When clear-headed arrives next year, it will be the first vehicle to offer Dolby Atmos audio inside. Automaker EV today announced that its Surreal Sound system will provide passengers with an immersive sound experience as standard inside the Air Grand Touring and Air Dream Edition models. It will be an optional supplement on the Air Touring and Air Pure versions. In addition to the Deluxe EV, you’ll also need a high-resolution music subscription that provides access to Dolby Atmos music – like Tidal, for example. Lucid Motors plans to launch six months of free streaming with the Grand Touring and Dream editions.
The Lucid Air comes equipped with a 21 speaker setup capable of handling the immersive directional sound of Dolby Atmos. The front, rear, side and overhead speakers are positioned inside the car so passengers can “feel” the movement of whatever they listen to. The Surreal Sound system also uses directional acoustic signaling for notifications, warnings and other alerts. For example, things like blind spot detection and unfastened seat belt warnings come from the direction of the potential problem. To customize the speaker setup for Atmos, Lucid adjusted it using the famous Capitol Records Studio C as a reference design.
“The big difference is in the placement of the speakers in the ceiling,” said Derek Jenkins, senior vice president of design at Lucid Motors. “Along the interior pillars of the vehicle, we place the overhead speakers very carefully to optimize the entire upper surround area. Alignment with these upper and lower speakers is essential in creating this dimensional experience. “
While Dolby Atmos has been around for years, it existed primarily as an A / V platform inside the living room. In 2019, Dolby introduced its high-resolution immersive audio platform Dolby Atmos Music on services such as Amazon Music, Deezer and Tide. Of course, you need a more expensive hi-fi streaming plan to access the content and a good speaker system to get the most out of the investment. With Atmos Music however, Dolby was poised to give listeners access to audio with greater clarity and depth outside of their homes.
“The primary entertainment in an automobile is primarily music,” said Tim Pryde, director of music for Dolby Laboratories. “Until Atmos Music, having Atmos in a car was something we had experienced, but it never really took hold because there was no content like today.”
Pryde said that while Dolby has been in the automotive audio business since the ’70s and’ 80s, the main focus of the company’s efforts is on improving the overall sound quality of content and stereo head units. Dolby Atmos can make you feel like you’re inside everything you watch or listen to by virtualizing dimensional audio through a surround sound setup or even with a single soundbar or speaker. It becomes an entirely different scenario when you are in a small, enclosed space like a car.
“With an automobile, you have a cabin that allows you to place these unobtrusive speakers around you,” said Pryde. “They can really give you an immersive experience because you are literally in the middle of them.”
And of course, now that vehicles are equipped with more screens, Atmos is also a viable option for movies, shows, and games while on the move. Lucid Motors plans to explore this as the auto industry moves towards autonomous driving.
“As we progress towards assisted driving and then full vehicle autonomy, the ability to stream videos, games and any other kind of visual content will only increase like in your home,” explained Jenkins. “We see this kind of future through the opportunity that Atmos offers for immersion.”
The first deliveries of Lucid Air are expected to begin in the second half of this year. The base Air Pure model starts at $ 69,900 while the Air Grand Touring, the cheapest version to offer the Dolby Atmos standard, starts at $ 131,500. The company is currently accept online reservations and in “studios” in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Jose, Newark (California), Miami and West Palm Beach.