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Have had the 2012 Volt since Feb and am totally not impressed with the stereo. My other car is a 2003 Monte Carlo with the stereo up grade and I guess I am spoiled but this unit is poor quality. The high tones are way to "bright" and even with the high turned off and the mid set low it is impossible to get the complete sound of tunes to come through. Has anyone taken their Volt in to a stereo shop for an upgrade? Since so much is integrated with the radio unit can an upgrade even be done? Can speakers alone be changed to give a better sound? The other issue is road noise, but I will do another post on that.
 

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Do you have the Bose upgrade or the standard speakers?
 

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In my 2013 I have the Bose system and I wasn't especially impressed at first. I mean it was nice but not NICE if you know what I'm saying. Then at some point I started playing with all the settings and I ran everything through all of the configurations, max bass, min bass, all front all back and so forth, then reset it all back to default, then my wife called me in for dinner.

The next time I fired the car up and started "tweaking" the sound I swear something was different, it was like it all had just a little more range. Purely subjective of course but there it is.

oh and if you want some good music to "tune" your sound to, I highly recommend "No more I love you's" or the cover of "Whiter shade of pale" by Annie Lennox. The sound engineer on that album (Medusa) was a freaking genius!
 

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Changing all the speakers is your best option and will give the best result. If more power is needed, then you can add a amplifier after but keeping the infotainment system as an audio source is not a problem, the speakers are the weak point.
 

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The stock stereo (non-Bose) in my 2013 Volt sounds quite good, in my opinion.

This is with no equalization, everything set 'flat' or zero (bass/mid/treble).

Playing flac files from the USB, I don't think highs are too bright, nor are they too muffled.
The midrange is very nice - probably the best part.
And the bass is surprisingly adequate.

I wonder if you have one or more drivers disconnected or not making a good connection?
Hard to reconcile your description of the sound with what I am hearing.

I listen mostly to classical music. The stock stereo is good enough that I don't feel any need to change anything.
And having a quiet interior thanks to the electric drive makes it easier to hear the details in the music.
 
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