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A neighbor recently picked up a new Kia eNiro and you want to talk about obnoxious pedestrian warning noise, check this out...

I'm firmly on the "pro noise" side and am more than pleased with the ethereal hum emminating from the ID.4 and my i3, but Kia clearly demonstrates what happens if these sounds are left to the manufacturers' fancies.

Thankfully this is reverse only; the Niro's forward propulsion sound is in line with the ID.4.

 

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The thing about EVS is that in a city they are deadly silent at low speed. Just the other day we were walking around town and an egolf just rolled out of a parking lot 5 feet in front of us and you could not hear it. Having some vehicle noise, while not negating the need to be prudent, is essential and welcomed. Even more so while crossing intersection with so many drivers using the right lane to rush through and pass on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
A neighbor recently picked up a new Kia eNiro and you want to talk about obnoxious pedestrian warning noise, check this out...

I'm firmly on the "pro noise" side and am more than pleased with the ethereal hum emminating from the ID.4 and my i3, but Kia clearly demonstrates what happens if these sounds are left to the manufacturers' fancies.

Thankfully this is reverse only; the Niro's forward propulsion sound is in line with the ID.4.

I've heard that eNiro sound too, and similar ones from cars I didn't catch the nameplate of over the distance. So horrible! I also believe it does not conform to federal guidelines, as it is not multifrequency and not changing with speed.

My hunch that not all ID4s were configured identically at port is firming up. Based on many reports here, ID4s act a little different for some folks. The pedestrian warning sound level is one of them, some other software glitches (or lack thereof) point to other config differences we might have. Due to glitches in the install process perhaps? We might never know, but the theory would explain a lot.
 

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Just had my wife drive our new ID.4 on the driveway to hear it. It is LOUD. Not necessarily offensive but awkward when no one recognizes it. This will get a lot of WTF looks. I wish they just took the idle to 20mph sounds from a GTI and played that over the speakers at the equivalent volume. What a mess.

I understand why it has to exist but has anyone had any luck muffling it in a simple, reversible way?
 

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Just had my wife drive our new ID.4 on the driveway to hear it. It is LOUD. Not necessarily offensive but awkward when no one recognizes it. This will get a lot of WTF looks. I wish they just took the idle to 20mph sounds from a GTI and played that over the speakers at the equivalent volume. What a mess.

I understand why it has to exist but has anyone had any luck muffling it in a simple, reversible way?
you can reach for it in the frunk and in the rear by removing the cover, and unplug the speakers to try. you can look up how to unplug (it's push in, pressing on the tab, and pulling out). you'll get an audible warning on start, but other than that, it's a silent and enjoyable drive. It's not recommended though, for safety reasons.
 

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I have driven 3 ID.4's, 2 1st editions and 1 AWD. I have never heard this sound. When I test drove the AWD I made sure to have the windows rolled down and the radio off driving Forward and Reverse in a parking lot. I never heard any sounds and neither did my wife??? I can't believe both my wife and I are deaf, I can believe the vehicles may not have been fully prepped, they were all from the same dealership.
 
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My hunch that not all ID4s were configured identically at port is firming up. Based on many reports here, ID4s act a little different for some folks. The pedestrian warning sound level is one of them, some other software glitches (or lack thereof) point to other config differences we might have. Due to glitches in the install process perhaps? We might never know, but the theory would explain a lot.
You may be right. The sound on my ID.4 AWD is definitely not louder than the sound on my wife’s Q5 etron, might even be a little softer. Most people like it. A friend said “your car makes Tron noises!” :p
 
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We have had several posts here claiming that the pedestrian warning sound of the ID4 is loud, and I agree. So I broke out my trusty sound pressure meter and took a quick reading as my wife was backing out of the garage. We didn't reach the loudest level I have ever heard from the car (I think), and the reading was 71 dB A weighted. I doubt that the weighting matters since the frequencies in the sound file all seem to fall into the middle range, but there you are for completeness.

As a reference, EU regulations require the AVAS sounds to be between 56 dB and 75 dB. The NHTSA rule in the US is much fuzzier and simply states that the sound must be clearly heard above ambient sounds. The US rule, however, has requirements like having two or four frequencies, and how those should be spaced, and the hard requirement that new cars must emit a sound was pushed out several times but is now in effect.

If you are not familiar with the dB (decibel) scale for sound pressure, it is logarithmic. For every 6 dB increase the apparent loudness doubles. 56 dB as the low threshold in the EU is about as loud as a refrigerator, 60-70 dB is about as loud as a business office, and 75 dB is as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Given all of the above, I think VW made the sound reach the upper permissible level in the EU, i.e. significantly louder (~3-4 times louder) than required, and in my opinion much louder than necessary. I can hear our car approaching out on the street through a closed double-pane window. For comparison, the Prius whine we all know is maybe half as loud. Teslas still come with the sound off as far as I am aware. We have one friend who turned hers on and made it loud, it is slightly lower than our ID4. I heard another Tesla MY back out of a parking lot the other day, and its sound was very soft but distinctive. It only sounded in reverse, when they drove forward and away there was nothing.

I would like to put a 10 dB pad on my noise speakers, which would make the sound loudness about right. The way VW varies pitch and sound level as we accelerate is actually perfect, it gives me a great sense of what is going on without looking (frequent cyclist/pedestrian speaking here, with lots of bad experiences).

I am curious what other forum members think?
I agree with all u said. It is way too load. Tesla has it enabled only for reverse because that is the law right now i was told by the tesla driver
 

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I agree with all u said. It is way too load. Tesla has it enabled only for reverse because that is the law right now i was told by the tesla driver
Nope, it’s mandatory on hybrids and EVs in the US and Canada.

Not sure if the press release below is accurate but according to it sept 2019 was the deadline for all new EV/hybrid vehicles to have pedestrian warning sound.

 

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Nope, it’s mandatory on hybrids and EVs in the US and Canada.

Not sure if the press release below is accurate but according to it sept 2019 was the deadline for all new EV/hybrid vehicles to have pedestrian warning sound.

The pedestrian warning sound (especially reverse) on my ID4 is louder than any other EV I've heard before. Some sound is fine, but making the volume louder than a v8 diesel pickup truck is not. That's the only thing bothering me at the moment, maybe there's a way I can can cover the speaker with some felt to soften the noise.
 

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The ID.4 and e-tron are the loudest EVs I've heard. They are significantly louder than ICE vehicles. If everybody drove those EVs the roads would be pure cacophony.

Meanwhile ICEV engines are becoming quieter and more insulated every year. Something has to change with these EV sounds prior to mass adoption.
 

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The pedestrian warning sound (especially reverse) on my ID4 is louder than any other EV I've heard before. Some sound is fine, but making the volume louder than a v8 diesel pickup truck is not. That's the only thing bothering me at the moment, maybe there's a way I can can cover the speaker with some felt to soften the noise.
I don’t believe it has yet been confirmed that there’s differences in the loudness of the pedestrian warning from one ID.4 to another. That leaves us with the human factor…. Just like the audio system where some find it horrible and others are fine with it I suspect, absent any other evidence like 2 ID.4 side by side with different sound level, we have a similar situation here where to warming sounds louder to some than other.

I’m not disputing that the pedestrian warming may be loud, having said that I could barely hear it when they were backing up the demo ID.4 a few feet away from us when we test drove it.
 

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The ID.4 and e-tron are the loudest EVs I've heard. They are significantly louder than ICE vehicles. ...
I'll disagree. My son and I sat under the trees of an otherwise quiet, primary residential thoroughfare at a 3-way stop (somebody hung swings from a tree there; it's a nice place to chill out and share a carne asada burrito).

We spent a good twenty minutes intentionally listening to passing cars after observing how one car in. It's a Tesla heavy neighborhood and we were treated to a good assortment of other EVs, including ID.4s, lots of Toyotas, a Kia, and a Leaf.

The average speed on this street is probably 30 MPH, so the EVs with acoustic protection didn't spend a lot of time in the under 20 realm. But it's instantly apparent that the ICE cars, even when slowing to a stop, are noisy.

The warning sound of the ID 4 took second-seat to the sound of it driving through scattered leaves on the street, same at the other EVs. None of the Teslas that passed had pedestrian warning, and admittedly, I could easily hear them approaching. The hybrids with noise makers (all Toyotas) all were mostly drown by the fan noise as they pulled to a stop, and as they pulled away, the engines fired back up and we couldn't even hear the artificial noise (or else it doesn't activate if the gas engine is started). The ICE cars — well, there was no comparison. Even the newest, quietest of them was louder than any of the EVs.

I'm thinking part of the problem is perception. I'm so accustom to the sound of car engines — even relatively quiet ones — that I easily accept it as part of the background environment. But during my little parklett observation, and a few weeks ago when I forgot my headphones and was walking along a slightly quieter street, listening to a podcast transistor radio-style, it's been really grabbing me just how noisy ICE cars are.
 

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I'll disagree. My son and I sat under the trees of an otherwise quiet, primary residential thoroughfare at a 3-way stop (somebody hung swings from a tree there; it's a nice place to chill out and share a carne asada burrito).

We spent a good twenty minutes intentionally listening to passing cars after observing how one car in. It's a Tesla heavy neighborhood and we were treated to a good assortment of other EVs, including ID.4s, lots of Toyotas, a Kia, and a Leaf.

The average speed on this street is probably 30 MPH, so the EVs with acoustic protection didn't spend a lot of time in the under 20 realm. But it's instantly apparent that the ICE cars, even when slowing to a stop, are noisy.

The warning sound of the ID 4 took second-seat to the sound of it driving through scattered leaves on the street, same at the other EVs. None of the Teslas that passed had pedestrian warning, and admittedly, I could easily hear them approaching. The hybrids with noise makers (all Toyotas) all were mostly drown by the fan noise as they pulled to a stop, and as they pulled away, the engines fired back up and we couldn't even hear the artificial noise (or else it doesn't activate if the gas engine is started). The ICE cars — well, there was no comparison. Even the newest, quietest of them was louder than any of the EVs.

I'm thinking part of the problem is perception. I'm so accustom to the sound of car engines — even relatively quiet ones — that I easily accept it as part of the background environment. But during my little parklett observation, and a few weeks ago when I forgot my headphones and was walking along a slightly quieter street, listening to a podcast transistor radio-style, it's been really grabbing me just how noisy ICE cars are.
So if the average speed was 30 mph, the pedestrian sounds were not sounding? Not really a fair test then since they are only active until 18.6 mph / 30 kmh.

I do agree that a big part of it is perception, but that my perception is a bit different. ICEV tend to have lower pitched noises while the EVs have some higher frequency content. The higher frequencies are more attention-grabbing than the dull roar of an ICE.

The underlying point though is not to that ICE is better, or that EVs should not make noise, but that EVs can and should produce more appropriate sounds. The VW group cars could be quieter like other EVs without sacrificing pedestrian safety.
 

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“At a three way stop”

I wished they were quieter, but it is what it is. Fingers crossed some one comes up with a solution that doesn’t cut wires though I expect that is very unlikely.
 

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I no longer have an ID.4 - I've moved on to a Model 3 - but I'll jump in since there are a few questions.

As stated above, you can disconnect them (search the internet for how to disconnect Audi D connectors). You'll get a warning when you start, but that's it. The problem here is you've got connectors open to the elements.

You can try to install a resistor, but the box is a bear to open. Also, if you damage the internals of the box, it's a $300 part. I found out the hard way.

You could try some foam or tape on the speakers, but it won't work.

Regarding Teslas: the new Model 3 has the sound generator for both forward and reverse gears. It's much, much more reasonable than the ID series. Quite a bit quieter, and a better sound too. Still loud enough to let people know you're coming. The reverse sound is similar, the forward sound is sort of like an electronic version of a jet engine.

Also, if you wanted to disconnect the noise maker on a M3, it's four pop-out connectors, then reach in the front fender and disconnect a simple connector. You can purchase a cover for the connector ends for $11 if you wanted. It's a less than 5 minute operation, and the only tool you need is a very small common (flat-head) screwdriver. Honestly, it's not needed though.

Anyway - y'all enjoy the ID.4.
 

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We have had several posts here claiming that the pedestrian warning sound of the ID4 is loud, and I agree. So I broke out my trusty sound pressure meter and took a quick reading as my wife was backing out of the garage. We didn't reach the loudest level I have ever heard from the car (I think), and the reading was 71 dB A weighted. I doubt that the weighting matters since the frequencies in the sound file all seem to fall into the middle range, but there you are for completeness.

As a reference, EU regulations require the AVAS sounds to be between 56 dB and 75 dB. The NHTSA rule in the US is much fuzzier and simply states that the sound must be clearly heard above ambient sounds. The US rule, however, has requirements like having two or four frequencies, and how those should be spaced, and the hard requirement that new cars must emit a sound was pushed out several times but is now in effect.

If you are not familiar with the dB (decibel) scale for sound pressure, it is logarithmic. For every 6 dB increase the apparent loudness doubles. 56 dB as the low threshold in the EU is about as loud as a refrigerator, 60-70 dB is about as loud as a business office, and 75 dB is as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Given all of the above, I think VW made the sound reach the upper permissible level in the EU, i.e. significantly louder (~3-4 times louder) than required, and in my opinion much louder than necessary. I can hear our car approaching out on the street through a closed double-pane window. For comparison, the Prius whine we all know is maybe half as loud. Teslas still come with the sound off as far as I am aware. We have one friend who turned hers on and made it loud, it is slightly lower than our ID4. I heard another Tesla MY back out of a parking lot the other day, and its sound was very soft but distinctive. It only sounded in reverse, when they drove forward and away there was nothing.

I would like to put a 10 dB pad on my noise speakers, which would make the sound loudness about right. The way VW varies pitch and sound level as we accelerate is actually perfect, it gives me a great sense of what is going on without looking (frequent cyclist/pedestrian speaking here, with lots of bad experiences).

I am curious what other forum members think?
Yes. It's too loud for me. I'm a mechanic and have seen different types of EV and it is the loudest. I can tell when my wife is emerging from the corner before I even see the car.
 
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