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My audio test with the H/K system was simple...


Listen to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" album in the car.!... what an experience! :)
 

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INTERIOR SOUND DEADENING: Based on personal experience and that of some friends, aftermarket sound deadening seems like a good idea, but it challenging to make a significant difference (ie greater than 25% noise reduction). Even with removal of entire interior (seats, carpets, door panels...) and $500 of materials you still are not gonna touch the noise coming from above the doors, front wheel wells, and engine compartment (minimal when in EV mode).

Doing so will improve overall quality of sound system but no dramatically reduce overall interior noise. IMO it is a lot of effort for a return that many people would scarcely notice unless they are true audiophiles (I'm not). That said, if anyone goes for this, would love to hear how they did it, cost, and degree of improvement.
 

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2018 Kia Niro Touring Pearl White
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I had a 2018 Hyundai Kona with a standard sound system. Traded for the 2018 Kia Niro Touring with the HK system, and thought it would be a nice upgrade. I can't say that I notice any difference between the two. The Niro has the front dash speaker which reflects more sound off the windshield, but that's about it.

For having the Harmon Kardon name on it, I would have expected the stereo to play high-res flac files and really exploit the speakers. It wouldn't even play a flac file at all. Then I got a surprise when I updated the navigation system--it also did a firmware update to the stereo. The first thing I noticed was the bar at the bottom of the screen that shows the elapsed time of the song being played--it now had a different look. I had a flash drive with 1100 songs on it, but when I originally plugged it into the Niro, it said it only had about 900 songs--all of the flac files in the mix were unrecognized. After the update, it was back up to seeing 1100 songs. When I investigated further, it would see, but would not play, the higher resolution flac files. It would play the standard resolution files (basically CD quality). So I've only had the car two weeks and have to figure out exactly what it can do, but I think another firmware update to play higher-res files would bring out what this system can do. (Side note: The old Kona played flac files straight from the factory. Don't know why the Kia was lagging in this department. The Kona also wouldn't play the high-res files.)
 

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My car before the Niro (Subaru Outback) had a Harmon Kardon system. It's been almost 18 months since I traded, so going from memory now. But I recall the Kia sounded better than the Outback. Neither I would call high end, but come on, it's inside a moving car. The Niro has a better sounding subwoofer, for those of us that grew up in the '60s. :D
 

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The Niro has a better sounding subwoofer, for those of us that grew up in the '60s.
You can hear those guys coming from blocks away. Most of them are far too young to have grown up in the 60s.
 

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Oh, I hate those boombox cars. I want my bass to fit the music, not to rattle everything regardless of the other sounds. But with the right music, there can certainly be a lot of low end. Emerson, Lake and Palmer for example. This have a instrumental called "Tank" that has some bass notes (kick drum actually) about 4 minutes in that can unscrew light bulbs. And I mean that literally. Here in Seattle, it was a song included in the Laserium show at the Pacific Science Center back in the '70s. They used speakers from a local company called "Speakerlab" (I still have a t-shirt). They had to lower the volume level on that song as they were causing structural damage to the theater. :D
 
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