The 2025 Infiniti QX80 has a cool new audio feature that isolates your phone calls

Infiniti just launched an all-new version of its full-size SUV, the QX80, with some major changes. Not only is it bigger, wider, and longer than the previous generation, it also comes with a new engine. The 2025 QX80 packs more power and efficiency, with a 450-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the seven-speed gearbox and 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 in the 2024 model.

More power, more cargo space and more fuel efficiency are words most people like to hear. Infiniti says the six-cylinder setup offers a 12 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, which is a nice bonus. The real treats, though, come inside the cabin of the boxy three-row SUV in the form of a high-tech audio system and infotainment display.

In collaboration with Nissan, Panasonic, and Klipsch, Infiniti brought cutting-edge technology to the QX80’s speaker system. If you’re unfamiliar with Klipsch, the Arkansas-based company builds high-end home audio. Though founded in 1946, the company is new to the in-car audio industry, and Infiniti is making a big splash with a sleek 24-speaker, 1,200-watt system that comes with some seriously cool party tricks.

The QX80 SUVs in the two highest trim levels get the full Klipsch package with 24 speakers and 1,200 watts of power. Images: Kristin Shaw/Popular Science

'Golden ears' refine audio quality

Every person has differently shaped ears and we all hear differently. Some of us are born with hearing problems, others develop hearing loss as we get older, and some of us stood too close to the speakers at rock concerts growing up and damaged our hearing, even after our mothers warned us that this was exactly what was happening.

The shape of your ear has a huge effect on how you hear. If you’ve ever used your outer ear (the pinna) to pick up a sound more clearly, you know how the shape of your ears makes a difference. Add to that unique data quality scores and experience analyzing sounds, vibrations, frequencies and reverberation, and you have someone with what’s called a “golden ear.” At Panasonic, the company employs these trained listeners who can listen to different sizes and shapes of speakers and understand the subtleties, whether it’s for a home theater or in a car.

“A golden ear is really someone with experience and training,” says Tom Dunn, Director of Global Premium Audio for Panasonic. “They can distinguish different frequencies and have knowledge of a particular music that they can rely on to bring out a vocal or low-frequency nuance, or emphasize a smooth midrange.”

With these trained listeners on call, Infiniti was able to build the QX80 around a 14-speaker Klipsch audio system with 600 watts of total power and a 12-channel amplifier for the QX80 Pure and Luxe trim levels, and a 24-speaker, 1,200-watt system for the Sensory and Autograph trim levels. And yes, the overall sound profile is incredible.

But that's not even the best part.

Managing sine waves

On the 2024 QX80’s dashboard, dual 14.3-inch displays hold court side by side under a single sheet of glass. That alone is a vast improvement over the outgoing 12.3-inch touchscreen, and Infiniti seized the opportunity to move to Google built-in, a first for the brand. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both enabled and easily connect, too.

the interior of a car with dual infotainment screens
Infiniti has completely redesigned the QX80 for 2025, both inside and out. Image: Kristin Shaw/Popular Science

Normally, when you’re taking a phone call in the car via the infotainment system, conversation takes precedence over music, leaving passengers in the middle of a karaoke session without access to their vibe. A frivolous challenge, yes, but even that issue is addressed by the updated QX80 technology in the form of frequency management and noise cancellation. Available on top-of-the-line trims, this feature allows the driver to privately take a phone call or follow navigation instructions through the Klipsch headrest speakers while the rest of the car continues to listen to music or podcasts.

Infiniti’s individual audio feature is a combination of traditional noise cancellation, often used to control noise, vibration and harshness. The brand created a “sound bubble” by canceling the frequencies of all other speakers. In mathematical terms, the sine wave is inverted for the location of the driver.

“There are two components to sound: frequency and time,” said Luke Blaszczynski, director of infotainment and connected engineering for Infiniti. “Because the sounds travel at different speeds, we can measure that and localize it and cancel it out to a specific location. In the sound bubble around the driver, all frequencies are canceled out except for the Bluetooth call that’s coming in.”

Thanks to a collaboration between Panasonic, Klipsch, Nissan and Infiniti, the team designed the system using a combination of hardware and software.

“The cancellation is controlled by software, but the speakers, amplifier, digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters have to do the work to make sure it happens in time,” Blaszczynski explains. “I would say 90 percent of the magic happens in the software.”

That’s a fitting balance for a new SUV that takes giant leaps from its outgoing iteration to one that’s far more focused on technology. The 2025 QX80, which starts at $82,450 for the Pure and goes up to $110,595 for the top-of-the-line Autograph trim, arrives in dealerships this month.

an SUV parked on a road near a lake on a clear day
Infiniti has made some major changes for the QX80. Image: Kristin Shaw/Popular Science

Related Posts

The mindset, technology and tools holding back e-commerce

Powered by TeleSign Ecommerce fraud is on the rise — here’s how to stop it. Read this on-demand VB Spotlight to gain insight into the most common types of fraud.…

NASA's VIPER rover won't go to the moon after all

In November 2019, NASA reported announced plans to send a new rover to the moon. However, after nearly 5 years and multiple delays, it appears that Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

Pelosi has told House Democrats that Biden may soon be convinced to withdraw from the race

  • July 19, 2024
Pelosi has told House Democrats that Biden may soon be convinced to withdraw from the race

18 Silk and Great Value plant-based milk alternatives recalled in Canada due to listeria deaths and illnesses

  • July 19, 2024
18 Silk and Great Value plant-based milk alternatives recalled in Canada due to listeria deaths and illnesses

Trump Bitcoin Conference Fundraising Tickets for Nashville Soiree Hit $844,600 Max

  • July 19, 2024
Trump Bitcoin Conference Fundraising Tickets for Nashville Soiree Hit $844,600 Max

Solar parks with rainwater management reduce runoff and erosion, research shows

  • July 19, 2024
Solar parks with rainwater management reduce runoff and erosion, research shows

Food aroma research could help explain why meals in space taste bad

  • July 19, 2024
Food aroma research could help explain why meals in space taste bad

The mindset, technology and tools holding back e-commerce

  • July 19, 2024
The mindset, technology and tools holding back e-commerce

Writer Shalom Auslander catalogs his lifelong battle with self-contempt in ‘Feh’ : NPR

  • July 19, 2024
Writer Shalom Auslander catalogs his lifelong battle with self-contempt in ‘Feh’ : NPR

Canadian Jacob Shaffleburg, Colombian Richard Rios and Copa America stars set for transfers

  • July 19, 2024

Trump speaks at RNC amid Biden election questions

  • July 19, 2024
Trump speaks at RNC amid Biden election questions

Stocks Making the Biggest After-hours Moves: ISRG, NFLX, PLUG

  • July 19, 2024
Stocks Making the Biggest After-hours Moves: ISRG, NFLX, PLUG

The Key to a Purposeful Life in a Distracted World

  • July 19, 2024
The Key to a Purposeful Life in a Distracted World