New MG HS audio review: Six speakers in the Plug-In Hybrid

The new MG HS is a stylish and affordable SUV, which is also available as a plug-in hybrid. We found it to be a compelling option for those looking for a spacious and practical vehicle; we gave it our Value award.

In terms of audio, the new MG HS has a four- or six-speaker configuration. The former is present in the regular SE trims, while the latter that’s on review is featured in the Trophy models. The only exception is that the PHEV variants come fitted with the six-speaker system as standard. There’s no further upgrade offered to those who opt for the electrified model.

Click here to read the full MG HS PHEV review

MG HS PHEV EV audio setup

To tinker with the vehicle’s audio settings, one has to navigate to the appropriate menu on the 10.1″ infotainment system, where you’ll find a five-band equaliser – here are our optimal settings:

  • EQ Preset: Custom
  • 80Hz: +1
  • 500Hz: +0
  • 1kHz: -1
  • 5kHz: +0
  • 16kHz: +2
  • Balance & Fader: Centre
  • 3D Soud: All
  • Virtual Subwoofer: On

It’s great to see the automaker offering an impressive degree of customisation and further, supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These systems work over USB, although, one can connect wirelessly over Bluetooth, with the SBC codec supported only.

As for media controls, they can be accessed through the display, via a set of physical buttons underneath the screen or by using the controls found on the steering wheel.

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MG HS PHEV EV audio performance

For a demo of the new MG HS’s audio system, head on over to our YouTube channel.

When it comes to its audio configuration, the four-speaker 160-Watt system houses a 170mm midrange driver within the front doors and a 35mm tweeter within each of the A-pillars. The 6-speaker 240-Watt system integrates the same 170mm drivers within the rear doors; note, that the top-mounted speaker grills within the rear doors are empty.

Given the omission of a subwoofer, it’s no surprise to hear that the system struggles with 50 Cent’s ‘Outta Control’, with the low-end frequencies cut short and failing to provide rumble throughout the song. Nevertheless, for a subwoofer-less system, the drivers within each of the four doors still manage to provide some low-end grunt, especially with the virtual subwoofer option enabled.

Similarly, the system’s mid-bass presence is exciting, albeit a little overzealous and uncontrolled. Tracks that have a hefty low-end presence rattle the plastic door frames and take away from the system’s lively sound signature.

As for the mids, they’re recessed and veiled. One could boost it through the infotainment system, but doing so will further degrade the mid-range accuracy; by leaving the entire frequency range untouched, you’ll find that both male and female vocals sound a little off. As such, we dropped a few notches to better the tonal fidelity, while knowing that it would further push back the mid-range tones.

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When it comes to the highs, the dedicated tweeters at the front of the cabin provide plenty of zing, while not sounding harsh or sibilant. At the rear, however, the lacklustre number of drivers does hinder top-end extension; the cymbals don’t come out to their fullest extent and lack a touch of finesse.

One could also say the same about the soundstage, whereby the omission of extra drivers within the cabin harms instrument separation and the system’s overall ability to reproduce a wide and deep sound presentation. Still, there are some positives, as music feels engaging and doesn’t suffer from an odd reverb, even with the 3D Sound setting enabled.

Finally, onto cabin noise, the new HS isn’t too bad with both tyre and wind noise creeping in at higher speeds. In our controlled tests using a sound meter we recorded, 35-36 dBA at a standstill; 55-59 dBA, while driving at 20-30mph; 60-64 dBA, while driving at 40mph; and 70-74 dBA when at 70mph.

MG HS PHEV audio award

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TotallyEV’s verdict on the new MG HS PHEV’s audio system

While we’ve been critical of the new HS’s six-speaker audio system, it’s worth considering that its sound signature and competencies in the mid-bass and high frequencies will satisfy many consumers. Of course, those opting for the regular SE trim should be aware that the two missing speakers will further negatively impact the soundstage.

Find the best MG HS PHEV deals

Audiophiles wanting a superior audio experience will want to look elsewhere, while those who are content with a fun sound reproduction will be left satisfied. As such, the six-speaker system receives TotallyEV’s Approved award.

What do you make of MG HS’s audio system? Let us know in the comments section below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Christopher Minasians
Christopher is an avid car enthusiast and techie. In his spare time, he reviews the latest consumer electronic products on his YouTube channel, TotallydubbedHD. Elsewhere, he practices Taekwondo, in which he has held a black belt for several years and coaches at a national level. He also speaks fluent English, French, Armenian, and loves to practice freestyle street dance.
new-mg-hs-audio-review-six-speakers-in-the-plug-in-hybridThe new MG HS's six-speaker audio system might not excel across the frequency range nor compete with more premium systems, but it does provide an exciting and lively sound signature. As a result, it receives TotallyEV's Approved audio award.


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