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Porsche offers Bose audio as an option, a setup some like and dislike, is this something you guys would upgrade to or just stick with the standard audios system?
 

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I'm pretty sure that the stock audio system will be fine. Bose is great, but I just don't think that the difference in sound quality is worth all that extra money. Even if the music is loud, I don't plan on blowing speakers or having the entire block hear the music I'm listening to.
 

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This is a good question. Because the 718 will have very little insulation and will likely be top down most of the time the BOSE would offer a bit better sound quality, however If you're like me and plan to just drive, stock should be fine...
 

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I'm pretty sure that the stock audio system will be fine. Bose is great, but I just don't think that the difference in sound quality is worth all that extra money. Even if the music is loud, I don't plan on blowing speakers or having the entire block hear the music I'm listening to.
Have you ever heard what their audio setup's sound like compared to stock?
It's also not about playing music stupid loud, upgrading your audio equipment is NOT about that, but there are of course people who do that. Upgrading audio is for better overall quality of sound even when playing it on a lower volume level.
 

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I went for the best audio system available as sound quality is very important for me. I therefore have the Burmester system fitted in my 718 Boxster S. It certainly sounds far better than either the stock system or Bose options, but despite Burmester being a high end audio company it still sounds far inferior to a well sorted domestic audio system.

It always surprises me that so many simply equate more expensive audio with louder though, as Shark stated that is not the point at all. Better quality electronics & loudspeakers generally equates to improved sound quality. Having additional power means more control, more refinement & less distortion which enhances the replay quality, but actually has very little overall effect on volume with any given loudspeaker (it has some, just not as much as many people seem to think). Double the amplifier power doesn't mean double the volume, in fact far from it. Take a loudspeaker sensitivity of 87dB per 1 watt for example. To get an increase in volume of 3dB requires double the amplifier power (the human ear has difficulty even being able to detect change in volume of less than + or - 1dB). To increase to 93dB requires doubling the power again etc etc.

1 watts = 87dB
2 watts = 90dB
4 watts = 93dB
8 watts = 96dB
16 watts = 99dB
32 watts = 102dB
64 watts = 105dB
128 watts = 108db
256 watts = 111dB
512 watts = 114dB

An increase of + 10dB is required before a human ear perceives something to be twice as loud & yet doubling power only ever brings a 3dB increase.
Compare then the example of Car (A) fitted with 100 watts of amplification.
to Car (B) fitted with 800 watts of amplification.
The common misconception is that the stereo in car (B) will be many many times louder than (A), after all it's got eight times the power, but assuming everything else is identical it's actually only 9dB louder, or as the human ear perceives it not even twice as loud.

What that additional power actually does is hold the loudspeakers in a vice like grip, so that when for example a bass note is hit & the loudspeaker driver is forced forward, it then gets pulled back in immediately. This brings extremely sharp definition, punch & clarity. Compare that to the lower powered amplifier, when the same bass note is replayed the loudspeaker driver is forced forward but the amp has an overall weaker grip & the loudspeaker driver flutters a little before returning. That produces a tubby, flabby, distorted sound, lacking overall clarity. Also, assuming both stereos in both cars are playing at exactly the same high volume, you are far less likely to damage your loudspeakers in the car with the more powerful amp set up because quite simply it distorts far less.
 

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Living in AZ, I only play music in the car during the summer months with the windows up and the AC on. The rest of the time the windows or top is down and it would be difficult to hear music the way I like to hear music. However, at home where I can control external sound interference, I have a quality AV system. In other words, the standard 718 audio system works fine for my needs.
 

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I admit to being very fussy about sound quality & fortunately got to listen to all three available systems before deciding. I found the differences to be clearly discernible with the roof either up or down & wanted as good as was available despite the less than ideal listening environment. I also can't stand to listen to MP3 recordings in the car for that matter. Totally flat, lifeless & lacking musicality (more on that later). Because of this I've sacrificed a great deal of space both on the jukebox & on SD cards by only storing recordings converted to FLAC format. These use up far more storage space than lossy MP3, but to me it's worth the trade off because I'd rather leave the stereo off than listen to any MP3 recording in my Boxster. The thing is that nowadays some equipment can manipulate MP3 recordings to the extent that whilst they still don't sound as good as lossless, they are at least listenable (I've a couple of Auralic streamers at home & some of the internet radio streamed MP3 tracks via those are ok, certainly as background music). I've found MP3 recordings played through equipment available in a Porsche however to be universally awful & Porsche needs to do far better in this area. I've had upgraded systems in all my Porsche's & if there was better available I'd have it because like I intimated in my previous comment I'm still not really satisfied even with the Burmester system. The fact that Burmester has found its way as an option into Porsche, Mercedes & Bugatti surprises me, because I don't really rate my in car system all that highly (maybe their offerings in other cars are better). It's just that the Burmester sounded better than the Bose & both were better than standard. But if someone is happy with a standard system & it sounds good enough to them then fine. I've no criticism of that, after all it's your ears that count & if you're happy, you're happy & there's little point in you spending any extra. I don't actually listen to much music whilst in the car, but on the occasions I do I'd prefer it if the car was fitted with better equipment than that which is currently available. Something along the lines of the MarK Levinson equipment as available in Lexus models would be far better. That equipment is altogether on a different level to Porsche's current offerings.
 

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Chilli,

I hope you didn't think I was responding to your Posts. My response was to Shark's original question concerning the standard 718 audio system. Sound (whether music or exhaust) is an individual preference. I was just explaining why the standard 718 audio system meets my needs.
 

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It would be absolutely no problem even if you were responding to my post my friend. I did take it as that, but only because the original post was so old. However yours was simply your opinion expressed in exactly the same way as I expressed mine (it is a forum after all). Lest you think otherwise I can assure you that in no way did I take any offence & I hopefully didn't project any offence to have been taken. I also rather hope that I didn't offend you in any way, it was certainly not my intent. Truth be told, I'm actually appallingly hard to offend & short of setting fire to me or calling my Porsche a Volkswagen you've got very little chance of ever doing so. I wasn't trying to criticise anyones personal choice, just illuminating a few technical facts & my own observations on the audio equipment available in the 718. I'm just extremely passionate about music, the appalling dumbing down of its accurate reproduction & some of the rather dismal equipment available in otherwise excellent vehicles.
 

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I wasn't trying to criticise anyones personal choice, just illuminating a few technical facts & my own observations on the audio equipment available in the 718. I'm just extremely passionate about music, the appalling dumbing down of its accurate reproduction & some of the rather dismal equipment available in otherwise excellent vehicles.
First of all: First post. Just ordered a 2018 718 Cayman yesterday with the base Sound Package Plus system -- on purpose, because I, too, am an audiophile, and I know very, very well how "dumbed down" many factory systems have become. So I choose to improve them in the aftermarket.

Chilli, you're absolutely right regarding power and source quality, among other things. A system -- any system -- is only as good as its weakest link, and strengths can often amplify (pun partially intended) a weak link. That's the fundamental problem with many OEM mobile audio applications. Even so-called "name-brand" options are almost always tacked onto a common source system -- in Porsche's case, PCM -- and if it can't produce high-quality material, your amps, speakers, etc. sure as heck won't. The tradeoff, particularly in this day and age of profitability over all else, is to mask a system's weak links, then call it "tuning".

I'm coming to the Cayman from a BMW 2 Series, which has become notorious within the BMW community for its downgraded audio system compared to most other BMW models. I won't get into the details, but even the Harman/Kardon upgrade is flat-out horrible in it. I've become one of the de facto "experts" in the 2 Series forum, 2Addicts.com, regarding the car's audio, and the only way to get it sounding halfway decent is to upgrade not only its speakers but its amp. Thankfully, it's relatively straightfoward because the system is totally analog from the head unit back -- and, I gather, the Sound Package Plus (SPP) is the same way.

I'll post separately to the 718Forum.com brain trust regarding some questions I have about the 718's eight-speaker, 150-watt SPP system, which appears to be the same base system as in the Macan and 911 Carrera/4/S. (Porsche switched from a nine-speaker, 235-watt base SPP system for the 2016 model year in those models.) My bet is I'll be able to have a system installed that will sound better than the Burmester for less than half its option cost.
 

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Chilli, I couldn't help but notice in the New Members' forum that you, too, are a BMW 2 Series owner (There seems to be several of us on here already). So you KNOW where I'm coming from regarding that car's audio design!
 

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The Burmester system isn't all bad (as long as you steer clear of MP3's), it's certainly powerful. Apparently it has 12 individual & actively controlled drivers with 821watt of class A/B amplification & a 300watt class D powered active subwoofer (goodness knows where all the drivers are though). The standard setting is the best, but lacks a little finesse (backing the bass off helps). I've no idea why it's set to have so much bass as standard in the first place & can't imagine anyone would be happy to leave it on that. The other individual settings such as live, surround etc, can sound ok on some material & absolutely awful on others (think along the lines of echoey lavatory, slightly larger echoey lavatory etc etc & you won't be too far off the mark). It's also so awkward to change from one setting to another that doing so whilst driving would be dangerous & as a result I leave it on standard all of the time. It still sounds better than the other options offered by Porsche, it's just I wish they offered better. In the U.K altering a car from standard specification in any way shape or form excludes you from taking out an official Porsche extended warranty when the factory one expires. That even extends to something as rudimentary as fitting a none Porsche battery. Being as that warranty is excellent, can be continually extended to cover a period of up to 15 years & represents excellent value for money, I'd be very loathe to fit anything that wasn't Porsche approved. Hence why I have the best factory option available instead of following the route you intend to.
 

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Chilli, I couldn't help but notice in the New Members' forum that you, too, are a BMW 2 Series owner (There seems to be several of us on here already). So you KNOW where I'm coming from regarding that car's audio design!
Yes indeed, though it's more my wife's car than my own, but at the same time the work horse. Again it has the (supposedly) upgraded audio set up, but this time Harmon Kardon (shudders). I think you should take it from the above comment that I know exactly where you're coming from. We would tend not to alter that set up either, due to the fact that being the work horse it's unlikely to stay in our ownership long enough to justify it.
 

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The Burmester system isn't all bad (as long as you steer clear of MP3's) ... In the U.K altering a car from standard specification in any way shape or form excludes you from taking out an official Porsche extended warranty when the factory one expires. That even extends to something as rudimentary as fitting a none Porsche battery. Being as that warranty is excellent, can be continually extended to cover a period of up to 15 years & represents excellent value for money, I'd be very loathe to fit anything that wasn't Porsche approved. Hence why I have the best factory option available instead of following the route you intend to.
That's really interesting regarding the extended warranty ... and unfortunate. I wonder if it's the same way in the U.S. -- though I know that extended warranties can't be bought for that long a term.

The Burmester uses ribbon tweeters, which, if done well, are the best money can buy. Have you taken a peek at the Burmester amp? An 11-channel A/B unit that puts out that much power must be a huge unit ... or are their amps? (The sub, by the way, is behind the dash in the area roughly behind the headlight switch, above the pedals. Based on my research, the Burmester speakers can be retrofitted to work with a Bose system -- including the sub/amp.)

I'm not going to go crazy: just replace drivers, add an amp (likely the JL Audio 600/6 I have installed in my BMW), and incorporate a DSP unit. It should be relatively straightforward with the SPP. Fortunately, there's a local audio shop with extensive award-winning experience upgrading Porsches in my area. I'll likely have them do the work, but I'd really like to know details on this 150-watt SPP system first so I can go in "armed", lol.
 
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