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    1. · Registered
      Joined
      ·
      4 Posts
      Hey Everyone - I wanted to pay it forward because this forum helped me a lot. I didn't even think about sound deadening until coming here. Also, in retrospect, I probably would have done a few things differently so hopefully, these can help someone else… These are my opinions and learnings consolidated throughout the process not professional!

      My Situation:
      I bought a 2022 Rav4 XLE Hybrid non-JBL a few months back and immediately thought the audio quality was insufficient (even though I test-drove), especially at highway speeds (70MPH), which triggered my work. I ended up doing way more than I had initially planned, but am generally happy with the result as it sits a few days after completion (for now!).

      What Caused My Work:
      -Poor audio quality – Addressed to a satisfactory level
      -Hearing Cars pass on highway (like there was nothing in between us) – Still not great
      -Cabin noise on highways – Addressed to a satisfactory level, may tinker…

      Timeline (with a test in between each followed by a comment):
      1 - Dashspeakers JBL Club 322F:
      (noticed immediate sound improvement fuller mids (even to the point I wondered if it was bass) but felt unbalanced and extremely from the 'front' even with the fader all the way to the back). I almost stopped here but enjoy tinkering and my curiosity killed the cat.
      2 – Liftgate: sound deadened with dampener & insulation (I noticed a minor improvement in road noise)
      3 - Front door/back doors: sound deadened with dampener & insulation, and JBL Club 620F in front (didn't think road noise changed, speakers felt a little less front facing but still unbalanced, less bass but not to the point where I thought it was a problem with +2 on bass). Rear door: sound deadened with dampener & insulation & Kicker 43DSC6704 (didn't think road noise changed, speakers cabin sound felt more balanced with the EQ is set toward the back a few clicks and bass +2 (although this maybe in my head). With ears against the DSC it felt less bassey again compared to the stock speaker (looks like there is a floating tweeter on the speaker) but better mids/highs. I listen to a lot of EDM in combo with rock still seems acceptable to me, a sub would obviously help… I ended up calling Crutchfield after the Dash and they recommended this setup (match the fronts, not matching back to take a more efficient speaker).
      4 - Trunk floor/Wheel Well: sound deadened with dampener & insulation (noticeable road noise improvement). Biggest sound dampening improvement IMO.
      5 – BMW/Camry dissection (last, unfortunately…)



      Results Summary & Evidence (similar 5 mile road strip, tried to log 30 seconds with no cars passing at constant 70MPH using Decibel Meter App):
      Before: Range: 65-70; Avg ~68
      After: Range: 62- 70; Avg ~66

      As others have noted, the meter captures the loudest noise, to me, it seemed noticeable that the general cabin ‘hum’ or noise was lower than initially at highway speeds. I felt like I was hearing different noises that I hadn’t picked up on before such as bumps in the road, the hybrid noises (especially at low speeds), and engine noise that were previously drowned out. It still feels like I can noticeably hear when cars pass me through the doors (even with the insulation) which bothers me the most after this project, I didn’t notice this in my previous car (BMW 128i base trim; which is also a 2 door coupe, low to the ground, less drag, ‘luxury’ type car). Also, as others have noted I’m sure an AMP would significantly improve my speaker quality but I didn’t want to splice any wires on a car so new (and I was less comfortable doing so). I feel like the audio is better than stock and the cabin is quieter.

      Cost: ~$500 (half speakers half deadening supplies)
      Time: ~15 hours (full day Saturday plus some time another day). Note: I also go really slow when doing this, if you’re experienced you could probably go faster, I had never taken a panel off/watch some videos along the way, etc… After a door or two I was certainly going faster.
      Satisfaction: Yes, but would do some things differently if I could redo; will likely tinker again…

      Other Car Comparisons:
      BMW X3
      (ref: photos). Note: Owner did not want me to take panels off (I know…ridiculous)
      -Hood: Dampener like my RAV except a bit bigger (not pictured) - concluded not the problem.
      -Trunk (pictured): There is a large sheet of dampener (similar to one piece of Kilmat); there is a multi-layer noise reduction sheet similar to the RAV under the hybrid batter with denim and MLV (presumably). Rav mods made similar.
      -Lift Gate (pictured): There is a multi-layer insulation for sound dampening, looks different than denim insulation. Rav mods made similar.
      -Wheel Wells: This seems to be the big/noticeable difference. There is custom fit denim with a backer throughout the sides of the car. In some spots, this overlaps, there is even some on the inside of the panels I could feel, so it could be three layered in some spots. Rav mods made similar, although BMW seemed a lot more robust and certainly less sound pathways… There was additional (not pictured) insulation adhered to the back of the plastic panel, the panels THEMSELVE are made out of a softer/thicker material (not just a flimsy piece of plastic)
      -Aerodynamics: The general shape of the car is more curved (less boxy) on the hood and top which likely creates less drag/wind noise then RAV
      -Glass thickness: Door window thickness actually measured to be the same (I don’t know if BMW is acoustic or not, but this was my original theory which I think is disproved).
      -General Conclusion: The wheel wells/sides are the biggest noticeable difference with the multiple layers of insulation. Noticing the difference myself and seeing where the additional BMW difference were confirmed this for me. I would have to imagine BMW would have this multi layer throughout the sides of the cars, A bars, roof, etc to make the cabin softer. I may focus additional efforts here for multi layers or better layers.

      2020 Camry XLE:
      T-o put it shortly, it seemed similar to my XLE a few stock dampeners in the trunk well but no noticeable insulation. I didn’t do a full dissection and owner didn’t want me to take parts off. I did go on the high way with this and noise pollution/road noise was similar to my car (~68db) before mods however there was noticeably LESS wind noise (aerodynamics of the car). Driving this car I noticed the road quality as we went further across multiple highways.

      Learnings & In-Retrospect:
      • Dampener: It certainly seemed to be overkill by placing the 36sq feet given the amount of BMW and what others have said. I think the focus should be more on sound insulation/proofing and ensuring filling/layering/lacking gaps. There seem to be varying opinions across the forum for 200% coverage (multiple layers) to 100% coverage to 50% coverage. I’m of the opinion that partial coverage is effective with diminishing returns. At the same time, I tore the car apart so I don’t mind the extra $50 and I don’t think it will impact my MPG to have 36sq ft rather than 12, so I’m pleased with the amount I placed. Additionally, there are now a decent number of stock dampeners in the 2022 RAV on the floors, so I’m not convinced that this did anything significant other than 'feel' such as the noise when the doors close (ref some youtube videos closing doors and knocking).
      • Layering: It seems logical, people have stated to use/layer different materials, some default materials had multiple layers; BMW had multiple insulation layers and types. It seems to be the most important to get coverage and layer in wheel well spots (and likely side paneling). I think I’m likely hurting myself by not having a backing/layering to trap sound on the denim layer I placed. I took the ‘cheaper way out’ for these ~$10/roll rather than some of the more expensive multi-layer products for like $60/similar size. In retrospect, I would have put high/best coverage the trunk sides and wheel wells with the expensive multi-layer materials rather than single-layer insulation. Note: I'm only concluding the base of the trunk is not as important because the BMW didn't have it there.
      • Buy Standard Parts rather than raw materials: I didn’t perform the BMW dissection until after the work, but I would have looked for standard insulation parts from them for the multi-layer (e.g., Lexus, BMW X3 or even a highlander) that would more seamlessly fit the wheel wells rather than the patchy job I did, this also would have likely been a multi-layer solution… I can't believe I didn't think of this upfront, and I didn't see this recommendation anywhere. After 10 seconds of looking, I found a Lexus-type part that probably could be modified to fit (e.g., 53784-48020 Genuine Lexus INSULATOR, Apron Front)
      • Toyota ’22 Standard Noise Insulation: I was surprised at how much was in this car given all the comments, it does appear that they’re improving this slightly over the years
      • Speakers: I didn’t realize Crutchfield had a recommended section (ref: Car Speakers at Crutchfield) and I rushed into buying the upgraded dash speakers initially thinking the doors would be too much work and not wanting to run wire/amp for a component. In retrospect, I probably would have bought the kicker set as they’re recommended by Crutchfield for RAV4 without an amp (rather than the JBL for the front). When/if I add an AMP I may upgrade the back to the JBL/add amp/add tweeters in A bars. The JBL are also 3ohm so they come off as ‘louder’ than there 4 ohm stock/DSC which is partially the need to fade back so strong.
      • Road Quality: I was shocked at how much road quality impacted cabin noise. I saw low 61db ( 70MPH) or 72db (70MPH old road) on a road trip based on the different highway road qualities.
      • IMO Largest bang for buck:
      • Wheel wells insulation: Again based on personal experience, and validated after seeing the BMW (i.e. no insulation in the spare wheel spot.
      • Dash speakers: Enough said, confirmed by lots of people
      • Overall Low Risk: Overall extremely low risk, I never felt uncomfortable or broke any parts/screws. If you’re concerned about this, just do it and take your time.
      • Upgraded JBL Stock Speakers: People bash on them, I’m glad I did the noise insulation but part of me wonders how much of this could have been resolved with the JBL speakers up front. Or at least take those then upgrade the doors to not have to worry about some re-wiring.
      What Insulation did I find stock in My Toyota?
      • Hood: Standard gen 5 Dampener
      • Spare Wheel: scattered limited dampeners
      • Lift Gate: Dampener (I believe small one, if I recall correctly it’s been a few weeks)
      • Backseat (under hybrid battery): Denim & MLV composite
      • Wheel Wells: Noise Insulation on plastic pieces
      What did I add?
      Going Forward What Might I do:
      • Front Floor: Given the effectiveness of the trunk & sides, I want to investigate this more. According to stacyspears photos there is already some material there.
      • MLV: Given how much the trunk insulation helped and seeing that Toyota used a denim/MLV composite I’m considering getting a sheet and layering it in the trunk floor/wheel wells
      • Wheel well Additional Layer: Additional side wheel wells insulation layers/foam after seeing the BMW has multiple overlapping layers (e.g., putting adhesive on the back of some of the plastic pop outs, seems very easy potentially high impact).
      • Amp, Sub, and maybe tweeters: I figure at some point I will get over my fear of splicing the wires and just do this.. I have a few road trips coming up, but I will see how much the sound bothers me.
      • Roof: Probably not going to do this, if someone thinks it’s easy or effective let me know

      Considerations:

      • Moisture in wheel well: Recognizing that not a lot of others did this, it wasn’t in the BMW, maybe there is a reason for this. I’m going to monitor this throughout the winter to see if moisture gets here. Note: I have rubber all-season mats that overlay the complete trunk, so I’m hoping the multiple layers will prevent water/snow from slipping down causing me to need to pull this up.

      Questions (ref photos):

      • I found a dead-end plug in the back right of my car, does anyone know what this goes to? (I'm praying this is a sub plug?)

      Credits
      (non exhaustive, used a lot of people and read some forms throughout but here were a few I saved for frequent reference):
       

      Attachments

    2. · Registered
      Joined
      ·
      30 Posts
      Hey Everyone - I wanted to pay it forward because this forum helped me a lot. I didn't even think about sound deadening until coming here. Also, in retrospect, I probably would have done a few things differently so hopefully, these can help someone else… These are my opinions and learnings consolidated throughout the process not professional!

      My Situation:
      I bought a 2022 Rav4 XLE Hybrid non-JBL a few months back and immediately thought the audio quality was insufficient (even though I test-drove), especially at highway speeds (70MPH), which triggered my work. I ended up doing way more than I had initially planned, but am generally happy with the result as it sits a few days after completion (for now!).

      What Caused My Work:
      -Poor audio quality – Addressed to a satisfactory level
      -Hearing Cars pass on highway (like there was nothing in between us) – Still not great
      -Cabin noise on highways – Addressed to a satisfactory level, may tinker…

      Timeline (with a test in between each followed by a comment):
      1 - Dashspeakers JBL Club 322F:
      (noticed immediate sound improvement fuller mids (even to the point I wondered if it was bass) but felt unbalanced and extremely from the 'front' even with the fader all the way to the back). I almost stopped here but enjoy tinkering and my curiosity killed the cat.
      2 – Liftgate: sound deadened with dampener & insulation (I noticed a minor improvement in road noise)
      3 - Front door/back doors: sound deadened with dampener & insulation, and JBL Club 620F in front (didn't think road noise changed, speakers felt a little less front facing but still unbalanced, less bass but not to the point where I thought it was a problem with +2 on bass). Rear door: sound deadened with dampener & insulation & Kicker 43DSC6704 (didn't think road noise changed, speakers cabin sound felt more balanced with the EQ is set toward the back a few clicks and bass +2 (although this maybe in my head). With ears against the DSC it felt less bassey again compared to the stock speaker (looks like there is a floating tweeter on the speaker) but better mids/highs. I listen to a lot of EDM in combo with rock still seems acceptable to me, a sub would obviously help… I ended up calling Crutchfield after the Dash and they recommended this setup (match the fronts, not matching back to take a more efficient speaker).
      4 - Trunk floor/Wheel Well: sound deadened with dampener & insulation (noticeable road noise improvement). Biggest sound dampening improvement IMO.
      5 – BMW/Camry dissection (last, unfortunately…)



      Results Summary & Evidence (similar 5 mile road strip, tried to log 30 seconds with no cars passing at constant 70MPH using Decibel Meter App):
      Before: Range: 65-70; Avg ~68
      After: Range: 62- 70; Avg ~66

      As others have noted, the meter captures the loudest noise, to me, it seemed noticeable that the general cabin ‘hum’ or noise was lower than initially at highway speeds. I felt like I was hearing different noises that I hadn’t picked up on before such as bumps in the road, the hybrid noises (especially at low speeds), and engine noise that were previously drowned out. It still feels like I can noticeably hear when cars pass me through the doors (even with the insulation) which bothers me the most after this project, I didn’t notice this in my previous car (BMW 128i base trim; which is also a 2 door coupe, low to the ground, less drag, ‘luxury’ type car). Also, as others have noted I’m sure an AMP would significantly improve my speaker quality but I didn’t want to splice any wires on a car so new (and I was less comfortable doing so). I feel like the audio is better than stock and the cabin is quieter.

      Cost: ~$500 (half speakers half deadening supplies)
      Time: ~15 hours (full day Saturday plus some time another day). Note: I also go really slow when doing this, if you’re experienced you could probably go faster, I had never taken a panel off/watch some videos along the way, etc… After a door or two I was certainly going faster.
      Satisfaction: Yes, but would do some things differently if I could redo; will likely tinker again…

      Other Car Comparisons:
      BMW X3
      (ref: photos). Note: Owner did not want me to take panels off (I know…ridiculous)
      -Hood: Dampener like my RAV except a bit bigger (not pictured) - concluded not the problem.
      -Trunk (pictured): There is a large sheet of dampener (similar to one piece of Kilmat); there is a multi-layer noise reduction sheet similar to the RAV under the hybrid batter with denim and MLV (presumably). Rav mods made similar.
      -Lift Gate (pictured): There is a multi-layer insulation for sound dampening, looks different than denim insulation. Rav mods made similar.
      -Wheel Wells: This seems to be the big/noticeable difference. There is custom fit denim with a backer throughout the sides of the car. In some spots, this overlaps, there is even some on the inside of the panels I could feel, so it could be three layered in some spots. Rav mods made similar, although BMW seemed a lot more robust and certainly less sound pathways… There was additional (not pictured) insulation adhered to the back of the plastic panel, the panels THEMSELVE are made out of a softer/thicker material (not just a flimsy piece of plastic)
      -Aerodynamics: The general shape of the car is more curved (less boxy) on the hood and top which likely creates less drag/wind noise then RAV
      -Glass thickness: Door window thickness actually measured to be the same (I don’t know if BMW is acoustic or not, but this was my original theory which I think is disproved).
      -General Conclusion: The wheel wells/sides are the biggest noticeable difference with the multiple layers of insulation. Noticing the difference myself and seeing where the additional BMW difference were confirmed this for me. I would have to imagine BMW would have this multi layer throughout the sides of the cars, A bars, roof, etc to make the cabin softer. I may focus additional efforts here for multi layers or better layers.

      2020 Camry XLE:
      T-o put it shortly, it seemed similar to my XLE a few stock dampeners in the trunk well but no noticeable insulation. I didn’t do a full dissection and owner didn’t want me to take parts off. I did go on the high way with this and noise pollution/road noise was similar to my car (~68db) before mods however there was noticeably LESS wind noise (aerodynamics of the car). Driving this car I noticed the road quality as we went further across multiple highways.

      Learnings & In-Retrospect:
      • Dampener: It certainly seemed to be overkill by placing the 36sq feet given the amount of BMW and what others have said. I think the focus should be more on sound insulation/proofing and ensuring filling/layering/lacking gaps. There seem to be varying opinions across the forum for 200% coverage (multiple layers) to 100% coverage to 50% coverage. I’m of the opinion that partial coverage is effective with diminishing returns. At the same time, I tore the car apart so I don’t mind the extra $50 and I don’t think it will impact my MPG to have 36sq ft rather than 12, so I’m pleased with the amount I placed. Additionally, there are now a decent number of stock dampeners in the 2022 RAV on the floors, so I’m not convinced that this did anything significant other than 'feel' such as the noise when the doors close (ref some youtube videos closing doors and knocking).
      • Layering: It seems logical, people have stated to use/layer different materials, some default materials had multiple layers; BMW had multiple insulation layers and types. It seems to be the most important to get coverage and layer in wheel well spots (and likely side paneling). I think I’m likely hurting myself by not having a backing/layering to trap sound on the denim layer I placed. I took the ‘cheaper way out’ for these ~$10/roll rather than some of the more expensive multi-layer products for like $60/similar size. In retrospect, I would have put high/best coverage the trunk sides and wheel wells with the expensive multi-layer materials rather than single-layer insulation. Note: I'm only concluding the base of the trunk is not as important because the BMW didn't have it there.
      • Buy Standard Parts rather than raw materials: I didn’t perform the BMW dissection until after the work, but I would have looked for standard insulation parts from them for the multi-layer (e.g., Lexus, BMW X3 or even a highlander) that would more seamlessly fit the wheel wells rather than the patchy job I did, this also would have likely been a multi-layer solution… I can't believe I didn't think of this upfront, and I didn't see this recommendation anywhere. After 10 seconds of looking, I found a Lexus-type part that probably could be modified to fit (e.g., 53784-48020 Genuine Lexus INSULATOR, Apron Front)
      • Toyota ’22 Standard Noise Insulation: I was surprised at how much was in this car given all the comments, it does appear that they’re improving this slightly over the years
      • Speakers: I didn’t realize Crutchfield had a recommended section (ref: Car Speakers at Crutchfield) and I rushed into buying the upgraded dash speakers initially thinking the doors would be too much work and not wanting to run wire/amp for a component. In retrospect, I probably would have bought the kicker set as they’re recommended by Crutchfield for RAV4 without an amp (rather than the JBL for the front). When/if I add an AMP I may upgrade the back to the JBL/add amp/add tweeters in A bars. The JBL are also 3ohm so they come off as ‘louder’ than there 4 ohm stock/DSC which is partially the need to fade back so strong.
      • Road Quality: I was shocked at how much road quality impacted cabin noise. I saw low 61db ( 70MPH) or 72db (70MPH old road) on a road trip based on the different highway road qualities.
      • IMO Largest bang for buck:
      • Wheel wells insulation: Again based on personal experience, and validated after seeing the BMW (i.e. no insulation in the spare wheel spot.
      • Dash speakers: Enough said, confirmed by lots of people
      • Overall Low Risk: Overall extremely low risk, I never felt uncomfortable or broke any parts/screws. If you’re concerned about this, just do it and take your time.
      • Upgraded JBL Stock Speakers: People bash on them, I’m glad I did the noise insulation but part of me wonders how much of this could have been resolved with the JBL speakers up front. Or at least take those then upgrade the doors to not have to worry about some re-wiring.
      What Insulation did I find stock in My Toyota?
      • Hood: Standard gen 5 Dampener
      • Spare Wheel: scattered limited dampeners
      • Lift Gate: Dampener (I believe small one, if I recall correctly it’s been a few weeks)
      • Backseat (under hybrid battery): Denim & MLV composite
      • Wheel Wells: Noise Insulation on plastic pieces
      What did I add?
      Going Forward What Might I do:
      • Front Floor: Given the effectiveness of the trunk & sides, I want to investigate this more. According to stacyspears photos there is already some material there.
      • MLV: Given how much the trunk insulation helped and seeing that Toyota used a denim/MLV composite I’m considering getting a sheet and layering it in the trunk floor/wheel wells
      • Wheel well Additional Layer: Additional side wheel wells insulation layers/foam after seeing the BMW has multiple overlapping layers (e.g., putting adhesive on the back of some of the plastic pop outs, seems very easy potentially high impact).
      • Amp, Sub, and maybe tweeters: I figure at some point I will get over my fear of splicing the wires and just do this.. I have a few road trips coming up, but I will see how much the sound bothers me.
      • Roof: Probably not going to do this, if someone thinks it’s easy or effective let me know

      Considerations:

      • Moisture in wheel well: Recognizing that not a lot of others did this, it wasn’t in the BMW, maybe there is a reason for this. I’m going to monitor this throughout the winter to see if moisture gets here. Note: I have rubber all-season mats that overlay the complete trunk, so I’m hoping the multiple layers will prevent water/snow from slipping down causing me to need to pull this up.

      Questions (ref photos):

      • I found a dead-end plug in the back right of my car, does anyone know what this goes to? (I'm praying this is a sub plug?)

      Credits
      (non exhaustive, used a lot of people and read some forms throughout but here were a few I saved for frequent reference):
      Did you apply killmat to the inner side of outside door metal panel? Toyota only apply a very small piece of mat on that metal surface.
       

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