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Bowers and Wilkins Settings
Because there are so many options in how to tailor the sound of music with the B&W stereo in my S90, I wondered if there’s a consensus on how people think it sounds best. I typically set a car stereo so all controls for bass, treble, balance, etc. are centered or “flat.”
Originally Posted by Richard Herndon
My goodness! You're missing out!
The B&W option uses the same head for all models of Volvo that offer it. That means sedans and SUVs and....
These are much different acoustic environments, so you shouldn't settle for "Flat". You can always go back to that.
Another issue is the program material you're feeding in. FM stations don't all mix the same, so they don't sound the same on the B&W. CDs sound different than iPods etc.
Yet another factor is how loud you play your music. Some settings with a bit more low end sound better at very low volumes, but as you turn up, you may not want the boom-box pounding that will result from increased bass.
I have a '17 S90 Inscription with B&W. I find when it's set flat, that the treble sounds are a little too shrill and the bass, generally, can be boomy with some inputs.
Trust your EARS!
That said, I have found a fews tricks.... First one is found by swiping right to left to get the app screen. Find the sound related app. It regulates surround sound. I like the intensity about half and the surround a little more than half. I put the left thing on "club"...middle setting. This gives a nice surround effect without distorting the actual music too much...more isn't always better with effects, but they can be really nice if they're done well...and B&W's is really good.
The other thing is the balance and fader. I put the balance in the middle but put the fader favoring the rear speakers a bit. This takes some of the power, at a given volume, off of those tweeters in the doors. They're a little to "present" for my taste....at least on my car. (maybe "in yo face" would be a better description?).
So, last thing is EQ (Bass, Middle,Treble). I don't like amped up bass and I don't really like painful highs that stick out and don't sound like the actual music. I have one radio station I really like that's a little heavy on bass. I turn bass down a few notches if I notice it.
Mostly, I play iPod...actually, an old Iphone that I keep in Airplane mode. It's been otherwise deactivated anyway. I have it filled with tunes and it gives the best playback of anything including CDs. ...no commercials. I just leave it picking random tunes. If one comes up that I'm not in the mood for, I skip it.
I seldom play the stereo with others in the car...unless parked and waiting. Usually, I'd rather talk or just be quiet than listen while driving unless I'm alone in the car.
I drove my wife's 2020 V60 CC and learned she has been listening to the B&W system with the factory flat settings. I turned on the equalization and adjusted the sub woofer output.
Use the preset options or adjust your own.
You don't need to adjust the balance or fader. The other menu with the sound stage options will adjust the speaker balance. Setting for Driver optimization will delay the sound coming out of each speaker so the drive will hear the sound as if it is coming from the center of the dashboard. Try it.
The system sounds much better. I don't know why it is shipped without any equalization. This really is a great sounding system...if you turn on the equalizer.
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