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I recently ordered my XC90 Momentum and went back and forth about the B&W option. In the end, I stayed with the standard system but wondered if anyone knew whether it comes with a subwoofer?
 

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My dealership sent a diagram of the standard system. It looks like it
has only 4 woofers that are 165mm = to 61/2 in diameter. I will try
to copy it to this thread later today!
 

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Standard sound system is great for everyday driving. As nice as the B&W is I don't need to spend more on the stereo in my car than what I have at home.
 

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My Explorer has more speakers and more wattage and it doesn't sound half as good as the standard system in my wife's new Volvo. I was amazed at the richness of sound and solid bass.
 

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wattage is a marketing tool more than a gauge for quality. RR has a 1200w & 1700w system Audi has 1100w BMW coming in around 1200w etc.

Some of my audio equipment in my home has 85w and sounds similar to equipment with 3x the output but much better clarity. i would wager your explorer has paper cone speakers which most likely have already torn from that high output.
 

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My dealership sent a diagram of the standard system. It looks like it
has only 4 woofers that are 165mm = to 61/2 in diameter. I will try
to copy it to this thread later today!
Who makes the standard system? My dealership new vehicles manager said Harmon n Kardon though I have not read this anywhere.
 

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Lower wattage is okay if you're driving efficient speakers (usually measured in sensitivity - i.e. 90db=less efficient vs. 96db=more efficient). Therefore, I wouldn't give too much significance to the numbers used by auto manufacturers (unless they provide all key specs). Some speakers need a lot of power to drive them and make an impact (particularly some subs). However, the real gauge of quality is the dynamic response, frequency range and crossover system used. Any speaker having to attempt to drive all frequencies is going to sound like crap, but if you're using component type speakers with a quality crossover, frequency separation effectively uses the right speaker to drive a given frequency.

I have heard the B&W system in a few test drives and it was pretty amazing even to me and I suffer from significant hearing loss in both ears. Compared to my current vehicle's system, it's night and day. I can't say I've heard the standard system though, so I can't speak to that. Until I do, I couldn't commit to the higher end system especially given my hearing loss (if I am unable to hear a significant difference between the two, due to my hearing impairment, then I would go with the standard system).
 

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I have heard the B&W system in a few test drives and it was pretty amazing even to me and I suffer from significant hearing loss in both ears. Compared to my current vehicle's system, it's night and day. I can't say I've heard the standard system though, so I can't speak to that. Until I do, I couldn't commit to the higher end system especially given my hearing loss (if I am unable to hear a significant difference between the two, due to my hearing impairment, then I would go with the standard system).
I went with the standard system because I would not have appreciated the B&W and basically just need "loud" and the standard is loud enough for me.
 

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I went with the standard system because I would not have appreciated the B&W and basically just need "loud" and the standard is loud enough for me.
That's the key word really - appreciation. Anyone considering the upgrade really needs to listen to both in the same conditions and preferably with the same source material (i.e. use your ipod with losless and the same track) to determine if they can appreciate the difference. Not all can and as we all get older, we all suffer from hearing loss of one sort or another - some more than others. :)
 

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It is Harmon Kardon.
Really, that is great. It is something they would be proud about and highlight then I'd have thought. Can I ask for your source of this info (not that I don't believe you, I'd like to show nonbelievers if they ever enquired).
 

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Really, that is great. It is something they would be proud about and highlight then I'd have thought. Can I ask for your source of this info (not that I don't believe you, I'd like to show nonbelievers if they ever enquired).
I will take a picture of what the dealer sent to me back on 8/17. He guaranteed that the standard system was made by harman kardon. Will post it later today and all the dealers I spoke to about said it's fantastic!
 

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If it was just myself I would have upgraded.
My wife and kids couldn't care less and they're in the car half the time. That's probably why you never see a big name with mini-van audio systems.
 

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My feelings exactly Skybolt! We will be taking the car on trips and personally the XC90 has so much other sounds going on I would like to hear. People say the chimes and other sounds are really cool, so I wouldn't probably be cranking up the "Pepper" by the Butthole Surfers or anything!
 

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Really, that is great. It is something they would be proud about and highlight then I'd have thought. Can I ask for your source of this info (not that I don't believe you, I'd like to show nonbelievers if they ever enquired).
There are plenty of HK systems in Volvos it was previously the premium option. My Polestar has Harmon Kardon and while excellent, it doesn't hold a candle to the B&W.
 

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I have the standard system with the sub-woofer option. Sound is very good once you take some time to adjust the settings correctly. If you are that much of an audiophile to buy the expensive option, the road noise will drive you nuts. The standard system has enough power to be as loud as you can handle with no distortion. Bass response is good but I have not heard the standard system without the sub-woofer option.
 
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