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2012 Outback 3.6r
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone upgraded the stock infotainment unit in their Gen 4 with something that has Apple Car play?
Any recommendations on the best units for the $?
 

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2012 3.6 Limited Ruby Red w/Nav
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68 Posts
I have a whole thread on this. Personally, I prefer Kenwood units.

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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418 Posts
I also use a Kenwood receiver and amps. Never had any real issues.
 

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2011 2.5i 6MT
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340 Posts
I got a sony XAV-ax1000 from bestbuy because it was the cheapest carplay head unit with free installation. I got it for around $300. No complaints.
 

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2013, OB Limited, 2.5, dark gray. July 2016 - approx 55,000 miles.
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68 Posts
I did pioneer and paid a premium to get wireless apple car play, and also did the special control box thing to keep all the steering wheel remote, backup camera etc working.

The negatives were that it was a lot to install, and the radio setup uses the OBD2 port for some car interface etc.

There is a version of the headunit that has basically the same features, but no wireless car play, and its a lot cheaper.

I really wanted Alpine (I was big into them in the 1990's when I was really into car audio), but I think crutchfield said there wasn't one that would connect as completely as what I got. Kenwood was the other I looked at pretty hard.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6r
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a whole thread on this. Personally, I prefer Kenwood units.

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
Thanks! I've had Kenwood units in past cars and I do like them as well. I'll read through your thread once I find it.... but were you also able to keep your steering wheel controls with your install?
 

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2012 3.6 Limited Ruby Red w/Nav
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68 Posts
Thanks! I've had Kenwood units in past cars and I do like them as well. I'll read through your thread once I find it.... but were you also able to keep your steering wheel controls with your install?
Yes I was able to keep the steering wheel controls. Just check my post history, I don't create many threads so it should be easy to find.

Edit:


Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
 

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Registered
2012 Outback 3.6r
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did pioneer and paid a premium to get wireless apple car play, and also did the special control box thing to keep all the steering wheel remote, backup camera etc working.

The negatives were that it was a lot to install, and the radio setup uses the OBD2 port for some car interface etc.

There is a version of the headunit that has basically the same features, but no wireless car play, and its a lot cheaper.

I really wanted Alpine (I was big into them in the 1990's when I was really into car audio), but I think crutchfield said there wasn't one that would connect as completely as what I got. Kenwood was the other I looked at pretty hard.
I actually just came across an Alpine unit at BestBuy that they say will work. Not sure yet it it will allow me to keep my steering wheel controls or not, but I'm looking into that.
 

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2013, OB Limited, 2.5, dark gray. July 2016 - approx 55,000 miles.
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68 Posts
I actually just came across an Alpine unit at BestBuy that they say will work. Not sure yet it it will allow me to keep my steering wheel controls or not, but I'm looking into that.
I'd suggest reaching out to Crutchfield, or maybe Alpine.

My one needed a Metra (I think that's the brand kit) to keep everything working.

I'm happy with my setup, (I think actually a semething 4500 pioneer, not a 4000), but the install was needlessly complicated and it took ages to find out that I needed to reverse the ground on the Metro kit for a Subaru ... I'd done a VW upgrade a couple years earlier, and it was 15 mins total to do. So the pioneer into Subaru and keep 100% of features was a real pain.
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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1,292 Posts
I replaced the head unit in our 2011 Premium (no navigation) with a Kenwood DDX 6706 head unit (I believe it is now discontinued) and it is excellent. It was $499 and I had it installed by a local, reputable shop in our area (SW Portland, OR). CarPlay works very well with this unit, BTW.

Steve
 

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'13 Outback 3.6R
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80 Posts
Here is what I did for my wife's Outback with the HK stereo. I tried to document since I could not find much and wanted others to have a decent starting point. Good luck OP, find a head unit that you like and go for it.
 
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