At CES on Tuesday, the Ford Motor Company unveiled a hi-res audio system that will be available in future models of their cars. The presentation took place at the Hi-Res Audio Pavilion sponsored by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group in cooperation with A2IM, the RIAA, the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.
A rep for the company did not provide an estimated date when the product will roll out, and it’s important to note that the source music must be hi-res — the demonstration played Tidal’s hi-res service in a Lincoln Continental (Lincoln is owned by Ford).
Still, the move is an important one, as the presentation cites studies showing that the car is the place the largest percentage of people surveyed listen to music — some 72%, with 68% between the ages of 13 and 24 and 77% of people over 45. And while some 85% of the people surveyed listen to the radio in the car, some 44% connect a device to their car’s sound system — a percentage that almost inevitably will rise as more people adapt to mobile music listening. Around 75% of respondents said that hearing music in the car is “quality listening time,” and a similar percentage said sound quality in the car is important.
Alan Norton, Senior Technical Leader at Ford Motor Company, said in a statement: “The growing acceptance of Hi-Res Audio by music enthusiasts creates an opportunity for Lincoln. It enables us to demonstrate the capabilities of our Revel sound system in the most impactful way possible, while providing our customers with an incredible listening experience”.
Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at Universal Music Group, said: “Passionate fans around the world are seeking new, exciting ways to experience the music they love, and with Hi Res Audio streaming they’re able to listen to music on their consumer electronics devices as it sounds in the recording studio. With an expanding number of Hi Res Audio titles available, the industry is working closely with device manufacturers and digital services to make studio quality sound widely available to everyone. We’re very proud to advance those efforts this year at CES with Lincoln Motor Co. by demonstrating the broad consumer appeal for Hi Res Audio in vehicles.”