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I'm ordering a Cayman S next week. What is the general consensus on the stereo. Is the Bose worth the upgrade? I'm not a audiophile but would like clarity. I currently have a 2008 Audi TT with the upgraded Bose system and am quite happy with it. However, my old track car, a 2005 Nissan 350z had the upgraded Bose system and it was terrible.

I mostly play off my iPod with pretty high bitrate (320 VBR) mp3 files so will get the universal adapter.

Any opinions will be appreciated :)
 

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Can only say that I think the standard system in my 2007 Cayman is ****. The Bose system in my wife's Cayenne Turbo is much, much better (but then again this is comparing apples and oranges as the two cars are so different)!
 

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If you turn off surround and the automatic gain control Bose is tolerable. Stuffing the subwoofer is supposed to help also. Bose in these cars is not an audiophile solution by any means. Bose gained that cachet by marketing, not performance. Zero credit in the audiophile world. Not sure how they became the premium sound for the automotive market.

If all you're looking for is an improvement over stock it can work. I'd suggest trying it on a test drive. You may find the cabin noise level such that it doesn't matter.

The other question to ask yourself is are you going to want to upgrade? If so you may want to stop short of Bose. You can upgrade Bose but it is more challenging since the Bose amp runs on the MOST bus. I don't know of any head unit that will interface without replacing the amp. There are several threads on this in the electronics forum. Might be worth a read.
 

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If you are planning to upgrade your audio system, I believe the consensus is to not get the Bose because, well obviously since you'll be upgrading anyway, and it's harder to work with the built in amplifier.

Mine came with Bose, but it was not on my must have list. I would have probably upgraded to an aftermarket nav system already if I didn't have the bose. I hear you basically need to rewire everything to get it going. But this is all just hearsay. You may want to wait for others who have done the upgrade chime in.

Also, just a disclosure, I have not heard how the stock stereo sounds like, so maybe the bose is a huge upgrade.
 

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Someone on this forum once said something along the lines of

If you're an audiophile, the Bose is not good enough, and if you're not an audiophile, the standard stereo is good enough.
 

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Mine came with the Bose system. It is quite a nice stock system. I would go for it. It has quite a lot of bass to it. It really has great clarity though if you tame the bass and have the chance to turn it up.
 

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There are 3 stereos you can choose.

Standard, Upgraded and Bose.

The Standard is shocking. Avoid it like the plague. The Bose is hugely overpriced for the quality you get - the sub is awful. The 'Upgraded' is a good system for the money however, you could do better with after market speakers. The only problem with after market is finding someone who you can trust to take your car apart and put it back together properly.

:)
 

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After much thought when I first got my 2008 Cayman S... I am absolutely glad i didn't go with bose. The main issue here is that I was able to upgrade to a Pioneer headunit, which when paired with speakers, completely changes the sound system (not to mention it gives me nav, bluetooth (phone and music), ipod dock, xm connector, etc.). It is much easier to upgrade the stock system in a non-bose as bose uses optical connections for speaker input (the upgraded sound system non-bose in a Cayman s has optical inputs but not in line with the speakers). A used unit could be had from ebay for about 500 bucks and the double din kit works perfectly with that. IMHO, don't go with bose if you want great quality sound, upgrade the standard system.
:cheers:
 

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You'll get opinions all over the place. Some people are fussier than others. All of us have hearing that started out different at birth and that hearing has suffered different levels and types of damage over each of our lifetimes. There aren't two people on this site who hear the same thing subjectively.

That being said, when I followed the recommendations on the site's threads that you ought to search, and stuffed the subwoofer with pillow stuffing for $3 and 15 minutes work, it sounded much better. I then dropped $25 and applied a damping treatment to the inside of the subwoofer. In one of the threads you ought to read, there are photos showing how to do this and where to get the damping sheets. This took about the first half of a football game to do and it also improved the sound somewhat. The stuffing was the big factor. Tools required - a torx set and for the damping sheets, a scissors.

The Bose subwoofer is actually a 997 Cabriolet part. It's designed for a much larger car interior that also has either no top or a much more absorptive top roof surface. I don't know if Porsche decided on their own if this was acceptable or if Bose was involved or if Bose reprogrammed the electronics to 'fix' it. Either way, it wasn't fixed or acceptable.

But for the $28 and a couple of hours time, I got something that was better than my ears, so now I'm OK with it.
 

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I have a 09 CS. I have the standard system for the S, the Sound Package plus. As I understand it this is a little better than the standard system for the straight Cayman.

For me, it sounds great, and I'm very happy with it. Sounds as good as my Kenwood 5120 aftermarket in my Toyota. It's not audiophile quality, but for me driving around town, it's just fine.

I did drive a 09 997S, with the Bose, before I bought the CS. It had a very boomy bass, and the midrange was tinny. I couldn't believe anyone would pay extra for it.

To my ear, the CS standard Sound Plus was noticeably better, and you didn't have to modify anything, as in stuffing pillow casing down the woofer.

Just my .02 cents.
 

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I like mine. For $1k it is decent if you don't want to mess with a 3rd party installer tearing through your car. I would get it again.

As others have said, if your already planning to look aftermarket, skip it.
 

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The Bose system is better than the standard system in a Cayman S, but it still isn't very good, in the grand scheme of stock automotive audio systems. I'm not a fan of Bose at all, but the Cayman isn't anywhere near the best of even their mediocre work. I never listen to music while I'm driving, so I opted for the standard system to save cost and weight. My spouse, a musician, got the Bose option in her Boxster and is happy with it, FWIW. My advice is that if you care about clarity, order the standard system and go aftermarket for electronics and drivers. Bose quality can't compare to even mid-line aftermarket audio.
 

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There must be 100 threads on this subject, and still no consensus. Why? Because everyone's ears and aesthetic are different. What does "clarity" in the original post mean, anyway? It means something different to everyone, and there's really no way to discuss something like this in words. Go down to a dealer, take some CDs you like, drive the cars with the different systems and hear it for yourself. Discussing this is silly. I will say that if you're expecting a concert-hall experience with a Porsche motor 10 inches behind your ears, then you're looking at the wrong car.

brad
 

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bose system (with MOST) limits your flexibility and significantly increases your cost when it comes to adding capability (i.e. xm radio, ipod, bluetooth, etc). So if your only concern is with quality of the stereo, then agree with comments on personal choice. However, if you want to take advantge of the latest and greatest communication and navigation gadgets, then factor that into the equation. I expect the nav prices to drop once folks start producing hardware to work with google maps.

I have 08 Cayman, CDR 24 radio, with Bose and am happy with the sound (did the subwoofer stuffing mod) but unhappy that only way to add MP3 player (ipod or otherwise) is to spend $400 plus installation for an aftermarket MOST interface unit that is not fully integrated.
 

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I will say that if you're expecting a concert-hall experience with a Porsche motor 10 inches behind your ears, then you're looking at the wrong car.
No, just the wrong direction. It's behind you.
 

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I would say get the the Bose. From my brief test at the dealers, it was much better than the standard setup, certainly worth the money. I am happy with my Gen II Bose - anything better would probably be negated by the tyre, wind and engine noise.

But you have to keep it switched to 'Linear' mode (do pre-Gen II have this setting ?) otherwise the Bose equalisation kicks in - this makes the sound stupidly bass heavy (but by adding higher harmonics, not by truly extending the lower frequencies), significantly dulls high frequencies and makes the sound stage sound very artificial. And don't even touch the surround sound setting !

I have played with bass/treble/balance/fader and find the best setting is at zero for everything. With everything set up this way, you just don't need to 'stuff the sub-woofer' as the lower bass frequencies are pretty well controlled.

I use an 120GB Ipod Classic and the sound is very acceptable through the universal interface. My music is 220 mbps VBR MP3 (LAME Extreme) so I know the encoding is as good as it gets. However, this interface is line-level analogue so it loses a touch of the high frequencies. If you use the USB interface (either via a USB stick, or a hard drive if you can find one that works) to feed the files digitally then the sound is noticeably sharper - the PCM 3 does a good D-A conversion. However, the convenience of iPod+iTunes for managing podcasts, better music indexing, restarting audio books where you stopped and ability to listening to the music out of the car outweighs the slight drop in quality for me.

I've had 2 Gen II UK-spec cars since June (don't ask !) and they were identical in their sound. I assume that the system is the same for US cars (although the sub-woofer must be a mirror image as it is in the passenger footwell). So I'm pretty sure you would experience the same sound in any new order for the US.

I hope this helps.
 

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I have the plain jane base stereo in my Cayman. It sounds horrible and I've been quoted over $2000 to upgrade it with new speakers, amps, and sound summing equipment. I get the feeling that this shop sees "Porsche" and $2000 becomes their minimum no matter what you buy. Worse, the "expert shop" (recommended to me by other Porsche drivers) managed to put nicks into my interior panels just by checking the car to give me their estimate. I am choosing to live with the horrible sound but I have to believe that either the Bose or at least the factory upgrade option would be smarter than trying to upgrade.
 

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I would say get the the Bose. From my brief test at the dealers, it was much better than the standard setup, certainly worth the money. I am happy with my Gen II Bose - anything better would probably be negated by the tyre, wind and engine noise.

But you have to keep it switched to 'Linear' mode (do pre-Gen II have this setting ?) otherwise the Bose equalisation kicks in - this makes the sound stupidly bass heavy (but by adding higher harmonics, not by truly extending the lower frequencies), significantly dulls high frequencies and makes the sound stage sound very artificial. And don't even touch the surround sound setting !

I have played with bass/treble/balance/fader and find the best setting is at zero for everything. With everything set up this way, you just don't need to 'stuff the sub-woofer' as the lower bass frequencies are pretty well controlled.
Ditto here; I have a GenII with Bose. I also find activation of the "linear" mode to provide an odd mix. The surround sound setting is useful for live recordings, but otherwise seems to provide a spatially disjointed sound. I generally disable these functions, and have modified the bass/treble/fader settings to arrive at a sound I like. In my opinion the environment of the car is not one acoustically set up to provide an optimum listening environment for music. It does however seem very well set up to listen to six cylinders at 4000+ RPM. :)
 

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I also find activation of the "linear" mode to provide an odd mix.
Interesting - I actually find the opposite. I find my music doesn't sound natural unless "linear" mode is switched on (i.e. Bose's bass-enhancing equalisation is switched off). If it is deactivated (i.e. "linear" is switched off) then the bass becomes unnaturally strong but muddier, and the treble is dulled. But I agree that you don't really listen to the music when the revs start reaching 4K rpm !!

I also find the Audio Pilot function to be non-functional. It is supposed to provide automatic speed dependent volume and equalisation. But the only time I found it kicked in was on some truly bad motorway surfaces in Belgium. Does this function work for anyone else ?
 
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