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Is it possible to upgrade the sound but keep the factory head unit?

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by tbkfan, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Nov 19, 2013 at 7:43 AM
    #1
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    I have been driving a company leased 2011 DC TRD Sport for the past 2 years and I have never been impressed with the stock audio but now I am purchasing my own 2012 DC TRD Sport and want to upgrade the audio. I have heard such good things about the bluetooth integration with the 2012 and newer trucks though and that is a very important component of the truck for me as it is my mobile office and so I burn a lot of cell phone minutes while driving back and forth across the city. I am wary of aftermarket head units that may not have BT that is quite up to par, and steering wheel controls that are less than 100‰ functional. I also have owned many after market head units in my time and have never seen one that looked as nice and had controls as well laid out and easy to use as the factory head units. So I am looking for options:

    1. Is it possible to keep the factory head unit but still upgrade the audio in some way?
    2. What after market head units would you recommend that maintain the same level or better, of BT functionality, call audio quality, steering wheel controls integration and ease of use?
     
  2. Nov 21, 2013 at 6:31 AM
    #2
    Pdugan6

    Pdugan6 Well-Known Member

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    good questions, anybody have an answer?
     
  3. Nov 21, 2013 at 6:33 AM
    #3
    Large

    Large Red

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    Change the speakers, add sub & amp, you can use factory HU.
     
  4. Nov 21, 2013 at 6:39 AM
    #4
    JCH

    JCH Well-Known Member

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  5. Nov 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM
    #5
    jlleiber

    jlleiber Well-Known Member

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    Yeah there are lots of options. If you like the stock headunit, then you could buy a line-out converter which taps your stock sound, send that to an amplifier, then amp some new door speakers/subwoofer. Some people just buy new front component speakers and a subwoofer and disconnect the rear door speakers all together. You could use a 4-channel amp for this setup - 1 channel for each component set and bridge the other 2 channels for your sub.

    There are powered subs too that you could add after your line-out converter...I can't speak from my own experience but the sound ordnance B-8PTD from Crutchfield has amazing reviews.

    If you just replace the headunit only, there should be a noticeable in sound quality. Pioneer and Kenwood make some great 6.1" headunits for <$300 which seem to be top of the line for 6.1" non-navi units. They have comparable 7" headunits for an additional hundo or so

    What's your overall budget for this? That will allow others to make better/more specific recommendations...
     
  6. Nov 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM
    #6
    Aw9d

    Aw9d That one guy

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    Yes it is possible, but the same amount of money into aftermarket will sound a lot better.

    Look up line out converters to start with.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM
    #7
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    So everything I heard about the factory bluetooth system was far from accurate. Or perhaps more accurately, I assumed that the system in the 2012 that I was buying was on par with the system in the 2013s. Not so...So I am taking out the factory head unit, putting in a new Pionneer SPH-DA210 Appradio head unit with a PAC adapter kit to retain all of the steering wheel controls. I am not going to do anything with the factory speakers just yet, but I am sure that within the next 6 months or so I will be changing those out and putting in an amplifier and sub.
     
  8. Nov 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM
    #8
    jlleiber

    jlleiber Well-Known Member

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    Nice! I'd really like to get the appradio 3 too...if only it came with satellite radio
     

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