Is the audio in and out of your RV what you thought it would be?
My honest opinion is that more often than not it isn’t, and will never be. When we purchase our vehicle we see speakers in the ceiling, speakers on the exterior wall and believe in our hearts that we are wired for sound and as cool as the hills. We are delivered a whole pile of horse crap about how fancy our DVD/RADIO players are but the truth is that they’re to the most part cheap, nasty and a completely flawed design…Let’s talk RV Audio.
Speakers and their placement….Outside first
If you are a true, play by the rules, consider your neighbour camper, you don’t listen to loud music but love it nonetheless. We all enjoy some music while sitting around the campfire, or cooking up our latest creation on the BBQ. The speaker placement on most modern RV’s (..there are some recent exceptions..) is high on the exterior wall. This being said, the higher they are, the louder you need to turn them up to listen at a decent acceptable level. “Being the good camper that you are” forces you to turn it down as the speakers are focused more often than not over your head, deeming the whole design a failure. Even if the speakers are decent, it really doesn’t matter.
Indoor speakers and their placement…
The salesperson points to the ceiling and says “look you have a speakers in the front and in the back of your RV”….This is all fine if you’re listening to your favourite Abba remix in the background. But what does this mean if you want to watch a movie in bed? It means that you will be hearing half of the stereo mix closer to the bed, and the other half way in the distance. In turn this prompts you to turn it up but “being the good camper that you are”, once again stops you, thus ruining the movie…..what to do?
The Proximity Effect…HUH?
I work as a Broadcast Audio Engineer and know a little about this. In fact we all know a little about this. Basically it’s the same effect when you listen on your ear or headphones. Nice bold and beautiful when they’re inserted, but almost inaudible when they’re out of your ears. Plainly speaking, the solution is to get the speakers closer to you. In doing so the Proximity Effect comes into play allowing full spectrum listening at lower levels. I’m not saying that you should remove your speakers from the side of your RV, but have some suggestions that work for us, and may work for you.
We needed a speaker/s that have an AUX input, Bluetooth and WiFi compatible, with good frequency response, and could link together as one system if required. They would also need to be small and light weight. We purchased a couple of Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Multi-Room Speakers. They combine stereo mixes very well if listening off one speaker, but can be set to stereo left and right very easily. We play our music via Bluetooth from all our devices, and have the choice of any radio streaming station around the world when we have Wifi.
Given that my trailer is smaller, I use one speaker for outdoors, and have another on it’s mount under the TV above our bed. In both instances, have the full stereo combined audio in close proximity. We now hear the movie properly without having to turn it up too loud. I wired a stereo mini jack (1/8 inch) cable from the earphone output of our Rv system to the speaker. Once plugged in it overrides the feed to the installed RV speakers. The great thing about this setup is that you can use the speakers. I simply use them at home with exactly the same efficient result.
In no way am I suggesting that everyone has the same challenges when it comes to the installed systems in their RV. I know for a fact that a large percentage of you who tow trailers do. For me, listening to a crappy speaker or my phone isn’t my first choice, especially while camping. The great thing about these is that they will last you forever.I am not that person who has disregard for my fellow campers either…..Sound advice?
There is a LOT more to be said about RV media systems. I will be posting a “NO HOLES BARRED” perspective in my next post. How we get to watch and listen to whatever we want, off any device of our choice, through what I consider to be a less than average systems.
Please know that there are affiliated products mentioned in this blog. If you choose to use those links I will earn a very small commission with no affect to your product pricing. This post is not sponsored in any way and is solely my opinion and perspective. I also only review products that we use and own.
Safe travels to you all…