2016 Infiniti Q50 Sound Studio by Bose
Infiniti and Bose have been working on delivering premium audio quality in cars ever since the Japanese brand started selling vehicles in 1989, six years after the Massachusetts-based company, Bose, introduced the industry’s first custom-engineered, factory-installed sound systems in a number of GM-built vehicles. More than 25 years have passed since then, and Infiniti continues to use Bose sound systems. For 2016, Bose created a bespoke surround sound system for a limited-edition Q50 sedan that will be sold in the U.K.
Dubbed Q50 Sound Studio by Bose, the sedan promises to be the "ultimate music lovers’ car" and announces a new era for the audio collaboration between Infiniti and Bose. Even though this special edition isn’t slated to cross the pond to North America, the sound system is likely to become available not only on future Q50 models, but on other U.S.-spec Infiniti vehicles as well.
Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at Bose’s new, state-of-the-art surround sound system.
Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q50 Sound Studio by Bose.
2016 Infiniti Q50 Sound Studio by Bose
0-60 time:5.5 sec.
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
Being all about the sound system, the Q50 Sound Studio has a standard exterior, meaning you’ll get the same design cues the sedan received when it was launched in 2013. The styling includes features from both the Essence and Etherea concept cars, and blends, as seen on many midsize premium sedans, sportiness and elegance. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 may be two years old as of 2015, but its styling is still fresh, even compared to the current 2016 BMW 3 Series and 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which are as modern as they get.
Note: standard 2014 Infiniti Q50 interior shown.
This is where the Q50 Sound Studio stands out. Although its interior is still standard when it comes to amenities and convenience features, the bespoke sound system turns it into the ultimate music lovers’ version of the Q50.
The sedan is equipped with a bespoke, state-of-the art audio system that couples the standard Bose Surround Sound with the latest DAB receiver and Bose's Advanced Staging Technology.
Specifically, the sedan is equipped with a bespoke, state-of-the art audio system that couples the standard Bose Surround Sound with the latest DAB receiver and Bose’s Advanced Staging Technology. The latter makes the Q50 the first car to feature such technology. The sound system includes no fewer than 14 speakers that deliver surround-sound depth and fidelity to both front- and rear-seat passengers.
The bundle also features Centerpoint 2 Surround Technology, which enables both the driver and passengers to enjoy a 360 degree sound stage from any stereo source, including DAB radio, as well as Active Sound Management, which reduces unwanted powertrain noise. Then there’s the Bose AudioPilot 2 Noise Compensation Technology that constantly monitors and adjusts music levels to compensate for vehicle speed and the effects of unwanted external noise.
All told, Infiniti claims that the sound system creates "the impression of a concert hall’s wide sound stage," while delivering a "captivating listening experience." It’s not something I’d call groundbreaking given most automakers offer state-of-the-art sound systems for their vehicles, but it’s definitely a step up from the regular Q50.
Note: standard 2014 Infiniti Q50 engine bay shown.
Available for both the Sport and Premium trims, the Sound Studio by Bose can be had with two of the three powertrains available for the Q50 in the U.K.
First up is a 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel sourced from Mercedes-Benz (which both Merc and Infiniti call a 2.2-liter) rated at 168 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The oil burner can be coupled to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes 8.7 and 8.5 seconds respectively.
Then there’s the 2.0-liter, gasoline turbo-four. Also sourced from Mercedes, it sends 208 horses and 236 pound-feet to the wheels. Available only with the seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive, it needs 7.2 seconds to hit 62 mph.
The Q50 is also offered in a petrol-electric hybrid version that goes by the name 3.5 Hybrid, but this model can’t be equipped with the Sound Studio package.
Safety features for this model are identical to the standard version and include curtain side impact airbags, load limiters and pretensioners in the front seat belts, and a reinforced passenger compartment made of ultra-high-strength steel. Tech includes Active Lane Control, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, and Back-Up Collision Intervention, among other features that come with premium cars.
Sold as a limited edition starting October 2015, the Q50 Sound Studio by Bose retains from £32,390 with the diesel engine and from £34,090 with the gasoline powerplant. For reference, the base model starts from £28,950, while the Premium trim fetches £31,350 before options.
Though Mercedes doesn’t offer a limited-edition C-Class centered around a fancy sound system, the compact sedan can be equipped with such an option. For the ultimate experience, the Germans recommend the Burmester Surround Sound system, which comes with 13 heavy-duty speakers, frontbass technology, and a nine-channel, 590-watt DSP amplifier. The new C-Class starts from £27,665 in the U.K., but the Burmester option will add close to a £1,000 to the sticker.
Read more about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class here.
Also fitted with a Bose sound system as standard, the Lexus IS can be upgraded to a Mark Levinson unit by those looking for an enhanced musical experience. Specifically tuned for the Japanese sedan, the state-of-the-art sound system creates a three-dimensional orchestra from the front to the back of the car using amplifiers driven by DSP software and advanced signal processing. The IS retails from £28,995 in the U.K.
Find out more about the Lexus IS here.
As a standard model with a fancy sound system, the Q50 Sound Studio by Bose is far from impressive, but this is probably why Infiniti will sell it as a limited-edition sedan only. Though I’m not questioning the attributes of the car’s Bose sound system, I’m sure enthusiasts will get a similar experience by adding optional surround systems to their Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus sedans.