Deceptive Marketing: Harmon Kardon 900 Watt Stereo System - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:10 AM
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Exclamation Deceptive Marketing: Harmon Kardon 900 Watt Stereo System

It has become blatantly clear that the $2000 Harmon Kardon 900 Watt Stereo System is not what it is advertised to be. I am one of many victims duped by this false and misleading advertising.

On the website ([Video] With speed comes clarity. | driveSRT), it clearly states "meticulously tuned to suit the acoustics of each individual vehicle, ensuring the best possible sound quality". In addition, "Once the perfect component positions were identified, it was up to SRT to engineer a precisely crafted interior to serve as the base from which an ultra-low total harmonic distortion system could be realized". Furthermore, "ultimately delights even the most demanding audiophiles beyond their expectations".

This all could not be further from the truth. It is truly the worst sound system I have heard in a car in 20 years. My neon had a better system. My current home computer speakers (valued at $20) sound infinitely better. Stock radios in cheap cars are immensely better.

I have complained to Chrysler about this issue for 3 months and they keep saying the sound quality issue is the problem of the radio stations in Chicago not broadcasting correctly! This is despite the fact that all the other cars on the dealer lot have better sounding systems while listening to the radio.

My steering wheel has been squeaky from delivery...a delivery that was delayed by 4 weeks for no apparent reason. Chrysler's response: "our experts maintain that the vehicle is operating normally".

Check out these videos for yourself. Password is "srt": Be my Lover SRT Breakfast2 SRT Breakfast SRT Free Falling SRT Poison Home Computer Poison SRT Radio Static Apple Vacation SRT Radio Static Parking Lot SRT Santana SRT Squeaky Wheel2 Squeaky Wheel Call Me Maybe - GM Call Me Maybe - SRT

Chrysler states that I'm the only one complaining that the system is horrible. I know this is not true based on other complaints on the forum. Please comment if you have had issues. I'm not going to settle until Chrysler acknowledges their deceptive marketing and fraudulent description of their system. I want this system out of my car and my money back so I can "upgrade" to a stock system or an aftermarket system.

I've owned over 50 Chrysler products and have been responsible for hundreds of sales via referrals. As of now, that will end. I cannot refer people to companies that are dishonest about their products and refuse to fix the problems.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 02:32 AM
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Can't speak for the HK system, as my 2012 was one of the first '12s ordered and built, and the HK wasn't available yet. I can say that the BA system in my car BLOWS. It has very little in the way of depth and sound staging and fails to envelope me at all. In fact, my 2011 SRT which was equipped with the Sound Group II was vastly superior. If I didn't love to listen to the sound of the 392 so much, I'd probably be as pissed as you.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 07:26 AM
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Add me to the list. I'm extremely happy with my every regard...EXCEPT this HK sound system.

And I'm with you...I truly think it is the worst system I've ever owned....yet I dropped 2K on it?!?
(I'm not exaggerating...the system really sucks!)

If you're trying to rally troops, add me to the list, and I suggest you also look through this thread:

I'd LOVE for something to come of this...just not sure what.

But I know that my first order of business, once I gather the funds, is to replace this POS system!

Keep me posted!

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 08:22 AM
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I don't really think you can get anything done here but I guess it's a shot. My advice would be to just upgrade, take your loss and as a lesson learned. Not worth stressing this much about.

Though if you wanted an argument, there is fraud in that statement since the interior hasn't changed since 2008 so how could SRT design it around the system? I highly doubt from my 2009 SE to the 2012 SRT that there is even more sound deadening.

If it really is that big of a deal, dissect each statement made by Chrysler about the system and write a lengthy reasoning to your logic. (I would say at least 10 pages), then send this to Chrysler threatening a lawsuit. If it's a no go, then try your luck in small claims.

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 08:46 AM
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I'm an audiophile and, me personally, I wouldn't pay half a penny extra for an optional radio. I always get the standard one because in the coming months it is getting taken out anyway. Plus, the aftermarket offers WAY better choice, quality and sound than what the factory is offering.

I think you're heading down a dead end street if you expect Chrysler to do something about your situation.

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 09:12 AM
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I was debating buying my SRT8 with the H-K system. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to listen to it in two different cars before I did. For $2,000, that system is a joke. So I got my car without it.

Also misleading, is they advertise it as having 18 speakers. It might have 18 voice coils, but not 18 speakers!

I saw a video of it on YouTube, with an H-K representative demonstrating the system. It sounded terrible--the CD skipped, and the sound was very distorted. The host had a hard time keeping a straight face throughout the demo.

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 09:12 AM
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I was expecting something epic. I got a radio and a cd player that holds 1 cd.

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#8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! View Post
I'm an audiophile and, me personally, I wouldn't pay half a penny extra for an optional radio. I always get the standard one because in the coming months it is getting taken out anyway. Plus, the aftermarket offers WAY better choice, quality and sound than what the factory is offering.

I think you're heading down a dead end street if you expect Chrysler to do something about your situation.
I'm with you brother. Can I get a 130 in an SRT8 to save some coin?

I put the best sound system I've ever experienced in my car and I'm hoping to move it right on over to the Challenger I get. Just wish the speaker placement in the Challenger wasn't so bad. Tweeters in the dash suck
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:05 PM
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In my experience, all factory sound systems are compromised--some more than others--at least on the cars we mortals experience.

I have the 2010 SG II and was similarly disappointed. Juve996's audio installer convinced me the electronics were fine, just the speakers needed upgrading.

Simply retrofitting better speakers and adding extra tweeters in the kickpanels made a HUGE difference. I can play the IASCA competition CD and get the soundstage and imaging they describe in their instructions.

You could consider your $2k went toward good electronics, and then deal with the speakers.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:06 PM
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Really? Are you guys audiophiles with high discerning tastes in systems or something? I have the OEM Alpine system in my 2012 Ram. It doesn't set the world on fire but it suits me ok. You guys are making the HK system sound like an AM radio in the original '70 Challenger lol.

Hopefully later today or tomorrow I'm taking delivery of my SRT8 with this HK system in it and you guys are upsetting me...
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