Audi's infotainment engineers have turned a Q7 SUV into a "rolling hi-fi studio", with a total 62 individual loudspeaker drivers integrated into it's interior panels. This isn't just another bass SPL competition car packed with absurd quantities of massive subwoofers and flashy amplifiers though. With the Audi Sound Concept, the company aims to perfect the way it's future vehicles reproduce sound and music .

I consider myself an audiophile in the most basic sense of the term.  I love to hear music reproduced as accurately as possible. This is usually associated with expensive equipment and sometimes exotic speaker designs, but it really comes down to a desire to hear lifelike sound. The bulk of my audio electronics purchases have been for my home, however, not my cars. From my experience, the average factory car stereo sounds pretty awful. I've even heard some really terrible sounding "premium" car audio systems as well. For this reason, I'm usually skeptical of efforts aimed at improving sound quality within a car or SUV. It's not at all uncommon for high end audio manufacturers to use multiple small drivers within a single speaker enclosure, as opposed to 2 or 3 large ones. Additionally, we're all used to movie theaters with dozens of speakers lining the walls, creating the surround sound effect.

Audi's strategy for the Q7 concept is very similar. Their inspiration is a movie theater in Ingolstadt, which contains 192 speakers, strategically located and driven by extremely precise computer processed signals. The ultimate goal is an accurate reproduction of sound at any location within the vehicle's passenger area. No matter where you sit inside the car, it sounds the same. It sounds... the way it should. The focus is not only on clear sound, but accurate sound stage. This means certain elements of the music are always perceived to be coming from the same location, regardless of seating position. The end result is called wave field synthesis, and it's all a very scientific process, involving extensive lab and vehicle testing.

No word on how soon this technology will make its way into production Audi models.  I think it's safe to say they won't be offering the 62-speaker premium audio upgrade anytime soon.