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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife wants a XC40 T5. We test drove a P8 and T5. She likes them both, but the range anxiety has her going for the gas car. Unfortunately all the Blue T5s in the ATL lack the HK audio and nothing inbound that matches. Both cars we test drove have the HK, but I realized once we left the dealer none of the cars we are interested in have the HK audio. I hate to drag back to dealer to find one to listen to, how good or bad is the standard audio. The car will be used primarily by my wife, but I will drive it occasionally, she does not care, but I appreciate decent audio.
 

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2019 T5 R-Design
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This has been discussed at length in another thread. do a search for it. I have the HK and honestly it's good but not great. I've come to the conclusion the lack of speakers in the front door are a gap no matter what, and the "air" subwoofer in front instead of behind you just doesn't cut it. I got a loaner with the standard system and it seemed fine compared to the HK. A big selling point for the HK systems seems to be the surround setting. Most of the time, though, I don't even use that because it lowers the volume of sound directed at me in the driver's seat. Overall, my advice is not to choose an XC40 based on the audio, especially if the primary driver won't notice the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Funny, last week Volvo sent out a survey about car audio asking how I use it, to listen to,what, do I care if is is a name I know, do I care if the brand is prominently displayed.
 

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I hate when car companies push the "name" of the audio system. 9 times out of 10, it sucks. B&W and Harmon Kardon make kick-ass stereo systems and speakers. Their car systems, however, suck. It's like buying a Calvin Klein sweatshirt from a street vendor. Too many labels and not enough quality. Volvo, just make a kick-ass sound system. Blow people away. Build it in-house to save money. You can't fake a good sound system. Volvo's aren't cheap so there's wiggle room to spend the money for a brilliant sound system. Spend $2k and make the system standard. No options and include the cost in the purchase price.
 

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2022 XC40 Recharge Ultimate
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I'll say the opposite. I have had a lot of really good systems. My last was a Mark Levinson. Before that a custom installed focal / JL. It took me like a week to get used to / tinker around with the HK system. It sounds great to me now. I have pretty good ears (musician / mixing / stuff like that). There is a subwoofer in back, the front vent is a mid woofer, and you do feel it in a at the concert type way (You get that 120hz bass drum hit). The overall sound has nice glossy edges and great separation, like an HK system should. Not sure it is quite ML or BO, but I love listening to music in my car.
 
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