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

The Audi e-tron is an all-electric SUV that starts from £59,885 – it’s an impressive vehicle that will tick almost every single box.

As standard, the vehicle ships with Audi’s 10-speaker system that outputs a total of 180 watts of power. For an additional £1,895, one can get the ‘Comfort and Sound Pack’, which takes the tally up to 16 speakers and ups the total power to 705 watts. On review is the latter Bang & Olufsen sound system.

If you’d like to read TotallyEV’s full review of the e-tron, click here.

Audi e-tron 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: +2
  • 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’ setting will alter both frequencies.

To connect to the system, Audi’s MMI system supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you’d prefer to connect wirelessly, there’s Bluetooth at your disposal. Here, the system accepts both the SBC and AAC codecs – a welcome addition over other systems that limit you to the lower-quality SBC codec, only.

Read next: Kia e-Niro review (2020): The best all-electric SUV?

Audi e-tron audio performance

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

In the B&O system, there are sixteen speakers dotted around the cabin. At the front, there are: three loudspeakers in the dashboard, one loudspeaker in each A-pillar and a further two in each of the front doors. Around the back, you’ll find: two loudspeakers in each of the rear doors, one in each D-pillar and finally a subwoofer integrated within the luggage compartment floor in the boot. Combined with a 15-channel amplifier, these speakers output 705 watts of total power.

As a result, the system outputs a hefty low-end response in DJ Khaled’s 2017 single,‘I’m the One’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 the MMI system.

The sub-bass is similarly impressive, although when sat at the front, you might find the rear boot-mounted subwoofer a tad subdued. Tweaking the dedicated subwoofer setting will skew the system’s sound toward a bass-driven sound, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s there at your disposal.

While the system provides dedicated sub- and mid-bass controls, the same couldn’t be said about the mids and highs, which are bundled under the ‘Treble’ EQ. Here, going past level three will result in a slightly artificial sound in the mid-range and going past level five will create unwanted sibilance at the top-end, too. The lack of a dedicated mid- and high-frequency setting is a letdown, especially given the SUV’s stature. Still, its overall sonic reproduction in both these frequencies is competent, albeit a little recessed in the mids.

Audi e-tron rear design

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Tuning into Tuxedo’s ‘2nd Time Around’ you’ll find the B&O system fails to bring out the vocals to the foreground, instead, the lower end tones come to the foreground overshadowing the artists’ voices. On the plus side, the highs extend well throughout the song and don’t sound harsh – with two notches added onto the Treble EQ – at louder volumes.

As for instrument separation, the 16 speakers work in unison to provide an engaging sound. In Tuxedo’s track, separation of the keyboard, vocals and guitars are flawless. No matter where you sit in the cabin, you’ll get a sense of disparity between the frequencies.

Width and depth, however, isn’t as perfect with the e-tron’s sound system lacking quality in both domains. Despite the SUV having a large-sized cabin, the loudspeakers on each of the doors fail to give music a sense of openness – it’s a tad closed sounding, instead.

Audi e-tron style

Read next: MG ZS EV Exclusive audio review: Impressive 3D surround sound

TotallyEV’s verdict on the Audi e-tron’s audio system

On the whole, Bang & Olufsen’s system will be a delight to most untrained ears, where it proves to bring plenty of excitement and punch to all music genres. However, to audiophiles who are accustomed to B&O’s home theatre setups, the somewhat lacklustre mid-range and closed soundstage will sound a little disheartening.

What do you make of the Audi e-tron’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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