•The brand is developing new sound signatures for its future e-tron models
•A control unit generates sound based on signals from the car
•A loudspeaker broadcasts the sound signature
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Audi´s future e-tron models will cover long distances powered by practically silent electric motors. To ensure that pedestrians in urban settings will hear them, the brand has developed a synthetic solution: Audi e-sound.
Rudolf Halbmeir´s workstation is not exactly typical of an Audi engineer. There is a digital piano on his desk, two studio-quality loudspeakers next to his computer monitor, and a pile of music magazines off to the side. “A car´s sound,” says Halbmeir, an acoustics engineer, “is similar to music.”
Sound is an especially exciting aspect of a vehicle. Although it can be described in physical terms, there is no substitute for experiencing it firsthand. A car´s sound is emotional, not intellectual. Although we consciously register a car´s sounds only occasionally while on the road, they are always there - playing a crucial role in the driving experience. Sounds send signals. Low-range frequencies suggest power and composure, while mid-range frequencies emit sportiness and agility.
All Audi models produce sound signatures which are not only well-rounded and harmonious, but also broadcast performance, premium quality and respectability. “Good sound design is a complex endeavor,” explains Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics at Audi. “We have gathered a lot of expertise over the years. We have also learned how to amplify pleasant frequencies and to suppress unpleasant noises.”
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