Recently, our longtime friends at IAG Performance in Westminster, Maryland, contacted us here at Westminster Speed and Sound about a client interested in Subaru WRX audio upgrades for his 2013 model car. The client, from Wesley Chapel, Florida, would be dropping off his vehicle in the near future to get lots of work done, including IAG’s closed deck block engine (one of their specialties) along with numerous suspension, brake and other performance upgrades. IAG even does paint work in-house and they worked their magic in that area as well. If you own a Subaru and are looking for the best performance upgrades, you owe it to yourself to contact them. When the WRX owner dropped off his car at IAG, he made a stop at our facility to go over ideas for audio upgrades. One of our team members spent time with him, looking over the vehicle and listening as he laid out his goals for the upgrades. All of that information was taken into account, and after several e-mail messages and phone conversations, a proposal was worked up that he approved. At that point, we waited until IAG was done with the vehicle so we could work our own magic.
Subaru WRX Audio Upgrade Begins with a CarPlay Head Unit
It’s true that in most modern vehicles, we’ll leave the factory radio installed. But Subaru is the exception. While we can significantly improve sound quality using the stock head unit in the dash, whenever possible we offer an improved model. Our team installed a Sony XAV-AX100 color touchscreen in the dash that became the hub for the whole WRX audio system. It has Apple’s CarPlay software along with Google’s Android Auto app, giving the client an easy way to harness the power of his smartphone in his car. Now, when he uses his iPhone, things like calls, texts, reminders, music and mapping are all done almost exclusively via voice control. We also integrated the steering wheel mounted audio controls to work with the new unit and flushed a USB port into a convenient location.
Audison Speakers Bring Out All the Music’s Nuances
Now that the head unit was installed, it was time to turn our focus to the front speakers. Our team began by installing Hushmat sound damping material on the inner door skin to eliminate any rattling or vibration. If you own a Subaru, you may have already noticed buzzing in the door panels with the stock audio system, as these cars are famous for it. For speakers, we chose the Audison APK165 component system, which uses a 6.5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter. Our technicians installed the woofers on custom composite mounts in the doors and mounted the tweeters in the factory locations in the sail panels.
JL Audio 10W3 Offers Rock Solid Bass
When it came time to choose a subwoofer, our staff opted for the JL Audio 10W3v3-2ohm, a 10-inch model that is one of our favorites. We installed it in a fiberglass enclosure that fits nicely into the rear driver’s side wall and is covered in a complementary back carpet. A protective grille was used to prevent damage from any cargo. As you can see in the pictures, the finished product looks like a factory-installed option.
Hertz Amplifier Supplies the Power
The next step in the equation was choosing the amplifier to power the system, and our team selected a Hertz HDP5. It supplies more than 240 watts to the four front speakers, along with 550 watts to the subwoofer. We hid it underneath the driver’s seat so the client would have zero loss in cargo space.
Audison Bit Ten Brings All the Sound Together
The final piece in the audio upgrade puzzle is the Audison Bit Ten DSP, or digital signal processor. It is an amazing little device that, in the hands of a skilled tuner, can work wonders for the overall sound quality of the stereo system. It gave us five discrete channels, one for each of the new speakers. Each of these channels had independent adjustments for crossover, digital delay and signal level and 30 bands of equalization. When finished, we had created a sound stage that spread out across the dash with music so sweet sounding that you could just sit and listen for hours.
Backup Camera Rounds Out the Upgrades
Nowadays, most clients have recognized the benefit of having a backup camera installed on their vehicle. Unfortunately, the market has been flooded with lots of cheap products with inferior performance and lousy reliability. Fortunately, our team focuses on selling and installing products that meet or exceed the performance of a factory camera. In this WRX, we flushed a camera above the rear license plate using a model from Nav-TV that has stunning clarity.
Delivering the Vehicle to the Client
After we and IAG finished all the work on the vehicle, the client made the long trek back up from Florida to pick it up. One of our team members spent significant time with the owner and the car, discussing all the work that we had done, as well as sitting in the WRX and listening to it. We wanted to be completely sure that he understood the way it all worked, since he couldn’t just drive over and see us any time he had a question. Needless to say, he was thrilled with the results. As he listened to the first track of music, we could tell he would be spending lots of time enjoying his favorite tracks.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
If you would like to upgrade the audio system in your Subaru WRX, we invite you to contact Westminster Speed and Sound by simply clicking HERE. A member of our team will set a time to get together with you and your vehicle at our store so we can design and build the audio solution that best fits your unique needs. Let us show you why we are the Mid-Atlantic’s most awarded vehicle customization facility.