Apple Car could have a killer sound system, patents suggest

The Apple Car could take inspiration from other Apple devices like the iPhone and the Vision Pro headset

Apple car
(Image credit: Vanarama)

Apple's innovation appears to know no bounds. We recently saw the Vision Pro headset unveiled, which marked the brands first attempt at making a mixed reality device.

Another new category the company has long been rumoured to be interested in is electric vehicles. The Apple Car has been talked about for the best part of a decade now. News has emerged several times about high-profile names joining and leaving the project, as the brand navigate the twists and turns of producing a car.

Very little is publicly known about the project – though we may have just got a glimpse of the sound system it will employ. Patents owned by the company appear to point towards a spatial audio concept which will operate for both the driver and the passengers. That technology is similar to that used in the iPhone, as well as the Vision Pro headset.

In effect, the speakers will be mounted within the headrest, and sense when the person seated adjusts their head position. A system of delayed speakers will then adjust to ensure the spatial audio environment remains in tact.

That means, if you lean over to check your side mirror, or pop you head out of the window at a drive thru, your audio experience should be unaffected. You'll still hear every word of your podcast, or get the full experience of your music.

That's not all. The patent goes on to describe how users in individual seats could receive personalised audio content. It says, "It may be desirable to operate those speakers to generate personalised audio output that is audible by an occupant in the seat having the headrest, and not by other occupants within the enclosure."

That sounds like it means two things. First, notifications for the driver – things like navigation or alerts about the car – won't have to be heard by passengers. It also suggests users could have their own audio per seat.

That could be a game changer for long journeys. Mum and Dad could be in the front listening to their music of choice, while the kids in the back can have their own selection, without anyone being disturbed.

As with every Apple Car rumour, there's no guaranteed timeframe. All of the progress we've heard so far is based on rumours, with the work taking place behind closed doors. For now then, we can only hope that this technology hits the market in the future. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.