New here, my first post. I have a new 2012 Touareg Lux TDI.
From Day 1, I noticed the RNS-850 nav/radio didn't sound right when tuned to an FM station broadcasting in HD Radio. I finally figured it out.
The RNS-850 plays HD Radio in mono, not stereo. Sound comes from all the speakers, but it's in mono. And in fact it's only the content from the left channel. The right channel information is completely missing.
Thinking this had to be a problem with my RNS-850, I tried 2 other Touaregs at the dealer, both with RNS-850. They do exactly the same thing: They will not play HD Radio in stereo. One of those Tregs had the DynAudio premium sound system.
My previous car was a 2011 Tiguan with RNS-510, which also supports HD Radio. It worked perfectly. I then tried a 2012 Passat at the dealer, also with an RNS-510, and it worked fine.
Dealer reported the issue to VW. VW opened a case. They had the dealer take a scan of my car and send it to them for analysis.
Their response: The RNS-850 is working "as designed". There must be a problem with the radio stations here, or the signal is too weak, or I don't know what I'm talking about.
There are at least 4 FM stations broadcasting in HD Radio here: KWAX, KRVM, KLCC, and occasionally KZEL. All 4 stations play HD Radio fine on an RNS-510 but the RNS-850 plays them only in mono.
The dealer is within 5 miles of the radio station transmitters and has clear line of sight. There is no possibility of this being a weak signal issue. Nobody is able to explain to me why the 850 would do this but the 510 is fine (according to me).
Note that you need to be listening to music to detect this problem. Talk isn't in stereo and you would never notice there's a problem.
- If the RNS-850 locks onto an HD Radio signal, the "HD Radio" display icon turns bright white and you should have perfect digital sound.
- If the signal is weak, the icon will be grayed out, in which case you're listening to conventional analog FM.
- If the icon isn't on at all, either the station isn't broadcasting in HD, or the signal is too weak to get a digital lock.
Does your RNS-850 play HD Radio in stereo?
HD Radio Station Directory (US)
How to enable HD Radio on the RNS-850:
- Place a check mark in the "HD Radio" option box
Now tune to an HD Radio station playing music. Is it in stereo, or is it in mono? If you're not sure, you can go back to the menu and toggle HD Radio on and off and listen for the difference. Note than when you check the box to enable it, the station you're listening to will take a few seconds before HD locks in.
If you believe your RNS-850 has this issue, please report it to VW Customer Care!
If you want, tell them to refer to existing Case #120196851.
If VW doesn't hear from more RNS-850 owners about this, they're not going to take it seriously.