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Discussion Starter #1
I've read through the forums and I understand that unless I get a separate amp or a 6 channel HU, I am going to lose the factory sub-woofer.


With that in mind, I have a two questions.

1) Will losing the factory sub dramatically decrease my sound quality?

2) What is the easiest replacement unit that I can install myself that will give me good bluetooth, the ability to play MP3 CDs, an aux port, and connect to my existing steering wheel controls [volume/station change]


I have a 2006 RT with no navi, cameras, or sunroof. I'd love to get a unit that had good navi, but think that the cost and potential lack of updates make it unattractive.
 

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I've read through the forums and I understand that unless I get a separate amp or a 6 channel HU, I am going to lose the factory sub-woofer.


With that in mind, I have a two questions.

1) Will losing the factory sub dramatically decrease my sound quality?

2) What is the easiest replacement unit that I can install myself that will give me good bluetooth, the ability to play MP3 CDs, an aux port, and connect to my existing steering wheel controls [volume/station change]


I have a 2006 RT with no navi, cameras, or sunroof. I'd love to get a unit that had good navi, but think that the cost and potential lack of updates make it unattractive.
Hey Pete,

Welcome to the ROC. Couple of notes on your questions:
Any double din fits, so the answer questions about BT, aux port, ETC is based in your wallet. Every feature you asked about (except NAV on low price) is available in double DIN sized products ranging from $100(ish) to $1,500. Cosmetics vary quite a bit, as does the user experience with things like control placement and software design. In recent experience, I've had current model Sony and Pioneer - IMO: in the sub $300 range, Pioneer beats the SNOT out of Sony. You may want to look at new products introduced @ CES earlier this month because they'll be in stock shortly.

On the sub question, opinions vary but YES: you will miss the contributions of the factory sub. Take a look at this thread - it might encourage you to add a small amp. I strongly recommend doing so.

A personal approach to research: I check out well known on-line retailers to get a feel for features and price, visit OEM sites, download manuals, ETC - narrow my choices to a few then go looking locally. I check out units of interest to become familiar with the user interface and general construction quality - then talk price with the store I'm standing in. If all things closely align, meaning installation kits, wiring adaptor, availability and price, the purchase is made locally.

But that's just me. I like contributing to the local economy. If the little Mom/Pop store gets in the ballpark, I buy there. If not, big box is next cuz local people work there. If they don't ballpark the price and after sale support, I buy on line.
 

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With a TON of help from OhSix I just added an aftermarket head unit and a small amp to my system. I kept the factory sub that way.

BTW, thanks OhSix! I owe you big time for all the help!
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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OP, you said you have an RT. If that is the case, you don't have a factory subwoofer installed anyways. In your signature, it says you have an RTS. If this is the case, you DO have a factory subwoofer. Since you mentioned having steering wheel controls, I'll assume you have an RTS with a factory sub.

OhSix covered the bases pretty well. I've been a Pioneer guy for many years and have never been let down. I highly recommend the double-DIN size as it looks way better. You don't even need to get one with an LCD screen in it. There are several options in the double DIN size that start at about $150 or so. If you order from Crutchfield, they will include all of the installation hardware you need to get it working (wiring harness, antenna adapter and dash kit). It's basically up to you and your wallet as to which one you want to get.

As far as the factory sub goes, you will miss it once it's gone. With many Pioneer head units, you can steal the rear door speaker outputs to power the factory sub from the head unit itself. Positives are that you don't need a separate amplifier to keep the sub. Negatives are that you lose the rear door speakers and you can't individually control the output level of the sub. Losing the rear speakers isn't such a huge deal as they're mostly used for fill anyways. This would be the cheapest and easiest option. All you'd need to do is bridge the speaker outputs from the head unit and run speaker wire back to the factory sub. Adding a small amp is by far the best way to go for sound quality, though. It gives you more control over the system.

As for the steering wheel controls, you'll need a separate unit to make them work with the new head unit. I used the Metra Axxess that was about $50 and it's worked wonderfully for many years. Very simple wiring and it auto programs.

Lastly, if you're not going to replace your door speakers at all, I would VERY highly recommend doing the "15 minute tweeter upgrade" as seen in this thread: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39073
It will give you exceptionally better high frequency production. The stock tweeters in the RL are terrible. They're made even more terrible when a decent quality signal and more power is sent to them. A $30 set of tweeters will greatly improve your listening experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do indeed have an RTS-- I could not edit the subject.

I really appreciate everyone's help-- I was originally planning on selling my truck, but after seeing the new 2017, I realize that my current one suits me best and I am on the path in improve it.

I've been using this forum for years and years. This was my first post --- glad to be a part of the community. Thanks again.
 
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