Another Radio Post! Please Help a Subie Newbie
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This is a discussion on Another Radio Post! Please Help a Subie Newbie within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; As a new member, I have found the posts (and the responses here) to be invaluable. Of course, I have ...

  1. #1
    Registered User skimd's Avatar
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    Another Radio Post! Please Help a Subie Newbie

    As a new member, I have found the posts (and the responses here) to be invaluable.

    Of course, I have the (Subaru age-old) radio question.

    I have read the posts in the forum and the opinions and answers are varied and many. So I will try to post my question, framed to be as specific as possible.

    Of course the radio in my 2014 WRX Limited is pretty lousy in radio mode. In bluetooth mode and connected via aux or USB it is tolerable.

    What I fear, at this point, are two things:

    1) That I will make things worse (and lose the bluetooth/steering wheel controls, despite the adapters available).
    2) That I will be unable to do the install at the necessary level of expertise.

    There seem to be 2 primary schools of thought--
    i) Replace the headunit
    ii) Add amplification / a subwoofer (cheaper and easier, so it seems).

    I am considering the following components:

    Kenwood DPX500BT
    Axxess ASWC-1
    SiriusXM SXV200v1 Connect Vehicle Tuner for SiriusXM-Ready Car Stereo Receivers

    I got estimates from 2 local (and recommended) car audio specialists. For the equipment listed above, the two estimates were $1,295.00 and $999.00 Both seem insanely high for about $300-$400 worth of equipment.

    Also-- why does the HU have to be Double DIN-- Single DIN units are much less expensive and have the same features. I would like one more place to put stuff (like an phone, etc). There must be a reason no one seems to put in single DIN HUs.

    I would like to hear from a few of you who upgraded your audio, how you did it, and what level of success you had (and, please. how much it set you back). PM if you wish your information to be discrete. I am not an audiophile, but I find it impossible to listen to the radio or my music (via phone) at highway speed.

    I am not an audiophile nor am I technician. I also like the way the steering wheel and bluetooth functions work OEM.



    Thank you in advance.

    P.S,: Even the thought of running the Sirius antenna or an additional antenna or mic gives me shivers. I have seen no adequate documentation or instructions on how to do the installs well.
    Last edited by skimd; 02-09-2014 at 08:14 AM. Reason: added one more thing...

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  3. #2
    Registered User Impreza2.0's Avatar
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    A Subaru is a very 'stereo upgrade friendly' car. There is little written because there is nothing outside the usual process of installation that requires special notes.

    Yes, the Impreza has a notoriously bad radio antenna. Part of that is due to a weak grounding system. You can increase signal quality simply by upgrading your battery ground wire. You will find it is 10/8awg and rather thin. Upgrading to 4awg minimum will help to a degree.

    If you are dead set on keeping the steering wheel controls intact and functional, the amp/speaker upgrade may be a smart one. Keeping the stock head unit will prevent having to worry about that.

    Quality of installation is based on your patience, willingness to purchase correct kits, tools, hardware, and of course the quality of components you choose. Take your time, and it will come out flawless.

    Also, ask questions, and don't be shy about it. Not knowing, and being frustrated, that's what creates flaws in stereo installations.

  4. #3
    Registered User skimd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza2.0 View Post
    A Subaru is a very 'stereo upgrade friendly' car. There is little written because there is nothing outside the usual process of installation that requires special notes.

    Also, ask questions, and don't be shy about it. Not knowing, and being frustrated, that's what creates flaws in stereo installations.
    Thank you--

    I don't see much difference between these 2 products: Kenwood KDC-X597 or the Kenwood DPX500BT (except single/double DIN and about $70).

    Why NOT install single din if no Nav or video? Another pocket for stuff seems good.

    I am thinking of getting the head unit from Crutchfield (the additional cost is a wash with shipping and hardware for a less expensive unit and I have asked them a ton of questions and they always answer them). Then I will be getting the Axxess and the Sirius radio unit. If I can do those components without destroying the interior, I'll consider adding an amp or upgrading the speakers.

    Man the radio does stink! Please share your experiences and what you prefer / use.

  5. #4
    Registered User kh202's Avatar
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    I just installed a kenwood excelon 897 (single din) HU, Rockford fosgate punch speakers, and run a 10" low profile pioneer sub off a 500w alpine HU. Pretty happy. It's a great HU and I still have steering jeep wheel controls. The HU even allows for voice controlled dialing. I too Like the storage compartment under the singe din.

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