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I always used Apple Music and Spotify equally. The car pushed me toward Spotify and now Tidal—which seems to have a very hip hop centered focus. I like classic hip hop but really can’t stand a lot of the recent stuff. All the auto tuning and formulaic production gets me down.
Would be great to get Apple Music, with or without CarPlay (though I’d love CarPlay too as a backup system.)
tidal is owned by Square now but the last owners definitely favoured one genre. No matter how many Asian artists I had in my playlists, I would get completely off recommendations. Searching Asian music is a pain too. Tidal uses Chinese characters and phonetics.

while I wait for my car, I use my phone connected with BT to my current cars. The same way I would use it in the P*2. Voice control with SiRI and tuning into the AM channels that I still listen to. I believe P*2 has TuneIn radio app though so that is a positive way to access radio.
Bottom line I don’t mind using Apple Music over BT and it works well enough that I never used CarPlay with my eGolf. It was a novelty at first but I really don’t want apps as the basis for my car.
as for the BT quality, I have a high quality aftermarket system in both my cars and the input is an BT DAC through auxiliary in. By passing the car’s BT audio and DAC. Using my own digital processing/tuning. BT is good enough now as an input. The rest of the system is the focus.
 

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Well TIDAL was owned by Jay-Z so I guess that explaines the leaning towards hip hop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
You nailed it. The sound in our V90cc with B&W is just that much richer and immersive. It's one thing I really wish Polestar had offered, and I hope they introduce as an option on later models, especially the Polestar 5.
Immersive is a perfect word for what a great car stereo system should offer, imho.
PS doesn’t emphasize the rear speakers enough to make the sound immersive.
Well TIDAL was owned by Jay-Z so I guess that explaines the leaning towards hip hop.
It was owned by him for a while, but it's gone through so many different owners. I had no idea it was a Norwegian company, nor that it's now owned by Square (i.e. Block) so indirectly connected to Twitter.
 

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In all my previous cars, I had the sound systems stripped out and replaced with custom everything, but then I didn’t spend £51k on the cars so had cash to spend lol.

I’m happy with the sound it could be better, it could be worse.
 

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As others have mentioned here, I find that the source material makes the perceived sound quality of the HK system change drastically. With SXM, it sounds like crap. With a good song on LiveXLive or YTM, I find it quite good.
 
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Polestar 2, Dual Motor, plus & pilot, midnight & towbar
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As others have mentioned here, I find that the source material makes the perceived sound quality of the HK system change drastically. With SXM, it sounds like crap. With a good song on LiveXLive or YTM, I find it quite good.
I think people also need to make allowance for the quality of the data connection. If downliad bandwidth is low or inconsistent, then streaming will be reduced to a lower bit rate, therefore lower quality.
 

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I think people also need to make allowance for the quality of the data connection. If downliad bandwidth is low or inconsistent, then streaming will be reduced to a lower bit rate, therefore lower quality.
do the music streams dynamically change bitrates? Netflix does but didn’t think music is so taxing that it would.

you could always download your tracks too.
 

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do the music streams dynamically change bitrates? Netflix does but didn’t think music is so taxing that it would.

you could always download your tracks too.
Kind of. Instead of a full adaptive bitrate system like streaming video services use there's a couple of set quality levels. Spotify starts at an appalling 24kpbs and runs through to 320kbps, YTM runs 48-256kbps.

I'm not sure how Tidal acts on AAOS but on CarPlay however it doesn't compromise bitrate and will pause until it buffers if it can't maintain the current quality setting, and Apple Music on CarPlay... well... less said about how that acts the better 🤣
 

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2022 Polestar 2, Midnight Blue, Charcoal Gray, Pilot, Plus, 19" wheels
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Two comments:
First, please give LiveXLive a try. In the settings, you can choose a very high bit rate setting. I find it to be very high quality.

Second: I've wondered if there's something wrong with my rear speakers because when I set it to rear bias in the sound experience, the volume is probably half of what the front speakers are. Is this what others have noticed?
 

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Two comments:
First, please give LiveXLive a try. In the settings, you can choose a very high bit rate setting. I find it to be very high quality.

Second: I've wondered if there's something wrong with my rear speakers because when I set it to rear bias in the sound experience, the volume is probably half of what the front speakers are. Is this what others have noticed?
I have the same experience, wired it’s almost like there is only 20% of the volume in the back speakers. And it seems that problem has everyone
 

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do the music streams dynamically change bitrates? Netflix does but didn’t think music is so taxing that it would.

you could always download your tracks too.
The simple answer is Yes, audio has the same ability/facility to change bitrate/quality in response to low bandwidth as video/audio, whether they will depends on how the individual service has been set up. They may be (much) less taxing than video, but they still require a certain level of bandwidth, in order to playback.... given that LTE/4G seems to be an issue for quite a few people, I wonder if audio issues are sometimes a side effect.
 

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2021 Polestar 2 Two Motor
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You're right, it is a very good system, it's not perfect because a car is a very difficult listening space in which to create perfect sound. I am definately what you would call a HiFi enthusiast (my current system cost more than my PS2) and my last car was a W213 E-Class with Premium Plus Pack which included the Burmester sound system. Whilst if I'm being critical, the Merc system did have the slight edge on the Polestar (especially in the low frequencies which were a little more defined and tuneful) , overall the difference is not massive and I have no trouble living with and enjoying the PS2's system. What I have found is that the best way to screw it up is to keep obsessively trying to tweek it! I think it actually sounds as good as it's going to get straight out of the box and the best thing to do is just accept it for what it is and enjoy it!:) I do know whatyou mean about a certain lack of top end "sparkle" sometimes but I tend to think that it is usually down to bit rates getting squeezed a bit when the LTE signal is not perfect. I haven't actually tried it with AudioWagon and a USB stick yet so that would be an interesting experiment but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as some people accuse of being. View attachment 10429
Aw, MAN! My Nakamichi take deck is not working because the drive belts all dry-rotted. NI though I will never get it fixed, but you have inspired me...
 

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Aw, MAN! My Nakamichi take deck is not working because the drive belts all dry-rotted. NI though I will never get it fixed, but you have inspired me...
Go for it! It's always worth getting a NAK up and running! 👍 :)

Audio equipment Flooring Floor Electronic instrument Office equipment
 

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These settings sound really good to me.
View attachment 10518
I tried this with Outkast and Fugazi. For both fairly different sets of music, I prefer the settings at the top of the thread, with mid-freqs boosted.

I wonder if there's something about Polestar's HK hardware implementation that makes the mid-freqs relatively attenuated compared to the usual setup. It's not a huge difference. But with boosting the mid-freqs, especially after v1.7/1.8, I hear vocals and background instruments more nicely.
Or it's all placebo and nothing is actually changing and I'm just convincing myself otherwise.
 

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About Tidal: can you transfer your Spotify (or Apple or Deezer) playlists to Tidal when you start a subscription?
 

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For what its worth, I like the system, at least enough to buy it. I spent like 15+ minutes on the test drive fooling around to see it I could get least get it close to something I liked, and I could. Since owning the car, I have made some improvements, but also realized some limitations. Here are my settings that I like:
-Driver focus
-Surround OFF
Slope Rectangle Line Font Parallel


Does anyone KNOW what surround should do?!?
to me, all it seems to do is mute certain frequencies and make things sound more "flat" to me.

As for my settings, I almost exclusively listen to "Classic Rock" from the 70's and early 80's and this works for me. I find the main bass slider to be very heavy and a bit muddy, but the subwoofer seems more tight to me, so I push that up to fill in the bass. Treble is a hard thing to adjust for me, since that is where I hear all the compression "artifacts".

Yes, I agree, I wish had more control over the fader. In a car I like to have more sound behind me to fill in the sound. More like I am sitting in with the band, not in the audience listening. I also feel in driver mode the sound it too far to the driver side, and feels a bit uneven. Not horrible, but I would love to tweak it a bit.

Last, I have a few songs/albums I use to judge a sound system, both to be consistent, but also I feel the recording of these songs are really good. I would be happy to know other peoples test songs:
  • Steely Dan: Aja and almost anything by them
  • Supertramp: Breakfast in America
  • Dire Straights: Love Over Gold
  • Manheim Steamroller: Fresh Aire IV
  • Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasuredome
 

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Does anyone KNOW what surround should do?!?
to me, all it seems to do is mute certain frequencies and make things sound more "flat" to me.
In our V90cc with the Bowers & Wilkins system it makes the sound feel like you're listening to the music being played specifically for you, in that space. The the sound surrounds you, but in a realistic way, where sound, like vocals, comes front front center, but individual instrument sounds can travel and reverb from different spaces around, just like it would if you were sitting listening to a the music live. In fact, I usually don't like recordings of live concerts, but in that car, if you turn it on and crank it up, and close your eyes, you could absolutely be fooled into thinking you were sitting on the concert floor the way you can hear the crowd sounds distinctly split to your left, right and rear. It's awesome. And it works great for rock, EDM, and classical (what's in our usual rotation).

Now, on the Polestar 2....

I have no idea what's going on, because turning on the surround function just absolutely destroys the sound. There's clearly an issue with it splitting channels and being able to make use of the rear speakers properly.
 
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