The best sounding music systems on mainstream Indian cars

The aftermarket audio segment is dying with such competent OEM systems.

BHPian reppy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hey folks!

I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile but do have a keen ear I guess. My go-to system at home is a Marantz + Monitor Audio Silver setup - it sounds dynamic, warm and engaging! All at the same time!

So whilst test-driving cars I do test out the audio on my go-to tracks: David Guetta's Titanium, ACDC's Rock n Roll Train and Coke Studio's Paar Channa De and Nawazasheim Karam.

So here are my top systems as per my ears (the third is a surprising choice but in terms of VFM, just wow!):

  1. Volvo XC90's B&W - fantastic clarity, volume and sound staging - the benchmark!
  2. Mercedes E350's Burmester - great clarity, staging and volume but a bit bassy and boomy for Indian tracks
  3. MG Hector's Infinity - fantastic staging, clarity and volume! Can't beat this for the price!

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Excellent thread idea. Let's focus on the mainstream cars here, and those under 40-lakhs as 50+ lakh cars all generally have good sound systems.

  • MG Hector: Love the bass, love the treble. Definitely one of the best ICE for 20 lakhs.
  • Tata Nexon: Impressive sound quality for the price.
  • Skoda Octavia & Superb. The Canton system with subwoofer is truly spectacular. Makes them a disco on wheels.
  • For an open Jeep, the Thar deserves a mention here. The way they have placed speakers on the rollover bar is just awesome. Not good SQ when you compare it to a conventional car, but the excellent effort for a Jeep.
  • In the 30 to 40 lakh segment, the Kia Carnival (A+ sound) & erstwhile Ford Endeavour both made a great effort.

On the other hand, cars like the Honda City, Toyota Fortuner etc. really disappointed me in terms of the audio experience they offered. Maruti also needs to up its game, it's left behind in the SQ arena. The top variant Hyundais & Kias has decent sound, but not as good as the "Bose" branding would have you believe.

The aftermarket audio segment is dying with such competent OEM systems. 10 years ago, every car of mine would go straight to the audio shop for an ICE upgrade. Today, with such capable stock systems, there is absolutely no need for the same, or to rip open your door pads in the aftermarket.

Skoda Kushaq ICE with the subwoofer offers superior sound to the Creta / Seltos systems.

I found the XUV700's ICE to be decent, but not great like Hector's ICE.

Here's what BHPian lapis_lazuli had to say on the matter:

  1. Skoda Superb
  2. MG Hector
  3. Let us not forget the Hexa: after a bit of tweaking with the controls, it sounds amazing!

Here's what BHPian Mach_1590 had to say on the matter:

Not an audiophile, but the 10 speaker sound system is my Endeavour is pretty good. Tight bass and excellent treble make up for an enjoyable experience. As soon you turn up the volume(above 10), the bass is too much for most people. On the other hand, the music system in Ecosport S is nothing to write home about, it's basic and needs an upgrade even for an average joe. This side of 50 lakhs, I found XC60's sound system to be an audiophile-grade and was blown away with the experience. Having said that, most mainstream cars under 15 lakhs have a basic stock setup.

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