Mercedes-Benz, Apple Music and the Universal Music Group partner on Dolby Atmos in-car experience

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A new collaboration has been announced between Mercedes-Benz, Apple Music and the Universal Music Group (UMG) that seeks to change not only how music is created but also how it’s played back and enjoyed in a vehicle. With many artists basing their approval of a new mix of a track on how it sounds when played within a car, the trio aim to establish an in-car audio experience that can be used as a benchmark for music production and playback quality.

The newly formed partnership builds on the integration of Dolby Atmos audio within the optional Burmester 4D and 3D sound system, which is offered in Mercedes‑Benz models with the latest MBUX generation. Through the new audio standard, UMG aims to enable musicians to base their song approval process on how the final mix of a song sounds in a Mercedes-Benz, by introducing the Approved in a MercedesBenz seal as a gold standard of sound.

To ensure these Approved in a MercedesBenz tracks can be heard as intended, the native integration of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos from Apple Music has been made available for the first time natively in a non-Apple device.

“Our collaborations with Apple Music and Universal Music Group are truly unparalleled and set a new benchmark by adding music content and platform expertise to our Dolby Atmos-capable Burmester sound system,” said Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management at Mercedes‑Benz Group. “Through this exceptional partnership, we are giving our customers the extraordinary in-car audio experience they expect from Mercedes-Benz. Both Apple and UMG share our vision and values and, together with Dolby, we will create a seamless and unique experience for our customers.”

Alongside the Burmester Premium 3D sound system sits the Burmester High-End 4D sound system, which uses speaker-like resonators featuring sound massage with surround speakers integrated into the seats. The system also features 31 speakers, including six 3D speakers that emit sound from above, four near-ear speakers in the front seats, and an 18.5-liter subwoofer. Furthermore, there are eight sound transducers (two in each seat) and two amplifiers. With all the components combined, the system produces 1,750W of power.

For the first time in a Mercedes‑Benz, drivers and passengers who are subscribed to Apple Music will be able to access an ever-growing selection of songs and albums available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.

“Sound quality is incredibly important to Apple Music, which is why we are so excited to be working with Mercedes to make Spatial Audio on Apple Music available natively in the car for the first time,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Spatial Audio is revolutionizing the way artists create and fans listen to music and it’s an experience that is impossible to explain in words; you have to hear it for yourself to appreciate it. Together with Mercedes, we now have even more opportunities to bring wholly immersive music to our subscribers all over the world.”

Under the agreement, Mercedes‑Benz will provide UMG with vehicles equipped with the Burmester high-end sound system for creative and technical assurances. By doing so, UMG aims to ensure its music receives the Approved in a MercedesBenz seal.

“This important step in the history of recorded music is the culmination of years of working together with our partners at Dolby to develop the Dolby Atmos Music format so we can provide our artists with an even wider palette for their creative expression,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “With Mercedes, a company that shares our passion for quality and innovation, fans can now enjoy our artists’ music in Mercedes cars in a way that virtually transports them to the recording studio or live stage.”

Dolby Atmos will first be available in the Mercedes‑Maybach S‑Class, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and EQS SUV. The audio experience has been designed to add more space, clarity and depth to music. Dolby Atmos enables discrete audio elements or objects to be placed in a three-dimensional sound field and adapts to any playback environment. This means music quality can match what an artist hears in the studio.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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