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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the Harman Kardon system that came in my 2020 Limited XT. It’s not that it’s horrible ( and it is a whole lot better than the base system) but I’ve found the sound a little flat and dominated by the center dash midrange driver. To band-aide this effect , I’ve been running the fader back to the rear footwell and turning down the midrange a couple of notches . Both actions seem to help deemphasize the center dash speaker a bit but the music still lacked “fullness” IMHO. However, with my Equalizer and Fader resetting to Zero every other start, this was clearly not a long term solution anyway.
Long story made short, I have been playing around with covering the center speaker to dampen the sound a bit.
I just ordered this soft silicone dash cell phone holder /organizer and dropped it on the dash today.
I can tell you that I immediatly heard the difference . I can still hear the center speaker but it's been tamed. I can now here the corner dash speakers clearer and the sound stage tends to be spread accross the entire dash vs centered. Additionally, I can hear a difference in percieved seperation and dimention. (This is with the fader and midrange EZ settings zero'd as there seems to be no need to dampen midrange any more.)
Anyway, It's not a new set of speakers but to my ears it's a noteable improvement that I hope is lasting .

BTW, the accessory itself sucks at holding my cell phone (cased Moto 6 ) but is pretty handy for holding a couple of pairs of glasses and misc small things. It's gummy enough so it seems to stay put without having to use the two glue patchs that come covered on the bottom. Given our limited driver accesable storage, I think it's a good addition anyway.
$13 well spent.




480874
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. Did you do this in addition to moving the balance to the rear about 3 presses?
No, the system keeps defaulting to the factory flat/zero settings and I'm tired of fighting it. Today was the begining of the experiment but I have to say I'm pretty happy with how it's sounding right now at the flat settings.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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Rocketman,

A number of people have reported that when the H-K equalizer and fader settings go to all zeroes, that the ACTUAL settings are still where they were set, and it is just the display that is wrong. I did an experiment where I set my profile settings to something real extreme. I think I set the fader to be as far to the rear-left as possible, I set the bass to +9 (or whatever max is), etc. Basically so I could clearly hear the difference between those settings and flat, regardless of what was playing. The next time my displayed settings went to flat, the actual sound was still my "extreme" settings. While the flat settings were still being displayed, I nudged a couple of them, and THEN the sound went to the flat settings....

I didn't continue this experiment for additional days, to see if the same thing happened every time the flat settings appeared. (I went back to my normal profile, which is not all that much altered from flat.) But I now think/believe that the flat settings display is not the actual settings, which are sticking. It is just an incorrect display of the settings.

(Nonetheless, prior to doing the experiment, I had been convinced I was hearing subtle differences.....)

Anyway, maybe try your own experiment, to see if you can then ignore the incorrect display (until hopefully that gets fixed by some future SW update.....)
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #5
Rocketman,

A number of people have reported that when the H-K equalizer and fader settings go to all zeroes, that the ACTUAL settings are still where they were set, and it is just the display that is wrong. I did an experiment where I set my profile settings to something real extreme. I think I set the fader to be as far to the rear-left as possible, I set the bass to +9 (or whatever max is), etc. Basically so I could clearly hear the difference between those settings and flat, regardless of what was playing. The next time my displayed settings went to flat, the actual sound was still my "extreme" settings. While the flat settings were still being displayed, I nudged a couple of them, and THEN the sound went to the flat settings....

I didn't continue this experiment for additional days, to see if the same thing happened every time the flat settings appeared. (I went back to my normal profile, which is not all that much altered from flat.) But I now think/believe that the flat settings display is not the actual settings, which are sticking. It is just an incorrect display of the settings.

(Nonetheless, prior to doing the experiment, I had been convinced I was hearing subtle differences.....)

Anyway, maybe try your own experiment, to see if you can then ignore the incorrect display (until hopefully that gets fixed by some future SW update.....)
I did do something similar. I found that sometimes they were correct but showing incorrectly but other times they were truely zero's. MY system seems to be plagued with random resets and inconsistancies. Nav voice level resets to zero, Audio and Radio Apps won't open at all, Phone won't dial but thinks it is, Nav is incorrect 80% of the time in finding ANYTHING (and usually sends me to Utah), Sub was on/off randomly, total System crash...........I just heard from Subaru today and they are talking to the dealer about potentially replacing the entire system.
I'm not sure I even want them to touch it at thsi point. It seems every time something gets updated/fixed, things go further south.
 

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2020 Onyx Autumn Green
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I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the Harman Kardon system that came in my 2020 Onyx.
Sounds like a good cheap fix for that. I'm a little confused though. I thought the HK wasn't available on the Onyx. Am I missing something? I have the stock in mine (Onyx) and am looking for someway to upgrade it. Hopefully, sooner than later ;) The Rockford Fosgate upgrade gets mixed reviews at best.

Thanks!
 

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2020 touring XT
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114 Posts
You are placing the object in prohibited area. EyeSight manual tells you not to put anything there.
 

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Quick clarification:

I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the Harman Kardon system that came in my 2020 Onyx.
My understanding is that for the 2020 Outbacks, the HK audio package is only available in Limited and Touring models. The Onyx has a standard audio, or you can get the RF audio upgrade, but its different than the HK audio.

Is there a way to get the HK audio in the Onyx?
 

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2020 Touring XT, 2013 Outback Lim SAP 270K, 2003 Outback Lim MT 2.5L, 241K..
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I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the Harman Kardon system that came in my 2020 Onyx. It’s not that it’s horrible ( and it is a whole lot better than the base system) but I’ve found the sound a little flat and dominated by the center dash midrange driver. To band-aide this effect , I’ve been running the fader back to the rear footwell and turning down the midrange a couple of notches . Both actions seem to help deemphasize the center dash speaker a bit but the music still lacked “fullness” IMHO. However, with my Equalizer and Fader resetting to Zero every other start, this was clearly not a long term solution anyway.
Long story made short, I have been playing around with covering the center speaker to dampen the sound a bit.
I just ordered this soft silicone dash cell phone holder /organizer and dropped it on the dash today.
I can tell you that I immediatly heard the difference . I can still hear the center speaker but it's been tamed. I can now here the corner dash speakers clearer and the sound stage tends to be spread accross the entire dash vs centered. Additionally, I can hear a difference in percieved seperation and dimention. (This is with the fader and midrange EZ settings zero'd as there seems to be no need to dampen midrange any more.)
Anyway, It's not a new set of speakers but to my ears it's a noteable improvement that I hope is lasting .

BTW, the accessory itself sucks at holding my cell phone (cased Moto 6 ) but is pretty handy for holding a couple of pairs of glasses and misc small things. It's gummy enough so it seems to stay put without having to use the two glue patchs that come covered on the bottom. Given our limited driver accesable storage, I think it's a good addition anyway.
$13 well spent.




View attachment 480874

haha I have been putting things on it, various things - hoodies, my rubber garmin holder. but this is a great idea - and with dual purpose.
ordering!
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #10
You are placing the object in prohibited area. EyeSight manual tells you not to put anything there.
I wondered that when I ordered but I took a chance . ( Heck , I drove around with a heavy sweatshirt and then a beanbag on the dash for a bit wheile testing) No issues, eyesight works as designed. It's pretty low and blends right into the dash.
 

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I wondered that when I ordered but I took a chance . ( Heck , I drove around with a heavy sweatshirt and then a beanbag on the dash for a bit wheile testing) No issues, eyesight works as designed. It's pretty low and blends right into the dash.
Im so over worrying about what is in the area for eyesight. I have my dash cam - to me way more important, and it is in the "no go zone". I turn much of it off anyway, and after the cruise control tumbleweed slamming on the brakes incident, I am rarely using that now. The one I cant turn off is the rear braking - and I hate that one too. apparently it doesnt like the way I use the gas when backing up to something - though I never hit anything. Ill drive my car myself and use my dash cam, and cover this speaker with your idea, thank you very much. :)
 

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I removed the center dash grille as a proof-of-concept.

First, the front panel needs to be pulled away from the dash, and then the rear section that has the speaker grille needs to be pulled up. The first image shows the speaker grille that has tabs that point straight down. The second picture shows how it joins with the front section. The front section has angled tabs that point towards the engine.

480899


480900
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #14
I removed the center dash grille as a proof-of-concept.

First, the front panel needs to be pulled away from the dash, and then the rear section that has the speaker grille needs to be pulled up. The first image shows the speaker grille that has tabs that point straight down. The second picture shows how it joins with the front section. The front section has angled tabs that point towards the engine.

View attachment 480899

View attachment 480900
Thanks for the usual great info, Silver. Playing around with dampening (or removing) the center speaker has been on the to do list but got pushed to the rear burner with the other stuff going on. ( Dealer visits for infotainment problems, Family Virus prevention stuff, tax prep etc.) I had also been talking to Crutchield about replacing all the speakers but the corner dash speakers are a problem. I can find tweeters to adapt in the corner holes but not (gaurenteed to fit )Coaxials that will handle the mids and highs the system sends there. I certainly don't want to go from too much midrange to not enough. ( There are no adjustments for the internal DSP settings and almost nothing else is known about the system.) I just figured i'd post this quick fix as it seemed to make a noteable difference to my ears and add some storage to boot.. I figure I'll drive it like this for a bit and see if anything else in this fickle system wash's out.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5 Touring, 2019 Crosstrek Limited, 2005 WRX
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I removed the center dash grille as a proof-of-concept.

First, the front panel needs to be pulled away from the dash, and then the rear section that has the speaker grille needs to be pulled up. The first image shows the speaker grille that has tabs that point straight down. The second picture shows how it joins with the front section. The front section has angled tabs that point towards the engine.

View attachment 480899

View attachment 480900
You have no speaker
 

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Im so over worrying about what is in the area for eyesight. I have my dash cam - to me way more important, and it is in the "no go zone". I turn much of it off anyway, and after the cruise control tumbleweed slamming on the brakes incident, I am rarely using that now. [trimmed]
Can you describe this sudden braking incident? Was there a car in front of you turning right by any chance? I've got a 2015 Outback w/EyeSight and that's the only time I've ever had random braking (and, it's not random, it's just the EyeSight software not being confident that the lead car will make their right turn quickly enough to be out of my way.)
Thanks!
 

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Can you describe this sudden braking incident? Was there a car in front of you turning right by any chance? I've got a 2015 Outback w/EyeSight and that's the only time I've ever had random braking (and, it's not random, it's just the EyeSight software not being confident that the lead car will make their right turn quickly enough to be out of my way.)
Thanks!
I was driving on a highway at night, very windy, entering into the So Cal area. Probably going about 60-70mph, fairly clear highway. I was using the adaptive cruise control at the largest distance setting for the car in front of me. My front braking was turned off (I always turn it off). A half car size tumbleweed blew across the road in front of me from one side to the other - between the car I was locked to and my car. My car slammed on the brakes for a split second - the tumbleweed must have confused the adaptive cruise control. It just was for a second, and then it continued on, albiet a bit slower. There was a delay, and the tumbleweed blew across pretty quick, but it must have confused the adaptive control that thought the car was way further ahead and suddenly something was right in front of me for a split second.
 

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I was driving on a highway at night, very windy, entering into the So Cal area. Probably going about 60-70mph, fairly clear highway. I was using the adaptive cruise control at the largest distance setting for the car in front of me. My front braking was turned off (I always turn it off). A half car size tumbleweed blew across the road in front of me from one side to the other - between the car I was locked to and my car. My car slammed on the brakes for a split second - the tumbleweed must have confused the adaptive cruise control. It just was for a second, and then it continued on, albiet a bit slower. There was a delay, and the tumbleweed blew across pretty quick, but it must have confused the adaptive control that thought the car was way further ahead and suddenly something was right in front of me for a split second.
This honestly sounds like a good thing? Why is that the thing that caused you to turn it off? If something bounds in front of the car, I definitely want it to slam on the brakes. A tumbleweed is harmless, of course, but the system doesn’t have a density sensor - I doubt even a Tesla would get that right.
 

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This honestly sounds like a good thing? Why is that the thing that caused you to turn it off? If something bounds in front of the car, I definitely want it to slam on the brakes. A tumbleweed is harmless, of course, but the system doesn’t have a density sensor - I doubt even a Tesla would get that right.
Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same.
Obviously it's not ideal, if you're driving in high-desert, and tumbleweeds are all over, that'd be annoying and perhaps alarming, if it kept-at-it.
But, if a raccoon* darts in front of you, driving the twisties at night in the forest, this might make the difference between a "oh-wow, phew!" moment, and a big mess (and tough deal for the raccoon, too).

*substitute with some other animal you'd rather not have an unfortunate incident with
 
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