UPDATE: 11/30/2015 – You can see my post from nearly five years ago below. I wanted to edit this in light of some conversations I’ve had with person(s) representing Soundracer.
I never expected this review to blow up and I certainly never expected top results from Google for the search Soundracer, but here we are. And due to this, and the negative tone of the review overall, the folks at Soundracer have acted quite unprofessionally with me.
Let me be absolutely clear. I only tested this on one car. That was not a purposeful “negative spin” on the product thing, it’s because I’m just an everyday working man and I only have… one car.
Let me be additionally clear, this is a novelty device. It’s not a driving experience game changer. I knew that going into it and reviewed it as such as well as by the claims represented in the viral Youtube video.
Despite this, I was accused of being misleading, of misrepresenting facts, and of skewing the test conditions to result in failure. All of this is bullshit. I bought one, I put it in the only car I own, I used it, and I wrote my opinion. That’s all.
So, if you were considering purchasing this item for Christmastime, etc, I would invite you to read my review below and make your own informed opinion, but also know this: the folks at Soundracer are unprofessional at best, and I think it’s important to not only know the product you are buying but also the folks you are buying it from. The quality of their character as an organization was revealed as soon as this post made the first search page of Google and I’ve had to spend my time defending a five-year-old review of a plastic shitplug that I’ve long since thrown away because they can’t act like adults.
Review from April 2010 follows:
A while ago, this video hit the Intarwebs:
After cleaning the crap out of my pants, I immediately rushed to my wife and said, “Can I have $70 for something really stupid?” Bemused, she agreed and I bought a Soundracer V8 on eBay.
Now, I want to state up front that I really didn’t have very high expectations for this. Even so, the actual product leaves me slightly deflated. The packaging was exceedingly nice and the product is well-designed from a physical standpoint. Once you plug it in, however, everything goes wrong.
The car I tried this on is a 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan with manual transmission. Perhaps an older car or different car has better results and if so, kudos to them – my review is based on my Suzuki.
Ideally, you are supposed to rev the engine at idle up to 2500RPM to give it a high measurement from the alternator and then let it idle down for a low measurement. After that, good to go! Except it wasn’t. The device read the signals from my alternator seemingly with a mind of it’s own – when I was sitting at idle, it would make V8 revving sounds. When I got to driving, it would peak and valley with no real parallels to my actual pedal usage. It also had a hard time telling the difference between 2K and 3K RPMs and as far as I’m concerned, that should warrant SOME pitch change.
Unfortunately, that really doesn’t address the core issue. Even if it read the alternator perfectly and was in timed step with my gas pedal and transmission, it still didn’t deliver. As much as a YouTube video might suggest otherwise, the fact is that once you’re behind the wheel of a 4-cylinder economical car, sound coming from even the best speakers will not allow your brain to think it’s a V8 muscle car. At all. The feel is still wrong, the sound coming from a speaker system is not the sound coming from beneath the hood (and your brain knows it) and the SoundRacer cannot do the job it implies.
What the soundracer essentially does is turn itself into the annoying brat friend of your kids that sits in the backseat and makes sound effects while spitting on the back of your neck. Not fun.
On the plus side, as an FM transmitter, it does the job nicely – but for JUST an FM transmitter, you could do a whole lot better price-wise than I did by just going to WalMart and getting a Belkin.