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I'm trying to find out more details about the OE Surround Sound System option. First, smart touts that it has an 8-channel digital amplifier. Where is this amplifier located (some say it's part of the subwoofer box under the driver's seat, but I thought that VERY tiny amp was just for the subwoofer)? There are only seven speakers in the car including the subwoofer, so where is the 8th channel? Is the subwoofer a dual voice coil woofer? And finally, if it's an 8-channel amp, does that mean the speakers are all fed individual signals from the amp, or are there inline crossovers/filters used to, for instance, filter out highs for the door mid-ranges or door tweeters?

What I'm getting at is, how easy will it be to add aftermarket speakers to this system? If there really are eight individual channels then it would seem that I'd have to connect components rather than coax speakers, which would complicate the install. My goal is to obtain more mid-range. The SSS is great with highs and lows, but there's nothing in-between and the sound is artificially tinny and hollow, no matter how the sound settings are adjusted.
 

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I have a 2014 with SSS and I agree it sounds terrible. It would be great to hear from anyone who has improved it. My plan is to disconnect the amp if I can figure out where it is. Also I might try changing the door speakers.
 

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Would changing the speakers to those of better quality be helpful or is it the speakers location or surround logic that makes it not very good?

Can you post images of where the speakers are located/ what their sizes are? I'd be interested in adding rear fill speakers.
 

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Would changing the speakers to those of better quality be helpful or is it the speakers location or surround logic that makes it not very good?
I've now bought some Pioneer TS-G1723i speakers so I'll try installing those in the doors instead of the stock units. If that doesn't improve things then it must be the amplifier that sucks. The dealer already tried changing the head unit and there was no improvement. There weren't willing to go any further than that.

Can you post images of where the speakers are located/ what their sizes are? I'd be interested in adding rear fill speakers.
I took some photos so please see them at this page: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/members/banana-jack/albums/surround-speakers/
 

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I have the upgraded sound system as well, and it sounds OK. The issue I have is that there is this ear-piercing noise/feeling whenever there is a high note. I think it's the tweeters that are next to the mirrors on the door.

Has anyone managed to change those?
 

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Yet another example of M-B just doesn't care . . .

Since day one (2008) the 451 sound system has been the Achilles heel for the smart owner who likes to listen to their tunes with clarity. Sadly, nothing can be done to improve upon a very weak OEM head unit and muddy speakers except to start over.

Current offerings - the surround sound up-charge at $490 plus the "oh you want the SAFETY of Blue Tooth in 2014?" add Navi at $1,290 (and upgrades @ $249) or take the "package" for only $1,600.

A lot of money for 7 tin cans and a string . . .

Something M-B could never get away with in their "prestige" autos!

If I were ordering a new smart 451 today, I'd opt for the VANILLA (standard, antenna, 2 speakers, Aux input jack) smart radio, take delivery, drive to my local high end stereo installer and see what we could do with $1,600+ to satisfy my expectations because M-B smart can't!

We can only hope that this may change with the 453?
 

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I have the upgraded sound system as well, and it sounds OK. The issue I have is that there is this ear-piercing noise/feeling whenever there is a high note. I think it's the tweeters that are next to the mirrors on the door.

Has anyone managed to change those?
I left the tweeters in place when I upgraded my door speakers and they sound ok. You can easily remove the triangular plastic tweeter panel (take out one screw and then pull the plastic moulding up hard). Then you can unplug the tweeter and see if the sound is any better.
 

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If I were ordering a new smart 451 today, I'd opt for the VANILLA (standard, antenna, 2 speakers, Aux input jack) smart radio, take delivery, drive to my local high end stereo installer and see what we could do with $1,600+ to satisfy my expectations because M-B smart can't!
I couldn't agree more with that. The disappointment of ordering the top audio package (out of three choices) and then hearing the result, for me was very hard to accept. The door speakers they use are terrible quality single paper cone designs, like from a 1960's AM radio. I actually wondered if it was a manufacturing mistake that they had given me the wrong speakers. I changed them for $50 Pioneer after-market replacements and it made a huge improvement.
 

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By the way, for Smart 451 cars with the C17 Premium surround sound package, you need to calibrate the "Dynamic driving noise compensation" (DNC) in a very specific way. My dealer didn't do this. You need to redo this every time the car battery is disconnected. It does improve the sound quite a lot (within the limitations of the system as a whole).

"The equalizer in the radio must be switched off so that this function can be performed by the control unit of the surround sound system. Optimum settings for the "smart radio high" only in combination with surround sound system:
Balance = 0
Bass = 0
Treble = 0
X-bass level = 0
X-bass frequency = 63 Hz
Sound profile = OFF
Equalizer = o (off)
Dynamic driving noise compensation (DNC) = calibrated
Volume boost = 5"

Hope this helps someone.
 

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I left the tweeters in place when I upgraded my door speakers and they sound ok. You can easily remove the triangular plastic tweeter panel (take out one screw and then pull the plastic moulding up hard). Then you can unplug the tweeter and see if the sound is any better.
Thank you for that - I'll definitely try this. I think they're my issue!
 

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2015 smart for two Radio, upgraded to this 7" Android 8.0 Car DVD GPS Radio Player for Smart Fortwo W451 2011-2014 DAB+ 4G. Speakers:FOCAL 165A33 6.5" 3-WAY 160W RMS COMPONENT SPEAKERS MIDS CROSSOVERS TWEETERS NEW. no amps and it sounds great.
 
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