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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, after a bunch of playing, I really like the head unit. I will say this - warning to all...

The Harmon Kardon system sounds terrible by default!!! You need to tweak it to your liking. That's accomplished by a *combination* of three different sets of settings.
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  1. Tweak all of the volumes in "Settings"->"Sound" - especially increase the media volume that way you don't need to overdrive your output (eg, max out volume on your phone). It's set WAY too low. Also tweak all other sound settings to appropriate levels to work with the media volumes (eg, alerts, phone, ring, navigation, beeps etc).
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  2. Play with "Surround" mode. I find when connected to my Note 8, Surround mode should be OFF, otherwise, things sound tinny and empty.
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  3. AFTER you have done that, go into the sound settings for the media control. Do that from the "Media" button on the main screen (with something connected) or from the appropriate settings menu, and then tweak the EQ and sound position.

AFTER doing all of those in THAT order, things sound phenomenal.
Of course, your musical preferences are likely different than mine, so you may disagree with my assessment. Regardless, until you adjust it, I doubt it will be closer to anyone's liking.

Until you do, there'll be no bass, treble will be kinda muted, and things will sound hollow (especially if Surround is on with certain inputs from devices that already do sound processing).
 

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So, after a bunch of playing, I really like the head unit. I will say this - warning to all...

The Harmon Kardon system sounds terrible by default!!! You need to tweak it to your liking. That's accomplished by a *combination* of three different sets of settings.
.

  1. Tweak all of the volumes in "Settings"->"Sound" - especially increase the media volume that way you don't need to overdrive your output (eg, max out volume on your phone). It's set WAY too low. Also tweak all other sound settings to appropriate levels to work with the media volumes (eg, alerts, phone, ring, navigation, beeps etc).
    .
  2. Play with "Surround" mode. I find when connected to my Note 8, Surround mode should be OFF, otherwise, things sound tinny and empty.
    .
  3. AFTER you have done that, go into the sound settings for the media control. Do that from the "Media" button on the main screen (with something connected) or from the appropriate settings menu, and then tweak the EQ and sound position.

AFTER doing all of those in THAT order, things sound phenomenal.
Of course, your musical preferences are likely different than mine, so you may disagree with my assessment. Regardless, until you adjust it, I doubt it will be closer to anyone's liking.

Until you do, there'll be no bass, treble will be kinda muted, and things will sound hollow (especially if Surround is on with certain inputs from devices that already do sound processing).
Thank you.
Even I didn't like it initially when I went to my local dealer to check out the Ascent, but I knew that we need to tweak a little bit to make it good. This is the first and foremost thing I would do when I get my hands on our Ascent :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you.
Even I didn't like it initially when I went to my local dealer to check out the Ascent, but I knew that we need to tweak a little bit to make it good. This is the first and foremost thing I would do when I get my hands on our Ascent :smile:
I literally almost got out of my Ascent to check to see if it even had a subwoofer at one point. :tango_face_wink:
 

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Does anyone have optimal settings that they can recommend (kind of like AVforums' recommendations for optimal picture on TVs)?
 

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Thank you.
Even I didn't like it initially when I went to my local dealer to check out the Ascent, but I knew that we need to tweak a little bit to make it good. This is the first and foremost thing I would do when I get my hands on our Ascent :smile:

When I test drove the one at Young Subaru a few weeks ago, I had it paired via Bluetooth to my LG V20, it sounded better than my Jeep (and surprisingly worse at the same time) I will have to adjust the crap out of it when we get ours in September. The wife will have to be patient!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does anyone have optimal settings that they can recommend (kind of like AVforums' recommendations for optimal picture on TVs)?
Other than turning up the media volume in the settings (which is different than the master volume controlled by the knob, it's really going to be very user specific. :plain:

@Robert.Mauro I have the Note 8 as well. Any other changes you made to your phone directly?
I am using PowerAmp for music, but, if/when I get Android Auto working (I don't have a data capable cable handy until Amazon delivers it Thursday), I will be using Google Play Music. Currently, PowerAmp is doing limited surround processing, as well as has my custom EQ settings, which are near standard default Jazz profiles (which I find works well for Iron Maiden), which were set for my 2010 Outback's 6 speaker setup.

It's going to be rather user specific. The only things for the Note 8 that I'd do is 80% or less volume, turn off or play with the various sound processing modes, and maybe increase the bass on any EQs for the apps that you use.
 

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Other than turning up the media volume in the settings (which is different than the master volume controlled by the knob, it's really going to be very user specific. :plain:



I am using PowerAmp for music, but, if/when I get Android Auto working (I don't have a data capable cable handy until Amazon delivers it Thursday), I will be using Google Play Music. Currently, PowerAmp is doing limited surround processing, as well as has my custom EQ settings, which are near standard default Jazz profiles (which I find works well for Iron Maiden), which were set for my 2010 Outback's 6 speaker setup.

It's going to be rather user specific. The only things for the Note 8 that I'd do is 80% or less volume, turn off or play with the various sound processing modes, and maybe increase the bass on any EQs for the apps that you use.
LOL Well... hidden in all of my EDM dance music I do have 1 Iron Maiden Track loaded so I will take your suggestion LOL.

Thanks for the heads up on the setting. I had seen the tip about the surround sound but the others are new
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL Well... hidden in all of my EDM dance music I do have 1 Iron Maiden Track loaded so I will take your suggestion LOL.

Thanks for the heads up on the setting. I had seen the tip about the surround sound but the others are new
lol, funnily, the other stuff I listen to is EDM. :grin:
 

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Does increasing the media volume apply to when you're using Android Auto? I look for the "surround" description and didn't see a reference in any of the manuals. I felt it sound better off too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Does increasing the media volume apply to when you're using Android Auto? I look for the "surround" description and didn't see a reference in any of the manuals. I felt it sound better off too.
I don't know yet. I could only get Android Auto to connect once, very briefly. I don't have my car at the moment (Ceramic Pro coating going on the entire exterior except windshield), but I will try when I get it back, unless someone else beats me to it.
 

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On the way to work, I adjusted it. It literally changed the volume while in Android Auto for me. If you spin the volume knob, that media input value is the same. Hope that helps!

I don't know yet. I could only get Android Auto to connect once, very briefly. I don't have my car at the moment (Ceramic Pro coating going on the entire exterior except windshield), but I will try when I get it back, unless someone else beats me to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Follow up, now that I have my car back...

For Android Auto, change the "Entertainment" volume in settings ("Media" applies to USB and other inputs). It operates separately from phone volume settings and the car's master volume. I learned that because mine was set to zero, and I could hear Android Google Nav voice but not Google Play Music.


Secondly, once I hooked up with an OEM data cable, Android Auto instantly and seamlessly started and worked.

I have ordered seven different aftermarket cables and I will report back if any work.

My key concern is that fitting my massive Note8 in the center shelf requires a 90° cable, which are only available aftermarket.

Regardless, (and because I can never have too many), I also bought straight cables... four straight, and three angled.

SIDE NOTE:
ProClips USA swears their mounts with cable will transmit data and work with Android Auto.

I bought one of those too, and will report back once I've tested.

They do not have a mount bracket for the Ascent yet, and no ETA. But, they are working on it.

UNRELATED TANGENT:
Anderson Design has done their first lifted Ascent, including spacers. I want another inch.

SOUND QUALITY:
WOW, music is sounding great via Android Auto and Google Play Music.

The only "downside" is that the Nav stuff doesn't display quick directions on the upper display. The plus side is that it doesn't take Eyesight off the display every time you near a turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Android auto!!! Yay!!!

So, I have figured out how to consistently get Android Auto to work, and how to get it to start working if it isn't, as well as a selection of different cables that work (and ones that don't).

I will make a new post soon. Putting together all the Amazon links (bought half the test cables recently, the other half over the last 6 months).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Also some people's hearing are already not the same as everyone else. LOL. Aging. Loud noise exposure of time, Trauma to ear drums.

But thanks for the tips.
Yep, that makes custom tweaking even more important. And no matter how good someone's hearing is, when some of the volume controls are set to zero by defaults in the settings, no one's going to hear it, lol!!! :grin:
 

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I've got a silly question about the head unit. How do you load the media onto it (mp3s and what not)?
 
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