Car Tech Spotlight: Kia Soul Advanced Lighting Speaker
This cheesy feature -- albeit in a cool car -- creates a pulsing ring of light around the front door speakers.
When I first saw something like this on an aftermarket subwoofer box back in the 1990s, I thought it was pretty cheesy. And when I saw it in the 2012 Kia Soul, I still thought it was cheesy.
The Advanced Lighting Speaker that's standard on the Soul! (the "!" is a trim level, which is also cheesy) and available as an option on the Kia Soul+ features an LED light ring around each front-door speaker that pulses to the beat and changes colors.
Or, if you want your car to be more lounge than disco, it cycles through various colors in a "Mood" mode : from red to green to blue to sky-blue to purple to yellow and back again.
You can also change the intensity of the lighting with the + and – control. And, fortunately, have the option to just turn it off.
While I find the feature more than a little annoying and a bit distracting at night, it was a big hit with my kids, ages 11 and 14. They invariably asked me to turn it on while riding in the Soul -- while playing equally annoying pop music. It’s obviously not aimed at my demographic of car buyer, and neither is the Soul.
But I do know several people around my age who own a Soul and love it. The car -- not the light-up speakers.
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