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Discussion Starter #1
What I want:
1. replace the stock head unit because it doesn't have USB interface.
2. get better speakers for better audio quality, not sure if I need amps or a subwoofer.

What I bought:
1. Pioneer head unit that outputs 22W RMS, like most head units

What I plan to buy:
1. Better speakers. They are 6.5 in speakers front and rear, but should I get coaxial or component?

The key question is whether I should buy amps for those speakers, and should I get a subwoofer? I'm hesitant because:
1. I don't listen to loud music.
2. Buying an amp means hooking it to the battery and wiring it thru the firewall, which is daunting to me.
3. I like bass, but don't need a ton. Too much bass can make the car rattle.

Please advise if I can get away with just the head unit and a good set of speakers. I just want noticeably better audio than stock and the ability to play mp3s.

Thanks
 

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If I were in your place I'd replace the fronts with a good pair of coaxials. I'd leave the rears alone as they are really fill speakers and will do the job just fine. If you're not going to go with an amp I go with JL Audio for the speakers as they have good bass using just the head unit's amp. You're not going to get much bass below 80hz or a bit lower but you should be fine.
If you decide to go with an amp you can easily go with a small footprint amp that is also relatively inexpensive and can power a small sub but you still aren't going to get a lot of bass.
If you enjoy listening to music at modest levels the head unit you have and speakers I suggest will put a smile on your face.

Make sure you go to a couple of shops and listen to what they offer to get an idea.
Good luck and make sure you keep us informed.
 

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The higher the sensitivity rating of a speaker, the better it will sound at lower volumes and lower power. I would use components with a midrange in the door and tweeters with crossovers wherever they mount. The real issue in the CR-V is that they are not very quiet inside, so higher volumes are necessary. Some moderate soundproofing can help a lot. You could always try that first, then if still not satisfied, add an amp.
 

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My advice is to think harder about what EXACTLY you want to improve about the audio...

Features? (You already said USB)
More volume?
Better stereo imaging?
Better clarity?
Better mid-bass?
Chest pounding?
A little of everything?

Once you decide on what is important, then decide on your max budget.

I disagree with the notion that only replacing speakers in a Honda will get you better enough sound to warrant the cost and time. This has not been the case in my experience.

I have upgraded audio in two Accords (1999, 2006) and 3 CRVs (2008, 2010, 2013) and a Civic (2006). These were all family cars (I am not a pro, but I am an Electrical Engineer)

First three times I upgraded speakers only (Polk coax or components), the mid-bass was much worse. Replacing the in-dash unit or adding amps & EQ made a HUGE difference.

What do you want to improve most about your audio?
How much can you spend?

I don't recommend spending a huge amount of money on CRV upgrades, because they are just too noisy on the road to appreciate a nuanced system upgrade, unless you spend time/money to further insulate the cabin and this is a BIG job, or unless you spend a lot of time listening to your music while parked :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The higher the sensitivity rating of a speaker, the better it will sound at lower volumes and lower power. I would use components with a midrange in the door and tweeters with crossovers wherever they mount. The real issue in the CR-V is that they are not very quiet inside, so higher volumes are necessary. Some moderate soundproofing can help a lot. You could always try that first, then if still not satisfied, add an amp.
I know Dynamats are expensive. I could soundproof just the doors, how much will that help? Soundproofing other areas is beyond my skills and budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have upgraded audio in two Accords (1999, 2006) and 3 CRVs (2008, 2010, 2013) and a Civic (2006). These were all family cars (I am not a pro, but I am an Electrical Engineer)

First three times I upgraded speakers only (Polk coax or components), the mid-bass was much worse. Replacing the in-dash unit or adding amps & EQ made a HUGE difference.

What do you want to improve most about your audio?
How much can you spend?
Do you know what's the power output for the stock head unit? I'm intrigued because you said replacing the head unit made the sounds better.

I like the idea of replacing only the front speakers. This is the one I'm looking at because it fits and is only $50:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSC654/Kicker-43CSC654.html

Still debating if I should get an amp. I heard there is already a hole with rubber grommet at the firewall so maybe getting an amp isn't too difficult. Maybe I can buy a 4 channel amp and use 2 channels for the front speakers and the remaining channels to power an amp?

I also want to replace the corner tweeters, because I like highs. Do those need amps?
 

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Still debating if I should get an amp. I heard there is already a hole with rubber grommet at the firewall so maybe getting an amp isn't too difficult. Maybe I can buy a 4 channel amp and use 2 channels for the front speakers and the remaining channels to power an amp?

I also want to replace the corner tweeters, because I like highs. Do those need amps?
Typo? suspect this is a typo. You don't connect an amp to an amp.

I'd not spend the money on those Kicker speakers...they aren't going to be any better than what you have now.
If you buy cheap/inexpensive speakers you will get crappy sound.

You can...sometimes...run a set of component speakers, separate mid and tweet, off the head unit...if they are very efficient. But realize you aren't going to get the same sound out of them as you would with a separate amp.

You can use a small footprint amp that will reside in the dash. A 4 channel amp can run a pair of components...front channels to the mids and rears to the tweeters...
 

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There are much less expensive materials than Dynamat that are pretty much just as good. There's also more to the soundproofing than just that.

With a small (50wpc) amp you can run all the door speakers and the tweeters. Put the mid-ranges in the front doors, with crossovers connected between the midranges and the tweeters. Run those off the two front channels, and the rear door speakers off the two back channels. Then run a small (8") powered underseat sub. Your amp should have sub connectors for the signal wires for that. It's not mind-blowing but much better than the stock sound without spending two grand +.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Typo? suspect this is a typo. You don't connect an amp to an amp.

I'd not spend the money on those Kicker speakers...they aren't going to be any better than what you have now.
If you buy cheap/inexpensive speakers you will get crappy sound.

You can...sometimes...run a set of component speakers, separate mid and tweet, off the head unit...if they are very efficient. But realize you aren't going to get the same sound out of them as you would with a separate amp.

You can use a small footprint amp that will reside in the dash. A 4 channel amp can run a pair of components...front channels to the mids and rears to the tweeters...
Yeah it was a typo, I meant connecting the amp to the sub.

Interesting you mentioned the Kicker speakers won't lead to much improvement over the stock. I read from many sources that stock speakers are junk and any aftermarket speakers would kill it. Guess the stock CRV speakers aren't so bad then...

I wonder if the stock CRV speaker is a "component" speaker since there is a separate pair of tweeters by the windshield? And that's probably where I'd put the tweeters if I get an aftermarket component speaker?

I think most likely I'll just replace the front speakers (either with a good coaxial or component), and leave the rear alone (rarely have passengers). Then I'll power the speakers with an amp, and then get a under seat sub that comes with its amp built in.
thanks
 

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I'd not spend the money on those Kicker speakers...they aren't going to be any better than what you have now. If you buy cheap/inexpensive speakers you will get crappy sound.
The fly in that ointment is that almost anything aftermarket will be better than the super-cheapo paper-coned OEM speakers. Kicker actually makes some decently competitive speakers by comparison, though for similar money there are better ones. Beyond a certain point human hearing is not good enough to discern the difference, so a decent mid-priced speaker should prove quite adequate in a vehicle. But it's also true that 22wpc won't produce very high quality sound from any speaker. 50wpc will sound much better. The major makers are actually, just this year in fact (they are just coming out now) with new head units with 50wpc built into the head unit. I just started seeing YouTube videos on this this month. They should become available in the next couple of months. I think one of those, along with speakers with good sensitivity, might prove to be a financially efficient solution. I'd like to see these new head units with built-in DSP. But they won't be cheap.

I wonder if the stock CRV speaker is a "component" speaker since there is a separate pair of tweeters by the windshield? And that's probably where I'd put the tweeters if I get an aftermarket component speaker?
No. But you can replace them with components, with crossovers between them. They come in sets.
 

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No. But you can replace them with components, with crossovers between them. They come in sets.
Klokers advice is great. My only add is that if you think there is any chance at all that you'd get an amp in the future, get yourself a higher end component speaker than maybe you would otherwise. It will sound great on your current setup, and is future proof.

Many that go down this rabbit hole start with decent speakers, realize they still need an amp later and then upgrade speakers again anyway. If not, coax will be ok, but you are right that putting tweeters in the stock location will raise the sound stage up from your feet to higher in front of you. In live music, it's balcony seats vs floor in front of the band.

Check crutchfield for fitment.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For speakers I think I'll go with this (checked compatibility on Crutchfield but strangely it's 5 1/4'', I thought CRV is 6.5''?)

https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-REF-5020cx-Reference-Component-Edge-Driven/dp/B01E8OYS2E

I'm only going to replace the front speakers.

I'll get this amp:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/PIONEER-GM...NEL-AMP-AMPLIFIER-1000-WATTS-MAX/283226913824

and this small sub just for a bit of kick:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073W5PVMP/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A3LLMZ9K72U9P2&psc=1


With the $80 Pioneer head unit I got (which actually is only 14 W RMS...not 22), this setup will keep me under $400.

What do you think? (please point out any poor fit or incompatibility issues with the speakers/amp/)

With the amp, all 4 channels will be used for the front component systems (including 2 for the tweeters). Back door speakers will be left stock.

Youtube video shows the CRV already has a hole in the firewall so I don't have to drill... It's gonna be a learning curve as I install this myself...
 

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No - Get the 6.5" ones, they are the correct fit, I'm pretty sure. Check some other sources first, but I think that's right. If they require a little bit of modification to install, it would be worth it. If in doubt, take out a speaker and do some measuring first. I have seen the Crutchfield site make a few errors before. Your best option would be to call or go by a local car stereo installer and ask them what they show to fit. Of course, I have seen me make errors too, so that's a possibility.

The amp looks good, though the 1,000 watt rating is bogus, it's really just 60wpc rms. But it will do what you want.

On the sub, I would get this one instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-TS-W...01&sr=1-21&keywords=Kenwood+powered+subwoofer

It's just a few bucks more but likely much higher quality. Those off brands are kind of questionable.

If you want to run the tweeters off their own dedicated channels, you need a high end amp with full output adjustments, which the amp you chose does not have. Otherwise you may easily blow those tweeters at higher volume. To use the amp you chose, wire the front two channels to the front door mids, then run the crossovers between the mids and the tweeters and adjust the crossovers correctly. This will divide the power to provide for that needed for the tweeters. Then use the back two amp channels for the rear door speakers, and upgrade them when you can. You can always turn them off with the fader until then if you want.

If in doubt about all this, do more research. Go back and watch some of the gazillions of YouTube videos on the topic.
 

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I'm with kloker. Even though I trust Crutchfield, I checked a couple of parts sites. The description of the door speakers is:

Speaker Assembly (17CM) (Single)(Front) (Matsu****a)

17cm is 6.7 inches.


Edit: the site added the asterisks because of the spelling of the brand name.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I checked a few different sites and they all said 06 CRV uses 6.5 speakers, but unlike Crutchfield, they don't let you choose a specific speaker and tell you the compatibility. On Crutchfield, under 06 CRV Ex, the list of speakers contain 6.5 and also 5 1/4s That's strange.

Is it possible that some 6.5 speakers are too large (or thick) and that some 5 1/4 fits somehow?
 

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I checked a few different sites and they all said 06 CRV uses 6.5 speakers, but unlike Crutchfield, they don't let you choose a specific speaker and tell you the compatibility. On Crutchfield, under 06 CRV Ex, the list of speakers contain 6.5 and also 5 1/4s That's strange.

Is it possible that some 6.5 speakers are too large (or thick) and that some 5 1/4 fits somehow?
Usually it's smaller speakers via brackets. Go with 6.5" if that's what crutchfield recommends. Talk to one of their advisors, they're actually really helpful.

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