updates: If you have already made the investment for one of the luxury vehicles mentioned, things may look poor with future support from Dolby Atmos. The manufacturer has only confirmed that Dolby Atmos will be offered for new vehicles this summer. When asked, the company was still investigating whether Dolby Atmos could also be submitted via OTA update. The MBUX 2 was presented a year ago with the statement that it could always be kept up-to-date via OTA updates.

Lucid Air also with Dolby Atmos

However, Mercedes-Benz will not be the first to offer a car with Dolby Atmos. Dolby announced in March of this year that the US company Lucid Motors would bring the Lucid Air, the world’s first vehicle with Dolby Atmos, onto the market. The first quantities of the electric car are being shipped in the United States these days. In the future, more and more cars with Dolby Atmos could come onto the market after Dolby entered into a cooperation with the middleware provider at the IAA in September Cinemo was announced as an infotainment system supplier.

ComputerBase has received information about this article from Mercedes-Benz under NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication time.

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