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This is a bunch of garbage.

Audiophile or not. I rocked out to Stix “Come sail away” today in my stock audio and it was awesome. The audio is fine - it’s a car for god sake.
My reference point is other cars that I have owned. There is no reason for you to get antagonistic here. I was trying to rock out with Earth Wind and Fire yesterday. So somewhat similar music tastes to you. We are all just trying to find solutions.
 

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You're another of the handful of folks which have what can only be described as a 'different' HK system to everyone else. When I say a handful, I really do mean a handful, half a dozen or so people report that their systems have almost no low frequency response and end up doing crazy stuff like that to get it sound even close to acceptable.

Those settings are -totally- unusable in almost everyone's cars. I can't even begin to describe how utterly awful that sounds, and this is nothing to do with personal taste, audiophilia, golden ears or any other nonsense - it's just horrific.

If I get time later, I'll run a sweep with a calibrated mic and show you what your settings produce in my car.



Just to be clear, there's a very long thread where a small subset of people complain about poor sound quality in the PS2. I think your car is broken... The difficulty is that unless you can get yourself an A-B test with a known good car, there's no way of proving this.

With some gentle tweaks, the PS2 system (in my car at least) is superb - crystal clear with perfect imaging and bass that goes plenty low enough without anything rattling or distorting.
Interesting. I had not run across any reading that gave me the impression that there are some 'different' HK systems out there. It would be hard to imagine that with wiring harnesses the connections could get mixed up. But I do have the impression that I am getting full bandwidth out of the front sub-woofer. Also, no matter what setting I use for the space location setting the front middle speaker on the dash is always active.

If you can figure out how to do a sweep I too have a calibrated mic and can use REW.
 

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Interesting. I had not run across any reading that gave me the impression that there are some 'different' HK systems out there. It would be hard to imagine that with wiring harnesses the connections could get mixed up. But I do have the impression that I am getting full bandwidth out of the front sub-woofer. Also, no matter what setting I use for the space location setting the front middle speaker on the dash is always active.

If you can figure out how to do a sweep I too have a calibrated mic and can use REW.
He's referring to me, and the fact that your settings aren't too far off from mine.

I'm with you as far as comparison to other cars, except my comparison is against Volvo, including experience with my HK and B&W systems, the loaners I've had, and what's over on Swedespeed. I've been in two other loaner Polestar 2s as well, and the sound system setup to achieve a reasonably enjoyable experience has consistently been along the lines of what I shared. That said...the Polestar 2 does seem "lesser" than HK systems in Volvos. I can say that the physical speakers in the Polestar 2 look to be more cheaply made than the HK speaker from our Volvo that I have sitting on my shelf. I pulled the front center dash speaker from the Polestar just to have a look at it.

I'm of the mindset that "do whatever sounds good to you", but I'm just surprised, and a bit skeptical, that the 'optimal' settings for Polestar's HK system would be such an extreme departure from what 95% of people on the Volvo side are experiencing.
 

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If you can figure out how to do a sweep I too have a calibrated mic and can use REW.
Generator > Sweeps > Save to File (Make sure 'add Timing Ref' is checked).

Save the resulting file on your phone or whatever. Could use AudioWagon for this with USB stick if you haven't been updated to P2.0, but otherwise, you'll have to bluetooth it.

Set REW to make a measurement but make sure the volume on your laptop is turned all the way down.

Hit play on your source device and play back the sweep you generated earlier.
 

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He's referring to me, and the fact that your settings aren't too far off from mine.
Yep, and there's someone in the UK in the same boat, and (I think) someone in The Netherlands. They all ended up with similar settings.

Honestly, I wish you could hear how your EQ settings sound in my car - I think you'd be horrified.
 

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Honestly, I wish you could hear how your EQ settings sound in my car - I think you'd be horrified.
I agree with you there! I think that would be the only way to really nail this down, but while I'll be in the UK in two weeks, the PS2 won't fit in an overhead bin. :p

I don't doubt that we're probably achieving similar results, via different settings. It's just curious to me what's driving that.
 

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Generator > Sweeps > Save to File (Make sure 'add Timing Ref' is checked).

Save the resulting file on your phone or whatever. Could use AudioWagon for this with USB stick if you haven't been updated to P2.0, but otherwise, you'll have to bluetooth it.

Set REW to make a measurement but make sure the volume on your laptop is turned all the way down.

Hit play on your source device and play back the sweep you generated earlier.
I should be able to do that this weekend. Today is 'yard day' according to my wife. Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. :)

I assume that all tone settings should be at neutral positions and surround turned off.

I will also put the mic as close to the drivers ear position as I can. Now where did I put that calibration file. :)
 

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He's referring to me, and the fact that your settings aren't too far off from mine.

I'm with you as far as comparison to other cars, except my comparison is against Volvo, including experience with my HK and B&W systems, the loaners I've had, and what's over on Swedespeed. I've been in two other loaner Polestar 2s as well, and the sound system setup to achieve a reasonably enjoyable experience has consistently been along the lines of what I shared. That said...the Polestar 2 does seem "lesser" than HK systems in Volvos. I can say that the physical speakers in the Polestar 2 look to be more cheaply made than the HK speaker from our Volvo that I have sitting on my shelf. I pulled the front center dash speaker from the Polestar just to have a look at it.

I'm of the mindset that "do whatever sounds good to you", but I'm just surprised, and a bit skeptical, that the 'optimal' settings for Polestar's HK system would be such an extreme departure from what 95% of people on the Volvo side are experiencing.
I did some more playing yesterday. @p-a-tellnes thought that the EQ was only +/- 3db. I was guessing yesterday that it was more like +/- 1db. :)

Also, I was fascinated that the two tone options were still active and affected the audio when the EQ was active. It would have made more sense to me that the treble and bass became non-functional when the EQ is active.
 

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I should be able to do that this weekend. Today is 'yard day' according to my wife. Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. :)

I assume that all tone settings should be at neutral positions and surround turned off.

I will also put the mic as close to the drivers ear position as I can. Now where did I put that calibration file. :)
I would do it twice. Once with everything neutral and flat, and then with everything set to your preferred/'optimized' settings.
 

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Also, I was fascinated that the two tone options were still active and affected the audio when the EQ was active. It would have made more sense to me that the treble and bass became non-functional when the EQ is active.
It's actually really useful. Get the EQ set perfectly with the bass and treble controls in the neutral position.

Now if you need a quick tweak (podcast with booming bass for example) you can just adjust the bass or treble control without messing your EQ settings up, and know that all you have to do is put them back in the middle for normal use.
 

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Just to be clear, there's a very long thread where a small subset of people complain about poor sound quality in the PS2. I think your car is broken... The difficulty is that unless you can get yourself an A-B test with a known good car, there's no way of proving this.
This is kind of a relief to read, because reading this thread I thought either I was crazy for being impressed with the PS2 sound quality, or I didn't have the hearing sensitivities (or sensibilities) I thought I had. I mentioned in another post that just hours apart I drove the PS2 and Tesla with its supposed Bang Olufsen system and found them extremely comparable and both extremely good. I definitely immediately noticed the front bias and the PS guy said to turn off surround and play with the EQ, which I kind of slapped into the usual "gentle U". He let me take several minutes to pair my phone with the car and test my own music to see how stuff I know very well sounds, and at any volume I was very happy with it. I tested a quick variety of my usual rotation: Conor Oberst/Phoebe Bridgers/Hozier for vocals, St. Vincent and NIN for a little electronic-ish, Tool for heavier stuff, some classical stuff like Smetana, and a little Bowie because everything is better with Bowie. I remember the vocals seemed maybe slightly soft but the midrange to me was full and clear without harsh or "bright", and the bass was easy to keep from being overwhelming. I don't prefer a ton of bass. But this was parked in the garage after the drive and so it was pretty much optimal conditions. Then again, I recently spent a good 30 minutes in a parked and silent Acura and gave it's touted ELS system a workout and I definitely felt the PS HK was convincingly better.

It's really difficult to describe with accurate, objective language what a soundscape is like to different ears. What is "warm" to me is probably not to 3 out of 5 others. My personal equipment is only consumer level and certainly not top-end; I have a relatively decent home theater with Polk S55 Signature surrounds with ceilings for Atmos, run with quality heavy gage wire to a fairly mid-tier Denon receiver. In my office I have a Klipsch 5.1 running off a lower-end Onkyo (which I kind of prefer to the Denon). So that's what my ears are used to. I suspect graduating up to the next tier may be as shocking as it was going from simple bookshelves to the Polks several years ago.

Getting my hands on a calibration mic or other tools like that would be super fascinating to test and compare premium car systems. I sure hope my PS2 won't be one of the problematic ones. Anyway, thanks to all in this conversation for the info and education. Your expertise is much appreciated!
 

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Ok, I did some measurements. Fair warning, I am not all that proficient at reading REW graphs. I usually post them to an audiophile site and let the masters interpret them for me. But I will give it my best and please chime in. Warning, I may have to split this post into a few sequential posts. I am not sure how long each post can be. For every measurement I used the same sweep file and the same calibrated UMIK-1 microphone. I help the microphone across my right ear back to front so the end of the microphone was just in front of my nose . I was sitting in the drivers seat for all of the measurements. Surround was off and the seating sound experience was set to "all" for all of these measurements.

Here is the first SPL graph. This graph shows tone neutral and EQ off. This actually looks pretty good.

Rectangle Slope Font Line Handwriting



This graph is a little interesting. I thought to compare the above graph with the EQ turn ON but all settings neutral. You can see slight differences as the frequencies increase.

Rectangle Slope Plot Font Line


So I decided to look at 150Hz as there was a 10-15 db drop. I pushed 150 to 100% with the EQ and left all of the other settings the same. At 100% boost, 150Hz increased by about 3db. Here is that comparison.

Colorfulness Rectangle Azure Slope Plot


I then, for the heck of it, pushed 74, 150, and 300 Hz up 100%. As expected it pushed frequencies form about 60-400Hz by 3db. Here is that graph.

Colorfulness Rectangle Product Slope Font



Now, here is my personal settings as compared to the neutral graph. As I guessed, I was pushing all lower frequencies by about 10db.

Rectangle Azure Slope Plot Font




Personally I am not a big bass guy. I run Magnaplanars for my home speakers and they are definitely not big booming speakers. The lack of fader control aside, I was puzzled as to why I wanted to push the low end so much. I think that maybe this next graph may show it. This graph combines the neutral graph with phase. I am just learning how to read the phase graphs but it looks to me as if quite a bit of the low end is 180 degrees out of phase. A thought: If the rear sub woofer is out of phase by 180 degrees with the front sub woofer then they would cancel each other out. This is just a guess as I do more research. I am surprised by the large ranges that are either 180 or -180 our of phase in the low ends.

Colorfulness Rectangle Slope Font Line



As I mentioned, I am new to interpreting all of these graphs. So any insight is welcome.
 

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