View Full Version : Audio Formats

02-25-2015, 10:02 AM
My first post here.

I've had my eye on the new XC90 for quite a while. I'm glad to have found these forums. Great resource.

Reading the posted manual, seems like the media player will play quite a few formats. I'm interested in FLAC. Any ideas if it will play surround sound 5.1 channel FLAC? I've been converting my Blu Ray audio discs and DVD audio discs to 5.1 FLAC and this would just be amazing if they work in this vehicle. High resolution lossless surround sound!

This press release does mention mono, stereo and multichannel sources for the Bowers Wilkins system. So I have hope.

02-26-2015, 10:19 AM
Page 402 of the owners manual indicates that FLAC is a supported format of the media player of the car!

02-26-2015, 10:23 AM
Excellent. I hope it can play more than just 2.0 stereo FLAC. If it can play 5.1 surround FLACs, that would be be amazing. Anyone play with the audio formats at one of the auto shows?

02-26-2015, 12:34 PM
Doesn't seem like many people played around with it, much less be prepared to bring some FLAC files with them to test. I'm genuinely shocked and pleased at how open the a/v playback is. I was perusing through the manual and even found out the media player can handle MKV files. That's insanely great for a collector like me.

02-26-2015, 12:53 PM
If it can play MKV movies, I would assume surround sound formats would be supported. Few more months to wait...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

02-26-2015, 01:04 PM
Here's what it says it'll play:

03-14-2015, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the update Paradox. Will it play DVD Audio discs like the Acura ELS system?

03-14-2015, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the update Paradox. Will it play DVD Audio discs like the Acura ELS system?

I'm not really sure SocDave, I just took the above image from the 2016 owners manual.

03-14-2015, 09:58 AM
I just examined the 2016 owner's manual and see the page you posted (p. 400 in the Canadian manual). The only information I can find regarding playing CDs is on p. 394 and it has very limited information: "CD (media) player*
The CD (media) player can play commercially purchased discs as well as ones that you have burned yourself" and then it says you should go to p. 400 for "Related information • Media player technical data (p. 400)." And that is all the information on playing CDs and what kind of CDs the B&W system will support.

I have contacted B&W with my question so we shall see ... no doubt is will play DVD-Audio discs, but will it be able to translate all the data from these discs into the sound they are intended to provide like in my 2006 Acura RL with the ELS system (which was the best auto audio system I have ever heard!). Note: I have saved all my old DVD-A discs I used in my Acura and hope to use them in my '16 XC90.

03-14-2015, 05:07 PM
Acura has replaced the DVD drive in all new vehicles with a CD player. They will not even recognize a DVD of any kind. Surround sound is only achieved with a DTS-CD. The fact that Volvo uses the term CD in the menus rather than Disc probably means it also is truly just a CD player. I looked through owner's manuals of older Volvo models and they do mention playing DVD audio. So the fact that, DVD audio is omitted in the new XC90 manual makes me think there is not a DVD drive (only CD).

I am also coming from an Acura and have become totally hooked to DVD-audio with the ELS. My advice would be to convert them to 5.1-channel FLAC files (I use a program called DVD Audio Extractor). As this thread discusses, Volvo does play FLAC but I'm unsure if it plays only stereo FLAC or also 5.1 FLAC. (Tesla plays only stereo FLAC) Please let us know what B&W has to say on the matter.

03-14-2015, 08:32 PM
I'm a little confused, there are actually genuine 5.1 song masters out there? As far as I know everyone has always used just left and right channels.

Anything beyond that would have either been a studio concert recording or mastered for a film.

03-14-2015, 08:55 PM
There quite a bit of multichannel content out there! DVD-A and SACD were multichannel capable. Blu-Ray Audio is slowly picking up right now (mostly re-release of the same DVD/SACD mixes but onto BD format).

There are not just matrix surround (DPL II, DTS NEO). They are hard coded discrete channel mixes, much like movies. Check out

05-19-2017, 11:39 AM

So my V90's system does play 5.1 FLAC files.

An album in 96.0 KHz, 24 bits, 6 channels, FLAC (Queen - A Night at the Opera) played through very well with no noticeable problems.
But anything in 44.1/48.0/88.2 KHz, 24 bits, 6 channels, FLAC (Dark Side of the Moon, NIN With Teeth, Sea Change, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots etc.) has crackles and pops in files I've listened to 100x and know are good.

Anyone else have a similar experience?