The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is available with two different audio systems: a standard 19 speaker system and, for the true audiophiles, an upgraded 36-speaker system.
Both of these stereos were developed for Cadillac by Austrian audio specialist AKG. This represents a rather significant departure for the Cadillac brand, which has formerly relied on American audio company Bose for its high-end car stereo applications.
So why did Cadillac decide to ditch Bose, a longtime partner of the company, in favor of AKG? We asked Cadillac Escalade Marketing Manager Dave Schiavone about the reason behind the change, who had this to say:
“We specifically wanted something unique for Cadillac and AKG was a great opportunity,” Shiavone told GM Authority Executive Editor, Alex Luft in a recent interview. “AKG has a great history and what it does for us is, here’s a brand we can work with, they’re good people, they have good technology, and exclusivity is what we wanted and it’s what we got.”
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the first and only vehicle to feature an AKG audio system. The company has previously stuck to what it knows best: headphones, microphones and home audio equipment, but with the Cadillac partnership, it’s set to break into the automotive space in a big way.
The standard AKG audio system found in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade features 19 speakers, along with a large enclosed subwoofer and receives power from a 14-channel amplifier. The upgraded AKG Studio Reference system, meanwhile, has 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers that deliver 28 channels, offering a listening experience that is “astonishingly crisp and immersive,” Cadillac says.
The 36-speaker AKG audio system in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade also features a ‘Conversation Enhancement’ mode, which captures passengers’ voices and reproduces them through the audio system, allowing front and back seat passengers to conversate without having to raise their voices. The front seat passenger gets their own dedicated volume knob, as well, allowing them to adjust sound volume separately from the driver’s side.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is set to go on sale later this year. It will be built at GM’s Arlington Assembly plant in Texas.