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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me or does the B&O sound system on the A5 sound a little 'poor quality'? :confused:
Don't get me wrong, it sounds well above average but there seems to be a little something missing for the extra £575 spent on top of the standard system.
My last car, A6 2.0tdi S-line has the Bose sound system upgrade installed and I could't fault it at all. The quality was excellent, the best I have ever heard from a car stereo. I cost me £280 for the upgrade and was worth every penny. The A5 B&O upgrade cost me £575 extra so I presumed you would get that little extra for the extra money spent, however I'm disappointed with it. The B&O sounds flat, the quality is far less than that of the Bose in the A6, the bass in my opinion is poor, the surround sound option sounds flat, like a cheap poor quality stereo. I have the mmi set up on sound focus 'all', the 'gala' switched on, the surround positioned to full, the bass to almost full and the treble the same. Any opinions and help appreciated!
 

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Setting the focus to "All" is likely your biggest problem. Since there's no way to truly optimize the sound for all seating positions, it has to compromise a lot. And that means a significant flattening of the sound.

It's drastically different when set to "driver", and "front" isn't too bad either. But if you're the only one in the car, there's no reason to not have the stereo optimizing the sound for your positon.
 
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Setting it driver and front is better. It is also better if you have sat nav as you get the surround option to increase the amount of surround.

If you leave all the settings on default then it doesnt sound much different from the standard audio system.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have tried listening to dab radio and cd's with the focus set to front and driver and in my opinion they both sound worse. I know what you mean though, in my last A6, with the sound focus set to front the sound was absolutly brilliant, faultless, but with the A5's focus set to front the sound seems to reduce in overall quality and loudness. The surround it set to full, the bass and treble almost at full etc. ie not at default. Maybe I should take her back to Audi for a check up :confused:
 

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I have tried listening to dab radio and cd's with the focus set to front and driver and in my opinion they both sound worse. I know what you mean though, in my last A6, with the sound focus set to front the sound was absolutly brilliant, faultless, but with the A5's focus set to front the sound seems to reduce in overall quality and loudness. The surround it set to full, the bass and treble almost at full etc. ie not at default. Maybe I should take her back to Audi for a check up :confused:
+1

The "driver" setting is absolutely horrid and is an artificial and manufactured sound.

You should definitely lower your bass to about 3 o' clock and your treble to about 4 o'clock and see what that does. At full setting, the sound should be unbearable...
 
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I've heard back and forth between "it sounds amazing" to "it sounds cheap". All that aside, in the US it's an $875 option, and in my last car I paid more than that just for the head unit (McIntosh MX406), so I don't have high hopes. Just want it to be above average; don't want to deal with custom install this time around. But after hearing such varied results I really want to listen to it (I did hear the standard system and thought it was pretty poor even compared to a Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla).

-Ray
 

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Hmm, not my experience at all. I've found that the B&O in my A5 is definitely better than the Bose I had in my old S4. The base in the Bose was copious in its quantity, but not very well controlled - in particular, the end of base notes were somewhat 'loose' and 'messy' whereas with the B&O they are very well controlled and 'cleaner'. The effect of the base in the Bose setup is often mistaken for "fantastic base" because there's just so much of it, even if it's rather messy. The B&O is definitely better.

With regards to the B&O versus the A5 standard setup - there's little difference when sitting still in a showroom with the engine switched off, but put both on the road and the B&O comes out well ahead. Of course, this is just to my sense of hearing - others can't tell any difference.

As for the surround and focus of the sound (driver/front/all) - surround sound is impossible to achieve in a car. The best solution is to have the surround turned completely off and the focus set to "All" - this means there's then none (or very little) processing going on, which only goes to distort the purity of the sound.

Ultimately then worst place to listen seriously to music is in a car, particularly if it's moving as you then have extra sound in the form of road and wind noise added in to the mix - not good! If you spend enough (£4000 for B&O in the A8 or Q7!) you can start to cover this up, but without some form of active noise reduction (which again merely processes the sound you're hearing) you can't achieve the purity of sound you can achieve with a decently set up stereo system in the home. There isn't a car sound system in existence that can recreate a proper soundstage in the same way a decent home stereo can, and that's mostly because you have numerous speakers producing numerous sound sources, with a very confined and an awkward space to fill with sound - far too many reflections and the sound just ends up getting 'messy'.

This is obviously very subjective, so there are bound to be people out there who will totally disagree with everything I've said here!
 

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Setting the focus to "All" is likely your biggest problem. Since there's no way to truly optimize the sound for all seating positions, it has to compromise a lot. And that means a significant flattening of the sound.

It's drastically different when set to "driver", and "front" isn't too bad either. But if you're the only one in the car, there's no reason to not have the stereo optimizing the sound for your positon.
Dave,
Most of what you say on this forum is spot on, but I can't agree with you on this one - the system achieves focusing the sound on the driver by altering the levels of all the speakers in the car - in effect introducing a level of sound processing which can do nothing but distort what you're hearing. Setting the sound to "all" isn't really trying to focus the sound for everyone, it simply removes any processing from the sound, and sets the levels of all the speakers the same - this has got to be better than artificially attempting to 'focus' the sound on one particular corner of the car.
 

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Dave,
Most of what you say on this forum is spot on, but I can't agree with you on this one - the system achieves focusing the sound on the driver by altering the levels of all the speakers in the car - in effect introducing a level of sound processing which can do nothing but distort what you're hearing. Setting the sound to "all" isn't really trying to focus the sound for everyone, it simply removes any processing from the sound, and sets the levels of all the speakers the same - this has got to be better than artificially attempting to 'focus' the sound on one particular corner of the car.
Ummm....I think that's exactly what he said. :)
 

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Deaf in one ear, can't hear in the other.

I don't know how you guys judge good speakers. I've set up systems in three homes and the bottom line is I don't have to pay top dollar to get a system that pleases me.

In my A5, I've gotta go with Aerodave. The "driver" position sounds the best to me, but why do I have to switch the settings whenever I have a passenger. I rarely have anyone in back, so I just leave it on "front" and sing and tap along. I find that clears up the sound.

Oh, and I don't disagree with anyone. We all have choices and opinions. That's why I throughly enjoy A5_OC.
 
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sizzle said:
Ummm....I think that's exactly what he said.
That is what I said. The difference is whether you consider the processing a good or a bad thing. You can't say that a car is a horrible place to listen to unprocessed, pure sound on one hand, and on the other say that you need to keep the sound pure in the car.

I just don't agree with the assumption the digital processing is inherently a bad thing, and that pure undatulerated sound is always the best thing. Sure, DSP takes away from the "purity", but if a listener thinks it sounds better, that's what matters. If a car is such a horrid place to listen to music, then it's not like a little processing will ruin what was a perfect situation.

The bottom line is that audio systems create some of the most polarized and subjective opinions in the world. There is not a single speaker or amp in the world that everyone thinks is good. No matter how well regarded by most, the other third will think it's aboslute shit. And when it comes to the B&O in the A5 (or any stereo for that matter), if you like it, you like it....if you don't, you don't. Neither point of view is wrong, that's the nature of opinion and subjectivity.

It happens that my ears find the digital processing of the B&O to be pleasing for the music I'm listening to. So I prefer the "Driver" setting, and I have the Surround level turned up moderately high. That probably makes me an unrefined twit to some...but it makes me happy. And if the OP is describing the "All" setting as "flat", there's a good chance he might prefer a little artifical processing, too.
 

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OK Guys, time for the PA man to chip in!

...as you know from the last thread on this topic, I'm not a big one for 'processing' because as a muso, I'd much prefer 'reference' sound... however, I think the B&O surround does not work for 'loud' music particularly well, but is outstanding for quiet and medium volumes. I find that for 'normal' volumes, I use the surround and don't touch the EQ at all and it provides a great sound. Outstanding in fact. But, when I want it loud, I find I need to turn the surround off and bang the bass and treble to 2 o'clock and then crank it up. With the surround on it just goes 'trashy'.

For those fiddling with the focus, what this is doing is not just altering the volume of the speakes, to 'balance the volume for the 'focused' are, but also changing the frequency bias AND timing of the signal sent to each speaker, so create a 3D sound stage. This also explains why it doesn't work 'loud' (in fact any speaker configuration where the speakers are 'crossing' or pointing inwards is avoided in PA set-ups). The sound reflected in the cabin will destroy the sound set-up and the sound pressure levels, particularly in lower frequencies will start to 'interfere' and cancel one another out. (Bass speakes shoul ideally be next to one another or over 30 feet apart to avoid this). Again, destroying the sound reaching the ear. The reason the surround sounds 'trashy' loud is due to this cancellation and the timing of the focus being stuffed up by reflections and resonations in the cabin.

...If you want it loud... keep it simple!

Sagely,

Ian.
 

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Well I had a Bose system in my alfa GT, and that seemed like a very good system. Sound quality was excellent, and the bass was quite punchy!

The A5's B&O system is definitely better quality, but it really lacks in bass, and that's what I would say is missing, a good sub-woofer.

You know the woofer isn't going to be that powerful, otherwise, it wouldn't be sunk into the parcel shelf!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I guess there isn't such a thing as a good sound system that sounds good to 'everyone' then is there judging by this thread.

In my last A6, play a track from a cd with the Bose set to front, the surround on full, the bass and treble on full, the sound was amazingly good, even at high volume there was no distortion and the high quality wasn't lost. But, play exactly the same track from the same cd with the same set up but in my A5 on the B&O and the sound is average and I can't get it to improve no matter what the settings are. Surely either the quality of the B&O isn't up to that of the Bose in the A6 or there is a problem / fault with my A5's B&O. Either way, I just want the sound quality of my A6 back again!!!
 

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Well I had a Bose system in my alfa GT, and that seemed like a very good system. Sound quality was excellent, and the bass was quite punchy!

The A5's B&O system is definitely better quality, but it really lacks in bass, and that's what I would say is missing, a good sub-woofer.

You know the woofer isn't going to be that powerful, otherwise, it wouldn't be sunk into the parcel shelf!!!

You guys should check out this post on AW -- few have found that the B&O subwoofer on their cars never worked from day one. Problem with the amp. Take it in and have it checked.

I got the B&O, checked that the sub indeed works and is way better than my B7 A4 Bose and the base B8 A5 Bose. Great clarity (acoustic tracks) and superior frequency separation. That said, I agree with Ianhp1 -- at loud volumes, it helps with minimum/no DSP.

http://forums.audiworld.com/a5/msgs/31408.phtml
 

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If you're familiar with high quality hi-fi equipment you'll know that the more you pay, the more user input and knowledge is required to get the most out of it. For example, the Bose system you had in the A3 is probably far more user friendly with less user settings and is easier to get a better sound plug and play style.
To get the best from the B&O system you will have to really play with all the settings to tune it to your personal taste...Which is a good thing in my opinion.

Paul.
 

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If you don't know a lot about sound systems (like me), you would be proud of the B&O and the price of the package. The Audi symphony system in my A4 Avant sucks! The B&O in the A5 is worth every penny!
 

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I bought the B&O upgrade as I thought it would really blow me away, but I've got to admit to being a tad disappointed. I've not got the Sat Nav MMI, so it's just the stadard Bass/Treble/Mid and Fader options for me...

From the speakers in the 'front' of the car, the sound is really crisp and balanced, but from the rear speakers the sound is virtually non-existent and this 'pushes' the sound way too far forward in the car. Even if I turn the fader to rear-only, I can hardly hear anything and definately can't hear anywhere near enough bass from the subwoofer (have checked and it is working... barely!). If the rear speakers sounded anywhere near as good as the front speakers then Audi would have one very impressive system on their hands.. but they just dont.... :-(

One thought I had was around the amp - does anyone know whether the settngs are adjustable? If so, has anyone changed the settings? e.g. increasing the gain on the rear channels, or tweaking the bass cross-over points so the subwoofer is doing more of the low frequency bass work rather than the door speakers! ?

Having said all that, I'm still glad I upgraded... just not as impressed with it as I could be...
 
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