Below is a guide to improving the audio in your ASX. The majority of it is based on the UK market in which there are two models available:
ASX 2 – This comes with a built-in Radio/CD/MP3 player with 4 speakers
ASX 3 – This comes with a built-in Radio/CD/MP3 player with 6 speakers
ASX 4 – This comes with a Kenwood DNX-7240BT Sat/Nav Double-Din unit with 6 speakers.
So there to start….
If you have a the ASX4 – You’re off to a good start. While the DNX-7240BT is 2 generations old its still a very good unit which originally retailed for around £1500. Move to the next section
Generally the first place to look is the source. It doesn’t matter how good your speakers are, if the source is not very good, your sound will not be very good. Both the ASX 2 & ASX3 can be upgraded to take any double (or single) DIN unit.
Connect2 have a kit for upgrading the head unit which includes the facia & loom to connect up the new head unit. This facia costs approx £160-£180. You can also get a steering wheel remote cable which retains the steering wheel stereo functions. Which lead you need will depend on the make of head unit you opt for.
Facia Kit – CTKMT02 Mitsubishi ASX Non Amplified Radio
In terms of which head units there is a large range out there and its always changing. Personally i am impressed with the DNX-7240. A few options would be
- Kenwood DNX-7280BT – Multimedia Receiver with Navigation & Bluetooth
- Alpine iXA-W407BT – Digital Media Station
- Alpine INE-S900R – Advanced InCar Navigation Station with Bluetooth DVD iPod/iPhone
- JVC KW-NT3 – Sat Nav With European Mapping Built in Bluetooth DVD / MP3 / CD
I like to break the speakers down into 3 areas:
- Front Speakers
- Other Speakers
The first speakers to replace are the front speakers. Personally I never bother replacing the rear speakers, I always prefer to invest the money into higher quality front speakers. If you get a really good set of front speakers you will not even notice your rear speakers.
If you want a full range sound then the sub is the next step. This does not need to be a huge sub, a smaller one can be really nice, clean and produce a balance sound when combined with some good front speakers.
Two common questions/statements are..
But I like sound from the back – If this is the case and you really want to replace the rear speakers then feel free. Music is normally designed to be played in-front of your. When you go and watch a concert you don’t have speakers at the back pointing forward, all the speakers are at the front (bar a few often half way back, but these point back to help carry the sound to the cheap seats)
I don’t want a really bassy sound – A properly setup sub does not need to make your car shake, it can help seamlessly blend the low frequency with the higher frequency sounds into a high quality sound. Most songs are designed to take advantage of sub level frequencies and improve the overall experience.
(The one time it is worth upgrading all speakers is if your going for a full 5.1 audio system but if you are doing this please visit a local audio installer to make sure you do it right and don’t waste money)
The two common setups are the “4 speaker” and “6 speaker” system. The main difference between these is that the 6 speaker system has separate tweeters and woofers. The tweeters are on the inside door mirror cover and the woofers are in the main door panel. If you want to know why you should change the front speakers the picture below says it all. The factor speakers are very budget units.
The front door factor bottom/woofer speakers are:
Speaker Size: 6.5 “(16.5 cm)
Mounting Diameter: 126mm
Mounting depth: 63mm
The front door factor top/tweeter speakers are:
Speaker Size: 1 “(25mm)
Mounting diameter: 44,5 mm
Mounting depth: 22,2 mm
Unfortunately its not a straight forward case of bolting in replacement speakers due to the housing the original ones are in. To put a similar replacement 6.5″ speakers in you will need to build your own speaker for them out of MDF or similar. Some picture below show the sort of thing I am talking about.
Good example of a replacement speaker with the door fully sound deadened
As well as replacing the door speaker something that is well worth doing is putting in some sound deadening material like Dynamat. You only need to look at the size of the door panel to know that its going to flex a lot. Even just a small amount opposite where the speaker goes will make a difference. ideally putting some over most large sections of the outer skin. To see the effectively just tap the outside of the door before and after and you will see that with Dynamat it does not resinate like it does from the factory.
As said before – save your money and invest them in some nice components for the front
There are a few simple options if you want to add a subwoofer. These are subwoofers that include an amp built into the casing – Active-Subwoofers. There are a couple which may* (TBC) be suitable such as
Focal Bus 25 – Under seat Active Subwoofer. This could be installed under either the drivers or passenger driver seat. Luckily there is lots of room under there on the ASX.
Focal Solution 25 A1 – This subwoofer would sit nicely in the boot.
An alternative solution would be to get a custom sub box made up for a subwoofer. This could be made in the same style as the Rockford enclosure that is available in some markets. If you followed this route you would also need to look at installing a separate amplifier.
If your looking to put in a subwoofer you will need a mono-block (single channel) amplifier or if your looking to improve the overall sound of your system you will need a 2/3/4/5 way amplifier. There is a full range available to suit all budgets. Personally I can recommend Audison and Focal.
NOTE: To install an amp you will need either the ASX4 or a aftermarket head unit with pre-outs
Watch out for amps which are very cheap because they will probably not be much better than the amp built into the head unit, and also amps which over estimate the power outage. When looking at power ratings look for the RMS value – this is the true output you will get. You always want to get speakers which can handle more power than the amp can output.
One of the main challenges with installing an amp is providing power to the amp. To do this you will need to get a Amplifier Wiring Pack which should include everything you need as follows
- Power Cable – This will need to be run from the battery
- Fuse – This will be used inline with the power cable, as close to the battery as possible
- Ground Cable – This will need to be connected to a nice clean bolt connected to the chassis
- Remote Cable – This needs to be run from the head unit. It turns the amp on
- RCA Cables – This is the cable which carries the audio signal
A good example of wiring kits can be found at CarAudioDirect – www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/autoleads-4awg.html
DISCLAMER: I have not got round to upgrading the audio in mine so this is all provided as to the best of my knowledge
Thanks to Mistubishi-ASX.net for some of the pics – Great Russian Site for ASXs