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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if the passport pumps fake engine sound through the speakers during hard acceleration? Apparently many Acuras and the Honda Accord and Civic do this (as well as many other vehicles from other brands, (Mustang, F-150, BMW M, and others).

I recently disconnected the ANC module in hopes of improving the sound quality of the stereo, and it definitely did increase the sub woofer's output. This unit supposedly controls the ASC (Automatic Sound Control) as well, which in some vehicles pumps a pleasing, linear enhanced engine sound through the speakers. After disengaging this unit, I think that the engine sound may be lacking some of the growl that many have praised in the passport. Am I just imagining things? I may have to reconnect it and compare, because I love the sound of this engine.

From Honda:

This technology has the same ability to suppress the low-frequency booming noise that sometimes enters the cabin environment at low engine speeds.
Active Sound Control also operates throughout the rest of the engine’s speed range, where it can actually tune the sound heard when accelerating.
 

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Just curious, why did you want to disable the ANC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After further testing, I believe I can confirm that the Passport's sweet V6 sound is all natural!

Whatever the ANC does to "tune" the engine sound is not something that I could noticeably discern. To test this, I took out the glove compartment for easier to access to the ANC. I then did a better test of the stereo with it plugged in/unplugged (will post the results of this in a different thread, but it honestly doesn't really make a difference in sound quality). With access to the ANC I did a series of full and 3/4 throttle accelerations with it plugged in, then with it unplugged. There was no discernible difference in engine sound (loudness, tone, linearity). I then ran the test after shutting the car completely off in between plugging and unplugging the ANC, incase this forces some sort of computer to reboot, again no difference in engine loudness or tone. I suspect this isn't necessary though because if the unit is completely unplugged, it can't be doing anything.

@darksky my reason for disabling the ANC was reports that in the Pilot/Ridgeline this noticeably increased the quality of the stock sound system, which at first I thought may be true. After more intense testing, I think it may have been placebo effect, it doesnt make the speakers sound any better or subbier/bassier.
 

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I was wondering why the Passport Touring had a nice low sound to it but, our Elite is stone cold quite. I loved the sound of the Touring and was a little disappointed that the Elite didn’t have the same low tone to it..
Is it possible that the ANC may have something to do with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is interesting. I wish there was documentation on exactly what the anc does and in what situations it becomes active. Ultimately I’ve been overthinking the whole thing but I’m just curious. At its most basic level it’s supposed to remove “undesired” low rpm engine noise and road noise with an anti-frequency created by the subwoofer, (phase cancellation) I read somewhere that Honda said it is most active between some low rpm range, something like 1.8-2.2 k rpm. In my sport trim it makes no discernible difference on the sound of the engine. Supposedly some Acuras (and maybe Hondas, Ive read in other forums some recent civic 4 cylinders have a surprisingly beefy v6 tone that is suspect... ) have a clearly fake engine sound piping through speakers which increases in sport mode. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the passport. My only guess as to why your elite is quiet is better soundproofing and acoustic glass. Soundproofing always provides a trade off with engine noise, which is why car companies started adding noise back in with various techniques in the first place. Could the anc be more active in the elite trim to create the illusion of a quieter ride, therefore higher sense of luxury? I doubt it, but only one way to find out :).
 

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The Touring model supposedly has acoustic glass like the Elite model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Touring model supposedly has acoustic glass like the Elite model.
I have no idea why the Touring and Elite trims would sound different. Maybe the engine sound is getting trapped in the ventilated seats lol! Sound is so subjective. You'd really have to drive both trim levels back to back for a fair comparison, maybe with a decibel reader app.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Elite in this video sounds pretty amazing. Seems to sound throatier than my Sport trim, although it could be how the audio was mic'd mixed for the video (its binaural lol).

 

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The Elite in this video sounds pretty amazing. Seems to sound throatier than my Sport trim, although it could be how the audio was mic'd mixed for the video (its binaural lol).

Guess I'll have to play around with my paddle shifters to see if I can replicate the sounds. ??
 

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The Sport and EXL have a 215 watt 7 speaker stereo while the Touring and Elite have a 540 watt 10 speaker system. That could account for the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Sport and EXL have a 215 watt 7 speaker stereo while the Touring and Elite have a 540 watt 10 speaker system. That could account for the difference.
Yes the louder stereo could drown out engine noise if turned up but we are wondering if there is a difference in pure engine sound that is heard in the cabin of the elite vs touring based on an observation by @GaryDahl as eveything on paper suggests there should be no difference.
 

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I was told here and it was correct, the Grrr...sound really comes on in S-sport mode. I'm not sure of the tech involved but I would hope it's just the noise the engine makes when it's hitting on all sixes'.

I sure like the Grrrrr...baby; that it does in S mode. But I mostly keep er in D. ;D peace, e.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This video shows the effect pretty well in an Acura. Wait til the end sorry for the annoying honking in the beginning.


For me sport mode is not louder, it just generally keeps the car at higher rpms, which is louder. Try flooring it fully in regular D mode, the sound should be the same as sport, at least it seems so in mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: Sorry for the back and forth on this subject. When I conducted the previous testing something wasn't reseting in the system when I was connecting/disconnecting, and it was basically off the entire time. It is pretty much confirmed now that the Passport is using fake engine noise.

See this other thread: https://www.passportforums.com/threads/anc-module-delete.3294/#post-29352

I reset my audio unit and disconnected/reconnected the ANC and the fake engine sound I had lost is back. Its like a bit of low-end undertone, nothing drastic, but its there (at least on Sport Trim). That being said, it's still a great sounding engine in its natural state.

Still have no idea why a touring and elite trim would sound different though.
 

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I think the motor sounds good. I have no idea if what I’m hearing is fake or not. Either way I like it. I’ll take a nice fake engine sound over none or very little any day. If I wanted mundane silence I’d bought a Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the motor sounds good. I have no idea if what I’m hearing is fake or not. Either way I like it. I’ll take a nice fake engine sound over none or very little any day. If I wanted mundane silence I’d bought a Toyota.
Agreed. At first it seems deceptive on Honda's part, but at the end of the day I'd rather have a cool sounding car. And in this case, the J35 3.5L V6 actually does sound awesome, so Honda is not really faking it all that much, they're just kind of accentuating it's audibility in the cabin.
 
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