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Hyundai Tucson Audio Radio MP3 iPod CD Stereo

steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,049
Got a problem with your amp or want to upgrade the CD changer? Ask questions here and post your suggestions.

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Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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Comments

  • fk322fk322 Posts: 15
    I am far from a Hyundai basher. I have a 06 Sonata and 05 Tucson and really like both. However I disagree with your statement reagarding OEM stereo systems being poor on most makes and models. I had a 02 Dodge Stratus with a awesome factory stereo (Infinity). The factory stereo in my 06 Sonata is very good too. It really is too bad the one Hyundai chose to put in the Tucson is so bad. That being said, I really am happy most other aspects of the Tucson.
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    You are absolutely correct in that its a weak assumption for anyone to make that all low priced cars have bad OEM radios. Its a basic technology that any quality OEM should have perfected in even their cheapest model, not to mention a 20K+ model. No one expects a high end system in a Tucson and its funny that some defend the fact that Hyundai can't get even this simple process correct. The issue here is not too high of expectations for a radio by Tucson owners, but rather a total failure by Hyundai to provide even the most basic quality sound.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Since you obviously didn't read what I said I will repeat it for you...I said most cars REPEAT...most cars that are "cheap,reasonably priced etc." have poor sound systems. Never mind the fact that the quality of any particular system is subjective and subject to the individual owners taste i.e. the guy who had the Dodge Stratus. He liked it and that is perfectly fine. In other words what may sound good to you may, or may not, sound good to me...get it? Also Hyundai does NOT make the radio, they contract this item, among thousands of others, out. Hyundai supplies the specs and sombody else builds it. Can it be made better? You bet... for an additional $600 you may get a "premium sound system" on some makes. Since there are thousands and probably tens of thousands of Tucson owners who are perfectly happy with their radios to call it "a total failure by Hyundai to provide even the most basic sound quality" is massively presumptious on your part but I have come to expect that.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    I have to agree with target. I own a 2005 Tucson LX with the factory 6CD changer and "subwoofer". While it is definitely not "audiophile" quality, it more than satisfies my needs and I have no need or desire to swap it out. Could Hyundai have done better? Sure, but at what cost? ;)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I said that most OEM radios/speakers are cheap of basic quality...the least for the money...but you had an Infinity which is commonly known as a "premium" brand. So, although it may have been a factory radio it probably wasn't the base radio. You may have had it included in an upgrade package or paid extra in some way to get it. I never said that factory radios are all poor or of minimum quality. I'm sure the factory radio in a Merc. or BMW or Porche or Lexus is awesome but they don't cost $20 grand either. It has always been a fact that manufacturers cheap out where and when possible and the sound system is a place where 90% of the buyers are satisfied with a basic radio.
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    Yeah thats the solution....everyone who has a problem with the vehicle, just go trade it in and take a massive loss. That makes no sense. A Wal-mart special would provide better static-free sound than the Hyundai basic radio. Could Hyundai done better, yep, but they didn't. They don't design noise and static into radios, they design them out, and when they don't, it has everything to do with poor quality design and nothing to do with "premium sound". Almost everyone here understands that and they're complaining of noise on the radio and not "why doesn't my basic car radio sound like a $900 set-up. Having the skid plate and vents installed backwards is nit pic? There's a reason why the plate is there and why the vents are there, and why the should be installed correctly, the Cat creates tons of heat. Maybe you should re-install your plate backwards like mine was if its not such a big deal. My guess is that you won't because you know I'm right and Hyundai was wrong and its potentially unsafe. If you have any valid technical reasons to prove me wrong, please do so, otherwise you post only to blindly defend Hyundai on issues where they are undefendable.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Well, having owned 2 Santa Fe's...1 Tucson and 1 Elantra I can only say I did NOT experience a static filled experience with any of the factory radios. You are fixated on poor design and to that I say Hyundai did not manufacturer these radios. They derived the specifications for them to fit into the dash, designed the "look" of the knobs, face plate, and dial to match the theme of the interior. They specified whether the radio would have a 6 disc changer, cassette, AM band FM band then sub-contracted the whole works to Clarion or some other Korean audio manufacturer and told them to build them per specs. Should there be quality control at that plant? Absolutely! Does Hyundai themselves test each and every radio? nope, probably not or maybe only to see they play on a local station. Nothing new there, no manufacturer does tire testing either with the exception of how the whole vehicle drives with the specified tire. They contract out a set of specs to Bridgestone or whomever. So, when you have a defective tire should you run to Toyota? Nope they will tell you to see the closest dealer selling that brand. Anyhow back to radios if anything the "in glass" antenna on earlier Santa Fe's may contribute to less than spectacular reception BUT Hyundai quickly and without fanfare added a rubber antenna stick in 2004 indicating, at least to me, that they heard gripes about poor reception and quickly initiated a fix. Not many here complaining anyhow...one guy said he replaced the speakers/radio simply because a certain percentage of owners of any make vehicle will spend $$ to "upgrade" it is automatic for them. Regarding the cat. heat shield: if I am not mistaken you yourself said it wasn't a big deal..so is it, or not? Maybe only a big deal to bring up to point out how "poor" the build quality is. Anyhow if it such a big issue to you the solution is simple get it switched next oil change OR if it was so unsafe as you now say I would drive directly to the dealer and have it switched..did you do that or isn't it really such a big thing to you? All issues are defendable..the real issue is which side you are defending. I like Hyundai, you do not, so what? I will always defend them because they are good vehicles...perfect? Nope, but they will only get better.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Sorry, I got carried away with the radio non-issue and forgot to address your reply to my advice to "trade it in". Now that I have thought about it maybe the best thing to do would be to take it to the dealer, point out any problems you may have including your reversed heat shield to the service manager, retire to the waiting room, watch some T.V., have a coffee and wait a while until they come out to tell you your car is fixed. Then dig into your wallet...WAIT!! the car has "America's best warranty" so that part probably won't be necessary and that is that. In this you will be doing what tens of thousands of automobile owners do each and every day...getting their cars fixed with one possible exception, many do not enjoy "America's best warranty" so they WILL have to fish into their wallet...
  • fk322fk322 Posts: 15
    Your right about the Infinity stereo being part of a premium sound package on the Dodge but that doesn't explain why the stereo in my Sonata GLS is so much better sounding than the one in my Tucson (GLS). Yes, SOME manufacturers cheap out on basic radios. Hyundai didn't in the Sonata but did in the Tucson. Ok, Ok, I'm making a mountain of a mole hill here with this stereo stuff. I'll stop. Overall, I've found the Tucson to be of good quality. I do feel bad for flytedy. Obviously he got a bad unit. You really should cut your losses and trade it in.
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    Had you read all of my message, I said the Cat plate might not have been a problem IF there had not been air vents in it. There were air vents, I mentioned that. Hyundai does not make there own radios, never said they did, nor do any OEM's that I'm aware of. They do however have 100% control over what quality they chose, and Hyundai made a poor choice. A warranty is only as good as the company that backs it, and my experience is that Hyundai has decided to spend more on advertising "america best warranty" than they have on building a quality product or actually fixing all the defects. Its also better to not have to be at the dealer because your vehicle is not broke than to have it replaced 3 times for free. As mentioned earlier by another poster, Tucson sales are down and I would reason thats because many, like myself, bought into reasonable expectations for a 20K vehicle and have been disappointed by the quality, dealer experience, and overall deception Hyundai tries to sell about how these vehicles are competition for Honda and Toyota. A marketing strategy that owners quickly see is not true.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Final word, from me anyhow, on the radio issue. Hyundai tells Clarion, or another mass electronics producer, build us 100,000 radios with these dimensions, those knobs etc. make it have a single play CD and AM and FM. Do all this for lets say the Korean equivilent of $60.00.. they haggle and end up at $55.00 per unit. Clarion builds these per the price per unit and spec. contract and subjects them to their quality controls.. ships them to Hyundai who installs them on the line. Each and every radio may, or may not, be run through a full range of tests when in the car. You buy the car and don't like the quality ( maybe you are an audio snob? maybe not), you complain to the dealer who may, or may not, agree with your acessment. If he agrees he swaps it out for a new radio.. if Hyundai gets word that 90% of the radios installed are faulty some changes in the contract with Clarion will happen. If 20 people complain maybe 10 radios will get swapped out for new ones and 5 of the remaining 10 will get changed out for an aftermarket unit..the remainder will just [non-permissible content removed] to no avail. Oversimplification? you bet but that is probably what happens.
    Correct, better not to be at the dealer at all...if you find the vehicle that fulfills this PLEASE let me know and I will abandon Hyundai in a hearbeat but you know, and I know there ain't no such animal. But,if like any mechanical thing it breaks it IS better getting it fixed for free AND many Hyundai owners do not have to endure "three" tries for a fix, which by the way is FREE!!
    Finally, although Tucson sales may be down, I haven't independently confirmed this, it is most likely due to a trend that all SUV manufacturers are experiencing..high fuel prices..lower SUV sales... this is as plain as the, well, LCD readout on the gas pump..
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    What you fail to understand is that Hyundai knows what sensitivity/selectivity and S/N ratio are on the radios they chose to install. I've repaired electronics for a long time, seen the insides and repaired about all makes and have the highest FCC repair license, highest Amateur radio license and am a certified electronics technician. There is no random choice of quality. They know what quality radio they have. They also know that the long coax run to the antenna weakens the signal. Hyundai chose a cheap radio and poor design, and you simply can't defend that.
  • mikdeemikdee Posts: 27
    Coming from a previous 2002 Santa Fe LX 4WD V6, to a simliarly equipped Tucson, the O.E. radio is 100% better! the previous one had the weakest Bass I ever heard. So, the particular radio in the Tucson LX is quite an improvement, it is fine to me. Besides the only people that care that much about this item, will probably change it out anyway. I'm more concerned about the fact that the Santa Fe got better gas milage then my Tucson??? But, to those people who never owned a Santa Fe as I did (for 3yrs & 87K miles) before trading for a Tucson, they would never be able to know, or understand this. Another difference is the Tucson rides abit harder (not as smooth) as the Santa Fe, I guess you could call it "Sportier", and the luggage capacity is less, But I still love my Tucson, just can't figure out for the life of me, Why this lighter, more aerodynamic vehicle, then the Santa Fe gets worse gas milage???
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    What transmission did the Santa Fe have? Its also not to uncommon for a larger engine, despite the initial thought of more HP less mpg, to actually get marginally better mpg as they turn at a lower rpm and hence better efficiency. The more gears the better and 5-speed transmissions seem to be the standard for a lot of cars, even smaller ones and it makes sense. I've seen 6 and 7-speed automatics but only on sport models. Especially with high fuel costs, I think its an inexpensive way for OEM's to increase mpg at very little additional cost. The technology is certainly there.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    OK.. so "there is no random choice of quality" but there is a cost per unit verses "how good do you want this thing?" issue and every manufacturer faces it. Since there is only you trying to prove how bad Hyundai is, me, defending Hyundai again, and one other guy here nobody else seems to feel it is worth worrying about so I guess it isn't really that big an issue. It absolutely stands to reason though the more you expect to sell the car for the more can be expended in details...lambs wool carpet...hides from 1 year old, indoor raised Alpacas for the seats etc. So I expect Hyundai had a price per unit for each radio in mind at the 19-22K (or whatever it is exactly)price point. Some persons here may actually have an individual radio that IS faulty and those will be replaced as required. Regarding line loss Geez how many manufacturers mount their antenna on the rear fender..rear glass...a rubber stick on the roof? A longish antenna lead isn't a real issue however especially when an amplifier, such as Hyundai uses, is installed after the antenna...before the radio. And yeah, I can defend it until you can absolutely prove Hyundai utilizes poorer quality components..designs...specifications...and a choice of a company to subcontract these out to that has poor quality control on a consistant basis. Probably no better or worse in these regards than any other auto manufacturer. The end!
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    As stated I also had Santa FE's two (2) to be exact. I had a 2002 AWD 2.7 liter(4 speed auto) and a 2003 AWD 3.5 liter(5 speed auto). I can, for once, agree with flytedhy. The 3.5 actually got better highway (not city though) mileage 24 verses 22MPG. This was, I believe, due to two things. At any given road speed the 5 speed 3.5 liter ran at more than 500 RPM slower. This translated into better fuel economy. Second, the 3.5 simply had much more torque and almost never downshifted on hills and grades that had the 2.7 in 3rd gear. I find that the Tucson gets about the same mileage as the 2002 2.7 liter Santa Fe. Also, the Tucson isn't all that much lighter nor is it physically much smaller. It is an optical illusion that the Tucson is a lot smaller. Cargo space was sacrificed for passenger space on the Tucson and it(passenger space) is actually larger than the Santa Fe as measured in Cubic feet.
  • flytedhyflytedhy Posts: 63
    Hyundai DOES NOT use an antenna amplifier on the Tucson like you mentioned, that is incorrect. So you can defend Hyundai all day, thats obvious, you just can't seem to get the facts correct, thats obvious also. Since I'm qualified to talk about these vehicles in technical terms, it may be best for you to have discussions with others who enjoy more general non-technical issues. No offense meant, were just talking on two levels of knowledge here.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    I find the radio in the Tucson quite fine for the price range of the vehicle. I don't know about the States but in Canada the first batch of Tucson had a different radio than the others. On the first batch the radio head was only a couple inches high and you had some storage for CD's below it. The second batch is maybe 4-5" high and "fills" the dash. Mine is from the second generation. As somebody else mentioned previously, it is light years ahead the on I had in my 2001 Santa Fe.

    My only problem is that I now have a CD stuck in there. When you press eject, you hear some motions in there but the cd do not come out....

    Time to go to the dealer....
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    It is a fact that several other model Hyundai's do/did use an amplifier... both of my Santa Fe's had them. In mid year 2004 Hyundai eliminated the "in the rear side glass" antenna in favor of a stubby rubber stick on the roof. Maybe ( you can probably confirm this) they also eliminated the amplifier at that time. The Tucson also has that rubber stick antenna so I guess if Hyundai eliminated the amp with possible better reception using the rubber stick then it does not have one. Go ahead use technical terms, I'll keep up. Note to host.. is this OK?
  • richtexrichtex Posts: 2
    Just brought home a new Tucson Limited last Saturday. We are enjoying all the bells & whistles. On the antenna/amplifier issue, there IS an amp in the back under the cargo area, but I believe it is a stereo amp (for sound) and not an amplifier to boost the signal coming from the antenna. I think the sound quality is very good; the equalizer pre-sets (Classic, Jazz, Rock) are not that great to my ear but once you adjust the sound yourself using the treble/midrange/bass, it sounds good. :)
  • mikdeemikdee Posts: 27
    I found the sound to be better without using the equalizer, deeper bass. By the way, you have to train it to use the EQ settings, sometimes if you put a CD in, or change the radio station, the EQ setting won't pop up, you have to set it, but once you do, it will automatically remember that setting for that CD, or station. Yes, the amp in the back gives it the Oomph! something the Santa Fe never had,,, lol
  • nakeydognakeydog Posts: 30
    The Hyndai Tucson 2005 has an amplifier it is in the trunk underneath the spare tire area.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Be advised that there may be potentially 2 (two) types of amplifiers...it can either be a signal amp. designed to boost AM/FM signals from the antenna before reaching the radio where they are further amplified. This normally boosts weak signals into a useable strength. The result of this is the radio may find and keep distant or low power stations better and longer. The second type, as noted, is an amp. for the sub-woofer in the premium sound package. It powers the sub woofer. You can have one or the other or both. All good except Hyundai has, according to Garp, eliminated the antenna amp. so therefore their sound systems are sub-standard i.e. poorly designed
  • nakeydognakeydog Posts: 30
    So then the amp is actually for the subwoofer? All I know is that at 2 weeks I changed the speakers, they were horrible! I have a 6 CD changer, cassette, AM/FM Radio and I guess it could be better but it is acceptable. But the speakers that came with the LX which is the most expensive Tucson should have been better.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Based on the expert opinion of another poster Hyundai eliminated the antenna amplifier for the Tucson. Earlier Santa Fe's had one. So yes, the amp is for the subwoofer. Almost all manufacturers do not use the absolute "audiophile rated" best components for either the radio or the speakers. Obviously high end car manufacturers..BMW..Mercedes..Lexus etc. who can charge $50-60 or $70,000 use better components but since perhaps 80 or 90% of buyers are not audiophiles the factory set-up is fine and for those who feel it could sound better well...there is a complete after market for them. It is a place for manufacturers to save a few bucks and MOST people won't notice.
  • vac4vac4 Posts: 1
    I have a Tuscon Limited with the 6 CD Changer. Really love the car. Does the random play feature work one CD at a time or will it pick songs from all the CDs that are loaded into the unit? Would appreciate any info. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • bjw1bjw1 Posts: 152
    Hello All,

    I have just bought a 2006 tucson gls v6 and so far love it, i will be replacing the factory radio with my clarion radio due to i have sirius satellite radio, and has music catcher with prerecorded songs, and is far away much better than stock radios, it puts out twice the power that stocks do sound quality is much better too, well i will post a message when it gets done.
  • nakeydognakeydog Posts: 30
    I had a 2004 Tiburon GT which had Infinity speakers in it and was awsome. But my 2005 Tucson LX has crap speakers in it which I went out and got Infinity's put in, after 2 weeks.
  • fk322fk322 Posts: 15
    Do you think replacing JUST the speakers alone would make a dramatic difference? Electronics store websites I've checked say they don't carry a stereo that "fits" the Tucson. Anyone out there replace their factory GLS stereo with a different one?? If so, what model?
  • Hi guys,

    I just bought my '06 Tucson a few weeks ago. It's been great so far. My only complaint is the stereo, which goes to a deep, bone-shaking hum/static when I pass under a bridge, under a gas station canopy, or at a car wash.

    I've never run into this problem before, so I'm not sure if this is "normal" for the Tucson or not. At first I thought it might be because the external antenna was missing (was taken while it was on the lot). However, they've since replaced that and the problem persists.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks.
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