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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New owner here. Took possession of a new 2017 Quadrifoglio in April. Misano Blue, Dark Tecnico, Yellow Calipers, Black Ice interior, and HK audio. I also picked up a 2018 Stelvio for my wife. Tofeo White, Sport TI, Red Interior, No HK.

Prior 7 cars were the B7 RS4, E92 M3, B8 RS5, C63 507, F-Type R, and C63S sedan. A full comparison to come.

All of the aforementioned vehicles had solid audio systems. The E92 EPS system was 825 watts and was so loud you could drive on the highway with the windows down and not be able to hear the wind. The Meridian Surround (770W) in the Jag, and the Burmester (590W) in C63S did the same. Playing these systems at high volume levels would literally hurt your ears. Car audio is an important component for my ownership experience.

The Harmon Kardon 900W option in my Giulia has significant issues which I do not remember during the test drive. The sound clarity is lacking no matter what setting. Levels 1- 15 barely generate any sound at all. The top 38 level isn't loud at all and can barely be heard standing outside the car with the windows down. My wife and I literally compared the sound between the Quad and the Stelvio (no HK). We listened to the same radio stations on FM and XM. In addition we listened to the same songs on our iPhones. Both cars had the same volume level. Both my wife and I agree the Stelvio clarity and volume were superior to the HK in the Quad.

I am convinced the HK in my car is either flawed or is not actually HK. I have read all the HK setting threads I could find. I have read about speaker break in period as well. Before I go to the dealer or an audio shop; has anyone had a similar experience that could point me in the right direction?

This car is so good and I plan on keeping it for a while. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Sounds faulty, think a trip back to the dealer is in order. Maybe they damaged the sub while tinting the rear window?

Mine will blow my ears out at full volume (and I’ve been to plenty of Ramone’s concerts back in the day).
 

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The top 38 level isn't loud at all and can barely be heard standing outside the car with the windows down. My wife and I literally compared the sound between the Quad and the Stelvio (no HK). We listened to the same radio stations on FM and XM. In addition we listened to the same songs on our iPhones. Both cars had the same volume level. Both my wife and I agree the Stelvio clarity and volume were superior to the HK in the Quad.

I am convinced the HK in my car is either flawed or is not actually HK. I have read all the HK setting threads I could find. I have read about speaker break in period as well. Before I go to the dealer or an audio shop; has anyone had a similar experience that could point me in the right direction?
Something is wrong. I can easily hear the music outside the car with the doors and windows closed. The other evening I was pissed off that someone in the neighborhood was playing loud music late at night and it turned out that the radio in the Giulia was playing and I was hearing it in the house! It was mostly bass, but it was making me wonder which of my neighbors were being so rude lol. The volume was probably around 25, which is the loudest I normally set it.

Take it in, it is defective or not connected correctly.

You might try turning off the speed sensitive volume on or off, but I just tried that (any excuse for a drive!) and it didn't have much effect. Turning off the surround sound did make the sound sharper and cleaner (I'm leaving it that way), but didn't have much effect on volume.
 

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Maybe something wrong, but I've noted the same thing with my HK system in my Quad. 38 just doesn't seem loud....I expect full volume to be intolerable, not just a little loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds faulty, think a trip back to the dealer is in order. Maybe they damaged the sub while tinting the rear window?

Mine will blow my ears out at full volume (and I’ve been to plenty of Ramone’s concerts back in the day).
I have an appointment coming up with the dealer. I am anticipating a "There is nothing wrong" line coming and wanted to at least run it by the forum before the appointment.

I haven't tinted the windows so I can safely eliminate that as the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Something is wrong. I can easily hear the music outside the car with the doors and windows closed. The other evening I was pissed off that someone in the neighborhood was playing loud music late at night and it turned out that the radio in the Giulia was playing and I was hearing it in the house! It was mostly bass, but it was making me wonder which of my neighbors were being so rude lol. The volume was probably around 25, which is the loudest I normally set it.

Take it in, it is defective or not connected correctly.

You might try turning off the speed sensitive volume on or off, but I just tried that (any excuse for a drive!) and it didn't have much effect. Turning off the surround sound did make the sound sharper and cleaner (I'm leaving it that way), but didn't have much effect on volume.
I appreciate the help. I actually have the both the surround and speed volume off.

Based on a couple of comments here it appears I may have a defective unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe something wrong, but I've noted the same thing with my HK system in my Quad. 38 just doesn't seem loud....I expect full volume to be intolerable, not just a little loud.
Agreed! The Meridan 770W system in the Jag at half volume was deafening. In fact, the 450W HK in my previous C63 507 was way louder. My Quad HK cannot be pushing 900W.
 

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Using a Sound Level Meter app on my phone the interior of my car is 23-25 dBA with the car off. With music at full volume it is 79 -80 dBA. That's pretty loud. 85 dBA is where OSHA requires hearing protection. I suspect that Alfa has limited the SPL to 80 db for that reason.

I know phone SLM apps are not calibrated, so those numbers may not be exactly right, but a phone SLM app will work fine to compare sound levels between cars. Measure sound levels in your car when playing a song on a thumb drive. Then, using the same phone in the same place in another Giulia, measure the same song's dB levels. That will tell you without doubt whether or not your car's HK system is equal to others.
 

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Okay I have my HK up to 38 and well balanced on my iPod Touch (which sounds like it offers much more depth and layers than Sirius or HD radio. But I am pretty tone deaf and have been since birth. Base is what I don’t hear well. I think it is fine but I don’t think it is as good as my 8 speakers HK in my Mini but that is a small compartment and you can’t get to max volume. I find a lot of the music sounds perfectly fine. I wouldn’t say WOW like I do in my other car but actually all I want to here is my exhaust to be honest. Driving I need to keep the music playing at a decent volume but still hear what is going on around me like a beep or a siren so I should not be blasting music anyway. I don’t think the HK is bad it just isn’t GREAT but it was a 900 option not exactly breaking the bank. I would tread lightly on Mods. Do your research.


I would be interested to know what the dealer says. I have a 2017.
 

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Using a Sound Level Meter app on my phone the interior of my car is 23-25 dBA with the car off. With music at full volume it is 79 -80 dBA. That's pretty loud. 85 dBA is where OSHA requires hearing protection. I suspect that Alfa has limited the SPL to 80 db for that reason.

I know phone SLM apps are not calibrated, so those numbers may not be exactly right, but a phone SLM app will work fine to compare sound levels between cars. Measure sound levels in your car when playing a song on a thumb drive. Then, using the same phone in the same place in another Giulia, measure the same song's dB levels. That will tell you without doubt whether or not your car's HK system is equal to others.
I tried this test as well using an app called Decibel X. Ambient level was about 35dB, full volume was measuring 90-95dB. Seemed pretty loud to me. I won’t get into the debate about the quality of the sound, but if yours isn’t getting loud @Hurricane, I think there’s an issue.
 

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I tried this test as well using an app called Decibel X. Ambient level was about 35dB, full volume was measuring 90-95dB. Seemed pretty loud to me. I won’t get into the debate about the quality of the sound, but if yours isn’t getting loud @Hurricane, I think there’s an issue.


What I can’t hear!!! I know it is rather humorous. Someone that can’t hear weighing in on sound. Actually that is why I am not a huge Bowers Wilkin’s fan. We have 802D speakers and the $$$$ those mothers cost you would think I would be like WOW. Not enough low base. Need monoblocks and a sub. So I probably should not be your source but I do typically need the music uncomfortably loud for my passengers so I don’t have it on but low when I am driving
 

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I suspect that they sold you a 2017 QV without checking to see if it needed any updates. You can find out the current version of the infotainment system by exploring ihe menus. It's there somewhere, so don't give up until you find it. If you search on this forum you will find a thread about infotainment updates, and hopefully you can find out what the newest version is supposed to be that you can compare to.

One tip off that your infotainment is in need of an update would be the preset choices at the bottom of the screen that appears when you pull back on the big rotary knob. If you have more than 6 presets available, then you at least do not have a super old version of software. But if there are only 6, then your infotainment system is way out of date.

At a minimum, I recommend that you search the menus until you find the current software version, and write that number down. And then after the service call you can compare that number to the new number to determine if they actually did an update. On my first attempt the dealer claimed that they had successfully updated the software, but the version numbers were the same.
 

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New owner here. Took possession of a new 2017 Quadrifoglio in April. Misano Blue, Dark Tecnico, Yellow Calipers, Black Ice interior, and HK audio. I also picked up a 2018 Stelvio for my wife. Tofeo White, Sport TI, Red Interior, No HK.

Prior 7 cars were the B7 RS4, E92 M3, B8 RS5, C63 507, F-Type R, and C63S sedan. A full comparison to come.

All of the aforementioned vehicles had solid audio systems. The E92 EPS system was 825 watts and was so loud you could drive on the highway with the windows down and not be able to hear the wind. The Meridian Surround (770W) in the Jag, and the Burmester (590W) in C63S did the same. Playing these systems at high volume levels would literally hurt your ears. Car audio is an important component for my ownership experience.

The Harmon Kardon 900W option in my Giulia has significant issues which I do not remember during the test drive. The sound clarity is lacking no matter what setting. Levels 1- 15 barely generate any sound at all. The top 38 level isn't loud at all and can barely be heard standing outside the car with the windows down. My wife and I literally compared the sound between the Quad and the Stelvio (no HK). We listened to the same radio stations on FM and XM. In addition we listened to the same songs on our iPhones. Both cars had the same volume level. Both my wife and I agree the Stelvio clarity and volume were superior to the HK in the Quad.

I am convinced the HK in my car is either flawed or is not actually HK. I have read all the HK setting threads I could find. I have read about speaker break in period as well. Before I go to the dealer or an audio shop; has anyone had a similar experience that could point me in the right direction?

This car is so good and I plan on keeping it for a while. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I am not sure about the Stelvio in the USA but in South Africa, the Stelvio is fitted with the Bose as standard whereas the Guilia has the HK (same as the USA).
 

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New owner here. Took possession of a new 2017 Quadrifoglio in April. Misano Blue, Dark Tecnico, Yellow Calipers, Black Ice interior, and HK audio. I also picked up a 2018 Stelvio for my wife. Tofeo White, Sport TI, Red Interior, No HK.

Prior 7 cars were the B7 RS4, E92 M3, B8 RS5, C63 507, F-Type R, and C63S sedan. A full comparison to come.

All of the aforementioned vehicles had solid audio systems. The E92 EPS system was 825 watts and was so loud you could drive on the highway with the windows down and not be able to hear the wind. The Meridian Surround (770W) in the Jag, and the Burmester (590W) in C63S did the same. Playing these systems at high volume levels would literally hurt your ears. Car audio is an important component for my ownership experience.

The Harmon Kardon 900W option in my Giulia has significant issues which I do not remember during the test drive. The sound clarity is lacking no matter what setting. Levels 1- 15 barely generate any sound at all. The top 38 level isn't loud at all and can barely be heard standing outside the car with the windows down. My wife and I literally compared the sound between the Quad and the Stelvio (no HK). We listened to the same radio stations on FM and XM. In addition we listened to the same songs on our iPhones. Both cars had the same volume level. Both my wife and I agree the Stelvio clarity and volume were superior to the HK in the Quad.

I am convinced the HK in my car is either flawed or is not actually HK. I have read all the HK setting threads I could find. I have read about speaker break in period as well. Before I go to the dealer or an audio shop; has anyone had a similar experience that could point me in the right direction?

This car is so good and I plan on keeping it for a while. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You must have a defective unit, the volume in mine above 29-30 is so loud you can't hear yourself think .....
 

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Using a Sound Level Meter app on my phone the interior of my car is 23-25 dBA with the car off. With music at full volume it is 79 -80 dBA. That's pretty loud. 85 dBA is where OSHA requires hearing protection. I suspect that Alfa has limited the SPL to 80 db for that reason.

I know phone SLM apps are not calibrated, so those numbers may not be exactly right, but a phone SLM app will work fine to compare sound levels between cars. Measure sound levels in your car when playing a song on a thumb drive. Then, using the same phone in the same place in another Giulia, measure the same song's dB levels. That will tell you without doubt whether or not your car's HK system is equal to others.
I used the sound meter on mine as a comparison, although I used ambient while car running. Went from 50db to 78db at 38. Still doesn't sound that loud to me. I did check and my software version is way old...version 001 something. I've downloaded the update, just have to find time to install it.
 

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I used the sound meter on mine as a comparison, although I used ambient while car running. Went from 50db to 78db at 38. Still doesn't sound that loud to me. I did check and my software version is way old...version 001 something. I've downloaded the update, just have to find time to install it.
About the decibel scale -- it is logarithmic. Sound pressure levels double every 3 dB. So 78 dB is quite a bit softer than 80 dB.

The sound pressure level at 77 dB is half as loud as 80 db, so 78 dB should be noticeably softer than 80 dB.

We can't compare between phones because we haven't calibrated them (my phone might read 80 dB in your car), but you can use the same phone to measure the difference between two cars.
 

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I used the sound meter on mine as a comparison, although I used ambient while car running. Went from 50db to 78db at 38. Still doesn't sound that loud to me. I did check and my software version is way old...version 001 something. I've downloaded the update, just have to find time to install it.
Where/how did you download an update?
 

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I seem to recall there was a software update for the HK system in 2017 models, that amongst other things improved sound level ....
(NOT the infotainment update...)
Maybe that hasn't been done yet ?

edit:
found it, see17-061

My Giulia Q2 Ti (door says manufactured 12/16) has been in the shop for the last few days because it threw the electronic throttle control error and went into limp mode. The following updates were performed.

17-022 Remote Start Update
17-037 Brake Pad Wear Sensor
17-043 Powertrain Update
17-057 Trans/Drivability Update
17-058 HVAC Update
17-061 Amp Audio Flash
17-065 Audio System Update (Installed Amp Cover)
17-068 Coolant Hose O-Ring Update

3. Though the HK audio system still doesn't sound like a $900 audio system it is much louder now. Prior to this at max volume it wasn't very loud but now will reach what was max at about 28 instead of 38. Just wish it sounded better.



and:
NUMBER: 0806217
GROUP: 08 Electrical
DATE: July 15, 2017

NOTE: This bulletin applies to vehicles built on or before May 09, 2017 (MDH 0509XX) equipped with the Harman Kardon Premium Audio System (Sales Codes RCA).
SYMPTOM/CONDITION:

The customer may notice poor audio quality or one or more of the following Diagnostic Trouble
Codes (DTCs) may also be set:

• U200387 Message Status Lbss From Left Blind Spot Sensor Missing Message.
• U200487 Message Status Rbss From Right Blind Spot Sensor Missing Message.
• U200587 Message Haptic1 From Body Control Module Missing Message.Fix: flash amplifier module with latest software. WiTech required for diagnosis.

Verify AMP software level, If software versions 3.07 or 3.09 are present it is necessary to replace the amplifier.
 

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I used the sound meter on mine as a comparison, although I used ambient while car running. Went from 50db to 78db at 38. Still doesn't sound that loud to me. I did check and my software version is way old...version 001 something. I've downloaded the update, just have to find time to install it.
Where/how did you download an update?
There are links on the alfa owners forum...I'll try to post it later.
 
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There are links on the alfa owners forum...I'll try to post it later.
As said, the update for the amp is not the same as the infotainment update.... The amp update needs to be done via the dealer, using the Witech test computer.
 
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