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Kia Seltos GTX+: How I improved the audio quality of the JBL system

Sound quality - This was a huge step down from the Safari. The audio quality was not at all up to the mark for me.

BHPian NotanF1driver recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello all,

My Seltos GTX+ 7DCT was bought in October 2023. Though I have not used the car a lot, I have some thoughts, which I think sharing here will help others.

  • Ride quality - this has always been a sore point for the Seltos. However, I think that this version has this shortcoming sorted - I have not felt that the ride was bad by any means. I felt it to be a bit better than my previous car (Safari XZA+ 2021) at low speeds. The damping felt more comfortable.
  • Size - My opinion is that this is the best size for a car. It can handle city streets and does not feel small on highways. The Safari felt huge in the city.
  • Rattle sound - Not sure if this is a common problem. I have heard rattling sounds from the roof of the car very often. Once I hear it, I can't unhear it. After a lot of investigation, I narrowed down the cause to rattly plastic covering on the roof rails. I have taped them all up.
  • Sound quality - This was a huge step down from the Safari. The audio quality was not at all up to the mark for me. Every time I listen to a track, I feel so sad about the sound system.

How I improved audio quality

I wanted to improve the audio quality so much, but I did not want to tamper with the speakers and end up with a void warranty, etc. I did a lot of research (technically, googling) with no real outcomes.Then I remembered reading a post by GTO saying that one could get better audio by using equalizers. So did I. Follow the below steps.

  • Messed up with the equalizer in the HU (Had done this on the day of delivery) which is just 3 bands. Bass and trebles were set to +7 and mid at +2. This has a bit of an impact on audio, but don't expect much.
  • Enter the idea. I tweaked the equalizer setting on my phone (Galaxy S23 Ultra) in the settings option to a custom EQ. One thing I noticed was that if I changed even one bad to the + side, the audio felt too compressed and atrocious. Instead, I reduced the mids and kept the bass and trebles at 0 to get a "u" shaped EQ.

  • The problem is that this setting is global and would apply to the audio output on the phone (BT speakers, TWS, etc.) where you don't need it.
  • Solved problem by adding a routine to automate the use of this EQ. You may see the screenshot below.

  • I think I enjoy the audio better now. The only downside is that in the HU, I have to keep a higher volume level. This is expected since I pulled down some frequencies in the EQ. Note - I prefer the pleasing sound signature of JBL and hence prefer a "u" shaped sound signature. Hence did the same. You may have a different preference.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

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