2017 wrx audio w/o navi, sound quality
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This is a discussion on 2017 wrx audio w/o navi, sound quality within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2017 wrx touchscreen w/o nav Anyone find that the sound from the speakers isn't loud enough for ...

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    2017 wrx audio w/o navi, sound quality

    I have a 2017 wrx touchscreen w/o nav
    Anyone find that the sound from the speakers isn't loud enough for example when I tune to Sirius I have to turn it up to volume in the 30s because it's so quiet

    Love the car but the audio really sucks, even my vw Jetta had a better sound system

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    Registered User VWynn's Avatar
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    The audio system is by no means this car's strong suit. I think they put speakers in the car for the sake of saying it has speakers to be honest because the stock speakers distort very easily and due to their lower power, you have to crank them up pretty loud to get barely decent sound out of them.

    Sirius XM has low volume naturally due to the compression I believe, I found myself turning the volume up on there much more than if I were using bluetooth, had my phone plugged in, or FM radio.

    The answer to this all is to install aftermarket speakers or at the minimum, replace your head unit which would give the stock speakers a power and clarity boost, then if you're not happy install the aftermarket speakers. I installed component and coaxial speakers and put them on a mini amp then added a 12" sub on a mono amp and it sounds much better! The only problem I'm having now are the rattles the sub causes throughout the car but that's a completely different issue.

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    Less than a week into WRX ownership, and I already decided that the stock stereo needs to go. The touch screen is nice, but the audio quality is poor. Plus, I am not a satellite radio guy, so I usually carry my entire personal collection on a USB drive, and the way this head unit reads the USB drive makes it impossible to find anything even though I have it all arranged by artist & album names. The head unit doesn't seem to sort by artist, and even the album names are not in anything resembling alphabetical order.

    Been using Bluetooth to stream from my phone (collection is also in Google Play music, so I can stream it). But my phone bleeds battery life, so I prefer not to use the Bluetooth constantly. Want that USB drive working.

    Plus, may as well look into getting a head unit with NAV built in.

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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    Any research at all will usually net that the car's sub-par interior and sound system are what makes or breaks the car for most people. The sound is definitely worth upgrading.

    I have the Harman Kardon, and i'll never look back.
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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    heard this was a good replacement for our car kenwood ddx9903s, it also has the carplay too

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    I do like that Kenwood uses Garmin navigation. Many in-dash Nav receivers use proprietary or unbranded/generic navigation software, and it's kind of a crapshoot unless you can get your hands on one to see how well it works.

    But I'll likely have to suffer until tax season and then spent my refund on this upgrade. So I have time to do some research & try to find the right receiver.

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    I followed this guy's tuning suggestions from the linked youtube vid and I am happy enough with the sound now that I'm not going to bother upgrading anything.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_OhKHk9rys

    It may be worth your 10 minute time investment to see what he does and try it. It doesn't make it into the HK system by any means, but a definite improvement over the stock settings in my opinion.

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    My buddy has the base stock system and I have the upgraded nav that comes with the Harmon Kardon, the difference is huge. But then again, even having the upgraded system I still rather listen to my engine than music.

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    If you replace the head unit I'd go with one that has Android Auto or Apple Carplay.

    I use Bluetooth to play my music 100% of the time. I have Anker Quick Charge 3.0 and this thing charges my battery while I'm streaming music, it is a must have!

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90Duck View Post
    I followed this guy's tuning suggestions from the linked youtube vid and I am happy enough with the sound now that I'm not going to bother upgrading anything.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_OhKHk9rys

    It may be worth your 10 minute time investment to see what he does and try it. It doesn't make it into the HK system by any means, but a definite improvement over the stock settings in my opinion.
    Who knew Joe Pesci drove a WRX?!?! lol

    Seriously, though, I will give this a go to help smooth things out until I can replace the system with something more to my liking. Thanks!

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    The speakers are not awful. The HU most definitely is. Swap the HU, notice the difference.

    I'm not saying to not change the speakers. I would change the HU first, and you *might* just save yourself some coin. Change just the speakers, though, and you'll have no choice but to change the HU, anyway, or you'll be left...wanting...and then some.

    My $2.00(damn inflation).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingoboy View Post
    Who knew Joe Pesci drove a WRX?!?! lol

    Seriously, though, I will give this a go to help smooth things out until I can replace the system with something more to my liking. Thanks!
    I watched that video--I kept expecting the guy to say, "You think I'm funny? Whaddya mean funny? Funny how?"

    Pretty interesting. I have a JL system with speakers, amp, subwoofer but the stock HU. I tried the tweaks he mentions, and they seem to make quite a bit of improvement, though I'm still playing around with the settings.

    What's annoying to me is that every source sounds a little different. Radio--streaming--Sirius--and voices seem to be equalized totally different from music, so I have a preset just for voice, one for streaming and one for Sirius.

    The sound quality of Sirius is pretty terrible, though interestingly some stations (Real Jazz for instance) sound much better than the rock stations. The classic rock stuff just sounds like an old transistor radio. No definition whatsoever.

    Anyway, one can leave the HU, which is not too bad IMO, but if you go with an aftermarket system you have to deal with the DSM of the stock HU. I know guys with the older Clarion systems who kept the HU and just replaced the speakers and added an amp.
    Current ride: 2017 WRX Premium in Ice Silver Metallic

    Former rides: 2012 Subaru WRX Premium in DGM; 2011 BMW X3; 2005 Honda CRV ;2003 BMW Z4; 2002 Acura CL; 2001 Subaru Outback; 2001 Honda Accord Coupe; 1986 Audi 80; 1986 Saab 900; 1977 Toyota Celica

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    Registered User VWynn's Avatar
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    The head unit on the '15 Legacy Premium I had was better overall. It displayed mechanical information, text messages, and overall better sound quality even with Sirius. I can't even keep a consistent HD Radio signal in my WRX but the Legacy had no issue with that in the same exact places. The stock HU in my '16 WRX Premium sometimes drops my bluetooth connection and when it reconnects the sound is distorted as if all the speakers are blown but if I switch the input to USB it plays the music perfectly fine.

    Enough was enough. My DDX9902S came in the mail today and as soon as the rest of my ordered parts come in, that head unit is going bye bye.

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    After some listening I went back to the default vocal image control setting. Admittedly putting the voice in the center does muddy things up, but moving it to the right as in the default for some reason improves the definition.

    With the subwoofer I can't push the bass up too much and keep the virtual bass on low. Volume smoother is on low.

    I do cut the mid as he suggests (3rd control). I don't push the bass or treble as much as the video suggests--depends on the source music.
    Current ride: 2017 WRX Premium in Ice Silver Metallic

    Former rides: 2012 Subaru WRX Premium in DGM; 2011 BMW X3; 2005 Honda CRV ;2003 BMW Z4; 2002 Acura CL; 2001 Subaru Outback; 2001 Honda Accord Coupe; 1986 Audi 80; 1986 Saab 900; 1977 Toyota Celica

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    I also have the upgraded 100-watt Harman Kardon sub with upgraded speakers. However, I'm not picking up the car until tomorrow. Was there a big difference over stock?

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