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So, here's where we're at: The Ridgeline Sport and RTL compression algorithm is flawed. There will likely be no fix coming from Honda. So, and this question goes out to the audio engineers/audiophiles in the group, could we perhaps mitigate this problem by pre-compressing our music source? That is; if we delivered audio signals to the Honda that were already reduced dynamic range, could we avoid kicking in Honda's own flawed compression algorithm? Compression is not necessarily a bad thing in loud automobiles, radio stations did it all the time, I believe.

Just searching for something, anything, that avoids making me mad every time I try to listen to music in the truck.
 

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So, here's where we're at: The Ridgeline Sport and RTL compression algorithm is flawed. There will likely be no fix coming from Honda. So, and this question goes out to the audio engineers/audiophiles in the group, could we perhaps mitigate this problem by pre-compressing our music source? That is; if we delivered audio signals to the Honda that were already reduced dynamic range, could we avoid kicking in Honda's own flawed compression algorithm? Compression is not necessarily a bad thing in loud automobiles, radio stations did it all the time, I believe.

Just searching for something, anything, that avoids making me mad every time I try to listen to music in the truck.
put your bass settings on -3.
 

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2021 Ridgeline EX-L Modern Grey Metallic
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I have recently bought a 2021 EX-L (7 speaker) and have the same issue. 90% of my listening is to bass heavy electronic and dance music so it is quite noticeable. -3 bass is not a satisfactory fix for enjoying this kind of music. I have always planned (even before getting the truck) on doing an aftermarket DSP, amp, speaker upgrade in near future. It is just so new that I want to iron out any initial problems with dealership before making this upgrade. I am encouraged by @bhom920 ’s results with his aftermarket DSP. @bhom920, is this issue completely undetectable at all DSP volume levels?
 

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I have found I could adjust my sub level to make up for the -3 bass setting. But it sounds like regardless you would need a speaker upgrade regardless of this issue
 

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I have recently bought a 2021 EX-L (7 speaker) and have the same issue. 90% of my listening is to bass heavy electronic and dance music so it is quite noticeable. -3 bass is not a satisfactory fix for enjoying this kind of music. I have always planned (even before getting the truck) on doing an aftermarket DSP, amp, speaker upgrade in near future. It is just so new that I want to iron out any initial problems with dealership before making this upgrade. I am encouraged by @bhom920 ’s results with his aftermarket DSP. @bhom920, is this issue completely undetectable at all DSP volume levels?
I would say yes. I also like my bass heavy music
 

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I have tested and believe that I have phase issues with my 17 RTL-T
We also need to remember that phase can change with frequency. I am going to add an amp with built in DSP and see what happens with a bit of a tune.
 

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I have this problem on my 2021 Ridgeline. I am an audio engineer. I hear compression. Compressors are audio processors that take the loudest peaks in the sound wave and reduce them, usually by a ratio (e.g. 8:1 compression reduces every audio signal that crosses the activation threshold by a ratio of 8 to 1). It has a quick attack and a slow release, which means that it kicks in within milliseconds of hitting the threshold and slowly releases the compression ratio back to 1:1.

This is 100% a software issue. Likely put in by Honda to protect speakers from blowing because a basic compressor will pick up low pitch frequencies more so than high pitch, thus protecting the speakers from blowing. However the compressor in this case sucks.

Honda should absolutely remove this or add a setting to disable it. I will not be renewing any lease if it requires me to listen to music like this. It’s so bad
I said pretty much the same thing about this, maybe in another thread regarding this. Thankfully I have a 2019 and was able to change out the HU to a Kenwood. This is the exact same thing that BOSE builds into their self power speakers. I have two sets of them (model number NA right now) and they seriously suck anytime there is a transient. The volume drops instantly drops and comes back slowly. I have not heard the stereo in a '21 model, but it sounds like the exact same symptoms. Reducing the bass to -3db is probably a good solution, but you will probably need to turn up your sub to compensate for the loss of bass in the mains.
 
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