After announcing it nearly a year ago, Mercedes-Benz is finally rolling out Apple Music’s Spatial Audio in select electric and luxury vehicles. The Dolby Atmos-powered surround sound audio already works on multiple Apple devices including the HomePod speaker, Apple TV and AirPods headphones, but it’s the first implementation in vehicles.
“Mercedes-Benz drivers who are already subscribed to Apple Music gain immediate access to an ever-growing selection of songs and albums available in Spatial Audio,” the companies said in a press release. And if you’re not an Apple Music subscriber, select Dolby Atmos content will be available from Universal Music as well.
The feature will be available in the select EQS and EQE sedans and SUVs (including the new EQE SUV), along with Mayback and S-Class vehicles. To use it, you’ll need to own a vehicle with the MBUX interface and optional 31-speaker Burmester 3D or 4D sound systems, an option that starts at $4,550 on top of the price of the vehicle (the 2023 EQE 350 sedan is expected to start at $70,000 or so). The technology will come to other models “soon,” according to Mercedes.
Apple Music’s Dolby Atmos implementation creates a 3D soundstage by spreading sounds across different channels, though the level of the effect depends on a song’s mix. In the Mercedes implementation, the spatial audio effect will come from six of the 31 speakers located above the driver. Other speakers include four near-ear speakers in the front seats, eight sound transducers (two per seat) and two amplifiers that pump out 1,750 watts of power.
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