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View Full Version : 2014 Stereo speaker upgrade or Subwoofer?


dynaco1
02-28-2014, 02:01 PM
Has anyone tried to upgrade the speakers or add a subwoofer to a 2014 passenger van? The lower end of the sound spectrum is missing.

Should I replace factory woofers and tweeters? Is it possible to add an aftermarket external subwoofer box to the rear of the van via some connection on the rear of the Becker?

Walter Clark
03-01-2014, 10:47 AM
Likely as not no one that frequents this forum has taken this on with the '14 model yet.

I dont know how many technical similarities there are between the '14 audio system and the '12 I own, but if they are basically the same - then yes to all you asked.

My '12 came with the standard audio equipment for that year's Crew/Cargo...A head unit manufactured for MB by Mobis and 2 sets of speakers (woofer/tweeter) in the front plus a small center speaker a the top front of the dash.

I found the factory sound lacked almost every desirable quality one can name. Initially I replaced the head unit with a Sony media player and Alpine 45Wx4 amp...well just read thru this for my experiences 2012 Aftermarket Radio Integration (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20962).

Bottom line I ended up replacing everything, and adding a subwoofer. The only part of the original audio system still in use is the vehicle connector to the original audio head unit and its there connecting to the Metra vehicle adapter to get things like Ignition On, Speed and Reverse off the CAN bus and into a form useful to the stereo and GPS.

dynaco1
03-01-2014, 12:32 PM
Newer Becker head unit with integrated backup camera and GPS will not replaced by me. Thinking speakers, only. Was hoping there might be a "signal out" jack on the back of the head unit for a subwoofer.

sailquik
03-01-2014, 01:46 PM
dynaco,
Did you get the aux in/out port and the USB port in the vertical wall of the depression that goes around the speedometer hump.
I would think that would drive a subwoofer for you.
Since the Bluetooth works a treat, I have a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II that pumps out pretty good base.
I'd like a sub as well, but do not know where I'd put it.
Actually I'm almost impressed with the sound quality of the 2014 Audio 15 and 5 speaker system.
It has a selectable Audio Boost mode (Page 57 in the Audio 15 manual) that really improves the sound quality.
If you figure out how to get music/books on tape (Audible/iBooks) onto the SD card, let me know.
I'm using a laptop with Audio books and a 3mm cable to feed the books to the Sprinter sound system, and most
of my music in on an iPhone5 that feed the sound system through the Bluetooth or the USB charging/audio cable.
Now that I'm a little more used to the Becker Map Pilot, I use it quite a bit. It's great with the traffic updates to route
me around construction.
Hope this helps,
Roger

hein
03-01-2014, 02:11 PM
Couple links that might be useful.

Subwoofer install : http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=257239&postcount=23

Door Speaker adapters: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26898

Some subwoofer amps can be connected to the a speaker output on the HU so no need for line level out.

Walter Clark
03-01-2014, 04:04 PM
A subwoofer, either an all-in-one product like the Infinity BassLink, or a separate sub/box and abount any sub amp will permit you to run speaker outputs to the amp inputs for the sub. They all also have "line" level inputs and most can either handle a stereo input or a specific single channel for a sub at the head unit line levels.

I have both. The above Infinity is in the trunk of my A4 (wired to rear speaker wires of the OEM head unit) and the separates are under the middle seat of my Crew's second row seating and fed by my aftermarket head unit sub line level output.

So if you have the "aux out" that sailquik refers to or not you should be able to connect it. To do the speaker level you will need to tap into 4 speaker outputs. The older head units supported both front and rear speakers and where the rear were not installed, one could simply connect the wires for the sub to the unused connections on the head units plug. Otherwise it is a matter of splicing into the existing speaker wiring to pick up Left + and -, and Right + and -.

dynaco1
03-02-2014, 12:08 PM
Sailquick

I'll respond to your suggestions:

Did you get the aux in/out port and the USB port in the vertical wall of the depression that goes around the speedometer hump? I would think that would drive a subwoofer for you. Since the Bluetooth works a treat, I have a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II that pumps out pretty good bass.

Yes, ours has the same Becker stereo package as yours with the mini-jack and USB ports on the right-side top cubbyhole. However, I just assumed the data would run one-way from the source into the Becker head unit. I never stopped to think it would be two-way data link, like a computer. I'll try to plug-in some headphones to the mini-jack to determine if there is any output when the radio, BlueTooth or USB is the source. The Bluetooth output from the Becker back to a wireless Subwoofer is another good thought Great ideas to test on a cold Sunday!

I do like how my iPhone links with the Becker head via Bluetooth. It was much easier than expected. Now, each time I enter the van, my iPhone music is activated by the Becker automatically. Or, is it the other way-around. It's nice.

I'd like a sub as well, but do not know where I'd put it. Actually I'm almost impressed with the sound quality of the 2014 Audio 15 and 5 speaker system.

Agreed. The iTunes and Pandora One music sounds very good through the Becker stereo, except for the bass, which is a tad too tame.

It has a selectable Audio Boost mode (Page 57 in the Audio 15 manual) that really improves the sound quality.

That's a great suggestion! I'll select the Becker Boost function today. It may satisfy me.

If you figure out how to get music/books on tape (Audible/iBooks) onto the SD card, let me know.

You want to play music/books on cassette tapes? Why not connect an ancient Sony Walkman portable cassette player via the mini-jack source? The libraries still have books on cassette tapes, I think.

ReGULT51
03-02-2014, 03:25 PM
If you figure out how to get music/books on tape (Audible/iBooks) onto the SD card, let me know.

You want to play music/books on cassette tapes? Why not connect an ancient Sony Walkman portable cassette player via the mini-jack source? The libraries still have books on cassette tapes, I think.[/QUOTE]

I think he's referring to audiobooks in general.

Sailquik - you can get the Audible app for the iPhone at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audiobooks-from-audible/id379693831?mt=8

That should allow you to play back your books through the iPhone.

Getting music on SD card shouldn't be hard. Multiple card readers available that allow for copy to/from various cards, if it's not built in to your laptop. Audiobook on SD card may be more troublesome, given DRM. I think there are non-DRM audiobooks.

Any reason why you need your data on SD card? Given the multiple connection option to the audio system, whether it's bluetooth, direct USB connection, USB key, SD card and direct audio input, I'd say Mercedes covered all the bases.

sailquik
03-02-2014, 04:35 PM
ReGULT51;
Putting the Audible content, on an 32 Gb SD card, without the DRM, would put a whole lot driving entertainment data in a very small space.
I currently run Audible Manager on my laptop (runs to record all my trips on Garmin GPS-18 using NRoute) using the AUX IN.
Also, I don't think the Audio 15 radio would have the software capability to run Audible Manager, so I'm puzzled as to how it would work.
I'm no electronics wizard like some of you, so I'm asking because I would like to know.
If you have tried something and it works with the Audio 15...I'm all ears.
Thanks,
Roger

ReGULT51
03-02-2014, 04:45 PM
Certainly. A small card with all the data would be nice...

I took a quick look at the Audible website and it shows that there are apps for smartphones and tablets, so I'm thinking you'd just sync your book catalog with your phone and then you can stream the audio from the phone to the audio system via bluetooth or go old-school and physically plug the headphone-out jack on your phone to the line-in/AUX on the Audio 15.

Essentially, your phone would replace the laptop in your setup.

If Audible works anything like Kindle, then when you install the app, it should let you browse your book catalog and select which books you want to sync with your device.

dynaco1
03-02-2014, 11:02 PM
Checked a few of Sailquick's suggestions this afternoon:

- It appears the AUX input mini-jack is an input source, only. Was unable to get any signal output from mini-jack .

- It appears the "boost" function works in Aux input mode, only. Was unable to activate "boost" in BT, radio or USB input modes.

- Was unable to test if BT is a two-way device, which could be used to activate a wireless subwoofer with BT capability.

This brings me back to the question: How to get a signal to an outboard subwoofer?

Has anyone located a schematic of the back side of the Becker Sound 15? Would like to know if there is a spare signal output jack.

It appears there is a center speaker in the dashboard. Don't know why. Is it mono or stereo voice coil design? Would it possible to easily access and disconnect the wires from this speaker and use them as a source for a powered sub?

Walter Clark
03-03-2014, 01:04 AM
The small center speaker is a dual coil with both channels feeding it. Not too hard to get to.

Sent from my Galaxy S4

MellowYellow
03-03-2014, 01:12 PM
Before I can offer any relevant advise I need to ask a couple of questions first.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

What is your budget?

How handy are you?

No matter what you want out of your system the key to good sound is clean power and quality installation.

Chances are if your not into Rap or EDM then you will be fine without a sub.

dynaco1
04-04-2014, 12:42 PM
I have yet to buy or experiment with an outboard powered sub but I like the idea of using an inexpensive Infinity Bass-Link or similar all-in-one removable powered sub.

I seem to get the best sound from the factory Sound 15 while listening to Pandora from iPhone via Bluetooth or from one of the HD internet radio stations from Tunein Pro app, like "JFK to LAX" station (smoker's delight/Euro house jazz mix from Scandanavia).

Twinjayhawks
04-19-2014, 11:02 PM
dynaco,
It has a selectable Audio Boost mode (Page 57 in the Audio 15 manual) that really improves the sound quality.


I don't have a page 57 in my manual... It stops at 56. Where in the stereo function do you find the audio boost?

rjaiswal
04-20-2014, 02:29 AM
For systems that need the factory radio, I've used devices like this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OI7TTI?ie=UTF8&at=&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

It gives you line out from the factory head units speaker out.

Edit:

I have the lc-6 in my traverse. It's awesome.
http://www.audiocontrol.com/dept.aspx?d_id=17612

redz
07-22-2014, 05:22 PM
Any more on this?? I'm looking for a better sounding stock deck too

Redz

4wheels
08-19-2014, 07:27 AM
Does anyone know if Infinity Kappa 6 1/2 speakers can be used WITH a factory grey speaker covers ?
Thanks

tlee
01-29-2015, 01:43 AM
dynaco,
Did you get the aux in/out port and the USB port in the vertical wall of the depression that goes around the speedometer hump.
I would think that would drive a subwoofer for you.
Since the Bluetooth works a treat, I have a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II that pumps out pretty good base.
I'd like a sub as well, but do not know where I'd put it.
Actually I'm almost impressed with the sound quality of the 2014 Audio 15 and 5 speaker system.
It has a selectable Audio Boost mode (Page 57 in the Audio 15 manual) that really improves the sound quality.
If you figure out how to get music/books on tape (Audible/iBooks) onto the SD card, let me know.

I'm using a laptop with Audio books and a 3mm cable to feed the books to the Sprinter sound system, and most
of my music in on an iPhone5 that feed the sound system through the Bluetooth or the USB charging/audio cable.
Now that I'm a little more used to the Becker Map Pilot, I use it quite a bit. It's great with the traffic updates to route
me around construction.
Hope this helps,
Roger

Did you format format your SD card first? Page 48 of the Audio 15 user manual list the data format supported. I had to format my USB flash drive (I chose FAT32) first before the radio would recognize it as a media device. I have copied about 10 albums from my computer on to it and have no problems playing it back. So between that and the BT connection to my smartphone, I am covered. I suspect the audio books can be copied onto a flash drive just the same. It beats hooking up a laptop to the 3mm aux jack...

4wheels
01-29-2015, 06:41 AM
Has anyone tried to upgrade the speakers or add a subwoofer to a 2014 passenger van? The lower end of the sound spectrum is missing.

Should I replace factory woofers and tweeters? Is it possible to add an aftermarket external subwoofer box to the rear of the van via some connection on the rear of the Becker?

How about this amplifier
http://www.amazon.com/Alpine-KTP-445U-4-channel-Power-Amplifier/dp/B003VVYL46/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1422515919&sr=8-9&keywords=car+audio+amplifier+universal

wwjase
03-06-2017, 03:17 AM
I don't have a page 57 in my manual... It stops at 56. Where in the stereo function do you find the audio boost?

I don't have a page 57 either. I found the Boost info that Sailquik helpfully informed about on page 48 of Audio 15 Supplement I have whose Edition is 06-15 (listed on the back cover).

4wheels
03-06-2017, 04:13 PM
To OP:
Dynaco1 ,
My factory 50 cent speakers were replaced with some nice Infinity kappa's , still I did not like the sound
I installed Kenwood KCS - SW11 poweed subwoofer - it made a huge difference !