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2016 Audi Q7 Features New 3D Sound System

Bang & Olufsen system packs 1,920 watts.

The 2016 Audi Q7 will feature a new Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system that uses a total of 23 speakers to accurately replicate music. According to Audi, the Bang & Olufsen system, "redefines the benchmark for in-car listening pleasure."

Audi showed a concept 3D sound system in an old Q7 at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The system uses speakers at different heights within the car to give an even more immersive experience than in today's surround sound systems.

The Bang & Olufsen setup in the 2016 Audi Q7 first evaluates audio being played to create a virtual model of the room in which the sound was recorded. By timing the reflections and echoes of sounds off different surfaces, the Bang & Olufsen algorithm can apparently determine the approximate size and shape of the recording room or studio. This works on any type of audio -- whether streaming internet music, a CD, FM radio, or even a high-quality 5.1 surround-sound recording.

With that data supplied, more calculations allow the Bang & Olufsen system to play components of the music through 11 different channels routed through 23 speakers. The idea is to give the listener the same experience as if he or she were listening to the music live. Four speakers are mounted in the A-pillars at various heights to help provide the 3D effect, and the car's subwoofer has been enlarged. In addition to the 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen system, Audi also plans to offer a similar 20-speaker Bose surround system that will also have a 3D playback effect.

After debuting on the 2016 Audi Q7, the 3D audio system will be offered on other future Audi models. The Q7 (pictured below) makes its public debut next month at the 2015 Detroit auto show. Smaller and significantly lighter, yet with a more spacious interior than the current model, the 2016 Audi Q7 will be offered in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 and 3.0-liter turbodiesel V -6 likely to be available as options. Look for more details on the availability and pricing of Bang & Olufsen 3D sound later next year.