Car Audio Test: 2012 Chrysler 200S Convertible

Infotainment, Reviews I By Tom Martin I March 28, 2012
Many of you may not know it, but Winding Road has several sister publications that play in the high-end audio space of the publishing world. We’ve decided that it was high time, then, that we unleashed the expertise of our audiophile reviewers into the often murky world of in-car audio. In each of our Car Audio Test reviews, you’ll find a concise summary of the stats, strengths, and weaknesses of the test car’s specific system that go far beyond the often irrelevant data provided by OEMs and the media alike. Be sure to check out Playback on, too, for even more content like this.
Car: 2012 Chrysler 200S Convertible
Audio System: Media Center 430 with Boston Acoustics audio
Features: AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/DVD/HDD with 28 GB; 6.5” touchscreen; six speakers, 276 W; audio jack and USB input
– Balance Of Bass/Midrange/Treble: 76
– Clarity: 80
– Low Distortion: 82
– Dynamic Power: 78
– Spaciousness: 77
– Background Quiet: 76
– User Interface: 86
Composite Score: 78
Testing Notes: This is one of those Jekyll and Hyde systems where the midrange and treble sections seem to have been designed by people who listen to music and value accuracy, and the bass seems to have been tuned according to the whims of a product manager. The system sounds clean and clear, with just a small amount of digital edge to the treble. But the bass is overpowering, bloated and muddy. We thought that perhaps this was a choice made to compensate for the change in acoustics when the top is lowered, and indeed with the top down the bass balance seems a bit more natural, but the bloat and mud remain. Not the worst system we’ve heard, and one that is pretty easy to use, but we expect more from an established brand like Boston Acoustics.

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