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Sorry if there was a thread already made for this, but I was wondering if anyone actually tried both speaker systems out? Obviously the 9 Bose will sound better but I just wanted to know if there was a noticeable difference? Reason I'm asking is because i'm currently weighing my options between the safety&comfort package and the lux package. If there really isn't a difference I might just have to do without the daytime lamps/leather seats and go with the S&C package.
 

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Haven't played with it much yet, but the "Bose® Premium Sound System with 9 Amplified Speakers and Subwoofer" that we've supposedly got seems a bit ordinary to be honest.
 
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I concur. The Bose system sounds good, but isn't as powerful as I'd hoped. The Audiopilot (automatic volume compensation for road noise) feature doesn't seem to do much. I still have to crank it up at speed, then turn it down when I go slower. Overall it's a good system, but not great.

I can't really compare it to the base system, though.
 

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On a dark desert highway....

I concur. The Bose system sounds good, but isn't as powerful as I'd hoped.....
I can't really compare it to the base system, though.

I have the standard Lusso speakers. Playing with the fader, if I put most of the output at "rear" it can still be heard, but best is about 80% "front". With a bit of tweaking of the treble and base, I can play Hotel California on the MP3 loud enough for my liking but above 60mph it's getting a bit faint.
 

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So maybe the Bose system would be best characterized as "less weak"?
 

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I was thinking same thing. I did not notice much difference when driving back to back - but just turned both radios on without trying to make any adjustments.
 

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They say the base stereo system is 4 speakers but it is really 6 by the way. Full range speakers in the doors. Tweeters on the A-pillars. And to my surprise, driver's headrest speakers. I thought those only came with the higher end stereo.

In any case, my base stereo unit in my Ford Fiesta has significantly better sound and features. I was kind of surprised how much they cheaped out on the Fiat. It's a carry over from the Miata though. I think simply upgrading the door speakers could help with the overall sound quite a lot.
 

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So maybe the Bose system would be best characterized as "less weak"?

"less weak" than what? Ours has the Lusso Premium 9 speaker, and it's the 'weakest' radio I've had in any car, and I've had some pretty cheap radios. AM and FM reception is very poor, static-y, muffled on and off when driving through areas that are rock solid with our Fiat 500 and Honda Odyssey. The sound for Satellite is fine, as far as Satellite goes, and the USB and aux are fine, but the sound to the rear speakers is practically non-existent unless turning the fader to favor the rear speakers by a large amount. Certainly wouldn't describe this as a Premium radio. Also, it's kind of fussy to drill down thru the menus to select all the tuning changes, or change sources or stations. I'd rather have a few more dedicated buttons or knobs. The Steering wheel toggle controls are not very ergonomic -- I quite often hit the wrong button or hit the center toggle position by mistake when trying to select the up or down toggle. Same complaint for the cruise control toggles. I really like the Fiat 500 steering wheel controls, and especially because it's enhanced with buttons on the back side of the steering wheel as well as the front side. Fiat/Mazda could have done a lot better with this design.
 

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I have the 9-speaker system in my Abarth, and I would agree that the sound is pretty middle-of-the-road...my Mercedes SUV has better sound... but it has Harmon-Kardon speakers, and the subwoofer is in the rear liftgate. I also noted what may be an anomaly, or may just be I wasn't paying close attention...the headrest speakers worked clearly when I got a Bluetooth phone call, but they were indistinguishable when using sat radio. Will listen more carefully and see if there is anything coming out of the headrest speakers other than phone.
 

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"less weak" than what? Ours has the Lusso Premium 9 speaker, and it's the 'weakest' radio I've had in any car, and I've had some pretty cheap radios. AM and FM reception is very poor, static-y, muffled on and off when driving through areas that are rock solid with our Fiat 500 and Honda Odyssey. The sound for Satellite is fine, as far as Satellite goes, and the USB and aux are fine, but the sound to the rear speakers is practically non-existent unless turning the fader to favor the rear speakers by a large amount. Certainly wouldn't describe this as a Premium radio. Also, it's kind of fussy to drill down thru the menus to select all the tuning changes, or change sources or stations. I'd rather have a few more dedicated buttons or knobs. The Steering wheel toggle controls are not very ergonomic -- I quite often hit the wrong button or hit the center toggle position by mistake when trying to select the up or down toggle. Same complaint for the cruise control toggles. I really like the Fiat 500 steering wheel controls, and especially because it's enhanced with buttons on the back side of the steering wheel as well as the front side. Fiat/Mazda could have done a lot better with this design.
Less weak than the base radio.
 

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By the way, I bought the Premium package primarily for the LED adaptive headlights. The somewhat improved stereo was a bonus. If you spend a lot of time on the road between cities, the Sirius XM can be pretty useful, too. I also wanted the built-in GPS because the cabin is cramped enough without keeping track of an external unit or phone.

Obviously people value things differently, but consider the entire package. The Premium package is another $2200 above the S&C, but amortized over the life of the car it's not too bad and IMO the extra features are worth it.
 

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The Bose system is really set up as a surround system so the intent is not for the headrest speakers to be loud but to expand the sound stage of the audio. It works quite well in that way, plus the additional subwoofer provides a decent kick for a system built around smallish speakers. I've found I've had to spend time in the menus tweaking it - too bad it doesn't have a good EQ section. My audio engineering side always likes to tweak. But all things considered, even with the top down the Bose system sounds quite good.
 

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From the pro audio world...."If there are no highs and lows, its got to be Bose." Seriously, their best achievements have been related to getting larger sound out of smaller boxes. Otherwise, they seem to be merely ok as opposed to outstanding.
 
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From the pro audio world...."If there are no highs and lows, its got to be Bose." Seriously, their best achievements have been related to getting larger sound out of smaller boxes. Otherwise, they seem to be merely ok as opposed to outstanding.
Years ago I had a pair of Bose 901 speakers. There were no woofers and tweeters; all the drivers were full-range. They ultimately proved a poor fit for the room and were replaced by a pair of Design Acoustics D6. Fast-forward a couple of decades and the Bose system in my 2004 Miata proved unsatisfying.

I am pleased with my Bose Wave Radio and noise-cancelling headphones. Bose branded car stereos? Less so.
 
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Our fathers, in their primitive 1969 Fiat 124's, would laugh at us for being so fussy about such luxuries, i.e., the ergonomics of steering wheel volume control buttons and our disappointment with built-in headrest speakers. My dad undoubtedly held a secret thought that I was 'soft', and this would be the nail in the coffin. I insist upon heated seats.

Lordofthewings, I feel rather sad about you driving the Deep South of England listening to "Hotel California". Too bad we don't have any 124 rental cars yet, as you could winter here and I could show you some great roads.

Lastly, my last three sports cars have had Bose and I have always found them to be so-so. In contrast, our Hyundai Genesis has Lexicon speakers which sound like a concert hall. Well, there is always the aftermarket.
 

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Bose has been available in Miatas for an eternity, and are well-known for being less than top-of-the-line. It is what it is – make your choices accordingly. I never turn on a radio in the car, so I'll be very happy having a Bose badge.
 

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Bose has been available in Miatas for an eternity, and are well-known for being less than top-of-the-line. It is what it is – make your choices accordingly. I never turn on a radio in the car, so I'll be very happy having a Bose badge.
Less than top-of-the-line LOL. So...a euphemism for a-bit-rubbish. I guess when the brochure says it has 9 speakers including a subwoofer, you kinda build SOME expectations that it's going to be at least reasonable. And it's not. It was standard on the car in Aus so you get what you get. But I don't think I'd pay a lot extra to "upgrade" to it.

I had a Bose system in my 2001 Audi TT that was really very good.
 

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Lordofthewings, I feel rather sad about you driving the Deep South of England listening to "Hotel California". Too bad we don't have any 124 rental cars yet, as you could winter here and I could show you some great roads.
Back in the Summer of 1989 I spent 3 months working in Bakersfield CA. I drove a friend's Z3 and loved it, and subsequently owned one for 8 years. I wonder how many people in the U.S. drive around listening to English folk music to remind them of times spent in the cold rainy English countryside..... ? ;)
 
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