Bang & Olufsen Audio System For The Audi A8 Sets New Standards In Automotive Sound Quality

Audi A8

Audi A8

The Audi A8, one of the world’s most technologically advanced saloons, is now fitted with the world’s most technologically advanced In Car Entertainment. All Audi A8s sold in the UK are optionally available with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, a beautifully engineered audio system that offers completely new standards in automotive sound quality.

The first in-car sound system from the renowned Danish hi-fi experts, it has been tailor-made to the exact acoustic characteristics of the Audi A8’s interior - its size, shape and materials. It even automatically adjusts to the speed of the car, to maintain the rich musical experience.

‘The sound quality of the new Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System matches the best high-end stereo systems for the home,’ says the managing director of Bang & Olufsen UK, Derek Mottershead. ‘We believe this is unique in the in-car entertainment market. The system has been specially developed for the Audi A8 and was the result of close co-operation between Audi and Bang & Olufsen.’

The sound system is specially developed for motoring, and will provide a unique musical experience for both driver and passengers. Its acoustic brilliance is achieved partly by the use of innovative new Acoustic Lens Technology that ensures an even horizontal dispersion of higher frequencies into the car interior, and partly by using Bang & Olufsen’s patented digital amplifier technology, ICEpower, that supplies the 14 speakers - each with its own dedicated amplifier - with more than 1,000 watts of power.

Acoustic Lens Technology uses two moving acoustic lenses, one mounted on each side of the A8’s dashboard. When the sound system is turned on, the acoustic lenses elegantly rise to position themselves on top of the dashboard. They provide superb clarity, tonal balance and detailed acoustic staging, and the music appears from where it is best experienced, at eye-level, in front of the listeners. The acoustic lens contains a tweeter with its own built-in pressure chamber. A dedicated amplifier is connected to it. The sound is radiated a full 180 degrees, eliminating the limited direction beam of conventional tweeter design. The design allows all occupants to have a full stereo experience, regardless of where they are seated. The lenses disappear when the system is turned off, gently retracting into the dashboard.

All loudspeakers are mounted in sealed enclosure cabinets for superior acoustic control, compact size and to prevent sound escaping outside the car, and each unit is custom-made for the A8. Each door is equipped with two loudspeaker units, covered in a discreet aluminium grille.

A full-range driver is mounted in the centre of the dashboard, controlling the staging and timbral characteristics. The lead vocal in all music appears to be standing right in front of the listeners. A 200mm long-throw subwoofer is mounted in a 10-litre enclosure in the rear parcel shelf, to ensure the lowest frequencies are reproduced with maximum performance and control. Two full-range drivers are also housed in the rear parcel shelf.

The Bang & Olufsen-patented ICEpower digital amplifying platform is extremely efficient and produces little heat. It combines Hi-Fi sound quality and high power, and is a key reason why the new Advanced Sound System breaks all previous performance barriers in car audio quality and density. It is also amazingly compact and light, a prerequisite in good automotive audio design. Its footprint is less than a sheet of A4 paper, and its height of only 6.3 cm includes amplifiers, power supplies, diagnostic capabilities and microprocessor control.

‘Just as Bang & Olufsen is renowned for its innovation and quality, so is Audi,’ says Derek Mottershead. ‘That’s why Audi was the right partner when we wanted to launch a new and unique high-end audio system into the automotive market.’

‘Bang & Olufsen’s expertise in collaboration with the Audi engineers has enabled us to deliver the best in-car entertainment system possible,’ says the director of Audi UK, Jeremy Hicks. ‘This state of the art, technologically impressive in-car entertainment system perfectly complements the award-winning ‘Vorsprung durch Technic’ technology of the Audi A8. This is a very good reason for discerning consumers, seeking the very best in sound technology, to choose an Audi A8.’

The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System is optional on all Audi A8 models and cannot be retro fitted. It costs £3,775 on the S8 and £4,500 on all other versions of the A8.

Published 31 May 2006 Melanie Carter

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