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Discussion Starter #1
I had to fiddle with the stock settings in my 2020 Impreza Premium to get the response I wanted from the speakers. I’m an audio engineering hobbyist, so I spend a lot of time getting what I can out of speakers without having to upgrade.

First of all, I can’t say I’m a fan of the speed sensitive volume thing. I had to turn that off.

I also try not to use anything except CarPlay, I get much better perceived quality than over Bluetooth and I simply hate the drop in quality of radio(FM or SXM) along my commute. I will rather die before you catch me using a 3.5mm to play audio.

Next my EQ is set to boost the lows by a few dB, mids by a bit less, and treble by a bit less than that. This creates a gain effect and flattens out that weird anti-distortion thing at high volumes (in which the low band gets compressed in exchange for high band clarity). I also try to stay below volume setting 30 to ensure this anti distortion thing still doesn’t kick in. For most studio quality tracks that are well mastered, volume settings above 28 seem to have little impact on the perceived loudness.

This setup allows me to play music about as loud as I like it, without losing my bass response. Those stock speakers will kick without audible clipping or distortion and even give your mirrors that satisfying rumble you’d usually need to upgrade to achieve. I’d love to see how the factory upgraded speakers would sound with this setup. I actually decided NOT to look into a passive subwoofer because I’m so satisfied with the response from this setup. But if the money is there, a compact powered unit with a built in amp would be really cool 😎

only thing I wish this car had was per-speaker low and high pass filters, in my old car I had an aftermarket head unit and I would low pass and increase gain on the rear speakers and high pass the front speakers to eliminate A lot of distortions from each speaker trying to handle the entire frequency range all at once. Nobody ever really rode in my back seats, so this in addition to a slightly adjusted fade/balance setting did amazing things for audio quality. But that being said what I described on the stock Impreza stereo did its justice.

What’s your setup(stock or aftermarket?)
Anyone with the Harmon Kardon upgrade wanna fill me in on the actual change in quality? Worth it?
 

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I have the Harmon Kardon speakers (2019 Sport) and IMO the stock speakers of my 2010 VW Golf sound better than that.
 

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2019 Impreza 5 dr. auto, limited
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2019 Limited Hatch without the Harmon Kardon package here (though the front doors had the factory 6x9's in them). I can't increase the volume much over 21-23 without having the bass significantly roll off. I wasn't expecting much out of the stock system since it's really designed for a decent sound at an economical price.

Since purchase, I've added a Rockford Fosgate Prime R2 subwoofer in an enclosed box behind the rear seat powered by an Alpine MRV-M500 amp currently pulling signal from rear door speakers.

Also upgraded the doors and dash tweeters to a set of Kickers Coax in rear, and components in the front door. Plan is to add an AudioControl LC7i for better sound all around as well as the ability to prevent the bass roll off.
 

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Just curious: Is the speed sensitive volume a new thing for 2020? My 2019 Premium does not have such capability.
 

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My 2017 base model has the speed sensative sound level. At least I remember adjusting it a couple of years ago. I'll have to see if it's still in the settings menu.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have the Harmon Kardon speakers (2019 Sport) and IMO the stock speakers of my 2010 VW Golf sound better than that.
I’m glad I didn’t plan to upgrade, LOL. I wish there was more control over the sound without having to upgrade the head unit or wire in filter controls. I was surprised I could get a good speaker response out of what I did fiddle with.

Just curious: Is the speed sensitive volume a new thing for 2020? My 2019 Premium does not have such capability.
If I remember correctly, it’s actually in a weirdo setting menu where you wouldn’t expect it, or it’s worded strangely, or something like that. I might be wrong. Once I got the settings how I liked them I never went back to adjust anything since.
 

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I will check out that speed sensitive volume. Never saw it before... Thanks for the information. What does it do, exactly? Increase the volume with speed?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will check out that speed sensitive volume. Never saw it before... Thanks for the information. What does it do, exactly? Increase the volume with speed?
Yes! To offset increased road noise. I’m posting this from my phone so idk how good the quality is, but it’s all the way at the bottom of the menu for sound. I turn it off because I don’t want the volume to DECREASE when I slow down to stop.
24146
 

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Hmmm. The default must be 'off,' as I have never noticed an increase nor decrease in volume.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmmm. The default must be 'off,' as I have never noticed an increase nor decrease in volume.
Maybe, I’m a little bit of an audiophile so I tend to notice those little differences.

If anyone’s curious, here’s how it sounds with my current settings(don’t even say anything about me taking a video and driving, I’m in a closed community and responsible for my own actions LOL):


Notice no audible distortion when bass and treble are both eating up the range. At volume 29 no clear bass roll off effect either. After 30-31 it begins to have a small bass rolloff effect but it’s not too bad. The EQ settings have a lot to do with it, attached pic is my settings. I think the default, underlying EQ isn’t actually flat Even though the sliders are all at 0db gain from factory. Because even though the mids are scooped, this is as close as I can get tohow it sounds through my studio monitors
24147
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Video best experienced on headphones or real speakers, bc phone speakers just cut the bass entirely and you won’t be able to get the effect I’m talking about lol
 

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I just popped over to a thread about stock speakers being too bassy or boomy. I think there was an overall lack of bass in general before changing settings, bass roll off made it worse as I wasn’t getting a full range. I think it handles bass from most genres well, nothing short of what you’d expect from a small sub or just slightly more expensive(say, lower level 3-in-1s from pioneer or kenwood?) aftermarket speakers
 

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I have to say my Harmon Kardon stock setup is damn nice I do get people saying some things about them but not sure why it's so bad.

To note. I agree it needs something more towards the back maybe a SUB? But the car does rattle a lot inside the doors etc I don't think sound control was their #1 priority lol.

The EQ being only 3 bars is still a joke...

But honestly the sound out of the Harmon Kardon is pretty decent. I just wanted to give my input here. I could see installing a sub in the back if I wanted to be more picky.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have to say my Harmon Kardon stock setup is damn nice I do get people saying some things about them but not sure why it's so bad.

To note. I agree it needs something more towards the back maybe a SUB? But the car does rattle a lot inside the doors etc I don't think sound control was their #1 priority lol.

The EQ being only 3 bars is still a joke...

But honestly the sound out of the Harmon Kardon is pretty decent. I just wanted to give my input here. I could see installing a sub in the back if I wanted to be more picky.
I’d love to do noise treatment but I don’t think it’s needed for how I typically listen
 

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The speed sensing is awful. I have mine set to low which is fine. If I go to med then I really notice a volume change at 10 mph. The change is too quick and the speed to slow. That’s my opinion. I have a 2017 premium with the base radio. I added the alpine ktp-445u Amplifier behind my radio and I switched my speakers for Kicker 6x9 component for the front and 2 ways for the rear doors. I’m not too picky but I think it sounds so much better. With the stock I think my EQ was B+2, M+7, and T+5. Now it is 0, +2, 0.
 
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