OFFICIAL "Cars with Factory Surround Systems" Listing

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sjcorne

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This may be old news, but I just discovered that the Acura ELS Studio System (DTS-CD) will also play back 5.1 AAC (.m4a) files off a USB stick. I've been encoding at 320 kbps to maximize space on my 32 GB drive and haven't really noticed a huge dip in sound quality.
 

DuncanS

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This looks like the same system I tested last year in the Q3. Multichannel FLAC is no problem and the user interface showed cover art etc. In the Q3 it sounded way better than the Jaguar surround system in a E Pace I tested.
I get the new A5 in about a month (current one I have only has stereo and not that great a sound), so all I need now are to be able to go on some long journey's!
 

ddahl44

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Shawnee, KS
I’m back looking for a new car again (with 5.1 minimum of course). I pulled out of a deal for an Audi Q3 Sportsback with a great sounding FLAC multichannel system this time last year.

My 2009 A5 has just had $2500 in repairs and has a list of other parts that need replacing. Time to let it go.

One of the issues with the Q3 was no drivers ‘memory’ seat. This will be a shared car with my wife. We have totally different seating positions and ‘memory’ is nearly as important as surround sound! (I hate these first world problems!) Anyway, the 2022 Q3 will have a memory seat option. So I may be back for a Q3 again.

I got so close to buying last year I even bought a 1TB SSD drive and loaded with my favourite quad and 5,1 FLACs. It’s still sitting there waiting to go on the road... It’s complete with Velcro sticky tape to hide it under the dash...
Very happy with my 2021 Acura TLX A-spec. I have a 1 TB drive, as well. Files must be 48/24 wav or flac. Tagged flac files display cover art. Drive must be formatted to Fat32. Great 5.1 sound, great looking, and great ride. Of course, the salesman had no idea until I plugged in my flash drive loaded with “Money”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Roundabout”, etc.
4D69AC6A-24C3-434D-8E46-36325E122F89.jpeg
 

ddahl44

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Shawnee, KS
This may be old news, but I just discovered that the Acura ELS Studio System (DTS-CD) will also play back 5.1 AAC (.m4a) files off a USB stick. I've been encoding at 320 kbps to maximize space on my 32 GB drive and haven't really noticed a huge dip in sound quality.
My buddy has an Acura with the DTS-CD system. Have you found data or experimented to see what all bitsize/sample rates are supported AAC on the USB? Thanks.
 

dabl

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Very happy with my 2021 Acura TLX A-spec. I have a 1 TB drive, as well. Files must be 48/24 wav or flac. Tagged flac files display cover art. Drive must be formatted to Fat32. Great 5.1 sound, great looking, and great ride. Of course, the salesman had no idea until I plugged in my flash drive loaded with “Money”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Roundabout”, etc.View attachment 67809
Thanks for posting, very helpful info and seeing a pic is great. What a great looking car.
 

omega4

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Hi there, after a cursory search I cannot find a mention of the Skoda Scala. I've read a recent review of this model's 'LE' edition which mentioned that it had a premium sound system with up to 12(?) speakers. I wondered whether that might include surround and it seems it does. Here's a screen grab from the owners handbook:

View attachment 67739

Note that it claims flac support at 96kHz 5.1 or 7.1.

Has anyone had any experience with this car's audio? Is it the same basic setup as is found in the Skoda Superb? Is it any good?

The pricing is very good for what you get in the package, about AU$37k here in Oz.
That table is really interesting! As you may see further back in these posts I am in the UK and have a Skoda Superb with the full blown 5.1 system. I said the table was interesting because I was unable to find any similar information on my car over here. Having quizzed my helpful Skoda dealer they got in touch with Skoda UK who replied that they did not provide data sheets as they could not guarantee which formats/file types would work so preferred to say nothing!

However, the system works only with a Columbus satnav and the Canton premium sound system. After much experimentation I can confirm that it will play the following:
  • Single CD & DVD Video, DD and DTS - video goes off when car moves so you have to get the disc playing first. There is no menu displayed but the forward and back buttons allow moving through the chapters.
  • There is a hard drive which has a small (for 24/96 files) capacity left over from the satnav files. Also, bluetooth files and Android Auto (via cable connection) from my Sony phone
  • There are two SD card slots and 2 (standard) USB sockets. I have used memory sticks and SD cards up to 128GB and now have a 2TB hard drive. It would not recognise a 4TB hard drive though. Also, the system does not like new albums being added and has a bit of a sulk, but eventually allows them on to the menu. I have never fathomed out this trait!
  • Playable files include: FLAC in 2.0 up to (24/192) and 5.1 (up to 24/96
Sound quality is excellent and for some albums stunningly good. Interestingly it was incredibly 'bright' when new but has calmed down a lot with use, or my hearing has numbed even more! Even so, the treble setting is as far left as it will go. The sound is very detailed and quite rewarding. It helps that the car is inherently fairly quiet. It does not necessarily play quadraphonic 4.0 files well if the bass is mixed to the rear. The rear speakers are located in the rear passenger doors and have no obvious woofer. It is no problem with 5.1 but noticeable with quad. Also, I have no idea how the instrument placement is for those seated in the rear as all of the speakers would be in front of you! Anyway, in summary, it was worth buying the car just for the sound system. The blistering performance, four wheel drive and amazing comfort are merely a bonus.

With regard to the Scala, my wife has just taken delivery of one and I can confirm that a premium sound system is not even on the options list so in that respect Australia has the edge on a new Scala. As a result, I cannot advise how the system works as the Columbus level satnav is not offered in a Scala anywhere as far as I can tell. Good car though! Please add an update if you get one with that audio system.

And finally, I have no idea how a 7.1 file plays as the capability and number of speakers would seem to make it unlikely. Cheers.
 

HomerJAU

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Also, the system does not like new albums being added and has a bit of a sulk, but eventually allows them on to the menu
Are you using an SSD or conventional hard drive? I’m wondering if the delay is due to drive access time, although it may also be the USB port is 2.0 (slow) and not 3.0.
 

Akaiquadster2

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Oct 27, 2020
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Sydney Australia
Hi there, after a cursory search I cannot find a mention of the Skoda Scala. I've read a recent review of this model's 'LE' edition which mentioned that it had a premium sound system with up to 12(?) speakers. I wondered whether that might include surround and it seems it does. Here's a screen grab from the owners handbook:

View attachment 67739

Note that it claims flac support at 96kHz 5.1 or 7.1.

Has anyone had any experience with this car's audio? Is it the same basic setup as is found in the Skoda Superb? Is it any good?

The pricing is very good for what you get in the package, about AU$37k here in Oz.
It seems it’s a 10 speaker 🔊 pack in Australia...? “ unbranded 10-speaker sound system” that’s “not bad” according to one reviewer 😂
 

dobyblue

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My friend I just met for a beer on a patio (in violation of Niagara's Section 22 orders that command folk dining on a patio to be from the same household, the only region in Ontario [never mind Canada] that has this pseudoscientific quackery in place) has a 2020 Acura TLX Tech A-spec

It has the ELS Studio logo when the stereo starts up and has a nice big speaker in the middle of the dash where you'd expect the centre channel to be - can anyone confirm this model will play 24/48 5.1 FLAC files from USB? I didn't have any on me as I didn't realize his was an A-Spec Tech Acura - the owner's manual looks like it only plays WMA, mp3 and AAC from USB? I thought it would play surround files. It has DTS Neural setting when playing satellite radio.
 

Mr. Afternoon

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May 10, 2021
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The Jungle
Something very interesting I just found out! On multiple cars running on UConnect, I tested this out.
Multichannel files don't work off a USB.

HOWEVER!

Using AIMP with Android Auto through a USB connection makes it work!
Anyone with a car that has a dashboard that runs on UConnect, please let me know if this worked for you!
 

ddahl44

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My friend I just met for a beer on a patio (in violation of Niagara's Section 22 orders that command folk dining on a patio to be from the same household, the only region in Ontario [never mind Canada] that has this pseudoscientific quackery in place) has a 2020 Acura TLX Tech A-spec

It has the ELS Studio logo when the stereo starts up and has a nice big speaker in the middle of the dash where you'd expect the centre channel to be - can anyone confirm this model will play 24/48 5.1 FLAC files from USB? I didn't have any on me as I didn't realize his was an A-Spec Tech Acura - the owner's manual looks like it only plays WMA, mp3 and AAC from USB? I thought it would play surround files. It has DTS Neural setting when playing satellite radio.
A-spec and Advanced trim levels I test drove and both have discrete 5.1 I am certain. Not sure what you mean by Tech A-Spec. When I shopped for ‘21, Tech and A-Spec were different trim levels. I have seen varying reports on whether the Tech (not A-Spec) has discrete 5.1. I do know to enjoy discrete 5.1 in the A-Spec the Neo
Surround setting has to disabled as this just creates pseudo surround with non5.1 sources. My suggestion - load Dark Side of the Moon 5.1 on a Fat32 formatted USB flash drive (or something comparable with a discrete mix). It must be FLAC or wav files with sample rate of 48 and bit size of 24. Then play “Money” on your friends vehicle. Must be inserted in the main USB port. If the coins move from speaker to speaker, you are money.
 

dobyblue

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On the ‘15 Odyssey the Neural setting is disabled as soon as you’re feeding DD or dts 5.1 so I expect it should be the same - I’ll load up something in flac 5.1 24/48 on a Fat32 formatted USB stick and give it a whirl.
He will be stoked if it works as I’ve mentioned some of the titles I have.
 

omega4

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Are you using an SSD or conventional hard drive? I’m wondering if the delay is due to drive access time, although it may also be the USB port is 2.0 (slow) and not 3.0.
Thanks for your interest; I am using a conventional hard drive and your thoughts on access time might point to why this happens. I shall try an SSD (under 2TB) and see if that makes any difference.

I noticed that you were looking at an Audi recently but have you considered a Skoda, which shares many of the parts with Audi. My first Skoda, which I bought new in 2001, had four rings on everything in the engine bay! I have also idly looked at the specification for my Superb over in your part of the world, which by the way is where our son currently resides. He is on year 2 of a working visa and has just started on a dairy farm in Victoria to accumulate enough hours to stay for a third year. I think his next stop will be in Queensland building fences on a new railway.

Anyway, I was looking at the specification for the Skoda Superb Sportline and see that it has the same satnav and Canton surround system, as well as the same engine and four wheel drive for a considerably lower price than in the UK. For me it is an absolute bargain although it is still a reasonable amount to have to find. But I can still wholeheartedly recommend it!
 

DuncanS

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I picked up the B&O 750W 19 speaker 3D sound system yesterday - I think there is a new Audi A5 attached to it, but thats by the by.

At the dealers I went to put the SDCard with the 5.1 flacs on it into the slots, to find it doesn't have any, or a CD anymore! My old stereo only 2019 A5 had 2x SDCard slots and a single disc CD player, the dealer said but everybody just connects their phones via Bluetooth! So failed at the first hurdle. It has a USB socket in the front console and one in the rear, and that is the way to get the audio in.

So I got home found a USB stick and looked at the manual, which said nothing about the 5.1 just the simulated surround, and it said that the flac max sample rate was 48kHz. So I knew that Giancarlo's Departure Tapes were at 48kHz (as I did the flacs!), stuck it on the USB stick and it played in surround, so that was a start. The manual is absolutely cr*p, and neither the Audi or B&O website is any better. So I thought sod it, and stuck Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon at 96kHz on the stick, and lo and behold it played. So the manual is wrong. With luck this will make me rip my discs, but it is a step back to copying albums to cassette to play in the car.

Sound quality is not bad, but not as good as my home system, but then I can't drive my home system around!
 

sjcorne

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The manual is absolutely cr*p, and neither the Audi or B&O website is any better.
AWESOME! It's a pain to convert everything, but the end results are worth it.
It fascinates me to no end how the car manufacturers don't promote any of these 'hidden' features. For instance, I'm on my second Acura TLX and only just found out it can play 5.1 files from USB in addition to burned DTS-CDs. It would've been nice to know that before burning six years' worth of discs...
 

JonUrban

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It fascinates me to no end how the car manufacturers don't promote any of these 'hidden' features. For instance, I'm on my second Acura TLX and only just found out it can play 5.1 files from USB in addition to burned DTS-CDs. It would've been nice to know that before burning six years' worth of discs...
I had an Acura similar to yours and never knew that it played USB 5.1. And you can imagine how many DTS CD's I ended up making, which is such a pain in the butt
 
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