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2012 vs 2013 HD radio

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Just bought a 2013 Outback, but it did not come with the HD (HK) stereo. If I purchase a 2011/2012 HD radio will it if my 2013 Outback? Also, any other ideas, would prefer to stay stock, but open to ideas. Thanks
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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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832 Posts
If your OB is a premium that does not include the H/K amp under the passenger front seat than you have a long road ahead of you. Basically you would have to source all of the wiring, amp, and radio to get it to work. Or you can go with an aftermarket unit that probably does most things better. The kit offered from Metra in my '12 fits and looks good. There is an option for a double din OEM dash kit from Europe that someone procured, but at a much higher price. You would still need to use an aftermarket unit though.
 

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'15 STi and '13 GTI
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Another problem with the HD in the HK radio is that the reception is awful.

The FM reception is pretty poor in comparison to my other cars. In our Jetta I could get DC101 all the way to Fredericksburg but in the Outback I only make it about halfway before it gets staticy.

The HD reception is even worse. Just driving around Northern VA (Fairfax, Reston, Centreville, Gainesville) the HD signal is constantly cutting in and out. When it cuts out the radio reverts to a standard FM signal and there is a slight volume change so it's fairly obvious. Of course if you are listening to a HD-only channel it cuts out completely. As a result I have just have the HD setting disabled.

The FM and HD reception are one of the very short list of things that bug me about my car.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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It would also be interesting what parts/assys would be available for this ‘upgrade’ (keep in mind the HK has steering controls too). Given you can/probably only get this from the dealer, I would expect being raked over coals.
 

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15MY 2.5i w/ES
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It would also be interesting what parts/assys would be available for this ‘upgrade’ (keep in mind the HK has steering controls too). Given you can/probably only get this from the dealer, I would expect being raked over coals.
As long as the OP is willing to forgo the steering controls, I'm thinking it's going to be just as easy, maybe easier, to install the factory HK stereo as any aftermarket unit.

Usually, to install a aftermarket unit, it's an adapter to fit the head unit in the same space as the factory unit and a wiring harness adapter.. If the aftermarket unit needs a separate amps, it's no different then the HK unit, since most amps are installed in the trunk space or under a seat..

I feel the only reason to go aftermarket is you usually get a much better unit for the price.
 

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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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832 Posts
As long as the OP is willing to forgo the steering controls, I'm thinking it's going to be just as easy, maybe easier, to install the factory HK stereo as any aftermarket unit.

Usually, to install a aftermarket unit, it's an adapter to fit the head unit in the same space as the factory unit and a wiring harness adapter.. If the aftermarket unit needs a separate amps, it's no different then the HK unit, since most amps are installed in the trunk space or under a seat..

I feel the only reason to go aftermarket is you usually get a much better unit for the price.
If the OP has anything other than a limited then he will have to add the amp that is under the seat as well as the wiring. The H/K head unit is a dead head. Personally the best (and economical) is to go with an aftermarket.
 
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