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Old 04-10-2005, 01:31 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Arrow Stock head unit information -- pin-outs, subwoofer, aux inputs, and more

This thread answers some FAQs about the stock radio. I've consolidated information spread throughout many other threads and other forums.

Do not post questions or replies here!

Please post replies in this other thread:
Discussion/questions/updates about "Stock head unit information..." FAQ thread
(Better yet, take a few minutes searching the forums and you'll likely find an existing thread that answers your question)

Index to this thread

Post # . Topic
  1. Stock head unit removal
  2. Speaker/power connector
  3. Antenna connector
  4. Subwoofer (powered, under-seat style)
  5. Subwoofer jack (new style)
  6. CD Changer Input Jacks, Aux-input adapters
  7. (reshuffling posts)
  8. (reshuffling posts)
  9. (reshuffling posts)
  10. Real aux-input on 2007s
  11. 2008-up Non-Navi speaker/power connector / 2008-2011 OEM Kenwood Navi HU
  12. Subaru McIntosh Premium Audio System

Note: Many of the pictures are thumbnails -- click on them to see the full-sized image.

First, how to remove your radio:

TIP #1: Remember to eject all of your CDs before you remove your radio!
TIP #2: Many people have found that the screws holding the mounting brackets on the sides of the radio were extremely tight and stripped the heads while trying to remove them. If yours don't turn easily, make sure you use a screwdriver that is exactly the right size for the screw. Keep it forcefully pushed into the screw head until you get it unseized.
For newer models/years and those not specifically listed here:
Subaru's web site has free documents for installing accessories. The ones for satellite radio receivers, subwoofers, and iPod Interfaces include the procedure to remove and re-install the stock HU. Find one that covers your model and year. Link: Subaru Technical Information System (choose Publication Type "Accessory Installation Guide")

For information about OEM head units, you can download Subaru's owner's manuals free here:
Manuals for OEM navigation HUs are supplements (separate from) the normal manuals for the car. After you've searched for the manuals for your year and model, scroll down to see the supplements listed below those.

2012-2014 Impreza (not WRX or STi) -- new dash design (same as 2012-up Crosstrek)
2012 Impreza stereo replacement

2012 2.0i Impreza factory Sat install

Pioneer AVH-2400BT install on my 2013 Impreza Sport Premium
2012-up Impreza Fujitsu Ten nav HU
2012 STI Stereo Build with OEM NAV H/U
2011-2014 WRX & STi (same as 2011 Impreza, 2011-2013 Forester)
DIY: 2013 Sedan Aftermarket Headunit install

Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS Installed in 2011 WRX

Install Log: 2011 5DR [WRX]

Pioneer AVH-P4400BH installed in 2012 WRX

Install Parrot Asteroid Smart + UNIKA in 2011 WRX
2008-2010 Impreza / WRX / STi:
The 1st comprehensive 2008 impreza dash & radio removal guide. Great pictures.
2006-2007 Impreza / WRX / STi:
How-to install a stereo in a 2006 Impreza W/ PICS

WRX center console STi Limited install

Pioneer AVIC- Z140BH install w/ backup camera/ xm on 2007 sti
2005 Impreza / WRX / STi:
How to Install and Remove stereo 2005 Impreza / WRX

2005 WRX WGN + iPod? (pictures)

How To: Remove Stock Radio MY05 on ScoobyMods.com
2002-2004 Impreza / WRX / STi:
Great pictures: "A how to guide for changing the HVAC and Radio to RED!"

Nice diagram showing where the clips are: "Mod: New age WRX removal & install center panel & radio panel"

Subaru subwoofer installation guide for 2002 Impreza (PDF file on SubaruParts.com. Shows how to open the dash and remove the factory radio).
1993-2001 Impreza (GC8):
"Head Unit Replacement" on ScoobyMods.com
2007 Forester:
Stereo Removal Tutorial (w/ manual A/C controls) on SubaruForester.org

Bobby's WRB '07 FSXT (Audio Upgrade - Part 4) (w/ auto A/C controls) on SubaruForester.org
2005 Forester:
How To: Install JVC KR-XW610 head unit in a 2005 Subaru Forester - Parts 1&2 (great pictures, including disconnecting manual A/C control rods)
2003 Forester:
CD Changer installation guide (PDF file on SubaruParts.com. Shows how to open the dash and remove the factory radio).
Thread 2003+ stereo info by Peaty on ScoobyMods. Nice pictures starting in post #3.
Subaru Forester MY03 Audio Installation by "Rob" on BlogSpot.com.
2010-2011 Legacy & Outback:
Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override

Install: Navigation, back up camera and poor man's lo jack GPS tracker. [2011 Legacy]
2005-2009 Legacy & Outback:
SuperMoose's Audio Install **Picture Heavy** 2008 Legacy (& Outback)[on LegacyGT.com]

Official dual HVAC Double Din (JDM) Kit thread! (install aftermarket HU in place of OEM combined HU w/ dual-zone HVAC controls in 2005-2009 "Generation IV" Legacy/Outback models)
2000-2004 Legacy & Outback:
Help: Replacing stereo on a 02 legacy wagon on LegacyGT.com
2001 Outback [& Legacy]:
Adding a real stereo to your Subaru Outback
1997 Legacy Outback:
Legacy Outback 97 Head Unit Installation
2008 Tribeca:
2008 Tribeca D.I.Y. Parrot / Bluetooth Install Guide
SVX (all years):
SVX Audio Installation Guide

OEM HU Accessories:
Sirius satellite radio tuner kit into 2011 WRX

New 2011 11" Trunk Mounted Subwoofer

Factory Kicker Subwoofer Help (great pictures of the insides, and part number for replacement harness)

Subaru underseat sub installation Pictures included (2005 Saab 9-2x Aero -- like Impreza)

2005 Legacy Sub Installed Yesterday (Pictures)...

Other useful threads:
Speed Pulse [VSS], Reverse, Parking Brake Wires

Hidden menu for 2011+ "premium" head unit? (improve the nasty default EQ on several recent OEM models)

How To: Improve Stock Subaru WRX/STI Stereo Radio Clarion CZ624u1 (improve the nasty default EQ. Also applies to Forester CP625U1)

New OEM Radio Installed into MY11 WRX: Source MY11 Forester (transplant Forester CP635U1 with 4.3" screen)

2012+ OEM Fujitsu Ten Navigation HU to Non-Nav WRX transplant!

2012 WRX backup camera Fujitsu nav install details
Do you know of another good HU install guide? Please let me know! Either use the 'Send email to SVXdc' link (click on my username), or post a reply to the parallel 'questions/updates' thread.


Last edited by SVXdc; 03-09-2014 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:32 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default Speaker/power connector

Nearly all Subaru radios from 1995 to 2007 (except SVX), plus some 1993/1994 and some 2008-up use the same, 14-pin connector for speakers, power, illumination, etc.

2008 and up in some Subaru models without Navigation switched to a new 20-pin connector. For details see post #11, below.

Here's a picture of the back of the 2006 WRX radio, courtesy of Bluemanchu (click for larger version):

Main speaker/power connector

Below is a picture of the harness that's wired into the car (also known as the "factory radio harness"). This plugs into the rear of the radio (in the radio picture above, the white socket on the far left side)...

Nearly all* Subarus from 1993 through 2007 (except the SVX) have used this same 14-pin plug for the 4 speaker outputs and power connections.

So any Subaru radio with the 14-pin speaker/power connector will be "plug-and-play" in any other Subaru whose radio had the 14-pin connector (as long as the radio physically fits).

Here's the pin-out for the radio connector, with wire colors in the Impreza/WRX
(the page also has links to wire color variations in the Legacy, Outback, Baja, and Forester).

The above tables apply to the wire colors behind the radio. Be aware that in many years/models, the wire colors change by the time they reach the speakers. Here's a thread that details one example (includes Subaru's wiring diagram): 2001 2.5RS speaker wire color codes

To install your aftermarket head unit, you should use a radio installation harness for Subarus, similar to this (for older years):
or this for newer years:
Don't splice into your factory wires to try to save a few bucks. That frequently causes problems (e.g., blown fuses), and is one of the biggest reasons for the same questions being posted here repeatedly ("Help! I installed a radio and now my car's ___ doesn't work any more!").

*Updated info, courtesy of vrg3:
In North America, 1993 and 1994 Legacies and Justies carried over the pre-1993 connector (actually a two-plug set). SVXs in Europe also use that style of radio harness. Here's a picture from Crutchfield.com of the corresponding wiring adapter for those models/years:

(click thumbnail for their product page, with more info and larger pictures).

Here's the pin-out for that older style of radio connector. Pin assignments:
View is looking at the contact pins on the car's harnesses (wires pointing away from you).

1990-1994 Loyales used yet a different style of plug:

(click thumbnail for their product page, with more info and larger pictures).
Antenna Control Pin ("antenna remote on")

Earlier Subarus have a rod antenna that you raise or lower by hand. Some have a motorized antenna.

Starting in around 2000, Subarus have the main antenna on the rear glass. Imprezas started in 2004, Foresters as early as 1999. More recently, many models have a stubby antenna on the roof. With all of these, there is an antenna booster amplifier, usually hidden in one of the rear pillars in sedans, or in the tailgate in Foresters and 5-door Imprezas. In this picture of a sedan, it's the box with the "L" sticker. The red arrow points to where the antenna lead connects to the glass foil:

(picture posted by qoncept in this thread "Fix your tinted 04+ radio reception!")

Important note:
On models that have an antenna booster amplifier (or old models with a motorized antenna), when installing an aftermarket radio you must supply +12 volts to the power antenna pin on the radio harness to activate the booster amp or antenna motor. When the antenna amplifier is not 'on', you'll get very poor or no radio reception.

Both the antenna booster amplifier and a motorized antenna require a low-current signal. The booster amp draws about 50mA.

On older cars, the power antenna lead is pin 14 on the 14-pin radio harness. For cars with the 20-pin harness, it's pin 9. On Subarus that use Toyota-style harnesses (10- and 6-pin), it's pin 8 on the 10-pin harness.

(exception: On 2000 and 2001 Foresters, the antenna amplifier is activated directly from Accessory power; the radio harness has no pin/wire on power antenna pin)
All Subaru factory radios since the 1990s provide this signal, whether or not the car it was in had a motorized antenna or antenna booster amplifier.

The radio activates this pin only while you're listening to AM/FM (not disc, tape, or aux) -- so it cannot be used as a remote turn-on for a speaker amplifier.

On an aftermarket radio installation harness (which you should use), the power antenna lead is usually solid BLUE. That is the standard aftermarket color for "power antenna control." The car's factory wire color is usually something different.

When installing an after-market radio, here's what you should connect to the Subaru's antenna control pin (choices from "best" to "worst"):
  1. "Power antenna" output. Most after-market radios have this, usually a solid BLUE wire. This will activate the antenna only while you listen to AM/FM.
  2. Amplifier remote control (usually a BLUE/WHITE wire). Not all after-market radios have this. This will activate the antenna whenever the radio is on, even when you switch to CD or AUX input.
  3. For head units that lack both of the above wires, your only other choice is to connect the Subaru's antenna control pin to Accessory power (+12V switched, aftermarket RED wire). Then the antenna amp will be 'on' (or the motorized antenna will extend) whenever you turn the ignition key to ACC or ON.

Illumination/Dimmer Pins

Subarus have two pins on the radio connector for illumination:
  • Pin 1 ("Illumination +") gets +12 volts when the parking or headlights are on; open-circuit otherwise.
  • Pin 7 ("Dimmer") changes voltage as you adjust the dimmer knob. It varies from about 10 volts (with knob at the dimmest setting) down to 0 volts (with knob at brightest setting). This pin is also called "Illumination - (minus)". Note that this is reverse from many other cars (where 0 volts = dimmest illumination).
The radio illumination lights (and instrument panel lights) are connected between these two lines. So the bulbs effectively "see" a range of 2 volts (dimmest) to 12 volts (brightest).

If you're keeping the factory radio (perhaps adding an amp or sub, or transplanting the radio to another car), you need a harness that has all 14 pins. Most after-market harnesses do not have a wire for the Dimmer pin. Without that pin, the factory radio's illumination will not work at all. See posts starting here.

When installing an after-market head unit that includes a wire for dimmer or illumination: In most cases these HUs only support a two-stage dimming feature -- either full bright (daytime) or slightly dimmed (night driving). Connect this type to pin 1 (the car's illumination(+) signal). You may also need to change a menu option on your HU to enable the dimming feature.

If you have a head unit (or gauge) that wants to see a variable-voltage illumination wire that's not "reversed," (so higher voltage = brighter), you can use this circuit designed by "vrg3" which converts the Subaru's +/- illumination wires into a dimming voltage relative to ground. It's mentioned in this post here on NASIOC (it's worth reading the remainder of the thread too).

Recent Subaru model years (around 2006 and later) have changed to LEDs for the instrument panel lights. In these cars, the dimmer wire provides a pulse-width modulated signal (12V switched rapidly "on" and "off"). The dimmer knob adjusts the percentage of "on" time, causing the LEDs to appear dimmer or brighter. This type of dimmer line may or may not be compatible with some HUs or gauges. Check with the aftermarket manufacturer before attempting to use. Also see this post.

Tweeter Connections

The stock radios have only four speaker outputs. The OEM tweeters connect in parallel to wires going to the front door speakers. The tweeter wires branch off either behind the dash or inside the door, depending on the model.

There is a capacitor on the back of each tweeter which serves as a high-pass filter. There is no low-pass filter or crossover for the door speakers.

The wires/plugs are usually present even in cars that did not include the tweeters.

Picture from the 2005 Impreza/WRX wiring diagram:


Last edited by SVXdc; 03-09-2014 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:32 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default Antenna connection

Most Subaru radios have a standard "Motorola" style antenna connector (big, round coax). On the radio pictured in post #2, the socket is at the far right corner of picture, shown with the antenna cable plugged in.

Models in the last several years that have the antenna wires on the rear glass have an Antenna RF Amplifier unit (usually hidden in a rear pillar). See the note in the previous section about the Antenna Control Pin on the wiring harness.

Worth noting: On some older Subarus (including all SVXs), the antenna connection is a "pigtail" -- a wire runs into the back of the radio and is soldered to the PC board inside. If you follow the wire about 1-2 feet away from the radio, you'll find the standard Motorola connector there. In the SVX, it's under the carpet on the left side of the transmission hump.

In 2005-up Legacies and Outbacks (not Outback Sport), Subaru changed from the Motorola plug to a smaller, proprietary connector. The other models did not switch. UPDATE: Some 2008-up Imprezas and 2009-up Foresters now use this connector too.

Rear of 2005 Legacy radio:

(picture posted by jp928 in the thread "cd CHANGER SOCKET ON 05 hu" on LegacyGT.com)

The antenna connector is the gray plastic plug at the lower-left of the picture.

Note that there are two mini coax wires running from the radio to that connector. Has Subaru brought back radios with Diversity (dual antenna inputs)? I haven't found mention of any recent cars having second antennas (not since the SVX).

Close-up of the radio's antenna socket (with Motorola male and female plugs above for size comparison):

Each of the two smaller rectangles inside that shell has two metal contacts -- the center "hole" connects to the coax wire's center conductor, and a metal sleeve on the outside of the rectangle connects to the coax wire's shield.

Metra Electronics started producing adapters in late June 2005. Check with your favorite after-market car audio retailer for availability. Part numbers 40-SB10, 40-SB20 (reverse), and 40-SB30 (pair). Here's the page from Metra's 2005 catalog:
The other harness manufacturers also have these now -- Scosche part numbers SUAB and SUARB (reverse), American International part numbers SU-6, SU-7 (reverse), and SU-10 (pair), and Best Kits BAA26, BAA27 (reverse), and BAA2627 (pair).

Each adapter only has one Motorola plug or jack and one coax wire. So if any of the recent Subarus have dual antennas, you'll lose the second antenna by using these.

Note: Some recent Nissans have an antenna plug that looks very similar (with a rectangular, gray plastic connector, with spots for dual antenna cables). However, the adapters for those will not work in Subarus! Although at first glance they look the same, the Nissan plug is wider and has different keys.

Important: Do not pull the small coax wires. These connectors are somewhat fragile, and many people have accidentally ripped the wires out of the connectors. Only hold the gray plastic shells. The car's antenna plug has a release button on one of the narrow sides.

Last edited by SVXdc; 09-10-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:33 AM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default Subwoofer (powered, under-seat style)

Subwoofer (powered, under-seat style)

For many years, Subaru has offered an optional powered subwoofer amp/speaker combo that bolts underneath the front passenger's or driver's seat (black box on right side of this picture):

(picture posted by AaronBrown in this thread on WRXFanatics.com "04 stereo pin outs")

It measures about 10" x 8" x 2".

Here's a close-up view of the front side:

(picture posted by NewGTGuy in this thread on LegacyGT.com: "2005 Legacy Sub Installed Yesterday (Pictures)...")

The under-seat style subs come with a harness that you must install. Cars that didn't have the sub from the factory or port don't have the harness pre-installed.

The harness for this style subwoofer is a "T" -- it connects between the car's radio harness and the stock radio's 14-pin speaker/power connector. The radio gets all 14 wires like before, but the harness also taps two of the speaker outputs (in parallel). It sends those outputs plus ground and +12volt power down the long leg of the "T" to the sub.

UPDATE: On most models, the sub is connected to the REAR speaker wires. However, some older sub harnesses connect to the FRONT speaker wires. Recently (~2008) Subaru switched back to tapping the fronts. They also changed to a new 20-pin radio harness on some models. See post #11, below.

UPDATE: On EARLIER model years (not sure which), the +12 volt power wire connects to the Accessory (key-switched) line. On LATER model years, it connects to the +12v Battery line (always-on). The factory subwoofer has an internal circuit that activates the amp when it detects sound on the left channel. The T-harness does NOT include an "amp remote" or "turn-on" wire!

The harness looks like this:

The pink tube (at left) is an inline fuseholder with 10 Amp fuse. The long leg, in the blue sheath, is about 50" to reach under the seat.

The connector on the subwoofer is a rectangular 8-position connector (same family as the radio's 14-pin connector) with only 6 wires used...

(picture posted by Packy in this thread on SubaruForester.com: "Is this connector under the driver's seat for the OEM sub?"

This subwoofer and T-harness will work with any 1995-up stock Subaru radio (except SVX). It will also work with any after-market head unit (that has speaker-level outputs), as long as you don't cut off the factory radio plug and do use a wiring adaptor (AKA a "forward" harness). Simply connect the OEM sub's T-harness between the car's harness and your new HU, just like how it was with the stock radio

And yes, you can connect two OEM subs to put one under each of the front seats. Just plug the two T-harnesses in a chain between the car's radio harness and the HU. Several people have done this with no problems.

The pins are numbered like this (viewing the connector on the subwoofer, or the wires exiting the back of the T-harness' subwoofer plug):
3  ###  2 1 
8  7 6  5 4
The pin-out is as follows:
Pin  Function       OEM sub harness wire color 
1    Right Rear +   White/Brown 
2    Left Rear +    Violet/Brown 
3    Ground         (NC) 
4    Right Rear -   Black/Brown 
5    Left Rear -    Orange/Brown 
6    +12V remote on (NC) 
7    +12V constant  Red/Brown 
8    Ground         Gray/Brown

NC = No connection - the factory harness has no wire at this pin position
Recent Legacies (and probably other models) have slightly different wire colors, but the pin-out has stayed the same.

Here's another post that describes how the T-harness is wired (doesn't mention any factory colors).

There is more information about the internal workings of the subwoofer in this thread on ScoobyMods: OEM underseat Subwoofer info.

Here's a link to Subaru's Subwoofer installation instructions (PDF files) for several recent models/years:
Subaru Technical Information System - Search the Online Reference Library
SubaruParts.com has this PDF for circa 2001 Imprezas. (Later versions include an additional page that describes setting the two knobs. See subaru's Tech Info site).

The instructions vary slightly for different models/years, but the general idea is the same.

Here's a post from someone who found a source for a replacement speaker.

The general consensus is that the OEM sub is just OK. It's not worth full retail price. It might be worthwhile, but only if you can find one used (with a complete, uncut T-harness).

OEM Kicker trunk and hatch subwoofers

Starting in 2011, Subaru offered OEM subwoofers made by Kicker.

(photos courtesy of cars101.com)
Their harness is a T, similar to the underseat sub, and taps the front speaker channels. Unlike the underseat subs, the T-harness includes high-pass filters for the outputs going to the main speakers. Also, the sub has no level or cutoff frequency adjustments.

See this thread for pictures and more information:
New 2011 11" Trunk Mounted Subwoofer

Aftermarket Under-seat Subs

Since the question comes up a lot, here's a post listing several aftermarket under-seat subs that perform better than the OEM sub (and in some cases cost less).


Last edited by SVXdc; 08-20-2012 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:33 AM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default Subwoofer jack (new style)

Subwoofer jack (new[er] style)

Around 2002-2005, Subaru added a new square, 8-pin connector on the backs of some of their stock radios.
On the radios in some models, this connector includes a speaker-level output for the subwoofer - there is a subwoofer amplifier built into the radio (65W or maybe really 20W). This amp is fed from a mix of the stereo audio signal (pre fader).

In some Foresters and Legacy wagons, the factory subwoofer itself is just a plain, unpowered speaker. It's built into the side or pillar in the rear cargo area (not under a seat). It is driven from the subwoofer pins on this new 8-pin connector.

Here's a pin-out diagram for the Forester (box labeled <CN702 8P CONNECTOR>):

(Diagram is from this thread on ScoobyMods: "Forester XT Head unit Pin outs")
Here's a portion of the 2005 Forester wiring diagram showing how the subwoofer is connected:
Note that the Subaru wiring diagram numbers the pins differently than on the ScoobyMods picture above - looking at the back of the radio they are:
4 3 2 1
8 7 6 5
Where I talk about pin numbers below, I'm referring to this numbering scheme. (The drawing for connector "i64" on the above wiring diagram is a mirror image view - in that drawing you're looking towards the contact pins of the car's connector).

On the Forester, the subwoofer connects to pins 4 and 8 ("Woofer +/-").

Other Subaru models have a radio with this new style subwoofer connector, but still use a powered subwoofer under one of the front seats (like in the previous post). The subwoofer harness is very similar to the "old style," except that the sub gets the left channel from the new 8-pin sub connector. The sub still taps the right channel, as well as +12V and ground from the 14-pin connector...

(Picture from this thread: "stock sub w/ aftermarket hu")
The T-harness has a short gray wire on the square 8-pin plug, looped between pins 1 and 5 ("Signal +" and "Signal -" on the above Forester diagram). UPDATED: On at least some of the OEM HUs, that enables the 5th-channel subwoofer output (so the HU's sub amplifier IC will be shut off in cars that don't have either the T-harness or a rear cargo speaker).

Using new-style sub harness with another HU

The factory under-seat powered sub and T-harness will work with any other 1995-2007 Subaru radio (except SVX), or even with an aftermarket HU (provided you don't cut the factory radio harness, and do use a wiring adapter for the install).

If your sub has the new-style T-harness (with the additional 8-pin plug) and your HU does not have a compatible 8-pin socket, you'll just need to jumper two pairs of wires on the T-harness. See this thread:
stock sub w/ aftermarket hu
post #18 for pictures, and posts 20 & 21 for instructions.
2005 and 2006 Legacy and Outback HUs have a similar jack that provides additional features...
Pin numbering on socket:
4 3 2 1
8 7 6 5
Here's the pin-out for 2005 & 2006 Legacies and Outbacks:
Pin  Function                               OEM sub harness wire color 
 1   Signal + (phone input)                 (NC)
 2   Tel On (phone input enable)            (NC)
 3   Satellite (steering wheel) switches +  Violet/White
 4   Subwoofer +                            Red

 5   Signal - (phone input)                 (NC)
 6   Subwoofer -                            White
 7   Satellite (steering wheel) switches -  Orange/White
 8   Body Integrated Unit (Illum. Control)  Green

NC = No connection - the factory harness has no wire at this pin position
Here's Subaru's 2005 Legacy/Outback wiring diagram:
Notice that the "superwoofer" connects to pins 4 and 6 (instead of 4 & 8 on the Forester).

Steering Wheel remote-control buttons

The "Satellite switch" pins (3 and 7) are for remote-control buttons on the steering wheel...

(Picture by phoenix96 in this thread: "How to Install Steering Wheel Radio Controls")
Illumination Control pin

Pin 8 connects to the car's "Body Integrated Unit." This wire is for Illumination Control ("Bright" mode). Normally, the radio's display (along with other parts of the instrument panel) are dimmed when you turn on the headlights. This wire cancels dimming of the radio's display when you press the BRIGHT button on the clock.

Cell Phone Audio input

"Signal +/-" (pins 1 and 5) are for a mono audio input into the radio for a cell phone car kit or OnStar-type device.

Connecting pin 3 to ground:
  • Mutes whatever source the radio was playing,
  • Displays "CALL" on the LCD, and
  • Sends the mono audio input to the radio's front speakers
Pin 3 will do this even if the radio was powered off.

See this thread on LegacyGT for more info:
AUX in on a Stock '05 Head Unit w/o Silent CD (The Project)
(before you get your hopes up, that aux-in "project" failed - that input/mode uses fixed tone settings that aren't so good for music).

Changes 2007 and later

Starting in 2007, Legacy/Outback factory HUs dropped the subwoofer output and phone input from this connector and added a real Aux input. See post #10, below.


Last edited by SVXdc; 09-27-2013 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:33 AM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 25837
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
Laguna Blue Pearl

Default OEM Jacks for CD Changer Input

CD Changer Input Jack, part 1 -- 13-pin

Subaru radios in many older model years have a round, 13-pin mini-DIN jack for an external CD changer (in addition to the built-in CD changer). In the picture in post #2, it's on the right side, next to the antenna wire. Pin-out (the box at the lower right labeled <CN703 13P CONNECTOR>):

People dieveloped a hack to use this jack as an aux input (for an iPod or satellite radio). The simplest method connects just the aux audio into the jack, but requires that you play a silent CD in the stock head unit. The audio from the external changer jack is always connected to the head unit's amplifier. A real external changer uses the data lines on this connector to tell the head unit to mute the radio and built-in CD (and the head unit uses those same lines to send control information to the external changer).

Here's a thread by 'irmiger' for that mod on his 2004 Forester XT: "iPod solution!"

CAUTION: The pin-out of this round jack may be different on radios from different Subaru models/years.

To use this connector "properly" will require that somebody get their hands on the Subaru external CD changer, so we can reverse-engineer the data protocol sent between the head unit and the changer. Read on to post #9, below, for more information.

Originally Posted by vrg3
It looks like the current round connector is the same as the one on my [1993] Legacy, or at least similar. If it is, maybe the info at the bottom of this page can help.

I hooked an iPod to a stock Legacy stereo and had a switch on the dash to switch between normal operation and "Aux-In" operation. The stereo thought the iPod was an external CD player.
The round connector on older Subarus (and other makes, such as Mazda) did use a simple contact closure between two pins, as he described. But that feature went away on newer radios. Subaru radios changed to the new PBUS (digital datastream) method sometime between 1995-2003.

CD Changer Input Jack, part 2 -- 16-pin

Other Subaru radios have a rectangular, 16-pin jack for an external CD changer (in addition to the built-in CD changer). Picture (model number "P123" on front):

(Picture posted by Glenn Wallace in the thread "What is this connector? (WRX stereo)")

Another model:
. [picture link died]
(Picture posted by iamrazor in the thread "connector on rear of MY02 stock in-dash 6-cd...")

Pin-out on ScoobyMods: "CD Changer Pin Outs on head unit"

The "silent CD" hack won't work with this changer jack. As with the round jack, the head unit needs to see a data stream on some of the pins to mute the radio or internal CD and unmute the audio from the external changer.

A little more information in this thread by 'tad_02Wgn': "connector on rear of MY02 stock in-dash 6-cd..."

Again, if somebody can obtain the OEM external CD changer, it will be possible to reverse-engineer the data protocol.

ADDED: leftsquarebracket has figured out the protocol, and successfully built a box to interface external aux sources. See his thread here:
MOD: '02 WRX, auxiliary input WITH iPod control

iPod / Satellite Radio / CD Changer Input Jack, part 3 -- 20-pin

There is Yet Another external CD Changer jack on some recent Subarus. This variation is a rectangular, 20-pin jack. Also used on some models for Subaru's iPod interface and Sirius or XM satellite radio tuner modules.

Picture (connector in lower-right corner):

(Picture posted by Pattali in the thread Japan Subaru Tech mail ?)

Here is the Pin-out

ADDED: The above jpg (captured from the schematics in the Legacy/Outback GX-201SE radio service manual) assigns the pin numbers differently. Here's the pin-out table with Subaru's numbering (thanks to utc_pyro on LGT.com).

Pin orientation is looking at the socket on the rear of the radio:

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11

 4 NC
 5 NC
 8 BUS -
 9 BUS +
10 B/U

13 NC
14 NC
15 NC
16 NC
19 GND(B/U)

"Smart" Aux-input adapters

The "aux-in hack" could be taken a step further so that you don't need the silent CD. You would need a single-chip microcontroller to fool the head unit into thinking there's an external factory CD changer connected. Such a device could even provide limited control of an iPod using the factory head unit's buttons, and pass status information back to the head unit's display.

Aux-input devices from Hobbyists

Matthias Klumpp gives a wealth of information on the general idea in his website here (click on the "English" link, then look at the "VAG/Panasonic CD Changer Simulator" section). Nothing specific about Subaru radios, unfortunately.

"Michael's Electronics Projects" hosts an archive of Arne Hennig's information on protocols and pinouts for several makes of CD changers. Michael's site also has a forum where people are sharing information.

Another CD Changer emulator project web site.

"Hack your radio" technique

iPod Direct-connection successful! (but VERY difficult)

Aux-input devices from after-market companies

Jazzy Engineering Aux-in Kits


Leptronix Aux-in Kit

PnP, No siient CD Legacy & Impreza Leptronix Aux-In

Compatible with USDM Impreza/WRX/STI 2005-2006, Forester 2004-2006 with the 6-disc changer, and Legacy 2005-2006 2.5GT and 2.5i


For Subaru OEM radios that have the 20-pin changer socket, PAC has the uPAC-SB1, which lets you add up to two new audio sources. The uPAC-SB1 kit includes 1 iPod and 1 Aux cable. You can also connect their HDRT HD radio tuner.

The kit's Subaru-specific cable includes a pass-through socket, in case you already had (or want to add) another Subaru accessory plugged into the 20-pin socket.

Of course, most Subaru radios that the uPAC-SB1 is compatible with already have an aux input.


Module that plugs into the 20-pin changer port and provides two stereo RCA inputs. Only compatible with a handful of Subaru OEM radios.
See this thread: Best Aux in mod for 05 LGT?

[The following links are very old, but I'm leaving this in for now.]

There are a few companies building these too. They're compatible with several different stock head units (each company sells a "main" box with different adapter cables for different makes of radios). But none of these companies has a version for Subaru radios yet. While the actual hardware and programming needed should be fairly easy, the hard part is reverse-engineering the data protocol between the stock head unit and CD changer.
  • BLITZSAFE of America, Inc. [link DEAD]

    A message from a moderator on Blitzsafe's bulletin board, dated 25 October 2004 says:
    As it stands now, I do not see a release of any interfaces for subaru in the near future. subaru is not a large market for us, and the R+D gets pushed back and delayed in favor for more popular applications. When/If I hear more information, I will post up on the message board.


Last edited by SVXdc; 09-09-2013 at 10:51 PM. Reason: merged the various CD changer jack posts into one
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:34 AM   #7
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Content moved into post #6 (above).

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Old 04-10-2005, 01:34 AM   #8
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:34 AM   #9
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:34 AM   #10
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Default Real aux-input on 2007 and later

"Real" Aux Input on 2007-up OEM Radios

Factory radios on some 2007 models have added a real Aux input to the 8-pin connector. Legacy/Outbacks removed the subwoofer output that was there on 2005-2006 models.

Front of Impreza/Forester radio, shown with new "ashtray module" (with the 3.5mm Aux input jack), and the interconnect cable:

The part number for just the ashtray aux pod is 86257SA010. The interconnect cable is not available from Subaru as a replacement part. It's only available with the 2007 radio.

UPDATE: dajohnson53 did the legwork to find how to order the interconnect cable as a Clarion repair part. See his post here (#323 in that thread). Note that if you have the similar radio from a Forester, you may need to modify the interconnect cable slightly to work. See my reply in that thread.

Rear of radio. Socket with green circle is for Aux input [and subwoofer output in some Foresters]. Other socket is new CeNET bus connector for the Subaru Sirius tuner module.

(Pictures posted by SilvrWRX in the thread OEM CD changer from 2007)

2007 Pin-out

Looking at the back of the radio the pins are numbered:
4 3 2 1
8 7 6 5
Pin assignments:

2007 Impreza (radio model C-124 Clarion PF-2868A-A/B):

1 - Aux Input - Left
2 - Aux Input - Right
3 - NC
4 - Chassis Ground (used for aux enable)

5 - Aux Input - Audio Ground
6 - Aux input enable
7 - NC
8 - NC
2007-2008 Forester (radio model C-123 Clarion PF-2851B-A/B):

1 - Aux Input - Left
2 - Aux Input - Right
3 - Satellite (steering wheel) switches + [no wire on USDM car's harness]
4 - Subwoofer out + (speaker-level)

5 - Aux Input - Audio Ground
6 - Aux input enable
7 - Satellite (steering wheel) switches - [no wire on USDM car's harness]
8 - Subwoofer out - (speaker-level)
2007-up Legacy/Liberty/Outback:

1 - Aux Input - Left
2 - Aux Input - Right
3 - Satellite (steering wheel) switches +
4 - NC

5 - Aux Input - Audio Ground
6 - Aux input enable
7 - Satellite (steering wheel) switches -
8 - Dimming Cancellation (BRIGHT mode)

Note: USDM Legacys/Outbacks use a different physical 8-pin connector -- the one shown in post #5, above.
When you plug a cable into the factory 3.5mm jack, the tip of your plug physically presses a switch inside the aux pod. That switch connects the "Aux Enable" line to chassis ground (NOT pin 5 Audio Ground). That causes the HU to then allow you to press the CD/AUX button to toggle between those two modes. When nothing is plugged into the aux jack, the CD/AUX button only switches to CD mode.

When nothing is plugged in, the factory 3.5mm jack also shorts the audio L/R input lines to audio ground (so if you want to splice in a second audio cable in addition to the factory 3.5mm jack, you'll have to address this issue).

On this radio in 2007 Foresters, pins 4 and 8 are a 5th-channel, powered subwoofer output (still 65 Watts?), similar to prior years. It connects to a plain speaker in the rear cargo area of some Forester models.

More information and pictures in these posts:
OEM CD changer from 2007

2007 Spec B Radio information thread [this is for Legacy/Outback, which uses a different physical socket]
2008-up Pin-out (including 2011-up models without built-in Bluetooth and USB)

Pin assignments:

2008-up Imprezas (models with 8-pin aux socket):

1 - Aux Input - Left
2 - Aux Input - Right
3 - NC
4 - NC

5 - Aux Input - Audio Ground
6 - Aux input enable
7 - NC
8 - NC
2009-up Foresters (models with 8-pin aux socket):

1 - Aux Input - Left
2 - Aux Input - Right
3 - Subwoofer amp remote turn-on
4 - Subwoofer out + (line level, balanced)*

5 - Aux Input - Audio Ground
6 - Aux input enable
7 - Subwoofer out Audio Ground
8 - Subwoofer out - (inverted) (line level, balanced)*

* Starting in 2009, the subwoofer output on Forester radios (when present) changed to line-level. The sub out may not be present on any USDM cars. Originally I thought radios in 2008-up Imprezas had this too, but it appears that Foresters that did not have the rear powered sub and all Imprezas get a slightly different radio that does not have the sub output.

When present, the subwoofer output is balanced mono line-level. Pin 4 is positive polarity (in phase with the speaker outputs) and pin 8 is negative polarity (inverted voltage from the positive output) [EDITED- I previously wrote here that the negative output was 180 out of phase, but have learned that is not correct terminology]. The powered sub amp uses the two together to reduce noise. When connecting to most aftermarket equipment, you'll want to use only the + signal. It may help to also connect the negative polarity wire to ground.
Here are Subaru's installation instructions for the 2008 Impreza aux jack/harness (variation that goes in the center console), with part number:
2008 AUX Terminal Input Cable - Impreza (08M+) (H6210FG000) (PDF document)

2011-up Pin-out (models with phone/Bluetooth buttons on the steering wheel)

Pin assignments:

2011-up Imprezas & Foresters:

 _   ________________   _
| ---                --- |
| 8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1 |
|16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9 |
(viewing rear of OEM HU or wires side of car's harness):

Pin   Description
---   --------------------------
 1    Mic Audio In (+)
 2    Mic B+ (+5V supply)
 3    Aux In Left +
 4    Aux In Right +
 5    Subwoofer Amp Turn-On [only some Foresters]
 6    Subwoofer Out + (positive) [only some Foresters]
 7    Mic Shield [NC on most cars]
 8    NC

 9    Mic In Ground (-)
10    Mic Detect
11    Aux Audio Ground
12    Aux Enable
13    Subwoofer Shield [only some Foresters]
14    Subwoofer Out - (inverted) [only some Foresters]
15    NC [Parking brake on HUs with 4.3" screen]
16    NC [Reverse Gear on HUs with 4.3" screen]
See this thread for more info about the OEM amplified microphone.

Last edited by SVXdc; 08-02-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:29 AM   #11
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Default 2008-up Non-Navi speaker/power connector / 2008-2011 OEM Kenwood Navi HU

Starting in 2008, Subaru Impreza/WRX/STI/Outback Sport without Navi radios changed to a new 20-pin connector for speakers and power. Foresters also switched in 2009.
Note: The face of this radio (as well as the Navi) is 8" wide -- 1" wider than standard DIN (7"). The body is still standard double-DIN size (7" x 4"). This radio will not fit in previous years without significant mods to the dash.

If you replace the radio with a single- or double-DIN HU, you'll need either an aftermarket dash kit to fill the gaps, or a JDM fascia/bezel that has a standard double-DIN sized opening. See this post.
Front of non-Navi radio:

(click for larger image)
Connectors from left to right:
  • Motorola antenna jack
  • 20-pin (top) for Subaru iPod interface or satellite radio tuner. Could also be for an external CD changer (although I'm not aware of any being available).
  • 8-pin (bottom) Aux input. Also (on HU in some Foresters only) subwoofer output
  • Chassis ground lug
  • 20-pin connector for power, speakers, SWC, and CAN
Close-up of car's new-style 20-pin power/speaker harness plug:

(click for larger image)
20-pin socket on the back of a factory radio:

(click for larger image)
The connector has two rows of 9 smaller pins, plus two larger pins on the far left and right sides.

More pictures of a 2008 non-Navi radio in this post (#12)

20 pin connector pin numbers:
This is Subaru's numbering scheme for the car's harness (same orientation as above picture of car's harness plug).

Pin-out table for the radio connector, with factory wire colors for 2008 Impreza/WRX/STI and 2009 Forester

  • The radio harness in 2007-up Nissans is mostly the same as 2008-up Subarus. The harness manufacturers made their install harnesses for Nissans first, so they didn't bother coming up with a different version (or even a different part number) for Subarus.
  • None of the aftermarket harness manufacturers includes the wires for Subaru's audio Steering Wheel Controls (SWCs), CAN data bus, or Dimmer (Illumination -). In some cases they don't even include the ground wire (which the Nissan factory harness doesn't have). If you need harnesses that include all of the Illumination, SWC, and CAN wires, e-mail me for more info (click my username for link, or see my homepage).
  • On Subarus, pin 9 is for the antenna booster amplifier. However, on Nissans that use this connector, pin 9 is for OEM amplifier remote turn-on. Since Nissans came earlier, many aftermarket installation harnesses have a Blue/White wire at pin 9 (the standard color for amp turn-on). In Subarus you must connect this to a wire on your HU that will provide +12V when you're listening to AM/FM (usually a Blue wire for "power antenna"). See notes on "Antenna Control Pin" in post #2, above.
  • If you have the OEM subwoofer, be aware that its T-harness is what you'll see plugged into the back of the radio, and it has completely different colors. Follow the T-harness back deeper into the dash to find the car's radio harness. See subwoofer notes in post #4, above.

Subwoofer output

2009 Forester (and possibly other models) added a line-level subwoofer output to the radio's 8-pin connector "i86" (in addition to the pins for Aux input). The sub out is balanced (has ground, positive, and inverted signals -- NOT left/right). See previous post for new pin-out. Unlike in earlier years, the Forester rear-cargo sub has a built-in powered amplifier.

Some Subaru models have a new under-seat powered sub that takes this balanced line-level signal. Thread with pictures:
So, lets look inside this new '09 subwoofer then.
Steering Wheel Control buttons

FordNoMore measured the resistance value for each button in a thread on mp3car.com. The values match these listed in the Subaru shop manuals:
  22 ***937;  - Mute
  90 ***937;  - Volume up
 200 ***937;  - Volume down
 360 ***937;  - Mode
 690 ***937;  - Seek up
1.15k ***937; - Seek down

4.7k ***937;  - Nothing pressed
Do you have a base model that didn't include the audio SWCs? They're not difficult to add. See this post for several links:
Installing stock steering wheel audio controls
(includes link to FordNoMore's thread on mp3car.com)

2008-up Navi Radio

Available on 2008-up Impreza and 2009-up Forester, this is a one-piece, in-dash unit (it does not have a separate module under one of the seats, as the Legacy/Outback nav does). Like the standard (non-Navi) OEM Impreza/Forester HU, the body is double-DIN sized, but the face is 1" wider. The fold-down face hides the CD/DVD and map DVD slots.
Several more pictures are here on Cars101.com.

A few threads with more pictures and info:
Factory NAV into non-NAV swap (on iwsti.com)

Factory dvd navigation unit install in a non-nav MY09 Forester (on subaruforester.com)

Subio the 2009 Forester 2.5x with Upgrades Galore (posts 77-80) (on subaruforester.com)
14 pin power/speaker connector

The Navi radio continues to use the older style 14-pin harness for speakers and power (the white socket on the upper left, above the fan).

14-pin harness pin-out is here.

24 pin Navi connector

The Navi radio has a second harness with the wires for nav functions (the 24-pin connector on the upper right side). This socket includes pins for A/V in, Steering Wheel Controls, and CAN data bus.

(picture posted by Bobaru here)
Pin numbering:
             | Latch  |
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Viewed looking at the pins-side of the car's harness (wires pointing away from you)

Pin Assignments:
Pin  Function                        Car's Color 
---  -----------------------------   ------------
 1   NC                              -
 2   NC                              -
 3   Steering Wheel Controls +       Brown
 4   Parking Brake                   Grey
 5   Reverse Gear                    Brown/Yellow
 6   CAN Low (data bus)              Light Green/Red
 7   Forester only **                *
 8   Video Input Ground              Sealed (braided shield)
 9   Aux input enable                Black/Orange
10   Aux Input - Left                Yellow
11   Subwoofer out - Audio Ground *  *
12   Subwoofer out (+ polarity) *    *

13   Video Output                    -
14   NC                              -
15   Steering Wheel Controls -       Yellow
16   +12V Ignition (Run)             Green/Yellow
17   Vehicle Speed Signal            Pink/Green
18   CAN High (data bus)             Pink
19   Video Output Ground             -
20   Video Input                     Red
21   Aux Input - Audio Ground        Sealed (braided shield)
22   Aux Input - Right               Blue
23   Subwoofer out - Amp On *        *
24   Subwoofer out (inverted) *      *
The above factory colors are from the 2008 Impreza/WRX/STI (and are the same through 2011 Imprezas). Colors may be slightly different on different models/years.

NC - No pin/wire at this position, on either Impreza or Forester.

* Pin present on Navi harness in 2009 Forester. Pin not present on Navi harness in 2008-up Imprezas.

** Pin 7 is some kind of mode input. This wire is not present in Imprezas (and the pin is not shown on Impreza wiring diagrams). In Foresters, this wire is tied to ground. Subaru's installation instructions refer to this wire as a "Sensing terminal" and specifically say pin 7 should be left disconnected in Imprezas and tied to ground in Foresters. Originally, I had thought this pin enabled the subwoofer output (since the wire was shown grouped with the sub wires on the Forester diagram), but it has nothing to do with the sub -- the sub output and amp remote-on work without pin 7 connected.

Also see this post for info on a Subaru accessory cable (not available in North America, unfortunately) that has subwoofer and A/V RCA jacks.

GPS Antenna
The GPS antenna is located just underneath the top of the dash, above the instrument cluster (speedometer, etc.). GPS signals have no trouble passing through the windshield and thin plastic dash. See this diagram (part position #3): 2008-2011 Impreza radio parts

Aux Input Pod

In models where the Navi HU was factory-installed, the center console has 3 RCA jacks for Video and Left/Right Audio inputs (instead of the 3.5mm stereo audio jack found in non-nav models).

(photo courtesy of Joe Spitz at Cars101.com)
Reverse Camera input connector

The Navi has an 8-pin socket for a rear-view camera. Pin-out and write-up for the reverse camera input here:
Factory reverse camera input for Navi
Video Output

The Navi has a video output, on pins 13 and 19. See more info here (Navi "transplant" thread on SubaruForester.org). See the replies down to TruckTastic's in post #43 there. The output will continue showing a DVD even while you switch the HU to the map display.

Bluetooth Mic input connector

The Kenwood Navi HU uses Bluetooth for phone calls only. It does not do BT audio streaming. The feature is enabled when you connect a microphone (optional OEM accessory for 2008-2009 Navi models).

2010 and newer Imprezas and Foresters with the Kenwood Navi switched to a new mic hidden inside the map light cluster. Although it's similar in appearance to the mic for 2011-up non-nav HUs with built-in Bluetooth (and USB), those two types of mics are not the same (so they are not interchangeable). And none of the map light cluster mics will work with the older 2008-2009
Kenwood Navi.

The map light mics have an integrated amplifier circuit. See this thread for more info on the non-nav mic.

For Kenwood Navi HUs that were originally in 2008-2009 car models, you can add the Bluetooth phone function for under $20 in parts:
Stock STI 2008 NAVI Unit Bluetooth Mic

Working bluetooth Microphone for under $20 2008 NAV
You may also be able to find the Kenwood KNA-VC300 microphone. It has the correct 5-pin plug, and is nearly plug-and-play with 2008-2009 Kenwood Navi HUs. You'll need to make a small mod -- grounding pin 5, which is vacant. The KNA-VC300 includes a push-to-talk button, which the Subaru Navi does support (the OEM mic has wires and an unused socket connected to those two pins). You can perform the same functions using the mute button on the steering wheel. See Subaru's installation instructions (PDF available from their Tech Info site -- link in post #1).

Subwoofer output

The 24-pin Nav harness includes pins for a subwoofer output. The Navi unit has on-screen menu options to adjust the sub. I've only seen this used in some Forester models outside the US -- they have a powered sub either in the rear cargo area or one under a front seat (different than the USDM subs) that connects to these pins. The sub out is line-level and balanced (has ground, positive, and inverted signals -- NOT left/right).

It is possible to connect an RCA jack to these pins, to connect to the line input on an aftermarket sub amplifier or integrated powered sub. For amps that do not take a balanced input (the case for most), connect the RCA jack's center lead to pin 12 (the positive polarity output). Connect the RCA jack's outer ground lead to pin 11 (the HU's subwoofer audio ground). Also connect the outer lead to pin 24 -- this grounds the HU's negative polarity output, which will increase the amplitude your amp sees on the positive output (i.e., your sub will be louder).

See this thread: Subwoofer & Navi

For some amps and subs, you must add an RCA Y-adapter cable to connect this single mono output into the amp's left and right inputs. Otherwise it won't be loud enough.

Pin 23 is a +12V amp remote turn-on output for the subwoofer. If you add an amp for the main speakers, this pin can also be used to activate that amp.

Center Channel output

People noticed the menu options to enable and adjust the "center channel" speaker and wondered where it was. It's now confirmed: The Navi HU does have a center channel output, on the 20-pin iPod/sat radio socket. It is line-level, on pins 1 (signal) and 11 (ground). More info and example installation here.

Dealer Diagnostic Menu
2008/2009 OEM Navigation Hidden Diagnostics Menu...FOUND (on iwsti.com)
RDS-TMC connector

In Europe (and possibly some other locations outside the US), the HU includes a rear socket for a Kenwood RDS-TMC connector (Radio Data System - Traffic Message Channel). See this post for picture and more info.

Kenwood makes an aftermarket receiver module for the US, their GTM 10 (product info at Crutchfield). According to Crutchfield, the connector is a "mini-USB type-B". Kenwood also has the KNA-TM320 in Europe. I don't know whether these kits will work with the Subaru Navi.

Map Discs

The latest North American map discs for Subarus are on Kenwood's site, here.

Also see this thread: How to use non-Subaru maps on your OEM Subaru Nav

Last edited by SVXdc; 10-16-2013 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Updated mic info
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:29 AM   #12
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Location: Atlanta, GA
1996 SVX L AWD
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Default McIntosh System

Subaru McIntosh Premium Audio System

A factory option on some Legacies and Outbacks was a McIntosh premium audio system. It consisted of a double-DIN HU, a 5-channel amp mounted under the passenger seat, and 11 speakers in 7 locations (a coaxial pair on each door, two tweeters, and subwoofer).

(picture from Edmunds.com 2002 Outback review here)
Subaru model number PF-2343I-A (note last character is letter "i" not digit "one" -- many people erroneously list this as model "PF-23431-A").

More pictures and specs in this Sound and Vision article: Subaru Teams With McIntosh Audio To Produce A Landmark Sound System (reprinted in the Winter 2002 Subaru Drive magazine).

Another review on autospeed.com (Australia): Subaru Liberty B4 Tech Overload (scroll down to the section on "Electronics").

Later years dropped the cassette in favor of a 6-disc CD transport...

Pictures from this thread: FS: Subaru Legacy McIntosh 6-Disk Changer Stereo
Subaru part number PF-2520I-A (note last character is letter "i" not digit "one"). Supposedly it has the same internals as the aftermarket McIntosh MX-406.

Subaru McIntosh Head Unit harness
The McIntosh HU has the standard 14-pin harness with the same pin-out as on other Legacies/Outbacks. However, since it has no speaker outputs, those wires either are omitted from the car's harness or dead-end at one of the interconnect harnesses behind the dash. The other wires for power, illumination, dimmer, and power antenna are all at the standard pin positions.

DIN Interconnect harness
The HU connects to the amp via a round, 13-pin DIN plug.

(view of plug on long interconnect or "umbilical" harness)

(this orientation is looking at the pins side of the HU's female socket, wires pointing away from you, opposite of the above picture)
      | |
 4   3   2   1
 8   7   6   5
12  11  10   9

 1  Front Left +
 2  Front Left 
 3  Front Right +
 4  Front Right 
 5  Amp Remote Turn-On
 6  Ground
 7  Rear Left +
 8  Rear Left 
 9  NC
10  NC
11  Rear Right +
12  Ground
13  Rear Right 
(pin-out by "condensr" from this thread: Pinout of 13 pin din Amp Connector on McIntosh HUs

With the 13-pin DIN, the Mc HU sends only the 4 main speaker channels. The Mc amp derives the subwoofer output from those (there is no 5th channel line-level sub signal from the HU).

See pictures and more information about the Mc amp here (including excellent pictures of its PC board):
McIntosh EF-1080I Information
The Mc amp has an internal 25 Amp fuse.

Also see NZlamb's write-up on how to tweak the subwoofer gain (requires micro-surgery and fine soldering skills).

Later years changed to a similar round 20-DIN plug.

(view of socket on HU's short "pigtail" harness)
    3    2    1
 8   7   6   5   4
13  12  11  10   9
18  17  16  15  14
  20          19

 1  Ground
 2  Subwoofer +
 3  Subwoofer -

 4  Rear Left +
 5  Rear Left 
 6  Ground
 7  Front Right +
 8  Front Right 

 9  NC
10  NC
11  Ground
12  NC
13  NC

14  Rear Right +
15  Rear Right 
16  Amp Remote Turn-On
17  Front Left +
18  Front Left 

19  NC
20  NC
Mc HUs with the 20-pin DIN connection send a 5th-channel line-level subwoofer output (in addition to the 4 main speaker outputs).

Subaru McIntosh Amplifier Unit harness
On some models/years, the amplifer uses the same style 14-pin connector for power and speaker outputs as the HU. Its pin-out is mostly the same as the HU's, but has a handful of different pins (since the amp has no illumination or antenna, but does have a subwoofer output). Pin-out (viewing pins on car's harness, wires pointing away from you):
 1  2  3        4  5  6
 7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14

 1*  +12V Battery (via 20 Amp fuse in Relay Block)
 2   Front Right Speaker +
 3   Front Left Speaker +
 4   Rear Right Speaker +
 5   Rear Left Speaker +
 6*  Subwoofer + (polarity not certain, but likely)

 7*  +12V Battery (via 20 Amp fuse in Relay Block)
 8   Front Right Speaker 
 9   Front Left Speaker 
10*  Ground
11   Ground
12   Rear Right Speaker 
13   Rear Left Speaker +
14*  Subwoofer  (polarity not certain)
* Different from standard Subaru 14-pin radio harness

On other models/years, the amp harness uses an 18-pin connector (same family as the 14-pin). Pin-out (viewing pins on car's harness, wires pointing away from you):
 1  2  3  4        5  6  7  8
 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

 1   +12V Battery
 2   Front Right Speaker +
 3   Front Left Speaker +
 4   NC
 5   Subwoofer +
 6   Rear Right Speaker +
 7   Rear Left Speaker +
 8   Ground

 9   +12V Battery
10   Front Right Speaker 
11   Front Left Speaker 
12   NC
13   NC
14   NC
15   Subwoofer 
16   Rear Right Speaker 
17   Rear Left Speaker +
18   Ground

Last edited by SVXdc; 05-14-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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