I find this an interesting development. Of course, CE companies have known for decades that cars can provide a very well-controlled acoustic environment (as opposed to inside a home where each room is constructed differently, not to mention cluttered with lots of furniture.)
In other words, home presents a lot harder problems to solve. I wonder, though, with the automotive manufacturers' newly found love for in-car entertainment systems, we might be seeing a new round of high-end audio development battle...
@wilber, agreed. But I wonder how the economics works here... Obviously, if you target your audio technology for home, you could expect more "volume." But if designed into luxury cars, you'd probably make more money. No?
Indeed. Carrying the sound while giving an all round experience will be difficult in a room, given when the capacity of the room is not known by the audio manufacturers. They aim at cars because they have knowledge about the average capacity of the car.
I think if auto audio companies can come up with ideas that let them provide 3D surround sound without having to spend so much power in woofers and speakers, then that surplus power can be used for other tasks, especially when on-dash CPUs have to get stronger to support a multi-communication through IOT. For this the design inside the car has to be altered too, and designs that reflect sound waves to give a surround sound effect have to be made.
Ultra-high quality sound systems in a car sound interesting ... but I suspect that most of the systems will be fed downsampled MP3 music which has lost a lot of quality from the original. The days of people carrying stacks of CDs in their cars seem to have given way to people connecting their SmartPhone as a music source.
Meanwhile, one feature that I was interested to discover in an inexpensive car that I recently rented was a control to set the position of the primary listener. As the driver, I want the music "centered" on the driver's seat. This avoided the neewd to twirl the balance knob to shift the sound left and right and then the fader to shift the sound front and back until I was experiencing the maximum surround sound expereince.
How we manage multiple passengers in the car and give them all the optimal experience I leave to the next generation of innovators. Perhaps there will be personal speakers in each headrest.