Electric cars are quiet – really quiet. And you know what else is also similarly quiet? Recording studios, which got BMW’s engineers thinking – why can’t we put the same speakers they have in studios, straight into our cars?
Okay, fine, they most probably didn’t say that. But what they definitely did, is put studio-grade speakers into the all-new BMW iX. Specifically, the same type of speakers that’s used in the world-famous Abbey Road studios, courtesy of British loudspeaker company Bowers & Wilkins.
The coolest thing about this set of speakers – called Diamond Surround Sound System – is that the two Diamond Dome tweeters are actually made out of real diamonds to increase rigidity, which in turn enhances its ability to better recreate the sound waves accurately. The term “sparkly sound” might not be too abstract after-all.
The diamond domes are complemented by B&W’s “Nautilus Swirls” technology, which are spiralling channels behind the tweeter that dissipate reflected sound waves from the rear of the drive unit to minimise distortion.
In addition to the two Diamond Dome tweeters, the BMW iX is also equipped with three aluminium dome tweeters, five “Aramid Fibre” midrange speakers mounted at the uppermost areas of the cabin, and eight speakers that are integrated directly into the headrests of both the front and rear seats, which can be individually adjusted to create a personalised audio signature for each passenger.
In keeping with the minimalist theme of the iX’s interior design, the tweeters are covered with brushed stainless-steel covers, complete with a laser-etched logo and a discreet lighting effect. The door speakers, meanwhile, are discretely hidden behind acoustically optimized fabric.
Tying it all up are four bass speakers, joined by 4D Shakers strategically positioned within the interior to make you literally feel your skull shake to the thumping bass.
The result of all these fancy speaker technology is a sound system that’s ultra-accurate, while also maintaining low distortion, giving you an audio experience that feels as though you are “there with the artist in the studio”, a concept that B&W refers to “True Sound”.
Unfortunately, the BMW iX that was launched here in Malaysia last month only comes with a more rudimentary set of Harman Kardon speakers (which we’re sure still sounds good), although there’s nothing a little money can’t solve… wink.