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Well I picked up my new 2015 Citadel that I ordered with the Beats Premium Sound tonite.

Let me first start by giving some background on my situation, so that you can understand where I am coming from with regards to the comments I make regarding the BEATS system vs. the Alpine System.

1) I bought a brand new 2014 Durango Citadel in March 2015 and absolutely loved it. Had it for one month until I took it in to get the spare key fob programmed and the service rep drove it back to the service bay and smashed it through a brick wall.

2) Despite seeing some other threads about people being very critical of the Alpine 9 speaker sound system, I personally was very impressed with the system as it was exponentially better than any factory system I've owned or heard. I was always very impressed with the clarity and the crossover settings that seemed to channel the perfect frequency ranges to the correct speakers, with the sub really filing in well for the low freqs. It sounded great to me for any type of music, Rock, Rap, Classical, etc.......as I could just sit in the driveway for hours and listen to my bluetooth Spotify feeds to it, which have a much better quality than Satellite or FM Stereo. I can't say enough about how crisp the sound is.

3) While the dealer ended up having to order me a new Durango Citadel ( a 2015 because there were no 2014 left with all the options/color combo, engine, etc), I drove a temporary Citadel loaner with the same Alpine 9 speaker system, and continued to enjoy the system. Meanwhile for months I had heard about the upcoming Beats becoming an option, and when I previously bit the bullet and bought one of the last 2014's on the lot to save money, I figured I could live with that sacrifice, rather than waiting for months for it to become available and then pay much higher price for the 2015 model.

4) Lucky for me, the dealer was cool enough to add the Beats option when they placed the order, since I was inconvenienced for almost two months of waiting for the new one to come in. So needless to say I have been excited for the last two months knowing I was going to have the Beats system. And over the past few weeks, I've been seeing the hilarious video about the Durango pulling up to the Country Club with the Beats Audio system blasting Rap music and shaking up everything inside the place causing drinks to spill, etc.. and the higher class clientele being visibly disturbed by the intrusion. (I POSTED THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS POST) This video only got me more psyched about the Beats!!!!

So I picked up my car tonite from the dealer. It was sweet, loaded with every possible possible option, AWD, V8, DVD, Technology, Tow pkg, etc..... And keep in mind, I've been listening to the Alpine System daily for the last two months, listening to all kinds of music. Although everyone has their own tastes, I would listen to Rap and Hip Hop like Nikki Minaj, Jason Derulo, or Snoop almost to the max volume setting, and the system completely "kicked" with very little distortion even at the highest volume levels. Would also listen to AC/DC and Pink Floyd the same way, and the system rocked. I really enjoyed the Pink Floyd song "Wish you were here", which has amazing acoustics and felt like they were playing right in front of you. The stereo separation was amazing and the clarity of the guitar plucks was indescribable.

So then it was Beats time. I didn't even turn the stereo on at the dealer, as I wanted to wait until I got home so that I didn't have any distractions and could really focus on it. So I first turned on FM stereo because I wanted to save the bluetooth or ipod audio for last, since that is by far the highest quality compared to Satellite and FM. I couldn't believe what I was hearing as I switched to different FM stations. The sound was average at best, and yes it got louder as you increased the volume, but no longer could I really tell I had a subwoofer anymore. Sounded like I had a bunch of full-range speakers in front, with no tweeters whatsoever. I skipped directly to ipod input in disgust, hoping that maybe it was just a coincidence and the FM reception was just poor at that one moment in time. Fat chance. As I put on the same songs that I've been listening to the entire last week, I felt that there was something missing, but it's hard to describe exactly what it is.

Certainly, the surround or stereo effect is not as pronounced, but I think that is because the clarity level has dropped for some reason. The crossover settings must have been modified significantly, because the crispness that i enjoyed so much in the Alpine system seems to be gone. Either that or the new speakers are simply subpar. I haven't gotten a chance to go in and see if they replaced the speakers or not.

The best way of describing the sound is like a bunch of full-range speakers firing at you, instead of before where you could experience the clarity of the tweeters in front, but also hear the mid and low ranges without compromising the quality of the sound. Now, things seem on overload, a bunch of noise, with little fidelity. For sure, the front speakers are now much louder in volume with respect to the rear speakers, as I had to actually change the fader to the rear to feel like there were actually speakers behind me, otherwise I was blasted out in front. I cannot hear the subwoofer anymore, as I think there is more bass being passed to the front and rear door speakers, which is causing them to work harder while the subwoofers works less. I had the Bass set at +3 and the Treble at +3, which seems to improve the sound some but made very little difference.

I opened up the rear door and played one of my Bass Heavy Hip Hop songs by Nicki Minaj "The night is still young", and put my hand on the panel above the subwoofer. I could barely tell that it was working, which makes no sense, even with a volume at around 28 or so. I honestly don't think the subwoofer is getting the input level that it was previously getting with the Alpine system, which completely contradicts that ridiculous Beats Audio commercial on TV.

Anyway, although I have a beautiful new car in the driveway and should be on cloud nine, part of me is disappointed because I know I'm never going to be able to hear the music how I've been hearing it for months. Heck, my biggest disappointment was when i replayed Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" (if you don't know this song, you should google it and listen to it so you'll know what kind of acoustics it has) on the Beats and it no longer felt that the band was inside the car sitting next to you. That one hit me in the gut.

In the next few days, I will probably be taking apart the interior panels to see if in fact the speakers and AMP did change or not, or whether it was just a software/processor change. I'll post some photos of the Alpine system components along with the Beats components once I get time to get some photos of the Beats components. Whichever it was, I would do anything to pay $495 just to have the Beats upgrade removed and be back with the Alpine system.

Perhaps some of you will agree with me fully after your Durango's with Beats arrive, and others will possibly disagree. For those of you that end up agreeing with me in that the Beats system is without doubt a "downgrade" to the Alpine system, then hopefully we can work together to figure out exactly what modifications were made to the system that make up the new Beats system. And later may need to find a way to pressure the manufacturer into offering some way of reverting back to the "Alpine" system configuration.

For the time being, I guess I'm gonna have to try to seek out a Beats Audio support group, LOL.


 

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Well I picked up my new 2015 Citadel that I ordered with the Beats Premium Sound tonite.

Let me first start by giving some background on my situation, so that you can understand where I am coming from with regards to the comments I make regarding the BEATS system vs. the Alpine System.

1) I bought a brand new 2014 Durango Citadel in March 2015 and absolutely loved it. Had it for one month until I took it in to get the spare key fob programmed and the service rep drove it back to the service bay and smashed it through a brick wall.

2) Despite seeing some other threads about people being very critical of the Alpine 9 speaker sound system, I personally was very impressed with the system as it was exponentially better than any factory system I've owned or heard. I was always very impressed with the clarity and the crossover settings that seemed to channel the perfect frequency ranges to the correct speakers, with the sub really filing in well for the low freqs. It sounded great to me for any type of music, Rock, Rap, Classical, etc.......as I could just sit in the driveway for hours and listen to my bluetooth Spotify feeds to it, which have a much better quality than Satellite or FM Stereo. I can't say enough about how crisp the sound is.

3) While the dealer ended up having to order me a new Durango Citadel ( a 2015 because there were no 2014 left with all the options/color combo, engine, etc), I drove a temporary Citadel loaner with the same Alpine 9 speaker system, and continued to enjoy the system. Meanwhile for months I had heard about the upcoming Beats becoming an option, and when I previously bit the bullet and bought one of the last 2014's on the lot to save money, I figured I could live with that sacrifice, rather than waiting for months for it to become available and then pay much higher price for the 2015 model.

4) Lucky for me, the dealer was cool enough to add the Beats option when they placed the order, since I was inconvenienced for almost two months of waiting for the new one to come in. So needless to say I have been excited for the last two months knowing I was going to have the Beats system. And over the past few weeks, I've been seeing the hilarious video about the Durango pulling up to the Country Club with the Beats Audio system blasting Rap music and shaking up everything inside the place causing drinks to spill, etc.. and the higher class clientele being visibly disturbed by the intrusion. (I POSTED THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS POST) This video only got me more psyched about the Beats!!!!

So I picked up my car tonite from the dealer. It was sweet, loaded with every possible possible option, AWD, V8, DVD, Technology, Tow pkg, etc..... And keep in mind, I've been listening to the Alpine System daily for the last two months, listening to all kinds of music. Although everyone has their own tastes, I would listen to Rap and Hip Hop like Nikki Minaj, Jason Derulo, or Snoop almost to the max volume setting, and the system completely "kicked" with very little distortion even at the highest volume levels. Would also listen to AC/DC and Pink Floyd the same way, and the system rocked. I really enjoyed the Pink Floyd song "Wish you were here", which has amazing acoustics and felt like they were playing right in front of you. The stereo separation was amazing and the clarity of the guitar plucks was indescribable.

So then it was Beats time. I didn't even turn the stereo on at the dealer, as I wanted to wait until I got home so that I didn't have any distractions and could really focus on it. So I first turned on FM stereo because I wanted to save the bluetooth or ipod audio for last, since that is by far the highest quality compared to Satellite and FM. I couldn't believe what I was hearing as I switched to different FM stations. The sound was average at best, and yes it got louder as you increased the volume, but no longer could I really tell I had a subwoofer anymore. Sounded like I had a bunch of full-range speakers in front, with no tweeters whatsoever. I skipped directly to ipod input in disgust, hoping that maybe it was just a coincidence and the FM reception was just poor at that one moment in time. Fat chance. As I put on the same songs that I've been listening to the entire last week, I felt that there was something missing, but it's hard to describe exactly what it is.

Certainly, the surround or stereo effect is not as pronounced, but I think that is because the clarity level has dropped for some reason. The crossover settings must have been modified significantly, because the crispness that i enjoyed so much in the Alpine system seems to be gone. Either that or the new speakers are simply subpar. I haven't gotten a chance to go in and see if they replaced the speakers or not.

The best way of describing the sound is like a bunch of full-range speakers firing at you, instead of before where you could experience the clarity of the tweeters in front, but also hear the mid and low ranges without compromising the quality of the sound. Now, things seem on overload, a bunch of noise, with little fidelity. For sure, the front speakers are now much louder in volume with respect to the rear speakers, as I had to actually change the fader to the rear to feel like there were actually speakers behind me, otherwise I was blasted out in front. I cannot hear the subwoofer anymore, as I think there is more bass being passed to the front and rear door speakers, which is causing them to work harder while the subwoofers works less. I had the Bass set at +3 and the Treble at +3, which seems to improve the sound some but made very little difference.

I opened up the rear door and played one of my Bass Heavy Hip Hop songs by Nicki Minaj "The night is still young", and put my hand on the panel above the subwoofer. I could barely tell that it was working, which makes no sense, even with a volume at around 28 or so. I honestly don't think the subwoofer is getting the input level that it was previously getting with the Alpine system, which completely contradicts that ridiculous Beats Audio commercial on TV.

Anyway, although I have a beautiful new car in the driveway and should be on cloud nine, part of me is disappointed because I know I'm never going to be able to hear the music how I've been hearing it for months. Heck, my biggest disappointment was when i replayed Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" (if you don't know this song, you should google it and listen to it so you'll know what kind of acoustics it has) on the Beats and it no longer felt that the band was inside the car sitting next to you. That one hit me in the gut.

In the next few days, I will probably be taking apart the interior panels to see if in fact the speakers and AMP did change or not, or whether it was just a software/processor change. I'll post some photos of the Alpine system components along with the Beats components once I get time to get some photos of the Beats components. Whichever it was, I would do anything to pay $495 just to have the Beats upgrade removed and be back with the Alpine system.

Perhaps some of you will agree with me fully after your Durango's with Beats arrive, and others will possibly disagree. For those of you that end up agreeing with me in that the Beats system is without doubt a "downgrade" to the Alpine system, then hopefully we can work together to figure out exactly what modifications were made to the system that make up the new Beats system. And later may need to find a way to pressure the manufacturer into offering some way of reverting back to the "Alpine" system configuration.

For the time being, I guess I'm gonna have to try to seek out a Beats Audio support group, LOL.


This is a good write up. Thanks for the detail. I have the 2014 R/T and I was thinking that I was missing something by not having the Beats audio. in my T/A I have an Alpine aftermarket system that I built from the ground up. I also built it for "balance" rather than straight up base. Although with a 12" R series sub it has plenty of base. The only complaint I have with the Durango Alpine system is that at low volumes the base gets over powering like the sub doesn't have a low setting, or the software doesn't lower the volume on the sub low enough. Other than that I think its a great system, not as good as the BOSE I had in my Escalade though. That's just my opinion.
 

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Sorry the excitement has turned to disappointment for you
STEVE
 

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Play these songs
come my way
I know (big Sean)
I don't fxk with you

If these songs don't try and flip your truck over then the subs not on or something is not working right.
I use sound cloud it seems to offer more of the sound I want vs pandora.
I had 4 people in my job ask me if I put a system in the truck cu they can feel the bass outside
 

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The alpine system in my D is much better then the alpine in my 2014 Ram. Same 9 speakers and sub but I guess the cabin acoustics change. I added an aftermarket sub in the ram which helped, I'm thinking of doing the same here but I may not need to. The EQ bug is annoying though. I was going to wait for the beats system which was coming on 7/8 to the dealer I was dealing with, however another dealer had the same D on their lot and gave me a better deal but it had the alpine. From your review glad I didn't wait.
 

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Cromedout did you have the eq bug in with the alpine system ?

I had the Bass set at +3 and the Treble at +3, which seems to improve the sound

This is typical of EQ adjustments in a car the mid range reflects off the hard surfaces and glass making them more pronounced. What these systems really need is a subwoofer volume control. having built over a dozen multi amp systems dealing with all types of different car interiors and boats with completely open sound stages. The second most used adjustment from the volume was the sub control. Average low frequency produced in a sound system is 80 hz the length of the sound wave is 14' long as it reflects off the windshield a natural gain is created, if you notice when you open the windows the bass is slightly reduced this is due to the sound wave escaping. While tuning a system it was not uncommon to reverse the polarity or direction of the subwoofer to take advantage of the cars interior. If someone is creative maybe they can design some type of active subwoofer control . Maybe even reverse the polarity of the subwoofer to see if any gains can be made
 

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I remember a while back that several LX owners complaining about lack of sub output in their SRT's and it turned out the sub wires were installed wrong on the subs. The + and - were reversed.
Might check to make sure things are hooked up correctly.
 

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** The Following Statement Is The Expressed Written Opinion of Am Static. That Is All. Just My Opinion. Agree, Disagree, Ignore, Whatever**

*Note.. I've spent my entire career in the audio/visual media industry.. I've spent more time in a studio than most of today's "artists"... That said..

If it's anything like the BEATS headphones, I'd prefer my stock SXT audio system which sounds pretty damn good for most music. Music thru streaming audio, bluetooth, and USB all sounds clean, with really surprising separation between bass and treble, and sharp, crisp drums. It's assisted by the EQ on the pro-player on the phone; the eq on the unit itself is set pretty flat, with B +1, M +3, T +2. Is it awe-inspiring? Hardly. Can I bounce a quarter on the roof? No, but who the hell wants to? But it's still a pretty dam impressive stock system for an audio geek like me. I'm a Classic Rock and hard rock guy with a particular affinity for some hip-hop and some classical. Old Genesis, Billy Joel, Chicago, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Smashing Pumpkins all sound surprisingly really decent. It's why I havent upgraded yet. I'm not saddened nor bored with the audio quality yet.

I often wonder if they installed the wrong system in it by accident..

I run the DVD player audio thru the system and now the kid only wants "good sound, Papa!" as soon as she hears the THX sound logo come on her Disney movies.

BEATS, at least the headphones, is a marketing juggernaut... An over-priced, cheaply manufactured, slightly better than average headphones with an impressive "B" sticker on it.

If you're REALLY an audiophile, you're likely gonna want something better.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...
 

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I am not a fan of Beats either...I would prefer to have Alpine, Denon, H-K or something tangible. Putting Dr. Dre's name and brand on something doesn't make it top of the line! Just like a Nike Swoosh or a North Face name tag doesn't make the product any better. You're paying for the name! In my opinion, I would like to see some Celestion or Klipsch speakers in a vehicle...best I have ever worked with in my 20 years as a Professional DJ!
 

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The quality of the Beats speakers is just not there. Beats claim to fame is all in the software. In the end they are simply speakers made in China. Not saying they all sound bad but If I was going to invest in a quality system Beats would not be on my radar.
 
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So what options are there to upgrade the system? I mean, can one change the amp to get rid of the bass-bias? I test drove one the other day that had a Beats system in it and I too found it bias to the low-end with very poor separation and clarity despite fiddling with the EQ for a while...
 

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Low frequency drivers need time to reach its optimum output (break-in). Just relax and run it for at least some 10 hours and see. I would not take it apart or modify anything for now. If bass still not up to normal level after a while I would talk to the dealer. Alpine 9 sp system is very boomy and I would not use that as a reference.
 

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That's too bad, but I honestly didn't have high hopes like the rest. About all you can do, is add a DSP, and start upgrading drivers, adding amps -- which gets very expensive. Most live with it. I take back some of the bad things I've said of the Alpine system. It does sound good compared to your basic 4-speaker OE system (I have a new Ford, and recently drove my parents Mountaineer). I still wouldn't rate it a premium system -- like H/K or THXII. It's a decent mediocre OE sound system.
 

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I do not expect much from any stock stereo system but the Alpine sounds better than many of them. Definitely has more punch than the Bose in my Suburban but not as much clarity as the DynAudio system in the wife's VW. More power but not clarity.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Cromedout did you have the eq bug in with the alpine system ?




This is typical of EQ adjustments in a car the mid range reflects off the hard surfaces and glass making them more pronounced. What these systems really need is a subwoofer volume control. having built over a dozen multi amp systems dealing with all types of different car interiors and boats with completely open sound stages. The second most used adjustment from the volume was the sub control. Average low frequency produced in a sound system is 80 hz the length of the sound wave is 14' long as it reflects off the windshield a natural gain is created, if you notice when you open the windows the bass is slightly reduced this is due to the sound wave escaping. While tuning a system it was not uncommon to reverse the polarity or direction of the subwoofer to take advantage of the cars interior. If someone is creative maybe they can design some type of active subwoofer control . Maybe even reverse the polarity of the subwoofer to see if any gains can be made

yes, had the bug in the alpine system. Not there with the Beats. But its interesting that it just doesn't seem that the eq settings have as drastic of an impact on the sound with the Beats system. However, to even get close to achieving the clarity that the Alpine system had, the treble on Beats has to be set to at least +4, and I found that reducing the midrange to -2 or so helps. To elaborate, the only reason I put the Bass at +3 or +4 is because I want to be able to get more work out of the sub, that now seems way undertasked in the Beats system. The downside to using the +3 setting is that the speakers in the doors begin to vibrate unpleasantly when the volume is loud, so much that the sound starts distorting and quickly turns into a cheap sound that clearly resembles small speakers trying to do the job of a 8 or 10" sub. At that point, all frequencies from that speaker take a hit. Quality deters quickly, not to mention the internal parts vibrations from the doors that actually sound louder than the speakers themselves. This DID NOT happen with the Alpine system. In the Alpine system, the sound from the door speakers stayed very clean; and I'm convinced that the low crossover freq for the door speakers in the Beats system is set much lower than the Alpine system, making them work harder on frequencies that should be reserved solely for the subwoofer.

I'm gonna have to continue to experiment with the settings, and of course take off the panels to see what truly replaced the Alpine speakers and Amp, if anything. Hopefully at some point there will be a solution for Beats owners to get back to the sound quality of the Alpine system, for those that are not satisfied with Beats. Funny thing is, I'm trying my darnedest to convince myself that they system sounds fine and that I'm being over picky, HOWEVER having spent two months driving a Citadel with the Alpine system, then switching to the new Beats system the following day, it's simply too much of a difference to ignore. If I had never listened to the Alpine system previously, I don't think I would have had any major negative comments about the Beats system, since I would have had no basis for comparison.

My biggest fear though is finding out that the software/processor changes are the root cause, which could present a roadblock to improving the sound no matter how many speakers you replace with better ones. Then I guess we'd be reliant on Dodge to agree to re-install the previous Alpine software, if that's even possible.
 

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When you have it apart maybe some bass blockers for the front speakers. I did swap out my center speaker for a polk DB351 much brighter sound It did require some felt over the tweeter to tone it down a little the reflection off the windshield made the center to pronounced. Sound is better and the phone is really improved
 

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Chromedout - I appreciate your post. And I look forward to hearing how your research of the speakers and system turns out. I got my new RT last week and was looking forward to seeing how good the Beats system was. I have to say I was not impressed. The first word that came to mind is one you used 'noise'. I also noticed there didn't seem to be any subwoofer. I love my Durango, but I would also love to have the audio system that was in my 2014 Jeep GC.
 

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i should get my DD citadel semi soon with Hemi
i will be shocked if my Beats system does not rock my world
 
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