I've tried A LOT of different audio settings to get a sound I was happy with. I originally kept DSP like Bose Centerpoint off while keeping everything flat, similar to how I used the sound system in my 2007 G, but I found I actually enjoyed using Bose Centerpoint. I mostly hate Driver's Audio Stage though, especially if someone is in the car with you. Bose Centerpoint tricks may not be how the artist and mixer meant the music to be heard but hearing the mono elements be out in front accentuates the stereo elements around you, and I started to dig the experience. So it was time to play with settings while Bose Centerpoint was on. I'd find something I was happy with then within a few days, I'd change it looking for something better. I've been doing this since getting the car almost 2 months ago.
My goal was to find settings that work for me on a wide range of music at a wide range of volume levels so I could refrain from constantly changing my settings. I often like listening loud and that may get the bass thumping, but when I turn it down, the bass may then be too low, so I wanted an average setting that could work fine for both loudness levels. Also, modern day mixes don't sound like a lot of older mixes. I wanted to find settings that worked for both. Different genres sound different too. I wanted something that could work for classical, classic rock, current rock, pop, alternative, hard rock and even thrash metal. Granted, my settings may be different if I listened to only one type of music or listened at the same level all the time.
I've now been using the same settings for a few weeks so I think I've found my sweet spot. For a stock system, I like the new Bose quite a bit. I rented a Mercedes a few weeks ago and though the sound system was nice, and some may even prefer it, I didn't feel it was as good and there was a spike in the low-mid that drove me crazy.
I did prefer how the Mercedes had a Mid EQ setting though and not just Bass and Treble, which is ridiculous. In the Q60, I kept wanting to bump the Treble up more than one notch for some additional mid frequencies, but the problem with that is the high end then becomes much too harsh, cymbals, esses and such. What I found though is that if you push the Fade one or two notches to the front, the mid frequencies sound more pronounced simply because of which speakers are being used. The sound system is already out in front of you so I felt this worked well. I was actually really happy about hearing the mids pushed this way.
The problem with this was that though I like certain elements out in front of me, I felt I wasn't surrounded by the music, and in my car, I want to be surrounded. Part of the problem was that, at the time, I was setting the Surround Vol half way down because of being stubborn about minimizing DSP tricks. So I set the Surround Vol back to the middle again and thought okay, that actually does work better, but now that I moved the Fade a little towards the front, lets experiment with the Surround Vol up even more. I spent time with Surround Vol at varying positive levels, settling at two notches up, then I'd go back and forth between that setting and just having it in the middle to see what I liked most. So here are the sound settings I've settled on (for now at least).
Bose Centerpoint On
Bose Auto Pilot N/R
Surround Vol. +2
Driver's Audio Stage Off
Maybe someone can find this useful. What I'm curious about is trying your settings. If you post your settings, also please say what what kind of volumes you prefer and what kind of music. Because this is all subjective, I think those two pieces of information is very important to what settings work for you. Thanks, all!
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