Most of you know the deal. The stock sound in our cars blows big time. Probably the worst sounding system I have ever owned (and I have owned lots of cars). But nobody buys these cars for the audio system
Car: 2014 WRX Silver Ice 5 door (base). I do have the underseat OEM sub, and it came from port with the car. I never would have ordered it, and the dealer negotiated the price as I did not want it.
What I don't like about the current setup:
- Sound is very flat and muddy. Anemic is the right word.
- The stock HU has a tiny screen for a double din unit. Want something larger.
- No app integration.
- While turn by turn nav works from my iPhone 5S, I sometimes fumble around trying to look at the screen while driving (I don't use nav much, but do from time to time)
- No HD radio tuner. My last HU had HD radio and most stations here broadcast in HD and sound quite good.
- Lack of EQ options. I did find the hidden menu and messed with that and it helped a tiny bit, but the sound is still anemic and flat to me.
Before I bought the WRX I actually scored a really good deal on some JL Audio C5-650's on a clearance sale and never installed them in my last car. So I have a good set of component speakers. Thing is about these JL's they need more power than a stock head unit (typically 15-20 watts RMS) to sound their best.
I don't really want a lot of bass, and the JL's should really improve this. I can always add another sub later.
I did my research and ordered the 20pin harness from SVXdc, the USB adapter, and the AXXESS steering wheel contolller. SVXdc is an awesome guy and a real asset.
I also don't like the look of the OEM bezel and the trim kits I have seen out there. I prefer a more stock, integrated look, and SVXdc posted the USDM part number for the JDM style bezel and I ordered one from Ebay for $61 shipped. Probably more than I wanted to spend, but worth it to me.
So now I am deciding on a head unit and 2 channel amp for the speakers. I want a double din, that has bluetooth integration, 6-7" screen, some iPhone app integration if possible, built-in HD radio tuner (this one makes it more of a challenge on a budget), good interface, etc. Eyeing the Pioneer models that are heavily discounted at Cruthfield right now. Several of them meet my criteria and one is $299 which is about what I wanted to spend. Max budget is about $400-450. I also would like RDS too.
Open to options here.
For an amp, I like the 80-100 watt RMS 2 channel MB Quart amps that go for $120-140 or so. I have not owned the brand before but know several folks who have and liked them and they get good feedback.
But am also open to options. Budget is $150 or less.
I am using a local installer that I have used before and he knows his stuff, does clean work, and is reasonable since I am a returning customer. He is going to apply sound deadening materials to the front driver and passenger doors as well.
I am not touching the rear speakers for now due to budget and I just don't think I will get the bang for buck. I may add an amp down the road but want to stay on budget and see how the JL's and underseat sub sound first. Again, I am not a bass-head but have had subs before would be open to a tight 8-10" sounding sub.
Here is a pic of some of the goodies (harness, Axxess controller, speakers, bezel):