Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:29 am

Re: Bose Sound Quality

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:52 pm

HotPotato wrote:Sirius streams at 64 Kbps and up. Pandora, at your choice of 150 or 300. Apple (iTunes) at 256. Google Play, 320. Amazon Music Unlimited, 256 average up to 500. Spotify, your choice of 96, 160 or 320.

Low bitrate sounds bad. And, direct wired connection sounds better than Bluetooth.

Totally agree, except the part of wired audio necessarily sounding better.

If you have a current streaming device with the latest Bluetooth radio and standard. there should be no difference in audio quality between Bluetooth and wired. Both are digital, so the bit stream is either complete or it isn't complete. There are no "gray areas" that would cause audio quality to diminish. If the Bluetooth connection is marginal, you may get sporadic dropouts, but those should be obvious and won't affect the actual quality of the sound.

Note - in some instances, particularly with older gear, the device manufacturers deliberately "dumbed down" the audio stream for BT audio in order to achieve and maintain the signal. In my experience though, you'd need ideal circumstances to notice. I

Posts: 337
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 4:58 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Bose Sound Quality

Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 pm

I asked a friend who does car audio for a living, and he confirms that the Bose system does a lot of digital signal processing (DSP). The midrange is cut, and the bass is boosted at low volumes, but cut (a lot!) at higher volumes. I also thing they are adding reverb, and compressing the dynamics quite a bit.

And the volume control and the DSP are all handled in the amplifier. The best solution he said is available at the moment, is a pre-processor than can be installed between the head control unit and the amp.

Which is not very satisfactory, frankly. Adding in EQ, to try and offset the EQ in the amp is only (probably) going to muddy the waters.

I hope that we can replace the amp with a "straight" unprocessed unit, and replace the drivers with units that can take the full volume from the amp, without EQ fiddling.

This hopefully can happen, sooner rather than later.

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:00 pm

Re: Bose Sound Quality

Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:55 pm

I have always had a problem with Bose equipment in the house or in cars. I think they mess with the sound too much, with all sorts of equalization bent to meet their own standards. I like to start with a system that has a basically flat equalization, and then mess with it from there. Accordingly, to my ears the Bose sound is not that good in the Bolt EV. Its muddy in the middle somewhere, and lacking at the top end. The base is fine, but then I am not a fan of chest beating. I do find that my ten year old iPod, with mostly low bitrates, gives reasonably good sound using a USB port. I tend to prefer listening to it rather than music over bluetooth, whether its Pandora, or directly from my iPad, or whatever I try to use. I tend to feel that there is something a bit harsh about a bluetooth connection no matter what the bitrate.
Ashford, CT
Bolt owner since July 1, 2017

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:39 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Bose Sound Quality

Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:06 pm

I have a new 2020 Bolt Premier with software 46.1.6 and this is my first post. Thanks to all on the forum that I've learned from so far. I wanted to post this in the thread named "USB Stick Music" but it is locked. At least this thread started out about music on flash drives.

I found that the Bolt infotainment system will not see or play audio files ripped from CDs or bought using iTunes (or elsewhere) that have the filename extension .m4a These are MPEG-4 audio files with AAC encoding, which the 2020 Bolt Owners Manual says the car will play. I found that all you have to do is rename the filename extension to one that the car will see and then it will list and play the files.

I renamed my .m4a files to .aac and now they work fine. You do not have to convert or transcode them to MP3 and you do not have to re-rip or re-buy them as MP3. Renaming them to .mp4 works, but that confuses them with video files. Renaming them to .mp3 works but that confuses them with actual MP3 files.

Also, in the Owners Manual's description of this type of file it makes no mention of supporting Variable Bit Rate (VBR), but my files have VBR of 256 or 320 kbps and they play fine and sound great, and much better than the satellite radio.

In Windows, you can change the extension of many files in many folders at once with Microsoft's PowerRename utility (in Microsoft's PowerToys) or a third-party utility such as Bulk Extension Changer or Advanced Renamer. On a Mac you can change the extension of many files in one folder using the Finder.

Because I have about 6000 files, which exceeds the Bolt's limit of 5000 per flash drive, I split them into two flash drives of about 3000 each with room to expand. Each drive is a Samsung 64 GB FIT Plus, USB 3.1, Model MUF-64AB/AM.

This flash drive came from the factory formatted as exFAT, which the Bolt will not recognize. I reformatted it using the free guiformat.exe from Ridgecrop to FAT32 with an allocation unit size of 32768. Formatting it to NTFS (Windows) or HFS+ (Mac) is also OK according to the Owners Manual.

Previously I had all the files on a single 64 GB Samsung FIT USB 3.0 drive that we used in a 2014 Prius Plug-In. It had no problem with the .mp4 filename extensions and it showed album artwork.

Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:13 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Bose Sound Quality

Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:39 pm

Names like Bose are really meant to sell a premium option than actually sound better. savagegeese YouTube channel often tests the sound in their car reviews and most are not that great when analyzed. Although the interior of a car is about the worst sound field you could make. But then my ears hear no difference with Bose, Beats, etc. in the best conditions.
2017 Bolt EV Premier

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