Amazon Music & Fraunhofer Partner for Immersive Sound While Driving – CES 2023

Amazon Music sound driving

Photo Credit: André Luís Alves Campos

Amazon Music and Fraunhofer are partnering to reveal 360-degree immersive sound while driving at CES 2023.

Fraunhofer IIS is the primary developer of the MPEG-H 3D Audio standard, which serves as the base for Amazon Music’s 360 Reality Audio. Now both companies will demonstrate how the format can be experienced while driving at CES 2023. “During the live demo in an Audi e-tron that’s equipped with a production 3D sound system, CES visitors will be able for the first time to experience Amazon Music’s 360 Reality Audio immersive service streamed to an automotive environment,” the press release reads

Advanced in-car sound systems for premium, mid-range, and even entry-level vehicles benefit from discrete spatial audio content that preserves the artist’s intent and reproduce the best possible sound in the car. Rear-seat entertainment systems with installed screens can render immersive audio over headphones with head-tracking and in addition make use of the interactivity, personalization, and accessibility features of MPEG-H Audio that already exist in streaming and broadcast. 

MPEG-H Audio also enables advanced warning sounds with spatially rendered signaling. Audio objects can be positioned freely within an MPEG-H Audio mix. Only one warning sound item needs to be produced across all car models and the warning sound will be rendered at the correct position according to the available playback system.

The 360 Reality Audio music format based on MPEG-H 3D Audio offers a new music ecosystem. It utilizes Sony’s object-based 360 Spatial Sound technology, which gives artists and music creators a sound stage for building a spatial musical experience.

“Fraunhofer has a long and successful history of providing best-in-class automotive audio solutions to the industry,” adds Marc Gayer, Head of Business Department & Deputy Division Director Audio & Media Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS. “The availability of 360 Reality Audio content from Amazon Music in cars is the perfect match to the advancements in audio rendering capabilities that we’ve been striving for.”