EAT LIKE A BIRD, ROAR LIKE A LION—TAKE 2
Published on Tue, Aug 16, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Cliff Lindberg
My mechanic keeps trying to convince me to buy a new down pipe. He insists that while the horsepower gains are impressive, what really stands out is how it’ll sound. Rather than buying a $1000 worth of equipment (plus installation), why not just buy something that mimics the sound of a V12 Ferrari for $40 (and idiot-friendly installation)—i.e., the SoundRacer V12?
The SoundRacer V12 is incredibly easy to set up. Just find an FM channel that’ not being used (which is starting to get tough in the LA area), and then dial both your car’s stereo and the SoundRacer to that station. Then rev your engine to 2-3,000 RPM and let it get back to idle, and the SoundRacer is ready to rock.
The SoundRacer will remember what frequency it was set up for, which saves you from having to set up the device each time you start up the car.. or so we thought. Apparently it doesn’t remember the “feel” of the car on restarts, which means you have to rev the engine each time. Plus, you only have a few seconds to do it, or it gets confused. By confused, we mean that it’ll randomly make the sound of a V12 at different RPMs. If you punch the gas every time you start the car you’ll be fine, but if you are like me and wait for the car to cool down before moving, then you will have to yank the SoundRacer out of the 12 Volt DC slot, put it back in and rev the engine before heading out.
The Soundracer V12 is actually very good at figuring out the RPM of a car, and noticing gear shifts. However, during freeway driving the device will sometimes get confused and think the car is at idle. The only way to get it going again seems to be to get the car to a complete stop and try again.
When we say it outputs the sound of a V12 at idle, we mean it mimics the sound as best as it can, given what sounds like an extremely low bitrate MP3 file. The V8 SoundRacer (reviewed here) has a much sexier MP3 file, which sounds more like the deep roar of a real engine.
Another issue that we kept having with the device is that even on an empty FM frequency, it still has a lot of static—especially at idle. It probably didn’t help that our two tester vehicles both had rear mounted antennas, but the SoundRacer folks really should have made the signal a bit stronger.
The SoundRacer includes a 3.5 mm audio port and cable. The cable allows for FM transmission of an external MP3 player, in case you tire of the simulated V12 sound.
More information as well as video, sounds and pictures on www.soundracer.se For LA Car’s review of the SoundRacer V8, go to Eat Like a Bird, Roar Like a Lion VITAL STATISTICS Name of product: SoundRacer V12 Price: $44.95 Power: 12 volt DC from cigarette lighter socket Transmission: Built-in FM transmitter with LED display 3.5 mm stereo plug line input (cable included) Will also transmit music from an MP3 player or other external source to the FM radio Frequency range: 88.1 to 107.9 MHz Sample review unit courtesy of USA distributor: Mango International PO Box 478 Pine Island, NY 10969 845.258.9903