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Upgrading Your Acura’s Audio System

Your factory Acura Audio system was top of the line in its time. The system originally designed by pioneer has a total of speakers drivers with some having up to 12 speakers. The standard configuration of most Acura’s is two front speakers in the doors paired with 2 tweeters on the dash and a center speaker to create a great sounding experience for the driver. In the rear of the vehicle you have two speakers on the rear deck or the rear doors depending on the exact model lastly you some sort of subwoofer. Most Acura’s have a free air 8 inch subwoofer that is mounted on the rear deck while others have two separate 6x9s speakers that act as subwoofers like in the TSX.

All of these speakers are powered by a factory amplifier that outputs roughly 25 watts to each speaker with the subwoofer getting a max of 40 watts. While this factory system may sound weak on paper its plenty loud. Most factory systems are loud enough for the owner but for those that are looking for more bass or to be louder than factory this article should help you.

As a side note if your Acura has navigation and is manufactured after 2009 replacing the factory audio system in your Acura is complicated. The factory radio with navigation and factory amplifier in Acura’s after 2009 use a can bus system to communicate. Acura labels this system the GA-NET bus. Due to this can bus system if you replace the radio or the factory amplifier in these Acura’s you will lose key features tied into the factory navigation and the ability to raise the system to full volume. If your Acura is in this category of vehicles you will need to replace the radio and bypass or replace the factory amplifier. You can still always replace the speakers with the factory radio and amplifier but it will require you use 2ohm speakers that offer the same specifications as the factory speakers.

If your Acura does not have navigation or was manufactured before 2009 then you have options when it comes to replacing your radio, amplifier and speakers. Some earlier generation Acura’s don’t utilize amplifiers for all the speakers just the subwoofer this is the case for the second generation Acura TL. You can replace the radio and just leave the factory subwoofer not working as you can wire all the speakers directly to the new radio. In other Acura models you will need to bypass the factory amplifier or retain it. You can upgrade any part of your audio system and keep the factory radio even if you bypass the factory amplifier. You will just need the correct accessories to accomplish your goal

When upgrading the speakers in your Acura and utilizing the factory amplifier to power them you want to use 2ohm speakers. 2 ohms is the impedance rating of the speaker. This value is something you want to get as close as possible with your new speakers. The most common speakers sold are 4ohm this is often found on the label of the box or if not listed on the specifications of the speaker online. If you install 4ohm speakers you will lose overall volume from your system and it will not feel like an upgrade. The resistance value means it will need more power to get as loud as before and you don’t have more power to give so therefore the system will not be as loud.

You need speakers that are two ohms if you are using the factory amplifier. If you are not using the factory amplifier you can use whatever speaker you want as long as they fit in the intended location for your install. Infinity, JBL, Powerbass, Focal, and Audison manufacturer speakers that are two ohms or 2.3-2.7 ohms these brands build quality speakers that will result in a worth while upgrade for your Acura. The factory speakers in your Acura are made of paper and utilize a small magnet. Newer speakers will have updated technology and better materials that will improve the sound of your vehicle with the factory amplifier.

Along with speakers we recommend using the proper speaker harnesses so you don’t have to cut or modified the vehicles factory wiring. These harnesses can be found on our store but other stores might offer them as well. You will also need speaker spacers for some vehicles. We make speaker spacers for certain models but companies like Metra, and schosce have speaker spacer adapters as well. The accessories mentioned here may not be required but will make installing your speakers a lot easier. When installing the front speakers in your Acura you will need a component set of speakers which will include a woofer, a tweeter and a crossover. Installing this three piece set can be complicated as running wiring through the door boot in some Acura’s is almost impossible. Make sure to carefully review the installation requirements for your Acura we recommend speakers with an inline crossover on the tweeter only as these are the easiest to install. If you can’t find a pair of speakers with inline crossovers then be prepared for a challenge.

Along with upgrading the speakers of your Acura you can also upgrade the factory subwoofer. You can upgrade the subwoofer while still using the factory amplifier/radio you just have to make sure you get the right subwoofer. Most Acura’s are going to require a free air subwoofer that is 8 inches and a adapter subwoofer speaker spacer to install the new subwoofer in the old location. The speaker spacer plate can be found in our store for most Acura

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