© SEAT, S. A.

Sonamic Panorama brings next-generation surround sound to the new Seat Leon

Fraunhofer’s automotive audio technology is integrated into the BeatsAudio sound system of the new Seat Leon and also provides irresistible surround sound in other new models from the VW Group.

Today’s car buyers are increasingly interested in the interior and special equipment such as the sound system. With Fraunhofer Sonamic Panorama, the in-car music system becomes a real highlight – music can be enjoyed at its full emotional intensity. This novel form of surround sound can now be experienced in the new Seat Leon (5 doors and ST) with the BeatsAudio sound system, turning songs into immersive experiences. Fraunhofer’s Sonamic Panorama technology is also available as part of in-car entertainment systems in other new cars by Seat: the Ateca and Tarraco, as well as the Cupra Leon (5 doors and ST), Ateca and Formentor, and other models from the VW Group, such as the VW Golf 8, VW Arteon, VW Passat, VW Tiguan, the Škoda Scala and Kamiq.

Stereo sound

Sonamic Panorama is particularly suitable for small, compact and medium class vehicles. The algorithm realizes a rendering concept that extracts the individual sound sources from a stereo recording, splits them into several room segments and – taking into account the existing loudspeakers and their positions – fans them out evenly around the vehicle occupants. Sound sources that are panned to the sides in the stereo image are then placed at the sides or the rear, while the central sound sources remain acoustically unchanged in front of the listener. That way, listeners can better perceive and rediscover details of the sound mix that would otherwise be obscured in pure stereo playback. As a result, the listeners experience the sound at great intensity and emotion: they feel they are either in the middle of the ensemble or, in the case of live recordings, right in the audience.

Sonamic Panorama surround sound

Sonamic Panorama can also recognize diffuse, so-called ambient room sound components and separate them from the original recording. To achieve the desired “panorama effect,” this ambient room information is also spatially expanded and finally merged back together with the distributed direct sound segments.

No additional sound components

Sonamic Panorama influences only the positioning of the sound events and fans them out. No extra sound components are added. The playback always remains free of artifacts and is robust against FM noise and poor reception in digital broadcasting. Signal processing runs completely in real time: this means that no switching artifacts occur even when switching on and off.

By using modern, intelligent signal processing, Sonamic Panorama achieves an impressive improvement in sound intensity. It offers up to four intensity levels (0 – 3), each of which differs in the degree of fanning and emphasis of direct and ambient sound components. The Sonamic Panorama algorithm can be operated from as few as four speaker positions and does not require any additional or special speakers, but it is scalable. Due to the small number of required loudspeakers, costs and vehicle weight can be kept low.

Further information about the Sonamic technology family: www.fraunhofer-sonamic.com

Header image: © SEAT, S. A.

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