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Bose "High End" Sensurround package- Is it just me?


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I have the "highest end" Bose stereo package on my 06 Carrera.

I have to say it's the worst sound system I have ever had in a Porsche. :angry: My 99 coupe witha bone stock sound system sounded way better than this one :o

It has mid range speakers in back on the sides and behind the seats. The subwoofers are on the doors and a bunch of speakers in the dash.. The manual says "The sub woofer has it's own amplifier" but doesn't say if you can adjust it or where it is.

It has no presence and sounds harsh and "tinny". My home computer with two little speakers and a small subwoofer blows this $1800 option away. :angry:

I have tried every imaginable combination of available settings and it still sounds like crap. Am I missing something? The only thing I can adjust is the Bass, treble, balance, fader and the sensurround (I still haven't figured out WTF that is supposed to do.)

Can anyone with the same system shed some light on this? Did Porsche and Bose really fail this miserably with their "High end" sound option?

Is there a way to adjust the subwoofer? Any advice? Very confused about this. :huh:

Thanks!!

Edited by phillipj
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I have the Bose system in my 2006 Boxster S and find it to be an outstaning system. In fact, I can get so much bass going that I have it dialed down vs the treble. Heck, I can feel it in the seats almost like a messaging chair.

How long have you owner the car? Is it still in warranty? Maybe you have a blow speaker, amp or something is disconnected. Maybe listen to another car's system at the dealership for a point of reference and comparision.

I think my system has 11 speakers.

Edited by White987S
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White987S,

I have had the car for 2 months and it's still under warranty.

Interesting.. I highly doubt that there is a speaker or amp broken. I guess I just don't like the way it sounds. I will take your advice and go to the dealer this weekend and listen to a similar sound system and see if it is the same.

Thanks!

Edited by phillipj
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I have same year 997 and it seems you have something wrong with settings or a hardware problem as described above. I am fairly picky on sound, and although never satisfied with enough power, must say that Porsche/Bose did an admirable job of a solid sounding system in a small package. Have it checked out soonest, and best of all listen with your own ears to another similarly equipped vehicle.

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If it sounds worse than your stock '99 did, something is wrong.

I have the Bose upgraded sound, and it is absolutely nothing special. It's definitely not the best stock stereo I've heard (that title belongs to the Logic7 stereo in my last BMW, which came standard!), but certainly not the worst.

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When tuned to a radio station I would agree that the Bose system isn't that great. Unless you turn the volume way up the sound is terrible with or without the surround sound enabled. On a CD however I find the sound to be better and prefer the surround sound enabled. As for the ability of the system to rattle the doors that doesn't impressive me as the doors rattle whether the the system is on or off. The whole PCM - Nav system is a big disappointment in my book and a poorly executed effort on Porsches part. The MOST bus optical interface just adds insult to injury by making it nearly impossible to upgrade the system which is soarly needed to bring it up to par with much less expensive systems in much less expensive cars.

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Speaking of the Bose upgrade. Does anyone have any details on the Bose option for 2006 Carrera S Cabriolet? I am looking to find out how many watts it has and how many speakers are there in total. I thought I read somewhere that the Cabriolet has one less speaker than the Coupe but can't verify, can anyone help? Has anyone seen any reviews on the Bose system in the cabriolet?

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I went to the dealer and listened to another system identical to mine. It's exactly the same. really dissapointing. My last Porsche had a Kenwood system with a huge amp and subwoofer. I guess I'm spoiled by that.

I can live with it but I'm suprised they didn't do a better job with this. Maybe Germans don't like loud rock music with lots of bass :D

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I went to the dealer and listened to another system identical to mine. It's exactly the same. really dissapointing. My last Porsche had a Kenwood system with a huge amp and subwoofer. I guess I'm spoiled by that.

I can live with it but I'm suprised they didn't do a better job with this. Maybe Germans don't like loud rock music with lots of bass :D

They don't like rock, but I thought they liked techno music, which has loads of bass.

There's no excuse to be found here - it was a mistake to partner with Bose. I think their stuff is junk, and it is only those consumers that buy into their marketing and don't know any better that perceive it as a high quality brand. Everything they make is just injection molded plastic.

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The surround setting on mine ('05) does seem to improve the overall sound, but it is far from being the best system in cars I've owned. I'm frankly astonished at the lack of precision tone control.

The subwoofer sucks IMHO. The boom-boom character ruins anything below a certain frequency point, turning formerly musical notes into indistinguishable cannon mush. It's crap, and it disturbs me that the this trend in popular music is allowed to color everything else.

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The surround setting on mine ('05) does seem to improve the overall sound, but it is far from being the best system in cars I've owned. I'm frankly astonished at the lack of precision tone control.

The subwoofer sucks IMHO. The boom-boom character ruins anything below a certain frequency point, turning formerly musical notes into indistinguishable cannon mush. It's crap, and it disturbs me that the this trend in popular music is allowed to color everything else.

Thank you for explaining what I hate about this system. The bass characteristics are very strange. I have never heard such lousy subwoofers. And as you said the lack of "precision sound control" is what amazes me as well.

I will live with it and not fool with the system. I'm too afraid I'll somehow screw up the PCM. Thanks for all of your input and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the BOSE sucks. Porsche should be ashamed on a $90k car :huh: , My Scion TC has an awesome sound system and it was a $16k car. Go figure :angry:

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I think what's especially troubling is that neither Porsche nor Bose can say what the adjustment of the surround setting does! I've corresponded and spoken with Bose and come up blank. Had a small recording studio and band a while back (ok, quite a while back) so I think I know a little about getting good sound - and this is just ok. Wife was looking at that new little Volvo before she bought an RX-8 and it had the controls to make it sound nothing short of amazing. FM radio stations all step on their signal hard, that is, modify it via compression/expanders, equalizers, and sometimes other processing so I wouldn't expect them to sound good from station to station. PM me and I'll send along my settings to try out if you are interested. My music is usually Metal or Hard Rock.

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No highs, no lows, must be Bose.

Bose is, to be generous to them, astonishingly terrible. I am amazed Porsche partnered with them. (The word "Böse" in German means "evil".)

The later comments on how mushy the subwoofer is are exactly on track from what I've heard. The company is all about marketing. They talk you into thinking they sound great. In reality, they're not at all.

All that being said, in a car is probably the worst listening environment you could have. This is also why it's great. When I'm working on a mixdown from a tracking session and think I'm ready to send it off to the record company or mastering studio, I'll listen on the nearfield monitors, the producer pleasers, the "Horrortones", then put it on a crappy cassette and take it out to listen in a car. If I can hear everything I expect to hear in all those cases, then I'm ready to send it off.

So, if you want to listen in the car, don't spend a fortune, and in my opinion, skip the Bose option. You're paying for marketing instead of sound quality.

-Michael

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I have found one thing that has helped. If I play CD's from the record company the sound is dramatically better. Downloaded compressed files from the internet are complete garbage.

I have a friend that is a DJ and does some pretty big sound shows. He has relectanly had to give up his viynl. When I asked him about the compressed files sounding like crap he said "oh yeah" they are terrible".

At his shows He said "the kids don't know any better and the adults are too drunk to care". :D Technology hmmm...

So at least I know I won't be burrning any CD's for the car. I'll just pay up and get the "factory" CD......

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I have recorded (using Radio Gaga for Mac) a lot of internet radio and transferred it to iTunes and then my iPod. Playing the iPod via the Dension interface through the Bose system produces really bad sound. Only listenable going fast in lower gears with windows open. Compressed music thru many portals does tend to create crap.

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  • 1 year later...

I can see I'm on this thread a year or so late but have to say that the Bose system in my car is just as disappointing as the OP mentions. Yes, its loud but the sound quality is just terrible. The treble is so harsh as to be almost distorted and the bass is powerful but totally undefined. If I had specced this thing from new (I got my car with about 1500 miles on the clock) and had paid the premium I would be devastated. As it is - I have other things to concern me like the extremely obstructive gearbox (hard to get into 1st at rest and under power from 2nd to third it balks constantly) and intermittent rattle behind the passenger dash ( which i can temporarily cure by pounding on it hard with my fist). Not exactly what i expected from a Porsche but oh well.

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Word of advice on the sound system.. Forget playing compressed files on it. They will sound worse than awful. I have a Turbo now with the same system. As long as I play orginal CD's it sounds okay.

As far as the problem getting the car in first....That is a Porsche thing. Select 2nd and then go to 1st and you wont have a problem. And as far as bogging in 2nd that is not normal and it sounds like you may have an issue there.

Edited by phillipj
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  • 6 months later...

I'd like to add myself to the list of people disappointed by the Bose system. I bought a 2005 Carrera S last week and I cannot believe how bad the stereo system is. Did they even listen to it at Porsche when people from Bose where trying to close the deal?? Have they ever checked one when they put these cars in production? It is an $1,800 option right now at he dealership; I am willing to spend $2,500 to get rid of it!!!!!!!!!! That is the cost of a "decent" car stereo (with Nav system - with bluetooth and ipod compatibility - since I need to rebuild the stereo, I'll update also the prehistoric navigation system) in line with this kind of car. I am serious, and I am playing with the idea to actually challenge Bose: I can build a MUCH better sounding system - speakers and amplifier - than the Bose system, by buying components on the internet at retail prices and spending no more than $300. I'm serious!!! I bet that this system cost to Bose no more than $50. And I am not being sarcastic!!! I will never, never, buy anything from Bose!!!!

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there are number of settings you can fiddle with to try and make the BOSE system sound better but after all, it's a BOSE system... great marketers w/ OK sound.

One trick to try and tame down how muddy the bass is is to fill the BOSE sub-woofer box w/ fiberfill (basic pillow stuffing from a craft store like Michaels/Joann's). This helped dramatically with my cab's BOSE system.

Good luck :)

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