Last post on Nov 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM
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Subaru Forester, Wagon
#48 of 69 Aftermarket Audio System for 2008 Forester 2.5xx
Oct 23, 2008 (10:49 am)
I ran across this forum while doing a search on factory audio systems for the Forester 2.5xx.
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".
#49 of 69 Re: Aftermarket Audio System for 2008 Forester 2.5xx [sdsmith]
Oct 23, 2008 (10:54 am)
Well, it's a double-DIN opening, so you have tons of options.
If I were going to go through that much trouble, I'd probably install one with a GPS. You may want to consider that.
#50 of 69 Re: Aftermarket Audio System for 2008 Forester 2.5xx [sdsmith]
Nov 13, 2008 (4:15 pm)
I put an aftrmarket radio in my 08 forester sports and could not be happier with it. I put in a Kenwood touch screen DD unit and it looks great,sounds great and with sirius radio, and full Ipod control it much better than the factory radio. I purchase the plug so you dont cut any car wire and can wire it up to the radio in you house and just plug it into the car harness. I put in a kenwood ddx512. and like I said it looks much better than the factory radio and the touch screen is waaaaay coool.I can add on navigation later if I want.
#51 of 69 Re: Aftermarket Audio System for 2008 Forester 2.5xx [sdsmith]
Nov 27, 2008 (8:51 am)
I checked around and it looks like the head unit (indash 6 disk changer c-123) is made by Clarion. I took mine out of the dash and it has the square 13 pin connector that only Clarion uses.
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?)
#52 of 69 Re: Aftermarket Audio System for 2008 Forester 2.5xx [kmo170]
Nov 27, 2008 (11:22 am)
I put both under the passenger seat . The interface cla-sci has a long cord that I ran along the side of the middle counsel and out and down under the seat. It plugs into the tuner sc-c1 and I ran the antenna up under the window rubber along the luggage rack and put the anntena on the back top of the roof.You cant see anything and it works great.
#53 of 69 Re: 2009 forester, audio/speakers upgrade [red927]
Dec 10, 2008 (6:01 pm)
I bought a 2009 Forester Limited X in Sept 08. Soon afterwards I realized that fading to rear speakers resulted in very little sound in the rears. I told the dealer about the problem and they asked me to bring the car in. They said that Subaru thought it could be a radio programming problem. After less than an hour they said the problem was fixed. They said that the 6-CD unit had two settings, one for SRS Surround (which they claimed was not yet available) and one for standard units. Mine was set for SRS. When they reprogrammed the radio to the standard setting with their computer hookup, the rear speakers worked fine and the front speakers sounded better (more rich sound in the front door and tweeter speakers). So if you or anyone else is having similar problems with rear speakers, you may want to have the dealer check it out as I did. Hope this helps.
P.S. I plan to replace all four door speakers with some good aftermarket ones.
#54 of 69 Re: 2009 forester, audio/speakers upgrade [hobbit3]
Dec 11, 2008 (9:39 am)
I believe that the dealer gave you a bit of double talk. It is true that there are 2 settings on the radio but it does not need to be reprogrammed to take it off the SRS "Enhanced" Surround Sound. All you have to do is to hit the menu button and you can switch back and forth between the settings. Just remember that it is not a true surround sound system.
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.
#55 of 69 Re: 2009 forester, audio/speakers upgrade [red927]
Dec 26, 2008 (4:27 pm)
Phil, I am also leasing but can't stand the stock system so I am swapping it out. I will just replace it back to stock when the lease is up. I can't stand living with a poor system for 3yrs.
#56 of 69 Re: 2009 forester, audio/speakers upgrade [golfnff]
Mar 22, 2009 (1:44 pm)
I just leased a 2009 forester XT Premium and i will agree, the sound system is poor!!! I almost got the 2009 outback premium, which comes with Harmon Kardon, but hte forester just rides better.
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
#57 of 69 Re: 2009 forester, audio/speakers upgrade [jrock56]
Apr 03, 2009 (9:53 am)
You ought to slap in an in-dash GPS, Kenwood makes them with Garmin navigation built-in.
I'm thinking about doing that for my Miata.