2009 Dodge Ram 1500: How's the Stereo?
August 07, 2009
It may seem odd to even consider the audio system in a beefy full size truck like the Dodge but chances are Ram owner will spend plenty of time behind the wheel. Nothing makes the hours and miles of a Texas sized road trip slip by faster that a good sound system. Here's what you get with the Laramie
The standard audio system on the Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie is a 506 wattsurroundsound unit. It includes 9 Alpine speakers plus a subwoofer, USB and aux connections, an internal hard drive, single CD/DVD player and it's satellite radio ready with 12 free months of service.
How it Sounds -
Bass is deep and tight and mids add a nice well rounded sound. Electric guitar with distortion soundsespecailly good. Unfortunately, the highs are just too overpowering and aresometimes shrill. Highs are also where distortion creeps in and on the whole everything simply sounds over boosted -- sort of like Tom Cruise cranking up the EQ on his parents stereo in Risky Business. The good part is that the subtleties of certain tracks are more noticeable - background horns, sampling or scratching come to life on this system. The down side is that some subtleties should remain subtle. For example, trackswith a lot ofreverb cansound far too echo-y. Listen to anything like rock, rap or even pop for any length of time and it starts to feel rather taxing. Thankfully it's all anchored by clean, deep bass and taking the treble adjustment down a few clicks helps. Overall sound quality is a good solid B.
How it works -
The Laramie's audio system does a lot and that means many screens and menus to accomplish a given task. While listening to music via hard drive, CD, DVD or even memory stick, the tracks are listed on the main screen and you can jump right to a specific track by just touching it. The touchscreen is a good idea but the screen is too small -onlya few trackscan show at one time. Plus,the interface is a combination of thoughtful features and datedgraphics.However,a real high point is a small key pad that lets you punch in the exact radio station number without having to fumble through presets or twisting a dial endlessly. This is especially nice when it comes to satellite radio. Redundant steering wheel mounted controls on the back of the wheel are excellent too and that's been the case for a few years now with Chrysler products. In terms of function, this systemgets a B+.
Brian Moody, Automotive Editor