The owner of this 2013 Subaru WRX came to us in need of a stereo replacement. The vehicle was optioned from factory with the premium GPS unit and upgraded front door speakers. Even though at the time it was a respectable package time hasn’t been kind to the factory radio.
While we were discussing the clients needs we looked at both smartphone connectivity and the lack of bass generated by the factory speakers. With the Subaru the smartphone upgrade is easy thanks largely to a huge range of installation accessories. These allow us to easily upgrade the factory radio, while retaining important features such as the factory reverse camera and steering wheel controls.
Replacing the speakers
Getting decent bass response from the Subaru speakers is a whole other issue. In this instance we knew that the quick fix of an under-seat subwoofer was probably not going to keep the client happy for long. It was advised that stage one of this stereo upgrade would be to replace the front door speakers, treat the doors to some sound deadening and also upgrade the old navigation unit.
Alpine’s R-Series speakers are the ideal option for many Japanese vehicles. They have amazing audio response and come with a host of mounting hardware which allows us to install them into just about any vehicle. In this case the WRX speaker pods were slightly modified to allow clearance for the larger speaker. At the same time we also added a 6mm spacer. This was then finished with some acoustic rings to seal the speaker off to the internal door trim.
Better bass response
The door cavity was treated to a selective layer of Roadkill sound dampening material. This ensures the speakers energy is focused on the occupants of the car and not vibrating the door cavity. There are many approaches to creating great sound and this is what we consider the minimum for any decent speaker set. We also apply additional layers of material and foam in more extreme cases as the budget allows.
The tweeters were also replaced, with the R-S65C.2 components now filling out the factory speaker locations perfectly. We made a small harness to allow the Alpine crossover to simply plug into the factory wiring loom.
CarPlay & Android Auto
Once the doors were completed we moved on to replacing the radio / navigation unit. This was relatively straight forward. Again all new harnesses were made to plug directly into the factory wiring to retain the integrity of the car. We then added the microphone for the Bluetooth phone system and finally a USB port so the client can easily connect to CarPlay or Android Auto.
With the radio now replaced with CarPlay / Android Auto functionality it was time to have a listen. The Subaru now has an impressive amount of bass from the front door speakers. Plus the smartphone integration brings google and apple maps, spotify and so much more to the driver.
It’s a great little stereo upgrade. The next steps are a small four channel amplifier to give the from speakers some extra power backed up by a small subwoofer. Sounds good to us.
If you’re in the market for a stereo replacement for your WRX please get in touch.