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Sorry if this has been discussed - I don't frequent the forums much. I have had my 2020 CLA for almost a year. Overall, I love the car, but one thing I think is a huge downgrade from my old (2014) CLA is the sound system. The Burmester is supposed to be an upgrade, and it's quite possibly the worst sound I have ever had in any car I've owned. The sound is harsh, tinny, and gives me a headache when I turn it up for any amount of time. There's no warmth no matter what I adjust the settings to. I know people will ask if I'm listening to MP3s or something like that. It has nothing to do with that (and I use FLAC anyway, for the record). It's not the recording, because it's all music, no matter what I try. It's so bad that I have actually thought about getting a different set of speakers in the car, but that has to be pricey as heck.

It's a shame because I am a pretty big music guy and have 30+ minutes of a drive to work.....I definitely can't get into my music at all. Extremely disappointed!
 

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You noticed that too huh?
The 14 hk actually holds its own quite well
 

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if you think the Burmester is a down grade, try the regular audio system in the A class.
i got a A220 as a loaner for 3 weeks, i did not even want to turn it on.
 

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Sorry if this has been discussed - I don't frequent the forums much. I have had my 2020 CLA for almost a year. Overall, I love the car, but one thing I think is a huge downgrade from my old (2014) CLA is the sound system. The Burmester is supposed to be an upgrade, and it's quite possibly the worst sound I have ever had in any car I've owned. The sound is harsh, tinny, and gives me a headache when I turn it up for any amount of time. There's no warmth no matter what I adjust the settings to. I know people will ask if I'm listening to MP3s or something like that. It has nothing to do with that (and I use FLAC anyway, for the record). It's not the recording, because it's all music, no matter what I try. It's so bad that I have actually thought about getting a different set of speakers in the car, but that has to be pricey as heck.

It's a shame because I am a pretty big music guy and have 30+ minutes of a drive to work.....I definitely can't get into my music at all. Extremely disappointed!
I had a C-class loaner years ago with the Burmester sound system and my observations are exactly the same are yours. I think the CLA's HK sound system has the perfect balance and clarity. Yes it lacks a dedicated subwoofer but how much bass does one really need anyway. Too much bass sounds unnatural.
 

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.... and it's quite possibly the worst sound I have ever had in any car I've owned....Extremely disappointed!
.......
Trying to understand if the sound has deteriorated since you got it 10 months ago? Or was it this bad from day 1?
 

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If you have everything man just get some coding. If you find the right tools I’ll send you the files and the necessary coding even activating the dash cam.
I had a C-class loaner years ago with the Burmester sound system and my observations are exactly the same are yours. I think the CLA's HK sound system has the perfect balance and clarity. Yes it lacks a dedicated subwoofer but how much bass does one really need anyway. Too much bass sounds unnatural.
the 2020 does have a sub in the boot
 

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I had a C-class loaner years ago with the Burmester sound system and my observations are exactly the same are yours. I think the CLA's HK sound system has the perfect balance and clarity. Yes it lacks a dedicated subwoofer but how much bass does one really need anyway. Too much bass sounds unnatural.
The racetrack (kind of sub)woofer works well enough with the other speakers to create just enough low frequencies without the booming
Not bad
 

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.......
Trying to understand if the sound has deteriorated since you got it 10 months ago? Or was it this bad from day 1?
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@mattdm11,
Lacking any additional facts, I see no reason to treat the inferior sound quality any differently, than any other warranty claim. Demonstrate the system to your Service Advisor and request/demand, that it be checked and replaced as a defective system. All you/he has to do is compare it to another CLA. That can be done right there in the service lane.
You really should come back here and let us know the outcome...good luck!
 

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Sorry if this has been discussed - I don't frequent the forums much. I have had my 2020 CLA for almost a year. Overall, I love the car, but one thing I think is a huge downgrade from my old (2014) CLA is the sound system. The Burmester is supposed to be an upgrade, and it's quite possibly the worst sound I have ever had in any car I've owned. The sound is harsh, tinny, and gives me a headache when I turn it up for any amount of time. There's no warmth no matter what I adjust the settings to. I know people will ask if I'm listening to MP3s or something like that. It has nothing to do with that (and I use FLAC anyway, for the record). It's not the recording, because it's all music, no matter what I try. It's so bad that I have actually thought about getting a different set of speakers in the car, but that has to be pricey as heck.

It's a shame because I am a pretty big music guy and have 30+ minutes of a drive to work.....I definitely can't get into my music at all. Extremely disappointed!
It’s awful. I have a 2020 cla and I’ve tried adjusting the sound to no avail. My first cla or maybe it was my E class back around 2014 or maybe earlier had Bose speakers.. now they were awesome! Wish that was an option!!
 

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Hi Mariannev,
Welcome to the CLA Forum:) The same advice would apply for you...seek a warranty adjustment and then come back here and tell us what happened.
 

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..............................................................☘
@mattdm11,
Lacking any additional facts, I see no reason to treat the inferior sound quality any differently, than any other warranty claim. Demonstrate the system to your Service Advisor and request/demand, that it be checked and replaced as a defective system. All you/he has to do is compare it to another CLA. That can be done right there in the service lane.
You really should come back here and let us know the outcome...good luck!
The problem is, this is a subtlety, and highly subjective.. The dealer predictably will assure you that the Burmeister is one of the finest automotive audio systems on the market, and
"it sounds just great to them, you just have a subjective, personal preference for a different audio system".

"Harsh, Tinny, and lacking in warmth" are all poetical terms. Such terms are often used by audiofiles to describe their positive or negative experience. but rarely convey
anything objective, or measurable. Do you seriously expect the dealer to take action?
Can you see them "fixing" this? What would the fix be? Rip out the Burmeister and install and HK instead at their cost?
 

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a) Do you seriously expect the dealer to take action?
b) What would the fix be? Rip out the Burmeister and install and HK instead at their cost?
........
Hi Coder,
Yes, I get your point and it is well taken(y).
But, I'm an advocate for the Member in this case...in other words, I'm trusting that he is correct in his analysis. Matt only loses if he stays silent at home. His chances are improved, if he requests/demands warranty relief and can prove his case in the service lane, as I mention above, when he and his service advisor compare sounds by sitting into another CLA and the sound is better....both Matt and the SA will know the truth.
a) Yes, if Matt is correct and he can prove his case as described above.
b) Matt wins if he gets any adjustment. Radios and sound equipment can be tested...could be the audio amp or a number of other of component / connection issues. Maybe Burmeister needs a wake up call like Matt, when they have to foot the cost of some new speakers.
c) I have tried to get additional info from Matt relating to when he first noticed the issue, to no avail, so we are going on his comments on only 2 threads.
Speakers can deteriorate over time...but so does human hearing and we'll find out what's at play, when Matt meets with his SA.
Geo
 
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We opted for the Burmeister upgrade on my wife's GLC300. It's not the best audio system I've had but it's not bad. I'd say it's above average in what one would get in most cars today. It is pretty comparable with the HK system in my 2014 CLA. Keep in mind the shape and construction of different listening spaces will have a big effect on how the same electronics and speakers will sound.

You may have a badly installed or a faulty made system. Have you compared your system with the same year and model (and options) in their showroom. If you have have a sunroof be sure it's closed and the sunscreen is in the same position in both tests. All doors and windows are closed. Same number of occupants, etc. Be sure to bring the same music source and song selection to make an A/B comparison. Also be sure to set the volume and equalizer settings to the same levels in both vehicles. Opt for the neutral un-boosted setting with a flat frequency curve for your comparison. For example the louder one will usually sound better. It's tough to A/B when you have to leave one car and walk over to another as tonal memory is difficult even if you train yourself to note the subtle differences. If they sound really different to you they should sound different to the dealer as well if they're being honest.

Keep us posted and good luck!
 

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Yeah might be a faulty circuit or driver in the B system
Hope it gets tracked down
 

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Hi Matt, do you know about the secret service menu? That has a parametric equalizer where you can boost or suppress a whole bunch of frequency bands.
It is documented on this forum how to get into it. I imagine its purpose is to tune the audio system for the model's cabin. Maybe the settings are totally messed up there.
I remember driving a Class C loaner that had Burmeister. I had the HK in my Cla at the time. I did like the HK quite a bit. The Burmeister sounded comparable to me to the HK at the time.
Maybe a little worse but it was not horrible. Another thing is worth doing: pan the sound to each of the 4 corners of the car, to check if any of the speakers is out.
 

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If the panning shows a bad driver then thats a start i suppose
It would be funny if its just a sound settings error
 

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....It's a shame because I am a pretty big music guy and have 30+ minutes of a drive to work.....I definitely can't get into my music at all. Extremely disappointed!
@mattdm11 Hey Matt,
What did you decide?
 
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