Sennheiser enters the automotive industry with AMBEO 3D

Sennheiser has entered the automotive sector with an AMBEO immersive audio solution for in-car entertainment and communication in collaboration with Southern California-based luxury automaker, Karma Automotive.

Engineered using highest-grade microphone and loudspeaker technology and 3D audio expertise, the AMBEO sound system provides immersive sound and clear audio for phone calls. The system can first be experienced as a technology showcase on a new 2020 Karma Revero GT during Monterey Car Week from August 15 to 18.

“We are extremely pleased to be taking the unique immersive audio experience of AMBEO to automobiles, and to be doing so with Karma Automotive, who put their development focus on electric vehicles,” said Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser. “With Karma, we are combining the future of mobility with the future of audio enjoyment.”

Co-CEO Andreas Sennheiser added: “We set out with the aim to create nothing less than the best-in-class sound experience. The system we designed will amaze with its authentic immersive sound, voice intelligibility, and possibilities for sound personalisation.”

The AMBEO sound system on board the 2020 Karma Revero GT consists of a multi-channel loudspeaker set-up arranged in two main layers plus a subwoofer designed to provide authentic sound immersion anywhere in the cabin. The vehicle’s headrests have also been integrated into the loudspeaker concept.

The system does not require specific 3D audio sources – its AMBEO upmix algorithm can turn any stereo material into an immersive mix. Audio sources and levels are managed via a graphical user interface, which allows the driver and passengers to personalise the sound according to their preferences. The interface also lets users determine the preferred degree of immersiveness, and their position within the sound stage. The system employs beamforming technology to actively focus on the speaker, with the beamforming microphone arrays integrated into both sides of the cabin.

“The main challenge was to bring immersive high-quality audio into the complex and difficult environment of the car, which is quite unlike our usual use cases for immersive audio and beamforming technologies,” said Dr. Véronique Larcher, Director AMBEO Immersive Audio at Sennheiser. “We almost had to start from zero, with the objective of not only bringing a good solution to market, but creating the very best available. This AMBEO system now combines the gold-standard AMBEO upmix algorithm for immersive audio with high-quality, elevated sound reproduction and the latest beamforming technology for clear communications.”

Karma Automotive’s Monterey Car Week activation is located on Peter Hay Hill at Pebble Beach and is open Thursday 15 through Sunday 18 August.