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Crappy Sound System

 
Old 06-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rmsanger View Post
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.
It is NOT better than the Bose system I had in my 2010 CX-9. That system makes my 16 Speaker ELS system in My Advance sound like crap...
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:45 PM
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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.
I think this is part of it, but perhaps even more of a factor is how human perception of tonal balance varies with volume. Basically, at low volume, our ears are not very sensitive to bass (and to a certain extent, treble), so (without any loudness compensation) bass usually sounds weak at low volume, but when you crank it, it sounds just fine.

I found the current gen MDX was light in the bass at a typical (relatively quiet) listening level, and noted that to the salesman, and he said "what are you talking about?", proceeded to crank it up, and said "see, it has more than enough bass... you just gotta crank it up to get the cones moving"... and sure enough, the bass was fine, but I expected it to have a dynamic loudness function built into the DSP, where the system automatically increases the bass at lower volumes and reduces it at high volumes to match the Fletcher-Munson Equal Loudness curves.

This is what BOSE and other popular systems do well (and is part of a typical home theatre receiver's DSP - e.g., Audyssey Dynamic EQ) and why people are generally satisfied with them because they correct the most basic flaw with audio systems - compensation for how human perception of tonal balance varies with volume levels - so that it sounds good at a wide range of volume levels. No one thinks that BOSE is high end, and it doesn't sound that good when you turn it up and do critical "audiophile" listening, but it does sound decent at low volume levels and addresses the most common complaint of weak bass in those situations.

The ELS system in the previous gen systems (current MDX, prev gen RDX) didn't seem to even bother doing any loudness compensation. It was tuned to be flat at the reference (high) volume level, but at lower volumes, it would by definition be perceived to have weak bass.

The current systems in the new RDX seems to be better in that regard in that they do seem to have a bit of loudness compensation, but they are still tuned more towards flat response at a higher reference volume and lighter bass at low volume. I don't know why they insist on doing it this way. If you design it properly, you can still achieve flat response at the reference volume level.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Meto View Post
It is NOT better than the Bose system I had in my 2010 CX-9. That system makes my 16 Speaker ELS system in My Advance sound like crap...
Lol. It's nice when people make it obvious when they are clueless.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:57 AM
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Q. Do I like the sound system in the RDX Tech I bought?
A. Yes.

Q. Did I like the sound system in my 2008 535?
A. Not really.
Q. Did you buy it anyway?
A. Yes, and kept it for 11 years.


Everyone places different priorities on aspects of cars.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Madd Dog View Post
...
Everyone places different priorities on aspects of cars.
I really get a kick out of the few on this forum who've said they won't buy an RDX unless and until it comes with Android Auto. Their car is just an accessory to their phone [around which their life revolves].
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Meto View Post
It is NOT better than the Bose system I had in my 2010 CX-9. That system makes my 16 Speaker ELS system in My Advance sound like crap...
You know how I know youíre wrong? Your sentence included Bose.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:40 PM
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I like Bose.

We never fly without our Bose noise cancelling headphones. Heck, I wish I had ‘em on right now.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Madd Dog View Post
I like Bose.

We never fly without our Bose noise cancelling headphones. Heck, I wish I had Ďem on right now.
Bose is fine and, obviously, if you like the company then that's all that matters. I'm not an audiophile, but I used to have a roommate who was and the general feeling amongst them is that Bose is a "mass marketed" product that the general public raves about but which is sort of middle-quality. Again, you're talking about people who set up sound systems at home where they purchase all of the components individually. Similarly, I think the discussion of a "good" car sound system is sort of silly because you're talking not about the actual system in many cases, but also about car insulation and interior acoustics. Also, many audiophiles would laugh because everyone is using sub-standard audio files. Lastly, the person who said that his old sound system was better may have blown out his ears with the loud bass, so you never know.

I do know that most reviewers consider the RDX sound system for the Advance and A-Spec levels to be extremely good, so if someone said it was bad then that's their opinion but they're more outliers than anything.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:53 PM
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I'm pretty picky when it comes to audio. When I test drove the 2019 CX-5 Sig, I was supremely disappointed with the audio quality. I'm not a huge fan or detractor of Bose, but I have to agree that their car audio quality is barely above what could be generally considered as "base" quality. If the audio quality of the CX-9 is anything close to the CX-5, and I suspect it is, then I am inclined to dismiss that user's opinion. I'm sure their headphones are much better.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Madd Dog View Post
Q. Did I like the sound system in my 2008 535?
A. Not really.
You can hear to 60 kHz ---> three times better than the rest of us.

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Old 06-10-2019, 01:14 AM
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That's nothing. I can hear to 100 kHz. 0 kHz, too.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Alias1431 View Post
That's nothing. I can hear to 100 kHz. 0 kHz, too.
Hello 0 kHz my old friend, I've come to speak with you again....
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:00 AM
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Agreed, no matter what setting I use, my old 2003 Camry XLE with JBL sounds richer
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Alias1431 View Post
That's nothing. I can hear to 100 kHz. 0 kHz, too.
If you hold a tin can to your ear, can you hear analog radio?

Or do you just hear the voices in your head?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:17 PM
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I was interested in this car as a replacement for the 2004 TL, which has the first ELS 5.1 system. I learned after buying this car about good sounding music, the mastering process, and buying good home equipment for what I can afford. I became an audiophile due to the TL and enjoy this RDX ELS system as well.

BOSE, from the audiophile community does not have the good reputation as non-audiophiles might have of this company. See the URL on "BOSE". Basically, BOSE has been accused of strong-handed marketing techniques to mask their product compared to other speaker manufacturers. I am sure some of you recall the dedicated "BOSE" rooms in Circuit City and Best Buy back in the day which existed to make A-B comparisons difficult. BOSE has also been accused of spending a much higher percentage on marketing and advertising than competitors. Those dedicated rooms were not cheap, nor were the numerous commercials. And it does not take a math genius to know that more spent on marketing, then less will be spent on the actual product and components for that product.

I grew up with less than stellar audio equipment with memory of an Emerson 8-track player that was less than $30 on even cheaper headphones, so for many years, my ears were not trained to hear what good music can sound like. For several years when I traveled, virtually every rental car I had, the equalization was "smiling curved" with bass and treble boosted and mid-range often lowered. The vast majority of music have sound in the mid range, not in the lower and upper ranges. Adjust too much, and it can easily make the sound unnatural.

This is made even worse, when the vast majority of music produced today by the top major corporate labels direct their recording engineers to essentially apply a heavy smiling curve to the music which cannot be undone. Take a peak at the online "Dynamic Range DB", which I have sorted by latest year. This site lists the dynamic range of recordings where red is squashed dynamics, yellow is better, and green is dynamic music. Music with no dynamics does not sound natural and is a result of trying to make music sound loud, including quiet passages, on the cheapest of cheap equipment. This music will not be improved in the RDX, or even a recording studio for that matter.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:20 PM
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BOSE = Buy Other Sound Equipment
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Stew4HD View Post
BOSE = Buy Other Sound Equipment
Nice one I like the "Blose" one myself as well.

FWIW: I own several Hi-end OEM systems currently: Mark Levinson in my IS-F, Burmester in my Cayennne and B&O in my SQ5; and the ELS 3D is right up there, and IMO surpasses the B&O in my Audi. For sheer sound-stage the ELS 3D with it's roof-mounted speakers is really something and borderlines on intoxicating at times. But, all if these systems need to be tuned properly to maximize it's potential - and if one is not going to do that then it does not surprise me about some of the negative comments. Sound is of course always subjective, but if you've never had a hi-end system other than BLOSE, etc then your perhaps too predicated towards systems that over-boost, but under-deliver. Also, keep i mind that hi-end systems with said speakers need some proper break-in time, no different then hi-end HT systems.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Eiffel View Post
See the URL on "BOSE".
That was a pretty good article because even though the guy clearly didn't like Bose, he did give credit to their innovations and the part they played in the home audio arena. But, unfortunately, like all enthusiasts of anything, it really came off as snobby. For example, when described his friend as a well-educated executive who had a great income and liked music, but had committed the sin of orienting his speakers incorrectly. I bet that guy is thinking, "I'd better kill myself now, the entire rest of my life is meaningless," lol.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:12 PM
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I guess I'm not allowed to edit posts yet, but as I read further in the article, it became more apparent to me that he didn't have anything against Bose and actually worked there for a time. So I take that back.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 PM
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Brand-bashing and fanboy snobbery aside ( guilty as charged ), there is an argument to be made that there have been substantial changes in OEM car audio systems over the last decade or two. For one thing, there is intense pressure to reduce vehicle weight, and old-school big honking speakers have big heavy magnets. Sure, rare earth magnets can mitigate that somewhat, but at a big increment in cost. Sound insulation also has weight, especially the "butyl" or rubberized asphalt that is good for deadening panel resonances and blocking noise transmission. So even higher-end cars aren't necessarily as well sound insulated as past vehicles. ( Hence the rise of active noise cancellation tech ).

And along with the weight and monetary budgets, there is an electrical budget to be met.

All the "safety systems" and computational systems that are being piled into modern vehicles demand electrical power, but the 12 Volt power budget hasn't really changed at all. So something has to give. Some of us are old enough to remember when the headlights dimmed if we turned on the rear window defroster. Now imagine if the engine management and braking system computers shut down when we cranked up the tunes.

And if you want to say "But, but, but the audio is rated at 720 Watts!", we really need to talk about how ridiculously inflated those ratings are.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:14 AM
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I slam Bose but mostly for the way they do business and the prices they charge.

I recall back when Bose direct-reflecting speakers (901 and 501 series) were the thing to have.

Their noise cancelling headphones are great.

What p[ut me off was their Acoustimass systems with the tiny cubes and bass module that required you to also purchase their amp to run them.. anyway, I digress. I haven't heard a Bose car audio system that is better than the ELS, yet.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by NooYawkuh View Post
I really get a kick out of the few on this forum who've said they won't buy an RDX unless and until it comes with Android Auto. Their car is just an accessory to their phone [around which their life revolves].
You assess the significants via value (50k car vs 1k phone) But You are obviously not a millennial. A smartphone is everything now. It’s just as important as your wallet. Many people live without a car but can’t go around without a phone. So totally understandable. Car is just an accessory to get from point A to point B, a phone is connection gateway, including a car ride.

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Old 06-11-2019, 07:06 AM
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How you like your sound system is totally subjective to the listener. Some like more bass, some like more neutral, balanced sound. There is no end to this debate. Just go check on various audiophile forums.....

If you find ELS to be crappy, upgrade them with aftermarket parts or move on. I happen to like balanced, neutral monitors and the Advance ELS 3D sounds fabulous to my ears.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by acuraada View Post
If you find ELS to be crappy, upgrade them with aftermarket parts or move on. I happen to like balanced, neutral monitors and the Advance ELS 3D sounds fabulous to my ears.
OP here. Please note that this thread is NOT about the Advance ELS 3D system. It's about the system in my Technology Package trim.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by acuraada View Post
How you like your sound system is totally subjective to the listener.
It's also silly because most people who talk about the sound system don't even know what constitutes "a good sound system" because of that subjectivity. Meaning, in the most technical terms, a good sound system is able to reproduce "true to life" what music sounds like in a full spectrum, from highs to lows. But most modern music is essentially just "noise." Most of it is just uncomplex monotonal mixed sampling that is looped with a heavy beat. You could play it on the most high-end audiophile quality system and it would just sound more amazingly bad. The sound system would immerse you in the total crapulence of the music. In reality, the sound system is also reflective of what you are listening to, is what I mean. You'll get more out of a sound system if you're listening to classical music, which is far more complex than rap. Additionally, if you actually cared about how the sound system performed, you would constantly be adjusting the EQ depending on what you were listening to, not just having it on one setting regardless of if it was classical or jazz or pop or rock or country or rap or opera. Finally, as I mentioned before, you could take the exact same sound system and put them in two different model cars and it would sound different due to ambient noise insulation and acoustical properties of the car itself. So you may not even be judging the sound system in reality.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by robnalex View Post
OP here. Please note that this thread is NOT about the Advance ELS 3D system. It's about the system in my Technology Package trim.
Duly noted.

Others have commented on the sound system in Advance to be in the "crappy" category.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by robnalex View Post
OP here. Please note that this thread is NOT about the Advance ELS 3D system. It's about the system in my Technology Package trim.
Am I remembering correctly that Tech has two ceiling speakers, and it is an ELS system? And Advance adds two more ceiling speakers and two high-mounted 9cm rear speakers? But I never cross-shopped the trims other than staring at a spec sheet.

I think the ceiling speakers are important for improving clarity and presence, but I suspect the comments about tonal balance apply to any trim. For Rock, I like to dial up the bass a bit. When I see the rear-view mirror jiggling, it's about right.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:29 PM
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I am happy with the sound system in the tech. But that is just me, YMMV.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:48 PM
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Focal Utopia and CDT are two aftermarket manaufacturers that will surpass about anything in a stock vehicle South of a $100k today. Other than that the RDX system is about as good as it gets for stock when taking into account the price point of the vehicle.

I will give a point to the person mentioning the Bose Noise Canceling headphones. They are very good headphones but primarily Bose has achieved a great result with the noise cancelling as stand alone headphones they are not that great.
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