Dolby and Swedish firm Dirac are working to get immersive sound in your next vehicle. Dirac has built a reputation when it comes to digital audio optimization. They developed an algorithm that corrects sound bouncing in small to big spaces. This means that even with a minimum sound setup, the software will be able to pump out the richness and energy of the intended media.
Dirac has also proven itself in the commercial headphone space. Most headphones have their own apps derived from their technology. But Dirac stands at the forefront of the platforms and leads the charge in spatial audio.
Lately, vehicles for Mercedes Benz and new EV company Lucid Air, have offered in-car spatial audio as standard features. With Dirac partnering with surround sound specialist Dolby, things are getting interesting for the future of in-car entertainment.
Previously, it would require sound specialists to upgrade a vehicle’s stock sound system. A lot of the aftermarket parts like tweeters, separates, amplifiers and subs would be sold in the car shops and these shops would customize boxes, fix speaker angling, and create an awesome booming sound. Several tweaks would be needed to achieve the sound that the customer wants.
With this setup, it's the ear of the tuner that is the basis of the “correct” sound. They are the ones who can tell whether the setup is good enough or inferior. With the Dirac and Dolby partnership, the tuner will be the algorithm and it will apply the general spatial-audio standard to any sound system whether stock or upgraded.
The first car to feature the Dirac and Dolby partnership will be the electric vehicle ET7 by Chinese car maker Nio. The partnership has fitted the EV with Dolby Atmos which can deliver the 3D sound experience in-car. The system will also compensate for poor cabin acoustics and give the home theatre experience in the ET7. The company is poised to launch the EV model in China and the EU.
With a call to share the system and platform across more brands, the technology becomes a necessity with autonomous self-driving vehicles. The audio will take the experience to another level and most car makers are now developing their software to anticipate the demand when it arises. The industry is also shifting to a subscription-based platform so features like spatial-audio, Dolby Atmos, and more might end up in the available features list you can purchase and subscribe to every month.