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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently purchased a 2019 CR-V Touring. I picked Touring hoping that it may sound better but I was very disappointed. I come from 2006 Ford Escape Limited with premium audio and 6-disk CD player. My Escape could rock the entire street easily with windows down. There is no CD player in CR-V. I had to rip my CD to lossless WMA and store them in USB. Unfortunately, it sounds pretty bad. I listened to Nickelback far away this morning. It was loud enough but it sounds like it was recorded from a small kitchen other than a professional studio. Every sound are mixed into 2-D dimension, and at some point I couldn't even tell the lyrics, even though I've listened to this song thousands of time. They are blurred and lousy. I couldn't feel the surrounding sound but I think there are 8 speakers spreading out the car. Which stupid brand this system belongs to? I can't find this information online.

What did you do to improve your CR-V audio system? I don't know whether the problems are the receiver or speakers or subwoofer or all.
 

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Well... for one thing.. I would not want you "rocking my neighborhood" with your stereo at max and the windows down. :)

I own a 2017 Touring and I have no complaints about the sound system at all. If anything.. it's over powered for the actual listening needs. Note: I also do not expect studio quality playback of audio in my vehicles either... because it's impossible from any sort of practical standpoint.

As for the CD player.. yeah.... but CDs are on the way out of the world in this era of streaming. I'm sure it was a practical decision by Honda... as they DO research customer wants and needs, and if CD player need is low.. and it adds $100+ to the cost of a vehicle in a very competitive market.. why put it in? An owner can always plug in a USB CD player if they don't want to rip the tracks to digital storage. Personally, I put all my CDs in storage about a decade ago after I ripped them all for use in the families various apple products. Any music purchased in the last decade in our family has been digital downloads anyway.

That said.. we have a number of members here who have done a range of aftermarket modifications on the sound systems in these gen5 CRVs. So you will get some good advice.... but again.. looking for studio quality in a motor vehicle is like chasing after a unicorn.
 

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I've recently purchased a 2019 CR-V Touring. I picked Touring hoping that it may sound better but I was very disappointed. I come from 2006 Ford Escape Limited with premium audio and 6-disk CD player. My Escape could rock the entire street easily with windows down. There is no CD player in CR-V. I had to rip my CD to lossless WMA and store them in USB. Unfortunately, it sounds pretty bad. I listened to Nickelback far away this morning. It was loud enough but it sounds like it was recorded from a small kitchen other than a professional studio. Every sound are mixed into 2-D dimension, and at some point I couldn't even tell the lyrics, even though I've listened to this song thousands of time. They are blurred and lousy. I couldn't feel the surrounding sound but I think there are 8 speakers spreading out the car. Which stupid brand this system belongs to? I can't find this information online.

What did you do to improve your CR-V audio system? I don't know whether the problems are the receiver or speakers or subwoofer or all.
Mitsubishi for the head unit.

The route I took involved upgrading speakers and sub, adding interior sound deadening and changing the EQ on the head unit.


Others have added USB CD players in the center console, I'm sure they will chime in.

Nickelback?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When you live in an area of lots of traffic, a good audio system is important to make the trip bearable. I can't rock your neighborhood anymore. The dealer has taken my old car, gone with my old-fashion premium audio system.

I think it's very subjective. When I moved from a very old Nissan to Escape, I had only minor complaint, probably because the Nissan had a pair of aftermarket speakers. Going from Escape to CR-V is a huge disappointment. I've prepared for worse but it's still much worse than I expected. Not to mention how much I've paid to upgrade from EX-L to Touring.


Well... for one thing.. I would not want you "rocking my neighborhood" with your stereo at max and the windows down. :)

I own a 2017 Touring and I have no complaints about the sound system at all. If anything.. it's over powered for the actual listening needs. Note: I also do not expect studio quality playback of audio in my vehicles either... because it's impossible from any sort of practical standpoint.

As for the CD player.. yeah.... but CDs are on the way out of the world in this era of streaming. I'm sure it was a practical decision by Honda... as they DO research customer wants and needs, and if CD player need is low.. and it adds $100+ to the cost of a vehicle in a very competitive market.. why put it in? An owner can always plug in a USB CD player if they don't want to rip the tracks to digital storage. Personally, I put all my CDs in storage about a decade ago after I ripped them all for use in the families various apple products. Any music purchased in the last decade in our family has been digital downloads anyway.

That said.. we have a number of members here who have done a range of aftermarket modifications on the sound systems in these gen5 CRVs. So you will get some good advice.... but again.. looking for studio quality in a motor vehicle is like chasing after a unicorn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nickelback:

Mitsubishi for the head unit.

The route I took involved upgrading speakers and sub, adding interior sound deadening and changing the EQ on the head unit.


Others have added USB CD players in the center console, I'm sure they will chime in.

Nickelback?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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I have the 2018 CRV Touring and I would have to say the manufacture of my stereo system was ---- wait for it ---
Campbell soup cans !! Pretty much what it sounds like.
 

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Did you also play the ripped Nickelback sound file on your PC with good quality headphones to make sure it is not something with the rip? All my ripped sound files were done ages ago.. and when I play them in my CRV they sound great.... not studio quality great, but motor vehicle great. Keep in mind... it's not a proprietary tune Bose system, or similar, in the Hondas so true audiophiles will likely always feel it's substandard.

The only time I hear any substandard audio in my Touring is when I am listening to an FM channel and the HD stereo drops out due to some local signal loss. That is quite noticeable... and I can predict in advance what location in town it will drop (probably some form of local interference).

One other thing you can try is check the ANC on your head unit and play the music with it both on and off. ANC has been found to be a culprit in some sound and noise issues inside gen5 CRVs.

Beyond that... you could actually have a defective sound system.. so maybe if you can.. play the same tracks in another Touring.

Audio is like tires.. very passionate topic for CRV owners. :) There was a discussion about differences between sound systems in the EXL and the Touring way back in the forum: https://www.crvownersclub.com/threads/sound-system-in-exl-vs-touring.143841/
 

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Well... for one thing.. I would not want you "rocking my neighborhood" with your stereo at max and the windows down. :)

I own a 2017 Touring and I have no complaints about the sound system at all. If anything.. it's over powered for the actual listening needs. Note: I also do not expect studio quality playback of audio in my vehicles either... because it's impossible from any sort of practical standpoint.

As for the CD player.. yeah.... but CDs are on the way out of the world in this era of streaming. I'm sure it was a practical decision by Honda... as they DO research customer wants and needs, and if CD player need is low.. and it adds $100+ to the cost of a vehicle in a very competitive market.. why put it in? An owner can always plug in a USB CD player if they don't want to rip the tracks to digital storage. Personally, I put all my CDs in storage about a decade ago after I ripped them all for use in the families various apple products. Any music purchased in the last decade in our family has been digital downloads anyway.

That said.. we have a number of members here who have done a range of aftermarket modifications on the sound systems in these gen5 CRVs. So you will get some good advice.... but again.. looking for studio quality in a motor vehicle is like chasing after a unicorn.
I’ll agree with you about the CD player. I moved on from CDs long ago. I never touched the CD player in the last two cars I’ve owned. You can use high quality files via your phone or USB stick.

I have to strongly disagree with your comment about the audio quality. I don’t want anyone reading these posts to get the false impression that the audio quality on the 5th gen Touring is good. Absolutely not. I’ve had several high end car audio systems over the years and the Touring’s sound deficiencies were immediately noticeable. It’s probably the most disappointing thing about the car to me. Sure, you can get by with it, but it pales in comparison. I find myself constantly noticing songs that I know well sounding like there’s a lot missing much like the OP mentioned. When I listen to new music for the first time and I enjoy it, I make it a point to listen to it again in my other car/home audio system/headphones so I can catch all the missing detail. It is definitely not overpowered. I mean, sure you can crank the volume up but it will still sound like crap. Upgrading the sound system is something I plan on doing.
 

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I've recently purchased a 2019 CR-V Touring. I picked Touring hoping that it may sound better but I was very disappointed. I come from 2006 Ford Escape Limited with premium audio and 6-disk CD player. My Escape could rock the entire street easily with windows down. There is no CD player in CR-V. I had to rip my CD to lossless WMA and store them in USB. Unfortunately, it sounds pretty bad. I listened to Nickelback far away this morning. It was loud enough but it sounds like it was recorded from a small kitchen other than a professional studio. Every sound are mixed into 2-D dimension, and at some point I couldn't even tell the lyrics, even though I've listened to this song thousands of time. They are blurred and lousy. I couldn't feel the surrounding sound but I think there are 8 speakers spreading out the car. Which stupid brand this system belongs to? I can't find this information online.

What did you do to improve your CR-V audio system? I don't know whether the problems are the receiver or speakers or subwoofer or all.
Wow, as far as rocking the entire street with the windows down, hmmm....? Sounds like something a Junior in high school does with his parent's car to show off.....not too mature. The sound system in my '18 Touring is so-so. It's actually not as good as the sound system I had in my 2015 Accord EX-L. That was a 360 watt system, which the 2019 Accord now has a 450 watt system. Why the CR-V only has a 330 watt is beyond me? But again, it is a car. I have a sound system in my house that rocks my house (windows closed as nobody wants to hear someone elses's music from a car or house) But I live in a house, not in my car. Without a question, this particular Honda sound system is an unfortunately mediocre system that needs to be addressed in future Gen CR-Vs. I love everything else about the car!
My only advice is look into purchasing better quality speakers and a stronger sub-woofer. Oh, and please dont drive through my neighbor hood....lol! Believe me, I love very loud music with lost of pumping bass, but only within the confines of my house.
 

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I've recently purchased a 2019 CR-V Touring. I picked Touring hoping that it may sound better but I was very disappointed. I come from 2006 Ford Escape Limited with premium audio and 6-disk CD player. My Escape could rock the entire street easily with windows down. There is no CD player in CR-V. I had to rip my CD to lossless WMA and store them in USB. Unfortunately, it sounds pretty bad. I listened to Nickelback far away this morning. It was loud enough but it sounds like it was recorded from a small kitchen other than a professional studio. Every sound are mixed into 2-D dimension, and at some point I couldn't even tell the lyrics, even though I've listened to this song thousands of time. They are blurred and lousy. I couldn't feel the surrounding sound but I think there are 8 speakers spreading out the car. Which stupid brand this system belongs to? I can't find this information online.

What did you do to improve your CR-V audio system? I don't know whether the problems are the receiver or speakers or subwoofer or all.
 

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When I got our 2018 CRV, I spent some time changing the settings to what I wanted. To mee it sounds pretty good. Certainly not perfect - but a lot better than our previous Toyota and Hyundai.

I love the usb/flash drive. Initially put over 100 albums on it. No more carrying around CDs and having to change them. Takes a few minutes to update for new music, but well worth it. One does need to pay attention to settings when ripping CDs and transferring them to the usb. Quality can vary significantly if you don’t watch them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you share your CR-V settings and how did you rip CDs?

I ripped my CD with windows media player with lossless WMA format. I tried lossless AAC from iTune but my CR-V can't recognize the format. WMA is the only lossless format my CR-V recognizes.

When I got our 2018 CRV, I spent some time changing the settings to what I wanted. To mee it sounds pretty good. Certainly not perfect - but a lot better than our previous Toyota and Hyundai.

I love the usb/flash drive. Initially put over 100 albums on it. No more carrying around CDs and having to change them. Takes a few minutes to update for new music, but well worth it. One does need to pay attention to settings when ripping CDs and transferring them to the usb. Quality can vary significantly if you don’t watch them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've never owned any luxury or high-end car and didn't know how they sound. I was comparing CR-V to my old Ford Escape. Both cars are at top trims. I had the impression that Japaness cars are better than American cars in many ways, but unfortunately audio system is not one of them.

I ripped my CDs with lossless WMA by windows media player. What do you use to create "high quality" files?

I’ll agree with you about the CD player. I moved on from CDs long ago. I never touched the CD player in the last two cars I’ve owned. You can use high quality files via your phone or USB stick.

I have to strongly disagree with your comment about the audio quality. I don’t want anyone reading these posts to get the false impression that the audio quality on the 5th gen Touring is good. Absolutely not. I’ve had several high end car audio systems over the years and the Touring’s sound deficiencies were immediately noticeable. It’s probably the most disappointing thing about the car to me. Sure, you can get by with it, but it pales in comparison. I find myself constantly noticing songs that I know well sounding like there’s a lot missing much like the OP mentioned. When I listen to new music for the first time and I enjoy it, I make it a point to listen to it again in my other car/home audio system/headphones so I can catch all the missing detail. It is definitely not overpowered. I mean, sure you can crank the volume up but it will still sound like crap. Upgrading the sound system is something I plan on doing.
 

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Can you share your CR-V settings and how did you rip CDs?

I ripped my CD with windows media player with lossless WMA format. I tried lossless AAC from iTune but my CR-V can't recognize the format. WMA is the only lossless format my CR-V recognizes.
If I recall correctly from Apple documentation... ACC is not lossless. Apple Lossless format is ALAC... and that does not show as supported by the Honda HU.

From the Owners Manual:

Playing a USB Flash Drive
Your audio system reads and plays sound files on a USB flash drive in either MP3,
WMA, or AAC*1 format.

*1:Only AAC format files recorded with iTunes are playable on this unit.
Earlier in this thread... some suggestions were made about using actual high quality streaming via your cell phone to actually test the quality and performance of the native Honda Audio system. I strongly urge you to go this route to test and adjust your audio system FIRST... before moving on to different audio sources and formats. That way you can distinguish actual limits of the native audio system vs. fidelity losses from various encoding techniques.

In addition.. if you actually want lossles ALAC ... play it from your iPhone through your Head Unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Apple lossless format does have a different name. But if you go to iTune, you will find it's listed aside with other lossy options. I don't know if the underline codec is different or not.

I listened exclusively to CDs. I don't have any paying music service to compare :(. My best is Amazon prime music on my phone, but I guess that's 320K MP3 at best.

I know it's supposed to be no difference to human ear between 320K MP3 and CDs, but I seem to be an outlier. Almost all MP3 music sound broken to me. My last comparison was the soundtrack of "The Greatest showman". Before I've got the CD, I listened to LGTV and prime music. That was so sad. Once the CD was in my CD player at home (an old cheap 250-watt philips audio system) or in my old Escape, it was exciting.

I think CR-V might be optimized to Chinese music :). I played some Chinese music in the car yesterday and they sounded fine. Chinese music is light on instruments and focus on vocal. They are peaceful enought that CR-V system didn't sound too noisy. I think I will play much more Chinese music now.

If I recall correctly from Apple documentation... ACC is not lossless. Apple Lossless format is ALAC... and that does not show as supported by the Honda HU.

From the Owners Manual:



Earlier in this thread... some suggestions were made about using actual high quality streaming via your cell phone to actually test the quality and performance of the native Honda Audio system. I strongly urge you to go this route to test and adjust your audio system FIRST... before moving on to different audio sources and formats. That way you can distinguish actual limits of the native audio system vs. fidelity losses from various encoding techniques.

In addition.. if you actually want lossles ALAC ... play it from your iPhone through your Head Unit.
 

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Apple lossless format does have a different name. But if you go to iTune, you will find it's listed aside with other lossy options. I don't know if the underline codec is different or not.

I listened exclusively to CDs. I don't have any paying music service to compare :(. My best is Amazon prime music on my phone, but I guess that's 320K MP3 at best.

I know it's supposed to be no difference to human ear between 320K MP3 and CDs, but I seem to be an outlier. Almost all MP3 music sound broken to me. My last comparison was the soundtrack of "The Greatest showman". Before I've got the CD, I listened to LGTV and prime music. That was so sad. Once the CD was in my CD player at home (an old cheap 250-watt philips audio system) or in my old Escape, it was exciting.

I think CR-V might be optimized to Chinese music :). I played some Chinese music in the car yesterday and they sounded fine. Chinese music is light on instruments and focus on vocal. They are peaceful enought that CR-V system didn't sound too noisy. I think I will play much more Chinese music now.
From what I have read, ALAC is a different codec and is only supported within iOS.
 
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