Notices

Crappy Sound System

 
Old 06-03-2019, 04:50 PM
  #1  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Crappy Sound System

We love our new RDX, but the sound system is horrible: tinney and brittle even with the treble turned way down. I understand the advance trim has a better system , but this mess sounds like a freaking transistor radio.! Is it just me?
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:54 PM
  #2  
Registered Member
 
Gate 17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Ontario
Age: 55
Posts: 73
Received 19 Likes on 12 Posts
No, not just you.
I have the 12 speaker system and find the Audio is my greatest disappointment with this car.
Tweeters are Harsh and the sound is not immersive.
Audio settings need to be adjusted by source.
Gate 17 is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 06:46 PM
  #3  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
What sources are you guys using, and what kind of volumes are we talking about?

I only use AAC files via USB, and I find that fine. XM is crap and you couldn't pay me enough to listen to analog radio ( even if you extracted the constant babble ).

But I did bite the bullet ( hard ) and shell out for the Advance. The ceiling speakers seem to contribute much more bass and midrange than I would have expected.

But this thing is an SUV ( sorta ), and road noise at high speeds is gonna be worse than an upscale sedan or coupe. If you crank up the audio to get above the background noise, at some point you're going to overdrive it. And if you live for low bass, that will happen a lot sooner.

BTW, if this audio is like other similar ones I have done spectrum analysis on, the "tweeters" are really super tweeters. They don't even get in the game until 5 kHz or so. Vocals come from the midrange drivers.

Last edited by Wander; 06-03-2019 at 06:49 PM.
Wander is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:01 PM
  #4  
Registered Member
 
Madd Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 1,420
Received 366 Likes on 270 Posts
I was in my friends S550 and his sound system was better than mine.

What gives?
Madd Dog is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Madd Dog:
DarkNinja75 (06-05-2019), justnspace (06-04-2019), markm929 (06-04-2019)
Old 06-03-2019, 07:31 PM
  #5  
2019 BMW X3 M40i
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Washington
Age: 33
Posts: 95
Received 16 Likes on 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Wander View Post
The ceiling speakers seem to contribute much more bass and midrange than I would have expected.

BTW, if this audio is like other similar ones I have done spectrum analysis on, the "tweeters" are really super tweeters. They don't even get in the game until 5 kHz or so. Vocals come from the midrange drivers.
Pick one.
Alias1431 is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:37 PM
  #6  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,427
Received 64 Likes on 59 Posts
Originally Posted by Madd Dog View Post
I was in my friends S550 and his sound system was better than mine.

What gives?
Ummm, about $100,00.00.
BLEXV6 is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:40 PM
  #7  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,427
Received 64 Likes on 59 Posts
I have only driven the RDX Aspec and Advance, and have found the sound system excellent. I would not even entertain the lower end RDX's for this reason as I love a good sound system. You had to know the 12 speaker system was not going to be as good. Should have tried them both out before you decided. You have to have better things in the upper levels, because you pay more.
BLEXV6 is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:47 PM
  #8  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Minnesota
Age: 27
Posts: 523
Received 108 Likes on 67 Posts
Originally Posted by BLEXV6 View Post
I have only driven the RDX Aspec and Advance, and have found the sound system excellent. I would not even entertain the lower end RDX's for this reason as I love a good sound system. You had to know the 12 speaker system was not going to be as good. Should have tried them both out before you decided. You have to have better things in the upper levels, because you pay more.
I have the Aspec and the audio system kicks ass, I love it
Dereileak is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 09:01 PM
  #9  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Milford, CT
Age: 73
Posts: 40
Received 10 Likes on 7 Posts
My Bose system in my Rogue was much better than the system in my Advanced RDX. And let's not even start on the navagtion system. My wife just picked up her 2019 Hyundai Tucson top of the line model and the infotainment system is SO much better it's almost laughable. I still love my RDX because of it unsurpassed performance.
mrblase is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 09:09 PM
  #10  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
Originally Posted by Alias1431 View Post
Pick one.
???

There are exactly two "tweeters", in the A-pillars. All the other drivers are midrange or full-range. What do I need to pick?

FWIW, I was referring to the "tweeters are harsh" comment. Most of the time, it's hard to know if the tweeters are even turned on. If the sound is shrill or harsh, there is another cause.

For instance, an amplifier that is being "overdriven" will produce distortion that often manifests as harsh high frequencies.

Last edited by Wander; 06-03-2019 at 09:20 PM.
Wander is offline  
Old 06-03-2019, 09:51 PM
  #11  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Age: 42
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by BLEXV6 View Post
Ummm, about $100,00.00.
Lol, I see that a lot around here. People keep forgetting they are driving around in 40k vehicles.
likerage is online now  
The following 3 users liked this post by likerage:
DarkNinja75 (06-05-2019), DHood (06-04-2019), justnspace (06-04-2019)
Old 06-03-2019, 11:51 PM
  #12  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
Originally Posted by Madd Dog View Post
I was in my friends S550 and his sound system was better than mine.

What gives?
Originally Posted by BLEXV6 View Post
Ummm, about $100,00.00.
Originally Posted by likerage View Post
Lol, I see that a lot around here. People keep forgetting they are driving around in 40k vehicles.
I think the tail is wagging the dog here.

Unless I'm mistaken, the furry one was subtly pointing out the futility of comparing audio in a top-of-the-line luxury sedan with that in a near-luxury SUV. And I agree.

But maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree.


Wander is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Wander:
DarkNinja75 (06-05-2019), justnspace (06-04-2019), Madd Dog (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 06:11 AM
  #13  
Registered Member
 
Stew4HD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,451
Received 1,014 Likes on 667 Posts
SMH! Do you guys not test drive these things?
Stew4HD is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Stew4HD:
justnspace (06-04-2019), losiglow (06-05-2019), Madd Dog (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 07:17 AM
  #14  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Age: 46
Posts: 95
Received 8 Likes on 8 Posts
This may sound stupid, but be sure that the volume on your device (phone) is turned all the way up. When I first got my RDX I was perplexed b/c the system didn't sound as amazing as the one I test drove. Then I realized my phone was defaulting to a lower volume level when connecting to the system. Cranked the phone up and the system opened up.

I'm an audio snob, and this system is the best I've heard in a stock car.

Hope this helps!
dukeh62 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Stew4HD (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 07:59 AM
  #15  
Registered Member
 
Mustachio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ohio
Age: 28
Posts: 46
Received 17 Likes on 9 Posts
Perceived quality != actual quality

Before I catch flak for saying that, I agree that perceived quality is ultimately most important to the consumer. However, perceived quality is subjective and can vary dramatically depending on the person, the music genre, the compression of the music files, etc... You can see that by the varying opinions of the sound system. Even the shape of the cabin plays a large role in the sound. Sure, I wish it was improved in some ways. However, biases aside, the system is very well-tuned. You also have to remember this is a sound system in a car. It will never sound as good as a proper home setup.
Mustachio is offline  
The following 4 users liked this post by Mustachio:
dukeh62 (06-04-2019), Funz51 (06-06-2019), justnspace (06-04-2019), Wander (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 11:28 AM
  #16  
Registered Member
 
Funz51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Age: 55
Posts: 20
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Not sure I understand your comment. There is no 'phone volume' control when you plug it in, it is digital. Volume comes into play for a bluetooth connection. I believe everyone on here is playing music from a thumbdrive or an iphone directly connected to the USB port. Not sure how you are testing. Bluetooth transmission will be frequency handicapped.

On another note, I have tried listening every way possible in all different formats. I do find a 'shrill' when turned up a bit, mainly when flacs are playing. Playing with controls only help so much. The system appears to use the windows to some extent to reflect, which I would think would have limited frequency response.(even though the windshield is acoustic glass, also the side windows on the Advance). I plan on experimenting with sound absorbing material on the dash to see if I can calm it down a bit. The system has some great clear mid and lower base, which I find is superior to like Bose.
Funz51 is offline  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:40 AM
  #17  
Registered Member
iTrader: (1)
 
losiglow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Age: 37
Posts: 3,176
Received 746 Likes on 530 Posts
I've learned that the Tech package (or whatever package includes the upgraded stereo system) is a must in Acura vehicles. The base models seem to have pretty sub-par setups. The 4G TL was this way. Base was pretty weak but the upgraded ELS in the Tech is really nice.
losiglow is offline  
The following users liked this post:
justnspace (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 11:43 AM
  #18  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Age: 46
Posts: 95
Received 8 Likes on 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Funz51 View Post
Not sure I understand your comment. There is no 'phone volume' control when you plug it in, it is digital. Volume comes into play for a bluetooth connection. I believe everyone on here is playing music from a thumbdrive or an iphone directly connected to the USB port. Not sure how you are testing. Bluetooth transmission will be frequency handicapped.

On another note, I have tried listening every way possible in all different formats. I do find a 'shrill' when turned up a bit, mainly when flacs are playing. Playing with controls only help so much. The system appears to use the windows to some extent to reflect, which I would think would have limited frequency response.(even though the windshield is acoustic glass, also the side windows on the Advance). I plan on experimenting with sound absorbing material on the dash to see if I can calm it down a bit. The system has some great clear mid and lower base, which I find is superior to like Bose.
To clarify my statement: The physical volume controls on your phone (at least on an iPhone) effect overall input level when connected via Bluetooth. If your phone's volume is not all the way up, the sound system will sound noticeably thinner. Sounds like you're not using Bluetooth, though.

As for plugging in via USB, I cannot comment b/c last time I did that my car spent 17 days in the shop getting the Infotainment system replaced. I only roll via Bluetooth these days.
dukeh62 is offline  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:56 AM
  #19  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
Bluetooth protocols have improved in terms of compression, but AFAIK USB connection is still superior. And anyway, I usually play through Apple CarPlay because the organization is better than generic USB thumb drives.

Just follow Acura's advice and use a new genuine Apple cable ( if it's an iPhone ) and you should be fine. Yeah, it's maybe 10 bucks more than a generic cable, so skip a Starbucks latte and you'll be good.

Dunno what will happen if you plug a Samsung into an Apple cable...
Wander is offline  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:11 PM
  #20  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
Perceived quality != actual quality

Before I catch flak for saying that, I agree that perceived quality is ultimately most important to the consumer. However, perceived quality is subjective and can vary dramatically depending on the person, the music genre, the compression of the music files, etc... You can see that by the varying opinions of the sound system. Even the shape of the cabin plays a large role in the sound. Sure, I wish it was improved in some ways. However, biases aside, the system is very well-tuned. You also have to remember this is a sound system in a car. It will never sound as good as a proper home setup.
Part of the reason for this is the incredible noise floor in a moving car. We perceive music or speech as the difference between "background noise" and the sound we're trying to listen to.

If you recorded the noise in your car on the highway and played it back at equivalent volume in your living room, you would be shocked.

I think this is one of the reasons a "flat" frequency response sounds lifeless in a car. The background noise isn't "flat".

And then there are the incredible resonance phenomena in a car interior, which vary depending on where you're sitting. It's really a crappy listening room.

But I'm just an audio snob ( albeit a somewhat cheap one ), not a sound engineer.
Wander is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Wander:
Funz51 (06-05-2019), justnspace (06-04-2019), Stew4HD (06-04-2019)
Old 06-04-2019, 05:06 PM
  #21  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Stew4HD View Post
SMH! Do you guys not test drive these things?
Most of us test drive the car, not the sound system. This is really not a big deal to me, but I expected the sound system in the 2019 RDX would at least be as good as the system in my 2001 CL. Itís not. By a mile.
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:34 PM
  #22  
Registered Member
 
hockeyaddict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: BC
Posts: 53
Received 12 Likes on 9 Posts
When I turn and tilt my head, the music comes from all directions. I looooove the audio system.
hockeyaddict is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 06:30 AM
  #23  
Registered Member
 
Stew4HD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,451
Received 1,014 Likes on 667 Posts
Originally Posted by robnalex View Post
Most of us test drive the car, not the sound system. This is really not a big deal to me, but I expected the sound system in the 2019 RDX would at least be as good as the system in my 2001 CL. Itís not. By a mile.
It's all very subjective. Who's right? In my opinion, the omission of the DVD-A/DTS disc playback hurts the system. I cannot compare your 2001 CL to the RDX nor should you. It's apples and oranges due to cabin size and configuration. Comparing the CL to the TLX or ILX would be much closer.

I have the Advance model and love the sound system when playing back multi-channel USB sources and much of BT sources. FM and SiriusXM .. not good
Stew4HD is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:03 AM
  #24  
Registered Member
 
JAB00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Baltimore MD
Age: 41
Posts: 1,124
Received 19 Likes on 15 Posts
I have the A-Spec. The sound system sound good to me.
JAB00 is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 08:15 AM
  #25  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Age: 39
Posts: 39
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
No No no... The audio system in the Advanced and Aspec is top notch for itís price class!

No Fíing way a Rogue stock system is better than these specs; I understand the OP was asking about the base trim. I donít own an Aspec or Advanced but have enough seat time to know the sound system is 1/2 step below Merc/Volvo Burmeister which are much more premium $$$. Itís above all of the HK, Bose, Mark Levinson crap that is sold in other mainstream lux brands/models.

I suggest you take good quality source material (Lossless/FLAC) and test the same material across multiple system options to benchmark.

I use a FIIO X7 MkII as my source DAP.
Rmsanger is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Stew4HD (06-05-2019)
Old 06-05-2019, 11:05 AM
  #26  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Stew4HD View Post
I cannot compare your 2001 CL to the RDX nor should you.
With all due respect, I can and should compare my RDX sound system to anything I choose, including purple unicorns.
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:32 AM
  #27  
Registered Member
 
Stew4HD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,451
Received 1,014 Likes on 667 Posts
Originally Posted by robnalex View Post
With all due respect, I can and should compare my RDX sound system to anything I choose, including purple unicorns.
You state "With all due respect" then stay silly stuff.. SMH.. you just want to whine, obviously.. bye
Stew4HD is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:18 PM
  #28  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Age: 66
Posts: 27
Received 14 Likes on 7 Posts
Interesting topic and I admit I struggled for a while when I first got the RDX Tech model. My test drive was in the Advanced model and it did sound better than my tech the first week. I found I had to really play with the sound setting a lot. I don't claim my ears are what they were back in the 1980's when I was a home stereo nut and spending thousands of dollars on fancy systems at home but I still have a certain taste for sound. These were my thoughts on the system in the car.

1.) Default settings sucked for most of the Applications whether XM, FM or Blue Tooth Audio. I can't speak for USB playback other than using USB Drives since my phone (Galaxy Note 8) is not supported so can't play over USB.
2.) I have played around since I got the car last June (1 year anniversary yesterday) and I still find I have to adjust the settings depending on the source. I do not see one setting works, for my ears anyway, for all sources.
3.) This is my 5th Acura...I had a 2007 MDX, a 2010 MDX, 2013 RDX, 2016 RDX and now this one. The only advanced model I had was the 2016. In my mind anyway, the overall depth of sound seemed better with those older models. I can't say the exact reason but my tastes of sound seemed better served but that doesn't equate necessarily to better sound. I like crisp highs and loud base but tend to tune down the mid-range a bit. The older speaker and sound systems seemed to play better with that type of sound.
4.) Instead of fighting it, I have been messing with the settings and for what it's worth, I have some thoughts. The 2019 Package seems to show much more detail in the music so perhaps my preferred sound muted out a lot of that. It could also explain why suddenly any compressed music playback sounds horrendous to me in the new car. I used to say I could not hear "that much" difference in sound whether a compressed MP3, a lossless MP3 or Apple Lossless. Obviously FLAC sounded much better and you could hear the obvious difference. But at the cost of large amounts of storage. Since I stream alot and activated the AT&T hotspot, I paid for the enhanced Spotify and have to admit the sound quality in the "free" version of Spotify verses the Premium is VERY noticeable so when comparing what some are describing as poor sound can also be affected based on the source being compare. That's my point. IE: Compressed MP3's or decision for streaming source.

All in all, now that I have tweaked the settings I know this much. XM sounds like crap IMO. But I thought that even in my older cars. Spotify Streaming or FM HD sounds best in my mind but I get frustrated in my area since most FM stations HD signal drops from time to time.
One comment I will say and I am not smart enough to know if it's the radio itself or the antenna system but the reception is far worse across the board for AM and FM. I only use AM for News and Sports Talk but man does it suck!!! And the HD drifting in and out can be irritating. My gut says it's the antenna but I could be wrong.
As for using Bluetooth for ANY of the Applications on my phone, I agree with those who posted turning the volume output for media up to 100% on the phone itself. That does impact the sound quality IMO. At first I simply plugged in the phone not realizing the media volume was set to less than 50% because I was using it with plug in earbuds.

All in all, I now feel it is a premium sounding system for FM and my streaming apps which all have premium subscriptions to ensure higher quality streams. But I did have to tweak and tweak to get it where I wanted it to sound.

Jeff
WoodyB is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Stew4HD (06-05-2019)
Old 06-05-2019, 06:34 PM
  #29  
Registered Member
 
Madd Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 1,420
Received 366 Likes on 270 Posts
I found that, after adjustment, my lowly Tech system was better than virtually all of the music sources that went through it. I received a usb stick with .flac files and it put to shame every other music source.

So, having watched ME TV’s “Have Gun, Will Travel” on my current TV, and found some, shall we say ‘shortcomings’, in the broadcast, should I really blame the TV?
Madd Dog is offline  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:01 PM
  #30  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Stew4HD View Post
You state "With all due respect" then stay silly stuff.. SMH.. you just want to whine, obviously.. bye
Well bless your sweet heart ❤️!
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:26 AM
  #31  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 978
Received 249 Likes on 170 Posts
Ignoring the southern version of "FU" for the moment, in terms of acoustics, comparing an SUV to a coupe is only slightly less valid than comparing it to a purple unicorn. The sound engineers did what they could to compensate with tuning, and the interior shape of RDX isn't worst of breed, but it's still a big echo chamber. It takes lots of amp power to fill it with bass and it's got a whole lot of vertical glass to reflect high frequencies. ( And it's even got a glass roof, if you're silly enough to open the shade! ) So don't expect it to sound like a cozy little coupe or a set of sealed over-the-ear headphones. It can't.

Having said that, concentrate on what you can change: quality of source material, and equalization or "tone adjustments". Sadly, the adjustments for the latter are pretty limited. But things like "DTS Neural" can be downright neurotic with some sources, IMO. Turn it off! And experiment with speed volume compensation (SVC). Noise increases with speed. I'm not sure if SVC in RDX alters the equalization as well as overall volume, and Acura isn't saying, but I wouldn't be surprised.

If the CL had the Bose system, that was very mid-bass-heavy by design, so maybe that's what you are missing. In that case, you might benefit from adding a powered subwoofer. But it's worth noting that the Bose system isn't known for accuracy or detail. You might find that you're hearing things the CL was masking. That's not necessarily a bad thing. ( Oh, that's what that lyric is... ). Full disclosure: I had a 2003 MDX with the Bose system. RDX is better. Unless you really enjoy boomy mid-bass at the expense of everything else in the music.
Wander is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Stew4HD (06-06-2019)
Old 06-06-2019, 03:48 AM
  #32  
Registered Member
 
RDX10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4,855
Received 628 Likes on 505 Posts
Originally Posted by Wander View Post
Ignoring the southern version of "FU" for the moment, in terms of acoustics, comparing an SUV to a coupe is only slightly less valid than comparing it to a purple unicorn. The sound engineers did what they could to compensate with tuning, and the interior shape of RDX isn't worst of breed, but it's still a big echo chamber. It takes lots of amp power to fill it with bass and it's got a whole lot of vertical glass to reflect high frequencies. ( And it's even got a glass roof, if you're silly enough to open the shade! ) So don't expect it to sound like a cozy little coupe or a set of sealed over-the-ear headphones. It can't.

Having said that, concentrate on what you can change: quality of source material, and equalization or "tone adjustments". Sadly, the adjustments for the latter are pretty limited. But things like "DTS Neural" can be downright neurotic with some sources, IMO. Turn it off! And experiment with speed volume compensation (SVC). Noise increases with speed. I'm not sure if SVC in RDX alters the equalization as well as overall volume, and Acura isn't saying, but I wouldn't be surprised.

If the CL had the Bose system, that was very mid-bass-heavy by design, so maybe that's what you are missing. In that case, you might benefit from adding a powered subwoofer. But it's worth noting that the Bose system isn't known for accuracy or detail. You might find that you're hearing things the CL was masking. That's not necessarily a bad thing. ( Oh, that's what that lyric is... ). Full disclosure: I had a 2003 MDX with the Bose system. RDX is better. Unless you really enjoy boomy mid-bass at the expense of everything else in the music.
I think you hit on a couple of very important points here. I owned a 2007 RDX tech and a 2007 MDX Elite back to back. Both vehicles had the identical ELS 10 speaker system with 410 watts (iirc, or whatever the max wattage for the system was) and the speakers were in the exact same locations in the cabin. In my RDX the bass was WAY better and the system overall was just much more robust. Comparatively in the larger interior volume of the MDX (larger by A LOT, not unlike the CL to the 2019 RDX) it was like listening to music from tin cans. Very disappointed at the time.

As per Bose vs ELS, I totally agree. In my experience Bose systems do tend to be quite bass heavy but horribly imprecise and if you enjoy bass heavy music, it will definitely sound better to you. I used to prefer bass over clarity when I was younger and now I think I like a 50:50 balance. I noticed that many modern systems focus WAY more on clarity vs bass and even with the bass levels turned all the way up they don't satisfy me during times where I want to feel a little punch. I noticed this trend starting to happen around 2012 with many modern vehicles I've driven compared to the mid 2000's and under vehicles.
RDX10 is offline  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:51 AM
  #33  
Registered Member
 
Stew4HD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,451
Received 1,014 Likes on 667 Posts
Originally Posted by Wander View Post
Ignoring the southern version of "FU" for the moment, in terms of acoustics, comparing an SUV to a coupe is only slightly less valid than comparing it to a purple unicorn. The sound engineers did what they could to compensate with tuning, and the interior shape of RDX isn't worst of breed, but it's still a big echo chamber. It takes lots of amp power to fill it with bass and it's got a whole lot of vertical glass to reflect high frequencies. ( And it's even got a glass roof, if you're silly enough to open the shade! ) So don't expect it to sound like a cozy little coupe or a set of sealed over-the-ear headphones. It can't.

Having said that, concentrate on what you can change: quality of source material, and equalization or "tone adjustments". Sadly, the adjustments for the latter are pretty limited. But things like "DTS Neural" can be downright neurotic with some sources, IMO. Turn it off! And experiment with speed volume compensation (SVC). Noise increases with speed. I'm not sure if SVC in RDX alters the equalization as well as overall volume, and Acura isn't saying, but I wouldn't be surprised.

If the CL had the Bose system, that was very mid-bass-heavy by design, so maybe that's what you are missing. In that case, you might benefit from adding a powered subwoofer. But it's worth noting that the Bose system isn't known for accuracy or detail. You might find that you're hearing things the CL was masking. That's not necessarily a bad thing. ( Oh, that's what that lyric is... ). Full disclosure: I had a 2003 MDX with the Bose system. RDX is better. Unless you really enjoy boomy mid-bass at the expense of everything else in the music.
Thank you, I see you understood my response to him regarding the comparison of different types of vehicles with very different sound stages. Nuff said.
Stew4HD is offline  
Old 06-06-2019, 08:31 AM
  #34  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Wander View Post
If the CL had the Bose system, that was very mid-bass-heavy by design, so maybe that's what you are missing. In that case, you might benefit from adding a powered subwoofer. But it's worth noting that the Bose system isn't known for accuracy or detail. You might find that you're hearing things the CL was masking.
You are correct about the Bose system, but honestly, just because I compared the RDX system to my 2001 CL doesn't mean it's the only thing I'm comparing it to. I'm a professional musician. Music and sound is what I do. I have an excellent system in my home and studio. I'm comparing the RDX system, as I'd compare any sound system, TO SOURCE MATERIAL. And in my opinion, the RDX system is pitiful. You're allowed to like it and I'm allowed to hate it.
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-06-2019, 08:41 AM
  #35  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 89
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Stew4HD View Post
Thank you, I see you understood my response to him regarding the comparison of different types of vehicles with very different sound stages. Nuff said.
I wonder what it is about online forums that so often makes people feel the need to suggest that anyone with a differing opinion is a moron. "Let me explain to you why you're wrong and I'm right" is the name of the condition. I'm a musician. Music and sound are what I do. When listening to any system, my comparison is to live source material, and based on that comparison I find the RDX system woefully lacking. If you like it, that's wonderful!
robnalex is offline  
Old 06-06-2019, 09:09 PM
  #36  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,427
Received 64 Likes on 59 Posts
Originally Posted by dukeh62 View Post
To clarify my statement: The physical volume controls on your phone (at least on an iPhone) effect overall input level when connected via Bluetooth. If your phone's volume is not all the way up, the sound system will sound noticeably thinner. Sounds like you're not using Bluetooth, though.

As for plugging in via USB, I cannot comment b/c last time I did that my car spent 17 days in the shop getting the Infotainment system replaced. I only roll via Bluetooth these days.
You are absolutely correct. I use my iPhone for music quite a bit and sometimes the volume is too low and it makes a difference in the sound if you don't have the volume all the way up on the phone.
BLEXV6 is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 02:06 AM
  #37  
2019 BMW X3 M40i
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Washington
Age: 33
Posts: 95
Received 16 Likes on 10 Posts
The issue with the RDX system, IMO, is that it is balanced, just like a good reference monitor. Like what you would find in a studio- guess who designed it? The speakers are very clear and balanced, good quality. Problem is, the music sounds flat to most people because they are used to all kind of treble and bass and juiced up equalizer settings. Playing with the EQ can help a lot.
Alias1431 is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Alias1431:
dukeh62 (06-07-2019), Outfitter (06-09-2019), Stew4HD (06-07-2019)
Old 06-07-2019, 06:12 AM
  #38  
Registered Member
 
Stew4HD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,451
Received 1,014 Likes on 667 Posts
Originally Posted by Alias1431 View Post
The issue with the RDX system, IMO, is that it is balanced, just like a good reference monitor. Like what you would find in a studio- guess who designed it? The speakers are very clear and balanced, good quality. Problem is, the music sounds flat to most people because they are used to all kind of treble and bass and juiced up equalizer settings. Playing with the EQ can help a lot.
Excellent points! I agree. I tweaked my system to what suits my ears best.
Stew4HD is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:48 AM
  #39  
Registered Member
 
NooYawkuh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: NY Panhadle ©
Posts: 321
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
I find the system in my Advance to be, by far, the best stock audio system I've ever heard. The interior of any vehicle, because of its overall size, shape, dimensions and materials is just an acoustical abomination. Every car audio system is a compromise. That has always been the case and until they start lining car interiors with some sort of anachoic material, that will never change. I've always felt that most car audio snobs are mostly full of shit and people who spend a lot of money on customizing their systems just have more money that knowledge or sense. But, it's their money and that's just my opinion.

I think initially, I paired my phone just to try it but mostly I have my music dumped onto a USB stick I keep plugged into the port in the console. For now, it's all MP3s and I don't have it organized into albums or play lists but it all sounds pretty good. It would be nice to be able jump to the middle of a recording like most audio players but there doesn't seem to be any way to do that. If I have a 22 minute album side that's one continuous recording, I'd like to be able to jump ahead sometimes.
NooYawkuh is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:56 AM
  #40  
2013 RDX tech Amber
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
I have an Advance with the 16 speaker system and as long as I am using at the very least bluetooth from my iphone or digital FM the sound is great it even gets better with carplay hooked directly into phone. I can't even imagine what using the 5.1 uncompressed audio from a usb must sound like. XM siruis radio is today's equivalent of AM radio from the 1980's sad that they have not upgraded to an uncompressed format and are stuck in inferior sound.
cbstsx09 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Crappy Sound System


Contact Us - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.