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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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2021 Radiant Red RTL
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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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2021 Ridgeline Sport, 2021 Pilot EX
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For what it's worth; I took my 01 Sport in for the first service today. This issue was one of my complaints, aside from some screws falling out from under the dash and fog lights that never worked. The service guy (Reno Honda) says they are aware of the issue, and that there is not yet a fix for it. His take is that it will probably be a software fix that will be several more months out. I leased my truck, so if it goes out too long, I will not buy it out for this reason alone. For now, I'll just listen to NPR and a few select music files that play right. The falling screws and fog light issue unfortunately confirm my lack of trust in American assembly. I hope they are putting more quality control into their aircraft :oops:.
 

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2021 Ridgeline Sport, 2021 Pilot EX
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For what it's worth; I took my 01 Sport in for the first service today. This issue was one of my complaints, aside from some screws falling out from under the dash and fog lights that never worked. The service guy (Reno Honda) says they are aware of the issue, and that there is not yet a fix for it. His take is that it will probably be a software fix that will be several more months out. I leased my truck, so if it goes out too long, I will not buy it out for this reason alone. For now, I'll just listen to NPR and a few select music files that play right. The falling screws and fog light issue unfortunately confirm my lack of trust in American assembly. I hope they are putting more quality control into their aircraft :oops:.
21, not 01
 

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2021 Ridgeline Sport, 2021 Pilot EX
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A couple other owners reported this on here and found a missing fuse. Here's one example.
Exactly what it was. But, when I installed my brake controller with the harness and fuse provided with the truck, there was already a fuse in place for that. I think that's when it went wrong. Even as an electrician, I figured they should fix it instead of spending my time.
 

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Hi, I just bought a 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport and I suspect there is something wrong with the audio system. If not, the quality is disappointing. In some songs, at some times, I have the feeling that the some frequencies goes down and becomes muffled. A bit like like when we go up or down a steep hill. Or when taking off by plane. Obviously I checked the audio settings and made sure the SVC (Speed Volume Compensation) is OFF. And I did some tests in a noise-free parking without moving just to make sure I ear the problem. Besides, I have found that when the bass and / or treble are raised, the problem is even more noticeable. The situation occurs when I listen via wired Apple CarPlay.

Here is an example where this is obvious:
NEFEX - Rumors
At 0:13, when the kick goes in, the guitar drop down significantly. If you listen this song anywhere else, the guitar stays at the same level.

Or here, MUSE - Dead Inside
Along with the kick at the beginning of the song, I hear some waves in the frequencies.

Could it be a phase reversal? As if one or more speakers had been connected by reversing the poles? I have an appointment at the dealership next week to install my roof rails and I'll definitely tell them about it. But I was wondering if I'm the only one hearing this.

Thanks

Hi Rick !!

Have you found a solution to your problem?
I have the same problem with my new Ridgeline..
Thanks
 

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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.
For the record... the DSP doesn't fix the issue. Setting bass to -3 fixes the issue. See if this works first, and then buy the DSP to get your quality back.

(Also, I set my fade to the back a couple of notches as well. It reduces the volume, but also helps with the compression)
 

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After digging around I found a Honda contact name/email address for complaints about this issue. I have fired off 2 emails and haven't received any response (kinda figured I wouldn't) but figure if all those that have an issue fired off emails to this clown then maybe somebody might take notice.
I also found out thru a Honda mechanic that this audio head is installed in other Honda vehicles and has the same issue (I guess Honda doesn't give a **** about a systemic problem!!!).

Email contact is:
[email address removed by moderator]
 

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I don't know how I missed seeing this thread this year, but I posted about this issue in my 2018 E (at least tried to describe what I was hearing) 2 years ago. I will try the bass -3 setting to see if it helps.
I've also got a box of Hertz replacements for the center speaker, tweeters, and front door speakers sitting here ready to install. I'm hoping I hear some improvement.
 
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