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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My car: 2015 Subaru OB 3.6 limited, fully loaded 7" HK head unit w/NAVI , sound system 8 speaker system. (this will work for years 2015-17)


What I had done:
Removed OEM 7" Navigation head unit and amp. I installed 7" Pioneer AVIC-W8400 w/navigation(alternative W4400 w/o NAVI) along with Alpine KTP-445U (45 RMS, nearly double old amp). To retain steering wheel functionality I used iDatalink-Maestro-ADS-MRR-Universal-Radio-Replacement and iDatalink-HRN-RR-SU2 harness. The harness connects to your block undernearh dash near fuse box. Further this retains reporting of essential engine reports of oil temp, etc.

The sound is amazing and the HK speakers sound brand new along with subwoofer now has life. All steering wheel controls work great. This combination will work great for model years 2015-17 and is viable solution for Apple Carplay or Android (I use Carplay).


Goodbye old head unit and amp...btw they are not HK they are Fujitsu which is crap. Only the speakers are HK and they sound pretty good.


What should you know: If you do it yourself you will need to remove the passenger side front seat, cut wires on old OEM amp, remove and install new Alpine amp. Why? These years 2015-17 are complicated as Subaru has all the brains of the system flow via OEM amp under seat. You will not have sound if you merely take new head unit , connect new wiring harness and steering wheel controls. You will need to install a new amp. I just know what works.


Note: I had guru at Best Buy install my system given level of complexity. It is worth having them do it for $50-100. On my own i wasted probably 5-10 hours before I found a 20 year guy who had intalled only a few of these. I have installed radio/amps in my 2015 Forester and 2011 Impreza just fine. This install however was beyond my skill set. As for old head unit, I did not find anyone willing to buy the old OEM head unit or amp. Yep, paid Subaru $1100+/- extra new and now it worth zero. Will never buy upgrade if i don't have to...leave the space empty and I will install my own sound system. Much better.
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Limited Magnelite Grey and loaded; '98 Legacy Outback Limited MT-53,150 miles!
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No photo?
It didn't happen.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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You do not have to change the amp to get everything working. There is a unit called Maestro that will allow you to change the head unit and retain the amp and steering wheel controls. I am going to to do this sometime soon with a Kenwood head unit.

iDatalink - Maestro - Maestro RR
He stated the amp replacement had double the power, so most likely a worthwhile step. He also mentioned the wheel controls still worked, so he most likely installed a Maestro as well. I believe that's about the only way to retain steering wheel controls with an aftermarket radio.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #7
Photos of Install and Yes Works!!

Apologies as I added to my original post notes pertaining to fact , YES, I did use iDatalink-Maestro-ADS-MRR-Universal-Radio-Replacement and iDatalink-HRN-RR-SU2 harness to ensure steering wheel controls.

The Alpine amp is mounted underneath passenger seat and yes you have to cut out the old amp. I have done leg work for you and experimented to finally upgrade my sound. I had two guys at local Subaru dealership climb in my car for same reason you have asked..."I've wanted to do this but have never seen anyone install on years 2015-17...". They took pictures, notes and heard the sound which is sizably different than OEM junk equipment. Again, leave the HK speakers they are fine and will sound new. If you are serious and want to upgrade your car I can talk with you in private.

Factory RMS typically 5-20 RMS, mine new Alpine 45 RMS x 4 channel.

Per installer of 20+ years they are fans #1 Pioneer, #2 Kenwood, #3 Alpine (reason: overall sound #1 with Pioneer...the "Auto EQ" function test/calibrates therefore making factory speakers sound brand new) I have done this now to 3 Subaru's (2011 Impreza, 2015 Forester and 2015 OB)

Here are some pics for you:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=438343&thumb=1

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=438345&thumb=1

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=438347&thumb=1
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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That looks very nice in the dash. I personally would want something that still has an actual volume knob, but am fine with everything else on the touchscreen. That one appears to blend well with the rest of the dash.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #10
I tried leaving the OEM amp with the Pioneer AVIC-W8400 + Maestro steering wheel + SU2 Harness 4xs and it wouldn’t work. Crutchfield nor iDaetalink on phone couldn’t get it to work. Wiring connections confirmed 4xs. The head unit would fire up but no sound, it was finicky at best. Just trying to save you some time brother...I thought it would take 2-3 hours at most, nope. Good luck to you.


What did work 1x try = Pioneer AVIC-W8400 + Maestro steering wheel + SU2 Harnes + Alpine amp
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Backup cam works with distance marker overlays?

I did everything but the head unit. I have a Premium without the HK amp so adding the Alpine was as easy as plugging it all up in-line. I've been tempted to replace the head unit but last I checked there wasn't too much info on the overall compatibility with the Maestro units.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #14
Backup cam works with distance marker overlays?

I did everything but the head unit. I have a Premium without the HK amp so adding the Alpine was as easy as plugging it all up in-line. I've been tempted to replace the head unit but last I checked there wasn't too much info on the overall compatibility with the Maestro units.
Backup cam question: the markers do not work using OEM cam. The OEM camera itself DOES work. You’ll have to purchase Pioneer cam to have the markers displayed. I will continue to work on this one but so far no avail.

Alpine: yes yours would be much easier since you didnt have the HK amp. Easier install for sure and be glad you didn’t spend the $1200+/- add’l at time of purchase of new OB.

Maestro unit WILL work given appropriate firmware download that matches your new head unit. Crutchfield can help you match Maestro with head unit (Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine). Same Maestro RR steering wheel unit and SU2 harness should be compatible with any head unit you choose...again, matter of downloading firmware that matches. (Windows download only)

Good luck , enjoy your new sound and YES it will work.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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That's weird, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one report of doing this without the need to replace the amp (certainly shouldn't be necessary). I've seen the stock speakers removed and they're pretty flimsy compared with modestly-priced replacements, i.e., I seriously doubt they would benefit from any additional power (doesn't hurt, of course).
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Limited Magnelite Grey and loaded; '98 Legacy Outback Limited MT-53,150 miles!
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Buffaloe,

I very much appreciate the trouble you've gone to in bringing this to the site.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #19
That's weird, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one report of doing this without the need to replace the amp (certainly shouldn't be necessary). I've seen the stock speakers removed and they're pretty flimsy compared with modestly-priced replacements, i.e., I seriously doubt they would benefit from any additional power (doesn't hurt, of course).
All do respect they sound very good and DO benefit from 45 RMS VS SAY 20 RMS OEM. Yes you can upgrade the speakers but I have experience “noticeable” sound improvement with existing HK speakers. I test with usual RUSH-Xanadu, The Who- Won’t Get Fooled Again (live) and Styx- Sweet Madaam Blue ..captures everything I need and attempt to blow speakers. Didn’t happen...

For thoe that want to spend extra bucks then do so, just saying you don’t need to and will have great sound.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #20
Congrats on doing this. Someday, I will do this to my car. Just not sure what unit to go with.
My recommendations after comparison:

Note: wireless works great but does drain battery on long trips. You have option to plug direct .

Apple CarPlay (wireless), no NAVI, adjustable faceplate, auto EQ calibration,AVIC-W4400NEX,cheaper
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_1304400NEX/Pioneer-AVH-W4400NEX.html?tp=72357&avf=Y

Apple CarPlay (wireless), built-in NAVI,adjustable faceplate, auto EQ calibration, AVIC-W8400NEX
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_1308400NEX/Pioneer-AVIC-W8400NEX.html?tp=72357&avf=Y

Apple CarPlay (wireless), no NAVI, no CD player, good sound and functions for the money
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500ILX107/Alpine-iLX-107.html?tp=72357&avf=Y

Alpine amp, plenty of power, good price vs performance, bought mine on return for $80 ( on-Alpine units only)
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500KTP445U/Alpine-KTP-445U-Power-Pack.html

Hope this is of help to you.
 
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