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Spaceship pilot
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I use my smartphone a lot for music, GPS and calls, so as I got my Civic, first mod was to install xCarlink, that in my opinion improved sound overall. Also i played with EQ on my Android and on HU and almost all music sounds descent, with highs and bass. For now only Chemical Brothers almost blue the speakers off :D
So now I have some budget to upgrade my current rig and cant decide which way to go:
To keep factory HU with xCarlink and upgrade speakers + maybe some active sub, and allthis connected through LOC (doesn't like the option adding amp and big sub, cםz I need boot space)

Replace HU with aftermarket one and keep original speakers

Combine two options above

The question is, if with xCarlink already better than stock, will HU replacement do any better? Have anyone moved from xCarlink to double din and felt a difference with stock speakers?

If I'll upgrade only the speakers and add a sub, would factory HU handle it through LOC or I need amp for sure?

For know I like the way I enter my car, Bluetooth connects automatically and and I put my smart on InfinyApps holder and I get some kind of mini double din :) So the comfort here is not an issue, on the contrary, if I'll go by route of HU replacement, I'll need external cables to plug in and a lot of hope that my smart will work right with HU. And it will be just same display on a bigger screen (for instance AppRadio 3)
The quality of a sound is the goal, in my case

Any advice and answers to my questions?
Thanks in advance
 

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無限 Unlimited
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3,740 Posts
If not adding an amp a decent aftermarket HU (Pioneer, Kenwood etc) will be better than OEM for sure.
If keeping OEM radio good speakers will make a noticeable difference but it's not worth it in my opinion unless you're going to make the best of the speakers by amp'ing them, in which case you need two LOC's for the input signal.
If upgrading the whole lot you can scrap the LOC's of course and use the phono cables from HU to Amp.
 
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aka Paul
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4,524 Posts
You'll get better sound by upgrading the HU. If you swap the speakers and not the HU you're still powering the speakers with the HU's internal amp, which is the weak link. The stock speakers are surprisingly ok when powered from a decent source.

After the HU, upgrade the speakers, maybe add a sub. After the speakers, get an external amp and power all the speakers off that.
 

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Premium Member
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400 Posts
You'll get better sound by upgrading the HU. If you swap the speakers and not the HU you're still powering the speakers with the HU's internal amp, which is the weak link. The stock speakers are surprisingly ok when powered from a decent source.

After the HU, upgrade the speakers, maybe add a sub. After the speakers, get an external amp and power all the speakers off that.
+1 on this.

Upgrading to a good HU makes a massive difference, the stock speakers are actually pretty alright.

I would say HU first after that it depends what you want. Easiest and cheapest thing with a big impact would just be to get an active (built in amp) sub, if you want real sound quality you need to get some amps and new speakers.
 

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Must Learn To Read!
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182 Posts
Sorry for hi-jacking thread, but if headunit was changed, is there a risk of damaging the standard speakers ? Is there a guide on the speaker wattage in the wiki ?
 

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Premium Member
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It really depends what you're after. I mean, if you want OEM, then best thing to do, is keep the standard headunit, upgrade all the speakers, and maybe amp them if you're really chasing decibels, but I wouldn't bother personally.

Again, on the sub level, I'd be inclined to use your LOC from your speaker to power your sub. I'd consider getting an underseat sub if you don't want to lose space and keep it looking tidy. Of course, another option would be to make you own install. It sounds like you've got a good grasp on things, so maybe this is something you could achieve.

Here's one I made about two years ago in the ole' E46 - I used the LOC and it worked a storm.



 

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Premium Member
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My sub and amp fits under the boot lid where a spare wheel would normally go. You can get a low profile sub and a 5/7 way amp or something? That could be a much cheaper option than a double din upgrade. I'm a bit reluctant on them because I'm an iphone owner and I expect to need more £100 cables and none of the apps work
 
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Spaceship pilot
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for the advices, mates!

Leesmith87 I can't use under the boot space, coz it's already have spare wheel. I also expect addtional cable requiring and apps not working, if I replace HU, but I see here and in other threads that it is really a difference, to change HU.

bassline toad I don't seak decibels, only to listen to music in quality. So adding amp and sub is my last choice for now, but active sub is an option

Rich__88, Revs FN2, Laney - you just make the fact, that HU upgrade is the best and first choice, stronger. I read same on many other threads, but wanted to be sure. Also, I don't want to do it in stages, because only the thought about disassembling my car everytime I install something, makes me dizzy. It must to be done once and no more :)

So for know I see that my choice is:
Replace HU, replace fronts to componnets, add active sub
I was thinking about App Radio 3 and JBL componnets. Didn't decide about the sub yet
 

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No Smoke no poke
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3,589 Posts
In all fairness swop out the headuint like has been mentioned, this was my first choice too ans id even go with a bit of sound deadnening in the doors if your not going down the sub route and you would not believe the difference in sound quality I only put the sub in the floor cause i thought it was a waste of space and I like to feel my music not just listen to it lol
 

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Premium Member
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347 Posts
You dont have to go OTT. Good HU, Front and rear speakers and an amp is plenty.

IMG_0044.JPG
 
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Premium Member
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Just fitted a Sony head unit with Mirrorlink and it makes a huge difference to the sound. Also all your apps on the phone appear on the head unit screen so you can use Google Maps etc. The whole setup works very well. Depends if your phone supports drive link! Used the Sony head unit as it can be picked up really cheaply now and has good specs.
 
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