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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the Sony 12-speaker entertainment system. I feel it sounds OK as long as the source track does not have too much deep bass.

There seems to be a complete lack of tightness in tracks with deeper bass. It is loud but muddy, boomy, sloppy. Gross. (An example track is "Gosh" by Jamie XX.)

In fact, I am sure I am also noticing some weird de-emphasizing of other frequencies. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice sounds completely different in this car, with some of the elements of the tune very subdued.

I wonder if the Active Noise Canceling is affecting audio playback?

I will admit, though, that speech (podcasts, audiobooks, phone conversations) is extremely clear.
 

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There is a lot that the Sync 3 system does to music in our cars... With music, as you turn up the volume it will actually tune down the bass to keep the speakers from rattling and distorting. For an "upgraded" sound system, it leaves a lot to be desired even though it is worlds better than the base 400a package. I added an 8" kicker solobaric in the trunk and called it good. There is a thread somewhere in this forum.
 

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I have the Sony 12-speaker entertainment system. I feel it sounds OK as long as the source track does not have too much deep bass.

There seems to be a complete lack of tightness in tracks with deeper bass. It is loud but muddy, boomy, sloppy. Gross. (An example track is "Gosh" by Jamie XX.)

In fact, I am sure I am also noticing some weird de-emphasizing of other frequencies. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice sounds completely different in this car, with some of the elements of the tune very subdued.

I wonder if the Active Noise Canceling is affecting audio playback?

I will admit, though, that speech (podcasts, audiobooks, phone conversations) is extremely clear.
Try turning off the surround sound mode and just putting it in stereo. If your source is providing just 2.1 channel, the car is creating the other channels when in surround sound mode.....maybe that's your issue???? or maybe not?? :confused:
 

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I do agree that the Sony system leaves a lot to be desired. I can't believe how the system clips the higher end frequencies. I blame the muddy /loose bass on the open air mid subs behind the back seats. Open air subs always sound muddy, I can't understand why a single sealed sub wasn't chosen instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Try turning off the surround sound mode and just putting it in stereo.
I use stereo only. I have selected stereo in the unit. Surround sounds even more terrible with stereo sources.
 
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I can't believe how the system clips the higher end frequencies.
Have you tried playing music through USB? Bluetooth clips highs a lot, where USB (even using Android Auto) doesn't.
 

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The Sony system in my 2012 sport was a lot better. The bass was amazing for a stock system.

The Sony system in these 17s is weak. I feel like much of it was a result of creating greater separation for the Lincoln brand.
 

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Have you tried playing music through USB? Bluetooth clips highs a lot, where USB (even using Android Auto) doesn't.
I will have to try that but the JVC headunit that I put in the Minivan with Polk MM components has no issues except for needing to add a sub. But I also wounder if the Ford/Sony system is not using the latest Bluetooth protocols.
 

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I use stereo only. I have selected stereo in the unit. Surround sounds even more terrible with stereo sources.
I just pulled up that song, Gosh, and played it in my car. I turned the volume up to 24 and the bass in that song was loud, clear, crisp. The mid's and high's were clear also. They were not distorting while the bass was hitting.

Are you playing a file that you downloaded? was it saved at the highest bit rate(studio/cd quality)?

There are a lot of factors that can create that issue.

I've had a crap radio in the past and know what a horrible sound system sounds like.

Also, I have a $400 pair of headphones and I played that same song through them.....it sounds just as clear as the car. So maybe there is a song file issue, or its some radios/head units with sync3 are having sound issues. I swear that i'm not having any of the issues I've heard guys complaining about, other than the no traffic issue in NAV, which I already fixed.

*just my opinion*
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you playing a file that you downloaded?
I have been playing from Spotify with Android Auto, with my phone plugged into the USB port.

I am not near my car right now but here are a couple of things I will try...

I just went into the Spotify settings and changed to "extreme quality".
I created a USB stick with FLAC files. Not sure if the system will be able to read them.
I'll take a couple of physical CDs to the car.
 

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Seems like the audio source can make a big difference. I have times when the system is among the best I have ever heard (often when listening to HD FM radio stations). Other times the sound is just not as good as it should be. My gut is that while there is probably some difference in the quality of the sources, there are other things going on with the sound processing. Which basically is probably something inside Sync 3's software. Ford has a huge investment and installed base for Sync 3 so if there are problems with the audio, then good chance they hear about it and resolve at some point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I plugged the USB stick into the front USB port.
I don't see any way to select and play the files?
It is a 16GB stick formatted as FAT32.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK I reformatted to ExFAT and now it works.

I must say the sound is a MASSIVE improvement!
How can it mess up the sound from my phone so badly?

To sum up my findings so far, the following things improve the sound quality:

1) Source from a USB stick. FLAC is best but even MP3 files sound great.
2) Play in stereo mode (not surround).
3) Shift the sound balance more to the front, between the seats and the dash.
4) Play with the engine not running. [ha ha ha]
 

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Sounds like a excellent sound system to me. The better the system, the more noticeable the source quality will be. I don't expect Spotify quality to match a non compressed source.
 
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OK I reformatted to ExFAT and now it works.

I must say the sound is a MASSIVE improvement!
How can it mess up the sound from my phone so badly?

To sum up my findings so far, the following things improve the sound quality:

1) Source from a USB stick. FLAC is best but even MP3 files sound great.
2) Play in stereo mode (not surround).
3) Shift the sound balance more to the front, between the seats and the dash.
4) Play with the engine not running. [ha ha ha]
I stopped using android auto. I just hop in the car and let regular bluetooth stream through and it sounds great. Did you try it that way??? I remember you saying that it sounded like crap when you used android auto. Maybe it's just an android auto issue??
 

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I will have to try that but the JVC headunit that I put in the Minivan with Polk MM components has no issues except for needing to add a sub. But I also wounder if the Ford/Sony system is not using the latest Bluetooth protocols.
I'm not sure, but I have noticed this in my Sport and our '16 (and old '14) Escapes, even those have the 10 speaker Sony system. However, I noticed it in my '10 Focus with stock 4 speaker HU (but speakers upgraded to Polk 2-ways) as well but nowhere near as much.

The amp & DSP in these Sony systems do a lot of processing. If you try changing equalizer settings on your phone in any other car, it does change the sound quite a bit, where doing it in Fords with Sony systems seems close to no change in audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
On searching for "android auto sound quality" I found this link:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-auto/h6W4fUl5Hkc

Voila! This fixes the awful sound quality I was getting with Android Auto.

It's not quite as good as playing from FLAC files on a USB, but it is drastically better than whatever the f*** it was doing before. It seems that Android Auto is not yet fully baked. At least navigation with Google Maps works like it should.
 
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