Car Audio Test: Porsche Panamera S Hybrid—Bose

Infotainment, Reviews I By Tom Martin I December 06, 2011
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 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid  
Audio System: Bose Features: 6 disc CD changer, DVD, AM, FM, SiriusXM; 11 Speakers, 235 watts of amplification; iPod interface; Bluetooth hands-free phone interface
– Balance Of Bass/Midrange/Treble: 81
– Clarity: 78
– Low Distortion: 79
– Dynamic Power: 80
– Spaciousness: 77
– Background Quiet: 90
– User Interface: 85
Composite Score: 80  
Testing Notes: The Panamera Hybrid provides an excellent environment for audio, because the car is so quiet. But this Bose system is disappointing. It doesn’t sound bad, but it renders music in a dull and low-resolution way. Low bass and high frequencies sound rolled-off, and the spatial presentation is somewhat old-school, with the image appearing low on the dash and with an exaggerated left/right split. The sound is slightly thick and lumpy enough that it never invites you to crank it (or, for some, it forces you to crank it to try to bring some life to the proceeedings). We would stick with the base audio system, or shell out the serious coin required for the top-of-the-line Burmester rig that Porsche also offers.

The Guide to Road Racing: Winding Road Magazine's ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Review: 2022 Mini Cooper SE Infotainment

The infotainment system is pretty conventional, dominated by Apple CarPlay and limited in scope by very few autonomous driving features.  The optional harman/kardon audio system is good but not amazing.

September 02, 2022
Audio Review: Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo

We rarely cover in-car audio and despite the Munich High‑End show being surrounded by automotive excellence (there’s a car museum just opposite and it sits…

July 06, 2022
Gearhead Theater: The Driver (1978)

Today we’re watching Walter Hill’s The Driver, a “neo-noir” style crime drama that centers around a wheelman for hire and the cat-and-mouse game he plays with the detective who wants to bring him to justice at any cost. But since this is Gearhead Theater, we’re going to level with you – we’re really here for the cars, and everything else beyond that is more or less an incidental bonus.

April 07, 2014
Car Audio Test: 2012 Fiat 500 Sport Hatchback

Testing Notes: As Bose systems go, this is one of the better ones, though a glance at our ratings will perhaps convey that this is faint praise indeed. That’s because this system still takes the life out of music by sanding off the nuances and details. In addition, the spatial presentation is disconcerting with sounds coming from the dash and shifted away from the driver. Unfortunately, one’s listening pleasure is further reduced because the Fiat 500 is far from the quietest car on the road and the single DIN head unit offers but a minimalist user interface. Still, this leaves this stereo in the “not bad” category much more than in the “outright offensive” zone.

April 06, 2012
Car Audio Test: 2012 Chrysler 200S Convertible

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.

March 28, 2012


Get the latest driving and racing news straight to your inbox.

no thanks

Begin typing your search above and press return to search.