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Im planning on upgrading my speakers and don't want to mess with the head unit but might have too.
Like everyone said and I agree the speakers are a**, I need to be able to bump music at loud volumes.
As I was reading everyone who upgraded only speakers got no benefit out of it because the head unit sucks, before I buy I just want to know what I risk installing a new head unit, Its because the car is new and still under warranty so I dont wanna mess with it much.
For example I dont want to take it to get maintenance from the dealer and have them trip out.
If I do get a head unit what would you advice is the best in your experience and whats the risk for installing a head unit what would i lose?
 

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There is a long shot that SOA may deny coverage for something electrical because of a head unit, but I'd say that's a slim chance they would as most head units are a plug and play ordeal with no modification to the wiring harness. The chance is always there though.

The biggest risk with installing anything electrical is burning the car to the ground with you trapped inside. Outside of that perhaps blow speakers prematurely.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Factory speakers actually sound pretty decent with a quality head unit and a reasonable amount of power feeding them. If you had to choose to replace the head unit or the speakers, I would pick the head unit every time.


As far as warranty risks at the dealership, I would imagine that no one would take a second look at the aftermarket stereo; unless you're bringing the car in for an electrical problem that you created by incorrectly installing the stereo (that said, it's impossible to know 100% what a dealership will or won't do). Do it right the first time, and you shouldn't ever have any problem (I've even had a dealership pay to replace my aftermarket stereo equipment when it was stolen while the car waited for a warranty clutch replacement). I have seen people screw up stereo installs, short to ground, burn up wiring harnesses, or have a slow draw that kills the battery over time.. but I don't really understand how that happens. Aftermarket head unit wiring is incredibly simple for the most part. I've replaced the head unit in every car I've owned in the last 18 years, some of them multiple times, and I have never had a problem with the install or anything related to it there after.


Personally, I would go with a double DIN Android unit.. as far as what you will lose, that depends on what car you have and what the factory head unit does. My wife and I recently bought a 2017 Outback Premium and I was planning on replacing the head unit in the first month of having it.... until I discovered that the factory head unit is used to control things in the car, like how the door sill lights function and other stuff. As far as I can tell there's no other way to control those things without the OEM stereo, so now I have changed plans. I'm going to keep the factory head unit and run it through a Helix DSP, then to my amp. That way I can keep all of the functions of the stock unit and still get a clean signal running to my amp (plus it has a digital S/PDIF input, so I can run 24-bit 96000 Hz signal from my phone via HDMI bypassing the head unit entirely for a REALLY clean signal).

Speaking of, if you "need to be able to bump music at loud volumes", then you're going to need more than just a head unit and speakers. Even the good after market head units don't put out crap for power.. about all they're good for is having clean pre-amp outs to get a good signal to your amplifier.
 

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The 15's could do this, and it was a noticeable improvement. Google for your year, perhaps there is something out there. keywords would be unlock, cheat etc.

 

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2017 WRX Premium

I suggest getting yourself familiar with all of the functions of the OEM head unit first and decide if you are willing to lose many of those functions to run a different head unit. Things like bluetooth, backup camera, and the steering wheel controls can all be wired into the right aftermarket unit.. but I suspect many of the other functions that are specific to the car will be lost.

If you're fine with losing those functions then by all means go with an aftermarket head unit.. if not, I suggest using a DSP to clean up the signal from the OEM unit.
 

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I have a JL system with the stock HU--consists of a DSP processor, amp, sub and replacement speakers. It was installed when I got the car; i'm guessing would be a challenge to install yourself.

The stock HU is not bad. The only thing that's somewhat annoying is the fact that different sources need different equalization, and it's a bit of a pain to change settings. I haven't found a HU that fixed this problem though.
 

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The only thing that's somewhat annoying is the fact that different sources need different equalization, and it's a bit of a pain to change settings.

I'm pretty sure a lot of DSPs are programmable enough to account for equalization specific to the input source; although if it's different sources still coming into the same input on the DSP then you're probably stuck. The eq on the head unit should remain flat to get the cleanest signal.. you would want to use the eq in the DSP for pretty much everything.
 
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