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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a question for ALL of you out of personal curiosity, and I believe that irrespective of whatever trim package we all have and whether it is in US or Canada, the one commonality in all of our 2G MDX vehicles is the sound system - is this right? If so, and I know this is very subjective, since one person's music hall experience may be another person's ghetto experience, but out of a rating of 10 (with 10 being the highest), how would you rate the ELS sound system?

Of course, I know if you are a serious audiophile, your answers will vary greatly as opposed to the casual top 40 music listener. I will start by saying this... I don't know if it's me fighting middle age, but I have not mellowed in my music taste. I really like the music loud and I have to say one of the best things about stepping into a car to go to work is the time spent listening to music (with the occasional news and sports interspersed). With the aftermarket USA Spec bluetooth kit that I installed (well, my 9-year-old daughter did), it is seriously a fantastic experience commuting to work - I actually look forward to it, and a lot of it is due to what I perceive to be an excellent sound system with the ELS. It is night and day compared to the Bose on my 2004 MDX. The bass from the ELS is great - no distortion and really full. I find the music crisp, clear and exceptional quality whether it is via CDs or via bluetooth streaming. I don't have to turn it loud at all. And whether it is bass thumping pimped-out gangsta rap or classic or modern heavy metal, or even the twangy sounds of new country, the music sounds fantastic in the MDX. I pretty much listen to everything except pop, jazz and opera. I do have the subwoofer on 80%, with base to the right of center, with all the other settings in the middle.

I honestly really enjoy this sound system. It is probably the first system where I have pushed it and it has not distorted at any point. I have even played classical and chamber music on the ELS system and it sound exceptional. Of course, when I put on a movie for the kids and put on all the speakers in the car, it really does sound like we are at a movie theatre. I know many people have various concerns and bits and pieces they like and dislike about the 2G, but for me, the sound system is a huge strength. What say the rest of you? And what is your favourite kind of music / artist / band to play on the system?
 

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I really like sound quality in general, I personally tuned my TL-S for SQL and I like big home theater systems, Generally use only Lossless sound files and buy audiophile grade headphone and such..

I would rate the 2G MDX ELS Sound Quality as "Above Average" not impressive But neither horrible (that award goes to my TL-S stock sound system). So I am with you, I am pretty satisfied with the ELS System, I know it can do better but so far I haven had the need to invest in a Upgrade since I find it more than adequate.
 

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Have you had a chance to listen to the ELS with digital audio? It sound really good; but, you will be lucky to find two DVD-A worth buying now days. The ELS can sound completely different and amazing with digital audio. The system does the best it can with FM, XM, CD, and MP3 audio and I don't have any issues with the sound quality in either my RDX or MDX. Never felt the need to change anything on my MDX or RDX ELS system other than improving USB flashdrive music port interface with album art, more playable formats, and a file structure that makes sense.

The ELS system in the 3rd Gen MDX doesn't sound as good compared to the 2G MDX. Not sure if they change the 3G stereo electronics/speakers, speaker placement, or just the new cabin or materials effected the sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you had a chance to listen to the ELS with digital audio? It sound really good; but, you will be lucky to find two DVD-A worth buying now days. The ELS can sound completely different and amazing with digital audio. The system does the best it can with FM, XM, CD, and MP3 audio and I don't have any issues with the sound quality in either my RDX or MDX. Never felt the need to change anything on my MDX or RDX ELS system other than improving USB flashdrive music port interface with album art, more playable formats, and a file structure that makes sense.

The ELS system in the 3rd Gen MDX doesn't sound as good compared to the 2G MDX. Not sure if they change the 3G stereo electronics/speakers, speaker placement, or just the new cabin or materials effected the sound quality.
I have not, and actually have no familiarity with DVD Audio. So it is not the DVD equivalent of a CD then (same quality, just more that fits on it). I am not even sure where to look for a DVD Audio disc. But I am definitely intrigued.

I grew up with AC Delco sound, so maybe my audiophile standards are a bit on the lower side... :wink:
 

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The better the source material, the better it sounds....DVD-A is great, CD's next...HIGH rate MP3's are pretty good, along with a good FM station....XM is tolerable...so on and so on...
 

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I have not, and actually have no familiarity with DVD Audio. So it is not the DVD equivalent of a CD then (same quality, just more that fits on it). I am not even sure where to look for a DVD Audio disc. But I am definitely intrigued.

I grew up with AC Delco sound, so maybe my audiophile standards are a bit on the lower side... :wink:
Mine came with a DvdA disc with the owners manual etc....they are rare these days...
 

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XM is digital audio so it sounds really good I think probably better than lossless tracks over AUX..

I own a couple of DVD-A discs and they are pretty much lossless data of a known disc.. For example a remastered Pink Floyd CD has to be mastered down to fit into a CD 680MB space capacity while a larger DVD 4GB capacity can fit the entire Mastered and Lossless audio data... It's probably the best type of media the MDX ELS System can play.
 

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Unless you are sitting still in the vehicle (motor not running) and in a perfectly quite surroundings, and playing digital mastered DVD or CD, then you can not compare. Road noise will prevent any sound system from sounding awesome. Especially if you are listening to MP3's. You have to understand what happens to music when converted to MP3s. With all that being said, tit for tat the MDX sound system sounds extremely good. You can add Dynamat to the entire surroundings, that will improve the sound a great deal. The position of the speakers are optimally placed. The surround is balanced and the sub woofer is adequate, not great, but adequate for the placement. I rate it a 9.5.....not on the audiophile scale, but a automobile audio scale.
 

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Road noise has always been a weak point for any Honda and Acura. You end up increasing the volume of the stereo just to drown out the roar. I purchased over the ear noise cancelling headphones (Sennheiser PXC450, used eBay, $90) to leave in the back of our MDX for the kid to use with the MDX Ent system, his iPhone, or family iPad mini. Road noise at 80-85 mph, ELS playing, and normal conversation just made him turn up the iPhone ear buds or MDX IR Ent headphones before. I sometimes put on the Sennheiser headphones (unconnected) and turn on the noise cancelling feature to lower the road noise a few Db to take a nap on the road.
 

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I believe the ELS was only available on tech and up models. That said, I think it's a terrific system. During the time the 2nd gen was being produced, it was generally praised as one of the better OEM systems. I'm no audiophile but certainly critical to sound quality and I'm generally very pleased with the ELS. Good all around sound quality and plenty of volume even if hooked through bluetooth which has a ton of volume loss in many systems.

XM is digital audio so it sounds really good I think probably better than lossless tracks over AUX..
Yes it's digital but it's heavily compressed. They also change the bit rate around on the fly so sometimes a channel will sound barely acceptable (the highest rating I give XM) and other times it sounds like absolute garbage. There's only so much data that can be moved at one time. From what I've found, the typical bit rate is somewhere around an equivalent of 100kbs. I think the max available on the best channels is around 150k. I was a very early XM subscriber but I dropped them a few years ago for various reasons, sound quality being a big one. Most of the streaming services have much better sound quality and frankly they're just all around better than XM in my book.
 

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Most of the streaming services don´t work in México so I stick to XM so I don´t have to listen to FM "Banda and Reggeaton" while in there.
 

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I think the ELS system ok. I have had the ELS in an 07 TL type S, the 2009 TL and the 2013TL. Currently, I have a 2007 MDX. The worst sound I had was from the 07 TL type S. The bass would bottom out on Hip Hop songs. The same is true for the 07MDX but the MDX still sounds better than the 07 TL. I burn my own DVD-A disc so its hard for me to listen to anything other. I don't care for the AuX input, it needs more amplication. No blue tooth streamin as I was used to that in my 2013. Overall, I enjoyed the 2013 TL ELS over all of them. The bass was perfect because of the trunk. There is no trunk in the MDX. Otherwise, that 8 inch woofer does the best it can. I'm a DJ and I make my on mixes and I master the mixes for optimal sound. Combine that with surround sound its pretty damn good.
 

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Just raise the 3rd row and you will have better bass in the MDX.. it will create a semi enclosure for the bass to act like a small trunk, it works great.
 
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I have the Elite package which adds the surround rear speakers. IMO they dont sound that good as they are very high in treble and sounds as if the music is blasting one of your ears. Using Aux and Spotify, the bass seems low, while bluetooth makes the bass sound very high.
 

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I personally don't like the ELS system on the MDX. I guess I've been spoiled by my Logic7 HK system in the BMW but also having been in friend's cars with the other optional OEM offerings found in other vehicles, the one in the MDX ranks towards the bottom IMO.

Does anyone know if it really has a center channel? I see the grill but often wonder if it's even working. If it is, the sound stage is crap for having one for sure.
 

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I personally don't like the ELS system on the MDX. I guess I've been spoiled by my Logic7 HK system in the BMW but also having been in friend's cars with the other optional OEM offerings found in other vehicles, the one in the MDX ranks towards the bottom IMO.

Does anyone know if it really has a center channel? I see the grill but often wonder if it's even working. If it is, the sound stage is crap for having one for sure.

You can control the volume of the center channel in the settings....I don't care for it too loud myself....
 

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Does anyone know how to remove the rear surround speakrrs? They seem to be overly bright in the sound they reproduce. The wired are soldered and I figured if I remove it, the amp can send power elsewhere

Sent from my SM-G925W8 using Tapatalk
 

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Baaj
Power wont get re-distributed if you remove the surround speakers as they have their own independent channels.
Also Bright? Do you have Dolby Pro Logic II enabled? because DBII will use the Surround Speakers very effectively.

Mine does not sound bright at all, In fact I can´t hardly hear them from the front. The surround effect/speakers only seem to be useable for the rear passengers. While I care the most of the front sound stage rather than the rear speakers so its a Win-Win.
 
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