('09-'13) Upgrade radio options - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Eastern Shore/Annapolis Maryland
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Car Year: 2011
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Upgrade radio options

I just got a 2011 Forester X and am getting tired of the radio in it. Even my wife who usually couldn't care less has made comments about it. I have been looking at options but couldn't quite find the answers to my questions, I was hoping someone might be able to help or point me in the right direction.

I like the oem look and really would prefer not to have an aftermarket radio installed, it bugs me when the colors, fonts, etc. are all different in the car. That said if there is any aftermarket radio that looks good/fits in with the rest of the dash lights, etc. I would love to know about it.

I have found radios in upper trim levels, Subaru Part No. 86201SC630, Clarion Model No. PF-3302B-A, which seems to be an option? My question though if I am able to get one of these what about all the other features on the radio, will they still work in my X? Everything I find seems to be people putting this radio into other models than the Forester.

Are there any other Subaru radios besides this one as an upgrade? Or does anyone have pics of an aftermarket installed?


Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 09:09 PM
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If your current factory radio is the one with built-in Bluetooth and USB, then yes, the CP635U1 (Subaru 86201SC630) will be plug-and-play in your 2011. See this post:
New OEM Radio Installed into MY11 WRX: Source MY11 Forester
2011 Foresters and Imprezas have nearly identical wiring,

The 2008-2011 OEM Kenwood Navi, 2011 OEM Fujitsu Ten nav (with removable Tom-Tom PND), and 2012 OEM Fujitsu Ten nav (with SD card for maps) are all not plug-and-play.

Many people have transplanted other OEM HUs. At first, most think there was an improvement in the sound, but over time many start hearing shortcomings in all of them.

A CP635U1 won't be cheap (unless you find an owner who doesn't know what it's worth). You may be happier going straight to an aftermarket HU.

1996 SVX L AWD. Pin-outs & other handy info.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 05:38 AM
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Car Year: 2012
Car Model: Forester X Touring
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The CP635U1 came stock in my 2012 Touring. Honestly, I am already looking for a replacement. Compared to many aftermarket HUs this one is pretty primitive in performance. For one thing the limitations on functions while the vehicle is in motion is quite annoying. You can't adjust even fade or balance while moving, which seems absurd as it requires the same actions as tuning or volume control which you can do.

It does indeed have a lot of functions built in like rear camera, HD radio, and Bluetooth, but all are soooo basic in performance. Bluetooth is especially disappointing both in function and performance.

I don't want to seem too negative, it works fine. I have just seen much better.

By the way the similar HU in the Outback does not have the same in-motion limitations, maybe because is USA produced and doesn't have the restrictions as the Forester has to abide by??
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 06:08 AM
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I installed a Pioneer deck that has the ability to change colors. I found an exact match to my dash lights and it looks fantastic. It is however single din so I have to get the single din pocket. IMHO, it looks great.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzmichaelmichaels View Post
I installed a Pioneer deck that has the ability to change colors. I found an exact match to my dash lights and it looks fantastic. It is however single din so I have to get the single din pocket. IMHO, it looks great.
I used a JVC KW-XR610 Double-din HU, installed relatively flush to the console on my 2005 X. There's a thread on here detailing this install.

The JVC also has the ability to change colors - it is now an exact match to the dash lights and looks fantastic. Sounds pretty good, too!

Send me a PM if you need the single-DIN pocket from a 2005 X.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 02:51 PM
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I installed the JVC KW-HDR720. It's double din with changeable colors. The blue I chose is awfully close to the blue gauges and looks much better than the red oem. I did need to have steering wheel controls installed because I couldn't quite figure out the wiring. Looks great, sounds great. Theres a thread with a pic.

2010 Steel Silver Forester 2.5X Premium
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 09:42 AM
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Car Model: 2.5X LL Bean Edition
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Talking 09' Fozzy radio upgrade!

I have been wanting to upgrade to bluetooth for awhile now, so I just finished purchasing all the parts for my factory radio upgrade in my 09' Fozzy!! Ill be installing them over then next couple weeks. Here is the setup!

HU:
Clarion CX501 Double-DIN CD/Bluetooth/USB Receiver - $171.67 Clarion CX501 Double-DIN CD/Bluetooth/USB Receiver - $171.67
I went with the Clarion CX501 b/c it has more features than the alpine HU I was looking at, plus many people say it integrates well with Android, has a built in mic, and custom illumination (which was a deal breaker for me)

Dash Kit:
Metra 95-8902 Double DIN Installation Kit for 2008-Up Subaru Impreza/WRX Vehicles - $12.22 Metra 95-8902 Double DIN Installation Kit for 2008-Up Subaru Impreza/WRX Vehicles - $12.22
Standard mounting kit for now, I may order a more form fitting one at a later time, it was cheap


Antenna adapter:
Scosche Suab 2005 and Up Subaru Antenna Adapter - $7.68 Scosche Suab 2005 and Up Subaru Antenna Adapter - $7.68


SWC:
Metra Axxess ASWC Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface (Black) - $43.83 Metra Axxess ASWC Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface (Black) - $43.83
I went with the Axxess because I hear the PAC has lag issues


Front Speakers:
Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System (Pair, Silver) Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System (Pair, Silver)
These are going in the front doors, I may have to cut up the stock tweeter housings, but these will sound WAY better . I plan on removing the rattling white box in the door and placing the crossovers there.


Rear Speakers:
Polk Audio DB651 6.5-Inch Coaxial Speakers - $56.06 Polk Audio DB651 6.5-Inch Coaxial Speakers - $56.06
These are going in the rear doors, hopefully with very little modifications


Factory Speaker Harness:
Metra 72-8104 Speaker Connector for Select Toyota Vehicles $6.55 X2 = $13.10 Metra 72-8104 Speaker Connector for Select Toyota Vehicles $6.55 X2 = $13.10
I read that I may have to switch the polarity to get these to work, that shouldn't be a major issue


HU Harness:
Metra BT-7552 Bluetooth Integration Harness for Nissan 2007 and Up OPEN PACKAGE - $13.71 Metra BT-7552 Bluetooth Integration Harness for Nissan 2007 and Up OPEN PACKAGE - $13.71
I tried contacting SVXdc to get a harness that will work but I haven't been able to reach him. So after doing a BUNCH of research trying to find the right cable I decided to purchase this one, hack it in two, and discard the Parrot BT conectors. That way I will have a female connector to go in the Fozzy, and a male connector to reuse my stock radio for a in home project . This cable is the only available cable I could find that has ALL the pins wired (besides buying two Metra 7552's and moving pins from one to the other, which is shoddy in my book) This part of the process has been a major PITA, why cant Scosche or Metra just produce a straight through cable???


Well there it is!

I plan on buying some Frost King duct wrap to (somewhat) deaden the rattling in my doors. My budget is maxed already so I cannot get any of the professional deadening material. Feel free to comment :)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 02:46 PM
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Any DIY for Metra Axxess ASWC
I'm going to buy aftermarket HU soon.
my car 2010 FXT with SWC and Underseat Sub

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sleeperlodo View Post
Any DIY for Metra Axxess ASWC
I'm going to buy aftermarket HU soon.
my car 2010 FXT with SWC and Underseat Sub
Between SVXdc's website, this forum, and NASIOC, there are plenty of write-ups. What specifically are you looking for help with?

Do you already own the ASWC? Do you have the Subaru harness from SVXdc or were you going to get one from Crutchfield or wherever you get your HU? If you buy a harness and it does not include the wires needed for your steering wheel controls, contact David and he can sell you either the full harness with the required extra wires, or if you buy the ASWC from him, he can sell you just the bare wires needed to clip into an existing Subaru harness. As part of your purchase he will send you very detailed emails telling you exactly what to hook up to make the ASWC work.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
Between SVXdc's website, this forum, and NASIOC, there are plenty of write-ups. What specifically are you looking for help with?

Do you already own the ASWC? Do you have the Subaru harness from SVXdc or were you going to get one from Crutchfield or wherever you get your HU? If you buy a harness and it does not include the wires needed for your steering wheel controls, contact David and he can sell you either the full harness with the required extra wires, or if you buy the ASWC from him, he can sell you just the bare wires needed to clip into an existing Subaru harness. As part of your purchase he will send you very detailed emails telling you exactly what to hook up to make the ASWC work.
Thank you, I try to get 2011 oem HU with HD radio or China model New OEM Radio Installed into MY11 WRX: Source MY11 Forester - Page 28 - NASIOC
but SVXdc's told me my ASWC will not work b/c 09 and 11 aux harness has a different plug. I try to get something that oem look maybe i'll try Rosen Nav

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sleeperlodo View Post
[I wanted to swap in a 2011 oem HU with HD radio, or one of the Chinese models with the 4.3" screen, as shown in threads on NASIOC and here on the Forester forum] but SVXdc's told me my [2009's steering wheel controls] will not work [and 09 and 11 have a different plug for the aux harness]. I try to get something that oem look maybe i'll try Rosen Nav
I've edited the above quote to explain things more accurately (and so people won't be confused).

Short version: Your 2009's steering wheel buttons won't work on a 2011 OEM HU. Your car's aux harness is different also, but I can build an adapter harness so your aux jack can work.

You only need an ASWC steering wheel interface module when you want to install one of the "name brand" aftermarket head units (Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, etc.).

On a Rosen HU, you should be able to connect that directly to your car's SWC wires. If you get one of their made-for-Subaru models, they should include plug-and-play Subaru harnesses to fit your car.

On Rosen's generic double-DIN models, you would need my 20-pin harness (just like you would for a Pioneer, etc.). The only difference is you won't need an ASWC module with the Rosen.

"SWC" is an acronym for "(audio) Steering Wheel Controls."

"ASWC" is Metra's steering wheel interface module.

1996 SVX L AWD. Pin-outs & other handy info.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 06:07 AM
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Unfortunately every radio that Subaru has used (exception to the Mc headunit) is terrible. Whether it be with the navi unit or Harmon Kardon system they sound terrible. A $200 aftermarket head unit even with the stock speakers will sound worlds better than anything subaru offers right now. Stay away from OEM HU's and you will be fine.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVXdc View Post
I've edited the above quote to explain things more accurately (and so people won't be confused).

Short version: Your 2009's steering wheel buttons won't work on a 2011 OEM HU. Your car's aux harness is different also, but I can build an adapter harness so your aux jack can work.

You only need an ASWC steering wheel interface module when you want to install one of the "name brand" aftermarket head units (Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, etc.).

On a Rosen HU, you should be able to connect that directly to your car's SWC wires. If you get one of their made-for-Subaru models, they should include plug-and-play Subaru harnesses to fit your car.

On Rosen's generic double-DIN models, you would need my 20-pin harness (just like you would for a Pioneer, etc.). The only difference is you won't need an ASWC module with the Rosen.

"SWC" is an acronym for "(audio) Steering Wheel Controls."

"ASWC" is Metra's steering wheel interface module.
This Rosen that I'm looking for Rosen Subaru in Dash 2 DIN Multi Media Navigation GPS System G3 | eBay
but not sure about how hard to install Back-up Camera.

and This Kenwood Single-DIN with HD radio Face Detachable
from Kenwood Excelon KDC-X497 CD receiver at Crutchfield.com
If I buy this Single-DIN I may have to buy 20-pin harness from you and Metra Axxess ASWC-1

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 02:01 PM
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I just got stock 11 Forester HU with HD/SAT radio from local for $60
Subaru Stereo Decks

Like you said, After installed, everything works great except Steering Wheel Controls buttons not working at all.
Sound quality better than my stock HU. I would keep it

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Last edited by sleeperlodo; 09-27-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 12:17 PM
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Just put in the Pioneer AVHX3500BHS with a SiriusXM V200 to replace my CP635U1 and factory Sirius tuner. Best money I ever spent. I even was able to use the existing Sat antenna. Everything is a go except haven't deciphered the BT buttons yet. All other SWC work perfect. Aux and USB jacks in the center console work also. I recommend the Microbypass device to get around parking break limitations. I placed the BT mic on the sun visor and it works so much better than that factory one in overhead console. I got all the adapters, tons of help and the ASWC from SVXdc. (I'm sure I have bugged him enough that he will probably have my email address marked as spam from now on) Seriously, he is an invaluable resource on a HU swap project.

Been working with Metra and Pioneer, still can't figure out why the BT buttons don't work. Absolutely wired correctly per both of them and both say should work. Have On Hook, Off Hook, and PTT soft buttons touch screen, so BT SWC should work as well. Oh well, love a good mystery!

Last edited by rwise; 04-03-2014 at 01:19 PM. Reason: More Info
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