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  #1  
Old 11-06-2013, 01:19 PM
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Unhappy 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

At first, the audio quality in my 2014 Laredo with the base model stereo seemed more than adequate for my standards. But as I've had more time hearing music through it, I've been pretty underwhelmed by the results. My last car, a 2011 328i, didn't have any special package stereo upgrades and that handled all of my music superbly. Granted it was a BMW, but this Jeep is the exact same price off the lot, so I'm not settling with that mindset. Even my first 2004 Jeep GC Laredo had better audio quality than this.

What I've noticed is that the audio seems to hit a ceiling when turning up the volume, not even past 15-20, and the quality starts to drop off immediately. There's heavy distortion of the highs, mids and the bass and it's like the system is overwhelmed with input, but it shouldn't be. Past 20 on the volume scale, and the sound doesn't even go any higher, even if pushed all the way to the max. I've tested quite a few variations of song types, using the CD player, the bluetooth and the USB (which I mainly use) and they've all had the same problem. Audio bitrate between FLAC to the lowest bit files were also tested. Mainly on louder songs with heavier bass it becomes immediately noticeable if I want to turn it up beyond that scale I explained.

My music is important to me and this is continuing to be a bother almost every day. Does anyone else have similar problems or should I attempt to complain to my dealer?
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:46 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Audio quality is very subjective. I'm happy with mine, but you might sit in my Jeep and say YUK!

If you are unhappy with it, mention it to the dealer. It could be something is wrong, or it could be you are expecting too much from it.

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Old 11-06-2013, 03:51 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

At first I was unhappy. But now (a few months later) it seems fine. I'm pretty damn picky. I own 13 Meridian DSP Speakers at home They cost more than the Jeep when new (I bought them used).

Not sure if the Speakers broke in some or I just got used to it. I always liked my GC Limited 2002 Audio system (even with upgraded head unit by Parrot).

Not sure if the update helped.

When I first got it, I found the subwoofer boomy and set Bass to Min.

Now, since the update (I factory reset after update) I have everything default and the sub woofer sounds fine.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:54 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
At first, the audio quality in my 2014 Laredo with the base model stereo seemed more than adequate for my standards. But as I've had more time hearing music through it, I've been pretty underwhelmed by the results. My last car, a 2011 328i, didn't have any special package stereo upgrades and that handled all of my music superbly. Granted it was a BMW, but this Jeep is the exact same price off the lot, so I'm not settling with that mindset. Even my first 2004 Jeep GC Laredo had better audio quality than this.

What I've noticed is that the audio seems to hit a ceiling when turning up the volume, not even past 15-20, and the quality starts to drop off immediately. There's heavy distortion of the highs, mids and the bass and it's like the system is overwhelmed with input, but it shouldn't be. Past 20 on the volume scale, and the sound doesn't even go any higher, even if pushed all the way to the max. I've tested quite a few variations of song types, using the CD player, the bluetooth and the USB (which I mainly use) and they've all had the same problem. Audio bitrate between FLAC to the lowest bit files were also tested. Mainly on louder songs with heavier bass it becomes immediately noticeable if I want to turn it up beyond that scale I explained.

My music is important to me and this is continuing to be a bother almost every day. Does anyone else have similar problems or should I attempt to complain to my dealer?
I assume you shut off the speed sensitive volume setting?

Most music I've listen to lately has been bass light. I'll try blasting some bass heavy stuff.

I'm using 256 Kbps MP3's. Bluetooth, unless it's Apt-X I don't bother with. Never listen to SAT (not great when I do). And I often listen to "Talk" on the FM (NPR), so that's not a good test.

But I often listen to USB Stick 256 Kbps MP3's.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:55 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
Audio quality is very subjective. I'm happy with mine, but you might sit in my Jeep and say YUK!

If you are unhappy with it, mention it to the dealer. It could be something is wrong, or it could be you are expecting too much from it.
I completely agree that the overall sound quality is subjective, but this is going beyond that.

For example, the Sirius radio (as many have stated) get's terrible quality inherently, as mine does too. But I will notice that as I'm listening to it and I want to turn it up to a fairly loud setting, it hits this same wall and won't go any louder. It's like it fades in and out too sometimes— unaffected for a few seconds and then, boom, it's all distorted. My girlfriend even noticed it when she wanted to turn a song up (Nicki Minaj, if I recall ) and it just wouldn't go any louder and the quality was utter shit...more than a bad signal. It seems like I may being experiencing more than just assuming too much from the car.

I think I'll probably contact the dealer and make them listen to how terrible the TRON soundtrack sounds even at low levels, then see what they have to say.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:00 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
I assume you shut off the speed sensitive volume setting?

Most music I've listen to lately has been bass light. I'll try blasting some bass heavy stuff.

I'm using 256 Kbps MP3's. Bluetooth, unless it's Apt-X I don't bother with. Never listen to SAT (not great when I do). And I often listen to "Talk" on the FM (NPR), so that's not a good test.

But I often listen to USB Stick 256 Kbps MP3's.
Nope, haven't shut the speed sensitive feature off and I don't think it's a part of the problem. I don't see why it would be.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:18 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
Nope, haven't shut the speed sensitive feature off and I don't think it's a part of the problem. I don't see why it would be.
Take that variable out of the equation. It may not effect your current view of it. But it might.

I never like that feature, because your ears "Auto Adjust" as background noise changes. Then the Radio tries to change it too and just turns into a mess.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:20 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetar View Post

My last car, a 2011 328i, didn't have any special package stereo upgrades and that handled all of my music superbly. Granted it was a BMW, but this Jeep is the exact same price off the lot, so I'm not settling with that mindset.
You're kidding, right? My fiance owns a 2010 328iX coupe, and we both feel the base stereo in it is one of the worst we've ever heard in a car. So bad in fact she feels BMW should be embarrassed for putting out something like that.

She also feels that the 8.4A stereo in my 2014 Limited is light years ahead of the weak sauce stereo in her BMW.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:21 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Oh, I'm not sure if the 8.4a (or 8.4an) radio is the same audio quality as the base radio, but I assume it is. It's more other features it has. It has the 9 speakers and the sub too, right?
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:32 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
Take that variable out of the equation. It may not effect your current view of it. But it might.

I never like that feature, because your ears "Auto Adjust" as background noise changes. Then the Radio tries to change it too and just turns into a mess.
This was also a feature in the BMW and I never even noticed it, which I think is the point. It's just meant to keep the sound level equal to outside noise that get's louder as the car speeds up. So I still don't think it'll make a difference.

I'll try it I guess. Couldn't hurt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GCLimited View Post
You're kidding, right? My fiance owns a 2010 328iX coupe, and we both feel the base stereo in it is one of the worst we've ever heard in a car. So bad in fact she feels BMW should be embarrassed for putting out something like that.

She also feels that the 8.4A stereo in my 2014 Limited is light years ahead of the weak sauce stereo in her BMW.
Well, here's a good example of the subjectivity of it all.

I would without a doubt say that the stereo in my '11 328 would run figurative laps around this stereo in my WK2, with how it sounds. So much cleaner and no distortion even at high levels. I have no knowledge of whether or not the '10's maybe had a worse stereo, but I definitely wouldn't say it's an embarrassment as far as sound quality. Of course the display and operations are terrible compared to the new Jeeps, but I'm strictly talking sound output and the audible quality. Not the overall stereo components.


Maybe I'll take some video and see if I can pick up this situation I'm talking about with the audio. I feel like if other people heard this in their Jeeps, they wouldn't be having it either...
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:39 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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Originally Posted by pinetar View Post

Of course the display and operations are terrible compared to the new Jeeps, but I'm strictly talking sound output and the audible quality.
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.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:58 PM
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Re: 2014 Base Stereo - Audio Quality

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.
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