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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I recently took delivery of my new XC60 2020 with the B&W sound system (it's been about 3 weeks now). The B&W was genuinely the most exciting thing about the car for me and couldn't wait to start listening to my music on it but I have to say it has not been going as planned.

I have had to pretty much turn off the bass and subwoofer both to one level above completely turning them off (In sound settings/Tone) to be able to listen to any song with a bass without it rattling and getting distorted at higher volumes. This starts happening at about 60% volume level and gets worse as I raise the volume. It just seems crazy that after paying $4K for a sound system, that the only way I can listen to it properly is by almost turning off the base and woofer to stop the noise pollution (I don't know if this is the correct term for it). It just really seems like the sound system wasn't built to handle songs with base at loud volumes (60% and above)

I have owned a BMW with a HK sound system and it was miles better than the B&W in my volvo now. I could listen to some pretty bass intense songs in the BMW at full volume without even the slightest of vibrations or distortion of the sound and I really can't say the same about theXC60.

I wanted to check if this was something that others have seen and normal or should I call the dealership and ask for a service appointment? I just don't want to go there for no reason with covid and all if there's nothing they can really do for me.

Thanks!
 

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I'm by no means an expert (having only had my car for less than a week) but I've been able to increase bass and subwoofer levels above the defaults with no noticeable rattling or distortion. Albeit I tend to keep overall volume below 50%. Seems like it's something worth getting checked out by the dealer.
 

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I am with you, OP. I had B&W systems in two different XC90s - they rattle. As you will see on these forums, it bothers many people, but many others are satisfied - it clearly is very subjective. I fall in the first camp.

I had two cars with B&W at three different dealerships, and they were never able to solve it. My "base" dealership in Buffalo NY were not even willing to try, despite acknowledging the rattling. I got a beautiful line from a technician "Oh yea, you are right, this sucks, but I am not trained to fix this - I can try but I might make it worse." I guess one should appreciate the honesty.

Anyhow, my advice is - if it bothers you, go to a professional audio shop. You are just wasting time with Volvo dealerships, on this issue. Going to someone who specializes in audio will cost you some money, but it will save you time and, frankly, some sanity.

In both of my cases, it was not the subwoofer, but the covers (well, the tags that keep the speaker covers in place) - the lower, bass, speakers in the front doors. For the XC90s, that is a well documented issue with B&W. I have not had rattling straight from the subwoofer. But I guess things could be different for the XC60s.

Good luck!
 

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What settings (tone, equalizer, etc.) are you set to? I haven't played with it much, but I did notice the sound changes dramatically with the equalizer. Perhaps you need to play around and create custom settings to get the sound you want.
 

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The same happened to me in MY16 XC90. That's why now I've decided to go for HK. B&W is perfect for classical music, for hard rock (which is my choice) HK seems to be more than enough (and no rattling whatsoever).
 

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I have a 2018 with B&W and i can go full volume with Rock/RAP with very low end (808's) kicking with no distortion, take it back, make them fix it
 

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My 2019 B&W sounds amazing and I listen to a lot of edm, rap and rock. Zero distortion or rattles unless it’s a kid toy left behind.
 

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I don't meant to re-open a can of worms.

But there is a common rattle at 62-64 hz. It's easy to reproduce with any sound generating app on your phone. Of course, it does not affect everyone - but I have seen reports on these forums on XC60s, XC90s, and V90s and I, personally, have yet to hear a B&W system on Volvo that does not rattle, despite sitting in a dozen cars on the lots and driving many loaners. But I am sure they exist - plenty of posters say they are happy with theirs.

In my 2016 XC90, it was noticeable at high volume.

My GF has a 2021 XC90, and you can hear it even at very low volumes. I can even hear it when listening to the BBC at night - there is one reporter with a particularly deep voice that triggers it.

Multiple visits at three different Volvo dealerships, with a combined 40+ days on the bay, led to no results (but they did manage to create other problems). A pro shop got rid of it overnight, by replacing the clips on the speaker covers.

I'll leave it at this... there are MANY threads about it here for those who want to dig deeper, and some TJs as well, if you have access (I do not anymore).
 
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