Kia EV6 – a new frontier for the in-car audio experience
Critically acclaimed Kia EV6 features a state-of-the-art audio system that transforms the cabin into an immersive and interactive digital space
The Kia EV6 has been carefully honed from the ground-up to set new benchmarks across the electric vehicle (EV) landscape, be that with its advanced zero-emissions battery powertrain, industry-leading ultra-fast charging technology, dynamic performance attributes, a daring design, and an interior space that is truly transformative. At the nucleus of the EV6’s immersive and interactive cabin is a 14-speaker Meridian Audio sound system that is at the vanguard of stimulating sonic senses. This state-of-the-art audio tech and interior arrangement played its part in the EV6 being named this year’s 2022 Car of the Year at the European Car of the Year (ECOTY) awards. Seen as a game-changing EV, the ECOTY jury were impressed with the EV6’s many attributes including the technological innovations that have brought about a new in-car experience.
Horst Bauer, the ECOTY juror from Austria, commented, “New from scratch, the Kia EV6 points out how a state-of-the-art electric car these days should be,” while Silvia Baruffaldi from Italy added, “Inside the roomy and well-finished passenger compartment, technological innovation is applied to increase the quality of life on-board.” General media feedback specific to the Meridian sound system has also been extremely positive, with Totally EV commenting, “The 14-speaker Meridian audio system provides a much-needed boost in the sub-bass tones and a more fulfilling soundstage for all occupants.”
Audio experience designed and developed with Meridian Audio
Working in perfect harmony with the EV6’s high-tech infotainment system, a panoramic curved display linked with a 12-inch digital cluster and a 12-inch infotainment system, the powerful 14-speaker Meridian Audio surround system delivers a truly immersive experience. The 14-speaker setup has been carefully designed, engineered, and optimized to deliver exceptional audio qualities. In order to achieve the best system setup, Kia created a concept vehicle for the specific purpose of conducting countless experiments to fine-tune the audio output, with the brand working closely with Meridian’s world-renowned sound engineers. Such efforts have resulted in the highest levels of sound quality and performance. The EV6 sound system features several of Meridian’s proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technologies. Meridian’s core sound philosophy has been integrated into the EV6 allowing customers to enjoy natural, lifelike, and authentic audio on the move. The system is also equipped with Meridian’s advanced tech capabilities to enhance the listening experience for all occupants. These include Meridian Intelli-Q, a function that automatically adjusts the EV6’s sound performance based on vehicle speed, and the audio source Meridian Horizon provides an immersive multichannel experience when listening to two-channel stereo recordings with end-user functionality to tailor the experience. Meridian Re-Q removes unwanted cabin resonances, preserving the natural rhythm and timing of the performance The EV6 speaker system also benefits from Electric Active Sound Design (e-ASD), a suite of newly-developed tech features that further enhance the EV6’s in-car space. Applied for the first time in a Kia, e-ASD allows drivers to select various virtual engine sounds of their choice. The sound is linked to the selected driving mode, enhancing the connection between car and driver. Jaeok Lee, Vice President, Infotainment Engineering Group at Hyundai Motor Group, said, “The Meridian sound system enhances the innovative, energetic and vivid DNA of the Kia brand. Our goal was to create a very special experience for Kia customers and this includes Meridian’s refined sound quality, with an added sense of space and accuracy, an elaborate branded speaker grille design, and the aesthetics of the amplifier in its hidden location.”
A distinct product of the electrification era, the EV6’s interior form benefits greatly from the application of Kia’s dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) with technologies and innovations created first and foremost for all-electric vehicles. In addition to being able to implement a transformative in-car experience for the EV6, Kia’s design and development teams were also able to utilize the highly flexible E-GMP underpinnings to realize outstanding – and in many cases industry-leading – tech attributes, such as a battery electric powertrain that offers a real-world 528km driving range (WLTP test cycle) and 800V ultra-fast charging capabilities. The 2022 European Car of the Year award is the latest in a growing number of globally renowned awards bestowed on the EV6 since its introduction last year. Other titles recently claimed include: 2022 Irish Car of the Year; 2022 What Car? ‘Car of the Year’; ‘Crossover of the Year’ at the TopGear.com2021 awards; ‘Premium’ winner in the German Car of the Year 2022 awards; and joint winner of the inaugural ‘Best Cars of the Year’ 2021/2022 awards. The EV6 is the first of 14 BEV models Kia plans to launch by 2027. The all-electric crossover will play a key role in the company’s plans to become a leading global sustainable mobility solutions provider.