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A8 / S8 (D3 Platform) Discussion Discussion forum for the D3 Audi A8 produced from 2003-2010 and Audi S8 produced from 2006-2010

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Old 01-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default Sound Quality

I'm seriously contemplating an A8, and I was wondering how the stereo sounds. I have a 2000 BMW 5 that has a rather disappointing stereo. I'm not an audiophile, but I like crisp sound with decent bass. I came from a 96 ford contour that I put a decent head unit and 4 speakers into that I was quite happy with, but the bimmer lacks bass and clarity. How does the audi compare?
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
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I have been very happy with my factory system. The bass is clean and overall quality is some of the best I have found on a factory setup. I would think you would be satisfied.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:37 AM   #3
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Sound quality in my 2008 is very good .i was trying to find a car with the B&O stereo.....gave up but very happy with the base equipment.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by trcox57 View Post
Sound quality in my 2008 is very good .i was trying to find a car with the B&O stereo.....gave up but very happy with the base equipment.
I have a B&O system, and my previous A8 had a Bose. I have to admit, I think that the Bose was very nice. In fact, I would be upset if I spent the original six grand on the B&O after switching from the Bose. The B&O looks great and everyone thinks the moving tweeters are cool, but it is somewhat flat sounding to me compared with the Bose. One major difference is the sound quality at all volume levels on the B&O. There is impeccable clarity even when its painfully loud, but I don't listen music that loudly. Plus, I often listen to satellite radio and the compression is noticeable at volume anyway.

I was at the Detroit Auto Show in mid 2000's when Audi debuted the B&O. They gave one-on-one demos of it and I was very impressed at the time, but now owning one, my feeling has waned a bit.

In any case, I think either sound system option on the A8 has a very nice radio that will fill the cabin with sound easily. The car is quiet enough to let you listen at any volume and enjoy. If you want a little more bass, the Bose may be a better option. If you want to listen at blaring sound levels with absolute clarity, pay for the premium system. It will only take a short test drive with a favorite CD to confirm that the Audi will outperform the BMW and Ford sound systems (in every other way, too).
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:28 AM   #5
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The best is to bring your favorite music cd to an Audi Dealer, sit in the year-model you want to buy and pop the cd in to listen to it. Ask the salesman to go into the sound setup and test all the settings like in the video below starting at :47. Test a few cars to make sure none of them is defective. Everyone preference is different, make sure the sound fits yours.



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Old 01-19-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default I love my B&O

I just had my system worked again, after a big mess. Anyhow, if you can get a hold of ones with B&O, I definitely recommend it. I agree, I would not have spent extra $6 for myself but if someone already paid for it, why not.....

Just my 2cents
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:03 PM   #7
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Can someone post the ideal settings for the B&O system? Mine doesn't sound like all that, I'm thinking I have it set incorrectly.

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Old 01-19-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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Rocket, you really need to visit a car in the showroom and try it on. No one else has the same ears you have, so no one else's opinion on the stereo really means anything compared to hearing it for yourself.

Bear in mind that you will have few if any choices to upgrade an Audi stereo, the days of standard double-DIN swaps and standard speakers are long gone.

I didn't buy my car for the stereo, and wasn't motivated to buy an upgrade, but I will say that Audi should be embarrassed at what they ship as the standard stereo in the Q5. I've heard $150 aftermarket stereos sound better.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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I have a Bose system in my car and it's the best Bose system I've heard. I'm not a fan of Bose equalization but at moderate levels, it sound pretty good. I have not heard a B&O system but everyone likes the system when set up right.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #10
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I had the Bose in my 2004 and have the B&O in my 2007. The Bose system in the A8 is probably the nicest Bose system I've had in any car. The B&O is better but for fewer people. For most people the B&O system is so high quality that it exposes compression artifacts in compressed music which actually makes it sound worse than the Bose under certain situations. Satellite radio for instance, it's terrible on the B&O system because it's so heavily compressed and you hear that very clearly with the B&O, not so much with the Bose.

For high quality music the B&O is amazing though and the pop up tweeters are pretty awesome but you're not going to be disappointed with the Bose system.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:07 PM
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