Audi e-ton Prototyp auf der Bühne im Konzertsaal

A concert hall put into a car

The 3D sound in the Audi e-tron prototype

Barely any driving noise in the interior, futuristic electro sound for the environment and a 3D sound for a sound experience straight from a concert hall. Blogger Niloufar Behradi-Ohnacker listened closely to the Audi e-tron prototype. Why it sometimes seemed like Sting sat next to her in the car.

Der Audi e-tron-Prototyp vor der Hafenkulisse
A haven of peace between the city traffic and loud environmental noises. While sitting in the Audi e-tron prototype, you can talk to your passengers or listen to the 3D premium sound system.

About twenty years ago, my husband and I were regularly commuting between Mainz and Berlin by car. I had just graduated from high school and he had a decent job in the capital. When traffic was fine, the drive took about seven hours. A long time that we spent listening to music. We equipped our CD changer in the back with a lot of compilations – the playlists of the 2000s ­– and went onwards with our journey.

That’s what it looked like in detail: The installed speakers in the back seats, the subwoofer in the trunk and the usual speaker in the foot area. In order to drown out the driving noise, we just increased the volume.

Before the Audi e-tron prototype: Drowning out driving noise with loud music

It’s no secret that this practice is a thing of the past. But these memories show how the awareness of driving noise has changed during the last twenty years. I still remember thinking that cars are like little time machines. During a 7-hour journey, you have lot of time to philosophize. Watching how the area around drives by and is compressed until you reach your destination. Every house, every memorial site harbors its own history that is only scratched by the surface. A set that offers a lot of opportunity for talking about everything and anything under the sun.

E-tron in der Stadtmitte Kopenhagen

The Audi e-tron prototype on a drive through the Copenhagen city center. It appears in its special camouflage design that itself is a designer piece and significantly differs from the previous designs.

The Audi e-tron prototype shows the definition of good 3D sound

A couple of years later, I’m sitting in the concert hall at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen and I’m listening to the Audi e-tron prototype’s sound. A truly impressive performance that moves my heart.

Especially, because the luxury class SUV demonstrates the definition of good sound. Because the 3D sound of the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system plays back the music just the way it was recorded. Sounds exciting? That’s because it is! I’m wondering about what hidden treasures might be in our music collection that want to be re-discovered? How about Sting’s “Englishman in New York” from 1987? That’s a song I can enjoy to the fullest extent in the Audi e-tron prototype. And it feels like Sting’s sitting up in front of me and singing the song just now. A truly unique experience for me. Until then, I’ve never listened to music in a car like this. A total of 16 speakers and an amplifier with 705 watts enable this special moment.

Der Audi e-tron-Prototyp auf der Bühne des Royal Danish Playhouse
The Audi e-tron prototyp presents itself on the big stage at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen.

The 3D speakers are mounted into the A-pillars, the surround speakers in the D-pillars. The latter are equipped with neodymium magnets that are extremely lightweight and come with minimal distortion. If required, the 3D sound can be directed towards the occupants’ individual seating positions. Controllable by an intuitive touchscreen. Great engineering art to create such a natural and spatial sound without having to resort to artificial effects. Pure sound in its original form.

Das Interior des Audi e-tron-Prototyps

Audi focuses on acoustic comfort with the Audi e-tron prototype. Aside from its spaciousness and the elegantly reduced design, the first electric car by Audi offers effortless calmness and thus the perfect stage for the 3D premium sound system.

Acoustic comfort: barely any driving noise in the interior

The first electric Audi takes me on an even more comfortable and calmer journey. Audi calls this acoustic comfort. What a fitting description it is! I think back to the times when driving noise and loud music strained our ears without us realizing it.

Digitization on a high level: Virtual exterior mirrors and speakers that can be adjusted to individual seating positions.

That’s a thing of the past with the e-tron prototype: Apertures due to construction and cavities inside the chassis are sealed and filled. Intensive fine tuning at the door seal, exterior mirrors and water drain channels lead to very quiet wind noise that barely makes it through to the passengers. The windshield comes with double glazing as standard equipment. These are only a few examples as to why the interior’s noise level is low. In the end, this all means one thing: No overexertion due to loud driving noise. It’s not only the car’s occupants that benefit from this, but also the environment and neighborhoods. It’s only the wheels’ rolling noise and the quiet buzzing of the e-machines.

Electric car: quiet, but the environment perceives it

To put it in better words, a digitally crafted driving noise that is produced by a speaker in the car’s right wheel house. The technical and futuristic sound soothes me and helps to sense the car if it’s in your surroundings. To sum it all up: Kudos Audi, you’ve put a concert hall into the car. A true sound experience, not only made for audiophile people.

The Audi e-tron prototype visits Copenhagen

The Audi e-tron prototype made a sole appearance on the stage in Copenhagen. Aside from its vast interior and an elegantly reduced design, the first fully electric car by Audi enables pleasant quietness and thus the perfect surrounding for the 3D premium sound system by Bang & Olufsen.

The combination of electric drive and high-quality interior combined with a sound system of the luxury class, creates a whole new driving experience.
Charged up: The Audi e-tron prototype charging at a charging station.
Electrifying controls: The cockpit's eye catcher is the console above the center tunnel. There's a hand rest with an integrated gear change lever that floats above the center tunnel console.
While the e-tron already presents a lot of its diverse interior design, it's still covered in its special camouflage design.
Full electric steam ahead: With the Audi e-tron prototype, the driver and passengers experience their surroundings in a new sound dimension.

The combination of electric drive and high-quality interior combined with a sound system of the luxury class, creates a whole new driving experience.

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Charged up: The Audi e-tron prototype charging at a charging station.

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Electrifying controls: The cockpit's eye catcher is the console above the center tunnel. There's a hand rest with an integrated gear change lever that floats above the center tunnel console.

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While the e-tron already presents a lot of its diverse interior design, it's still covered in its special camouflage design.

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Full electric steam ahead: With the Audi e-tron prototype, the driver and passengers experience their surroundings in a new sound dimension.

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The Audi e-tron prototype on the stage in the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen
Audi MediaCenter

Chill out: Audi e-tron prototype alone on the big stage

Driver and passengers experience their surroundings in a whole new dimension in the Audi e-tron prototype. In addition to its generous space and the stylishly reduced design, Audi’s first electric car offers a high level of calm and, in turn, the perfect stage for the Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System. The full-size SUV also provides a new digital operating and display experience. It is the first volume-production car with virtual exterior mirrors.

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