If you're thinking of buying a luxury car, don't underestimate the power of a really good audio system. I recently drove the 2014 Acura RLX and came away with a greater appreciation of Acura as a luxury automaker, and the importance of great car audio.
The RLX's best feature is the Krell audio system. It's not standard. The Krell Audio package costs about $2,000 more than the RLX with the just the Tech package.
If you're an audiophile, you may or may not have heard of Krell. Either way, Krell has been building high-end home audio components since 1980. But this is more than just another high-watt, bass-thumping in-car audio system. There's something about the Krell system in the 2014 Acura RLX that makes music and maybe even life a little better.
Sounds impossible, right? Maybe not. Take a song like Delta Rae's "If I Loved You." It's an amazing song and so well written that it hits you in the chest like a pallet of bricks even if you hear it on a single-speaker transistor radio.
But listen to it on the RLX's Krell audio system and it sounds even better. The texture of singer Elizabeth Hopkins' voice is almost tangible. The presence of her voice isn't as prominent as it would be in your average pop or rock song. She sounds close but just out of reach. Combine that with the right amount of reverb (similar to an echo) and the song sounds even more heartbreaking, because you're hearing it as the producers and performers intended. The same goes for tracks from Royal Teeth, M83, Depeche Mode and The Cars; the clarity of the acoustic and electronic instruments gives you chills.
If you're shopping for a luxury sedan, such as the Acura RLX, check out a car with the upgraded sound system. It will probably make you like your new or used car all the more.