Toyota Camry LE has a Pretty Good Sound System

Not excellent, or "mind blowing" mind you.

Of course, there are myriads of you who have better. I'm not interested in a contest, merely commenting that the stock radio in cars can be pretty good.

At one time I wrote a casual review of the Best Buy Insignia speakers; tremendously good for the $50 (at the time) I spent. No, not high grade, but very practical, acceptable run of the mill sound.

So also with the Camry "rig". I'm surprised at the improvement in clarity, and balance in the sound. I had to crank down the bass, as it was bloated if pushed much beyond the mid-point setting. I'm very surprised at the nuance and delicacy of the treble! It's a much more sensitive and pleasing radio than the 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S I just sold.

I know this is all very weighty stuff for our illustrious forum. But you never know, there may be some who buy cars using audio as an important gauge. Me? I didn't give a rip about the radio, never asked about it, didn't give it a listen until I took possession of the car. I'm deeply into home audio, and there's still way too much permanently wrong with the listening environment of a car to care deeply about it (again, not arguing, just my perspective).

But it IS nice to have an upgrade to the car sound.

Anyone else surprised by a stock car radio/system? :)
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When I bought my '03 Corolla S, my brother-in-law jokingly asked if I was going to stop on the way home from picking it up and have the speakers changed. Never felt the need to. Now it has become a primary listening place, as I commute to work. Still sounds good.
I have had an interesting experience with car audio myself recently.I have an 08 Infiniti G35s. I read comments about how great the system was in that rig and I was very dissapointed at first. It only recently started to sound good after much break in. Playing lossless files via Ipod sounds really good now- much better than the CD playback. I guess that break in applies in car audio as it does at home. And it's very clear that the Ipod playback will continue to outperform the cd unit in that car.
Nice review! I doubt audio matters in determining your choice of vehicle though.
FWIW Stock Prius is lousy. Stock 4runner is poor but 4runners have a lot of
running noise (latest models are not as bad and sound systems are better).
Landcruiser has an excellent stock system with nice quiet cabin but does not
play loud cleanly and bass as usual is lacking somewhat.

I'd recommend a high end custom install if you have long commutes and a
vehicle with a quiet cabin - it will make a huge difference - I have done that
twice in the past - fortunately I have 5 minutes to the office so I don't care
enough to invest in high quality sound in the car right now.
Shadorne, Yes, the Prius has a "green" (environmentally friendly) sound system - no speaker drivers to contribute to noise pollution. ;)

I'm with you on the shorter commute; likely a strong reason I don't care as much about the sound quality. I must say, however, the Camry has a quieter cabin and quieter engine than the Nissan Altima - something I am immensely enjoying. The lower level of noise makes the car feel upscale and listening to music more enjoyable. I can certainly see how someone needing to spend hours per day in a car would consider a primo system. I must be mellowing with age, as I am quite happy to trade off the extra horsepower (Altima 2.5S at 175 Hp, Camry LE at 158 Hp) for the serenity of the driving experience.

In addition, the listening "envelope" for the driver in the Camry is quite global; no major "gaps" where one can detect a dead zone. On the other hand, at least with the 2.5S I just sold there were distinct "hot spots" or holes in the sound canopy and one could tell easily where one driver left off and another began. Not so easy to tell with the Camry. I guess this IS turning into a review!

To all car manufacturers and custom shops: I am available for extended in situ reviews of your fine automobile's sound systems. :)
I thought it was just me. I recently sold my Mustang convert and started driving Camry I had...For some reason the stock system sounds awesome, well awesome compared to what I've experienced during my "driving years"...
I met a guy the other night at the local bookstore. He was rummaging through the audio magazines - sure sign of an audiophiliac.

We struck up a conversation in which he said he had expended $50k in the past year or so on home gear. He was contemplating selling his Mustang to afford more upgrades to his rig. This guy is a real credit to our hobby (pun)! :)

I should have suggested he simply buy a Camry and drive around when he wants to listen. Cheaper. Uless gas prices rise again. ;)

My wife said is was foolish to have a car that got 9mpg and still couldn't fit 3 kids.AHAHAHAH... If she reads about your conversation she will make me sell the HT and move into my car...:)
My wife said is was foolish to have a car that got 9mpg and still couldn't fit 3 kids.

That is what she said. What she was thinking was entirely another matter.

..."My husband drives a foolishly expensive sports car that could fit 1 GF"

Don't you have to go practice your drums?? HAHAHA :)

Actually, the other contributing factor is that my wife was diagnosed with MS 2 yrs ago and now she has to wear a brace. The car's size was not conducive to getting in and out.

She is the greatest person in the world and I would do anything for her...BUT..

the great sound of the music in the Camry doesn't replace the 400hp with the top down....Darn, now you got me thinking about it again...I need to go watch some Rush!!
How awful - I hope this new drug will soon be available - I can't remember the name but from what I read it is promising and I hope your wife can get access to it.