Harman/Kardon premium surround sound - reviews? - Page 2 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:40 PM
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Enjoying our new Niro PHEV! As a former sound industry guy, I found the HK sound system loud - but not without a lot of distortion! I was able to clean up and balance the sound considerably with the tone adjustments - turning the treble down considerably to eliminate the annoying strident screeching.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 07:53 PM
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Yeah I tend to agree with a lot of the assessments - I find that while it's not the best system I've ever heard, it's definitely above average for factory car sound systems. Not the loudest for sure, but usually where factory systems cheap out is the amp, and this system feels like it has a good enough amp to deliver on clear, nicely separated sound (with some EQ tweaks) through a lot of what I consider the usable volume spectrum. From what I've experienced most factory systems can't even pull that off. So I'm pretty happy with it.

As I understand it though, the Stinger GT also has an HK system but with 700+ watts - wonder why we got the 300+ watt system rather than the 700+ watt one?

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 08:02 PM
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Probably 2 reasons: price point, and power usage-to-mpg ratio.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 06:56 PM
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I've recently become re-involved with my inner-audiophile, purchased a nice home stereo (Bookshelves + Sub) from an internet direct company and absolutely LOVE it. Anyways, because of this interest I have in Hi-Res audio I've decided that my next vehicle must also have fantastic sound quality. I had assumed that I would need to replace factory speakers regardless of the vehicle we decide to purchase and for this reason I have avoided the "upgraded stereo" option in my search among vehicles. Unfortunately, sometimes the package that contains a desired feature also contains the "upgraded stereo" and this is the case with the Niro. So today I visited my local Kia dealership and did some test-driving of both the car and the stereo. My first impressions were when my wife test-drove the car, as she returned with the salesperson she had the stereo cranked up and I could hear her music from over 100ft away. (congested area with high-traffic)

My first thoughts were "this **** thing has the acoustics of a coke-can" meaning that it's a horrible environment for soundwaves. Please keep in mind that this statement would be true for most vehicles and is in no way intended to be a criticism of the Niro since Kia is more focused on things like comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and style. Anyways, I then took it out for a test-drive and was extremely satisfied with everything BUT the stereo. As a previous poster mentioned, sound-deadening would go a long way to enhancing this stereo system and since my wife and I have decided that this will be our next car I'm going to answer this question. I'm going to remove the interior and apply sound dampening throughout the vehicle then put it all back together to hear the difference, if I don't like it then it's getting a full-upgrade from a yet-to-be-determined manufacturer. It will be interesting to see just how much sound-dampener it takes to get it right, as well as the impact this will have on fuel-economy. I'm thinking about documenting the whole thing but at the very least there will be pics coming soon.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 07:33 PM
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Well, if you happen to live in Los Angeles I would love to lend a hand!! I am a big believer in sound deadening, I'm considering doing my EX! If your not in SoCal, I wish you ease and luck. Please do document the install, it might just motivate a few of us out here!!
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 07:24 AM
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The Samsung Audio System in the Niro Touring (they own Harmon Kardon, & Infinity, & Lexicon, & Mark Levinson, and and and and) is O.K. and certainly better than your average base stereo system used in vehicles. At my age and state of hearing loss, it's certainly not worth going to the aftermarket for further improvement.

As many have posted here, adjusting the EQ / Tone Controls can help fine tune the system for the environment in which it is located. It would just be nice to have more adjustable frequency ranges than the 3 provided in the Niro, although most people wouldn't know how to set them up anyway.

The best factory stereo system I've personally heard recently was in a Volvo which had a 5 band EQ. After I'd adjusted it for my personal taste the salesman said, "I don't know what the heck you did but just leave the settings there as it sounds awesome".

Of all the vehicles I've owned, the factory audio system I enjoyed most was an Infinity Setup in a loaded 1991 Dodge Grand Caravan which had a 7 band graphic EQ with a subwoofer. Pretty remarkable for what would be considered a non-premium vehicle. A good equalizer can definitely help overcome shortcomings in the speakers and audio environment.

The 900 Watt, 12 channel, 17 Speaker Lexicon system in a Genesis G80 is pretty sweet but at that price, it should be.

Also, over the years I've heard aftermarket sound systems, that cost the customer Thousands of Dollars, which to my trained ear sounded like crap. Loud? Yes! Acoustic Fidelity and Transparency? Absolutely Not!
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 10:02 PM
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Our new 2018 Niro EX came with the premium package which included "Harmon Kardon Premium Audio w Clari-Fi". My husband and I both have some hearing loss and live in Texas where they love to make very very rough very very noisy roads (mostly gravel with a little bit of black stuff to glue it together). We are very happy with this sound system and have no trouble hearing and understanding anything we've tried yet. Some muffly-like low-pitched male voices might be difficult, but we just spent over two weeks driving to Maine from central Texas and back listening to various audio books and Sirius XM and are very happy with the system.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 01:27 AM
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I have the 2018 Ex premium PHEV. I think the sound quality is great. I only notice road noise on the freeway. These cars are quiet!
I think they did a good job with NVH testing and proofing. Maybe a little improved from the 2017 model?
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 02:19 AM
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I've got the stock music system that came with the LX. On the test drive it seemed great but as I've driven it more I really notice the down grade from the premium Blaupunkt that came with my 15 yo Ford trade in. I really miss it. Wish I would have gone with a higher trim now. I have noticed that the quality difference isn't as bad with the "my music" setting using USB as with the XM though. Still, any suggestions on what it might take to get a better quality sound in this thing? Don't really want to do any radical modding that requires cutting and rewiring.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 03:53 PM
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The Hardon Kardon speakers are awesome. My wife has a GLC 300 with AMG package and she thinks that my system sounds better. As far as being loud...when I turn it half way to 3/4 up the rearview mirror and several other parts on the car are vibrating. I'm not sure why you would want it any louder.
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