listening to music in the car

i have noticed many times that listening to music in the car, especially, jazz and classical, is usually more enjoyable than listening to most audio systems in the home.

i hear more accurate instrumental timbre in the car than in most home audio systems.

the car affords near field listening and surround sound and since most of my listening is on the radio (fm), the bandwidth is probably restricted.

any comments ?
I used to enjoy music in my car until I traded for a new model with factory installed "high end" Bose radio. I had no option, it was standard equipment on the vehicle.

I much preferred the stock factory radio in my older vehicle (same make and model, different year).

Perhaps the car maker watches too much TV, and thought they were doing their customers a favor.
Maybe it is time to upgrade your home audio systems, Mr. Tennis
I rarely listen to music in my car. I prefer talk radio when driving, and no, I'm not a supporter of Lush Limbaugh. I prefer listening music from my home system over my car.
Psycho-acoustical effect of sensory combinations; you're stimulating the visual by essentially listening to music while driving through a "continuous and variable motion video". Driving may also relax your metabolism, if you enjoy driving.

If you do not enjoy driving, especially during heavy traffic, or other emotional "downers", then you are concentrating on other matters, which is a distraction for any kind of serious listening. It becomes secondary background music.

Or it could be that most of the home systems that you've heard sound like s**t!

Check, and checkmate :-)
Car stereo could be very very good in terms of dynamic and emotional impact, if set up correctlty. My current car stereo in 2002 Boxster S is very effective in generating emotions even with stock radio, speakers. But I have added DSP system and 'bose' subwoofer. The combination while far from my home rig, still very satisfactory overall. And I agree with Mr T that Jazz FM sound does have pretty good reception and tonal quality to be content while driving. Classical on the other hand I find rather thin in all of my four cars except 97 LX450 with Nakamichi premium sound system where everything sounds great from 30 hz and above. Better than the 2005 G500 's Herman kardan system. Overall though 2002 Boxster is more satisfying mainly due to its speakers positions (all of the mid and high upfront in dash.)
There is nothing wrong with Rush...sure beats Air America with all those idiot Demoncrats. Try Glen Beck or Sean Hanity for a change of pace.....unless you drank the liberal Kool-Aid......then its pointless :)
i would say your home stereo is not up to snuff ive got five grand of equip in my car and it dosnt come close to my home.if you are using a reciever for your home then you are not getting anything near hi end would be impossible for a car stereo to do the things a home system could do especially a stock car system
I vote for MIKE SAVAGE and his SAVAGE NATION. No boring liberal or phony Republican Kool-aide here just good common sense.
OMG Its no wonder our country is in trouble. Rich people have no connection with the rest of the country. Pretty soon there will be poor and wealthy. Just think Mexico City. Where the rich run scared and the wannabe rich kill everyone to get it.

Oh sorry where did the political rhetoric come from????

Hey if you enjoy your car stereo then fantastic. Personally if youÂ’re in Minnesota, please come over and we can sit down, relax and listen to some jazz on my home system. But caution is advised, as perhaps your satisfaction with your car stereo may wane.
i have listened to thousands of stereo systems, having gone to CES since 1992. i have also attended every major show in NYC. i also have been a member of sveral audio clubs for many years.

i had a subaru and now i have a toyota camry. there is something about near field listening and the restricted frequency response from fm. it reminds me of the vintage tube sound.

an instrument sounds more real in the car than when listening to most stereo systems, with todays modern components.

there is one speaker which i prefer to my car stereo system and that is stacked original quad esl, with tyhe original quad amps.
My car audio system consists of a McIntosh head unit, Focal Utopia speakers (the car audio equivalent to JM Labs Utopia line), and an ARC Audio amp (which I chose for its relatively warm and full bodied sound). While I enjoy it, it does not sound as nice as any of my home systems. For one, you have to crank up the volume in the car to come reasonably close to the audio quality of a good home system. In addition, timbre/pitch definition is superior with a good home audio system. Car audio sounds like reproduced music, whereas home audio sounds more organic and natural, like you are there with the musicians.
After installing a tubi muffler in my Maserati Spyder, all call I can hear is the sweet sound of my engine. i have been told it is aka the 8 cylinder italian opera.
With The factory stereo in my Lexus (made by Pioneer) I am able to hear instruments and voices and often understand lyrics I have never been able to hear on my home stereo (which is not bad, tubes in the preamp and amp). I have suspected that the lack of full-range sound allows sounds in the midrange to emerge more clearly.
I hear a depth of soundstage in my car that extends from the windshield forward to the stoplight up ahead. I have never experienced anythng like this at home. I have 20K in the home system and 30K in the car system. Plus, on something like 'An American in Paris' the surround, even on two channel recordings, is sometimes awesome.
So Tarsando, when can we go cruisin'! I know some AWESOME desert roads! You pick the tunes, and I'll pick the "refreshments".
i say, car audio is a different beast, but just as fun !!

I drive a new car every one to three months as I work for a manufacturer and I can clearly say I have never heard ANY of our audio systems including those that are very expensive upgrades that were even close to as enjoyable as my home system. You say you have listened to thousands of systems, I have listened to hundreds of vehicles, so I think I can be called a reliable source.

Road noise alone basically means you are missing half the music, average decibel levels are around 60-75db at cruising speeds in most vehicles. You also need to factor in terrible phase errors due to placement of speakers, reflections from windows, etc. Cars also get a huge boost in the bass frequencies from the cabin gain, somewhat like having 4 subs in a small listening room really.

I have noticed in all your posts you seem to dislike any extended frequency response as you seem to equate this with brightness...all joking aside maybe you need to get your hearing checked, one possible sign of damage is sensitivity and you seem to be hyper sensitive. You also make reference to systems from the past a lot, and if this is the case you had less exposure to noise years ago as well...
hi sbrtoy. my distaste for extended high frequency has no relationship to my hearing. iwas tested about 6 months ago.

i have a preference for attenuated high frequency. i like a slope in the treble, starting at 1khz, down 1db, then 2k at 2db, then 4k at 4db, etc. it is purely personal preference, just as someone may prefer to drink cofee with 3 tea spoons of sugar, or dousing a steak with ketchup.

i realize my taste is unusual and inexplicable, but it is just idiosyncratic taste, nothing more.

when i go to a concert, i try to sit in the last row of the orchestra. highs are attenuated and sound is somewhat homogenized. i like that presentation.
Sbrtoy - You say that you have listened to hundreds of car systems - Are these stock and factory "upgrade" systems? Or are these real, custom audio installations?

No matter what the stock system (Lexus ML, VW Dynaudio, ...) or factory upgrade is, it is not evey going to be able to touch what can be done with aftermarket parts and expertise.

You call out a number of audio problems in the car, and yes these are real problems, though some have workarounds. There are fancy "time alignment" devices you can get that will help with the phasing problems, and EQ of course can be used to deal with uneven freq. responses due to cabin gain.

With that being said, of course it is an unfair comparison to compare car audio to home audio. A car will never touch a well setup home system, the laws of physics prevent it.

However, a well implemented aftermarket audio system for your car CAN be highly musical and fun to listen to, if you are able to "turn off" your audiophile tendencies for car listening. Imaging will be off, the 70db road noise kills the noise floor for Bruckner's quiet moments... but you CAN get dynamics to be pretty intense, the midrange to be rich and musical, and of course FULL RANGE ( :

Well worth it if you spend a decent amount of time in the car, but finding a professional who actually knows his stuff is very hard to do. I would wager 1 in 50 even knows what the word "tone" means, as most only know "loud" and "bass"
I agree with Goatwuss. In early thru late 90's I hade a really great sounding system in my Prelude with Pioneer Premier (Thier high end, I don't even know they still have that line) head unit with DSP /EQ and time alignment capabilities. The speakers were up front JL AUDIO 3 way ( tweeter, 5.5 inch mid, 8" mid bass)custom made enclosures including 8" woofers in the door!! Door was treated with dynamate all over. Two 10 inch Cerwin Vega accurate image Subs in sealed enclosure. Rear channels were also JL audio. Optima battery run thru two big caps ensured steady current/power to three beautiful Art series Precision Power Amplifiers. PPI A600 dedicated to subs, A400 to front two channels and A200 to rear channels. Equalization was perfect, well almost with few minor peaks and dips at driver position. I also had MB quart tweeter installed in rear view mirror to solidify highs at high speeds.
While the sound was not as good as my Home system, but you bet I wanted to go back again and again to car system. Sometimes I used to have listening sessions (battery connected to external power source) in my car in my garage.
Best part of my car system was dynamics, tonal balance and understated but solid bass UPFRONT. Imaging reached maximum possible but still not close to home system. Overall, you could say that that system rivaled my home system in many respect. Of course the whole system was built gradually as I learned more thru my home system over the years.
Goat and Nil,

I understand there are better systems than stock, however many of these create their own issues due to the inherent disadvantages of a cars interior. I have listened to some aftermarket car audio that sounded pretty good, though it is often very expensive and not a great investment as you will likely replace your vehicle every 3-4 years and it is tough to avoid modifying it in installing a nice system with the speakers in correct locations.

My mention of this is not to say you can't enjoy high quality audio in a car, I often love driving with some great music on, the windows down etc., but this is far from a audiophile experience, I just love music and sometime singing along in the car. I do not feel a car system can ever come close to the purity and beauty of a well set up home system however, and when I really want to involve myself in the music it is the only way to go for me.

Frankly with as engrossed as I can become in a piece of music at home, I would be scared to drive under the same influence. You mentioned lots of EQ's, time alignment, etc. these are all things I avoid like the plague in a home system as all but the most expensive processing available degrades the sound noticeably in my experience.

MrTennis, glad to hear your ears are in working order, and as far as your preference for a softer sound, to each their own. You are not alone in your preference as many non-audio-enthusiasts really like Bose products and they to me have absolutely no air or top end life IMHO. I have found systems with less top end also tend to lose some space and placement of sounds in the soundstage, which I value highly, so I guess my preference differs.
Sbrtoy, agree on all counts. My system exists no more (Tired of repeated radiator leaks and donated the car) but the amps and sub woofer box practically rotting in my garage. I let the expesive head unit and dsp processor and component speakers go with the car. Eq and time alignment is only for car!! That is the only way I can be on sweet spot in driver seat with close to flat sound!. I, too, would never think of using for my home system. But overall the $10-15 K spent over dvelopment cycle sure was fun. Cool factor was a bonus as friend brought friends to audition my system! My prelude was botched all over for the stereo, what with 14 + speakers, all thoes wires and dynamat. I would care for the stereo but not the engine maintanence of the car!! I would never do that to my Boxster S. Well I did install the stock DSP and Bose Subwoofer but it is all STOCK!!