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Im about to buy my first and im stuck between getting a 2015 premium or base trim. The only reason Im considering the premium is becauseive heard the speakers in the base are bad. Would it be worth it to spend an extra $1500 on the premium just for the Harmon Kardon speakers or should i just get a base and upgrade them myself? Thanks!
 

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First what? I had a 17wrx with the base speakers & the sound system would distort before full volume & loud enough to drown out my horrible singing. I now have a 16 limited with the harman kardon speakers & although better I bet you could do better for less aftermarket. I am satisfied with the hk speakers but they are not the reason I got a limited
 

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For speakers? No, absolutely not. I don't care what package, HK or whatever, you will always be able to put together a much better sound system for a fraction of the cost using aftermarket components. The advantage to paying for a higher trim stereo wise is the car coming shipped with it without having to lift a finger (or drop the car off for an install after the fact).
 

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Ive had 14 Forester Premium, 16 crosstrek Premium with fosgate speaker/sub upgrade, 17 Forester preimium, 17 WRX limited and now 18 STI limited with HK.

The OEM systems in base/premium/limited are pretty underwhelming disappointing and sad

The fosgate upgrade in my crosstrek was good but was a bit expensive for what you got and the sub took up a good bit of room.

The HK system in the STI is actually pretty good BUT they bundle it with the useless expensive Nav which makes it even more pricey

People say you can do better aftermarket and I dont doubt it but I didnt want electrical problems because someone I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't want to spend weeks or months trying to find an installer in my area who knows WTF they are doing.

Im 51 and my hearing is shot, so YMMV.

as someone said, Buy the Premium for the wheels, suspension, sunroof etc. THEY are worth it, not the radio
 

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Subaru Audio options are underwhelming especially for the money. If premium sound is important to you, I think aftermarket is the way to go.
 

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For speakers? No, absolutely not. I don't care what package, HK or whatever, you will always be able to put together a much better sound system for a fraction of the cost using aftermarket components. The advantage to paying for a higher trim stereo wise is the car coming shipped with it without having to lift a finger (or drop the car off for an install after the fact).
I agree aftermarket will sound better, but "much better...for a fraction of the cost"? I don't know what would sound better than the HK for under $1000, but if you have suggestions I'm all ears.

I looked at upgrading my prior WRX OEM system, and the dollars were adding up pretty quickly...
 

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I agree aftermarket will sound better, but "much better...for a fraction of the cost"? I don't know what would sound better than the HK for under $1000, but if you have suggestions I'm all ears.

I looked at upgrading my prior WRX OEM system, and the dollars were adding up pretty quickly...

You'd probably be looking at around $1400 to put together a complete system with quality components. I suppose not exactly a fraction of the cost, but $700 cheaper, and much better functionality/sound.
 

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You'd probably be looking at around $1400 to put together a complete system with quality components. I suppose not exactly a fraction of the cost, but $700 cheaper, and much better functionality/sound.
Yes I agree absolutely about the cost for a good AM system. If I understand to get the HK you have to get the $2100 package, which does include blind spot monitoring and Navi. I thought the HK was available as a stand-alone at least for 2017, but I could be wrong.

The thing with getting a package like that is that it does give the dealer more wiggle room to bargain on the price, because of course the package costs much less than that to install. If you make it clear that you're not interested in paying $2100 for the package, you may be able to get the upgrade for quite a bit less.

"I sat right here and said I didn't want no TruCoat!"

"All right. I'll talk to my boss. See, they install that TruCoat at the factory, there's nothin' we can do, but I'll talk to my boss."
 

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Yes I agree absolutely about the cost for a good AM system. If I understand to get the HK you have to get the $2100 package, which does include blind spot monitoring and Navi. I thought the HK was available as a stand-alone at least for 2017, but I could be wrong.

The thing with getting a package like that is that it does give the dealer more wiggle room to bargain on the price, because of course the package costs much less than that to install. If you make it clear that you're not interested in paying $2100 for the package, you may be able to get the upgrade for quite a bit less.

"I sat right here and said I didn't want no TruCoat!"

"All right. I'll talk to my boss. See, they install that TruCoat at the factory, there's nothin' we can do, but I'll talk to my boss."
If I remember correctly, the HK system was not stand alone in 17. When I bought my Limited 17 WRX I wanted the HK system but didnt want to shell out $2100 for the useless Nav, though I didnt mind the blind spot stuff.
In the end the Limited WRX sound system sounded worse than the system in my 17 Forester Premium even though they are the same (I think). I guess it was just the acoustics of the car itself. I did have to play with the almost usless EQ and the fader etc for quite some time before I got it to sound decent. Even so, driving 60+ with the windows down, you had to turn it up to almost max just to hear it well. (Though my hearing isnt the greatest anymore)

This time around when I got the STI, I did NOT want a **** stereo and I missed the blind spot warning stuff in the forester. Seeing the cost of AM and difficulty people were having getting it all to work right and get all the functionality back, I just bit the bullet and got the HK/Nav pkg for the easy button. It may be easier now I dont know. I really do like the blind spot stuff and the HK system is way better than the non HK.
I spend between 3 and 4+ hrs a day in my car every day. I want good tunes.
 

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Gotta have good tunes. Drowns out the road noise.

My salesman told me the base WRX and Forester systems were the same (Clarion I think), but the Forester DSP was different and that's why it sounded better. He said they were going to update the software for the WRX at some point. Obviously hasn't happened yet.
 

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When I looked at it last night Subaru listed the HK/nav option at $2100 and didn't say anything about the other stuff.. although I was thinking it all came together.

Anyways, I'm willing to bet you could put together a better sounding system for $1000 or less.. the $1400 I said included a good Android head unit with nav, a high quality four channel digital amp, a good set of component speakers with a high quality crossover, and a sub woofer, with enclosure, and sound deadening all around. If you were going to spend $2k you could upgrade to a really good 3 way component speaker system with active crossovers and a DSP that would blow the HK setup out of the water.
 

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I think my JL system cost ~$1200-1400--hard to tell, since it was installed by the dealer in conjunction with a local audio place. It uses an interface to allow you to use the OEM HU, which is a plus in my book.

I like it and would recommend it, but in retrospect if I had found a nice WRX/STI with the HK already installed at a price I thought was reasonable I'd be OK with it.
 
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