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Kia Spectra Audio & Entertainment Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
edited March 2014 in Kia
From AM/FM to MP3, this is the place to talk about it.


  • spectramanspectraman Member Posts: 255
    Spec 5 explained:

    "It's a great car and 2 days into the Spectra 5 I can tell you the stereo is much better in the Forenza."

    In what ways did the Forenza's stereo excel over the Spectra's? Bass response? Treble response? Audio reception?

    My Spectra EX sedan's stereo really rocks playing CD's. I've noticed that I have to turn down the bass level when I flip over to FM. The FM reception on my previous car's aftermarket Clarion seemed to be a little stronger too.

    For some reason, KIA puts a different stereo in the sedan vs. the Spectra5. My sedan's unit is very compact, and I have two cubbies below it. The other units I've seen are larger and only have 1 or no cubbies under it.

    For being so compact, I'm really quite pleased with my radio. My musical tastes are quite diverse, so it gets everything from Alice in Chains to Diana Krall to Montgomery Gentry to Styx pumped through it.

    One of my favorite showcase tunes I play in the car when I'm showing it to someone is the Alice in Chains song "Rooster". It goes from a really mellow beginning to one of the most awesome bombastic guitar slams I've heard in a song. The KIA stereo's 6-speakers really shine on that track.

  • spec5spec5 Member Posts: 15
    Looking back on that comment I really should have been more specific. First, the S5 cd player operations are much better than the Forenza. The Forenza didn't maintain where you were within a track (not sure what you call that). If you swapped to radio and came back to cd it would start the song over. Also something I've never seen in a cd player, if you pressed "back" you didn't return to the beginning of that track, it would take you back to the previous track. Now on to why I said the Forenza was better... Better control over the sound. Not only could you set bass and treble (although you couldn't set mids) you also had a variety of presets based on the type of music you were listening to. "Bass Up" button boosted the Bass response even more. While I don't know specifics of power output of the Forenza, I have to turn up the Spectra much higher to get the same sound levels and the quality still doesn't seem as good. All in all I think the Forenza SOUNDED better, but the S5 probably is a better head unit. Hope that helps.

    BTW, no mileage figures yet. Just bought it this past Saturday and I only drive 15 miles a day to work. Will update when I can.

    BTW again...I'm loving my S5
  • spec5spec5 Member Posts: 15
    Well, not the kind of person who will leave well enough alone for very long, I looked on to see what size speakers the Spectra 5 has in the back. Turns out there are 5 1/4" speakers. I wanted to do a little investigating to see how easily they could be removed to replace them. I was a little suprised to find what looked like a fairly simple job turned out to be much more involved. For anyone who cares, you have to disconnect the small side section of the back seat to expose 2 bolts along with removing a cover cap near the liftgate along with the 2 bolts that are visible from the hatch area just to remove the hard plastic cover. You are right there, speaker is visable...should be a done deal right? remove 4 screws holding in the speaker and viola! uh, no. one of the screws on the outside edge of the speaker is completely blocked by the upper side panel. I thought ok, not the greatest design if they expect anyone to ever replace speakers but anyway. The black lining of the hatch area is held to the outer edge of the speaker mounting bracket by plastic retainers. I think well, I should be able to remove those and bend the bracket down slightly to access the rear screw. again, no. After removing the plastic retainers I find the speaker bracket overlaps the solid steel mounting hardware of the seatbelt retainer thus not allowing it to bend down. Next resort, I figure ok, well I'll pull back the black liner and just remove the bracket the speaker is attached to thinking, the other side will be a breeze once I figure all this out. Simple right? and again, say it with The seatbelt bracket and the speaker bracket share a bolt...a big bolt...that will only have easy access if I completely remove the hatch area liner. So, I stopped there and reassembled everything (since I was only doing this for fun and never intended to replace the speakers now anyway) and made LOTS of mental notes the largest of which speakers...have them installed! Just thought I'd share. If anyone has tips let me know. I'll also update when I figure out the best way to actually remove the speaker for replacement! :confuse:
  • geomaticsgeomatics Member Posts: 60
    I guess that's how you know you have a well made car.
  • spec5spec5 Member Posts: 15
    I didn't think of it like that but you're right. Would I prefer I be able to just "pop" it apart in 2 minutes? Probably not!
  • zippys5zippys5 Member Posts: 2
    I recently replaced the speakers in the back of my s5. I was surprised to notice the small size of the actual magnet (about the size of a golf ball). Anyway the procedure you are following is about right. Just one thing the speakers are actually 6 1/4" and have a weird hole pattern. I had to drill some new holes in the mounting backet for the screws. It was a lot of work(got lots of scratches on my hands and arms). but well worth the replacement.
    good luck.
  • spec5spec5 Member Posts: 15
    So what did you finally do to actually access the speaker screw? I haven't tackled it again since. Did you unscrew the bracket to get it out? Also, what speakers did you go with? Maybe I'll give it another go. Any info about installing an amplified sub? I'm thinking about a sub tube or something simple.
  • doohickiedoohickie Member Posts: 949
    The stock stereos in both the Elantra and Spectra both had a boomy quality to the bass, like every bass note was at a certain frequency. The Reno and Aerio stereos seemed much better balanced. I don't care so much about disturbing the neighbors and rattling the car apart, I want a nice pleasant, even smooth sound to my stereo. It seems like low-end stereos put all their power into a single bass note frequency.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    I like a nice, even sound to my stereo's as well. My '01 Sportage 4x4 has a nice, blended stereo sound that is loud and sharp. The factory tweeters up at the dash corners help on the high notes. I can absolutely rock my ears to buzzin' afterwards in that little SUV. I just crank up the Foghat to deafening levels every so often and rock to my heart's content.

    I'm surmising that today's Kia stereo's would probably do me just fine because I don't subscribe to the deafening bass club that is so popular today. All I ask is for clean, crisp and loud sounds eminating from my car stereo.

    Kinda gets me interested in trying out the different carmaker's stereo's when the time comes to buy again. It is definitely part of the car-buying process, and one Scion has decided to focus directly on to entice us with.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • doohickiedoohickie Member Posts: 949
    econoboxes are loading sound systems with lots of bells and whistles (6-disc changers, MP3 players, subwoofers) into them as standard, that I think getting a stereo stereo I can be satisfied with is becoming a major factor for me. After committing to a new car payment, I'm really not that eager to have to shell out extra $$$ for a new stereo if I can find a car with a good stereo to begin with. Not that you want to buy a car based on its stereo, but both Suzukis I test drove (Reno & Aerio) had stereos I could live with, while, the Hyundai & Kia were not so good.

    At some point during my test drives, I started using my own CD (Best of Santana, starting at Track 5, "Samba Pa Ti", followed by "She's Not There" & "No One to Depend On") instead of depending on the radio which is usually full of commercials. I know I listened to Santana with the Suzukis, and I think also with the Elantra; not sure about the Spectra.
  • canuckkiafancanuckkiafan Member Posts: 21
    I have to say that I am happy with the stereo that came with the Spectra 5 - I love to listen to both music & talk, and I am not disappointed with the quality of what I'm hearing now that I've made the adjustments I like. If one wants to hear bass, you just have to hit the LOUD button and it's very pronounced then. Taking your own music with you is a good idea, just to make sure; as stated, everyone is going to be satisfied by something different.

    I drove the highway to work today & loved it! Very zippy, quiet & I have yet to see another Spectra 5 on the road! :)
  • doohickiedoohickie Member Posts: 949
    Have you gotten any vibration in your front end at about 70 mph? I read about that on the Elantra forum, and both the Elantra and Spectra I drove felt almost exactly the same... almost like an unbalanced wheel coming out at 70 mph. My 95 Ford Aspire with 110k miles is smoother at that speed.

    As far as the stereo goes, I may have to give it another listen and make sure I have my music with me. Thanks for the tip. I won't be buying until later this year, so I may try some of the test drives over again.
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Just out of curiousity, did you test both cars on the same road? I've noticed with these more recent, larger-wheel sporty suspension cars that pavement imperfections are more noticeable, but at first they felt like something wasn't right with the wheel. Then when I drove the same way in the next lane over the next day I realized it was the road. :)
  • canuckkiafancanuckkiafan Member Posts: 21
    I have not noticed any vibrations with the car at all either.....will keep you posted as I keep putting the clicks on.
  • canuckkiafancanuckkiafan Member Posts: 21
    Hi there....glad to see continued discussion on gas mileage.

    About that LOUD button - on my unit, it is above the digital display panel. There is a mute button, the LOUD button, a BSM (best station memory) button and then a play/pause button. LOUD is described on page 7 of the manual as follows: "When listening to music at low volume levels, this feature will boost the bass and trebel response."

    Is this not the norm? :confuse: Maybe it's a difference between US & Canadian models?
  • geomaticsgeomatics Member Posts: 60
    Same as the stereo in my canadian Kia. Could one of the many differences between the Canadian and US models. The stereo included with the S5 in the US is apparently not available with the MP3 player that we get in Canada. now I understand the conversations about the stereo quality. The canadian and US models seem to have different stereos.

    Enjoy your S5's to the fullest.
  • steinway5steinway5 Member Posts: 1
    I'm picking up my brand new Spectra5 tomorrow & I'm wondering if the stock CD player will play Mp3 disks? I've read conflicting messages. It sounds like the Spectra5's in Canada will but maybe not in the US? If you own a US model with the stock CD player & have tried it, can you please let me know? THANKS!
  • herotakesafallherotakesafall Member Posts: 103
    The Kia website shows the only Spectra5 radio as a double-din CD player that can't play mp3s. But I've seen single-din mp3 cd players in some Spectra5's around the Internet. Is this an option that's not offered anymore, or were people taking these out of other Kias? I'm kinda confused.
  • geomaticsgeomatics Member Posts: 60
    the Spec5's sold in canada in 2005 came standard with the mp3 player.

  • flipxflipx Member Posts: 1
    does anyone know about any turbo sys that they have for the spec5 06 ;)
  • rxmacrxmac Member Posts: 12
    Hey, Flipx! Check out the following website for KIA Spec5 mod ideas:

    Still trying to source a turbo myself, keep you posted.
  • rxmacrxmac Member Posts: 12
    OK, Flipx - here's the turbo source:

    You'll still have to find a reputable wrench to install it and say BuBye to the 10yr/100K warranty... but, hey, we can dream can't we?
  • kentuckyrangerkentuckyranger Member Posts: 41
    I had a similar Problem Years ago with a 1991 Gt Escort. Hard to get to and not enugh room for a serious upgrade. What I did was disconnect the Speakers, put an amp under the rear Deck and install 2 Pioneer Egg Speakers on the top of the rear Deck. I don't know if Pioneer makes them anymore but they sounded great! It's been such a long Time ago I can't remember the actual name of the Speakers but they where Egg shaped and had a low profile in the rear Deck allowing only a partially restricted view. The only drawback to this was the fact that once done, You can't remove the Deck anymore to gain room for loading large items in the hatchback. I think if I was to do it now with My Spec 5 I'd put a quick disconnect for the unit so I could un plug it and take the Deck out for hauling large items. The only problem then would be only getting Music from the front Speakers while the Deck was removed. After reading this I'm going to start looking around because like most Spec 5 Owners I'd like allot more out of the rear Speakers Myself, I'll let Ya know what I find out or if You see something out there, let Me know. :shades:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,403
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