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Discussion Starter #1
What are the pros to mounting an aftermarket stereo in the lower pocket vs just using the factory head unit with a LOC? I have a 2015 Accord EX with a push button HU (not touchscreen) so I assume I won't have an external amp to tap into the line to get a clean signal. From what I've read my only options are to use the factory HU and use a LOC to restore the bass roll off, or to use an aftermarket stereo in the lower pocket in conjunction with the factory HU, but I'm not sure what advantages this gives me. I'm not interested in completely removing the factory HU because of all the functionality I'd lose.
 

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I think it would be helpful to know your objectives.

I'd venture to guess that over 90% of us have gone the LOC/Amp route (either with a separate LOC and amp or an amp that can take speaker lever inputs). @Keep Hope Alive; is the only one I know that has added a separate HU in the pocket. But again, it's all about your objectives. What are you trying to achieve?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I saw KHA's thread about installing the aftermarket stereo in the lower pocket so I'm curious what the benefit is to going this route. Would you still need a LOC, since the signal from the HU wouldn't be clean? My only objective is to make the sound better in my car (the factory stereo isn't very good). Initially I was thinking about just replacing the speaker with better ones but after I read about how the signal from the HU isn't clean and the factory speakers are very efficient and higher end speakers probably wouldn't sound any better (probably worse) since they wouldn't be as efficient. So if I'm going to go through the hassle of installing an amp (and LOC?) I'd probably install a sub too.
 

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Of course the challenge with this is that you can't try before you buy. You're stuck listening to subjective opinions from those that have gone before. And many will recommend what they did as the best option.

I think you need to replace the fronts, if for no other reason than you need tweeters to provide better sound. Don't care how "efficient" the factory speakers are: they sound like crap.

I also think you need a sub. I tried to improve the sound quality without one and it did not work. You need a sub.

And you'll need an amp and either an LOC or a DSP.
 

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EarthDreams
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There are many advantages:

You're going to get much better sound quality by installing a head unit, as opposed to trying to convert from the factory garbage.

You're also going to retain 100% functionality over the car's computer system that operates thru the factory garbage, as opposed to trying to replace the factory garbage.

A quality head unit will also have far more capabilities than the steaming factory pile (filtering, superior Bluetooth, XM, hands free, etc.

And most importantly, you'll actually be using that pocket for something cool, instead of using it to hold pencils.
 

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@TMVB is right that it depends on what your goal is. "Better sound" is a little too vague. If your only complaint is the poor tonal quality of the sound and lack of clear highs, then new speakers (possibly with an amp) may be enough. If your complaint is also that there's not enough bass, you'll need a sub too. If you get a sub, you'll need a processor to undo the bass rolloff of the factory HU.

To answer your questions: the biggest pro of mounting an aftermarket stereo is that you get a clean flat signal. Note that only applies to music played on that stereo itself. If you route the factory HU output into the AUX input of the aftermarket HU, the quality of anything played on the factory HU will be as bad as ever. The con is that you give up some OEM functionality. Like, if you want to use the factory HU for Bluetooth calls, you'll have to switch over to AUX in on the new HU to use the phone. If a call comes in and you're listening to music via the new HU, your music won't mute. I believe you also can only use the steering wheel controls for one HU or the other, not both.
 

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I believe you also can only use the steering wheel controls for one HU or the other, not both.
KHA has his wired up so the phone buttons still work with the factory head unit and the other buttons to control the aftermarket head unit, so it's possible.

I don't think anyone has actually confirmed that the phone buttons will control an aftermarket head unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So would adding an aftermarket stereo and running the factory hu though the aftermarket's aux input not require a LOC? Since wouldn't I have a clean signal from the aftermarket hu?
 

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EarthDreams
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An LOC is used to create an RCA connection to an amp. Most aftermarket head units already have RCA jacks built in. So an output converter wouldn't be needed for an aftermarket headunit. But you want to run the factory poop through the auxiliary port on the good headunit?

I don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know a LOC is suggested because of the bass roll off in the factory hu. I'm mostly just confirming that a LOC isn't necessary to have full range sound.
 

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So would adding an aftermarket stereo and running the factory hu though the aftermarket's aux input not require a LOC? Since wouldn't I have a clean signal from the aftermarket hu?
No, the aftermarket HU will not fix the flaws in the signal coming in from the factory HU. You'll only get a flat signal for music that originates inside the aftermarket HU. Which is fine - I'm sure KHA plays all his music on his aftermarket HU, and only switches to AUX to get audio from the factory HU when he's using the phone.

The only complication I see with that is your phone has to be Bluetooth paired to the factory HU for calls, so it can't also be paired to your aftermarket HU for streaming music.
 

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Reverse Gear
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Is there anyone out there that actually left everything stock and just replaced the speakers? I have an EX-L with a subwoofer (I'd never know it unless I looked at it) and supposedly 360 watts. My system in my 2007 is completely stock, with the exception of Alpine 6x9's in the back, and the sound is much better than the 2015 premium system.
 

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Is there anyone out there that actually left everything stock and just replaced the speakers? I have an EX-L with a subwoofer (I'd never know it unless I looked at it) and supposedly 360 watts. My system in my 2007 is completely stock, with the exception of Alpine 6x9's in the back, and the sound is much better than the 2015 premium system.
You could theoretically do that with the premium system
 

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EarthDreams
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No, the aftermarket HU will not fix the flaws in the signal coming in from the factory HU. You'll only get a flat signal for music that originates inside the aftermarket HU. Which is fine - I'm sure KHA plays all his music on his aftermarket HU, and only switches to AUX to get audio from the factory HU when he's using the phone.



The only complication I see with that is your phone has to be Bluetooth paired to the factory HU for calls, so it can't also be paired to your aftermarket HU for streaming music.

If I'm not mistaken, he installed the CDE-9887, which has its own Bluetooth integration. So he doesn't need to swap to the factory system for that capability.

Just install a decent headunit and you'll never have to use the factory one again. For example, I recently installed a new Pioneer unit in my Mom's car as a Christmas gift. It has Bluetooth, Pandora, iPod/iPhone integration, hands free calling, XM radio etc. It also has the ability to be paired with multiple phones simultaneously. So friends can get in her car and say, "Oh, have you ever heard this one song by Justin Timberlake!? He's so dreamy! Here, I'll play it for you." Boom, JT in an instant.

That's why I always laugh when I see people paying thousands of dollars for "premium audio" or built-in navigation. No matter how "premium" your radio or navi is, it'll be outdated in no time. And most of the time, there are already better aftermarket options out there the day you buy the car. I remember seeing the V6 touring and laughing at how crappy the navigation system was. I bought a Garmin for ~$150 and it's not even comparable to Honda's unit.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, he installed the CDE-9887, which has its own Bluetooth integration. So he doesn't need to swap to the factory system for that capability.

Just install a decent headunit and you'll never have to use the factory one again. For example, I recently installed a new Pioneer unit in my Mom's car as a Christmas gift. It has Bluetooth, Pandora, iPod/iPhone integration, hands free calling, XM radio etc. It also has the ability to be paired with multiple phones simultaneously. So friends can get in her car and say, "Oh, have you ever heard this one song by Justin Timberlake!? He's so dreamy! Here, I'll play it for you." Boom, JT in an instant.

That's why I always laugh when I see people paying thousands of dollars for "premium audio" or built-in navigation. No matter how "premium" your radio or navi is, it'll be outdated in no time. And most of the time, there are already better aftermarket options out there the day you buy the car. I remember seeing the V6 touring and laughing at how crappy the navigation system was. I bought a Garmin for ~$150 and it's not even comparable to Honda's unit.
Doing what you're suggesting would render the iMid as dead. Regardless of media or navigation, some people still want the mpg and vehicle setting stuff available.

I'd love to have a real head unit with some of these improved features but I'm not willing to put in 30 hours worth of work to rewire everything and relocate the factory HU, and I'm not willing to lose any functionality at all. Its a shame it has to be such a pain.
 

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EarthDreams
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Doing what you're suggesting would render the iMid as dead. Regardless of media or navigation, some people still want the mpg and vehicle setting stuff available.



I'd love to have a real head unit with some of these improved features but I'm not willing to put in 30 hours worth of work to rewire everything and relocate the factory HU, and I'm not willing to lose any functionality at all. Its a shame it has to be such a pain.

How would it render the factory iMid as dead? It would go completely untouched.

Leave the factory system. Install a good headunit in the lower pocket. Rewire it to the speakers. Done.
 

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How would it render the factory iMid as dead? It would go completely untouched.

Leave the factory system. Install a good headunit in the lower pocket. Rewire it to the speakers. Done.
you very well may be right but my understanding of it is that it's not quite that simple at all.
 

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EarthDreams
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you very well may be right but my understanding of it is that it's not quite that simple at all.

Sure it is! If I really wanted to, I could install a headunit in the headboard of my bed and wire it up to 4 car speakers and it would work. How is that any different than installing it independently within a car? The original radio would be happy, as its' ego would be getting stroked on the daily as you gawk at his ability to calculate MPG and all. Unbeknownst to him, his smarter and much sneakier little brother is having his ego stroked as you jam out with your clam out, while he hides only inches below his big brother's schnozzola.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, he installed the CDE-9887, which has its own Bluetooth integration. So he doesn't need to swap to the factory system for that capability.
He doesn't need to, but he has wired it up so he can use the factory bluetooth for phone calls so he can use the built-in mic array (no aftermarket mic needs to be sticking out) and for text notifications.

The calls and notifications will still appear on the iMid like before.

The negatives of this is that requires a bit of extra wiring, changing the source before answering a call and that calls won't automatically interrupt the music. However the visual indication on the iMid should be fine.

Integrating the factory bluetooth is completely optional.
 

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The hardest part with installing a radio in the lower pocket is just the fabrication part of it.

The part where the pocket slides into needs to be removed from the car and have some of the plastic trimmed up so that a single din head unit will fit.

This requires removing the center console, glove compartment and the factory radio to get to. It took me about 45 minutes.

Modifying the pocket itself requires some dremel work, glue, body filler, spray primer and spray paint for color.

After that its just like wiring up a standard head unit. You can build a bypass harness so you don't even need to cut/splice into any stock wiring.

If you're going to integrate the factory bluetooth or steering wheel controls, that requires some additional wiring and parts to complete.

Sounds harder than it is, but its really just extra time needed to complete.
 
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