Enough sound for an outdoor party
The new CX-9 includes no less than 12 Bose speakers (including subwoofer) to produce 294 watts of sound with features such as Bose CenterPoint (for surround sound positioning) and Bose AudioPilot (to reduce unwanted noise, such as that from the road). I noted zero distortion all the way up to full volume (and it is super loud - open up the doors, and you'll be able to host a sizable party). However, at around 75% volume and higher, there was a noticeable degrade in sound quality, with music starting to sound tinny and not as full. Overall, I rate the sound quality as medium-high, but not great.
You get the usual AM/FM radio tuner, but new this time around is digital radio (DAB+). There was a noticeable sound quality difference between FM radio and digital. I also like that the current song name / radio program and DJ are also listed on the display. Besides digital radio, you also get Bluetooth support which allows for online streaming of services like Spotify (tested and works very well). MZD Connect, which I will go over in detail next, also has some entertainment apps pre-installed, including Pandora, Stitcher, and Aha.
Volume can be controlled from the steering wheel or via a new entertainment hub below the gearstick which includes a rotating knob to turn the volume up or down or press down to mute. It's very easy to place your hand on while keeping your eyes on the road and breeze to use.
You will likely be pleased to hear that the new CX-9 also has no less than four USB ports. Two are situated in the front console, and the other two at the back of the rear center pull down. These USB ports are also audio input capable. If you need it, there is also an AUX 3.5mm audio input jack inside the center front console, near the two USB ports and SD card slot for updating the navigation maps.
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