There are very few things that go together as perfectly as driving and music. Maybe chocolate chips and cookies, but otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to prove this wrong. Music sets the tone, sets the mood, and sets the speed. Okay, maybe we shouldn’t mention that last one, but you know it’s true. So how do you make this ultimate pairing better? How do you make that road trip soundtrack bang harder? Apple Music and Mercedes-Benz have the answer, with the highly acclaimed immersive Spatial Audio now available as a built-in feature.
If you don’t know about Spatial Audio from Apple yet, let’s catch you up real quick. Spatial Audio recreates a cinema-style experience, where different sounds come from different directions, essentially enabling you to hear three-dimensional audio from supported audio on select albums. To do this, Apple uses the 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos mixes from compatible audio, applies directional audio filters and adjusts the frequencies relayed to each ear. It attempts to deliver lossless audio (big files) without the hefty storage demands because otherwise, you would only be able to have a handful of albums saved to your iPhone. It is pretty impressive when you can hear sounds in songs that barely showed up on the compressed mp.3 of your average streaming service.
Now here’s the exciting bit, Apple Music with Spatial Audio will come fully integrated through the Mercedes-Benz proprietary MBUX infotainment system in Mercedes-Maybach models, the EQS and EQS SUV, as well as the EQE and the S-Class. Meaning that all these vehicles will be able to play your favourite tunes with studio-quality sound through the Burmester sound system, giving an arguably better and more comprehensive audio experience than you would get even in a concert hall. Bold. The first car to get these new partnership features was the limited edition Mercedes-Maybach by Virgil Abloh. This isn’t a surprise considering the Maybach sound system features 31 speakers, six 3D speakers that emit their sound from above, four near-ear speakers in the front seats, and an 18.5-liter subwoofer; eight sound transducers (two per seat); two amplifiers; and 1,750 watts of power. So throw in Spatial Audio, and it’s a concert on wheels.
To fully understand this new audio experience, we headed to the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in NYC to give our ears the full experience in the brand new 2023 all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV. Hosted by Apple Music Radio’s very own Ebro Darden, we were given firsthand insight into the new dynamic partnership. With music selected and curated by the Apple Music host, we delved into some Marvin Gaye, The Weeknd, and Sza. With the music turned up, we were able to hear instruments and sonic details that we’d never heard before in these songs, really showing the depth that Spatial Audio brings to the music. As Apple Music converts more and more albums, both old and new, into Spatial Audio, and as musicians start to release in the format, the musical experience will continue to grow to benefit us, the listener. Right on!
The new partnership is an exciting step towards improving the overall user experience both as a driver (and passenger) and as an audiophile. If you are a luxury car maker, why wouldn’t you want the world’s best audio platform integrated into your interface? They already have incredible sound systems built in, so take that experience to the next level with the most in-depth audio you can get. It’s looking like Spatial Audio is the future.