2024 Limited with Alpine System - What to do Next?

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MD Sledhead

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So I've had my truck for almost 6 months. The quality of the Sirius XM radio is killing me and no one can seem to diagnose the issue.
When the audio source is the Sirius receiver, it sounds like nearly all of the "volume" is coming from the middle dash speaker. Occasionally (certain tones) you can hear the bass kick into the other speakers (door & sub) - it's like a very small range of frequency.
If the audio source is my iPhone playing Sirius or pandora (or something else), it's like the remaining speakers in the truck "come to life". You can hear the music throughout the truck.
If we (me and dealer) listen to Sirius XM in a 2023 with the same system, it sounds great (even better than music from the iPhone).

Dealer has run the system through all kinds of audio tests (passed). They've disconnected the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) - no difference (except the exhaust drone at 1500 rpm). They replaced the amplifier in the truck. No difference.

I've had an active "Star Case" open with Ram Cares for a long time. THEY are asking ME what I want them to do next. WTH??

I've asked several times for them to find out "what's different" between MY 2023 and MY 2024. Crickets.

I hate to have them replace the entire 12" radio... but I don't know what else to try.

BTW - the other thing that doesn't work is the truck restoring Driver 1 settings based on the key fob when the door handle is touched. Surely this can't be related?
 

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Looks like the only test not mentioned is comparing your 2024 to another 2024 with the same trim. I assume that would have been done if one was available. I'm wondering if the issue is unique to your vehicle or did they break something for 2024. They do make changes between the model years and sometimes the change causes collateral issues that are not caught because they fail to do regression testing. This takes me back to the 2015 MY when they broke, of all things, the behavior of the ITBM.
 
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MD Sledhead

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Looks like the only test not mentioned is comparing your 2024 to another 2024 with the same trim. I assume that would have been done if one was available. I'm wondering if the issue is unique to your vehicle or did they break something for 2024. They do make changes between the model years and sometimes the change causes collateral issues that are not caught because they fail to do regression testing. This takes me back to the 2015 MY when they broke, of all things, the behavior of the ITBM.
We did do that. The other 2024 Limited on their lot sounds just like mine.
 
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MD Sledhead

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I compared it to my Dad's 2019 (HK system). Big difference in the output volume of rear headliner speakers. On volume level 12, I could barely hear my speakers even with my ear 6" away from them. His was 3-4 times the volume at the same level.
Same XM station at the same time. Balance/Fade were both centered, Surround on, Equalizers at same exact settings on both units.
 

FL-RAM

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XM radio never sounds as good as streaming from Pandora or Apple Music. Even though XM is digital, its still radio and simply doesn't sound as good as phone app music. I have my fader set to about 2-3 clicks to the rear to balance the sound. I really don't like the "soundstage" sound. I prefer surround sound. Replacing your speakers will make a huge difference, but Pandora will always sound better than XM.
 
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MD Sledhead

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XM radio never sounds as good as streaming from Pandora or Apple Music. Even though XM is digital, its still radio and simply doesn't sound as good as phone app music. I have my fader set to about 2-3 clicks to the rear to balance the sound. I really don't like the "soundstage" sound. I prefer surround sound. Replacing your speakers will make a huge difference, but Pandora will always sound better than XM.
Thanks for chiming in...
So you think that the XM radio in the truck will never sound as good as the XM streaming from my phone?

I just can't fathom how much different my system sounds from those in other trucks (i.e. 2023 Big Horn, Dad's 2019 Laramie, etc.). I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the 360L receiver. The channels above 703 are actually using cellular service... I listen to Rock Bar a lot and it sounds no better than channel 25 (Classic Rewind).
In my 2014, the XM always sounded better than any streaming service, or music saved on my phone.

At this point Ram is asking me what I want them to do. I have an opportunity here. I just don't know what to do.
Should I ask for the speakers to be replaced with better quality units? Maybe the Harman Kardon?

Or should I just give up with Ram and go to an audio shop to have stuff replaced?
 

RamDiver

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XM radio never sounds as good as streaming from Pandora or Apple Music. Even though XM is digital, its still radio and simply doesn't sound as good as phone app music. I have my fader set to about 2-3 clicks to the rear to balance the sound. I really don't like the "soundstage" sound. I prefer surround sound. Replacing your speakers will make a huge difference, but Pandora will always sound better than XM.

I think that's a mighty broad statement and I don't agree. The digital sound quality is almost always directly related to the amount of data compression used.

In the past 10 years, there has been a wide variety of quality on XFM. Sometimes the quality is fantastic, clear, and full sounding. Other times it sounds dead, tinny, and worthless.

I usually listen to XFM and occasionally, music on a stick. I rarely get through any listening session without being horrified by the crap quality but, for all the great-sounding tunes, it's worth the $6/month.

Now, if I could only find a place to download Classic Vinyl and Classic Rewind types of tunes that don't compress the crap out of the signal.

Every commercial entity is so obsessed with $ that they can't appreciate the value of using a reasonable compression algorithm. Sometimes they make CDs sound like high fidelity. :cool:

.
 

RamDiver

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If the audio source is my iPhone playing Sirius or pandora (or something else), it's like the remaining speakers in the truck "come to life". You can hear the music throughout the truck.

If the speakers sound great while using another source, there's not much point of changing the speakers to improve XFM reception.


We did do that. The other 2024 Limited on their lot sounds just like mine.

If the dealer is currently aware of the deficiency in the 2024 model trucks, perhaps this would be a good time to contact @RamCares to see if they can assist in creating a Star case with FCA.


I compared it to my Dad's 2019 (HK system). Big difference in the output volume of rear headliner speakers. On volume level 12, I could barely hear my speakers even with my ear 6" away from them. His was 3-4 times the volume at the same level.
Same XM station at the same time. Balance/Fade were both centered, Surround on, Equalizers at same exact settings on both units.

I've read many complaints about the Alpine 9-channel system here at Ram Forum and that is so contrasting to my experience with a '21 Warlock. Sure, some of the XFM is compressed to the point of garbage but most of my experience has been outstanding.


Thanks for chiming in...
So you think that the XM radio in the truck will never sound as good as the XM streaming from my phone?

I just can't fathom how much different my system sounds from those in other trucks (i.e. 2023 Big Horn, Dad's 2019 Laramie, etc.). I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the 360L receiver. The channels above 703 are actually using cellular service... I listen to Rock Bar a lot and it sounds no better than channel 25 (Classic Rewind).
In my 2014, the XM always sounded better than any streaming service, or music saved on my phone.

At this point Ram is asking me what I want them to do. I have an opportunity here. I just don't know what to do.
Should I ask for the speakers to be replaced with better quality units? Maybe the Harman Kardon?

Or should I just give up with Ram and go to an audio shop to have stuff replaced?

If the dealer is willing to work with you, you might be further ahead to deal directly with them for a solution. Most dealers will not spend $ on anything they can't get covered through warranty but it might be worth exploring.

.
 

FL-RAM

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Thanks for chiming in...
So you think that the XM radio in the truck will never sound as good as the XM streaming from my phone?

I just can't fathom how much different my system sounds from those in other trucks (i.e. 2023 Big Horn, Dad's 2019 Laramie, etc.). I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the 360L receiver. The channels above 703 are actually using cellular service... I listen to Rock Bar a lot and it sounds no better than channel 25 (Classic Rewind).
In my 2014, the XM always sounded better than any streaming service, or music saved on my phone.

At this point Ram is asking me what I want them to do. I have an opportunity here. I just don't know what to do.
Should I ask for the speakers to be replaced with better quality units? Maybe the Harman Kardon?

Or should I just give up with Ram and go to an audio shop to have stuff replaced?
Ram is not going to replace the speakers. If they did, they would only put new stock speakers in. If it really bugs you maybe take it to a stereo place and have the whole thing upgraded.
Have you tried the XM app instead of the radio channels? I've never tried the app to see if it's any better.
 

FL-RAM

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Ram is not going to replace the speakers. If they did, they would only put new stock speakers in. If it really bugs you maybe take it to a stereo place and have the whole thing upgraded.
Have you tried the XM app instead of the radio channels? I've never tried the app to see if it's any better.
I downloaded the Sirius XM app yesterday and tried it through Carplay and it sounded WAY better than XM radio.
 

FL-RAM

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I downloaded the Sirius XM app yesterday and tried it through Carplay and it sounded WAY better than XM radio.
I also noticed today that my basic FM radio sounds a lot better than XM radio. It sounded clear, full, and a lot of bass. I don't think the issue is the stereo or the speakers. It's something with Sirius XM.
 
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MD Sledhead

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Not surprising at all. Lower bit rate coming off satellite vs. 5G phone as source and BT or USB for Carplay.
Consider that some of the channels (703 and above) ARE using the cellular network, one would think they would sound better. They do not.
I also noticed today that my basic FM radio sounds a lot better than XM radio. It sounded clear, full, and a lot of bass. I don't think the issue is the stereo or the speakers. It's something with Sirius XM.
I can say that FM sounds better... but where I live we get ONE FM station (country).

Stopped at a dealer about an hour from our place. Listened to a 2024 Big Horn in the showroom. Alpine system sounded fantastic compared to my truck. FM was better, Carplay was better, etc. Couldn't listen to XM because the building blocked the signal.

It had the 12" screen like my truck, but did NOT have the XM 360 (i.e. the XM channels over the cell network). Wouldn't even let you tune to there.

Wondering if there's something up with my entire radio. Would it be worth a shot replacing it?

Just reading the comments on here, it's clear to me that I can't describe just how bad the XM sound is. My $25.00 portable speaker sounds better - no exaggeration.

Now that I've heard a 2024 Big Horn, I know something is wrong.
 
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MD Sledhead

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Could the problem be in the antenna???
That's a thought... they have to remove the headliner to change that thing. I almost never lose signal.
After hearing the 2024 Big Horn yesterday - even the music from carplay was noticeably better in the Big Horn than in my Limited.
 

FL-RAM

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Consider that some of the channels (703 and above) ARE using the cellular network, one would think they would sound better. They do not.

I can say that FM sounds better... but where I live we get ONE FM station (country).

Stopped at a dealer about an hour from our place. Listened to a 2024 Big Horn in the showroom. Alpine system sounded fantastic compared to my truck. FM was better, Carplay was better, etc. Couldn't listen to XM because the building blocked the signal.

It had the 12" screen like my truck, but did NOT have the XM 360 (i.e. the XM channels over the cell network). Wouldn't even let you tune to there.

Wondering if there's something up with my entire radio. Would it be worth a shot replacing it?

Just reading the comments on here, it's clear to me that I can't describe just how bad the XM sound is. My $25.00 portable speaker sounds better - no exaggeration.

Now that I've heard a 2024 Big Horn, I know something is wrong.
Interesting. There could be something wrong with the head unit if carplay apps sound bad. But no matter what, replacing the whole headunit probably won't make XM sound as good as streaming. Replacing the stock speakers makes a huge difference overall. I'd start there.
 
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MD Sledhead

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While i have a Star case open... I think I'll get them to replace the head unit and the speakers. If they can't tell me what's wrong with it (i.e. why everyone can hear a difference between my truck and others) then they can just replace it all.

What's odd is how different the head unit is between my Limited and the Big Horn.
The 2024 Big Horn has shelf-like buttons at the bottom (like what I saw in 2023s and prior). Mine has push-type buttons that do not stick out. And like I stated above, it does not appear to have the XM 360L - I'd rather have fewer stations and better quality.

If that doesn't improve things, then I'll look at replacing speakers. It just really sucks. Makes me hate my truck.
 

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While i have a Star case open... I think I'll get them to replace the head unit and the speakers. If they can't tell me what's wrong with it (i.e. why everyone can hear a difference between my truck and others) then they can just replace it all.

What's odd is how different the head unit is between my Limited and the Big Horn.
The 2024 Big Horn has shelf-like buttons at the bottom (like what I saw in 2023s and prior). Mine has push-type buttons that do not stick out. And like I stated above, it does not appear to have the XM 360L - I'd rather have fewer stations and better quality.

If that doesn't improve things, then I'll look at replacing speakers. It just really sucks. Makes me hate my truck.
This 5th Gen 9-speaker Alpine system is nowhere near as good as my 4th Gen 6-speaker system. But even then, the XM was not a clear and full as Carplay apps. Replacing the speakers is virtually mandatory for anyone who is even remotely concerned with sound quality. Stock speakers are low-grade, unbranded crap.
 
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MD Sledhead

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That's what I've read... my 4th Gen with the Alpine was awesome. I get what you're saying. Did you change ALL the speakers?

But yesterday I sat in a 2024 Big Horn with the 9-speaker Alpine, playing Youtube Music streaming from iPhone 12 Pro
I then downloaded that app to my iPhone 12 Pro and streamed it through my 2024 Limited with the Alpine 9-speaker. It did not sound nearly as good. I put the audio settings at exactly the same as the truck at the dealership. Surround on, three EQ's at 0 gain, sound centered.

Even when streaming in my truck it sounds like it's "missing" certain ranges... like I'm listening through a tube. It is very hard to explain.
When listening to XM, the missing ranges are different.

I know one thing... I may never "order" a vehicle again.
 

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So I've had my truck for almost 6 months. The quality of the Sirius XM radio is killing me and no one can seem to diagnose the issue.
When the audio source is the Sirius receiver, it sounds like nearly all of the "volume" is coming from the middle dash speaker. Occasionally (certain tones) you can hear the bass kick into the other speakers (door & sub) - it's like a very small range of frequency.
If the audio source is my iPhone playing Sirius or pandora (or something else), it's like the remaining speakers in the truck "come to life". You can hear the music throughout the truck.
If we (me and dealer) listen to Sirius XM in a 2023 with the same system, it sounds great (even better than music from the iPhone).

Dealer has run the system through all kinds of audio tests (passed). They've disconnected the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) - no difference (except the exhaust drone at 1500 rpm). They replaced the amplifier in the truck. No difference.

I've had an active "Star Case" open with Ram Cares for a long time. THEY are asking ME what I want them to do next. WTH??

I've asked several times for them to find out "what's different" between MY 2023 and MY 2024. Crickets.

I hate to have them replace the entire 12" radio... but I don't know what else to try.

BTW - the other thing that doesn't work is the truck restoring Driver 1 settings based on the key fob when the door handle is touched. Surely this can't be related?
Hi there,

Our team would like to offer assistance to look into this matter further. Please private message us with these details of your experience, so we can best assist you. Thank you.

Gia
Ram Cares
 
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