Apple reveals major new in-car upgrade – and Mercedes is first in line

Apple Music brings Spatial Audio to Mercedes-Benz for an in-car surround sound first

Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos via Apple Music first to Mercedes-Benz in-car systems
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

There's been a lot of talk about Apple and cars – from the rumoured Apple Car, to the incoming upgraded Apple CarPlay system – but that's not what this in-car first is all about. 

Apple Music has partnered with Mercedes-Benz to bring native Spatial Audio into its cars – meaning Mercedes will "become [the] first non-Apple devices to offer Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos from Apple Music natively". How about that for an audio upgrade?

Not that Dolby Atmos in cars in brand new: the Lucid Air was first to tick that check box, while the Mercedes-Maybach joined the party following its release earlier this summer. 

The Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos upgrade will also be available for Mercedes' S-Class (2021 onwards), EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and EQS SUV – and from 17 October 2022 for new purchases (or later, via an over-the-air update, if you're already in possession of any one of those vehicles) for Apple Music subscribers.

Apple spatial audio

(Image credit: Apple)

What music is available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos on Apple Music? Handily, Apple has a full playlist on its official site (opens in new tab), so you can take a look through which albums have been mixed in the fully immersive surround format for your listening pleasure.

Mercedes is keen to provide the best way to listen to such content, too, with its Burmester soundsystem offerings able to really kick out the audio goods. At the top-end of that spectrum is a '4D' system which includes 31 speakers and 1750 watts of total power. Wowzers.

So no, it's not an Apple Car, but right now Mercedes being first in line for this audio upgrade to its in-car systems courtesy of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos on Apple Music is about as close as you'll get...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.