Subaru Forester: Audio & Entertainment Systems
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This what I had in my old car:
and I'd like to get a similar unit (ok, less cassette) for a new car. Subaru OEM one is very expensive, so I'm looking at aftermarket first.
You can actually spring for NAV + CD changer, I've seen them for $1299 at Crutchfield. I know that's steep, but you're getting both, and all integrated. Search by model and they pop up.
1. Does the stereo have an auxillary port in the back that I can connect directly to the XM Satellite Radio?
2. Where is the best place to mount the XM Satellite Radio? Custom Mount between stereo and glove box, Cup Holder, Tape onto Dashboard?
3. Has anyone used the FM Transmitter and was it effective?
07 models also get Sirius as a factory option, but you said XM.
I think Subaru folks have used in-line antennae plugs, ask the Legacy guys because they do that a lot.
I beleive ateixeira is talking about the factory installed, integrated radios that come equiped for satellite, not after-market units.
I mounted the control in the middle of the console, just back from the parking brake. It covers one of the seat heater switches, however it is easy to tilt the unit and reach the switch when needed. My unit is the Delphi SkiFi2.
Before, when I had Sirrius, they placed the control unit inside the dash compartment, attached the slim unit with velcro to the back side of it. I just lifted the lid, and it was easy to see or grab (it had a long cord) or the passenger could use the remote. That worked well too.
I have not seen a unit with a port on the back, but that doesn't mean they don't have one. Check the XM site.
The sound is excellent. I have the woofer/tweeter package, and that sure helps, especially with CD's. They mount the woofer/amp under the drivers or passenger seat.
I talked to the Subaru dealer (he gets this call several times a month) and there is no auxillary input in the standard Subaru radio. I am thinking about buying a satellite mount that goes into the cigarette lighter and that allows me to switch the satellite radio between cars. That way i do not put a sticky piece of tape on the dashboard or console.
I am now looking at adding the tweeter and subwoofer/amplifier at a cost of $475 installed by the Subaru dealer. Any opinions on whether this will significantly"> enhance my sound or am I wasting my money?
If you do the mounting where I did, it will not be in your way, and those units, most of them I think, now unplug from their mounting, and you can take it inside and use them there, or in a boom box. This type you could also switch between cars. Mine is screwed down. It will make the cars resale better.
My satellite radio is the Samsung Nexus 50 and the docking station has to be vertical. The mounting equipment included in the car kit will only work on the dash or vents. I really do not want to tape something to the car dash as I think it will spoil the look.
I was looking at using the cup holder mount, passenger seat mount, or the cigarette lighter mount. The cup holder mount does not give me a good view of the satellite radio and I lose a cup holder. The passenger seat mount bolts onto the passenger seat and is an option I'm still considering but I'm concerned if it will be in the way when someone is in the passenger seat. The cigarette lighter will sit below the radio but will block the various dials that control the heating/air conditioning.
Sorry I got so long winded. Thanks again for the feedback.
In a post above, ateixeira mentioned removing the storage box below the radio for Nav + 6 cd changer.
While I do not want to remove the storage box, I want to remove the storage door so I can plug in the XM Satellite adapter without tilting the radio.
Does anyone know if the storage box door can be removed and can I do this or should the Subaru service department?
FYI, the radio sounds great and really brings out the stock speakers I have in the car.
I have one with a lid, and one without. They came out of our Forester and Legacy, but I forget which came from which.
I suppose you could remove it and saw a hole with a jigsaw or a Dremel, then pull the wires through there.
Looks like it would fit an MP3 player, too.
The tweeters are good, though. I hear good things about them consistently.
I debated the subwoofer but did not put it in as I'm not a huge bass person. I agree that aftermarket speakers would be a better investment than the upgraded Subaru speakers.
We have an '07 Forester Premium version that's supposed to have 120 watts of sound. It sounds to me like about 5 or 10. The radio/CD unit says model "6 CD Changer C-123." Does anybody else have the same impression as me? Did we get the correct model of stereo?
(I originally asked about this in the wrong forum.)
Subaru isn't exactly known for great audio. They're passable, but audiophiles should go aftermarket, where you'll find higher quality and better value.
The other 5 discs can no longer be accessed or ejected. They are stuck in the unit and I can't play them. All was working fine until now.
Any quick fix for this or am I going have to get it serviced?
My car is a 2001 Subaru Forester that I have had for about 3 years. The only problems that I have had are the Knock Sensor and the radio. The Knock Sensor was easy to replace. Now if I can just get the radio working again...
Do you have the in-glass antennae? Maybe that connection cracked?
I did so on my 1998 model, to put in a 6CD changer out of a WRX. The harness fit plug-n-play.
So it might be easier if you used a Subaru stereo, perhaps from a newer model that has features you want.
I have a 2005 Subaru Forester 2.5X. Everything else on this car is great except that the AC cannot keep up with Georgia summers. So I am planning to get the Windows tinted. But I noticed that the factory-installed radio's antenna is embedded in the rear quarter window. If I use metallic film to tint that window, will it hurt the radio reception? I am looking at Scotchtint FX-HP 35 film.
The dash openings are double-DIN sized, so it's fairly standard and leaves you lots of options. I put a 6CD changer from a WRX in to my old 98 Forester and it was a cake walk.
In fact it went so well that I did the same thing for my wife's 2002 Legacy, which was actually a little harder (one out-of-the-way bolt made it harder).
The harnesses were all interchangeable so it was plug and play. It was easier than I expected.
I bought both used for $110-150 or so IIRC.
does simply getting the tweeter package improve things significantly or would i be better off replacing the speakers entirely? (can't replace the head unit having just invested a lot of money into the subaru ipod interface.)
What I've heard, in general, is that the tweeters are worth it. Subwoofer is debatable, you can probably do better for the price of the OE, but it won't be as integrated.
To be honest Subaru's audio stuff is really only so-so, even the upgraded stuff. It's just not their strength.
I think they'll soon add audio upgrade options - it's a rumor for the next Legacy.
Did you ever check if you get sound from the rear speakers when in the enhanced SRS mode?
My wife will be out tonight taking the kids to Dance, maybe someone else can check on that?
I broke down and called Subaru Customer Service at about 1:00PM and expressed my dissatisfaction. The rep took down the information and said that he would research this and get back to me later this afternoon. I said OK.
Much to my surprise, he did call me about 6:15PM with a response. He said that I would not be happy with what he found out. I got the "that's the way its supposed to be" response. In all fairness, the rep told me that the technical department guy told him that he was also not satisfied with the quality of the sound system in the car. He said he knows because he has one too. I mentioned that it would have been better if Subaru put the new HK system in the high end Foresters for 2009. He said he didn't disagree.
The Customer Service rep said that he was going to e-mail the manufacturer my questions and if he gets a response from Panasonic then he will contact me.
Although I am not pleased with the answers I received, I am pleased with the time it took to get an answer.
I'll keep everyone posted.
My van sounds right at around 18-20 or so.
My Miata I have to crank up to 30 to hear when the top is down. 22 the rest of the time.
My old Subaru only needed 6 or 8. My wife's new Subaru needs more, though.
They all use different scales.
I was thinking about installing the factory Sirius satellite radio, until I found out the price tag was $390.00! Considering that the existing factory system is less than stellar, I am now considering just doing retrofitting it with an aftermarket system from Crutchfield or some other supplier. The current factory system is the double DIN type "B" unit, with a 6 CD changer and aux inputs for an Ipod and satellite radio. (By the way, does anyone know who makes this for Subaru?)
I haven't yet tried to dig into the dash to see how the cabling is configured for the system, and I hate butchering cable harnesses and chassis mounts. I was curious as to whether anyone on the forum has had any experiences, either negative or positive, with an aftermarket system.
I am an audio engineer by profession, so I know how to tackle the technical issues, but I'm unfamiliar with the wiring configuration of this particular vehicle (especially the control interface)
As others have noted here, Subaru is not particularly known for their audio systems, but I love the car otherwise (OK, the road noise it a little excessive). The major weakness of the existing factory unit is the FM band. In a congested RF area (I live in Chicago), it has terrible problems with intermodulation and signal overload.
Given all this, it would seem that I might be better off just chucking the existing system and replacing it with something which (hopefully) has better performance. However, I don't want to end up with bastardized system which makes a mess of the dash.
I would welcome any comments from those who have "been there, done that".
If I were going to go through that much trouble, I'd probably install one with a GPS. You may want to consider that.
Does any know where the sirius tuner goes?
I am going to get the Clarion adapter and universal Sirius tuner and save $250.00 over the factory unit, but I wanted to know where then factory unit is put. ( in the dash or in the back?)
P.S. I plan to replace all four door speakers with some good aftermarket ones.
As I stated in another message a few days later, Subaru says that with the SRS, the rear speakers do not produce very much sound. Many owners have noted that the sound system in the Forester is very poor. Since mine is leased I cannot do anything, but if I owned it I would definately rip out the OEM system as soon as I could.
I am leasing, but will probably do what Golfnff is doing and swap it out then swap it back. Maybe i will like the car so much after 3 years and just buy it after the lease anyway :-)
I'm thinking about doing that for my Miata.