Some major concerts don't even have 62 speakers. But that's how many are in this trick audio system made especially for the Audi Q7 by Bang & Olufsen and Bose, with plenty of input from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology. It's based on something called wave field synthesis, a system that manipulates sound in this case by using one subwoofer, four woofers, 52 midrange speakers, and five tweeters. It can play up to 32 independent channels, with computers sometimes delaying a channel here or there by milliseconds to get the whole surround-sound experience for any seat in the vehicle. It can simulate the effect of a helicopter flying around the cabin. To get all the speakers to fit inside, Audi engineers had to do some tweaking, like relocating the interior door handles, cutting sheet metal, and fabricating special bezels. The result, it seems, is worth it, with incredible sound quality, clarity, and detail. Just one small snag-the capacious cargo space usually found in a Q7 SUV has been taken up by the system's huge amplifier and computers. Oh, and not many people are producing 32-channel audio mixes right now. Still, since things have a tendency to become smaller, smarter, and cheaper, perhaps we can all enjoy something like this before our hearing goes.

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