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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else underwhelmed by the stock 2017-2018 touch screen/nav audio system's audio quality? Yeah, the 2017 has Apple Carplay / Android Auto (which was the main complaint about the 2016 that I found when searching), but the audio quality is really not what I expected from a vehicle costing almost $50k new. I hate to say it, but my old 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan's "JBL Synthesis" audio sounded better.

Do I just have the "suck" setting enabled in the EQ, or is the speaker+amp combo just not right in this vehicle? Liking the car other than the audio system...

Is the 2019+ audio any better? If so, can it be retrofitted?
 

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No, it just sucks. I had a rental base model Kia minivan back before I got my Pilot, it got me so excited for a vehicle upgrade but what a letdown. The crappiest Kia blew it away.

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Discussion Starter #3
Anyone successfully installed any aftermarket audio equipment (speakers, amps, anything) in a 3rd gen and had it improve things?

Also still wondering if the 2019 head unit would fix any of this...
 

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Upgrades have definitely been done. Search the forum and you'll find it.

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Anyone successfully installed any aftermarket audio equipment (speakers, amps, anything) in a 3rd gen and had it improve things?

Also still wondering if the 2019 head unit would fix any of this...
You cannot fit a 2019 head unit into a 2016-2018. Completely different manufactures and harness.
 
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If the 2019 Elite/Touring stereo system is the same in the Passport (which is what I own) as the Pilot (I assume it is) then I am here to tell you it is an awesome sounding system - when you replace the speakers!

I upgraded the front and rear woofers (in the doors) and the front (A Piller) and rear (C Piller) tweeters/midranges with some Focal 165AS and the sound is phenomenal. Check Crutchfield for compatibility, I also left the OEM Sub woofer and turned the Center Channel off. Had them professionally installed with new speaker wires and sound deadening material added in the doors.

Cheers...
 

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If the 2019 Elite/Touring stereo system is the same in the Passport (which is what I own) as the Pilot (I assume it is) then I am here to tell you it is an awesome sounding system - when you replace the speakers!

I upgraded the front and rear woofers (in the doors) and the front (A Piller) and rear (C Piller) tweeters/midranges with some Focal 165AS and the sound is phenomenal. Check Crutchfield for compatibility, I also left the OEM Sub woofer and turned the Center Channel off. Had them professionally installed with new speaker wires and sound deadening material added in the doors.

Cheers...
Glad you're happy but that's pathetic it needs it in the first place. I was considering focal in my BMW, I hear great things about them.

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I dunno about 2019, but when upgrading the audio in 2013 EX, the stock speakers are of obviously incredibly low quality. Extremely cheap feel, VERY lightweight. Not a bit of metal in the body, feel like they don't even HAVE a magnet. I replaced them with Focal ISC-165 two-way speakers. A single Focal easily weighs more than all 4 stock speakers together. Same goes for the stock sub. a pathetic 50W max affair that exudes 'cheap'. The 8" shallow Kicker that I put in easily weighs 5x as much.
Focals are also 2-way with rotating tweeters so you can angle them properly. I left the in-dash stock tweeters in place but disconnected. The tweeters in the Focals produce excellent, crisp highs. With stock tweets, I could barely hear the highs even after boosting the 'treble'

I dunno if Elite has an outboard amp, and how much power it provides, but you definitely could start by swapping out speakers and sub for something decent.

My first phase was just that - new speakers/sub and a dedicated amp, fed from stock HU with speaker-level inputs. Here is an interesting bit: with stock HU, if I turned up gain level past about 2.5 on the amp for front/rears, I could clearly hear the noise floor hiss. When I upgraded HU to an aftermarket Alpine, I could take the gains past 5 with zero noise. Could be because stock HU was feeding the amp speaker level, and with Alpine I am using preamp outputs.

Note: I pulled up some pictures for Honda speakers, and looks like Pilot 2019 speakers are the same cheapo plastic pieces as in the older models.
 
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