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Discussion Starter #1
There has been some dissatisfaction with aspects of the "Premium JBL Audio" system that comes in the Advanced Technology Package, so...

Has anyone replaced the JBL sub?
How about the entire enclosure?

I'm not interested in adding a second sub enclosure that will eat up cargo floor space, but rather only solutions that will utilize the already installed wall enclosure or replace it with a new custom piece in its place.
 

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I don't know for sure if that will help with the problems most people complain about. I mean, of course an after market sub will be better. But the signal it is being sent in FM radio(where it seems most of the problems lie) will be the same. Hopefully someone has done it and can reply with their results. Don't think I've ever seen it mentioned here though.
 

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Mine is 2016 premium JBL, I think the sub literally has no bass output. I can hear other band of frequency but bass is very very weak. I played music from HD radio and USB drive song. This is not only FM radio issue or the source of the music. It is the problem of the head unit. I think the subwoofer might be fine. Perhaps, the head unit might not have proper band-pass filter or dedicated sub output. I don't know the wiring of his audio system. Typically subwoofer should be connected to a dedicated sub output which has a band-pass filter for low frequency. Replacing another sub-woofer might not solve the issue if the problem is at the source side. I can hear other speakers in the front putting out bass but it is not as solid as a subwoofer. We need to get Toyota to acknowledge it. Audio performance could be very subjective to individual. Some people may have satisfied with the premium system already if the bass from other speakers channels are enough for them. We are talking about real bass from a subwoofer and for sure there is no bass or low frequency band coming out from that speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mine is 2016 premium JBL, I think the sub literally has no bass output. I can hear other band of frequency but bass is very very weak. I played music from HD radio and USB drive song. This is not only FM radio issue or the source of the music. It is the problem of the head unit. I think the subwoofer might be fine. Perhaps, the head unit might not have proper band-pass filter or dedicated sub output.
During one of my test drives, I was fiddling with the stereo and noticed that the little low-end I heard, presumably from the sub, seemed to disappear as I faded the balance toward the rear. This leads me to believe that the sub is simply wired into the front Left and/or Right signal instead of being a dedicated LFE output. This would be a real shame. Can you confirm that yours also disappears when you fade to the rear speakers, sc540i?

I do audio for a living and I was really underwhelmed by this "Premium JBL" setup...especially because the JBL in my 2010 Prius sounded INCREDIBLE...very, very loud and full-range for a factory speaker system.

I don't think this will be a deal beaker for me, as I would probably end up beefing up the low-end eventually, preferably with something that will make a substantial difference yet still fit inside the cargo wall like the stock sub. I really don't want to eat up floor space with a sub enclosure if I don't have to.
 

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Stating the obvious...

Has anyone taken the time to turn on their JBL "premium" system, play a song via USB or whatever that has some bass in it, opening the hatch to the cargo area, and actually checking if the sub-woofer is doing anything? If it's not doing anything back there, it's an obvious design problem that Toyota should be made aware of so they can fix it.
 

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During one of my test drives, I was fiddling with the stereo and noticed that the little low-end I heard, presumably from the sub, seemed to disappear as I faded the balance toward the rear. This leads me to believe that the sub is simply wired into the front Left and/or Right signal instead of being a dedicated LFE output. This would be a real shame. Can you confirm that yours also disappears when you fade to the rear speakers, sc540i?

I do audio for a living and I was really underwhelmed by this "Premium JBL" setup...especially because the JBL in my 2010 Prius sounded INCREDIBLE...very, very loud and full-range for a factory speaker system.

I don't think this will be a deal beaker for me, as I would probably end up beefing up the low-end eventually, preferably with something that will make a substantial difference yet still fit inside the cargo wall like the stock sub. I really don't want to eat up floor space with a sub enclosure if I don't have to.
I'll play the fading setting to see if the sub wired with dedicated LFE output or not. It is hard to believe a premium head unit nowadays do not have a dedicated output for sub. In my experience with sub unit in audio system years ago, a high end or mid grade sub unit shall both produce deep bass if it is wired to a dedicated output. Particularly in a vehicle cabin, the effect of bass actually is much obvious than in a living room. I would not believe changing out another sub would help unless the rear unit is not a subwoofer. Will report my finding later. Thanks for your suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stating the obvious...

Has anyone taken the time to turn on their JBL "premium" system, play a song via USB or whatever that has some bass in it, opening the hatch to the cargo area, and actually checking if the sub-woofer is doing anything?
I did this at the dealership, though I didn't crank the system to full blast...I didn't think I'd need to. I was listening from my phone via Bluetooth. Granted, it was right next to a busy and loud roadway, but it seemed like there was little to no signal coming from the sub. I should have really cranked up the volume. Next time I will experiment in more detail.
Would love to hear from someone who has spent extended time toying with it.
 

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I played music from USB. Put my ear next to the sub and set the fab to the front and rear respectively. There is more output when the fad setting is to the middle and front comparing to the rear setting. I suspect the sub is not wired to a dedicated LFE but to one of the front channel. When the fad setting to the front, the bass is coming stronger from the front pair of speakers but somewhat distorted as compared to the sub. I can say the single isolated speaker in the truck is a sub-woofer. However, it is not being wired to a dedicated sub output from the head unit. Or the head unit does not have one dedicated for sub. This is a shame and lame setup for a premium JBL.
 

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Comparing my 2008 CRV EX and this 2016 rav4 with tech package. I would say that the CRV is somewhat better. I don't think i can hear the "premium" sound from JBL systhesis.

I agree with this forum, i can't hear the sub(base) side of sound. Toyota provide me a 2014 Yaris hatchback. I think that it even sound better than my supposed to be a premium in my rav4. I plan to call my dealer and find out what they say.
 

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I wonder what changed from the 2013 to now? The JBL in my 2013 Limited is pretty awesome. I have everything flat in settings with the fade one notch to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Such a damn shame. There's no good excuse for the bass being so low and almost non-existent, ESPECIALLY for having a dedicated "sub."

Another aspect of the "Premium JBL" system that also irks me is the absence of separate tweeters in the rear doors. Sure, the rear speakers are two-way, but that can't compete with actually having separate tweeters higher up in the doors.

As I've already stated, my 2010 Prius that I bought nearly SEVEN years ago had a speaker system that absolutely crushes the Rav4's "Premium JBL" setup. How sad. I only pray that Toyota provides a miracle fix or change by the time I place my order. Very doubtful for that.
 

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Such a damn shame. There's no good excuse for the bass being so low and almost non-existent, ESPECIALLY for having a dedicated "sub."

Another aspect of the "Premium JBL" system that also irks me is the absence of separate tweeters in the rear doors. Sure, the rear speakers are two-way, but that can't compete with actually having separate tweeters higher up in the doors.

As I've already stated, my 2010 Prius that I bought nearly SEVEN years ago had a speaker system that absolutely crushes the Rav4's "Premium JBL" setup. How sad. I only pray that Toyota provides a miracle fix or change by the time I place my order. Very doubtful for that.
Certainly there is problem of how the sub being set up in this premium grade. Normally by changing fad setting between front and rear should not affect the output of the sub but it is lounder when moving to front. That being said, it may need a separated amp to drive this sub unless the sub come with built-in amp which is not wired. Other older model of toyota with premium JBL had much better bass performance which I confirmed with friends' car. Toyota obviously try to brand this premium audio as Entune Premium JBL across all Toyota model. The quality of the branding has to be consistent and it is hard to believe such technology of audio spec. is difficult to keep up with across platform or versions. I hope this is a defect in the assembly process and a retrofit shall be amended.
 

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The JBL on my 2016 Limited Hybrid is capable of considerable bass power. It seems the issue is inconsistent equalization between input sources. For me, XM has the best frequency equalization and Bluetooth the worst.

My Prius had a center dash speaker which had a mix of left and right stereo channels. That made a huge difference in providing the front passengers with a quality stereo image. In fact, other than a lack of bass, the Prius had a better overall audio package than the Rav4.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The JBL on my 2016 Limited Hybrid is capable of considerable bass power. It seems the issue is inconsistent equalization between input sources. For me, XM has the best frequency equalization and Bluetooth the worst.

My Prius had a center dash speaker which had a mix of left and right stereo channels. That made a huge difference in providing the front passengers with a quality stereo image. In fact, other than a lack of bass, the Prius had a better overall audio package than the Rav4.
What year was your Prius? My 2010 sounded incredible on all input sources including Bluetooth, which I used mostly, and had more than enough bass. I was in love with streaming music from my phone and having it sound so good. I'm not sure if I can go back to being wired.

I can't understand why there would be such a difference between input sources, but your comment has me sorta hopefulll that perhaps in a worst case scenario, USB will impress me more than Bluetooth did during my test drives. I REALLY like the convenience of Bluetooth and how it will auto resume where I left of when I re-enter the car, all without having to touch a thing. Bluetooth itself is capable of streaming very high quality, and if there really is a difference between the various input sources, maybe and hopefully the problem can be solved with a firmware update...???? Let's all hope so.

Not to sound redundant, but this single issue has me REALLY bummed out and I hope that if I go through with the purchase, my Rav4's "premium" system will magically sound "premium."
 

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My Prius was a 2005. It did NOT have Bluetooth audio, nor did it have analog input. It was pretty much radio as I never used the CD player.
 

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I did see that you can setup the audio differently for each input. But, no matter how it's setup, the bass response is horrible for some thing billed as premium.
 

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How to replace the head unit 2016

Hi everyone, I'm in the process of buying the 2016 Toyota Rav4 Limited Hybrid. I've already got the car on the way, but I'm a LONG TIME audio aficionado, and I HATE JBL. I prefer Pioneer. Currently in my current car I have the pro series sub, and a simple head Unit. As most of you know, Toyota/Lexus decided to put the controls (apps) for the car with the stereo, and anyone who knows audio knows that you need to change the headunit to be able to control your sub in detail. I'm looking at the apple software based Pioneer Mixtrax head unit. Is this possible? What am I going to lose control of? Is there an app? Has Toyota addressed this? Huge Oversight IMHO. What is your experience? Please tell me there is a way....

thanks,
devOpsGirl
:crying
 

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While reading this thread and the complaints regarding the bass, I was wondering, if it was possible that some subs are wired out of phase. Perhaps there was a run of subs or even the wiring harness that had the polarity backwards. While I would not expect a system like this with such a small sub, even though it is in a tuned enclosure, I can't imagine that a company like JBL, who spent lots of hours developing this system, would make one as bad as some have said. I am inheriting a 2013 RAV4 Limited with the JBL system and haven't heard it yet (I have to go to pick up the car in another state), so I am rather anxious to hear the system myself.
 

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While reading this thread and the complaints regarding the bass, I was wondering, if it was possible that some subs are wired out of phase. .
You could ask the same question about the big door speakers, since they provide most of the perceived bass. If someone really wants to troubleshoot this they'd be well advised to swap wires first on the sub, then put that back and swap one door speaker. My hunch is that the speaker connects will be keyed to prevent direct swapping.
 

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You could ask the same question about the big door speakers, since they provide most of the perceived bass. If someone really wants to troubleshoot this they'd be well advised to swap wires first on the sub, then put that back and swap one door speaker. My hunch is that the speaker connects will be keyed to prevent direct swapping.
I realize that the connectors are keyed. But what if there was a batch of units where the polarity of some of the speakers is somehow reversed, but marked 'properly', relative to others. Then the harness was hooked up in another department of assembly. I'm really just speculating here.
 
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