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2013 Forester2.5X Premium Automatic
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have a stock HU in my '13 Foz and one of the rear speakers has started being a little tinny. So started looking in to things and have a couple options I'm considering and thinking some words of wisdom (you folks) would help me find the best direction.

Option 1- Just replace the rear speakers. Seems a lot of work to pull the panels off. Saw some posts that the stock speakers are not just normal shaped so although I'm sure I can handle the removing and reinstalling the panels, I don't care to do any machining work on the door for new speakers. Would this need to be done? And what be the best choice of speakers to use with the stock HU?

Option 2 - Rip out all the speakers and replace with new speakers and the stock HU. Once again, speaker recommendations?

Option 3 - Replace the speakers and HU with something decent all the way around. Once again recommendations as I'm sure the best speakers for the stock HU won't be the same choice as the best speakers for a new HU? And if I wanted someone else to do the work is there a recommendation? Best Buy or some place like that or is there specialty auto audio places that won't hurt too bad to deal with?

Option 4 - Same as option 3 except add backup camera as the Foz I bought didn't have that option but seeing it in other vehicles, that would be nice to have. And is something with GPS mapping worth the $$$ as we get by pretty good with my droid on a mount and Waze on the screen.

Thanks for your suggestions and help.
 

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2011 Forester XT Slush box
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120 Posts
Go with option 4, but don't worry about GPS mapping. Instead, get a HU that supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Use your phone's built in GPS for navigation. Works anywhere you can get a decent cell signal.

As far as installation, I'm not sure if this is the case with a 2013, but I know that on my 2011 I needed to get spacer brackets to fit decent speakers. Subaru's traditionally have rather shallow speaker mounting situations in the doors.

I don't know how good Best Buy is as I've never had work done by them. I went with a local custom radio/tint/wheel shop, who also was a Pioneeer and JVC dealer. I did my own speaker installation, but had them install the stereo and the reverse camera. I probably could have done it myself (I did a similar install in my Impreza), but was pressed for time.

Definitely replace the speakers, and replace all of them. A good shop will know what would fit, or go to Crutchfield.com and see what they recommend for your year and trim level.
 

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2013 Forester2.5X Premium Automatic
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info and been shopping Crutchfield already. Kind of liking these, Kenwood HU and Kicker Speakers:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DDX9705/Kenwood-DDX9705S.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSS654/Kicker-43CSS654.html

How do those sound? Not sure I want to tackle the install myself but then again don't want pay as much to have components installed then the components cost. Door panel removals look doable but not the easiest. HU replacement I haven't done since my '87 Monte Carlo SS :O/
 

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2011 Forester XT Slush box
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120 Posts
A new complexity with HU installation is that manufacturers have stopped adhering to the DIN standard for sizing, so if you're looking at a double DIN radio like the Kenwood you'll probably need a spacer to eliminate the gap.

Second thing to consider - does your car have steering wheel audio controls? If so, you'll need an adapter that's programmed to go from Subaru to the HU if you want to continue using them. This was one of the reasons I went with professional installation on the head unit. Also, I wasn't totally sure how to pull the dash apart and I didn't want to break any plastic.

I'm not sure how much this is universally true, but some places will cut you a deal on installation if you buy the gear from them. Especially an independent custom shop.
 

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2013 Forester
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6 Posts
Option 3/4 for sure. I have the same year/trim and the stock HU and speakers are pretty lame, you'll be amazed at the difference a decent set will make. Installation is pretty simple except for the backup camera. Specifics:

HU - total piece of cake. The trim panel can pretty much be pulled straight off by hand, 4 screws hold the HU in. Get a wire harness from Crutchfield free with the unit or from Radio Wiring Adapter (Harness) for Subaru Impreza and Forester - the advantage of the second one is that you won't have to tap into the wire harness in the car to hook up the steering wheel control adapter, worth the extra $12. I used the Axxess ASWC adapter, works great and simple to program. Crutchfield will also supply a double DIN mount bracket that bolts right in. For the unit, rather than the one you were looking at I'd recommend this one for the same price with Garmin nav built in
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DNX575S/Kenwood-DNX575S.html?search=dnx575s&skipvs=T
That way you aren't at the mercy of a cell signal, can be an issue in some areas, and it's really well integrated into the interface. I have the Execelon version of the HU and it's outstanding.

Speakers - a little bit more involved than the HU but still not bad. Crutchfield gives you a sheet showing how to get the panels off. Trickiest part is the sail panel trim pieces - the clips are pretty stiff and it's not always obvious which way to pry, I broke a couple tabs but was still able to put them back OK. Everything else is easy. Standard 6 1/2" speakers are a perfect fit - I used adapters from here
PVC Speaker Adapters - CNC Machined - In Stock or Custom Made
and they dropped right in. Separate tweeters in the front like you picked are a real plus but you will need to cut a hole in the door panel, not a big deal; I wouldn't bother in the rear, just use coaxes.

Backup camera - really nice to have like you said but a fair amount of work due to the number of panels you have to remove to route the wire to the front. There's a pretty good thread on here showing the process, unfortunately Crutchfield doesn't have a sheet for this. Everything comes apart easily enough once you know where the clips are, there's just a lot of panels and trim pieces to remove. If you don't have the time or confidence this might be worth farming out, the rest is definitely DIY.

I did all of the above to mine plus a 5 channel Alpine amp under the seat and a sub box in the rear and the results were well worth the effort (amp was probably the most challenging part). Will try to get some photos of the process posted on here at some point.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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227 Posts
Consider installing a Kenwood Excelon DNX695S?

Thanks for the info and been shopping Crutchfield already. Kind of liking these, Kenwood HU and Kicker Speakers:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DDX9705/Kenwood-DDX9705S.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSS654/Kicker-43CSS654.html

How do those sound? Not sure I want to tackle the install myself but then again don't want pay as much to have components installed then the components cost. Door panel removals look doable but not the easiest.
For $50 more (after rebate) than the Kenwood DDX9705S would cost you could buy a Kenwood-Excelon-DNX695S with built-in Garmin navigation for $699.99 (after a $200 rebate). It's the replacement HU I want for my 2015 Forester Premium.

The HU and speakers you choose will sound better if you install sound deadening onto the doors, and Stinger Roadkill FAST Rings to more efficiently focus the speakers into your Forester. If you buy a new HU, and steering wheel control parts, from Crutchfield the installation will be easier if you also buy their $24.99 pre-wiring readyharness_service.

When/if I buy a DNX695S I'll buy the iDatalink Maestro maestro.idatalink.com steering wheel control parts that will enable me to monitor the engine oil temperature, tire pressure and other performance read outs on the HU screen. You can use the link to input your Forester's info and the HU model you may plan to buy to find the compatible iDatalink parts you'd need.

https://youtu.be/bHeMcdAw1Us Unboxing and demonstration of a Kenwood Excelon DNX695S
 
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