Standard sound system upgrade

Damo S

Registered User
Hi All,

My S3 has the standard sound system which is fairly terrible after having the bose system in my old 3.2 quattro. I didnt care too much to start with but it is starting to bug me.

So I'm going to look at upgrading it however I dont want to potentially throw money away if it wont make a huge amount of difference. I think that replacing the head unit with the B&O one is unlikely due to cost (over 600 quid if I recall correctly?).

Firstly, the plan will be to replace all the speakers with aftermarket ones (exact make / spec currently unknown). Is the output from the head unit of decent enough quality to make this upgrade worth while?

Secondly, fit a sub in the boot with probably an amp fitted somewhere else (under a seat). Does the standard head unit have any kind of output other than speaker out? That would work but it means its still having to go through the head units amp first which may degrade it.

Ive spoken with a local chap who installs car stereo kit and he seemed to think it would be OK, but then he will also making money so it would be nice to get some honest opinions / suggestions before I commit.

thanks in advance
 

Schizophonic

Registered User
Hi All,

My S3 has the standard sound system which is fairly terrible after having the bose system in my old 3.2 quattro. I didnt care too much to start with but it is starting to bug me.

So I'm going to look at upgrading it however I dont want to potentially throw money away if it wont make a huge amount of difference. I think that replacing the head unit with the B&O one is unlikely due to cost (over 600 quid if I recall correctly?).

Firstly, the plan will be to replace all the speakers with aftermarket ones (exact make / spec currently unknown). Is the output from the head unit of decent enough quality to make this upgrade worth while?

Secondly, fit a sub in the boot with probably an amp fitted somewhere else (under a seat). Does the standard head unit have any kind of output other than speaker out? That would work but it means its still having to go through the head units amp first which may degrade it.

Ive spoken with a local chap who installs car stereo kit and he seemed to think it would be OK, but then he will also making money so it would be nice to get some honest opinions / suggestions before I commit.

thanks in advance


The B&O has an amp under the passenger seat. Thats what drives the power to the B&O setup speakers not your head unit.

Its a costly retrofit and someone who 'does' installs will be spending a lot of time doing this as a full correct OE retrofit.
I had the basic sound system, got a DSP and a 2.1 channel amp and upgraded front speakers (with tweeters) and a removable sub box. Cost me about £700 including parts and fitting.

Good luck.
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
Start with a sub first as that’s easy enough and tap into the rear speakers for signal.
You would be surprised how much difference this makes. It’s also easily reversible
 
Start with a sub first as that’s easy enough and tap into the rear speakers for signal.
You would be surprised how much difference this makes. It’s also easily reversible
I'd get an external amp going to the sub as the stock system doesn't have much power and you can potentially overload it.

Pay very close attention to the ohm load as you will have to keep it the same if you use the stock stereo as an amp.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
I'd get an external amp going to the sub as the stock system doesn't have much power and you can potentially overload it.

Pay very close attention to the ohm load as you will have to keep it the same if you use the stock stereo as an amp.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

I was meaning get an audio signal from the rear speakers for the sub/amp combo. There’s no rca pre amp outputs from the stereo so easiest way is get a signal using a pass through from the speakers.
 
I was meaning get an audio signal from the rear speakers for the sub/amp combo. There’s no rca pre amp outputs from the stereo so easiest way is get a signal using a pass through from the speakers.
A few years ago, was looking into adding the B&O front woofers and mid range speakers to the front doors, but after looking up wiring, the ohms are different between the systems, which would cause an overload.

But if you can find a multi channel amp to push far more power to aftermarket speakers it would be best.

From my experience, it's really the radio output that makes the stereo sound horrible. Using the aux input from my phone and changing the output bass, the stereo actually sounds amazing. Just the BT and the radio sound horrible on it's own, Audi most likely doing that on purpose to get people to upgrade.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
If it’s like the audi system in the A6/7 then it’s the amplifier in the standard stereo that’s not powerful enough not the actual speakers themselves.
The sub was paper thin and not very deep. A lot had success putting a sub box in and disconnecting the factory one. That gave deeper/better bass reproduction and also took some strain off the factory stereo amplifier as more power could get to the other speakers.
These multi channel built in amplifiers has a peak output that shared across all the speakers connected so when you disconnect the big one that leaves a bit more to the other.

https://www.pioneer-car.eu/eur/products/ts-wx70da
My mate got this in his car and it sounded pretty good and took very little space. Took about an hour or so to get working. I would have got one but I traded in to get the s3 with the b&o.
 

Damo S

Registered User
The B&O has an amp under the passenger seat. Thats what drives the power to the B&O setup speakers not your head unit.

Its a costly retrofit and someone who 'does' installs will be spending a lot of time doing this as a full correct OE retrofit.
I had the basic sound system, got a DSP and a 2.1 channel amp and upgraded front speakers (with tweeters) and a removable sub box. Cost me about £700 including parts and fitting.

Good luck.

Did you drive also drive all the door speakers from the amp or just the sub?
 

Schizophonic

Registered User
Did you drive also drive all the door speakers from the amp or just the sub?

The amp just drives the front door speakers/ pillar tweeters and sub. The DSP is the main of the brains of the system so if your going for the after market option (which is the only suitable option i believe) then this is a must.
 

RJ-8V

Registered User
You can also use a DSP amplifier with a car specific wiring loom. So you don't have to cut any wires. The wiring loom connects behind the main unit with a quadlockadapter and on the other end it goes to the DSP unit.

So the original speaker wires are connected (through the adapter) with the DSP amp. The amp will thus amplify the original speakers and will add a car specific DSP to the sound.

Mosconi and Audison are two known manufacturs that produce and sell these amp etc.

A3 8V Facelift Limousine
 

Schizophonic

Registered User

Damo S

Registered User
Nice looking bits of kit. A DSP amp driving everything seems like the way to go. Ive already got a reasonable sub in a smallish box that could go in the boot, so an AMP, replacement speakers plus fitting shouldnt be too much cash. I dont have a huge budget, was thinking in the order of 600 quid but I'd stretch this if it meant the system would be considerably better.

Thanks chaps :)
 

RJ-8V

Registered User
Start with the DSP amp and, isolating your door panels and that will improve your sound a lot.

A3 8V Facelift Limousine
 

teamspb

Registered User
I do lots of OEM integration and have done for years...biggest complaints I get for a poor sounding OEM system is from BMW owners lol

You sound like what we will be doing to our S3 8V Saloon - retain the stock headunit, yet add aftermarket speakers/subwoofer etc

I was looking to retain the equipment from the R32 (which made way for the S3), but I have since decided to completely change tact and go for something different this time round.

The R32 had a stock headunit, Gladen audio Mk5 200 upgraded door speakers, 2 Mosconi amplifiers - a D2 100.4 DSP and a 500.1, and a 12inch subwoofer...it was perfect and retained the stock RNS510 headunit

The D2 range of amps are perfect for OEM integration as are the Mosconi ONE range of amplifiers...all depends on where you are looking to place the amps. The D2 range fit in the palm of your hand, the ONE series are more regular sized so to speak.

C3gw4yi.jpg


XJBEW4Y.jpg


onSQki6.jpg


And if you really wanna save space....
kVc2vSm.jpg


Both of the amps side by side
eAchA3g.jpg


The D2 100.4DSP does have an onboard DSP, accepts high level inputs, and also has a processed line output so you can EQ/Filter/time align etc a second amplifier all through the line out (just an RCA link between the 100.4DSP and the second amp whatever it may be). The 100.4DSP also has the ability to auto sense so will turn on and off whenever the stock stereo powers up/down...which also control the second amp (should you want to add one)

Its a cracking bit of kit!

If you need any help, just drop me a message and ill help where I can
 
This happen to come up on my timehop! The ohm diagram for the stereo.

Those tiny amps is the tour I was going to go with but was lazy about running 12volt clean power to each door.
1de5f5648186f55f4687a216ec7c95cc.jpg


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Damo S

Registered User
I do lots of OEM integration and have done for years...biggest complaints I get for a poor sounding OEM system is from BMW owners lol

Its a cracking bit of kit!

If you need any help, just drop me a message and ill help where I can

It certainly does! Thanks
 

mcwharam

Registered User
Some amazing knowledge and interesting reading - but I have no idea what most of this means - I have just changed from a standard A6 setup to the B&O in the A3 and I am not blown away by the difference in the two.
 

scoss

Registered User
I would invest in some decent front comps with a decent amp and sub in the boot. I’ve seen subs custom fitted in the side compartment of the boot. Put most of the audio through the comps but still use the existing stock rears at a ratio of say 75/25 possibly.
 

teamspb

Registered User
Some amazing knowledge and interesting reading - but I have no idea what most of this means - I have just changed from a standard A6 setup to the B&O in the A3 and I am not blown away by the difference in the two.

I think this is the issue...most people dont look beyond whats available as a factory option...some vehicles the B&O can sound great...others, not so good...I do find it strange jumping from car to car, even though the cars have the same 'spec' system (Say and Audi with B&O), they vary in sound WILDLY! I have never got my head around why this happens!

Our Audi system is MIGHTY impressive for a base level system! It certainly packs a punch in the midbass section, but shows its flaws below approx 50hz, and certainly shows its flaws in the upper tweeter region! Other than that, for a basic system, I dont see how it can get much better! Then jumping into a B&O car, I found, much like yourself, one sounds like it isnt much better than ours, another sounded like it had lots more clarity on the top end and was able to fill the hole down to around 40hz!

See whats available and can be done in the aftermarket...everything can be fitted into stock locations and be completely stealth...but sound so much better!
 

scoss

Registered User
I think this is the issue...most people dont look beyond whats available as a factory option...some vehicles the B&O can sound great...others, not so good...I do find it strange jumping from car to car, even though the cars have the same 'spec' system (Say and Audi with B&O), they vary in sound WILDLY! I have never got my head around why this happens!

Our Audi system is MIGHTY impressive for a base level system! It certainly packs a punch in the midbass section, but shows its flaws below approx 50hz, and certainly shows its flaws in the upper tweeter region! Other than that, for a basic system, I dont see how it can get much better! Then jumping into a B&O car, I found, much like yourself, one sounds like it isnt much better than ours, another sounded like it had lots more clarity on the top end and was able to fill the hole down to around 40hz!

See whats available and can be done in the aftermarket...everything can be fitted into stock locations and be completely stealth...but sound so much better!


I think a lot depends on the set up/setting of the B&O system. Initially I had way too much bass coming through the front. I had this set to the 3 o clock position. I then put this back to 1 o clock and upped the bass coming from the sub which made a massive difference.
 

teamspb

Registered User
I think a lot depends on the set up/setting of the B&O system. Initially I had way too much bass coming through the front. I had this set to the 3 o clock position. I then put this back to 1 o clock and upped the bass coming from the sub which made a massive difference.

Agreed fully, but there are still big differences even if the EQ's are consistant...its very strange and it occurs through all marques of cars I have done work on, not just Audi
 

Brakes4Beer

New Member
This happen to come up on my timehop! The ohm diagram for the stereo.

Those tiny amps is the tour I was going to go with but was lazy about running 12volt clean power to each door.
1de5f5648186f55f4687a216ec7c95cc.jpg


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Hate to resurrect a two year old thread, but I have been searching all over for info on the stock system speaker impedance. Is this diagram of the factory base Audi sound system in the 8V A3s? Specifically, I have a 2016 A3 Premium. Do you know the source of the data on this diagram?

Thanks.
 
Hate to resurrect a two year old thread, but I have been searching all over for info on the stock system speaker impedance. Is this diagram of the factory base Audi sound system in the 8V A3s? Specifically, I have a 2016 A3 Premium. Do you know the source of the data on this diagram?

Thanks.
This is for the A.S.S. system and info is sources from Audi arrange after same info. It's correct.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

Sve

Registered User
Dunno what's OP's car, but a very important thing for those who are willing to go with the B&O retrofit is to get the correct amp.
For instance, if your MMI version is High and you get the V1 B&O amp, you either won't have sound or you will have only 2 speakers working. Also, you won't get any settings in the MMI menu. Just go with the V2 81A035466B as it is compatible with both MMI Low & High. Another thing to look for also, is the bracket where the amp is fitted - V2 B&O amp cannot be mounted on a V1 bracket.
 

Sve

Registered User
I think this is the issue...most people dont look beyond whats available as a factory option...some vehicles the B&O can sound great...others, not so good...I do find it strange jumping from car to car, even though the cars have the same 'spec' system (Say and Audi with B&O), they vary in sound WILDLY! I have never got my head around why this happens!

Our Audi system is MIGHTY impressive for a base level system! It certainly packs a punch in the midbass section, but shows its flaws below approx 50hz, and certainly shows its flaws in the upper tweeter region! Other than that, for a basic system, I dont see how it can get much better! Then jumping into a B&O car, I found, much like yourself, one sounds like it isnt much better than ours, another sounded like it had lots more clarity on the top end and was able to fill the hole down to around 40hz!

See whats available and can be done in the aftermarket...everything can be fitted into stock locations and be completely stealth...but sound so much better!
As a person having the B&O sound system, I have to tell that the source the music is coming from is very important for the overall outcome as well.
For instance, there's huge difference of the quality of the very same songs from my iPhone 7 and iPhone X in favor of the X. Also when I connect my Samsung Note 10, the quality is more shittier than the iPhone 7. Sound quality is even less good from YouTube in comparison to the songs I play from my iTunes library. I found music from original CDs is probably the best option to go with, but hey, we're almost in 2021. Who buys CDs these days....
 

CanadaA3wales

Canadian living in South Wales - Audi A3 8V 150BHP
WOW Really, I have a Note 9 and think my sound is amazing even with a basic set up, maybe B&O is different. My phone and the Note 10 has all the latest and best audio codecs, so unsure how it would sound shittier as you put it than a Iphone.
I have tried Amazon, Spotify and Deezer, and found deezer has the best sound for me, so I have stuck with them.
 

Dubjam

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
WOW Really, I have a Note 9 and think my sound is amazing even with a basic set up, maybe B&O is different. My phone and the Note 10 has all the latest and best audio codecs, so unsure how it would sound shittier as you put it than a Iphone.
I have tried Amazon, Spotify and Deezer, and found deezer has the best sound for me, so I have stuck with them.

They have entirely different DAC (Digital to Analogue conversion) chips in each phone, the one in the Iphone is known to be of much higher quality than the one being used in the Samsung phones, which may account for some of the differences. For example an ESS chip sounds very different to a Burr Brown one, which may or may not be down to its filtering - thats a huge discussion played out on hifi forums forever more.

If you tried Tidal HD, you would also notice a different in quality over say Spotify, but the sound system has to have enough clarity to represent that, hence the BO system can be more revealing as of its quality.

Much the same with home Hifi, a full on NAIM system is going to sound better than an all in one speaker box, but the NAIM system will sure expose a bad recording or playback more than the speaker box.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sve

Dubjam

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
Dunno what's OP's car, but a very important thing for those who are willing to go with the B&O retrofit is to get the correct amp.
For instance, if your MMI version is High and you get the V1 B&O amp, you either won't have sound or you will have only 2 speakers working. Also, you won't get any settings in the MMI menu. Just go with the V2 81A035466B as it is compatible with both MMI Low & High. Another thing to look for also, is the bracket where the amp is fitted - V2 B&O amp cannot be mounted on a V1 bracket.

Did you ever notice a sound different from the V1 to the V2 BO amp? I swear my V2 one isn't as good as the V1 one when I did a MIB2 upgrade.
 

Sve

Registered User
Did you ever notice a sound different from the V1 to the V2 BO amp? I swear my V2 one isn't as good as the V1 one when I did a MIB2 upgrade.
I haven’t switched yet, I just replied on the research basis I’ve done so far. Now, hearing from a person gone this way and saying it’s lesser quality, I am starting reconsidering if it’s worth the expense and headaches that I will went through and have shittier quality as a result. What do you find as main difference between V1 and V2? Lesser clarity, lower sound?
 

Dubjam

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
I haven’t switched yet, I just replied on the research basis I’ve done so far. Now, hearing from a person gone this way and saying it’s lesser quality, I am starting reconsidering if it’s worth the expense and headaches that I will went through and have shittier quality as a result. What do you find as main difference between V1 and V2? Lesser clarity, lower sound?

Honestly, I could be making it up entirely, sound is very subjective and so many psychological bias models come into play when doing stuff like this.

What I felt was the difference with the new Mib or amp is that it lost a portion of the ‘surround sound’ effect, so instrument placement was off and clarity not as prominent. It was minimal, and without back to back testing you could never really know, it just didn’t sound as good. But again could just be brain lies! Especially as I am naturally geared to disliking change :)
 
Top