ClubWRX Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2017 WRX Premium on order. I didn't purchase the HK speaker system upgrade, or the Nav package. I figured that if the stock sound system is as bad as many of you say it is, the OEM speakers could be switched out for a similar (or possibly lesser) cost to the available HK speakers. SubaruPartsAndAccessories (SubaruP&A Link) has Kickers available for $186, which isn't too bad. I really love listening to music in my car and my current 328xi has a fantastic sound system. I guess my question is, is anyone here happy with the stock sound system? If not, has anyone had a good experience upgrading the speakers themselves? What did you choose, did you do the install yourself, and at what cost? The step-by-step install guide for the Kickers seems pretty easy, though I know most Kickers aren't necessarily "top-of-the line" when it comes to audio.

Your thoughts and experiences? Is there a downside to just buying a solid pair for the front and rear (+/- tweeters) from Crutchfield and installing myself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
I personally opted for the HK system since I did not want to mess with the audio in this car, and I'm glad I did.
But if I had gone without the HK I would go with one of the OEM+ setups for sure due to the seamless integration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The stock speakers aren't so bad. The problem is the head unit. You have to play with the setting alot to tune it. I finally got mine to a decent sound that i could live with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
The factory head unit puts out so little power that changing to better speakers only will not make it sound any better. Might even be worse.
 

·
Master Baiter
Joined
·
22,114 Posts
Subaru Car Audio Modification 101:
1) Headunit. This will allow for better adjustability of the EQ curve and add some power to the factory speakers.
2) #1 + Sub/Amp. By allowing the factory speakers to only focus on mid/high range, you'll get better resolution.
3) #2 + Speakers. Either go with dedicated sub / speaker amps, or get a multi-channel to handle everything. Installation is key here, as you'll want to make sure that the tweeters are in a useful location (e.g., A-Pillar or kick panels). In previous model years, tweeter position next to the door handle is garbage (not familiar enough with 2015+ models). I'm not a fan of replacing factory speakers in the rear, as they are basically fill (can ruin staging). I run a four-channel amp in my car: 1/2 for driving the front components, OE rears powered by aftermarket H/U, and 3/4 bridged to power the sub.

Proper sound deadening and use of foam is beneficial at all levels, as it was kept to a minimum to reduce weight in factory form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The stock speakers aren't so bad. The problem is the head unit. You have to play with the setting alot to tune it. I finally got mine to a decent sound that i could live with.
Subaru Car Audio Modification 101:
1) Headunit. This will allow for better adjustability of the EQ curve and add some power to the factory speakers.
2) #1 + Sub/Amp. By allowing the factory speakers to only focus on mid/high range, you'll get better resolution.
3) #2 + Speakers. Either go with dedicated sub / speaker amps, or get a multi-channel to handle everything. Installation is key here, as you'll want to make sure that the tweeters are in a useful location (e.g., A-Pillar or kick panels). In previous model years, tweeter position next to the door handle is garbage (not familiar enough with 2015+ models). I'm not a fan of replacing factory speakers in the rear, as they are basically fill (can ruin staging). I run a four-channel amp in my car: 1/2 for driving the front components, OE rears powered by aftermarket H/U, and 3/4 bridged to power the sub.

Proper sound deadening and use of foam is beneficial at all levels, as it was kept to a minimum to reduce weight in factory form.
Both these points are very helpful. I'll take some time to play with the settings before I do anything more drastic. I'm not a big fan of bass, I just want sound that's loud enough, deep, and clear. If it's significantly more involved than just popping off the door panels and screwing in the new speakers, I'll probably take it to a pro. My time and the quality of job are valuable to me at that point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I traded out all of my stock speakers for mbquart and then did a JL Audio 12" w6 in a ported box for an extra kick. Sadly, with the stock head unit the speakers still didn't sound that great even running through an amp. Change out the stock head unit, you'll be glad you did as the processor is horrible in it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey guys, just got a 2017 WRX - standard stereo system. It sucks. Found door speakers easily enough, but can't find any 3 inch dash speakers... any suggestions??? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
I traded out all of my stock speakers for mbquart and then did a JL Audio 12" w6 in a ported box for an extra kick. Sadly, with the stock head unit the speakers still didn't sound that great even running through an amp. Change out the stock head unit, you'll be glad you did as the processor is horrible in it
I have a JL system that was installed by the dealer using a local car audio installer (Stereo West). Ideally you will want to replace the speakers, add an amp and a subwoofer, and (importantly) add a processor if you want to retain the HU and get a great sound.

Mobile Audio - Processors

My system rocks. It wasn't real cheap, but it wasn't thousands of dollars either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
I jumped and bought the kicker upgrades for the Subaru from Amazon and upgraded my headunit. For awhile it sounded great paired with a JL 12" W3-V4. Then I went and installed a 4 channel JL amp to the doors.

Anyways long story short, the kickers and the added headunit did the job. I'm a big audiophile, I need great sound everywhere I go. The head unit I picked up was a high output 50x4 with .09%thd (now the 4 channel powers my tweets/speakers).

The Subaru does however have a lot of road noise so I went the extra mile and installed dynamat in every door, under the headliner, trunk, and rear deck. Seemed to quiet it up quite a bit.

If you're not up for dropping $$$ all at once, get the kickers and a good headunit, dynamat the doors and call it a day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I'm waiting for my oemaudioplus system to arrive in the mail. DSP tuned multi channel amp, new tweets, pre-made plug and play harness, and quad coil 8" sub. I hope to install it over the Christmas break.

In my previous 2004 STI, I went with alpine headunit, JL 5 channel amp, custom box, JL 10, and new coaxials in the doors as well as dynomat in all the doors. Sounded great, but I don't feel like doing a 3 day install on my new car this time around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
I have been a car audio since I was 16 YOA and have had amp, subs, ect in every car/truck. I now have the 17' WRX Limited will all options, including the HK system. I am very happy with it and have no plans to replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
My limited has the HK system and its better then the '12 Volvo C30 standard I had to deal with for almost 5 years (my old car that I traded). I like it.. but my wifes accord sedan has a better system an her car cost a few k more...

Good Luck to all of you that want to mess with putting a new speaker and sound system in.. kinda sounds dangerous.. since you could mess up the electrical or interior finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
My limited has the HK system and its better then the '12 Volvo C30 standard I had to deal with for almost 5 years (my old car that I traded). I like it.. but my wifes accord sedan has a better system an her car cost a few k more...

Good Luck to all of you that want to mess with putting a new speaker and sound system in.. kinda sounds dangerous.. since you could mess up the electrical or interior finish.
Id say if you didn't know how to replace the head unit or take the door panels off bring it to a car audio shop or post for help on the forum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I found the base stereo system in my WRX Limited w/o HK to be good enough for me, it just has no bass, which I didn't like. To compare the stock sound system in my prior Veloster Turbos were just as good or almost as good as the one in the WRX, but they had more bass. I just got a sub-woofer installed in the trunk to give it just the right amount of bass. I still have to screw around with the settings in the head unit to get it better though. Overall it sounds better than what a lot of people make it out to be in reviews to me. The only problem I don't like is long long it takes to skip to the next song on my phone when I choose through the head unit, which was more responsive in my Velosters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
This is for others like me, not the OP.
I just purchased a used 2015 WRX that came with the god awful base stereo (I wish I could've afforded a new WRX with the Harman Kardon and push button start but alas here we are). I tried doing research and if you read thru all the forums about what folks have done to upgrade their stereos it's pretty eclectic.
I'm here to help someone like me and cut thru the BS. My previous car was a completely stock 2011 BMW and all I wanted was something comparable to that sound wise.
I started with the head unit. It helped but still awful sound. (Pioneer 4200NEX 50x4)
I then purchased a 5 channel amp and a small 8" sub (both of which fit under the front seats respectively). Much better again, but door speakers distort wayyy too easily once you crank the music volume up. I just placed an order for door speaker upgrades. I tried cutting corners but if you want to get a little loud there are no corners to cut, everything stock that came in the car is really as bad as some of the other folks have posted. And don't listen to the folks saying "the stock speakers come to life by installing a baby amp" because that's fake news. I'm now at about $1050 and hopefully the door speakers work out great otherwise I'm currently still less than a 2011 BMW in regards to sound quality. Don't get me wrong, the head unit is amazing. With both USB cables hooked up I can use the NAV from my iphone and watch youtube on my touchscreen. It plays DVDs too. I installed a microbypass so you can watch videos or DVDs while the cars in motion which is great for passengers on road trips.
But as far as sound... if it's the base stock stereo it's bad, all of it. You can't fix it with just a head unit, or just speakers, or just an amp. I tried, and now I'm trying to save others from wasting time or money.
Best wishes and good luck to others faced with the dilemma of what to do with the stock base stereo.
 

·
Master linguitist
Joined
·
10,036 Posts
This is for others like me, not the OP.
I just purchased a used 2015 WRX that came with the god awful base stereo (I wish I could've afforded a new WRX with the Harman Kardon and push button start but alas here we are). I tried doing research and if you read thru all the forums about what folks have done to upgrade their stereos it's pretty eclectic.
I'm here to help someone like me and cut thru the BS. My previous car was a completely stock 2011 BMW and all I wanted was something comparable to that sound wise.
I started with the head unit. It helped but still awful sound. (Pioneer 4200NEX 50x4)
I then purchased a 5 channel amp and a small 8" sub (both of which fit under the front seats respectively). Much better again, but door speakers distort wayyy too easily once you crank the music volume up. I just placed an order for door speaker upgrades. I tried cutting corners but if you want to get a little loud there are no corners to cut, everything stock that came in the car is really as bad as some of the other folks have posted. And don't listen to the folks saying "the stock speakers come to life by installing a baby amp" because that's fake news. I'm now at about $1050 and hopefully the door speakers work out great otherwise I'm currently still less than a 2011 BMW in regards to sound quality. Don't get me wrong, the head unit is amazing. With both USB cables hooked up I can use the NAV from my iphone and watch youtube on my touchscreen. It plays DVDs too. I installed a microbypass so you can watch videos or DVDs while the cars in motion which is great for passengers on road trips.
But as far as sound... if it's the base stock stereo it's bad, all of it. You can't fix it with just a head unit, or just speakers, or just an amp. I tried, and now I'm trying to save others from wasting time or money.
Best wishes and good luck to others faced with the dilemma of what to do with the stock base stereo.
I had a BMW. The stereo in them is crap.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I purchased a '15 WRX Premium so I could port over my Pioneer AVH-4000 NEX unit (that included Apple Play) and coupled it with a JBL sub, speakers and 5 channel power amp...

A '16 would have not accommodated the Pioneer unit...

The set up makes for a great sound and an enjoyable daily commute...😎
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
About this Discussion
21 Replies
20 Participants
kruizinkareem
ClubWRX Forum
We invite you to join our Subaru Impreza WRX and STi community to discuss engine mods, builds, detailing, and more.
Full Forum Listing
Top