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Old 01-15-2020, 02:00 AM   #1
714_BRZ
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Factory subwoofer success story.

Hi everyone,

TL/DR:

* If you're fine with playing audio from your phone, pick up an EarStudio ES100 (~ $100) and connect it to the audio-in port. To my surprise, the factory speakers had so much more to offer that the original setup could never supply. The highs are bright, the sub sounds clean and hits well, and the staging is great! If you want to use all of the audio sources on the stereo then go with option 1.

Edit from 1/21/2020: So far, the replies below that state this DAC does not effect sound quality seem to be from people that don't have experience with DACs. If you're on the fence about it, research it further online and remember to go through a seller that takes returns.

I own a 2014 BRZ and installed Subaru's subwoofer (p/n H630SCA000) but the sound wasn't what I was looking for. For my car, the EQ had no effect on the sub and the only workaround I found was moving the front/rear balance to the rear a few clicks and adjust the EQ so the fronts only handled the high notes. This improved things but still wasn't what I was looking for. Eventually, I decided to get creative. My goal was to adjust the frequencies the sub received so the original speakers and the sub can focus on frequencies they're good at. Here's what worked.

1. In-line RCA crossover.
* This was the least expensive solution (FMOD Crossover Pair 70 Hz Low Pass made by Harrison Labs ~$30). If you're not familiar with these, these are non-adjustable crossovers that remove frequencies higher than a certain amount. They connect to the left and right audio channels between the stereo and the sub, and come in different frequencies so you have multiple ways to adjust the sub. Installation wasn't hard but it did take some time to come up with a solution. If you're able to solder well then the installation will likely be much faster.
* This solution effects all of the audio sources.

2. USB powered digital analog converter (DAC).
* I consider this the best of the two solutions and is the solution I went with.
* I went with the bluetooth EarStudio's ES100 (~ $100). If you're not familiar with DAC's, they're basically hardware that converts digital information to analog audio. What makes this DAC better than the one in your radio, cell phone, bluetooth speaker, bluetooth headphones, tv, etc is the quality of sound it produces. I won't do a deep-dive into what separates one DAC from the other but there are a ton of great websites that do. It comes with a 10-band equalizer and other great fine-tuning adjustments. Installation takes less than 10 minutes. Install the ES100 app on your phone, connect the DAC to the car via the USB port and the audio-in port in the center console, and pair the DAC with your phone (Android, research how to enable LDAC via bluetooth. iOS, research how to enable aptX or aptX HD via bluetooth).
* This solution only effects the audio-in port. Even though all of the other audio sources still work, they don't benefit from the DAC.

In the end, the sound difference was a night and day. It's easily one of those things you instantly appreciate.

Cheers,
Craig

Last edited by 714_BRZ; 01-21-2020 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Remind people to pick this up from a retailer that accepts returns.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:46 AM   #2
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Haven’t heard about it before. So I checked Amazon and found the “EarStudio ES100 MK2-24bit”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078H4YD2L..._npRhEbSN9SZ16

Also read the reviews and found another reviews where it was used in the car with outstanding results.

I have the factory sub installed on my 2019 BRZ and would like to give a try. Please, can you let me know what you meant with not effecting all audio sources? Only audio in!

Since I will be an iOS user, may I ask whether you tried it with an iOS and got similar results compared to the android ?


Thanks for sharing this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:55 AM   #3
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Uh..... I'm calling the B.S. flag on this spammer.

First of all the fucker is selling a $12 Bluetooth adapter for $100.
Second you can add any subwoofer for to any car stereo for under $100 from Walmart.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:52 AM   #4
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Uh..... I'm calling the B.S. flag on this spammer.

First of all the fucker is selling a $12 Bluetooth adapter for $100.
Second you can add any subwoofer for to any car stereo for under $100 from Walmart.
Most likely as there are far better audio options for vehicles, starting with just getting a better head unit. Usually for car audio they place the device between the head unit and the speakers to make all the audio much better when they want to keep the stock head unit.

However those that foolishly wasted the $500 on the subaru subwoofer are sort of desperate for better options. The thing with the stock head unit is absolutely awful.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 714_BRZ View Post
Install the ES100 app on your phone, connect the DAC to the car via the USB port and the audio-in port in the center console, and pair the DAC with your phone (Android, research how to enable LDAC via bluetooth. iOS, research how to enable aptX or aptX HD via bluetooth).
* This solution only effects the audio-in port. Even though all of the other audio sources still work, they don't benefit from the DAC.

In the end, the sound difference was a night and day. It's easily one of those things you instantly appreciate.

Cheers,
Craig
placebo effect. the usb and audio ports connect directly to the oem radio, and route all signals through the oem equipment that you say is screwing everything up.

you aren't bypassing anything, you've just added another layer on top of what was already there. while it's possible the additional eq functionality of the dac allows certain input adjustment, there is nothing about the signal routing that has allowed a better audio signal in this scenario.

i'm all for cheap simple fixes, but i don't like fleecing people with 'fixes' that aren't.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busybee View Post
Haven’t heard about it before. So I checked Amazon and found the “EarStudio ES100 MK2-24bit”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078H4YD2L..._npRhEbSN9SZ16

Also read the reviews and found another reviews where it was used in the car with outstanding results.

I have the factory sub installed on my 2019 BRZ and would like to give a try. Please, can you let me know what you meant with not effecting all audio sources? Only audio in!

Since I will be an iOS user, may I ask whether you tried it with an iOS and got similar results compared to the android ?


Thanks for sharing this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hi Busybee,

When using option 2, only audio that goes into the stereo via the audio-in port will benefit from the DAC. Your other audio sources like AM/FM, CD, etc still work but won't benefit from the DAC.

No, I have not tried via iOS. I expect the results to be similar because the DAC doesn't care where the audio comes from, and iOS uses high quality bluetooth codecs that are similar to Android's LDAC.

Craig
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.ac View Post
Uh..... I'm calling the B.S. flag on this spammer.

First of all the fucker is selling a $12 Bluetooth adapter for $100.
Second you can add any subwoofer for to any car stereo for under $100 from Walmart.
Hey Mr.ac,

This bluetooth adapter is different than a standard $12 adapter because of the DAC and the bluetooth codecs it supports. Do a search on the ES100 and you'll find a lot of people that are happy with it.

Craig
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by why? View Post
Most likely as there are far better audio options for vehicles, starting with just getting a better head unit. Usually for car audio they place the device between the head unit and the speakers to make all the audio much better when they want to keep the stock head unit.

However those that foolishly wasted the $500 on the subaru subwoofer are sort of desperate for better options. The thing with the stock head unit is absolutely awful.
Hey why?,

You're not wrong. There are far better options than the factory radio. I wrote my post for people that decide to keep the factory radio for one reason or another.

There are less expensive options for a sub but people didn't foolishly waste their money. It's a good sounding unit that looks like it was built specifically for the car.

Craig
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 714_BRZ View Post
Hey why?,

You're not wrong. There are far better options than the factory radio. I wrote my post for people that decide to keep the factory radio for one reason or another.

There are less expensive options for a sub but people didn't foolishly waste their money. It's a good sounding unit that looks like it was built specifically for the car.

Craig
no it isn't. It's a piece of crap made by kicker, which generally makes pieces of crap for people that want to have everyone know they are coming from miles around. You literally cannot get much lower end than kicker. There are speaker brands no one has ever heard of that are less expensive than kicker than make products thousands of times better.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:28 PM   #10
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no it isn't. It's a piece of crap made by kicker, which generally makes pieces of crap for people that want to have everyone know they are coming from miles around. You literally cannot get much lower end than kicker. There are speaker brands no one has ever heard of that are less expensive than kicker than make products thousands of times better.
You can tune a lot of the booming-ness down, too. That boom seems to be a frequency range so adjusting the slider for 31.5 Hz down helps a lot. Even though the 31.5 Hz is down, you still get a lot of base from the 63 Hz and 125 Hz frequencies.

I attached a screenshot of the EQ.

Craig
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:28 PM   #11
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and what do you have the eq on the car radio set to? because they are summing eq's.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:29 PM   #12
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no it isn't. It's a piece of crap made by kicker, which generally makes pieces of crap for people that want to have everyone know they are coming from miles around. You literally cannot get much lower end than kicker. There are speaker brands no one has ever heard of that are less expensive than kicker than make products thousands of times better.
don't get me started on alpine!

seriously though, boss or jensen is not better than kicker. you had me up until that point.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:40 PM   #13
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placebo effect. the usb and audio ports connect directly to the oem radio, and route all signals through the oem equipment that you say is screwing everything up.

you aren't bypassing anything, you've just added another layer on top of what was already there. while it's possible the additional eq functionality of the dac allows certain input adjustment, there is nothing about the signal routing that has allowed a better audio signal in this scenario.

i'm all for cheap simple fixes, but i don't like fleecing people with 'fixes' that aren't.
Hit the nail on the head. Not to mention the 'summing' effect you brought up earlier. Also, input adjustment can be done through most phones as well with the right amount of research.

I feel that for our cars, this is a $100 gimmick. It's really just a device that adds bluetooth functionality to systems that do not currently have it. It is not a device that is meant to repair any sound quality issues within that system.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:58 PM   #14
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