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Old 04-14-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
ptsmalls
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Default New OEM Radio Installed into MY11 WRX: Source MY11 Forester

So, when I picked up my '11 WRX I was happy w/ the radio system (BT, USB, Sirius) but I was jealous when I saw the 2011 Forester high end radio was a 4.5" LCD. So, I set out to find one and was lucky to score one!

USPS dropped it off today and I got to "installing" which is a light term considering I just yanked out the old one and plugged this in. LOL

I retained 100% functionality of all previous functions. In addition to the obvious 4.5" display, the radio also had HD Radio built in, and I might add works quite well.

This unit also has an input for a rearview camera (on the way...) and another port that would handle a subwoofer input.

Anyway, on to the pics! I snagged a pic of each unique screen. What's also interesting is that in one of the setting directories is the change the background and screen saver. I'll have to do a bit more research on that.







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Last edited by ptsmalls; 04-14-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
m1215
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good info. what radio was originally in your car? i have an 11 sti with the base radio,with bt and wanted something different.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
Tesh
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very cool! does it have a reverse cam option?

I'm amazed with the stereos everyone got on the mainland/in other countries... the ones we get in hawaii are boring, all black single cd and that's it.. no option for nav at all. (and theres no HD radio here anyway)
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
ptsmalls
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All 2011 wrx/sti have the same radio and the same navi option.

The 2011 Forester has 3 available radios and navi. A base one, last years Wrx/STI radio, mid grade which is what we have on 2011 wrx/STI and this one.

Back up camera is simple. There's a guy on here that makes a harness and I can hookup any rear cam I want. Very simple.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
Sideways
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how much did you pay and where did you get it from?

So bluetooth works with no issues? and is it a touch screen?
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
ptsmalls
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Not a touch screen. Found someone on eBay. Paid $200ish plus ship. Wasn't sure on the price myself. Its the first I've seen FS online. I had been looking all over for one. The guy pulled this for an aftermarket navi unit.

100% of my previous functions carried over.

Bluetooth phone and streaming
USB
Aux
Sirius

In addition the head unit has built in HD Radio. That also works great. No wiring needed. All pnp. Took about 5 minutes to install.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:40 PM   #7
Sideways
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Awesome find.

At that price I'd pick one up just so I can have an actual visual listing of MP3s off of a flash drive.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
ptsmalls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
Awesome find.

At that price I'd pick one up just so I can have an actual visual listing of MP3s off of a flash drive.
Yep, that was my main goal. I was tired of a 2 line display for ipod and Sirius. I have a much better visual now too on my phone books etc for BT.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
naimouasta
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cool! sound quality any better?
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:56 AM   #10
ptsmalls
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Hm, my "butt dyno" of audio thought it did - but who knows. It did seem that I was a number or two higher on the volume than the previous unit, but that could just be a difference in calibration of the scale.

So, tooled around online and found the manual. I learned how to upload a screen saver. If you don't touch some select radio controls for 30 seconds the screen saver will come up. You have your choice of two in the system settings. Very easy to upload. Just dump a JPG on a USB Drive and upload.

I just picked a couple quick ones to try out.





Ah, another feature I left out earlier. You can see the HD/TAG button above.

1. HD Radio is streamed like digital cable. So, if you look @ my image in earlier posts you see 102.5 FM is selected. Well, about 3-5 seconds into the audio you hear a change over in quality. It's pretty dramatic. If you look up above where it says HD 1 2 3 etc. The 1 and 2 are highlighted. The technology allows this station to stream two digital 'channels' over 102.5FM. So, basically I can hit the HD button again and it will swap over to station #2.

2. The same button also has the tagging function. Let's say I hear a song I like I can press and hold HD/TAG and it will store the info of the song on my connected Apple device. I checked w/ both my ipod and iphone. Once you connect to iTunes all the data is there.

Last edited by ptsmalls; 04-15-2011 at 01:05 AM. Reason: Added info about other features...
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:20 AM   #11
giraff
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This is exactly what I've been thinking about doing for the past few weeks. Great writeup, and thanks for the info!
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
dharel0bs11
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Would anyone happen to have a part number for that new radio on the Forester? I'd be curious to see how much my local dealers would be asking for it new.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:36 AM   #13
ptsmalls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharel0bs11 View Post
Would anyone happen to have a part number for that new radio on the Forester? I'd be curious to see how much my local dealers would be asking for it new.
I have the part # at home. I also looked to the dealer but the price was ridiculous. They wanted around $1,100.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptsmalls View Post
I have the part # at home. I also looked to the dealer but the price was ridiculous. They wanted around $1,100.
Not worth it at that price directly from dealer. I can go after market at that price point.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:20 PM   #15
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I would love to get the part# and possibly score a used one somewhere. I hate how you can't even get to scroll ARTIST names or SONG NAME let alone have them both on the same line.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #16
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:56 PM   #17
phenryiv1
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Question:

While the stock stereo was fairly functional for me, I could not get past the really, REALLY crappy sound quality of the tuner mode. The CD and MP3 modes were tolerable, but the tuner was flat-out terrible.

On this Forester stereo, does the tuner sound less muddy than it did on the stock WRX HU?

I already have a Clarion aftermarket HU (which I like very much, I might add), but for other owners who want stock operability but want a tuner that is not horrendus, this might be an option.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #18
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Does the manual say what the button blank in lower right corner is for??
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:44 PM   #19
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What Clarion do you have?
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:11 PM   #20
ptsmalls
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It's a dummy button.

Regarding the sound quality. It might just be in my head but I'm fairly certain this sounds better than my previous unit. Before anything around 32/33 on the volume dial was hit or miss. Now I can hit 34/35 and it sounds great. Although, it's entirely possible that the scale is just not 100% in sync w/ other units. FM channels sound great now since the ones I listen to locally all have HD feeds they're sending through.

I wish Subaru would post the wattage of the units. This radio is paired w/ a 6-speaker setup while my old unit on the Forester is w/ 4 speakers. I'm curious if they designed it to have a few more watts because 1. it's a higher grade radio and 2. it's paired w/ more speakers. Who knows, pure speculation. I'm going to pull the unit out again this week to install my sub so I'll take some detailed pics of the rear and the product information stickers on the top.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #21
Pineapple Devil
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wow, that loks great
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:39 PM   #22
ptsmalls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineapple Devil View Post
wow, that loks great
Thanks - It really makes the interior feel much more upscale. Typically, in the past I've purchased aftermarket in-dash nav units but found myself doing it more so for the look/feel rather then the GPS capability. Now I don't have to worry about that. LOL

Nissan and VW both have versions of these "display audio" units and they work great too.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:37 PM   #23
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wow, pretty awesome at that price. Too bad now that you made this thread everyone will be looking for them and I will have no chance of finding one.

edit: and why teh f wouldn't subaru offer this as a cheap-ish option on the impreza/wrx/sti?

Last edited by foolycooly; 04-18-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:17 PM   #24
Judah
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Just curious. . . but did you need anything additional to get the satellite to work? My girlfriend just got the forester with that exact same hu and I have no idea how to get sirius to work???
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:10 PM   #25
ptsmalls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah View Post
Just curious. . . but did you need anything additional to get the satellite to work? My girlfriend just got the forester with that exact same hu and I have no idea how to get sirius to work???
Sat Radio is an add-on. The Sat button just means you can add the feature to this unit. If you're pressing SAT and it's not switching - she doesn't have it. It would be displayed on her window label as a chargeable option on the right side.
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