The newest—and smallest—addition to Genesis’s crossover lineup is the entirely-electric GV60. Not only is this the first all-EV model from Genesis, it’s also one of the most futuristic cars on the new-car market. As long as you steer away from the most basic trims, you’ll enjoy a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system that transforms this little EV SUV into a high-end sound studio.
The 2023 GV60 has 17 different speakers in 14 locations (despite what Genesis’s documentation shows). Bang & Olufsen’s parent company, Harman, is known for utilizing dual-purpose speakers, placing a tweeter and a midrange into one speaker location, and we see this in three locations in the GV60. The front doors have a woofer, a midrange, and a tweeter, all nice looking and fitting with the design of the car. The top of the dash features one midrange/tweeter combo speaker. The rear doors have a separate woofer and then the midrange/tweeter combos previously mentioned. That makes 14 so far. Two midrange speakers live in the C pillars, and one subwoofer is under the cargo area. 17 well placed and powerful speakers.
The GV60 has a newer version of Genesis’s intuitive infotainment system. You can control it by touching the screen or fondling a rotary knob in the center-console area. This is a welcome feature as the touchscreen itself is too far away to comfortably operate from the driver seat. Despite Genesis designing the GV60 like a car from the future, they fitted it with classic physical controls for volume and track adjustments—thank goodness. Strangely, the system has 75 notches of volume adjustment, but the first 20 are so quiet that they’re hardly necessary.
Unlike many new EVs, the GV60 still offers AM radio on top of FM, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, USB-C, and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is the biggest misstep with the GV60. A car from the future that you still have to plug into for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? What is this, the 90’s? Worse still, the only data port is far forward below the dash, meaning you have to drape your cable through the front of the cabin in order to use phone projection. Lame. USB-A and a 3.5mm aux input are the other missing inputs outside of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Another way Genesis makes the GV60 feel different from other vehicles on the market is by redefining the traditional treble and bass EQ settings. Rather than simple equalizer sliders, the GV60 features a two-axis matrix with four extremes: Bright, Energetic, Warm, and Relaxed. Relaxed to Energetic adjusts bass, and Warm to Bright adjusts treble. This is supposed to translate EQ for audio normies, but in a luxury audio system, we’d prefer not only traditional adjustments but also more adjustability. A five- or nine-band equalizer should be a staple for all systems over $60k. B&O also integrated a surround mode that wraps the sound around the GV60’s cabin in exchange for a more hollow sound with 10 degrees of adjustability. If you want your music to be true to recording, stick with the Reference mode.
So how does it all sound? Pretty darn good! We enjoyed listening to all types of music in the Genesis GV60. The quietness of the EV powertrain and cabin with its double-insulated glass allows the soft elements of songs to have their own time in the sun. Talk radio and podcasts also sound good with frontal sound stage and good balancing. We appreciate the three-speaker setup in the doors, as the tweeter/midrange/woofer combo provides a place for all types of sounds and instruments. High notes would sound more crisp if they bounced off the windshield, and we are surprised that low bass doesn’t come through stronger. In fact, the door woofers are trying too hard and fall apart under heavy music.
Holistically, this is a very strong system with a remarkably intuitive interface. It’s a strong A tier. It just barely lacks the wow factor of an S-tier system, and having to plug in your phone for high-fidelity music—or just for Google Maps—feels archaic in a modern car such as this. Toss in some more sound adjustments, and the Genesis GV60 Bang & Olufsen would be one of the best sound systems on the market.
Check out our video review here!
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