Can I keep USB/Factory Sirius if I go aftermarket head unit?
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This is a discussion on Can I keep USB/Factory Sirius if I go aftermarket head unit? within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; 2010 WRX Premium. I really despise the head unit. Poor controls, and the world's WORST display! Almost no information at ...

  1. #1
    Registered User melacon's Avatar
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    Question Can I keep USB/Factory Sirius if I go aftermarket head unit?

    2010 WRX Premium.

    I really despise the head unit. Poor controls, and the world's WORST display! Almost no information at all. I ponyed up for the USB Media Hub. It's good for 2 things. Charging my Zune, and for playing songs RANDOMLY off a thumb drive. The control scheme for this thing is so horrible, you cannot find an artist if you have more than, oh, 5? UGH.

    So, I have replaced all the speakers and put them on a Sony amp. I am happy so far, except for the bass. I have a Pioneer TS-W2502D4, box, 1 farad cap, and Sony XM-ZZR3301 amp. Not bad for $300 shipped.

    I've done quite a few speaker/head unit installs, so I can see the pain in store. However, is there any specific head units out there that jive with the systems already in the car? I could live with losing the steering wheel controls, but I absolutely don't want to waste the extra $$$$ I blew on the Sirius and Media Hub. I would love to find a double din unit that could plug up to this stuff. The main benefits being A) Getting preamp outs for my amps B) Having a functional display that shows more than 8 letters C) Aftermarket head units typically put out more (cleaner) power per channel with better audio control.

    Any suggestions? I'm probably asking for a lot, and I can only imagine that the Sirius tuner/Media Hub are specialized. I was hoping that in this day in age of corporations cutting corners and saving cash, they would use software/interfaces that are (accidentally) compatible with stuff thats out there.

    As a side note, my last car was a 2008 350z. Bose stereo with a stock sub behind the drivers seat. Sounded only a tad better than the stock Scooby I got. I swapped the head unit for a cheapo Panasonic touch screen, and ZOMG!!! the difference was unbelievable! I was blowing eardrums, going deaf, and getting a back massage all at once. All from just a head unit swap, nothing else. I guess I'm hoping for something similar out there.

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    I'm in the same boat as you. Mine's a 2010 base WRX, only options were Sirius and Media hub.

    I'm in the final stages of putting together my HU swap, a Pioneer Avic-x710bt. I've researched the whole thing a ton.

    Unfortunately it looks like we're screwed on the Sirius. Our HU is an OEM Clarion. I've looked at all the diagrams from subaru. Even if you put in a better clarion, it doesn't look like the Sirius connector is the same. So you're probably out the $300 or so for the unit you put in as well as another $150 for a receiver + adapter specific to the HU you replace it with.

    As for the media hub, we may get lucky. I have to assume the connector is a standard USB in the back of the HU, so we may be able to just hook the new USB cable that comes with the new HU to the existing cable.

    I'm hoping to get my install done in the next month. I've had a heck of a time trying to find the info on all this for our 2010's, so I'll try to take a bunch of pics and post my experience.

    Let me know if you find any info to contradict mine.

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    Registered User melacon's Avatar
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    Here's what I know.

    I have already replaced an amp'd all the remaining speakers, using a really cool set of plugs a guy custom makes, so I didn't have to tap into the factory harness for the hi level inputs. Of course there are no RCAs back there.

    Here's the ****ty part. I am 99.99% sure there are NO usb connections back there. Feel free to google a WRX radio swap, and there is a forum where the guy took step by step pics of how to remove the head unit. I am pretty sure he had pics of the back of the unit, and when I did my wiring, I don't remember seeing a USB either. It is some (crappy) proprietary connection, as far as I could tell. If I remember correctly, there were two connectors back there. One had all the standard radio wires, so I assume the other one has all the radio/media hub connections. I almost wonder if there is someone out there with just a little more experience with that stuff that has tested those connections to see what they do... A DC multimeter should do the trick.
    USB Media Hub, Sirius tuner, Short shift kit
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    Rockford Fosgate 3sixty.2 Sound Processor, Sony Sony XM-ZR704 4 channel amp, 4x Infinity Reference 6032cf 6.5" speakers, Sony XM-ZZR3301 Mono Amp, Pioneer Premier TS-W2502D2 10" Sub

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    I just went back and checked the install docs and you're right, there's no USB on the back of the HU.

    But, there is a standard USB cable included in one of the Media Hub model kits, I'm just not sure which one ours is.

    We might get lucky and possibly just need a male / female USB adapter to connect the media hub to the new HU's USB cable.

    Then again this is all a moot point for me anyway, I'm getting the Avic-x710bt and already bought the ipod cable for it. I was just hoping to salvage at least one of the options I paid for that's useless now.

    Here's the media hub install doc:

    http://techinfo.subaru.com/html/down...?doc_id=302362

  6. #5
    Registered User SVXdc's Avatar
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    The USB signal comes from an interface module (installed under one of the front seats) in the Media Hub kit. That, in turn, plugs into the iPod/satellite radio port on the OEM HU.

    So neither of the OEM Sirius or USB accessories will work with an aftermarket HU. You shouldn't have any trouble selling them to another Subaru owner -- there are always people who want to keep their factory radio.

    Keeping your SWCs is easy. See my post here.

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