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  #13  
Old 11-06-2013, 05:19 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCLimited View Post
And that's exactly what I was talking about...the BMW's base stereo audio sound & quality is weak sauce...like listening to music with two cans connected with string.
That's unfortunate. My experience wasn't at all the same. At times, I thought it had a sub the levels sounded so good. I never had any problems with it that I can remember.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
For grins I just tried it.

Tried a bunch of bass heavy stuff and it was pretty flawless.

Heaviest was Rihanna - Selfish Girl

I cranked it up to 30. This is with Engine off.

It was ear splitting loud. My ears are still ringing.

No distortion. Bass held together pretty nicely. Heart thumping deep.

I have everything set flat and Speed Adjust off.

This is on the USB Stick using the 8.4an (which I'm assuming has the same quality audio but it may not).

Sorry, I should have looked it up.

There is a significant difference between the base Uconnect 5.0 and 8.4a (or 8.4an) on audio alone.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Interior Leather Seats & 6 Speakers | Jeep





There are three available audio systems for the 2014 Grand Cherokee:
  • A 6-speaker system including two instrument panel-mounted tweeters, two front-door and two rear-door full-range speakers
  • A 9-speaker system with 10-inch subwoofer and high-power, 506-watt amplifier
  • For those who appreciate world-class sound design, Harman Kardon® sound engineers have developed a premium, state-of-the-art audio system using legendary Logic 7® multichannel surround-sound processing and 19 high performance, high efficiency GreenEdge® loudspeakers for authenticity and detail not possible with other systems.
My old 2002 Limited had no sub, but it was a "Premium" system. And it sounded pretty damn good for no sub. I remeber it sounding quite a bit batter than the base radio. Watts matters (even if they are over rated). They don't list the watts for the Base 2014 Radio.
Thanks so much for checking it out and comparing that quickly.

I know for sure that I've only had the feeling of a heart thumping deep pound from these speakers for a few minutes max and then this distortion kicks in.

I'll attempt a video take tonight probably and see what I can catch.
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2013, 06:02 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
That's unfortunate. My experience wasn't at all the same. At times, I thought it had a sub the levels sounded so good. I never had any problems with it that I can remember.




Thanks so much for checking it out and comparing that quickly.

I know for sure that I've only had the feeling of a heart thumping deep pound from these speakers for a few minutes max and then this distortion kicks in.

I'll attempt a video take tonight probably and see what I can catch.
Hopefully, it's just a bad driver or something.
I would expect it to be decent.

I would go to the dealer with your USB Stick and try another Base Radio.
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2013, 06:12 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
Hopefully, it's just a bad driver or something.
I would expect it to be decent.

I would go to the dealer with your USB Stick and try another Base Radio.
That's a good idea actually. I may try that too.

I was considering testing it on my friend's new Limited as well, whenever I can catch up with him.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2013, 11:44 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
That's a good idea actually. I may try that too.

I was considering testing it on my friend's new Limited as well, whenever I can catch up with him.
I'd be curious how that comparison goes too.
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2013, 11:44 AM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

After driving around doing errands last night and putting the stereo through some more trails, I must say that the problem is definitely not with the speakers themselves. They actually sound fantastic when they are playing the signal without distortion, but it always eventually fades in and out when I start to push it. I played around with turning the 'Loudness' setting off and that helps at times, but doesn't seem to influence the problem from what I can tell. And apparently my 'Speed Volume' was already shut off this whole time, so that hasn't been a part of the problem either.

From here, definitely testing some of the same songs on my same thumb drive in a friend's Limited first. Then I'll try some on the dealer lot possibly. I'm wondering if the thumb drive being a bit older might have something to do with it, but then why would I experience it with the radio and cd's
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2013, 12:41 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

The Alpine is horrible as well. It's all relative though. Compared to an old 4-speaker Ford system, they are good. Compared to any decent aftermarket system, they sound bad. Compared to my previous Lincoln THXII system, it sounds horrible. They also take a lot of pain and suffering to make a significant improvement.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2013, 01:38 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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Originally Posted by kkreit01 View Post
... They also take a lot of pain and suffering to make a significant improvement.
I know.

My last Jeep had an upgraded system that was no problem to install, but these newer models are dangerous territory for tinkering with the stereo it seems.
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  #20  
Old 01-02-2014, 07:32 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

So I've tried out some "side-by-side" comparisons between a friend's Limited with the better stereo trim and didn't catch any of this distortion I've been experiencing intermittently.

I had a technician at my dealership have a listen and like they usually do, he just kinda stared at me, like he had no clue or what I expected him to be able to solve. Super frustrating. Maybe taking it to a place that specializes in auto stereo equipment would be more fitting to help me?

I have noticed that CD's sound much better and usually have a higher threshold for when they hit this distortion wall, but it is still present with every media device. It's like only a certain bass note triggers it and it will even go in and out very quickly. Definitely isn't a normal problem or erk that I'm being too picky about.

Could it be a problem with the stereo interface, wires being crossed...? I'm completely clueless with auto electronics, especially at this level with the new WK2 computers.

Would upgrading the stereo to one of the higher trim levels be an option or could i add the 430N nav head unit or the 8.4 UConnect system to try and solve the problem while upgrading the interface and functionality? Possibly any other aftermarket head units that actually work and won't wreck the '14 computer?

*Just to be clear, I currently have the base Model RA2 - Uconnect 5.0 head unit.
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  #21  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:57 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Does the distortion depend on volume?

Opps EDIT: I just reread, your opening post.

I suspect it's the amp.

It's either defective or just wimpy.

Did you try another Jeep with the same radio? That will tell you if it's defective or not.

If it is the amp design (whimpy), try backing off on the bass some. That might just give it enough headroom to not distort when it runs out of juice and still be reasonably pleasing.

A good (and working amp) has lots of reserve. But depending on the music and volume it can use up more reserve.

Not sure if your radio has a separate amp. I suspect it doesn't, and I think the 8.4A(N) does.

You might also be able to put more efficient drivers (speakers).

But I'd check another jeep with the same radio before you do anything.

I don't know how easy it is to upgrade the Radio to 8.4A.

Things could be miswired, but that's doubtful.

Weak power to amp can cause it to run out of reserve too. But usually that is with bigger systems.
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  #22  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:37 AM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

That is very helpful and based on problems I've had with my older Jeep stereo, from low power supply to an amp, this sounds like a definite possibility.

Again, thanks for your advice mswlogo and I'll look into testing another UConnect 5.0 stereo as soon as possible.

*My bass is already set all the way to the lowest setting and it does help when I turn off the "Loudness" setting too, but there's no memory for it staying off. Kinda bugs.
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  #23  
Old 03-05-2014, 05:41 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Does anyone know if it's possible default the Loudness setting to off?

At this point, it's definitely magnifying the distortion for me and it's a cumbersome feature to turn off every time I get in the Jeep.

I've also asked a local stereo shop about what they thought the problem might be after listening to it themselves in the car, but they were thinking the source of the distortion was definitely the head unit. Another friend of mine who's knowledgeable about stereos thought it was also the amp, as suggested earlier in the thread.

It's bugging me more and more, so I'm eager to try and figure it out without having to spend a bunch of cash before I know what is really the problem. And getting a new head unit from the dealer is out of the question for me right now, as I'm up to my teeth with them. I'm also just praying that some after market head unit options will surface soon...

In the meantime, the stereo is still listenable, it's just not at the level of quality I'm going to be satisfied with.
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