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    1. #1
      Junior Member dpokluda's Avatar
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      Question about High Performance Audio System

      I am a new owner of 2020 V60 CC with standard high performance audio system. Looking at the Volvo USA website, it says when describing High Performance Audio system on the car: "For an even richer and deeper bass sound, there's the option of an extremely powerful air-ventilated sub-woofer that raises the total output by 225 W."

      What is it? Is it something extra that can be enabled or added to the high performance audio system? It doesn't seem to be harman/kardon audio system because there Volvo claims 600W (versus 330W+225W with high performance audio with the option)?

      Thank you.
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    3. #2
      Member Avboden's Avatar
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      Where are you reading that? At least in the USA there's no way to add the sub to the base audio that I know about..... Only comes with the Harmon Kardon ($800 option on the V60CC)
      Last edited by Avboden; 12-02-2019 at 11:57 PM.
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    4. #3
      Member volvobuff's Avatar
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      FWIIW, the deep bass performance in my 2020 V60 Harman Kardon audio system is very decent, but only with the subwoofer and lowest band equalization cranked up to maximum. I listened to a variety of pipe organ music with these settings and it sounded very decent. Of course, I lower my standards in a car as compared to a high-end home audio system.
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    6. #4
      Junior Member 97redz3's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dpokluda View Post
      I am a new owner of 2020 V60 CC with standard high performance audio system. Looking at the Volvo USA website, it says when describing High Performance Audio system on the car: "For an even richer and deeper bass sound, there's the option of an extremely powerful air-ventilated sub-woofer that raises the total output by 225 W."

      What is it? Is it something extra that can be enabled or added to the high performance audio system? It doesn't seem to be harman/kardon audio system because there Volvo claims 600W (versus 330W+225W with high performance audio with the option)?

      Thank you.
      The reference is found in the "Build your Volvo" section of the Volvo USA website. Once you build your V60 CC, view the build summary and click on the information icon next to "High Performance Audio System" and the reference to the sub option appears.

      I asked Volvo USA chat about this on 12/3/19, and here is their reply:

      "I have found that it's part of our Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound package. You would have to request it to be added for $4000."

      That's an expensive sub woofer!

    7. #5
      Junior Member dpokluda's Avatar
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      @97redz3, that's exactly where I saw it. Thank you for the response. :-( I was hoping it would be something more reasonable that I can purchase/add.
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    8. #6
      Junior Member 97redz3's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dpokluda View Post
      @97redz3, that's exactly where I saw it. Thank you for the response. :-( I was hoping it would be something more reasonable that I can purchase/add.
      I'm with you on that one. I've had my 2020 V60 CC about a month now and love it. The base stereo is surprisingly good, but of course when I saw your post, I had to check it out.

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by 97redz3 View Post
      I'm with you on that one. I've had my 2020 V60 CC about a month now and love it. The base stereo is surprisingly good, but of course when I saw your post, I had to check it out.
      I agree with you. The standard system is pretty good especially with right songs. I donít really need anything better in my car. I enjoy my HiFi system in my living room.
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      Looks like the response from Volvo was sort of vague "you would have to request it be added" I think they mean you'd have to order the option or buy a car with it to have the sub. Surprised they didn't mention the mid level H/K stereo, it has a subwoofer too and much more reasonably priced.

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      Coming from a 2015.5 V60 w/ the H-K upgrade stereo to our present 2019 V90 CC with ďstandardĒ audio, these old ears noticed an appreciable difference in tonal quality, where music played on the H-K system is richer and more full, without any messing about with bass, treble, etc. The ďstandardĒ audio system, OTOH, needs a bit of equalizer and tone control tweaking to even get close to H-K sound...granted the interior environment differs between the two models, but still. And I wonder what the B&W $4K+ audio sounds like.

    12. #10
      Junior Member Kamil's Avatar
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      When I test drove Volvo I went from B&W to H-K and the difference in my opinion was night and day. Especially the clarity and sharpens of vocals sounds like you go from stereo 2.1 to 3.1 channels with dedicated front speaker.
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    13. #11
      Member chillg8r's Avatar
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      The B&W system sounds GREAT! The newly upgraded HK system sounds very good, probably good enough for most people, but the B&W system is the state of the art in factory audio systems. Worth a listen if you spend a lot of time in your car.


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    14. #12
      Junior Member Kamil's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by chillg8r View Post
      The B&W system sounds GREAT! The newly upgraded HK system sounds very good, probably good enough for most people, but the B&W system is the state of the art in factory audio systems. Worth a listen if you spend a lot of time in your car.


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      Fully agree,

      If everyone had it in the car I think we had no road rage issues 😂🤣😅
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    15. #13
      Member chillg8r's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
      Fully agree,

      If everyone had it in the car I think we had no road rage issues
      I find myself driving slower and taking the long way home sometimes!


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    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
      When I test drove Volvo I went from B&W to H-K and the difference in my opinion was night and day. Especially the clarity and sharpens of vocals sounds like you go from stereo 2.1 to 3.1 channels with dedicated front speaker.
      Did you sit in both cars knowing which system was which because that can make a huge difference on your perception. Unless you were blindfolded, you'd know immediately which system you were using and change your opinion on it. In most blind studies almost no one can tell the difference between and extremely expensive and a good set of speakers.
      Last edited by schmitty8225; 12-09-2019 at 09:46 AM.
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      Just collected my S60 last week, I think the HK system is quite good but it somehow feels like it needs some proper meddling with the equalizer. I noticed a huge difference between the B&W and HK when you're listening to slow instruments but less so with the pop songs.

      I still haven't found the best setting for the songs(mainly modern pop and the chill edm stuff) I listen to though. Maybe someone would be kind enough to recommend some proper settings? Please and thank you!

    18. #16
      Junior Member Kamil's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by schmitty8225 View Post
      Did you sit in both cars knowing which system was which because that can make a huge difference on your perception. Unless you were blindfolded, you'd know immediately which system you were using and change your opinion on it. In most blind studies almost no one can tell the difference between and extremely expensive and a good set of speakers.
      If you find someone that canít tell a difference then theyíre tone deaf. Keep in mind source is main limitation if you listen to AM radio regardless of speakers it would sounds the same.

      At the same time plenty of people use the tv speakers and state they are perfect, same as people watching a VHS tape and claim no difference to DVD, or Bray.

      I could tell a difference and for me it was worth the extra 4K
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    19. #17
      Junior Member Kamil's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by edc30 View Post
      Just collected my S60 last week, I think the HK system is quite good but it somehow feels like it needs some proper meddling with the equalizer. I noticed a huge difference between the B&W and HK when you're listening to slow instruments but less so with the pop songs.

      I still haven't found the best setting for the songs(mainly modern pop and the chill edm stuff) I listen to though. Maybe someone would be kind enough to recommend some proper settings? Please and thank you!
      There is no ďbest settingsĒ itís all about what you like how you like it.

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    20. #18
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      To compare the two you need the equalizer and "Sound Experience" app settings to be reasonably similar.

      Too many people have jumped into one car or another, particularly the HK cars, and not adjusted the "Sound Experience" settings, and then think the system is garbage.

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
      If you find someone that canít tell a difference then theyíre tone deaf. Keep in mind source is main limitation if you listen to AM radio regardless of speakers it would sounds the same.

      At the same time plenty of people use the tv speakers and state they are perfect, same as people watching a VHS tape and claim no difference to DVD, or Bray.

      I could tell a difference and for me it was worth the extra 4K
      Obviously there is a difference between the cheapest speakers and the BW but how much of a difference is there really between HK and BW. Without a completely blind test, there is too much bias going in to it. So frankly, I don't believe you when you say you could tell the difference because you went in thinking the BW was better so it was better when you listened to it. Most music is mixed in Stereo so having the additional in the center could potentially degrade sound quality because it pulls audio from left and right to center. That is why its so important for it to be a blind test to really see which one is best. Personally, I think an audio system that can cancel road noise would be of more value than the upgraded sound system. Quality speakers don't matter if the road noise above 70 is to much.
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    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by schmitty8225 View Post
      Did you sit in both cars knowing which system was which because that can make a huge difference on your perception. Unless you were blindfolded, you'd know immediately which system you were using and change your opinion on it. In most blind studies almost no one can tell the difference between and extremely expensive and a good set of speakers.
      I don't consider myself to have any sort of exceptionally good ears, but the difference between the three systems is remarkable and incredibly noticeable. That being said, H&K is plenty good enough for me, but it suggest you can't hear the difference between that and the B&W is not correct.

      As for the OP question I would guess it's a incorrect wording. I did check the Swedish site and they don't have it as an option there, sometimes there is something for one market but not another, and that could still be the case, just not with Sweden. It also mentions watching TV and I don't know of any way to do that with a standard system... Though worded different, the sub and TV option is listed with other US models as well.

    23. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by schmitty8225 View Post
      Obviously there is a difference between the cheapest speakers and the BW but how much of a difference is there really between HK and BW. Without a completely blind test, there is too much bias going in to it. So frankly, I don't believe you when you say you could tell the difference because you went in thinking the BW was better so it was better when you listened to it. Most music is mixed in Stereo so having the additional in the center could potentially degrade sound quality because it pulls audio from left and right to center. That is why its so important for it to be a blind test to really see which one is best. Personally, I think an audio system that can cancel road noise would be of more value than the upgraded sound system. Quality speakers don't matter if the road noise above 70 is to much.
      To be fair the HK system does have a center channel dash speaker, and the B&W system uses the same single connection for that center channel, even though it adds a Tweeter. So to the extent that either system is pulling from the L or R channels, they're both doing it.

    24. #22
      Member chillg8r's Avatar
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      I was in the audio business for 25 years, and specialized to a degree in car audio, so I do have expertise that most do not have. With that being said Iíve aged a bit and have lost a bit of my high frequency sensitivity above 4K (probably a result of attending so many live performances) so I EQ the higher frequencies a bit. My guess is that the B&W system probably sounds great ďflatĒ, assuming high quality source material and good hearing but you can equalize it if you prefer boomier sound.......I also attenuate some mid bass to limit structural resonance (door rattling) and boost sub bass to maintain the energy.

      Finally, assuming quality source material that isnít too compressed, the difference between all three systems is obvious and doesnít require double blind testing. If you are listening to Sirius XM the the HK is fine Becca use its so compressed......I have the upgraded HK system in my S60 and the B&W in my XC90 so Iíve VERY familiar with the difference under most circumstances. I also have a CD player in my XC90 so I can take advantage of the B&W.....


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    25. #23
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      I think, as in all audio, the source is critical. I have the upgraded HK in my 2020 v60 CC. For Pandora and streaming it does well. Like many of us as we get older, and I was in the concert promotion business when I was a younger man, so I attended a lot of shows. Listened without any ear protection at some very high decibel concerts and that, of course, can take its toll on your high frequency hearing. From me at 68, with the limited time I spend in the car the $4000 upgrade would have been a waste. I have a pretty high end system at home with both vinyl and hi-def surround sound music available and here is when source becomes crucial. I was somewhat impressed with the B&W system but not blown away. I had a Mark Levinson top of the line in my Lexus which, again was good but nothing like what you can do in a proper listening environment. I am sure the margins on these top of the line systems is good for the manufacturers. In the end itís a personal choice and if you really like it then you see value. I would never say the BW system isnít worth it, I would just say it wasnít worth it to me. YMMV
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    26. #24
      Junior Member Kamil's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by schmitty8225 View Post
      Obviously there is a difference between the cheapest speakers and the BW but how much of a difference is there really between HK and BW. Without a completely blind test, there is too much bias going in to it. So frankly, I don't believe you when you say you could tell the difference because you went in thinking the BW was better so it was better when you listened to it. Most music is mixed in Stereo so having the additional in the center could potentially degrade sound quality because it pulls audio from left and right to center. That is why its so important for it to be a blind test to really see which one is best. Personally, I think an audio system that can cancel road noise would be of more value than the upgraded sound system. Quality speakers don't matter if the road noise above 70 is to much.
      When you go in to test drive a car you know a Ferrari is better then a Fiat, you donít have to be blind folded to be biased.

      I get what you trying to argue, just because you paid more is it better?

      And yes it is better, however if it helps you sleep better at night as you did not wanted to spend the cash then no the speakers are crap and not worth it.

      As for active noise canceling, a car with proper insulation double plane glass and proper cabinet materials design doesnít need it.

      Active sound canceling just introduces more noise, sounds like fan or wind less noticeable then road noise but still more noise.
      Last edited by Kamil; 12-09-2019 at 06:31 PM.
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      Interesting topic here. I'm a bit of a car stereo enthusiast. Not to the point of really getting into it, just knowing what I need to know to install a good stereo and enjoy music in the car. I've heard some real audio geeks put it best...as much as you want to talk about source material and flat frequency response, music is an emotional thing. Everyone is going to have a different feel about it, listen to different music, differ greatly on what "good sound" is.

      I did listen to both H/K and the B&W, long enough to tune the settings to my liking, much to the salesman's frustration ha. I created a"test" spotify playlist for car shopping, with tracks that I know extremely well, have listened to them thousands of times on dozens of different stereos at least. This is really the only way to evaluate a system, it has to be music you know well.

      My personal likes are a nice full range sound, with good bass extension but tight like a sealed 10" woofer box, mellow highs of a soft dome tweeter, hard hitting 100hz mid-bass. Good up-front sound stage. I like the bass but I want to hear the whole song like it's live in front of me, in my mind anyways.

      My take is the B&W is awesome but probably represents diminishing returns. It's expensive likely most of that is pure profit, it ain't $3200 worth of equipment not even half that. It's constrained to the same speaker placement and sizing as far as I know, other than the little peeper poking out of the dash there (14 vs 15 speakers). Neither the H/K or the B&W extend down to really low frequency. They are probably both limited by the subwoofer hidden inside the trunk, which does the job alright for a 10". It doesn't fill out the bottom like the B&O in an Audi S4 I've tried out. It blows the ELS in the TLX away for full sound, what happened Acura the ELS used to be the stuff!

      I see it both ways...If you are expecting a wider range, more rich bass from the B&W over the H/K it ain't there. Same speaker limitations essentially. The resolution though, if you value the quality of the audio, the imaging and detail, you'll probably hear that. The Gothenburg hall or whatever is just showroom gimmick stuff. H/K met my minimum standard and there wasn't a sport chassis stripper with only B&W to be found. Both stereos I needed to mess with the settings a lot, subwoofer cranked up to hear it, bring the bass up on the eq quite a bit trying to stop short of muddying up the mids.

      I'm just glad Volvo offers some real quality options. The lower end cars I am used to offer horrible base stereos and bury the good ones way up the option ladder and even then some of these are branding exercises that still sound like crap.

      I think we can all agree on one thing...Sirius compresses the crap out of the music until it sounds like $#!+. I'm surprised the head unit and H/K are able to turn it into halfway decent sound. Not every stereo can manage that given the rubbish input.

    28. #26
      Member chillg8r's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
      Interesting topic here.

      I see it both ways...If you are expecting a wider range, more rich bass from the B&W over the H/K it ain't there....H/K met my minimum standard and there wasn't a sport chassis stripper with only B&W to be found. Both stereos I needed to mess with the settings a lot, subwoofer cranked up to hear it, bring the bass up on the eq quite a bit trying to stop short of muddying up the mids.

      .
      I agree with most of your post except where you speak about the difference in bass response between the two system. I own both and the difference is dramatic, with both extension and output.


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    29. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
      I think we can all agree on one thing...Sirius compresses the crap out of the music until it sounds like $#!+. I'm surprised the head unit and H/K are able to turn it into halfway decent sound. Not every stereo can manage that given the rubbish input.
      Fully agree, itís crazy this is still on the market...
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      The BW upgrade at $4000 is tough to swallow. I prefer to look at it as an upgrade from the HK system so it's really only about $2500. 😀

    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
      Fully agree, itís crazy this is still on the market...
      They are growing, up to nearly 35 million subscribers.......
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    32. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by chillg8r View Post
      They are growing, up to nearly 35 million subscribers.......
      That is interesting.

      Iíll bet you itís not really growing itís just all the new cars that include it for free as now they got like Toyota or someone that did not got it on all new cars. (Using Toyota as example not sure if they got it or not).

      I canít see anyone that would buy it now (brand new subscriber) really, why?
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    33. #31
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kamil View Post
      That is interesting.

      Iíll bet you itís not really growing itís just all the new cars that include it for free as now they got like Toyota or someone that did not got it on all new cars. (Using Toyota as example not sure if they got it or not).

      I canít see anyone that would buy it now (brand new subscriber) really, why?
      For $5/mo itís easy background music and news when you want it. Itís cheap!


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    34. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by chillg8r View Post
      For $5/mo itís easy background music and news when you want it. Itís cheap!


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      Not as cheap as free and better quality as well 😜

      Unless you have no data and donít want to download music at home but even then Iíll Listen to HD radio for free
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      The thing that I noticed with Sirius XM is that the car itself and the radio is what will be the factor in how good satellite radio will sound. It will never be good enough but the difference across all cars is huge.

      In about 6 different cars that I've driven for an extended period of time (my cars, loaners and my GF car) in the past 4 years, some sound better than others.

      For example the 2018 Lincoln MKX that I just had as a loaner has an absolutely crappy sound. Truly sounded like 32KBPS or AM radio stream. The sound system as well was great (actually very good, I was impressed) on that car but the satellite source was so bad I didn't want to hear ANYTHING that was on it. On the other hand, my Volvo sounds like a FM radio signal and passable for me. I think it all depends on the hardware or software (or both) in the radio themselves in how they receive the signal and how it's processed. After all it is a digital signal being received.

      The Volvo does make it sound better. I have the B&W so maybe it helps in that matter.

      My GF 2016 Rav4 also sounds passable and the bass on that satellite source is great. She has the upgraded JBL sound option you can get and any other source doesn't produce the bass like the satellite signal does. I believe the factory has preset EQ levels for each source and that's why it gives that increased bass. Not a sloppy bass either, tight sound and low extended tones.

      These are fairly new cars that I compared it too. but if you have a 2006 car, you can't compare sound as it's old technology.



      Here is a tip for those of you that actually use satellite radio for specific shows. For example some of the Electronic music stations have DJ's that do weekly live shows, DJ sets if you will. To hear it in it's best sound, depending on the XM/Sirius package you have you can download the Sirius XM app and listen through the app and plug the phone directly to the car with cable. That is not a satellite signal but instead a streamed station with much better sound. Even listening to that through a Bluetooth signal is better than satellite stream direct to the radio.
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    36. #34
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      Got the mystery solved with growing satellite radio subscription

      Hertz and other rental companies will now not offer it for free with 2020 cars itís 5$ a day charge. And not like previously it will still work if you donít want it now hertz activates the radio only if you pay.

      So keep on the look out as the staff donít even know to ask you if you want it as itís so new. Being president circle customer I just went through all this bs
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      I think SIRIS has made a conscious choice, they only have so much digital bandwidth and they have decided to sacrifice the quality of the music to have as many channels as possible. I know a lot of people who had just bought it for Howard Stern or Opie and Anthony. So probably they know their typical customer doesn't care about the sound quality. I do remember a day when a coworker bought a new Accord, one of the early cars to come with satellite radio, I think it was XM, and they advertised "CD Quality" and boy did it sound good back then! They only had a few channels though.

      Quote Originally Posted by Don Ridley View Post
      The BW upgrade at $4000 is tough to swallow. I prefer to look at it as an upgrade from the HK system so it's really only about $2500. 😀
      The price difference is $3200, the cars without H/K it's a $800 option or $4000 for the B&W. The R-D that has H/K standard it's a $3200 option. The thing with options is, once you get over that initial purchase, you get to enjoy it as long as you own the car!

      Quote Originally Posted by chillg8r View Post
      I agree with most of your post except where you speak about the difference in bass response between the two system. I own both and the difference is dramatic, with both extension and output.
      I did try them both but I didn't live with them so it was just my first impression. So do you have 2 S60s?? or just comparing between different models. The speakers, placement, interior acoustics and the way the engineers tune the EQ and DSP can differ between models, they don't always sound the same.

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