2013 Subaru BRZ: Plus-One for the Audio
January 4, 2013
The BRZ's touchscreen interface is pretty awful. Not MyFord Touch awful, but still pretty bad. Small icons placed haphazardly around the screen make navigating the audio system particularly perilous in traffic. At this stage in the evolution of in-car electronics, the manufacturers would do well to standardize some of this stuff. If they don't, NHTSA might well do it for them.
But here's a pleasant surprise. The also-crummy audio system is decidedly less crummy with the discovery of this 7-band graphic equalizer. You can dial in some decent bass with some definition and just enough top-end to bring out guitars, cymbals and vocals without getting too crispy.
You don't expect to find this kind of EQ in most cars these days. You're lucky to get bass/mid/treble in some nicer Benzes. The multi-band graphic EQ is just another quaint artifact from the days when people valued good sound in their car and desired some level of control over it. Now we keep all our music as compressed files on our phones.
I always soften a bit toward a manufacturer or their audio partners when I find one of these. Granted, the touchscreen virtual sliders are kinda dumb, nothing like actual knobs or faders. But in these fast-forward times, we take what we get.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 9,500 miles