Is it me or does Audio suck on Prius?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by DigitalDervish, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. DigitalDervish

    DigitalDervish Junior Member

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    First... I'm a few months in to driving a Prius SE, the persona series. And the audio quality just isn't doing it for me.

    I was looking forward to playing music off my phone through bluetooth, but there is just too much compression going on for me. The satellite channels are not much better. The only thing that sounds decent are the HD radio channels.

    I've never been much of a car audiophile... but what is everyone's opinions on the factory audio system in the car? Will my experience be improved much if I upgrade the speakers?
     
  2. EdyJun

    EdyJun Junior Member

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    Yes, it sucks. But only when you compare it to other luxury cars. Think of the Prius as a Corola with some upgrades.
     
  3. rekniht01

    rekniht01 Junior Member

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    Others on here say that the BT connection has poor audio. Try plugging your phone in or using a mp3 player or USB stick.

    I don't have any issues with the sound through a USB stick. It's not luxury level, but is decent enough.
     
  4. dhancock

    dhancock 2 Prius Family

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    The fact that HD Radio is OK and Bluetooth/Satellite is not tells me that the Prius audio system itself is not the issue, but rather, the issue is the audio sources (the phone "station" and satellite). In order to "cram" lots of audio signals in a limited bandwidth high degrees of compression is required. I can easily tell the difference in quality between Sirus/XM and high bit rate music files of the same music on a USB drive. SirusXM is barely acceptable, my music files on USB sound very good (still not as good as the original CD though)
     
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  5. Voltan

    Voltan Junior Member

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  6. Voltan

    Voltan Junior Member

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    It isn't you. Our Prius IV has the optional JBL audio system and it still sucks: 1. FM sucks. 2. Satellite sucks. 3. Don't have HD FM. 4. The only signal source that sounds okay is the CD player. To make matters worse, the audio controls intermittently malfunction.
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I think it sounds great on CD and MP3 CD, ok in BT Audio and, well "radio" quality on FM and SAT. However, it could be better. That said, I have the JBL audio, not the standard audio system.

    Best bet is to increase the sound deadening qualities in the door panels as well as speakers.
     
  8. Chris S

    Chris S Active Member

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    I have no issue with the sat radio or iPod but my '12 Three's HD radio bites. Sound level is way low compared to the others. I also find Bluetooth sometimes has to be reset when streaming music starts to skip. I dislike that the iPod has to be physically connected to make Entune work.
    Also, I found that the factory non-JBL speakers are pretty sensitive. I replaced them and volume capacity dropped a ton, needed to install an amp to bring it back but I'm not too worried, stock speakers were crap regardless.
    Aside from that, I love how easy the head unit is to operate.

    Sound deadening did help not only the sound but also the overall solid feel of the doors.
     
  9. DigitalDervish

    DigitalDervish Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply's everyone... I've never heard of sound deadening doors. What kind of places do that? Will someplace like Best Buy or Fry's do this or does it have to be a specialty car audio place?
     
  10. aznbo187

    aznbo187 New Member

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    I wouldn't take it to a retail box store, they normally don't have capable installers.

    Yelp local audio specific stores and tell them you want to sound deaden your doors, or if you want to do it yourself, visit Welcome to Sound Deadener Showdown | Sound Deadener Showdown to educate yourself. The guy is also very helpful and responsive.

    But in theory, it's not that complicated. Remove panels, install deadening, and re-install panels.
     
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  11. DigitalDervish

    DigitalDervish Junior Member

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    There are two things I notice in regards to audio quality. I've played a few of my favorite songs, songs that I've listened to probably hundreds of times and know inside and out the kind of sound that I should be getting. And it's like there are instruments that are barely audible, while certain things in the high range will be blown out. If I reduce the treble, it sounds way too bassy... no amount of playing with the equalizer helps. I'm thinking accoustics of the car and road noise are contributing to the problem, but wonder if replacing the speakers will help.

    However, I don't want to replace speakers if it's more a problem with the radio unit itself. The other audio problem I'm noticing is compressed, digitized audio. This happens mostly with Satellite and BT from my phone.
     
  12. aznbo187

    aznbo187 New Member

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    Do you have the standard audio system or the JBL?
     
  13. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    Did you dial/ tune in the gains for each source and select the HD option for that source? I cranked up treble and bass to 2 or 3 away from max and it sounds better.

    Then the source. Everything is better than FM.. I found streaming MP3 in bluetooth or USB mode isn't bad at all. Pandora has the same quality as those. It's not that bad IMHO. JBL doesn't fair much better so at least you didn't pay for it.

    The cheap fixes sounds reaonable if you are not too picky, upgrade dash and door speakers and some sound dampening(MLV or padding).
     
  14. FranklinS

    FranklinS Ach crivens ye scunners!

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    I have the standard audio and I find it very good for USB files. The albums/songs come up on the screen and the sound is quite decent on files that are not too heavily compressed. There are very small "thumb" drives that are about 1/4" square and these do not get disconnected by things inside the console box.

    Then again, I don't do this (warning explicit lyrics):

     
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  15. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    If you consider the HD decent, then the other sources are better.
     
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