With manufacturer’s marketing campaigns being so focused on the capability and durability of their heavy-duty pickups, it seems the sound system, which is still a large part of making a good product, tends to slip their minds. While Charlie had the keys to the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD in his hands, he was able to see how well a Silverado Bose sound system in a $70k GM pickup compares to competitors.
First, this Silverado Bose sound system is not limited to being offered in just the Silverado but also the GMC Sierra since the two trucks are practically the same with the exterior design being the only difference. For GM’s heavy duty trucks, the Silverado Bose audio system supplies seven speakers with a “Rich-bass woofer” mounted somewhere under the center console. The infotainment has standard equalizer settings available for tuning bass, mid, and treble settings along with balance and fade. Inputs for the Silverado Bose sound system are AM/FM/XM radio stations, USB-A and C ports for the front and back rows, Bluetooth, and 3.5 mm jack. Chevrolet thankfully has also come a long way regarding their infotainment systems; we found the touch screen in the Silverado to be adequately responsive and quick to transition from screen to screen.
As far as the Bose’ sound performance, it’s wholistically average. The highs aren’t very crisp and the lows aren’t remarkably parsed. The whole Silverado HD Bose sound system doesn’t sound bad; it’s not harsh or grating on your ears, but it doesn’t impress an experience like the Lexus Mark Levinson systems. It doesn’t help that there’s quite a bit of road, wind, and engine noise that enters the cabin though for our test vehicle being a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8, it could be worse. Altogether, Charlie gave the Silverado HD Bose sound system a 6/10 rating with the Nissan Titan Fender and Tundra JBL systems being a notch better and the Ram Harman/Kardon premium system ultimately topping the entire range. In the end, it’s not a horrible system, but it’s also not quite as inspiring as other full-size pickup competitors thereby earning its ranking.
How We Test the Chevrolet Silverado Audio System:
Here at Daily Motor, we take sound systems seriously. We take every car, from a budget sedans like this Chevrolet Silverado audio system to supercars like the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, and put them through our in-depth sound-system testing. We use the same lossless, uncompressed WAV audio files on a USB plugged into the audio system so that every platform we test starts from the same baseline. To give a realistic impression for the test, we use high-quality binaural microphones for recording. We test every system with its sound settings set to their factory settings, since that is how the radio’s engineers designed it to sound, but we test all the sound settings on many types of music before performing these reviews. After demonstrating the sound settings, adjustments, inputs, speaker locations, and Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay functionality, we start out on the road to listen to our sample tracks at freeway speeds. Most vehicles we test can sound good while stationary, but road, wind, and engine noise can deteriorate music quality. At the end of the test, we give a rating based on sound quality and overall system usage as well as a subjective rating factoring in vehicle attributes and cost.