Mercedes-Benz has launched a new collaboration with Apple Music and Universal Music Group (UMG) that aims to revolutionise not only how music is created, but also how it’s played back and enjoyed in the car – and beyond. Understanding that many musicians and recording artists already base their approval of a new mix of a track on how it sounds when played in a car, Mercedes‑Benz, Apple Music and UMG have entered a new era of in-car entertainment by establishing the in-car audio experience as the benchmark for music production and playback quality.
The new collaboration builds upon the integration of Dolby Atmos immersive audio in the optional Burmester high-end 4D and 3D sound system offered in Mercedes‑Benz vehicles with the latest MBUX generation. According to a recent survey, a more than 76 percent of car drivers say that having a realistic spatial sound is either ‘important’ or ‘rather important’ to them.
With this new audio standard, UMG are enabling their recording artists to base their song approval process on how the final mix sounds in a Mercedes‑Benz and introduce the seal “Approved in a Mercedes‑Benz” as a gold standard of sound. UMG additionally plans to set up a studio environment in Sindelfingen, Germany, based on its Capitol Studios’ Studio C, a major global reference music studio for Dolby Atmos mixing.
For the first time available natively in a non-Apple device, the native integration of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos from Apple Music makes music available in Dolby Atmos easily accessible for customers of Mercedes‑Benz and Apple Music alike. This ensures that the tracks “Approved in a Mercedes‑Benz” can be enjoyed as they are meant to be.
Cars have become one of the most frequently used music devices nowadays. While 90 percent of the world’s population listens to music, an average person does so for 961 hours per year. Over 70 percent of music consumers state they listen to music mostly in a car. Next to this, almost 72 percent of car drivers state that they cannot imagine a car ride without music, while for two out of three of the respondents, in-car sound quality is important or very important.
“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. 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. ,” says Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes‑Benz Group AG.
While the Burmester Premium 3D sound system already offers a supreme listening experience, the unique Burmester High-End 4D sound system uses speaker-like resonators featuring sound massage with surround speakers integrated into the seats.
The Burmester high-end 4D sound system includes:
31 speakers, including six 3D speakers that emit their sound from above, 4 near-ear speakers in the front seats, an 18.5-liter subwoofer.
8 sound transducers (two per seat).
1750 watts power.
Apple Music’s Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos now available natively in vehicle for the first time Mercedes‑Benz drivers who are already subscribed to Apple Music will gain immediate access to an ever-growing selection of songs and albums available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. The sound quality provided in Mercedes‑Benz vehicles makes them a natural choice as the first car manufacturer to offer Apple Music’s Spatial Audio. This is corroborated by the popularity of in-car sound systems – which ranks even higher than those for stationary use: Only 12 percent of car drivers mentioned that the quality of a sound system at home is more important while 45 percent state that in the car, the quality of the sound system is more important. For 43 percent, both are equally important.4
“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.”
Gold standard of sound – UMG artists able to approve Dolby Atmos music mixes in Mercedes‑Benz vehicles
As the world leader in music-based entertainment, UMG is the music company actively encouraging its artists and record labels to produce music mixed in Dolby Atmos immersive audio. As part of the agreement, Mercedes‑Benz will provide UMG with vehicles equipped with the Burmester high-end sound system for creative and technical assurances, with the aim for UMG to ensure its music receives the highest quality seal “Approved in a Mercedes‑Benz.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “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. 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 – allowing listeners to connect with music to its fullest creative potential
Dolby Atmos will first be available in the Mercedes‑Maybach S‑Class, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as the EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and EQS SUV. The immersive audio experience adds more space, clarity and depth to music. Dolby Atmos empowers creators to place discrete audio elements or objects in a three-dimensional sound field, which goes beyond the capabilities of standard stereo productions. The system adapts to any playback environment, meaning fans can listen to music with unparalleled clarity that matches the artist’s original vision in the studio. Integrated into the optional Burmester high-end 4D and 3D sound systems, the symphony of hardware and sound experience elevates Mercedes vehicles into state-of-the-art concert halls on wheels.
“In 2021, we launched partnerships with both Mercedes‑Benz and Apple Music to bring music in Dolby Atmos to more people around the world,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO of Dolby Laboratories. “Today, backed by a robust and growing catalogue of music available in Dolby Atmos from our partners at Universal Music Group, these efforts come together to give Mercedes customers a one-of-a-kind immersive music experience in Dolby Atmos, setting a new bar for how music should be heard in the car.”
The music industry continues its transformation and music fans are becoming ever more sophisticated and demanding in how and where they enjoy music. The innovative approach Mercedes‑Benz and its partners are taking fulfils the promise of a holistic and more immersive sound experience people want and expect.