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best equalizer/fade settings for 12 speaker ELS system in the Tech?

Old 11-26-2018, 12:19 AM
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best equalizer/fade settings for 12 speaker ELS system in the Tech?

Has any audiophile done any work in figuring out the best equalizer/fade settings for the 12 speaker ELS system in the Tech? The reason I am asking is because passengers in the rear complained the sound is anemic. Setting all the available settings to default didn't help the passengers at all. I am planning to get it looked at by the dealer, but I wanted to check if anyone here has done any work on this. To my ears it sounds OK, but I am not an audiophile and I was in the front. Based on the description below, it looks like most of the speakers are concentrated in the front of the car. The rear gets beefed up only in the 16 speaker system.

Here's a description of the system from the press kit
2019 Acura RDX Press Kit - Honda News

Acura 9-Speaker Audio System
The RDX comes standard with a 350-watt Acura audio system with nine speakers strategically located throughout the RDX cabin. Each front and rear door has a 9-cm full-range speaker. Each front door also includes a larger 17-cm driver. Separate 3-cm tweeters are positioned near the A-pillars. A 20-cm subwoofer is mounted in a tuned 10.8-liter enclosure in the right sidewall of the cargo area.

Acura/ELS Studio® 12-Speaker Audio System (Technology Package)
The RDX with Technology Package features a 12-speaker, 550-watt Acura/ELS Studio® system that is engineered to offer impressive sound quality from a wide range of media formats. Building on the nine-speaker layout found in the RDX, two additional 3-cm by 10-cm Highline™ ultra-slim overhead speakers are added in the front portion of the headliner and a 9-cm center-channel full-range speaker is placed atop the instrument panel. An external amplifier with patented Acoustic Motion Control™ provides 12 channels of amplification, one to each speaker. The Acura/ELS Studio® audio system offers the same intuitive True Touchpad Interface™ and steering-wheel mounted controls as the RDX audio system.

Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ 16-Speaker Audio System (A-Spec and Advance Packages)
The RDX A-Spec and RDX with Advance Package feature an Acura-first, state-of-the-art 710-watt 16-speaker, 16-channel Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ Audio System. Building on the 12-speaker system, the 3D system adds two additional Highline™ ultra-slim overhead speakers (shown on left) in the rearward portion of the ceiling, located on either side of the glass roof panel. Two additional 8-cm drivers are positioned in the D-pillars on either side on the cabin, just behind the rear seats. An upgraded external amplifier with patented Acoustic Motion Control™ provides 710 watts of system power, delivered through 16 discrete channels, one for each speaker. To visually distinguish the system, ELS Studio 3D™-branded authentic metal speaker grilles are positioned on the front doors.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
Has any audiophile done any work in figuring out the best equalizer/fade settings for the 12 speaker ELS system in the Tech? The reason I am asking is because passengers in the rear complained the sound is anemic. Setting all the available settings to default didn't help the passengers at all. I am planning to get it looked at by the dealer, but I wanted to check if anyone here has done any work on this. To my ears it sounds OK, but I am not an audiophile and I was in the front. Based on the description below, it looks like most of the speakers are concentrated in the front of the car. The rear gets beefed up only in the 16 speaker system.

Here's a description of the system from the press kit
2019 Acura RDX Press Kit - Honda News

Acura 9-Speaker Audio System
The RDX comes standard with a 350-watt Acura audio system with nine speakers strategically located throughout the RDX cabin. Each front and rear door has a 9-cm full-range speaker. Each front door also includes a larger 17-cm driver. Separate 3-cm tweeters are positioned near the A-pillars. A 20-cm subwoofer is mounted in a tuned 10.8-liter enclosure in the right sidewall of the cargo area.

Acura/ELS Studio® 12-Speaker Audio System (Technology Package)
The RDX with Technology Package features a 12-speaker, 550-watt Acura/ELS Studio® system that is engineered to offer impressive sound quality from a wide range of media formats. Building on the nine-speaker layout found in the RDX, two additional 3-cm by 10-cm Highline™ ultra-slim overhead speakers are added in the front portion of the headliner and a 9-cm center-channel full-range speaker is placed atop the instrument panel. An external amplifier with patented Acoustic Motion Control™ provides 12 channels of amplification, one to each speaker. The Acura/ELS Studio® audio system offers the same intuitive True Touchpad Interface™ and steering-wheel mounted controls as the RDX audio system.

Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ 16-Speaker Audio System (A-Spec and Advance Packages)
The RDX A-Spec and RDX with Advance Package feature an Acura-first, state-of-the-art 710-watt 16-speaker, 16-channel Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ Audio System. Building on the 12-speaker system, the 3D system adds two additional Highline™ ultra-slim overhead speakers (shown on left) in the rearward portion of the ceiling, located on either side of the glass roof panel. Two additional 8-cm drivers are positioned in the D-pillars on either side on the cabin, just behind the rear seats. An upgraded external amplifier with patented Acoustic Motion Control™ provides 710 watts of system power, delivered through 16 discrete channels, one for each speaker. To visually distinguish the system, ELS Studio 3D™-branded authentic metal speaker grilles are positioned on the front doors.
I'm very interested in any thoughts on this, too. I have an Advance, so mine has the 16 speakers. I signed up for texts from Acura to get news and tips and got the following, and while the information on the link provided is great, it doesn't suggest eqalizer/fade settings. (Click here to go to the bit.ly page.)


Last edited by birdonamission; 11-26-2018 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:19 PM
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The best EQ settings are those that sound best to you. The system was tuned by Elliot Scheiner to sound the way he intended it to sound (like a recording studio) using the default settings. Adjustments are provided to reflect personal preferences that vary by individual.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:27 PM
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audio is SUBJECTIVE to the listener.. do what feels best to YOU. if that means cranking up that bass, cuz it's all about the bass....no treble
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:54 PM
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Sure, it's subjective and it's up to each person.

Now, nevermind that.

The question is still, what did you set yours at? Interested in what others think the best settings are to exploit the systems capability -- especially audiophiles.

If that's Elliot's settings (factory default), it's not really all that different than what I've been listening to in my last couple of cars.
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:04 PM
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I set mine with turning highs down 1 notch, mid bass at default and bad/lows up 1-2 notches
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:15 PM
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I'm more for upping the bass and treble...and lowering the mid ranges. The mid range to me sounds like an echo...

That said - this car has zero bass. I may toss a small op-amp on the sub to get a tad more.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
audio is SUBJECTIVE to the listener.. do what feels best to YOU. if that means cranking up that bass, cuz it's all about the bass....no treble
Very true. But there are some settings that may work for most people. For example, a HomePod doesn't allow one to adjust any of the parameters.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SVTour View Post
I'm more for upping the bass and treble...and lowering the mid ranges. The mid range to me sounds like an echo...

That said - this car has zero bass. I may toss a small op-amp on the sub to get a tad more.
Do you also have the Tech?
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SVTour View Post
That said - this car has zero bass.
Compared to what - a 300 lb. Klipsch cinema subwoofer? Are you sure your subwoofer is actually working?

Further proof sound is subjective as I occasionally find the bass in my Advance to be overwhelming.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:11 PM
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Download VOX on your phone. It can sync with all your iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and it has a parametric eq that’s a game changer with this system.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:50 AM
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I have a tech and have my bass at max, treble down one notch from max, and mid one notch up from center. The fader is at the default position and I have the overhead speakers and center channel speakers boosted +3. I listen mainly to classic and soft rock and that works great for me at all volumes when using Sirius/XM.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:59 AM
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One difference between my RDX and my Land Rover is that my LR has a dedicated subwoofer in the tailgate area and a dedicated subwoofer setting in the radio controls that I keep pretty high. This allows for better control control in the lows at lower volumes that I don't get on the RDX. RDX can get good, just have to have it a little louder that I might want it sometimes.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
Has any audiophile done any work in figuring out the best equalizer/fade settings for the 12 speaker ELS system in the Tech? The reason I am asking is because passengers in the rear complained the sound is anemic. Setting all the available settings to default didn't help the passengers at all. I am planning to get it looked at by the dealer, but I wanted to check if anyone here has done any work on this. To my ears it sounds OK, but I am not an audiophile and I was in the front. Based on the description below, it looks like most of the speakers are concentrated in the front of the car. The rear gets beefed up only in the 16 speaker system.
In my wife's 2019 RDX Tech package, it seems to me that the center front speaker plays much louder than the other speakers, including the overhead speakers. Based on brief scan of settings while at a stop light, I couldn't figure out how to boost the sound in the overhead speakers, but I'll look at this more closely this evening.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by leetjon00 View Post
In my wife's 2019 RDX Tech package, it seems to me that the center front speaker plays much louder than the other speakers, including the overhead speakers. Based on brief scan of settings while at a stop light, I couldn't figure out how to boost the sound in the overhead speakers, but I'll look at this more closely this evening.
The center and overhead speakers are designed to fill in the sound stage. You may be used to the front "hole" in systems without a center speaker. Like surround sound systems, the rear and overhead speakers should be at a lower level. The band plays in front of you - not above you or behind you.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post
The center and overhead speakers are designed to fill in the sound stage. You may be used to the front "hole" in systems without a center speaker. Like surround sound systems, the rear and overhead speakers should be at a lower level. The band plays in front of you - not above you or behind you.
Thanks for this response. However, in my wife's car, the imbalance is quite drastic, to the point that it seems like only the front speaker is playing. It doesn't sound good at all, much less like surround sound. This stands in stark contrast to when the system-generated chimes/sounds as I'm navigating through the car play system. Those chimes/sounds come in loud and clear through the overhead speakers, for example.

In any event, my preference is to be fully "surrounded" by the music from all sides, front, side, back, and overhead. I'm not actually looking for the system to sound like the band is in front of me - I'm not at a concert and I don't want my system to be balanced like I am. That's just my preference.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:33 AM
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thus why it's subjective...

my setup sounds better...

NO! my set up sounds better...


NO!!! my setup sounds better.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:52 AM
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Yeah, I'm not arguing about whether it's subjective or whether my setup is better than other people's setup. My concern is that there is something wrong with the non-front speakers in my car (or that I have some wonky setting that is currently causing to seem like the front speaker is the only one playing music). This is not a question about fine-tuning the system for some sort of optimal or "perfect" setting. The front speaker sounds like it's the only one playing music in my car. Suggesting that this concern is merely "subjective" is not helpful.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:16 AM
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the easiest way to determine that; hop into another RDX
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by leetjon00 View Post
Yeah, I'm not arguing about whether it's subjective or whether my setup is better than other people's setup. My concern is that there is something wrong with the non-front speakers in my car (or that I have some wonky setting that is currently causing to seem like the front speaker is the only one playing music). This is not a question about fine-tuning the system for some sort of optimal or "perfect" setting. The front speaker sounds like it's the only one playing music in my car. Suggesting that this concern is merely "subjective" is not helpful.
I felt the same but now seems to be ok after reducing/turning down volume on front in settings.
You can try selecting other modes like Driver only, front only, back only and see if you are able to hear music properly.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:42 PM
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It does sound like everything is coming from the front. Even maxing the roof speakers I can barely hear them. Tried fading to the rear for a 'balanced' stage but it lessens the bass which seems to come from the door speakers. My other car has a Burmester system that perfectly balances the sound stage without having to fade. Also 2 subs under the dash which sound much better than one in our trunk. I think it's less wattage than the ELS but sounds much better. Having a dedicated sub volume like the Honda Pilot would really help the bass with our system.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Njbrandon View Post
It does sound like everything is coming from the front. Even maxing the roof speakers I can barely hear them. Tried fading to the rear for a 'balanced' stage but it lessens the bass which seems to come from the door speakers. My other car has a Burmester system that perfectly balances the sound stage without having to fade. Also 2 subs under the dash which sound much better than one in our trunk. I think it's less wattage than the ELS but sounds much better. Having a dedicated sub volume like the Honda Pilot would really help the bass with our system.
Thanks - I'm glad it's not just me. Do you hear the entertainment system "chime," "click," and "swipe" sounds much more loudly and clearly on your non-front speakers than music? I do, which leads me to believe something has to be off regarding my settings for music. Btw, I'm far from an audiophile, so I doubt this is me just being nit picky about the sound system. If I can't get this resolved to my satisfaction, I'll take it to the dealer and test it against another RDX tech package and will report back.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by leetjon00 View Post
Thanks - I'm glad it's not just me. Do you hear the entertainment system "chime," "click," and "swipe" sounds much more loudly and clearly on your non-front speakers than music? I do, which leads me to believe something has to be off regarding my settings for music. Btw, I'm far from an audiophile, so I doubt this is me just being nit picky about the sound system. If I can't get this resolved to my satisfaction, I'll take it to the dealer and test it against another RDX tech package and will report back.
I agree with you guys. I also have a tech pkg rdx and feel the same that front speaker overpowers all others. So I tried fading to the rear for balanced stage. But so much difference between front center speaker and other speakers does not seem right. If anyone finds more on this please post here. Comparing with another rdx on dealers lot might be a good idea.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:29 PM
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If so many folks are having the same problem, then it's likely by design that the rear sound quality is lacking with the 12 speaker system. If anyone does find something please post back. I have not had time to go to the dealer to get it looked at. And to top it, I had a minor fender bender so that's going to take some time and the local dealer doesn't do body work.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:17 PM
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[color=left=#222222]"....that front speaker overpowers all others." I agree with the 12 speaker system that I have. The 16 speaker adds 2x D pillar 3.12" (8cm) speakers. This would help but 3.12"!

I've asked my dealer to price out changing to 16 speaker system. I'll then try to leverage the poor audio vs 16 speakers. [/color]

FYI...….
ELS Studio
12 speakers
12 channels
550 watts
ELS Studio 3D
16 speakers
16 channels
710 watts
Speakers
Door Speakers 4x 3.5" (9cm) Full Range
Door Front 2x 6.5" (17 cm) Drivers
A Pillars 2x 1" tweeters (3cm)
Sub 6.75" (20cm), mounted in a tuned 10.8‐liter enclosure
overhead front 2x 1.12" x 4" (3cm x 10cm)
center 3.5" (9 cm)
-------------------------
option D Pillar 2x 3.12" (8cm)
option overhead rear 2x 1.12" x 4" (3cm x 10cm)

From the TLX forum, speakers are all 2 ohm for the ELS systems.
Panasonic "Super Dynamic Range" speakers, Hybrid Titanium Dome Tweeters
"The DSP multi-channel amplifier is equipped with Panasonic's proprietary Acoustic Motion Control technology that allows individual speakers to be independently optimized for ideal performance."
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
If so many folks are having the same problem, then it's likely by design that the rear sound quality is lacking with the 12 speaker system. If anyone does find something please post back. I have not had time to go to the dealer to get it looked at. And to top it, I had a minor fender bender so that's going to take some time and the local dealer doesn't do body work.
Anything's possible, but I cannot imagine why anyone would design the system to sound the way it does in my RDX. The best way I could characterize the way mine sounds is as if the car had no speakers whatsoever, and someone was playing music from a boombox that was placed on the car's dashboard. Again, I'm not an audiophile by any means, but this sounds simply ridiculous, even to my untrained ears.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by leetjon00 View Post
Anything's possible, but I cannot imagine why anyone would design the system to sound the way it does in my RDX. The best way I could characterize the way mine sounds is as if the car had no speakers whatsoever, and someone was playing music from a boombox that was placed on the car's dashboard. Again, I'm not an audiophile by any means, but this sounds simply ridiculous, even to my untrained ears.
That's how it sounded to my friends as well. They are audiophiles but normally not picky. But they pointed this out because they felt the sound was much worse than their low end 2017 Accord. They thought it might be equalizer/fade/balance settings, but when nothing made it better, they suggested taking it in for a checkup.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
That's how it sounded to my friends as well. They are audiophiles but normally not picky. But they pointed this out because they felt the sound was much worse than their low end 2017 Accord. They thought it might be equalizer/fade/balance settings, but when nothing made it better, they suggested taking it in for a checkup.
if that’s the case that sounds like something is wrong, my system in my aspec sounds awesome and is well balanced through out the car, in a proper system you would want the majority of audio from the front right and front left, with the rest being filler, but it sounds like your car has something really wrong
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dereileak View Post

if that’s the case that sounds like something is wrong, my system in my aspec sounds awesome and is well balanced through out the car, in a proper system you would want the majority of audio from the front right and front left, with the rest being filler, but it sounds like your car has something really wrong
A-Spec/Advance have a different sound system with the rear beefed up quite a bit--see the first post for distribution of speakers.

Last edited by anoop; 12-05-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
A-Spec/Advance have a different sound system with the rear beefed up quite a bit--see the first post for distribution of speakers.
I realize that, but I had a tech package as a loaner and it didn’t sound much different then my aspec, sounded well balanced from the front right and left, a little weaker in the rear for filler sound but that’s expected with less speakers back there
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
thus why it's subjective...

my setup sounds better...

NO! my set up sounds better...


NO!!! my setup sounds better.
Oh shut up! My setup sounds better!
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kingofire View Post
Oh shut up! My setup sounds better!
I wish I could join in this competition of who's setup sounds better. Instead, I know mine sounds like doodoo...
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:33 AM
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I've tried all the "tips" mentioned here and got the stereo to sound marginally better. However, unless I crank up the volume there is no bass. Compared to my 2017 Yukon Denali with Bose, the RDX advance radio sounds like a 1960 handheld transistor radio.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:36 PM
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I agree it feels like the sound is coming from the front and nothing else. I have actually put my hands on the roof speakers while music is playing, and could feel them vibrating. So they are working, the system is just kind of front biased.
If it really bothers you, you can adjust the roof and center speakers in the settings. I think its something like... settings.. vehicle.. volume? I did and could get it to bias to the side/ceilings, but it sounded strange at that point.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jonarogers View Post
I agree it feels like the sound is coming from the front and nothing else. I have actually put my hands on the roof speakers while music is playing, and could feel them vibrating. So they are working, the system is just kind of front biased.
If it really bothers you, you can adjust the roof and center speakers in the settings. I think its something like... settings.. vehicle.. volume? I did and could get it to bias to the side/ceilings, but it sounded strange at that point.
I played around with those a lot with passengers in my back seat and nothing helped. Adjusting those settings just means that it increases the volume in the back, but the sound quality doesn't improve.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by anoop View Post
I played around with those a lot with passengers in my back seat and nothing helped. Adjusting those settings just means that it increases the volume in the back, but the sound quality doesn't improve.
I've experienced the same results.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:45 AM
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Same. It's pretty unbelievable that an "upgraded" sound system would sound like this. Frankly, I don't think I've ever encountered a worse sounding system in a car. Should have paid more attention to this when my wife was buying the car, but I just assumed the system would be, at worst, just "fine."
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:24 AM
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Make sure DTS neural sound is turned off, this will heavily cause audio from the center speaker, I do not care for how this setting sounds, turning that off will cause the audio to be from the side speakers as normal
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:33 AM
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I test drove an A-Spec yesterday and was not impressed with the stereo. I played around with the settings and could not get the bass improved.

The Bose system in my 2012 G37 is better. My 2005 TL was also better. I don’t need booming bass but the low end really fills out the sound. Perhaps the RDX system needs a break in period? I would call the overall sound flat. Adjusting the bass slider had little effect.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:26 PM
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I have no idea why there are complaints that there is no bass in this car. I have a Tech package and run the bass at -2 otherwise at any volume level over 14 (via bluetooth from my phone) my ear drums are pulsating and I get a headache within 10 minutes when I play a track that has a continuous heavy bass like much of the latest chill/dance music. I've checked - I'm running flat, no equalization or enhancements out of my phone.

Is there a song that we can use as a standard to define the bass?

Fleetwood Mac's remastered Rumours (Dreams & The Chain) and most of Norah Jones' recordings sound great in this car. A lot of my old vinyl faves from the 60's and 70's, later released on CD's, sound flat with no dynamic range which is what I would expect, though the Beatle's recently remastered White album has a few interesting moments as compared to the original CD I have stored away here somewhere. Maybe people are just using crappy source for the demo music?

Even FM radio in this vehicle sounds bass heavy at times, much more so than the Bose (incl subwoofer) system in my last vehicle which was a high trim GM product.

The A-Spec I test drove had fantastic sound - was it worth $4000 more for the upgrade.... no!

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