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Thread: Mazda CX-5 "Reserve" Bose System

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    Question Mazda CX-5 "Reserve" Bose System

    Hello - New here to your forum. Last Mazda I had was a 1987 626 which I put over 270,000 glorious miles on.

    I have been reading a lot of reviews at various websites and see a lot of complaints about the Bose audio. Looking at a new 2019 "Reserve".

    I am very into music, sometime a bit loud. What's the scoop? Good, bad and/or ugly opinions appreciated.

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    Whatís wrong with the Bose? We have it in our 2-day old touring awd, and Iím pretty impressed! Itís not a ultra high SQ system but is definitely one of the better upgraded factory audio systems Iíve heard. Itís definitely better than the Bose in my Cadillac, and the HK & Burmeister systems in my folksí Mercedes benzes

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    The complaints I read were mostly: not very powerful, poor base response and poor L-R separation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elsmarc View Post
    The complaints I read were mostly: not very powerful, poor base response and poor L-R separation.
    not very powerful=true, but will still get loud "enough" unless you're into head-banging.
    poor base response=true, but not awful.
    poor L-R separation=not IMO, but I don't like it highly separated sounding. And the optional Centerpoint feature can play havoc with the sound stage.
    All my observations from a 17, which is essentially the same I think. Overall it's fine, not great. Certainly not a deal killer.

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    Thanks. I guess I'll have to do an extended test drive. I don't drive much these days (retired and 70 years old) but have a few trips in mind. Expressways can get noisy. That's another reason I guess I should do an extended test drive to see how noisy the CX-5's are on the expressway.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    (No - Not a "headbanger" - Just like lots of different music. It carries me away.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elsmarc View Post
    Thanks. I guess I'll have to do an extended test drive. I don't drive much these days (retired and 70 years old) but have a few trips in mind. Expressways can get noisy. That's another reason I guess I should do an extended test drive to see how noisy the CX-5's are on the expressway.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    (No - Not a "headbanger" - Just like lots of different music. It carries me away.)
    I'm not sure about the Reserves, but my wife's Signature is one of the quietest vehicles I've been in. It has dual pane front side windows, just like my Lexus. Do the Reserves come with these? The Bose stereo is not nearly as good as my Mark Levinson, but is also not as bad as I was imagining it would be.

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    Audio quality is subjective, so why not take a test drive (play?) and play a favorite well-known track of your own from a USB stick?

    In my opinion, the Bose system in my 2019 Sig is head and shoulders above the Bose in my 2016. Much less muddy sounding, in particular up front, and a larger and more pleasant soundstage, plus fine for me low to moderate impact bass from the spare mounted subwoofer. I added a subwoofer to my 2016, replaced all speakers but the front door ones (wanted to, but compatibility was an issue), and while that made things a lot better, it still to me didn't sound as refined as the Bose in the Signature. It just seems, well, balanced, not too much of anything. If someone likes rattle your license plate bass or extremely high fidelity, they may not be as pleased.

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    Registered Member 7eregrine's Avatar

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    Yep. Audio is in the ear of the beholder. The Bose in my 16 is extraordinary to me. No bass? Anyone who says that in my opinion, doesn't know how to turn the bass up. It shakes the entire vehicle like a ghetto sled with the right music and bass maxed out. Literally hurts to have it set like that with certain music.
    Love my BOSE.
    Re: Quiet. You won't find one quieter. No matter the trim. I think only the BMW X5 is quieter.
    Oh, and don't put Reserve in quotes again. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elsmarc View Post
    Thanks. I guess I'll have to do an extended test drive. I don't drive much these days (retired and 70 years old) but have a few trips in mind. Expressways can get noisy. That's another reason I guess I should do an extended test drive to see how noisy the CX-5's are on the expressway.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    (No - Not a "headbanger" - Just like lots of different music. It carries me away.)
    An extended test drive is a great idea. I haven't test-driven a CX-5 yet, but I've heard that the interior is nice and quiet.

    Regarding the Bose system, I don't mind it in my CX-9. I do wish it were better, specifically the bass (it gets too muddy), but the acoustics are different from the CX-5, so I'm sure that plays a part. I've been able to play around with the equalizer in my phone's music app (PowerAmp) to get much better sound than what was available with the stock system settings.

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    Sometimes when i come back from a drive, before going into the house, I just sit in the car listening to music in the driveway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
    An extended test drive is a great idea. I haven't test-driven a CX-5 yet, but I've heard that the interior is nice and quiet.

    Regarding the Bose system, I don't mind it in my CX-9. I do wish it were better, specifically the bass (it gets too muddy), but the acoustics are different from the CX-5, so I'm sure that plays a part. I've been able to play around with the equalizer in my phone's music app (PowerAmp) to get much better sound than what was available with the stock system settings.
    Another (iPhone, maybe Android) app you may want to check out is SonicMax Pro to fine-tune your sound. It's based on a FX pedal (and rack mount unit) for guitar players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetPete View Post
    Another (iPhone, maybe Android) app you may want to check out is SonicMax Pro to fine-tune your sound. It's based on a FX pedal (and rack mount unit) for guitar players.
    Thanks, but it seems that SonicMax Pro is not available on the Play Store (though I can get a cracked apk if I wanted to). It sounds like they would be similar in execution, and if I hadn't already purchased PowerAmp (and it was readily available on the Play Store), its definitely something I would have considered.
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    The sound quality for the 2019 Bose system seems good for the price.

    Compared to my 2016 CX-5's Bose system - the sound is much clearer (the 2016's quality was particularly blah for a branded system) but the 2019's sound seems much quieter when I have the volume turned to a similar setting. For example, I'd usually listen to the 2016's dialed to about "20" for regular use, "30" when I wanted it loud, and "40" when I had windows open at higher speed. In the 2019, "30" is notably quieter than it was in the 2016. Anyone else notice this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCdvr View Post
    In the 2019, "30" is notably quieter than it was in the 2016. Anyone else notice this?
    I've also noticed this on BT and CarPlay sources (I had upgraded my 2016 myself to the new CP/AA USB hub before I traded it in). But, I also feel that the soundstage and quality is better even at the lower relative volume (which makes sense if overall the 2019 system is, subjectively, "better sounding" as it is to my ears). And this is from the same phone source and the same music files.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elsmarc View Post
    Hello - New here to your forum. Last Mazda I had was a 1987 626 which I put over 270,000 glorious miles on.

    I have been reading a lot of reviews at various websites and see a lot of complaints about the Bose audio. Looking at a new 2019 "Reserve".

    I am very into music, sometime a bit loud. What's the scoop? Good, bad and/or ugly opinions appreciated.
    Its okay.

    I prefer Harmon Kardon or however its spelled, in this price range.

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