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2018 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
Any suggestions on upgrading the factory stereo on a 2.5X Premium? I need something simple for my wife to operate (including Ipod controls). Prefer Double Din, and I don't necessarily want to add amp, subwoofer, etc. because it looks like I'll be buying a rear spoiler and fog lights. Should have just bought the XT to begin with!
 

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What is your budget? Do you want bluetooth integration?

My top choice for non-DVD double din is the Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT which has blue tooth integrated. Other good choices include:
Clarion DUZ385SAT
Clarion CX609
JVC KW-XG500
JVC KW-XG700
Kenwood DPX303
Kenwood DPX503
 

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Premium Member
2018 Forester XT Touring
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203 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
What is your budget? Do you want bluetooth integration?

My top choice for non-DVD double din is the Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT which has blue tooth integrated. Other good choices include:
Clarion DUZ385SAT
Clarion CX609
JVC KW-XG500
JVC KW-XG700
Kenwood DPX303
Kenwood DPX503
Thanks for the reply. I checked the Crutchfield website and they do not have info on the installation kits for the 2010 models. I wonder if dimensions changed from 09. Bluetooth would be nice but the main thing is ease of use and Ipod connectivity.
 

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2010 Forester
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In The Same Boat

Hey guys -

Just brought home my 2010 Forester Premium last night and LOVE the car but my God, the stereo is an absolute joke...I liked what I was reading in this thread because I can't imagine that a subwoofer and tweeters from Subaru would fix the issues - it just sounds like it's coming out of tin cans and the whole mid range is completely screwed up...it's almost like the whole thing is run through a reverb filter or something. Scary.

Anyway - I saw this great list here from Fliptwister and I'm in the same boat as wbwjr - I don't want a separate amp and sub and all of that jazz, just something I can replace the factory radio with that a) sounds great (or as good as possible) b) won't make the dashboard look ridiculous and c) can interface with the existing controls on the steering wheel and the jack in the center console for the aux. Do you think that Pioneer will fit the bill? And would I have to replace the factory speakers, do you think?

However, I'm no good at wiring this kind of stuff so I'd definitely want to take it somewhere...got any advice? THANKS for any input you can provide!
 

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2007 Forester
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92 Posts
Hey guys -

Just brought home my 2010 Forester Premium last night and LOVE the car but my God, the stereo is an absolute joke...I liked what I was reading in this thread because I can't imagine that a subwoofer and tweeters from Subaru would fix the issues - it just sounds like it's coming out of tin cans and the whole mid range is completely screwed up...it's almost like the whole thing is run through a reverb filter or something. Scary.

Anyway - I saw this great list here from Fliptwister and I'm in the same boat as wbwjr - I don't want a separate amp and sub and all of that jazz, just something I can replace the factory radio with that a) sounds great (or as good as possible) b) won't make the dashboard look ridiculous and c) can interface with the existing controls on the steering wheel and the jack in the center console for the aux. Do you think that Pioneer will fit the bill? And would I have to replace the factory speakers, do you think?

However, I'm no good at wiring this kind of stuff so I'd definitely want to take it somewhere...got any advice? THANKS for any input you can provide!

I don't believe there are any units that are plug and play with steering wheel controls for the Forester. You would need to get a PAC-SWI adapter to maintain controls with a new HU.

I believe that you will also lose the aux input in the console with most, if not all units. You can however wire one yourself if you get a unit with a 1/8 jack in the back.

Pinoeer makes a good HU- so does clarion, Alpine and Kenwood.

As for replacing factory speakers, definitely. You will only hear a marginal difference by replacing the HU. Check out this thread and look at the picture comparing the speaker magnet on the old speaker and the new one he is putting in- this and the fact that the cone material sucks is why the stockers are no good. http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f77/fliptwister-2010-forester-x-stereo-build-log-62338/
 

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2010 Forester
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That is super helpful, thank you...I'm going to print this out and take it along with me to a specialty car-audio place up the street from the dealer that they typically work with, and see what they say...I'd really like to maintain that steering wheel control at a minimum. But, the USB jack configuration shown in the picture is fine by me - I can lose the center console aux and not care too much...
 

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But wait, actually, does that mean that perhaps a speaker upgrade with the OEM radio will do the trick? What are your thoughts on that? I'm really looking for better sound rather than additional features...
 

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2007 Forester
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The problem with doing that is power. Most aftermarket speaker you would put in there would be around 50 watts RMS, whereas the stock radio only has about 8 watts RMS per channel. That is going to leave your speakers very underpowered which will lead to muddled and weak sound. 8 watts works to power the stock speakers, although not well as you pointed out, because the cone is made out of lighter, less dense material and the small magnet means less precise cone movement.

If you went this route of keeping the stock radio you could just add an amp to the setup. This would give the new speakers enough power to run efficiently and produce good sound. If you are only replacing the fronts, then a two-channel amp would work fine (you could get a two channel amp for this application for around $100). Any audio shop would be able to do this easily.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #11
I'm close to pulling the trigger on the Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT which is a double din unit. I checked Pioneers website and they say the 2010 has a "corporate" double din opening which is approx. 1/2" larger than a standard double din. I've been researching and no one seems to have a trim ring to cover up the extra space. I've tried Crutchfield and Scosche but no luck. When you pull up the fit guide (Crutchfield hasn't added the '10 Forester) at Pioneer's website, it doesn't bring up this model. This is getting frustrating!
 

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2010 Forester
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Interesting...I've been reading good reviews about that Pioneer unit but one piece of feedback that seems prevalent is that the display is REALLY bright at night. Sounds like there are some goofy (and temporary) workarounds, but I don't like that...still, if that were the only downside...but now the ill-fit also has me going "hmmm..."

Well, I'm going to visit two really good local auto-audio shops either tomorrow or Saturday and get some insight/estimates from them - since it sounds like we're basically in the market for the same thing, I'll be sure to tell you what I find out. I'm going in armed with the coments from the other folks on this thread - thanks, y'all!
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #13
When Circuit City bit the dust, the only option left around here was Best Buy. Not my favorite place to shop. Maybe I'll take a drive down to Charlottesville - Crutchfield does installations there.
 

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I'm close to pulling the trigger on the Pioneer Premier FH-P800BT which is a double din unit. I checked Pioneers website and they say the 2010 has a "corporate" double din opening which is approx. 1/2" larger than a standard double din. I've been researching and no one seems to have a trim ring to cover up the extra space. I've tried Crutchfield and Scosche but no luck. When you pull up the fit guide (Crutchfield hasn't added the '10 Forester) at Pioneer's website, it doesn't bring up this model. This is getting frustrating!
Good choice on the FH-P800BT. That really is the best of the double din units. I'm a Kenwood person and I prefer the FH-P800BT to the Kenwood ones. Where did you find that corporate dd info? I have never heard of that before. Do you have link? Crutchfield says it fits (I did 2009 Forester which is the same). I would go to Best Buy and check it out. They will not have the Premium version, they will only have the FH-P8000BT. They are the same but the Premium has 2 year warranty instead of one.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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203 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I called Pioneer and spoke to a customer service rep to get clarification on the meaning "corporate" double din and that is when she told me it was about 1/2" larger than std. double din.

Here is the link to Pioneer's fit guide: Pioneer USA - Fit Guide


2010 SUBARU FORESTER 4DR SUV WITH 2.5L ENGINE AND STANDARD AUDIO SYSTEM

* Select New Vehicle

Front Speaker Image
Rear Speaker Image
Click the sizes below to view matching products.

Car Deck Specifications
Car Deck Size - CORPORATE DOUBLE DIN
Speaker Specifications
Location Size Depth
Front Speaker 6.5 4
Front Tweeter 1 1
Rear Speaker 6.5 4


You can click on corporate double din to see the models that fit but it doesn't bring up the FH-P800BT.
 

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2007 Forester
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When Circuit City bit the dust, the only option left around here was Best Buy. Not my favorite place to shop. Maybe I'll take a drive down to Charlottesville - Crutchfield does installations there.
Yeah, they have an outlet store there. I live in Richmond and have meant to stop in there sometime, but I never have made it.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #17
I called Crutchfield today and spoke with the research dept. Shazamm!, they added the 2010 Forester today. Now I'm wondering if I should just buy the factory sub and and better speakers. The more I research stereo's the more confused I get.
 

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Good choice on the FH-P800BT. That really is the best of the double din units. I'm a Kenwood person and I prefer the FH-P800BT to the Kenwood ones. Where did you find that corporate dd info? I have never heard of that before. Do you have link? Crutchfield says it fits (I did 2009 Forester which is the same). I would go to Best Buy and check it out. They will not have the Premium version, they will only have the FH-P8000BT. They are the same but the Premium has 2 year warranty instead of one.
I concur on the 800BT. I love mine! Sounds great even without amps, but a "real" sub is a must for any stereo.
 

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Sorry if this is coming off a bit late.... but I figured I'd give my two cents...

To be honest, from reviews i've read on here, the factory subwoofer is not worth it. For the price you pay for it (Appx. $200), you can easily get a good sub such as the Kenwood KSC-SW10 sub that can mount right underneath the driver or passenger's seat. It's not a crazy sounding sub, but does provide a little more power than the factory one. I believe there is a thread on here that takes apart the factory sub.

Before I get in to what I'm going to say, I thought I'd tell you what I'm running first... I've got a Clarion DUZ385SAT head unit, with the USB cable run to my glovebox for my ipod, so it'll charge, play, and I have the iPod interface (Very user friendly). I also have Alpine Type S speakers in the front doors, Kicker DS600's in my back doors, all running off of a Kenwood KAC-8404 50watt rms per channel amp, an Infinity basslink sub, and the factory tweeters. I used to have a Kenwood KSC-SW10 Sub mounted under the driver's seat, which is great for the typical music listener.

As for the head unit, I highly recommend the Clarion DUZ385SAT head unit, which outputs about 20watts rms per channel. I recommend you get the factory tweeters, because they will really make a big difference in the audio for the stock system. Plus, its a plug n play unit. As for the head unit, you will lose the factory aux adapter, which is pretty characteristic of every aftermarket head unit. However, this unit will offer you a USB input on the back of it, which can easily be routed to the glovebox so you can plug in an iPod that will allow it to charge and play. The user interface for the ipod is VERY easy to use, Simply press a button and you can scroll through songs, playlists, etc. It does not get any easier than that. I have a few pics below:







Oh, and about the speakers, they suck. Really. When I was installing my aftermarket ones, I pulled the factory ones out, which feel like they only weigh a few ounces... but they are decent if you aren't picky with your sound too much. An aftermarket head unit will really free the speakers up and make a big difference over the factory head unit's 8watts rms. Quick shot of the factory speakers:


Oh, and for the steering wheel controls, you're going to have to buy a Pac Swi-Jak to gain the controls back.... I haven't gotten it yet for mine, but I plan on it...

Hope this helps!
 
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