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New Kia audio offers individual sound system for each passenger

New Kia audio offers individual sound system for each passenger

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A new audio system outlined by Kia will hopefully put a stop to those age-old squabbles about who listens to what on a road trip. Their new Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology will allow all passengers to listen to their own music without requiring headphones. If it works, it could be the single most important invention in family motoring since the station wagon!

Okay, that may be overstating it a bit but anyone who has been on a family trip and had the argument about what radio station or CD to listen to on a trip will know what I mean. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto just made things worse by offering more choice to argue over. Hopefully, SSZ should help with that.

Kia Separated Sound Zone
The Separated Sound Zone uses existing audio techniques and some new technology to deliver individual sound zones within the car. The system will divide each seat into its own zone and project audio individually into those zones depending on how it has been configured. It can play individual music from a smartphone in their own zone, enable telephone calls without annoying other passengers and restrict driver alerts to the driver’s seat.

By using multiple individual speakers that can be segregated into their own zone, the system can isolate each seat and deliver audio accordingly. The system can be turned off when it isn’t needed and fully utilized when required.

Here’s a video:


Kia says the system has been in development for four years. A production model is expected within the next two years and will likely feature in flagship models first and trickle down as these things usually do.

As someone who has taken many family road trips, I am very interested in Separated Sound Zones. The ability to play your own music instead of listening to dad’s hairspray rock or your mother’s disco will be a godsend. If you have brothers or sisters who also want their share, that’s even more true!

Headphones are great but unsociable. They are also no good for the driver causing them to lose out. Kia drivers everywhere will be driving the family around with a smile once this system is released.

As mentioned, production isn’t due for a couple of years yet but I’ll keep an eye on developments and will let you know when Kia offers any more details.

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