Audi Sound System vs Bang & Olufsen

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
Heyyy guys!

How big is the difference between the 2 systems? I’ve heard the 8V RS3’s premium sound system and it’s nothing less than superb! Not sure if it was Bose or B&O but either way.. So it just had me wondering how good is the standard Audi Sound System?
 

TC18

Registered User

blackb9er

Registered User
Haven't had the opportunity to test the B&O but I can tell you with 100% certainty that the standard system terrible for anything other than classical music! If you search this forum you'll find more than a few threads on the topic. If you like your music and you have the funds to upgrade then the B&O is a MUST in my opinion.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
I ticked the option as my salesman said it was a big step up, plus I wanted the advanced key.

Have a read of this...

http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/audi-sound-system.319349/

I came across it earlier, a lot of people seem happy with the standard set up.

That is a very interesting link, thank you. It does seem that it takes a few months for the Audi System to bed in properly but once it does it’s superb.

Not sure whether the comparison with Harmon Karon set up in the BMW is correct because that system is a seriously good system IMO.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
Haven't had the opportunity to test the B&O but I can tell you with 100% certainty that the standard system terrible for anything other than classical music! If you search this forum you'll find more than a few threads on the topic. If you like your music and you have the funds to upgrade then the B&O is a MUST in my opinion.

Hmm, how long have you had it? Because if you view the link TC18 posted in the first reply, then it does take a month or 2 to properly bed in before you get to hear it at it’s best..
 

ScottishA4B9

Registered User
There's a few more detailed posts on here than the one mentioned above. Anybody that's says the *** is rubbish, hasn't lived with one! They take time to bed in like most speakers. Sound is fantastic. The only difference is if you listen to dance music at full volume like a boy racer. The bass at that level is better. So unless you do, stick to the ***. At normal volumes there is no difference between the *** and B&O.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
There's a few more detailed posts on here than the one mentioned above. Anybody that's says the *** is rubbish, hasn't lived with one! They take time to bed in like most speakers. Sound is fantastic. The only difference is if you listen to dance music at full volume like a boy racer. The bass at that level is better. So unless you do, stick to the ***. At normal volumes there is no difference between the *** and B&O.

Hmm, I don't listen to dance music so I don't think it should cause me any bother.. haha
 

blackb9er

Registered User
Hmm, how long have you had it? Because if you view the link TC18 posted in the first reply, then it does take a month or 2 to properly bed in before you get to hear it at it’s best..

I've had my car a year so more than enough time to test it (my cars in sport trim so its the 10 speaker system.) It has improved slightly but overall its still terrible for any type of modern music, bass is pretty much non existent at low vloume and when its turned up a bit its just rattles the speakers and the and mids are terrible. I suppose it depends what type of music you're listening to, I listen to a lot of bass heavy music hiphop, DnB, Grime etc so for me it doesn't work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ScottishA4B9

Registered User
@blackb9er Maybe you have a bad set. Alot of people on here have been complaining about poor quality B&O speakers as well.
I listen to dance/Pop/modern chart music/rock etc etc and don't have a problem with my *** speakers.

The B&O speakers are certainly not worth £750 extra.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
Save your money and get the Light and Vision pack instead! lol

Haha, my lease came with the technology package as standard and apart from a different alloys, reverse camera and hill hold assist, i left it at that. Though i really did try my best to spec extended lighting package but it was too late *sigh*
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
I've had my car a year so more than enough time to test it (my cars in sport trim so its the 10 speaker system.) It has improved slightly but overall its still terrible for any type of modern music, bass is pretty much non existent at low vloume and when its turned up a bit its just rattles the speakers and the and mids are terrible. I suppose it depends what type of music you're listening to, I listen to a lot of bass heavy music hiphop, DnB, Grime etc so for me it doesn't work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

apart from DnB i do listen to the same types of music as you... so will be interesting to see how i fair..
 

Fozzie1960

Registered User
It's horses for courses really.

I have had a loaner with the ***, the *** was not to my liking as I found it lacking when playing music. Some are fine with it and it's a personal choice. The B&O is a very good system.

It's not always about the "more power" thing either.
More speakers = better sounds.
More wattage/power means sounds are richer and fuller at low volumes so it's not about having a powerful system and playing it loud all the time
 

malph

Registered User
Regardless of the quality a sound system, the problem is if you put rubbish in, you'll get rubbish out. Compressed digital music played over bluetooth will give poor levels of reproduction, less poor via usb/sd card, but still worse than the good old CD.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
Regardless of the quality a sound system, the problem is if you put rubbish in, you'll get rubbish out. Compressed digital music played over bluetooth will give poor levels of reproduction, less poor via usb/sd card, but still worse than the good old CD.

I normally stream via Spotify so it should do the job to be honest. Never had a horror story with a car apart from when my driver side on the my 2014 yaris would rattle.. took it back to Toyota who told me ‘that is how it is is mate, nothing can be done’

apart from that however it was a decent system
 

TC18

Registered User
I had the BMW ‘professional’ sound system in my 330i, that was dreadful and out of fear that the Audi system may be the same I ticked the box.

It’s worth noting that the B&O is no longer a stand alone option, at least for specing a Black Edition, its part of the Comfort and Sound pack which is roughly £1200 which comes with quite a few decent options. The light and vision pack is also no longer an option on standard A4s.
 

blackb9er

Registered User
@blackb9er Maybe you have a bad set. Alot of people on here have been complaining about poor quality B&O speakers as well.
I listen to dance/Pop/modern chart music/rock etc etc and don't have a problem with my *** speakers.

The B&O speakers are certainly not worth £750 extra.

Certainty could be the case, need to go back to the dealer see if i can get the parcel shelf rattle sorted so I'll check then that everything's ok.

Hopefully there IS actually an issue and they can fix it and get my system sounding great. (Wishful thinking).

It's probably me, I just expected a lot from an £30k+ car with 10 speakers




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Fozzie1960

Registered User
As stated in previous in post they are no longer available as a standalone option.
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
I had the BMW ‘professional’ sound system in my 330i, that was dreadful and out of fear that the Audi system may be the same I ticked the box.

It’s worth noting that the B&O is no longer a stand alone option, at least for specing a Black Edition, its part of the Comfort and Sound pack which is roughly £1200 which comes with quite a few decent options. The light and vision pack is also no longer an option on standard A4s.

is that the H&K system or just the normal? ive not heard the standard set up but know the H&K surround sound in the m sport plus package is a dream. Sounds crisp and bass is superb.
 

Happy Grumpz

Registered User
I was worried that the *** was going to be dreadful (after reading threads like this) when I test drive my A4.

You’s all must have something wrong with yours because mine sounds great.
 

cuke2u

Registered User
Haven't had the opportunity to test the B&O but I can tell you with 100% certainty that the standard system terrible for anything other than classical music! If you search this forum you'll find more than a few threads on the topic. If you like your music and you have the funds to upgrade then the B&O is a MUST in my opinion.
With respect any proper 'audophile' would understand that classical music requires a far better system. It is a fact that the systems found in a vehicle can easily be surpassed by a cheaper home system as the acoustics within a car do not lend themselves to a clear and balanced setup. As others have stated, some, it seems, become confused by volume, bass and unbalanced non-neutral setups...
 

hellodave

Registered User
There's been quite a few sound system threads with very different opinions and I think it comes down to what music you like and how you like to listen to it. If you listen to the radio or just like music in the background then the standard system is fine. However, if (like me) you love to crank the system up it will quickly sound lacking. The *** has a few extra speakers but (despite the marketing bull) is still lacking a proper external amplifier and therefore isn't going to deliver much punch at volume; everything runs off the head unit, which is limited to about 50 real (i.e non marketing) watts RMS. The sub gets about 20 watts at best, and that's why the bass is awful and gets rolled off at high volumes. The B&O does have an external amp which is rated at about 200 non marketing watts and that will really make a difference as the volume increases.

I have an A6 with the bose system (which has an external amp) and have been pleasantly surprised by it. It's not the best system I've ever heard but pretty good for oem and can get quite loud when you want it to. I've got an S4 on order and ticked the B&O box because I'm hoping it will give a similar experience to the A6 (the claimed power is about the same).

My wife has an A3 with the *** and in my opinion it's poor - it runs out of steam very quickly as you turn it up, sounding thin and scratchy and the bass rolls off noticeably as there just isn't enough power to move the sub at higher volumes. The *** in the A4 is rated at the same power, so I'd expect similar performance. However, my wife thinks her sound system is fine because she only listens to the radio and never gets the volume above 10/30!

In my younger days I installed competition level car audio systems and there are a few important things I remember -

- Number of speakers is irrelevant. Driver quality and positioning make all the difference. Competition winning (based on sound quality, not volume) car audio systems usually have one pair of two or three way speakers in front of the driver plus one or maybe two subs - 8 speakers is plenty!

- Power; you can never have too much! Remember that marketers (including Audi) usually quote peak power, which is meaningless - divide by four to get a more realistic RMS figure. Head unit amps (***) are useless (due to lack of power) - a decent system will always need an external amplifier.

- Garbage in garbage out - a low quality source like radio or Bluetooth will never sound great.

The best sounding car I ever built had 7 speakers, 4 amplifiers (about 1500 real/6000 marketing Watts) and was streets ahead of the bose in my A6. Unfortunately it had no boot so practicality eventually won the day and it had to go! However, it proved the point that decent speakers, proper setup and sufficient power is what's important.

In short, if you like loud or bassy music, buy the B&O, otherwise go standard or ***! Just bear in mind that even the B&O is never going to give you earth shaking bass because it doesn't have vast amounts of power - you'd need an aftermarket sub and amp for that.
 
Last edited:

h1r4

Registered User
Well for the 7th time my front bass speakers on my b&o system have broken. So there must be a quality issue with the speakers imo. I've let the speakers bed in 7 times and they just die after 2-3 months of usage.... other than that it's a okay sound system. Lacks bass imo
 

Syed Shah

Cars are a mans best friend, then dogs..
There's been quite a few sound system threads with very different opinions and I think it comes down to what music you like and how you like to listen to it. If you listen to the radio or just like music in the background then the standard system is fine. However, if (like me) you love to crank the system up it will quickly sound lacking. The *** has a few extra speakers but (despite the marketing bull) is still lacking a proper external amplifier and therefore isn't going to deliver much punch at volume; everything runs off the head unit, which is limited to about 50 real (i.e non marketing) watts RMS. The sub gets about 20 watts at best, and that's why the bass is awful and gets rolled off at high volumes. The B&O does have an external amp which is rated at about 200 non marketing watts and that will really make a difference as the volume increases.

I have an A6 with the bose system (which has an external amp) and have been pleasantly surprised by it. It's not the best system I've ever heard but pretty good for oem and can get quite loud when you want it to. I've got an S4 on order and ticked the B&O box because I'm hoping it will give a similar experience to the A6 (the claimed power is about the same).

My wife has an A3 with the *** and in my opinion it's poor - it runs out of steam very quickly as you turn it up, sounding thin and scratchy and the bass rolls off noticeably as there just isn't enough power to move the sub at higher volumes. The *** in the A4 is rated at the same power, so I'd expect similar performance. However, my wife thinks her sound system is fine because she only listens to the radio and never gets the volume above 10/30!

In my younger days I installed competition level car audio systems and there are a few important things I remember -

- Number of speakers is irrelevant. Driver quality and positioning make all the difference. Competition winning (based on sound quality, not volume) car audio systems usually have one pair of two or three way speakers in front of the driver plus one or maybe two subs - 8 speakers is plenty!

- Power; you can never have too much! Remember that marketers (including Audi) usually quote peak power, which is meaningless - divide by four to get a more realistic RMS figure. Head unit amps (***) are useless (due to lack of power) - a decent system will always need an external amplifier.

- Garbage in garbage out - a low quality source like radio or Bluetooth will never sound great.

The best sounding car I ever built had 7 speakers, 4 amplifiers (about 1500 real/6000 marketing Watts) and was streets ahead of the bose in my A6. Unfortunately it had no boot so practicality eventually won the day and it had to go! However, it proved the point that decent speakers, proper setup and sufficient power is what's important.

In short, if you like loud or bassy music, buy the B&O, otherwise go standard or ***! Just bear in mind that even the B&O is never going to give you earth shaking bass because it doesn't have vast amounts of power - you'd need an aftermarket sub and amp for that.

Superb post. Though it does make me think maybe *** won't suit my genre of music. Though let's see and hope it pans out better than I expect
 

cuke2u

Registered User
There's been quite a few sound system threads with very different opinions and I think it comes down to what music you like and how you like to listen to it. If you listen to the radio or just like music in the background then the standard system is fine. However, if (like me) you love to crank the system up it will quickly sound lacking. The *** has a few extra speakers but (despite the marketing bull) is still lacking a proper external amplifier and therefore isn't going to deliver much punch at volume; everything runs off the head unit, which is limited to about 50 real (i.e non marketing) watts RMS. The sub gets about 20 watts at best, and that's why the bass is awful and gets rolled off at high volumes. The B&O does have an external amp which is rated at about 200 non marketing watts and that will really make a difference as the volume increases.

I have an A6 with the bose system (which has an external amp) and have been pleasantly surprised by it. It's not the best system I've ever heard but pretty good for oem and can get quite loud when you want it to. I've got an S4 on order and ticked the B&O box because I'm hoping it will give a similar experience to the A6 (the claimed power is about the same).

My wife has an A3 with the *** and in my opinion it's poor - it runs out of steam very quickly as you turn it up, sounding thin and scratchy and the bass rolls off noticeably as there just isn't enough power to move the sub at higher volumes. The *** in the A4 is rated at the same power, so I'd expect similar performance. However, my wife thinks her sound system is fine because she only listens to the radio and never gets the volume above 10/30!

In my younger days I installed competition level car audio systems and there are a few important things I remember -

- Number of speakers is irrelevant. Driver quality and positioning make all the difference. Competition winning (based on sound quality, not volume) car audio systems usually have one pair of two or three way speakers in front of the driver plus one or maybe two subs - 8 speakers is plenty!

- Power; you can never have too much! Remember that marketers (including Audi) usually quote peak power, which is meaningless - divide by four to get a more realistic RMS figure. Head unit amps (***) are useless (due to lack of power) - a decent system will always need an external amplifier.

- Garbage in garbage out - a low quality source like radio or Bluetooth will never sound great.

The best sounding car I ever built had 7 speakers, 4 amplifiers (about 1500 real/6000 marketing Watts) and was streets ahead of the bose in my A6. Unfortunately it had no boot so practicality eventually won the day and it had to go! However, it proved the point that decent speakers, proper setup and sufficient power is what's important.

In short, if you like loud or bassy music, buy the B&O, otherwise go standard or ***! Just bear in mind that even the B&O is never going to give you earth shaking bass because it doesn't have vast amounts of power - you'd need an aftermarket sub and amp for that.
Totally agree especially with the speaker positioning part, but then, being in a car, they will always be compromised and less than ideal..
 

hellodave

Registered User
Totally agree especially with the speaker positioning part, but then, being in a car, they will always be compromised and less than ideal..
Very true. Unless you're this guy
ASS9902b.jpg


(See http://milbert.com/Earl for more info)
 
Last edited:

SPIKE_

Vorsprung durch Technik
I bet his car rattles, useful for getting snow off your car though
That is just insane....I think the boot must be made of jelly! Lol
 
Top