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NIO to Offer Dolby Atmos Audio Technology Standard in the New ET7 Electric Sedan

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【Summary】Tesla rival NIO Inc. will be the world's second automaker to offer Dolby Atmos audio technology in its latest electric vehicle, the ET7 sedan. NIO follows Lucid Group, which was the first automaker to include Dolby Atmos in the audio system of the Lucid Air sedan. Dolby Atmos technology debuted in 2012 and is normally associated with blockbuster Hollywood movie soundtracks.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 16, 2021 1:00 PM PT
NIO to Offer Dolby Atmos Audio Technology Standard in the New ET7 Electric Sedan

Chinese electric vehicle startup and Tesla rival NIO Inc. will be the world's second automaker to offer Dolby Atmos audio technology in its latest electric vehicle, the ET7 sedan. NIO follows Lucid Group, which was the first automaker to include Dolby Atmos in the audio system of the Lucid Air sedan.

The audio systems in the ET7 will be a 7.1.4 channel immersive sound system, according to NIO.

Dolby Atmos technology, which made its debut in 2012, is normally associated with blockbuster Hollywood movie soundtracks. Atmos technology is being embraced by leading artists and music streaming services with a fully immersive listening experience that reveals revealing details with enhanced clarity and depth that's not possible with 2-channel stereo systems. 

Atmos is also offered on many new TV soundbars that use upward firing speakers to create an immersive three-dimensional audio experience with sounds that appear to come from overhead, below or 360 degrees around the listener.

Most car audio systems use a standard 2-channel stereo setup with left and right speakers. A common setup in a 2-channel stereo audio system are left-right balance controls and a front to rear fader, which generally use 4, 6 or 8 speakers throughout the cabin. However, Dolby Atmos technology takes this a bit further by expanding the sound 360 degrees around the listener.

The 1,000 watt audio system in the ET7 uses a total of 23 speakers, including four speakers in the ceiling and a subwoofer. The four speakers next to each of the four primary seats known as three-way speakers, designed with a tweeter, a mid-range, and a woofer.

NIO Radio, an exclusive streaming music platform for NIO drivers similar to Spotify, will also support Dolby Atmos. The platform is an online interactive audio community for NIO customers. With the latest NIO OTA firmware update, NIO Radio became the world's first in-vehicle streaming service to offer 5.1 channel surround sound. 

In the new Lucid Air, Dolby Atmos is integrated into the vehicle's "Surreal Sound" audio system. All of the Air's miscellaneous sounds and driver warnings have been created to take full advantage of the Atmos audio technology, according to Lucid. For example, if a rear passenger in the Air forgot to buckle their seat belt, the warning chime will come from where the passenger is seated.

Although the support of Dolby Atmos is relatively new in the auto industry, as modern vehicles become more advanced and capable of autonomous driving, Atmos technology can elevate the passenger experience. It can turn a vehicle into a mobile movie theater or concert hall with its immersive audio capabilities.

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