Audi A7 audio review: 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen system

The Audi A7 comes in a variety of different configurations, where the Sport 40 TDI quattro S tronic starts from £47,155. TotallyEV reviewed the Sportback 55 quattro TFSI e Competiton, a plug-in hybrid that starts from £68,425.

In its default configuration, the A7 has a 10-speaker configuration, which includes a subwoofer that combined with the rest of the speakers can output 180 watts of power. The addition of the £2,295 Comfort and Sound Pack adds 360° cameras, Park Assistant plus, advanced keyless entry, interior lighting, and more importantly, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system that outputs a staggering 730 watts. On review is the B&O system.

If you’d like to read TotallyEV’s full review of the Audi A7, click here.

Audi A7 audio setup

To tweak the audio settings, one can navigate through Audi’s comprehensive 10.1″ infotainment system to find a dedicated Sound menu. Here are our optimal settings:

  • Treble: +2
  • Bass: +1
  • Subwoofer: +0
  • Surround level: +3
  • Focus: All
  • 3D Sound: Low
  • Balance & fader: Centre

It’s unfortunate that the German automaker has bundled the mids and highs into a singular category, whereby any adjustments made to the ‘Treble’ EQ will alter both the mid and high frequencies.

To connect, Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you’d prefer to stream wirelessly, there’s Bluetooth; the system accepts both the SBC and AAC codecs – a welcome addition over other in-car audio systems that limit you to the lower-quality SBC codec, only.

Read next: Audi e-tron audio review: How does the Bang & Olufsen system sound?

Audi A7 audio performance

For a demo of the Audi A7’s audio system head on over to our YouTube channel.

The B&O system consists of sixteen speakers positioned throughout the cabin. At the front, there are: three loudspeakers in the dashboard; one tweeter in each A-pillar; mid- and full-range drivers in each of the front doors. Around the back, you’ll find: a loudspeaker and tweeter in each of the rear doors, a loudspeaker in each D-pillar and finally, a subwoofer integrated within the storage compartment of the boot. Combined with a 16-channel amplifier, these speakers output 730 watts of power.

As a result, the system outputs a hefty low-end response in Wes Nelson’s debut single ‘See Nobody’ – namely in the mid-bass frequencies. Throughout the song, the B&O system manages to keep up in reproducing both an accurate and punchy response, especially when a single notch is added to the ‘Bass’ EQ through Audi’s MMI system.

The sub-bass is similarly impressive, where the rear-mounted subwoofer presents a full-bodied rumble that can be felt at both the front and rear of the cabin. The same couldn’t be said about Audi’s e-tron SUV that has a near-identical system; due to its larger-sized cabin, it doesn’t reproduce the same heart-felt sub-bass tones as the Audi A7 saloon.

While the B&O system provides dedicated sub- and mid-bass controls, the lack of separate mid and high-frequency EQ settings seem baffling. As a result, adjusting the ‘Treble’ EQ will alter both the system’s mid-range and highs. Pushing it past level two and you’ll find yourself having to dial down the volume as the highs get overzealous – sibilance and harshness creep in at the top-end.

Audi A7 TFSIe colour

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Both these individual frequency bands are still impressive, but audiophiles might expect a bit more clarity in the mids. Michael Jackson’s vocals in ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ are a little recessed and sound a tad pushed back, even with two notches added onto the ‘Treble’ EQ. On the plus side, the cymbals throughout the song are near-perfect and reproduce fantastic extension at the top-end resulting for a lively experience.

As for the soundstage, it’s perfectly acceptable, with B&O’s system separating instruments throughout the cabin and portraying a perfect tonality. However, the lack of width and depth is inherently present when one carefully listens to Ellie Goulding’s remix of ‘High For This’ – the clicks and clacks throughout the song are centre-weighted, with the artist’s voice being jumbled up with the rest of the instruments. It’s not as open sounding as one might expect from a system that bolsters over 16 speakers.

Audi A7 TFSIe audio review

Read next: Sennheiser Ambeo Car: First look at Goodwood Speed Week

TotallyEV’s verdict on the Audi A7’s audio system

Very much like Audi’s all-electric SUV, the A7 saloon features Bang & Olufsen’s sound system. It will be a delight to most untrained ears, where it proves to bring plenty of excitement to all music genres. Unlike the e-tron, however, the A7 does have a punchier mid- and sub-bass response; it also isn’t as hindered by its cabin size, whereby producing a more intimate, albeit closed soundstage.

What do you make of the A7’s audio system? Let us know in the comments or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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