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2023 Bolt EUV, 2021 Kona Electric
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I can't say the bass is lacking. Certainly not the highest quality, but the bass is there. Even though I mostly only listen to SXM, and yes I can hear the compression. But I don't consider my car as a critical listening location, so it's adequate for my use while driving.
I started to go down the road of being an audiophile when I was young then I got punched in the face by Thom Yorke who was like, "I was becoming an audiophile and then we heard a song come on a crappy boombox, really enjoyed it and realized I was being dumb, now I don't care" in a Rolling Stones article and I've been trying to live by that. Granted being in broadcast there was at least some reason, but I did change my attitude on that day and I have not regretted it since.

I definitely hear compression under 128kbps but, not above, especially not in a car. I can hear the difference between a good vinyl reproduction and a bad one, but only if you play them side by side on a decent enough sound system. I will fail a lot of the time on trying to find the difference between a 128kbps mp3 or higher. Above 256 I am as good as random. This foray from both a professional and personal standpoint into hearing this stuff, especially as a non-musician whose passion it wasn't really, made me realized the majority of us are kind of silly on this issue.

"Adequate for my use while driving" is one of the most respected answers anyone can give in my book since it took a humbling of sorts to get me there.
 

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2023 Bolt EUV Premier SC+S&S
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So circling back.. my settings are -9, +4, and +3.

I'll echo the observation that the bass control center frequency is too high, probably about 150Hz. Today I'm going to try a good EQ app that I forgot I even had (Poweramp Equalizer on Android). You can set up an arbitrary number of sliders so I'm sure I can get something dialed in. I'd originally bought the app because I had a sound bar/sub at home that sounded pretty muddy in the same way the Bose system does.. it needed a lot of attenuation in that mid-bass range as well.
 

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In most applications, a subwoofer should have an upper limit of 80-100 Hz. In my home systems, I have fairly small mains, so the sub goes up to about 150. When I’m mixing sound for church, we have almost all channels with the high pass filter set to 80-100 Hz. Most instruments and all voices get lost below those freqs. With most Bose home systems, they have a weak spot from about 200-500 Hz. I’d say our car systems are about the same.
Agree.

The open E string on a bass is 41 hz. Everything below 100 is more felt than heard. I don’t use a sub-woofer at home. It’s my opinion that all they do is muddy it up. My home system is really old, I got the speakers back in 1978. They have 12” woofers in ~3 cu ft cabinets with a venturi port, and they are excellent for the “heard” portion of the low end as well as reproduction of the more felt than heard lowest range. That is what the cabinet size offers: resonating in a designed range. The trick is to use a cone for the range that the cabinets don’t resonate well to give the ability to get “punch” in a wider range with a good bottom end. The mid and high aren’t really influenced by the cabinet volume.

Most sub-woofers are in very small cabinets in the 1-1.5 cu ft or even smaller, which is not a good fit to resonate the actual frequency range of the lowest range of human hearing. And yet sub-woofers cutoff anything above about 300 or so, which is where the small cabinet is going to start to resonate the best. Practicality says that most people don’t want big speaker boxes that can’t be hidden.

There’s much more to it than that, the actual design of the speaker cone and the throw of the cone is designed to maximize certain frequencies. The lowest frequencies need a very long throw for accurate reproduction, and that is the typical speaker in a sub box: long throw and often in a small diameter cone. This is the Bose method: very small diameter and very long throw.

The human range is stated as 20 to 20k hz. But our best sensitivity is more like 400-5k hz, where we are not in much need of amplification.

Speaker design is an imperfect science, and new technology like flat membranes are more capable of accurate and consistent reproduction of all audible range. And then it’s a matter of what an individual can (and can’t) hear. And sub-woofers are for “presence” in the range that traditionally requires large diameter cones in big boxes. So the hollow area is because a sound bar doesn’t have much in the upper bass frequencies. The perfect cone for that range is 10” diameter.

I am a pathetic bass player who likes to shoot the S on Talkbass and other musician forums, so I learned things by osmosis even though I am personally only capable of humiliation when playing with other guys who actually are musicians LOL. I am just a wannabe 😳
 

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I use 2 applications on my phone to analyse the car sound system.
1. Signal Generator; To generate a signale at the frequency you desire
2. Spectroid: It uses the cellphone microphone to listen and analyse the frequency you are generating coming out of the speakers

with these applications you can check where the sound system is lacking and I bet the bose lacks in the low end bass
 

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I am an audio engineer mixer, musician on the side and routinely work house sound. About 6 DAWs. Lots of guitars, keys and stuff, so I find these kinds of discussions interesting.
I come at it from the mixing end first. What makes a nice bass sound in a mix? A hip hop mix is a lot different than a standard rock mix. Nowadays I have to mix for all systems because unfortunately a large segment of the populations listens on cheap laptops and smart phones with five dollar ear buds.I have correction software I use in my studio that makes my headphones and monitors 'level'.
Basically though, when i mix bass I look at it in a dual fashion. You need to bump the pops and plunks in the 300 hz range coming from the bass or you won't near it. Then alternately we mix for low end which often depends on the genre. Generally speaking most rock mixes are rolled off below 60hz. No two basses or songs are exaclty the same, so these would be rough numbers, and this is way more complex that I'm presenting it here, but it's ageneral idea for how I approach it.

On the listener end many systems are overly hyped or drop in certain parts of the spectrum. In addition, no two people like to hear their music exactly the same. In Hip Hop or similar you don't roll as much low end off because that's what those guys like. Low end is probably one of the harder parts of a mix because if it isn't done right is cuts into the other tracks. High energy metal and rock mixes are also difficult to mix because everything is competing with everything else. In the end though, less is usually more.

I never had much hope for a small car like the Bolt to ever really reproduce anything even close to great sound, so the fact that they can make it sound sort of ok is amazing given the limitations of those acoustics. I have Bose in my other car and it's just passable. No where near critical listening quality, but them at my age my ears are probably starting to go as well.
 

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One of the best sound system testers (of all time) is Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor


A single instrument will show what is going on with a sound system, and nothing like a pipe organ for clarity and power LOL

I would like to see the 3-armed player 😬
I wonder which VST he is playing?

I probably shouldn't get started or I'll take this all off track. :whistle:
 

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2017 Bolt LT
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I wonder how much “worse” the base sound package is versus the Bose upgraded system. I realize some people want the sunroof so get the Bose as well (and vice versa), however skipping the package altogether may be the move if you don’t care about a sunroof.
I'm satisfied with the standard (non-Bose) sound in my '17. I actually do have to cut the bass by 1 or 2 taps to minimize the boom-car effect when stopped; I think the bass is over-emphasized to compensate for the rumble of an ICE (which of course is missing) and road/wind noise as you go faster.

Edit: and, different sound sources ... I swear some radio stations pump the bass horribly. USB ripped from CDs or vinyl are "flatter" sounding unless tweaked in the ripping process.
 

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2023 EUV Premier Bright Blue
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I started to go down the road of being an audiophile when I was young then I got punched in the face by Thom Yorke who was like, "I was becoming an audiophile and then we heard a song come on a crappy boombox, really enjoyed it and realized I was being dumb, now I don't care" in a Rolling Stones article and I've been trying to live by that. Granted being in broadcast there was at least some reason, but I did change my attitude on that day and I have not regretted it since.

I definitely hear compression under 128kbps but, not above, especially not in a car. I can hear the difference between a good vinyl reproduction and a bad one, but only if you play them side by side on a decent enough sound system. I will fail a lot of the time on trying to find the difference between a 128kbps mp3 or higher. Above 256 I am as good as random. This foray from both a professional and personal standpoint into hearing this stuff, especially as a non-musician whose passion it wasn't really, made me realized the majority of us are kind of silly on this issue.

"Adequate for my use while driving" is one of the most respected answers anyone can give in my book since it took a humbling of sorts to get me there.
Last night I listened to and watched a couple of Peter Gabriel songs on YouTube from a concert he did. This was in my man cave on an average sound system and just in stereo. And on an older 32" Samsung TV.

I have that concert on Blu Ray and could have played those songs downstairs in surround sound on a much nicer system. And on a 55" LG OLED TV. I got the same emotional high I recall getting the last time I watched it downstairs.
 

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2023 Bolt EUV
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I personally would not get an EUV without this package. I have had either a convertible top, t-top, or sunroof on every car I have ever owned. I just like the open air and light. I also always spec the best factory stereo that is available. Some have been better than others, but I've actually come to like the EUV's Bose system quite a bit after I played around with the EQ settings and started to stream higher quality music. To me the $2500 was well worth the expense although I would have liked the option to forego the factory navigation if it saved some money. With Carplay I find no reason to use the factory nav.
 

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2022 Bolt EUV Premier
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Emerson, Lake and Palmer is my audio of choice when testing audio components. Great vocals, fantastic synthesizers and drums. You want a bass test, try Tank at about the 4 minute mark. If you have enough power and low end response, you'll move furniture on a carpeted floor. Yes, I've seen it happen. Also loosen light bulbs in their sockets, although that's the old incandescent bulbs that just screw in. :D
 

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I’d like to echo that I am impressed with the sound system upgrade. I have the EQ set to 0 for bass and it still makes something in the door rattle when at 40% vol.

Is that rattle something I can ask for service on?

And to OP…my son put a home theater sound bar and sub in his junker and loved it. 😜
 

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I have the sun and sound package and I have to turn the bass down to -10 to make it tolerable.
I have it, too, but I haven't made any adjustments yet (I've driven it only a couple of times, since my trade-repurchase on November 2), but I did see a review on YouTube in which the owner said "-7" worked for him. So, -10 doesn't seem out of line and too much bass "sounds" like the norm. "NORM!"
Watch Water Gesture Drinkware Sleeve
 

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In ordering our 2023 EV 2LT(not EUV) we were forced to get the upgraded Bose sound... because it was inexplicably linked to the optional adaptive cruise control that we really wanted. . Seems like a marketing ploy/trick to sell the upgraded sound...as I can't imagine any technical reason those options should have to bundle.
 

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One of the best sound system testers (of all time) is Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor
A single instrument will show what is going on with a sound system, and nothing like a pipe organ for clarity and power LOL
There are some great sonic experiences; being in a main battle tank firefight is a big wow. However, it can only be experienced one time, as you are forever after partially deaf. Ask me how I know; eh, say again?

Back to the theater pipe organ; the most positive sonic experience was visiting a rich guy who bought and built a building for one of the largest theater organs ever made. While it was being played, one could walk around the professionally designed acoustic theater and get the full experience, but it was a rare and uforgettable experience walking behind, in and around the big pipe ranks. That will put low frequency bass into your bowels.

The rest of the story is his organ, being one of the largest and best-maintained, attracts the world's best organists. He had a digital recording system built to record the keystrokes of their performances and can play any of them any time. Yes, Bach is spectacular, but on that instrument, so is Bachman-Turner Overdrive; one of the most requested is The Who's Tommy.

jack vines
 

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Just tried USB input for the first time on the 2022 Bolt EUV Sun and Sound. Not sure of this will be interesting to anyone, but I was really impressed with the USB playback quality in Bolt EUV Sun and Sound package. (Sirius, Bluetooth and FM were plenty loud, but lacked quality.) My USB MP3 files, were amazing and solved a lot of the negative base adjustment I needed to use on the other sources. Subjective, but I would say the sound was twice as good.
 
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