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Thoughts on Bose?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Flat6, May 14, 2010.

  1. Flat6
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    Flat6 Brilliant Black Black edition

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    Having had my Black Edition SB two weeks I think the biggest disappointment is the Bose sound system. The sound is so flat and lifeless I'm beginning to wonder if it's actually just a standard system with Bose speaker grilles!

    I thought it would be a step up from the factory fitted Harman Kardon system in my (9 year old) E46 330ci, but it's not even half as good as that. In fact, it's not much better than the standard stereo in my wifes old Passat estate! Yes I can turn it up loud and it remains clear, but there's not much bass at moderate volume levels and even playing with the settings on the head unit doesn't massively improve things.

    When my mate had a 55 plate S-line with Bose I'm sure it sounded much better than this. Maybe they've "downgraded" it?

    Have I really got Bose?!! How can I check?

    What are everyone elses thoughts on it?
    #1
  2. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    its weird because some people think it's pretty good, others thinks it's awful.

    I have it, and i'm quite a fussy bugger when it comes to hifi. I wouldn't say it's amazing, but for a factory OEM car stereo it's not too bad.

    It's all academic though anyway because everybody knows you can't have good hifi inside a metal box.
    #2
  3. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Moderator

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    Was your SB new or used?? If used, could someone have just changed the interior trim??? Sure someone will be along who knows! Mines got Bose and is fantastic!
    #3
  4. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Sarah, the Black Edition come standard with Bose, so unless somebody ripped the speakers and amp out of the car and replaced with standard, which would be no easy task, it's probably unlikely to be changed.
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  5. Flat6
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    Flat6 Brilliant Black Black edition

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    It's brand spanking new! (well two weeks old)

    If anyone's diddled me it's Audi. They already screwed up on the head unit and built the car with Concert instead of Symphony. Could this affect the quality of the sound or are the 2 hu's basically the same, just with one taking 6cd's?
    #5
  6. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Moderator

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    sorry, didnt realise! not up on BE
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  7. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    The Concert and Symphony sound exactly the same.

    I'd suggest having a listen to another friendly face from ASN who has an A3 with Bose to compare, if you think it sounds **** then you have good taste, if it sounds better then you know you've been diddled by Audi and go back and sort it.
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  8. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Get with the program will ya!! ;)
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  9. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    When i fitted my RNSE I didn't connect the bose initially and it was awful, tinny and muted, having re wired it to incorporate the bose it was then superb...
    #9
  10. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    i had bose and it was ****, you know if you have it fitted as the bas is just horrid, technically its not bass. From what i can remember Bose flashes up on the head unit when you turn it on, there should be a sub on the left hand side of the boot behind the carpet. the first thing we have done when we got the TT was to start removing bose even the wife who doesn't give a dam about sound dislikes bose.
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  11. Pii
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    Pii Member

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    I'm half half with the BOSE. Sometimes sounds crisp and sometimes sounds like the music is all cluttered (if that makes sense) with overwhelming deep humming noise as bass. Perhaps it's the type of music that will determine the clarity of it. It is without a doubt though an upgrade to all my previous cars, but I'm not convinced they are 'great'.

    As other have said see if if there is a local ASN person you can visit and compare?

    Alternatively you could do the AndyMac stealth sub option which has received many good reviews.
    #11
  12. fgaffney
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    fgaffney Member

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    I like my Bose speakers. The HU might not be the best (Symphony II) but the speakers definitely sound good and the sub works just fine for me!

    I only ever use TDK Audio CD-R's burnt at 2x otherwise it's always original 'pressed' CD's that are played in the changer as I've noticed a difference in sound quality between cheapo 15p CD-R's and the specialist TDK ones.

    The following may be worth a read?

    http://www.srtl.co.uk/srtl/report.html
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
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  13. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    oh and you should have a centre speaker in the dash
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  14. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    I assume thats the Mk1 TT as it's a totally different system to the newer Audi.
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  15. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    yes mk1 TT and the A3 was an early sport back, 2005, both of them suffer from the same thing - crubbish bass. The standard stereo on the Leon is much better and my previous golf with stock speakers but different head unit and sub + amp was sooooooo much better
    #15
  16. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Depends what type of music u listen to, I find it SUPERB as does everybody who has EVER sat in my passenger seat
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  17. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    It does depend on the H U as well. My symphony II was streets ahead of my RNSE on radio sound quality and of course the mp3 slots are not going to be as good as the 6x cd player.
    Anyone who doubt the quality of bose should try disconnecting it.....you will soon re conect it :0)
    #17
  18. Brett Butler
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    Brett Butler Member

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    Well the S3 BE has upgraded speakers and 6 channel amp, not sure what head unit you got, but that does make a difference, personally I do not think it is that bad, not fantastic, but good enough for me to not want to bother with upgrading. and pretty good for something that is standard.
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  19. cooni
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    cooni Member

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    Bose is standard on S3s sold in Australia. Can't be spec'ed without it... Mine arrived without Bose though and got a cheque for AU$1900. This was discovered due to the lack of Bose trims on the doors. A few other people here had a similar thing happen.
    I'd say if it's got Bose trims, you've got Bose.

    (The AU$1900 was spent on an Alpine system that sounds about 5 million times better than a Bose S3 I've been in)
    #19
  20. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    BOSE is MUCH better than the standard system I had in both previous MK5 Golfs, and they werent that shabby.
    It sounded nicer again when RNSE was fitted.
    I use the SD inputs, some tracks can sound poor depending on the source of the mp3, which is nothing to do with the BOSE system of course.
    Mate of mine has B&O in his A5 and having listened to them back to back I could pick up little or no difference.

    Cheers
    Paul
    #20
  21. gingers3
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    gingers3 Member

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    i think the bose is great too:rock:
    #21
  22. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    Trouble is most people dont copy to SD cards in HQ..
    Did you ever get your radio working in the S3 ?
    #22
  23. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I copy to SD cards from iTunes at 320kbps, and they sound OK(ish).

    I find the worst part of the Bose to be the auto-GALA which doesn't work well in our car.

    At tick over after starting the engine it seems to hunt and settle to loud, on a motorway where our mods (exhaust/19's) create a bit of drone we have to play it almost 'too loud' to be able to hear the music clearly.

    For an OEM system it's pretty good. Not up to Alpine standards, but then you wouldn't expect it to be.

    I have Bose and none of my head units (Symphony 6 disc double DIN MY2007, and RNS-e 2007) say Bose on their start up screen.
    #23
  24. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    Whats this auto gala ? i never got a manual with mine as it came from a very honest guy in Lithuania :)
    #24
  25. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    Because I'm a dweeb I listen to lots of classical / opera in my car through BOSE and the sound is fantastic. Better than my more expensive and supposedly better system at home. It's pin sharp and the clarity on "airy" music with very little background noise to disguise distortions is brilliant. Couldn't vouch for the bass quality as I don't often listen to music with a thudding bassline but from what you say I'd suggest there is a chance Audi have cocked up here and not fitted the BOSE system .....
    #25
  26. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Still havent sorted the radio yet mate.

    Might see if a can swap beer tokens for assistance at one of the upcoming shows. There is one at York soon and also GTi Inter.
    Failing that I will have to try and find a local boffin here up Norf.
    Been saying that for 12months though.....

    cheers
    Paul
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  27. fgaffney
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    fgaffney Member

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    Strange... my Symphony II 6 disc HU flashes 'BOSE' on the startup screen when you switch it on???
    #27
  28. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    Try a PM to "One wheel" Paul....He's the ice man :)
    #28
  29. matt_white88
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    matt_white88 Member

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    If you haven't already got BOSE how hard is it to retro fit the sub in the boot?
    #29
  30. akash_sky1
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    akash_sky1 Active Member

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    if you haven't got Bose I wouldn't bother retro-fitting it as you could just get a much better non-OEM system for less money.
    I think part of the problem with the Bose in the 8Ps is the interior trimmings...there are too many rattles from the door cars with the 'bass'.
    my mates 2010 A6 even has this problem.
    #30
  31. matt_white88
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    matt_white88 Member

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    I know there are better aftermarket systems but what I liked about BOSE was that it was concealed behind the panels in the boot so you don't loose any boot space. I need the boot space for the buggy otherwise I would have got an aftermarket one.
    #31
  32. fattiereturns
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    fattiereturns A4 2.0T Q

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    Crank up the bass, if the wing mirrors fall off, it's definetely a Bose system buddy

    :D
    #32
  33. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Its good for an OEM set up. I find it seems to depend what music you are listening to as well. Some days I think it sounds great, others I'll have some different music on and it seems to be lacking a bit of bass. Once you start comparing to the sort of thing you get in a Renault/Ford etc. then you realise its not that bad at all!
    #33
  34. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    I'm sure there was someone offering upgrades for the BOSE sub, could of been on here? Think it involved a 6" or could of been an 8" JL Audio sub in a custom made box that went where the original BOSE sub is behind the boot panel. Looked pretty neat and was supposedly quite an improvement in the bass!
    #34
  35. Sugs
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    Sugs New Member

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    This whole Bose thing on the A3 confuses me. I sit in the camp of it being very disappointing (seem my other thread) but how can so many people have a completely opposite opinion?

    Whilst I accept that any car HiFi is always a compromise I think comparisons with other systems, aswell as home systems is valid. Compared to the Bose in my previous A6 and A4 the current one in my A3 is very poor. There is little weight to the sound until you turn the volume up quite high (turning the Bass setting up makes little difference) and although the sound is clear it is very flat.

    Compared to a colleague's Lexus Mark Levinson System it's laughable and even my previous Harmon Kardon in a 3 series was light years ahead.

    Either half of the owners have faulty set ups or there's vastly different expectations in sound quality.
    #35
  36. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    Or expectations.
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  37. M88JCP
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    M88JCP Member

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    Following on from everyone's comments i think the BOSE system is fair for an OEM set up, but must admit the stereo in my Volvo C30 sounded alot better thou.

    Maybe just me thou as most of the time all i can hear in my car is the boot panel vibrating and buzzing...f***ing thing i can't get it to be quiet lol
    #37
  38. The Maestro
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    The Maestro S3 ~ MTM 330BHP ~ Milltek TBE

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    This?

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v700/dizzythedog/HPIM0615.jpg
    #38
  39. matt_white88
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    matt_white88 Member

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    #39
  40. Flat6
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    Flat6 Brilliant Black Black edition

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    Glad it's not just me then. The sound is very flat, almost 2 dimensional if that makes sense. The HK in my E46 fills the car (like surround sound) even at low volume levels, but the sound from the Bose just sounds like it's coming from the speakers, without filling the car.

    I also find there is absolutely no bass coming from the door speakers, so I'm baffled about the comments above regarding the bass rattling the door trim! The only bass is in the boot, and does little to add to the sound quality in the car.

    I think I need to listen to someone elses, as suggested above.
    #40

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