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Old 04-11-2018, 11:28 AM   #815
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NJ
2017 STI
Lapis Blue

Default Scoobyfreak86 2017 Lapis Blue Pearl STI Journal

April 10, 2018

What's being installed: Kicker Speaker Tweeters and Door Speakers

In my quest to make this car a perfect daily driver, I knew the audio was a weak spot and needed to be addressed. I am no audio guru, but the stock system leaves a lot to be imagined. Coming from my 2015 Jeep GC, I noticed the sound system in the STI was extremely weak right away. I had a similar experience with my previous WRX and ended up changing the headunit out. That alone made a night and day difference, but with this car, I wanted to keep things as OEM as possible.

Before I got the car, I had intensions of getting one with the harmon kardon option, but when it came down to it, there were only 2 STI's on the lot with that upgrade and they were red. Also, they were 4-5k more and didn't find it necessary to spend that much more mainly just for the stereo. I started my research to see what options I had as I knew there had to be something out there that fit the bill.

I first came across the OEM audio plus solution. This seemed to be the exact direction I wanted to go in since it was a seamless install that provided quality sound without interfering with the stock wiring. Great! However, after seeing the price, I puckered a bit and couldn't justify spending that much on the system. I spoke with the owner at OEM+ and he was extremely helpful and was willing to work with me, however, it just wasn't enough to make me jump at the deal.

I briefly entertained the idea of doing something custom and having a reputable shop do it. However at the end of the day, it was going to be more work and time into this car that I wasn't willing to do. I wanted to keep it simple. I am sure going with this option would have produced a much better sound, but again, I am not after something that breaks windows.

Next I came across the OEM kicker upgrade. What I found appealing to this was that is it an OEM option that literally bolts up and plugs into the existing holes and plugs. I just wanted to remove the stock speakers and bolt the new stuff right up without having to splice wires and configure brackets and molds. Keep in mind, I am not going after the best sound. Just something to up the quality a bit to rid the harshness and create a more clear and crisp sound. I ended up finding Subaru Parts Warehouse and saw they were offering 25% off so I managed to get the door speakers and tweeters for $275. Which I thought was a pretty great deal considering the normal cost.

Everything arrived at my doorstep in a few days so I decided to get cracking on the install. The overall impression was that they were much higher quality than I thought. The door speakers look really nice and have a nice weight to them. The magnet in the back seem to be pretty substantial, so I knew it was going to offer a much cleaner sound off the bat. The tweeters seemed to be a bit lighter and cheaper feeling than I thought, however it didn't poison my opinion on their performance. Ended up taking 2 days simply because I didn't get into the garage until 11/11:30pm after doing Dad and grownup things.

I did the tweeters the first night since it was easy access and wasn't as involved as the door speakers. Simply pop the covers off, unscrew, unplug and do everything in reverse order. Just what I wanted! OEM fitment and easy install.

The next night I managed to get into the garage a little earlier so I could tackle the door speakers. Knowing it was a bit more work, I wanted to make sure I allotted enough time to this install to make sure I didn't break anything and everything went back together properly. Creating new rattles was a concern of mine, so I made sure that everything that came off went right back on the same way. I also did an extra step and put some electrical tape on all the clip holes to ensure a much tighter fit. I also tapped down the speaker wires in the front to the door frame to ensure there was no movement and possibility of introducing rattles.

Everything bolted up perfectly and literally looked like they were meant to be there. The whole kit comes with everything you need to ensure an OEM like install. Felt tape, vibration dampers. Very pleased with how everything bolted up to the car. I was also impressed with how everything went back together. There was no hunting for the clip holes. Everything went back together perfectly.

Since I installed the tweeters the day before and had a chance to listen to them first, I got to say the tweeters made the biggest difference. The really cleared up the sound and you can tell just how more crisp everything sounded. I was pretty impressed with them as I felt they were the weak link in the whole upgrade since they were made of plastic and felt a bit cheaper. The door speakers definitely made a difference as the sound ended up feeling much more full. Not as big of a difference as I imagined, but definitely something you'll notice right away. I am now able to turn the stereo up without hearing any of the harshness. The upgrade really shines when the volume is up as I felt that is where the biggest difference was apparent.

Was it worth the $275? I am going to go with yes on this one. While it's not as big of a difference as I thought, it definitely was an upgrade. For the money, that's a pretty cheap for an OEM option. I really feel the kicker sub would tie it all in and complete the system. Which I feared and knew it was something I was going to come to conclusion on. I will have to do my research on this one as I definitely would like to add a sub to the car to fill in the gaps. I really enjoy the kicker and OEM+ subs as they offer a really nice package that keeps things OEM looking and super clean. Pricing is steep on both still, so it's something I have to do some research on.

Overall, I am pleased with the upgrade. Definitely a difference that I feel I will really notice more the more I listen to music. I feel a solid headunit would benefit as well, but not sure I want to go that route just yet since I haven't found a solution that flows well with the OEM scheme.

Sorry for the potato pictures. Ended up using my phone yet again [emoji20]

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Last edited by ScoobyFreak86; 04-11-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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