The Soundaktor Is Nothing Less than a Torture Device

Updated 07312023-082920


I really want to write a Blog Post about the torture device I just removed from my GTI, largely because of how on the fence everybody else is about it. if you want to follow along in the process for whatever reason...



A9 Structure Borne Sound
		System description: SAS-GEN 2
		Software number: 5G0907159
		Software version: 0014
		Hardware number: 4H0907159A
		Hardware version: H06
				P193A00 - Structure-borne sound actuator
			Open circuit
					Priority - 4 
				Malfunction frequency counter - 15 
				Unlearning counter - 255 
				km-Mileage - 161789 km
				date - 2024-02-02 08:35:22


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Something you'll find under the bonnet of a plethora of sporty Volkswagen group products is the 'soundaktor' (sound actuator). It's a small electronic resonator about the size of a hockey puck, installed at the base of the windscreen on the bulkhead. It emits a sort of buzzy, fizzy noise which is either turned up or down, depending on what driving mode you have the car in. On the VAG cars we've tested like the Audi S3 and Skoda Octavia vRS, we've rather liked it, but opinion among owners is mixed; many either deactivate it by removing a fuse, or remove it entirely.

Volkswagen uses what's called a "Soundaktor," a special speaker that looks like a hockey puck and plays sound files in cars such as the GTI and Beetle Turbo.

Volkswagen previously used a resonator tube similar to the Mustang's in its GTI but has switched to what it calls a "Soundaktor." This system is like the M5's, in that an audio file is stored on the car's computer and then played during certain throttle applications. Unlike the more selective M5 setup, VW's broadcasts all the noise from under the hood through a dedicated speaker located near the engine's throttle body. Soundaktor speakers are currently making noise in the GTI, GLI, and Beetle Turbo.

VW's GTI used to have a noise pipe, but when the latest version appeared in 2011, the pipe was replaced with the Soundaktor. This system uses a hockey-puck-size speaker mounted on the firewall to generate extra noise. VW didn't exactly advertise the feature, and when word got out, the forums lit up. "The Soundaktor is only there to lie to me," fumed one GTI owner on when he found out his car has the system. "It's false advertising, plain and simple." Andrew Wong is a 29-year-old engineer from Detroit. When he learned that his 2011 GTI had the Soundaktor, he simply removed it. Now he relies on an aftermarket exhaust system for better noise. "I want to hear the engine, rather than some version of the engine being played to me," he says. - "Who was this" | VW Vortex

However, Daryll Harrison, Volkswagen Brand Public Relations Manager, says these claims about the Soundaktor are false. "The Soundaktor amplifies actual engine sound in the cabin of the car. It does not re-create nor utilize pre-recorded sound," he told The Huffington Post via email.

Obliterating a niche issue's fence on which far too many automotive netizens sit.

I've now owned my Mk. VII (2017) Volkswagen Golf GTI S - my first car in two and a half years - for 36 days. It's been nearly a week since I finally got around to seriously investigating the process of removing its artificial engine noise generation device, which the company calls a Soundaktor. I'm very angry with myself about this because 1.) of how easy it turned out to be and 2.) how profoundly different improved every part of the car's experience1 is, now that the fucking thing has been detached.

[1] Yes, beyond the driving experience. The Soundaktor was definitely pumping vibration into the cabin even at idle.

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