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2017 WRX STI Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone compared the factory subs (Forester, Impreza, Outback...etc...) to see which one has the best sound?
Or even amongst just the Foresters? SG vs SH?


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2004 Forester XT 5 speed
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I'd be curious to know the answer to this as well - although you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who will give you a different answer than:
It's not worth the time/money to compare them, they all suck.
Myself included. :) When the 6x9 "sub" in the back of my 2004 got disabled as a result of my head unit upgrade, I noticed absolutely no difference.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that you could get better sub-bass response by upgrading the door speakers than you could with any factory subwoofer. For "real" sub-bass (20-80hz) it takes a large speaker diameter, with enough wattage to move it.
 

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1999 Forester S 5-Speed Manual
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217 Posts
I'd be curious to know the answer to this as well - although you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who will give you a different answer than:

Myself included. :) When the 6x9 "sub" in the back of my 2004 got disabled as a result of my head unit upgrade, I noticed absolutely no difference.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that you could get better sub-bass response by upgrading the door speakers than you could with any factory subwoofer. For "real" sub-bass (20-80hz) it takes a large speaker diameter, with enough wattage to move it.
In al honesty, your quote is spot on!

Factory speakers are made from inferior materials when compared to aftermarket, even the entry-level-priced Sony and Pioneer speakers you can buy at Wal-Mart for $40 or less.

Replacing just the door speakers will improve clarity, but if the factory head unit is weak on power (as most are), you'll need a decent aftermarket unit that will efficiently power the speakers to avoid a loss in bass response.

Even $200-$250 for a mid-level CD head unit and decent door speakers will far exceed most factory units in terms of sound quality, features, and overall enjoyment.

A fair warning, if you're an audiophile like me: It gets addictive, and a good subwoofer and amp to drive it will be the next step. That's not necessarily a bad thing: You'll hear notes in your favorite songs you've never heard before!

Good luck!

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1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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Pretty well all OEM audio equipment is sub standard/doesn't reflect the price of the car, particularly speakers probably because they are hidden and it's always been a sore spot with me this penny pinching by car makers that is now considered standard acceptable practice. If you want to improve the sound of your audio system the speakers are probably the best place to start but do your research first as car audio makers supply absurd and unbelievable output figure for speakers. "Max output" is is as much use as a chocolate tea pot, the only ones that matter are RMS or DIN references. Do not buy co-axial speakers, it's components you need for the Foz and there are loads of really good offerings out there just check on the correct size as the Forester has fairly small units. Unfortunately, no matter how good the speaker, because of the rather noisy nature of the Foz, most frequencies below 100Hz will be swallowed up hence the need for a sub to make that back up without straining the door drivers. You should notice a big improvement in sound quality by doing this and even the factory head will sound a lot better but even that is pretty lame so decide what you want, CD, USB, iPod, SD, blue tooth etc, it's all out there. The other factor is sound quality, if that's more important to you than say bass boost (Pioneer/Sony), vast numbers of buttons (Panasonic/JVC/Sony/Pioneer) or sound quality (Alpine, Brekker, Blaupunkt). These are just a few examples that came out the top of my head but there is much more to discover pror to opening your wallet.

The factory installed wiring is perfectly adequate so retrofitting is fairly easy once the sizes are correct but be aware of the new speaker depth because the factory drivers have cheap small and shallow magnets, the better components will have bigger magnets which might interfere with the window so look in the correct section on the forum front page as there are plenty of posts on how to make spacers easily.

As for subs, if you don't want to lose the boot replace the standard under seat piece of crap with one of any number of excellent "kegs" available which will make the OEM part seem puny and a waste of space. This is pretty well what is said above but expanded a little.
 
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