I'm new here, car is amazing for a million reasons I won't go into and that you all already know.
tl:dr - On my car, S22A update makes music played through CarPlay sound terrible
I've had my CPO 2019 S for a few months and I'm now a veteran of the low-voltage-system-bricks-the-car problem, which was handled expertly by the dealer here in LA. The dealer did some software updates as part of the repair. A short while after picking the car up, I accepted a SOTA update prompt and got the infotainment set to version S22A. it took a few hours and a few starts for the CarPlay navigation to work right, and I had to toggle between 12hr and 24hr clock a few times before the center display caught on, but the big problem is sound processing, especially using Apple Music over CarPlay.
What I'm hearing (and didn't hear before the update) is a massive amount of dynamic compression. Source material that's already brick walled (in the audio mastering sense) sounds a little more crushed than it should, but older stuff with more dynamic range in the mastering is almost unlistenable. Everything is super pumpy, with guitar fret squeaks and cymbals flying all over the place and then entire mixes being swallowed up in black holes of bass when the limiters really kick in. It's a mess.
I don't notice the problem as much over radio (including Sirius), but those signals are usually compressed (dynamically) anyway.
I haven't spoken to the shop or to Jaguar about this yet, so when I do I may be a lot more knowledgable. But here are my theories:
1. There's a mismatch between the software running in my car and the system. I don't have access to any surround parameters, just EQ and balance. Maybe the software is trying to run some gimmicky surround stuff on a system where the hardware doesn't support it, and it's in error.
2. There's no mismatch, and Jaguar/Meridian decided to include a new, poorly-considered DSP module beyond the reach of the consumer, and are waiting for me to thank them.
3. There's some deep-level menu that I'm too dumb to find where I can turn this "feature" off. It smacks of something I found in the literature known as Dynamic Volume Control, but I don't think my car has that. And if it does, I wish it didn't.
I don't think this is some golden-ears problem, and I don't have especially high expectations for this audio system. I found it to be acceptably clean and straightforward before, and reasonably responsive to my mild EQ adjustments.
If anybody else is hearing what I'm hearing on their own systems, let me know. Meanwhile, I'll keep the group posted when I talk to the techs about it.