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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at buying a CX3 in Canada. The top trim, the GT, is the only one that has a Bose 7 speaker sound system rather than the standard 6 speaker non-Bose system. Does anyone have a CX3 with Bose stereo, and can you offer a review of how it compares to the standard sound system?
Thanks!
 

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If you're up for it, or any other owners here with the same system, getting sound proofing layered on the interior panels will instantly improve the sound quality, even the cabin feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sound Proofing

Do you mean sound proofing would improve the bose system sound or make the standard system sound good enough (or both)? Any clue about how much sound proofing like that costs?
 

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It would make both better, base and bose.

If you're the DIY type, you can do it yourself for cheap. Not sure how much a shop would cost.
 

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When we went to the dealer, I opened the hatch and the bottom trunk liner to see if there is a spare, and sure enough the car did have one, the GT only. Nice to have a spare not a can. Was surprised to find the Bose sub-woofer in the middle of the spare, its not listed on specs in Canada. The only pic I could find of the sub but the pic doesn't show the spare.
 

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I got the Bose option and I am not satisfied. Bass is weak and if you turn it up to 6 on the head unit the door speakers start distorting very soon.

Looking to replace the sub. Anyone have the factory repair/wiring manual? There is an amp under the passenger seat but I googled pics and it appears like those woofers are active units usually...
 

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I can turn mine up quite loud without distortion but I suppose it depends on what you’ve had in the past. Some computer software will keep the sound settings from your computer when you rip music so be sure not to double up on the bass. This explains a little about the system;
 

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I really dig the Bose system. For a non-aftermarket sound system I think the dynamic range is great and the sound is killer. I wish there was a more powerful amp though. Sometime, I just can't turn it up loud enough.:D
 

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i tried comparing the sound differences between the bose and standard sound system and realistically there is very little difference if your just an average user. I had two side by side and tried to set their audio settings close to each other and unless u have really sensitive ears or can just tell the audio quality because you have training in such (sound engineer or the like) its hard to find any differences to justify the extra 1-2kish price package addition. And addressing the distortion sound i have experience this not in my own CX3 but every few that i inspect for sale some do have that weird distortion. Usually tweaking the settings do help but most of the time but i count it as Russian roulette on having a unit that makes that distortion. Sorry i cant help much on that aspect of the system. I have the GT model mostly because i personally have grown to use the HUD, LED headlight/taillight, and aesthetics of the GT model (im one of those suckers that "tries" to get the highest tier model possible because i like more shiny things). The Bose thing was just a plus as the other options were shoved into that package that i like. I did not get the i-Activesense package because i didnt feel a need for those extra safety features if i just simply use my eyes. personally these extra "safety" systems for the most part take away from basic skills and knowledge of driving a driver should have (like put away your damn phones) but that's an argument for another day.
 

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Interesting that you mention that, Snoogie. When I test drove the GT I was wholly unimpressed with the sound system and just figured I would upgrade it. It really didn't sound good to me. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised when I took delivery of my car. What you speak of might explain it...
 

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My gut feeling is that every vehicle will leave the production line with a Bose system identical to each other. How it sounds is more likely to be in the settings, what you are listening to or any other external noises at the time.
 
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I don't know about the new Bose systems, but both of my 1st gen Mazda 6's had Bose systems in them and they both had one or two adjustment potentiometers on the amp under the front seat. Needed a small screwdriver to adjust them. Some people reported some success with tweaking settings on that, but I don't recall if that only controlled the subwoofer or all of the speakers.

Another feature that can affect sound quality, too, is the ALC settings. Using a high ALC level setting can cause the speakers to start distorting.

Also, who knows what other people fiddled with when taking test drives or looking on the showroom floor. It's entirely possible the car you got had been sat in by other shoppers and had the radio settings tinkered with to intentionally make it sound bad to see how far they can push it before it starts to sound like crap. Like cranking both the treble and bass and ALC settings all the way up and/or screwing with the balance/fade. That's a recipe for making almost any factory sound system sound like garbage.
 

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I also got the equivalent of the "GT" (it's the "Sportsline" over here in Germany) and the Bose was a nice-to-have add-on that came with it. I am disappointed because I too test drove a standard audio system equipped model and the difference in sound quality is hardly noticable, at least to me. I also think that the sound quality, especially bass volume might be OK when the car is parked but at speed the bass seems to fade.

I am still trying to figure if it is possible/sufficient to amplify the Bose sub or replace it all together. Need to check on the OEM amp if there are any potentiometers to adjust...
 

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Mazdas Bose systems have never been regarded as being exceptional. Overall, its a decent system but you have to take it for what it is. Also taking into account the various interfaces, quality of the source file etc. that all impact quality.
 

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I quite like mine. No doubt these freeby manufacturer installs are not top of the range but mine is significantly better than the stock set up in my old RAV.
 
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Both my friends CX-7 Bose and my old Mazdspeed6 Bose have a lot more punch, but that doesn't help either... ;) That's what I expected to get in the CX-3 too.
 

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I like the Bose system in the CX3. Its got a pretty clean sound and the wife and I don't listen to our music at very high levels anyway. I did notice that the Mazda 6 GT's Bose system is much louder than the CX3.
 

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What a faff. It'll do as it is.
 
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