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Discussion Starter #1
Had to rent a car today and we ended up getting a 2018 VW Atlas SUV.

The speakers in it blow away the Bose speakers that came with my car, and I have the higher end 9 speaker surround sound system.

The VW has a ton more music clarity and the surround sound is far more enveloping than what Bose offers.

The door tweeters and speakers also don't have that flimsy rattling sound that heavier bass produces in the Bose system.

I'm really not interested in replacing the Bose system, but after hearing what my music COULD/SHOULD sound like, I may have to do just that.

Any suggestions for a high quality system that could replace the Bose system and offer better clarity and better sound staging?
CK
 

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Had to rent a car today and we ended up getting a 2018 VW Atlas SUV.

The speakers in it blow away the Bose speakers that came with my car, and I have the higher end 9 speaker surround sound system.

The VW has a ton more music clarity and the surround sound is far more enveloping than what Bose offers.

The door tweeters and speakers also don't have that flimsy rattling sound that heavier bass produces in the Bose system.

I'm really not interested in replacing the Bose system, but after hearing what my music COULD/SHOULD sound like, I may have to do just that.

Any suggestions for a high quality system that could replace the Bose system and offer better clarity and better sound staging?
CK

I don't have any suggestions, but I too am extremely disappointed with the BOSE system in mine. I swear the stock speakers in my 2016 MX-5 Sport sounded better.
 

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For my Mzd 3. I love the bose system. It's way better than my girls mdz 3 with the stock audio system. Especially with the detail in the bass.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was just surprised at the added amount of clarity and detail in the VW.

Using the same iPod and same track in both cars..the difference in sound quality was very noticeable. My daughter even commented on it without me asking...

And the VW speakers don't even have a logo or brand on them..just basic speakers and tweeters with surround sound.
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just checked and they list the car as having 8 speakers and they don't even list the manufacturer...2 in each door and it creams a Bose system...yikes.
CK
 

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I'm no audiophile but I've always noticed VW to have fairly good non-optioned sound systems. A buddy of mine's old Jetta was pretty good. He just added a sub to the trunk and he was good to go. May that car RIP.
 

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Bose - the most overrated (and over priced) audio equipment going around. Their speakers are just so flat dynamically, no highs and muddy bass. There is a saying "No Highs? No Lows? Must be Bose!"

I recently purchased my Mazda 3 XD Astina and was looking forward to the "premium" Bose 9 speaker system. Pretty disappointed really. I have an old Astra TS Hatchback and I upgraded the OEM system with Alpine components for about $1000 AUD (new speakers, head unit and amp). It's so much better that the Bose system in the Mazda.
 

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Never been a fan of factory Bose systems either. The ones I've heard have also lacked clarity and sound stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been searching around other threads and people have reported some improvement by replacing the dash tweeters and door speakers.

The Bose speakers are made up of some pretty cheap materials... To say the least. Google Mazda 3 and speaker rattle and you'll see what I mean.
Lots of pictures and videos of the paper membrane in the back of the Bose speakers unglued from the frame with clear signs of moisture damage and rot... The membrane then rattles against the frame when there is any bass. Paper products in an area where moisture accumulates is a bad thing...Not sure who thought that one up, but I'm pissed at Mazda for not addressing it. It's been an issue for all of the 2014+ model years, but still no actions have been taken to correct it.
CK
 

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In addition to the above, mazda has far worse sound insulation than vw. perceived sound quality improves a lot with sound deadening in the doors and wheel wells, and quiet tyres.
 

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IMO, the worse thing about the sound of the Bose 9 speaker system is the severe lack of treble (high notes), even when turning up the treble to +6. I replaced the two front dash speakers to 3.5" Infinity's and this helped some, but even then I still have the treble set to +6 for it to sound decent to me. To do more that that would require alot more money and modification, something I don't want to invest in. And like someone else mentioned above, due to the M3's high road noise, so you would also have to add alot of sound insulation everywhere to properly hear your nice new expensive sound system, which would cost even more money and add weight to your car.

Actually, since I installed my Racing Beat axleback exhaust, I've been playing my music at really low volume, just to hear the nice deep exhaust tone.:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I'm taking it to a shop at lunch today for some suggestions. They said they can replace the whole system and still keep the built in controls functional. They would just need to install a processor before the amp to connect everything to.

I'm leaning towards getting Alpine, Focal or the Infinity Kappas for the speakers.

I'll report back once I know more.
CK
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I jumped in head first... Focal speakers up front and in the rear...Focal processor and upgraded amp...getting it all installed next week after the holiday. I cannot wait.
CK
 

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I jumped in head first... Focal speakers up front and in the rear...Focal processor and upgraded amp...getting it all installed next week after the holiday. I cannot wait.
CK
Bet it will sound fabulous! Which route with soundproofing or sound dampening?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I still need to figure that part out. I currently do not have any sound dampening material in my car, so I'm focusing on the audio components first.

Once the system has been upgraded, and I know how it sounds, I can then start fine tuning things, like that.

The installer at Al & Ed's had the sickest system I have ever heard... He had the top of the line Focal speakers and a sub that almost liquefied my bones when he turned it up... crazy loud and deep, but super rich detail too.... He turned the system on with the sub off, but cranked it up halfway through a Calvin Harris track...holy crap!

He could probably shatter glass with that system, if he wanted to. He had the doors that flip up like a Delorean too...
CK
 

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I jumped in head first... Focal speakers up front and in the rear...Focal processor and upgraded amp...getting it all installed next week after the holiday. I cannot wait.
CK
Please update us when it's all done. I'm keen to do the same to my Mazda 3.
 

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When possible, definitely sound deaden the doors, makes a BIG improvement in low end (bass) sound quality. I even noticed improvement in the stock speaker sound, before switching them out with my Polks.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Rented another car today...Cadillac CTS with 12 speaker Bose Centerpoint surround.

The amp is stronger and its pushing more wattage to the speakers...so it can get much louder and bassier, but the bass is very muddy and the staging just isn't there.

There's more detail than my car's 9 speaker setup, the sound deadening is good, but it still sounds just plain bad...

The VW Atlas had it beat with 8 no name speakers.
CK
 

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I haven't tried it either, but I have read others reporting positive results when replacing the dash and door speakers with Infinity reference speakers. These speakers are very high-efficiency (they require little power for the amount of sound produced), so they're a match for the factory Bose speakers which have about the same efficiency ratings. Unfortunately, I don't have any model numbers in front of me at the moment.
 
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