Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a Pilot EX-L. Hate the way original radio sounds, its simply aweful. I dont have any fun drving my brand new SUV because of this. I am not an audiofile, but handy and just want to replace the original speakers with something more decent. I am looking to spend $200 tops on some half-decent door speakes. I would like to do this without drilling or altering car's interior appearence in any way. I just want to replace the original disgusting speakers with something that fits perfectly in their place. My problem is that I have no idea how to remove the door panels and original speakers without causing damage. There is a philips screw just below the handle, but I dont want to attempt anything unless I know exactly how to remove the panel after I unscrew it.

I would much appreciate if someone could post step by step instructions on how to get this done.

Thank you in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
496 Posts
iggy said:
Just bought a Pilot EX-L. Hate the way original radio sounds, its simply aweful.
Ah, don't tell me that - I thought they sounded OK (Seriously - I'm not audiophile, either). Now it's going to bother me. :D

kad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I totally agree. I'm not an audiophile- however this is clear-cut trash sound. The posts contained on this site will give you all the detail you need to remove the door panels and install better speakers. I did the Infinity 6002si and am delighted with the improvement. Purchased on the net- search around- there is a big swing in pricing, usually driven by tax and shipping. Make sure the site clearly specifies "per pair" got nailed by that once.

Total install took 3 hours, but I was careful and not pressing for a world record.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
duroejc said:
I'm not an audiophile- however this is clear-cut trash sound.
Oh my...

This makes me worried. When we test drove the car we listened to the radio and a cd and we thought it sounded OK. Of course, we didnt really crank up the volume too much.

Can you please try to describe what you mean by "Trash Sound"? Is it a volume thing? Sound tinny, like one of thoes little radios?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'll try to describe it, although one really needs to play with the radio for about 30 minutes in order to fully "appreciate" the obnoxious and irritating quality of the sound this unit produces.

1. The door speakers in the mid-upper frequencies are too loud relative to mid-lows or upper-lows and its impossible to adjust via radio's eq control. They sound "dirty". This gives the sound a very irritating police-horn like quality. Just imagine playing music thru a hand held horn loudspeaker. "COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!!!!" There's also no "warmth" to the sound. They dont produce too many highs either.

2. The sub-woofer is too loud relative to the rest of the sound spectrum and sounds dull. It does not produce enough "lows" but too many "low-low-lows". May be this is what subwoofer is supposed to do, except that with loudness control set to about 25% and bass control set to default middle position it produces these loud, booming and annoying low frequency sounds that are completely out of balance with the rest of the sound spectrum. This naturally forces me to turn the bass gain down a notch or two, which helps alot, but in turn aggravates the mid-low/upper-low situation that was bad to begin with as described in 1.

3. Sound begins to get distorted with volume level set to about 50%. At about 60 - 70% the distortions in the mid-high range are clearly heard. At this point, if bass gain left at default, the sub is booming very loudly at the very low end of frequency spectrum too.

4. The high frequencies coming out of the front tweeters dont sound very clean either, but I can live with that.

5. This is not just my car, all Pilots sound like that. Non-EX models are even worse, I checked it myself by going to a different dealer, pretending to be shopping for a Pilot and spending some 5-10 minutes playing with the radio.

Again I am not an audiophile. I just know bad sound when I hear it and it pisses me off immensely because I just dropped about $30,000 on this car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
At first glance, the quality of the audio system is quite good. I was very surprised to find aluminum tweeters in the dash.

Upon further listening, there is just something missing.

The soundstage and image is non-existent, the mid bass is muddy. Tone controls do not offer a solution, playing with them often makes things worse. The subwoofer is tied into the fader which is a huge design flaw. The rear door speakers are so low in the doors as to not be needed by front passengers.

So far I have replaced my front speakers with a set of Boston Z6 component speakers and I am powering them with a PPI amp (PCX 280). After applying dynamat to the two front doors and floor spaces in the front compartment, the sound is beginning to improve.

I need to replace the sub as it is not up to the job and it is severly underpowered. I will probably disconnect the rear door speakers as they add nothing to the overall sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Thanks for the descriptions. I can definatly relate to what you mean by "warmth" of sound. We have the Bose system in our RL and it really sounds great. Ill have to wait to hear it again when we pick up the car. We will have a three hour drive home after taking delivery.

After reading esaydam's post in another thread it seems as though it may just be a problem with the speakers and not necessaraly with the head unit itself...

http://www.honda-pilot.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1530&perpage=15&pagenumber=2

I think the whole problem with the factory system on the EX is that the speakers in the door don't produce good, clean, and loud highs and lows, without distortion. Once I replaced them and installed Dynamat, I felt that the subwoofer was no longer blaring and drowning out the rest of the music. I can set my bass to any level now and it sounds great. I spent $149/pair plus about another $120 for the Dynamat. Money definitely well spent.
Again, I will wait and hear for myself.

I wonder if I should have waited to join the board until AFTER I picked up the car! :eek: Every little thing I have read about I will be looking and listening for during the drive home. :p

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,838 Posts
Opinion Piece

Allow me chime in with the perspective I've always had on car audio systems. I do claim to be an audiophile, although not an anal retentive one. I'm an amateur musician, have a background in EE, and have worked from time to time on audio systems and software. I think I have a good ear for sound, and know what to listen for in the time/space/phase/frequency domains.

I have never, and I mean NEVER heard a car audio system that sounded good. Some are terrible, some are better than others, but they're all a compromise. The shape of the passenger compartment, placement of speakers, size, presence of seats, and other occupants simply make it an acoustical exasperation. No amount of money or wattage will ever change that. Maybe when they come out with a vehicle that has only one seat for the driver in the rear of the compartment, speakers in the dash and around the sides unobstructed by other seats, and optically perfect anechoic material for the glass, we might be part way there. Short of that, we all have to compromise on sound and budget.

Personally, I think the Pilot stock system is fine for listening to a few tunes and getting traffic reports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
After reading esaydam's post in another thread it seems as though it may just be a problem with the speakers and not necessaraly with the head unit itself...
I should note, I am using the stock head unit to preserve the steering wheel controls. I believe the head unit is fine for the basic controls, however, the amp inside the head unit is not going to produce quality sound especially if you replace the speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
I second krygny's post. Automobile sound quality, above some rudimentary level, seems to be in the ear of the listener. I personally think that the Pilot system stacks up well relative to other cars I have owned. Prospective Pilot buyers and current owners should judge for themselves. I have been a member of several different car forums, and interestingly, they all contain posts denigrating the OEM sound systems. This is great for the after market audio manufacturers and installers!

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I may as well add my 2 cents ....

I've had my '04 Pilot EX with nav for about a week now and most of my complaints are minor. In all fairness to the Pilot I'm still getting used to it.

Probably my single biggest disappointment so far is with the audio system. I just don't like the way it sounds compared to my prior vehicle (2001 Lexus ES300). The system in the Lexus was totally stock but it sounded SO MUCH BETTER than what I hear in the Pilot. "Sounds better" is such a subjective term that it's tough to describe with words. Prior posts have used phrases like "soundstage and image is non-existent" and "mid bass is muddy." I completely agree.

The Lexus system just sounded more "alive" and less "muddy." I'd very much like to have the same sound in the Pilot but I don't know if simply replacing the door speakers will do it. The thought of popping in 4 new speakers for about 200 bucks sounds appealing. Is that the answer?

I'm certainly not after the end all be all of stereo systems ... just something that sounds quite a bit better than the stock Pilot setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
The Lexus system just sounded more "alive" and less "muddy." I'd very much like to have the same sound in the Pilot but I don't know if simply replacing the door speakers will do it. The thought of popping in 4 new speakers for about 200 bucks sounds appealing. Is that the answer?
Replacing the speakers is a start although you may need an amp to power them properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Wow- my cursory description as "clear-cut trash sound" certainly got some additional detail. All of which I agree with. I'd summarize my opinion by stating the system lacks definition- highs/mids/lows all blend together. With the Infinity 6002si you are able to distictively hear those components through out the entire volume range. I found the the 6002si for $69/pr, no tax, free shipping - money very well spent. Kept the OEM head unit.

Key here is that sound is a very personal taste- most likely why Honda doesn't waste too much energy (or $$) on the sound system is that many people will just replace it to satisfy their particular listening needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Hey Duroejc, are the 6002si speakers drop in replacements or will there be any cutting to get them to fit in the front and rear?

I haven't done a custom stereo install for over 10 years and I don't want to do one now. If those speakers drop in with no cutting then I'll pick me up a pair tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Ordered 2 pairs of Infinity speakers. 6002si for the front, 6002i for the rear. Will install on Wednesday, cant wait until next weekend cuz it bothers me too much. For the last week I only turned it on briefly to get weather/traffic reports on 1010-WINS in the morning on the way to work. Anyone who says Honda radio sounds OK is out of his/her mind. Oh, another thing, FM reception blows bad. Must be that etched antenna because AM is OK. Tried playing a few CDs and tapes this weekend: well... it still sucks bad.

Whoever designed this sound system should be fired or better shot in the ass. My Camry's original JBL radio sounds 1000 times better and the car costs $8,000 less. I betcha even some stupid Chevy Caprice has a much better sounding radio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Audio system sound problems

Hi, all!

I wonder if my 2004 EX-L has had some minor improvements over the 2003 in the audio department? I am having most problems with what, I presume, are the small dash-mounted speakers. there are times when it sounds like the sound is being made by a wax-paper and comb kazoo :D It happens most often when the DJ or announcer is speaking. Very much like a cheap, blow-out speaker. My Pilot has less than 1100 miles. Have any of you sought warranty relief from your dealers regarding poor quality parts?

Thanks for your feedback! :2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
It happens most often when the DJ or announcer is speaking
I would not use radio programs to evaluate audio quality.

Try a cd you are familiar with.

The situation you describe could be cause by interference, overmodulation of the radio signal, crosstalk, etc.

I found the oem speakers to be adequate, not really poor quality, just not up to any serious type of music listening ability.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top