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I’ve got a 2016 premium, stock 7” HU (non-nav, non-HK), no upgrade packages
So this story starts a few months back when I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a Sony AX5000, but found it only pairs with one Bluetooth phone at a time. I swapped that for a JVC model, but the interface was too “futuristic” and hard to work with for my wife who I share the car with. So I returned that one as well. What I found with both head units was that the sound was much better since they both deliver much more power to the stock speakers.
Now I’m at a crossroads - I’ll be keeping the stock head unit and I’m trying to decide between a speaker upgrade (still underpowered at the head unit) or installing a Class D Amp (still weak speakers). There is a final destination of doing both, but I’m hoping for advice on which will be more effective out the gate.
I should also note that I’m not looking for booming bass (no sub), just enough lows to enjoy my music and have the sound quality I want.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Make sure you do your homework it can get expensive as you see when you get a head unit that doesnt suit your needs. I always try to get to a shop..even if I have to make a day trip out of it to get to a place to try to listen to some speakers...we have a small city nearby 60K people..it has 2-3 audio shops ask when they do something if you can listen..thats what I did....im not young I dont need this crap like kids today have that BOOM,BOOM,BOOM Bass as they drive down the street thinking they are cool and impressing no one but themselves ;) . BUT I do like a nice sound system..ive seen very FEW ever factory ones that are actually good, Id say less than 5 in the last 30 years that I liked from the factory..they always skimp on the actual speakers and amps..

My go to's are JBL's and JL Audios I have always found the kickers and Rockfords to be more bassy than I need and more geared to the kids that want the Boom boom boom sound as they go down the road annoying this general public ;) . I go for audio accuracy and tone more than I do the boom,boom sound..

Infinity,Polk and Pioneer used to be players also but I think the JL and JBL have surpassed them for the same $$.

What would I do..as I seldom need more options than the modern day stock head units have(i mean they all have bluetooth,Sirius,and most have Android/Apple play options..I dont really need more than that... the thing they lack is POWER and good speakers

I do not know what Subaru has but a "typical" ANY make stock headunit pops out about 10-15 watts power....you can get anywhere from a 3-5 channel amp to help give your speakers power...they are not overly expensive(IMO)

id get a 4 or 5 channel if you ONLY want to do your speakers go 4 channel if you want to run a small sub to give a nice bass output do a 5 the 5 channel helps give a separate channel to power that sub.

You can probably get by on 50-75 watt RMS if you're just using a stock head unit and some aftermarket speakers.....you gotta watch because this can push the crappy factory speakers beyond their rated load and blow them..so if you do the Amp do the speakers as well/

I may if I get a 2019 sport or 2020 Premium Forester do just what youre talking about as I also dont like the "stock" systems but dont want to spend a arm and a leg\\\

Stock head unit

this amp as its small and decent for a small upgrade



Speakers:
More expensive

less expensive


Now also remember your gonna pay installation AND also you will 100% need wiring harnesses. I dont mess with this stuff myself anymore...I used to before the days of all these headunits with multiple security and other things like bluetooth and all that crap having to work together....I dont even try anymore...but remember thats just the speakers and amp...your gonna need wiring harnesses and stuff..

and then what ever it costs to get someone to install it unless you want to take a shot at it lol. If so good luck ;)
 
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