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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I test drove a 2015 RAV yesterday since It is on my short list. But before taking it for a spin, i wanted to hear just how bad the upgraded JBL sound system was.
I read about the numerous complaints regarding the system and had to hear it first hand. It was every bit as bad AND worse! Even at low volume, it sounded terrible. In fact, there was a considerable amount of distortion.
I'm curious who is responsible for testing the sound system before the cars are released to the public?
It was bad enough that i will wait for the 2016 models to come out to see if Toyota has improved the system.
 

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For the life of me, I can't understand all the complaints about the JBL. I purchased a Limited primarily for two reasons, the seats and the JBL. The JBL audio system sounds pretty darn good to me. And, this is comparing it to the Mark Levinson audio system in my Lexus. I am very, very happy with the sound quality. I did, however, tweak the equalizer slightly. I like more bass and less high, left the mid-tone range centered. Also the balance, but that's just because of my partial loss of hearing in one ear. It's a good system. No complaints at all.

The only reason I might have wished to wait for the '16s is so that I could get the hybrid version. My Lexus RX AWD is a hybrid and I really like the technology. Maybe in a couple of years when the initial demand is satisfied and prices are reasonable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Volosong,
That's why i wanted to hear first hand how the system sounded and to me it was not good at all. But i am an audiophile and perhaps i'm more discerning of the sound quality. It could also be from listening to so much rock music when i was a teenager that it has compromised my hearing!
Also, the seat was not comfortable, but that could be from an L5 injury 15 years ago.
I still think Toyota makes a good car, but there is always room for improvement.
 

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I agree that the seats could use some tweaking. The thigh bolsters are too tall and there is very little back support above the lumbar adjustment and below the shoulder. Sort of a 'dead' spot. However, I know that I'm going to really appreciate the bun warmers when it turns cold. I like the power setting capability and the option to save two settings for instant recall. Really like how firm the seats are. Reminds me of my German automobiles. Firm seats are a godsend for long trips.

There are other things I wish were different. Could use a lot more cubbies and the eco/sport switches are next to impossible to see during the daytime if you have sunglasses on. (My interior is black. Might not be an issue with the lighter colored interiors.) Those switches should also be placed to where they are a lot more accessible instead of 'way down'. I find that I do frequently use those different modes, and having to look first, then reach way down could be a hazard to safe driving.


My next project is to 'build' a cheap DIY homelink. I'm going to take one of the blank switch panels next to the bun warmers and install a SPST push button switch that is wired to a generic garage door opener. I just need to figure out how to get into that part of the dash so that I can velcro the actual garage door opener inside. In the other, blank switch panel, I'm considering the installation of a little red light that is connected to a simple circuit I built that flashes off and on. It simulates a security alarm. Most people, if they are not professionals, will by bypass a car that has a flashing red light on the dash. This light will be low, but should be bright enough to deter the most determined thief.

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p.s. I never listened to rock music that loudly when I was younger and only attended a handful of concerts. I do suffer from tinnitus, (when I think about it and when in a very quiet environments). Probably caused by loud explosions during my military service. It's no biggie. The partial hearing loss came about due to undiagnosed childhood ear infections. Just one ear. Neither has affected my enjoyment of music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like your idea of a dummy alarm light.
Sorry to hear about your hearing loss, but glad to know that it hasn't diminished your enjoyment of music.

Despite some hearing loss,i don't regret being lucky enough to have listened to Hendrix, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jetro Tull and many other groups, live.
 

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fitnessinstbo,

The poor sound quality you discovered with the JBL in the 2015 Rav4 Limited is a common complaint. The Anemic Bass Response thread about the Entune Premium JBL Audio has received more than 9500 views. If you review the entire thread you will see that Toyota is in complete denial about this issue and refuses to offer a solution. Too bad this audio problem prevented you from purchasing the new RAV4, I would not have purchased my 2014 RAV4 Limited had I known just how bad this system operates. I believe Toyota has lost numerous sales as a result of the JBL's poor performance. The RAV4 is a great overall vehicle, but $785 for a premium audio system that doesn't perform well is a deal breaker for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe Toyota is looking for a certain percentage of complaints before they will act.
As far as I'm concerned, they have more than enough complaints to take action.
Kind of sad considering the great reputation they've had for many years.
Maybe they're just resting on their laurels.
 

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This makes me glad that I did a custom setup in my '08 that did not have JBL. It is 8+1 speakers with the +1 being a Bazooka in the very back with it's own 200 watt amp for 500 watts total. It won't win any contests but it sure works for me. That's with the stock head unit and a JL Audio Clean Sweep. I have wowed a few folks that had much more power in their systems with the clarity mine provides. It has been professionally tuned to my specifications......by ear. Obviously none of the speakers are stock, all are aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Someone is responsible at Toyota product development, or whatever you want to call it to test the sound system to make sure it's adequate prior to the cars being released to the dealers.
Apparently this is an ongoing problem the Toyota refuses to acknowledge.
 

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This makes me glad that I did a custom setup in my '08 that did not have JBL. It is 8+1 speakers with the +1 being a Bazooka in the very back with it's own 200 watt amp for 500 watts total. It won't win any contests but it sure works for me. That's with the stock head unit and a JL Audio Clean Sweep. I have wowed a few folks that had much more power in their systems with the clarity mine provides. It has been professionally tuned to my specifications......by ear. Obviously none of the speakers are stock, all are aftermarket.
I've had bazooka tubes in a few vehicles and they certainly do perform well. Your system must sound great. I've just added a 10 in sealed sub and amp and it sounds really good to me. In my experience though, an 8 inch zooka puts out as much as most 10 inch subs.
 

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:confused: What good would a super sound system be... with all the road noise transmitted to the interior? Unless you just listen while sitting still.
 

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I've had bazooka tubes in a few vehicles and they certainly do perform well. Your system must sound great. I've just added a 10 in sealed sub and amp and it sounds really good to me. In my experience though, an 8 inch zooka puts out as much as most 10 inch subs.
Mine is a 10". It does take up a lot of space but it came out of the Accord I traded in as did the Clean Sweep. No point in buying new since these were at hand.
 

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:confused: What good would a super sound system be... with all the road noise transmitted to the interior? Unless you just listen while sitting still.
Oh believe me you can easily drown out the road noise. :)
 

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I've owned 4 Toyota's in my life. The '82 Corolla had a really crappy audio setup, but that's expected. It's a 1982 and no manufacturer cared back then.

Since then, my major three Toyota's in adulthood have been great-to-bad on stock audio as they get newer.

1998 Camry - great
2006 Camry - okay
2012 RAV4 - bad
 

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We have been happy with premium JBL system in our RAV. I turn the midrange up a bar or two, the bass up two or three bars and set the fader a bit towards the rear. While it isn't the best sounding OEM sound system we have ever had, it is definitely more than good enough for us but I admit that we do not consider ourselves audiophiles.
 

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We test drove a limited and found that the jbl system sucked. Couldn't get any bass out of it. I actually preferred the xle sound which is what we ended up with but have since added a sub.
 
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