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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like so many others here, I've been frustrated by the sound quality in my 2020. Obviously the subwoofer rattling issue is a shame.

While googling a bit about the B&O set up in Fords, I came across a tip from the Mustang forums I just tried in my escape that has significantly improved the system sound quality.

Unfortunately Ford's desire to push an audio system with great specs, they made a design decision which impacts quality.

Discussions on Mustang forums point to the center speaker in the B&O setup as a culprit. As it turns out, this speaker does a massive disservice to the sound quality. It appears that sound piped through this speaker is pushed in mono, putting an overworked speaker in close proximity to the driver and front passenger.

On the mustang forums, they recommended disconnecting this speaker. I whole heartedly agree... After disconnecting it, I felt I could finally hear distinct left and right channels which makes for a more immersive experience.

The process of disconnecting is simple, and for the benefit of other readers in this forum,
I documented it with pictures.

To disconnect the speaker, I used an old credit card and a 7mm socket wrench. I wedged the credit card under the speaker housing to separate the top snap clips from the dashboard by applying a bit of pressure. Then with the wrench, I removed the speaker, unclipped the cabling, and reinstalled. 15 mins of work.

Good as new, with sound quality better than ever.

Curious if anyone has found any other tricks for putting more oomph in the speakers?

View attachment 78958

View attachment 78959
 

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Holy crap! This is life changing!!!!

I tend to clumsily break clips like the ones on the speaker housing so I've been watching this thread to see if anyone else tried it to verify the results first. No one did, so I took the plunge.

I wish everyone who thinks the stereo in the 4G Escape is sub-standard could see this thread and execute this fix for it.

I knew the center channel was too over-powering with the vocals, and I was skeptical about this as a fix for it, but the result blew me away in about 10 seconds.

Yes - there is a stereo system in this vehicle and it actually puts out stereo sound if you disconnect the center speaker! It's like someone changed out and upgraded the stereo system instantaneously.

It's orders of magnitude improvement.

Thank you for bringing this forward from the Mustang forums!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Totally agree.

I've broken loads of snap clips but to Ford's credit, found the snap clips on the housing to be quite sturdy.

Next step is fixing the rattling subwoofer. I brought my escape in yesterday to fix the failing reverse camera so hopefully they can sort the subwoofer as well. Fingers crossed 🤞
 

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2020 Escape SE I3 & 2020 Titanium Hybrid
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The stock B&O doesn't sound too bad, it certainly lacks a little in clarity in my opinion. Maybe you can turn off the center change or tweak the EQ via forscan:
79288

Source:
ACM asbuilt database:
 

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To follow-up, I've run this for a few days now and it's incredible how much it sounds like the center speaker is still connected but with appropriate-level loudness.

The tuning of the stereo speakers in the front is so good that the center speaker is not missed at all.

Truly amazing how good it is now and how bad Ford manufactured it.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

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Good old Dan :) Known him for the F150 tweaks he's found. I'll have to try disabling ANC and see if speed volume works better after.
 

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Hey all,
Would any of those settings above allow me to control or lower the volume of the center channel?
Are they any settings to make the rears as loud as the fronts?
 

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Hey all,
Would any of those settings above allow me to control or lower the volume of the center channel?
Are they any settings to make the rears as loud as the fronts?
I can't speak to Forscan settings. But I can tell you that disconnecting the center speaker in my 20 Titanium and setting to surround sound with fading to the rear (in sync sound menu settings) balanced everything out nicely for me.

And the stereo/surround tuning is so good that it still sounds like there is sound coming from the center channel even though there isn't.

It's almost as if B&O and Ford engineered the system perfectly and someone at Ford overruled the whole thing and insisted on a big center speaker that screwed up the entire system.
 

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I must admit, I was a little more than skeptical that removing the center speaker would make much difference in the sound quality of the B&O system...........but WOW was I wrong. Sound appears to be less muddy and the center speaker in certainly not missed. I agree with all the above positive comments, as Nike says "Just Do It".
 

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Hello, first post. Just did this for my 2020 escape and it absolutely worked. Unfortunately with the center speaker out, now I can hear the subwoofer rattle but boy did it improve the overall surround sound or stereo in the car.

I told a friend I upgraded the middle speaker and let them listen and they said it was a huge improvement in sound not knowing that I just disconnected the center speaker.

If you're thinking about doing it, just do it. All you need is a pry tool or flat edge and 7mm socket wrench. Took less than 10 minutes.
 

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This is no upgrade... it's a crutch for poorly engineered music sources, which is everything these days....

I listen to a high school station, DJ tech school. They play everything, including the old stuff. Early stereo was also poorly engineered, because folks were so enamored by Stereo which you could buy on the new LP's, or listen to on FM radio. The Escape B&O system properly puts instruments in these mixes in the corners. Listen to old Beatles stereo mixes.

The actual problem is music mixed for ear buds. Binaural recording is intended for headphone playback; modern mixes have to avoid the "instrument in the ear" effect. That makes stereo really hard to hear without a speaker in each ear.

And that's what you've done - put a speaker in each ear - by disconnecting the center. Your call.

And the subwoofer can be fixed!!!!!
 

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It's not the music. I listen to nothing recorded in this century. Upgrade, fix, improvement - what's the difference what it is called? Those of us who've disconnected the center channel speaker subjectively think the system sounds much better to our ears and that is all that matters.

As for the sub-woofer, there are still people here who can't get a fix from Ford and don't have the technical know-how to try it themselves. If I remember correctly, one gentleman was so fed up, he sold his Escape and bought something else. People shouldn't have to rip their new vehicles apart to get the most out of the premium sound system they paid for. That's the issue.
 

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So for those that have done this, is it harder to hear on phone calls? I would assume that center speaker is the primary one used for that....
I was on a zoom call yesterday and the sound was phenomenal. Eyes were on the road of course. I have mine set to surround sound. It's a weird outcome when one does this because it sounds like the center speaker is still connected and sound is coming from it, even though it actually isn't.
 

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Like so many others here, I've been frustrated by the sound quality in my 2020. Obviously the subwoofer rattling issue is a shame.

While googling a bit about the B&O set up in Fords, I came across a tip from the Mustang forums I just tried in my escape that has significantly improved the system sound quality.

Unfortunately Ford's desire to push an audio system with great specs, they made a design decision which impacts quality.

Discussions on Mustang forums point to the center speaker in the B&O setup as a culprit. As it turns out, this speaker does a massive disservice to the sound quality. It appears that sound piped through this speaker is pushed in mono, putting an overworked speaker in close proximity to the driver and front passenger.

On the mustang forums, they recommended disconnecting this speaker. I whole heartedly agree... After disconnecting it, I felt I could finally hear distinct left and right channels which makes for a more immersive experience.

The process of disconnecting is simple, and for the benefit of other readers in this forum,
I documented it with pictures.

To disconnect the speaker, I used an old credit card and a 7mm socket wrench. I wedged the credit card under the speaker housing to separate the top snap clips from the dashboard by applying a bit of pressure. Then with the wrench, I removed the speaker, unclipped the cabling, and reinstalled. 15 mins of work.

Good as new, with sound quality better than ever.

Curious if anyone has found any other tricks for putting more oomph in the speakers?

View attachment 78958

View attachment 78959
Thank you very much for this tip!! Just bought a 2020 used… amazing to see so many solutions. Thanks for paving the way.
 
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