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E210 Speakers upgrade


JoaoM
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Hi,

Nobody finds the stock Speakers exactly vibrant and exciting.... The rear ones are specially bad as we can't hear them on the front seats, the sound is always in front of us. Even the JBL version isn't considered a great piece of engineering...

I've seen some people replacing the OEM Speakers for some aftermarket ones and swearing for the results. Something with good frequency response and high sensitivity will do the job, or am I wrong?

As far as I could research, the base (non-JBL) system is composed by the Head Unit, 1 small tweeter on the driver's side dashboard, 1 tweeter + 1 midrange on the opposite side of the dashboard and one 6,5" woofer on each door.

First mod I've seen was replacing the OEM dashboard tweeters with larger (3,5") 2 way Speakers (JBL club 3020) and a crossover to cut the lows on this one.

Did someone already tried something like this or is thinking of improving the sound?

I would prefer not to add subwoofers, DSP and amps.

IMG_20210421_192241.jpg

IMG_20210421_192548.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've run some tests at Crutchfield simulator and watched as much youtube comparison videos I could grab,

I'm leaning to buy a set of Focal Performance Series Polyglass. Coaxial PC165 for the rear and separate components PS165V1 for the front. High sensitivity in order to be driven from the 18W Head Unit.

Vibration damping material would be applied to the doors (expensive material!)

Any love our hate on this Speakers?

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It is true that OEM Speakers are really poor. But they need to be due the lack of head units power. 
 

I have done some upgrades and I’m quite happy how it turned around in the end. First I damped doors. That made Oem setup sound lot better. Second try was to replace rear Speakers with high frequency (but cheap) JBL Speakers (cannot remember the model). This was mistake. There was not enough power in the head unit and upgrade made sound worse. Third phase that really made difference was to install Alpine PWD-X5 in to the trunk. Subwoofer was what it needed and it also gave enough power to make rear speakers to play. Of course dsp made it possible to adjust the speakers one by one how I like them. 
 

So I would say there is no easy (or cheap) solution. But if you are into good sound quality it’s worth it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/14/2021 at 10:59 PM, tsk said:

It is true that OEM speakers are really poor. But they need to be due the lack of head units power. 
 

I have done some upgrades and I’m quite happy how it turned around in the end. First I damped doors. That made Oem setup sound lot better. Second try was to replace rear speakers with high frequency (but cheap) JBL speakers (cannot remember the model). This was mistake. There was not enough power in the head unit and upgrade made sound worse. Third phase that really made difference was to install Alpine PWD-X5 in to the trunk. Subwoofer was what it needed and it also gave enough power to make rear speakers to play. Of course dsp made it possible to adjust the speakers one by one how I like them. 
 

So I would say there is no easy (or cheap) solution. But if you are into good sound quality it’s worth it. 

Just received the damping material that I'll use on the 4 doors. It certainly make a nice difference. The problem with the head unit low power is that one need very efficient Speakers, let's say, sensitivity above 92dB/W, otherwise it will not have volume. The Focal Polyglass I've ordered have 92.5 for the component kit and 93.6dB for the coaxials (rear). If I found that's not enough I can add an amp later, there are lot's of nice Class D amplifiers that are small and not too expensive. An amplified subwoofer is also an option but I'd prefer not to add too much stuff.

23 hours ago, Goldentrees said:

I see you are saying there is not enough power from the head unit, is there a way to upgrade the head unit? Or an adapter that could work?

You can change the head unit but to find one compatible with all the other stuff (rear camera, car information, android auto/apple car play) it will be at least expensive. The easiest way is to add an amplifier (like in the JBL audio grade option).

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  • 2 months later...

I'm finally finishing this project. Last few steps are connect the driver door woofer and put the door interior back to its place and then connect the tweeters. The European version with a midrange on the passenger side it makes it a little different to rewire but I'll figure it out.

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  • 1 month later...

@JoaoM: Did you finish the project? How much of a difference did door damping made? Did you only change the Speakers to the mentioned focals, or also add the amp? Which did you change? Woofers or also the tweeters and one midrange speaker in front of front passenger seat?

tnx

 

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On 8/9/2021 at 12:21 AM, JoaoM said:

I'm finally finishing this project. Last few steps are connect the driver door woofer and put the door interior back to its place and then connect the tweeters. The European version with a midrange on the passenger side it makes it a little different to rewire but I'll figure it out.

be cautious as the double tweeter setup is actually part car audio & part SOS ecall system 

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On 9/15/2021 at 9:58 PM, clix said:

@JoaoM: Did you finish the project? How much of a difference did door damping made? Did you only change the speakers to the mentioned focals, or also add the amp? Which did you change? Woofers or also the tweeters and one midrange speaker in front of front passenger seat?

tnx

 

I'm almost done, not having enough time. Rear doors are completed, front doors also but I didn't finished the tweeters replacement yet because I decided to make a covered version (pictures later).

I've done the door damping because it was recommended by more knowledgeable people in this area than myself. I didn't tested the before/after the damping. The new woofers certainly displace a lot more air therefore increasing vibration, so it was a good move to install the damping anyway. I think the car became quieter but it might be placebo effect, it's far from dramatic change. It would certainly make more difference if I had the courage to damp the wheel arcs. I have some damping material leftovers so I might add some to other parts later.

I didn't add any amp. The Focal's are quite efficient (92,5dB/W@1m) and the 4x18W of the Panasonic OEM HU are enough to play louder than reasonable... If I ever miss it, it will be easy to add one, probably under the driver's seat where Toyota adds the JBL one to the higher end trims, or in the place of the GPS computer (mine doesn't have one) if it fits.

20 hours ago, Devon Aygo said:

be cautious as the double tweeter setup is actually part car audio & part SOS ecall system 

That midrange is actually very strange as it plays the music, receiving signal directly from the head unit. On the other hand, just the tiny tweeter is in paralel with the doors woofers. I know people who disconnected the midrange completely (cut the wires). Are you sure it should stay connected? That will not be a problem, it's easy to leave it in it's place and wired.

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4 hours ago, Devon Aygo said:

The DCM which handles the SOS function connects to the dual speaker and uses both the tweeter and midrange to supply the voice for the SOS 

Are you sure? The tweeter and midrange aren't electrically connected: there are two wires that feed signal to the midrange and 2 other pairs that feed the tweeter and the front door Speakers. I'll retest it later.

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It is definitely connected, where the feed into the line up to the speaker is I have no idea , the midrange speaker is required as the tweeter on its own is not sufficient to broadcast an audible voice.

image.thumb.png.fc6e8fca4b56bd140017d319964d3779.png

image.thumb.png.0411820e58f8134598aa9033818c52ce.pngimage.thumb.png.db1159f97e5a3df3ea02f3422ca2eb8f.pngimage.thumb.png.381d55692ba47e624a04feec86ee9476.png

Note as per the pictures cars without DCM ( SOS ) only get tweeters in the upper dash corners, cars with DCM ( SOS ) get a tweeter in one corner and tweeter with midrange in the opposite ( switched for LHD/RHD ) and cars with JBL get midranges in the upper dash with tweeters in the A-pillars along with a centre speaker ( 86160L ) which handles the SOS

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On 9/24/2021 at 9:13 PM, trashman1965 said:

Ahhh I was wondering about the centre...so that's purely SOS and not connected to the audio? Was trying to work out why 9 speakers in an 8 speaker set up.

Yes, the "midrange" is not an audio system component, it's part of the SOS system. I've double check the electric connection and it's not connected with tweeter at all. The good part is that you can replace the tiny tweeter with a decent one. The bad part is that you have a more crumpled space to install the crossover as you must leave the SOS speaker in its place.

 

On 9/24/2021 at 8:17 PM, Devon Aygo said:

It is definitely connected, where the feed into the line up to the speaker is I have no idea , the midrange speaker is required as the tweeter on its own is not sufficient to broadcast an audible voice.

image.thumb.png.fc6e8fca4b56bd140017d319964d3779.png

image.thumb.png.0411820e58f8134598aa9033818c52ce.pngimage.thumb.png.db1159f97e5a3df3ea02f3422ca2eb8f.pngimage.thumb.png.381d55692ba47e624a04feec86ee9476.png

Note as per the pictures cars without DCM ( SOS ) only get tweeters in the upper dash corners, cars with DCM ( SOS ) get a tweeter in one corner and tweeter with midrange in the opposite ( switched for LHD/RHD ) and cars with JBL get midranges in the upper dash with tweeters in the A-pillars along with a centre speaker ( 86160L ) which handles the SOS

Thanks, that confirms it all! And emphasizes the need to leave that speaker in its place

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally on their place and tuned. I've decided to reduce the tweeters output by 3dB (the crossover has 3 positions: 0, -3dB and -6dB in order to compensate for the positioning of the tweeters vs woofers), and also positioned the cutting frequency switch in the middle position because it was the one that sounded best to my ears. Really enjoying the results, more clarity, much more power, better dynamics, better frequency response with powerful yet not distorted bass and articulate mid and highs. The 4x18W of the HU are quite enough if one prefer to not get deaf. I really don't see (hear) the need of an amp and/or subwoofer.

The large SOS speaker was left in it's place correctly connected (otherwise the red light near the SOS push button doesn't go off and the green one doesn't light up: learned that when I had to drive the car while still haven't finished the connections).

I've decided to cover the original grills with faux leather and ended up doing the same to the plastic Focal pods. It's not perfect but I think it adds a nice "artisan" style to the dashboard.

Someone asked how much it costed and how much it would have cost if done by a pro. I've spent about 310€:

  • Isolation materials and tools (71,61€) including 2m² Reckhorn Alubutyl (Amazon) and some soft rubber to seal the woofers to the door (Leroy Merlin);
  • about 15€ for the adapter rings including the rain protection;
  • about 5€ in wiring and terminals (local electronics store) and 7€ for the faux leather; the soft thin foam placed beneath the faux leather to give a soft touch was recycled from some packaging and the most expensive items
  • the pair of coaxial Speakers for the rear doors (Focal PS 165) cost me 97€ on eBay (got a nice deal on those) and the front Focal PC 165 were about 145€ (minus some discounts/vouchers I had).

Comparing with professional quotes ranging from 385€ without any sound treatment and using inferior Focal IC/IS TOY to 1085€ using Morel Maximus 602, sound treatment, 2 amplifiers from Blam and a Subwoofer... In one shop I was asked 760€ to install the exact same Speakers and sound treatment material I did.

Any detail or photo anyone need, just ask.

1 hour ago, JoaoM said:

IMG_20211003_165231.jpgIMG_20211003_165221.jpg

 

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  • 2 months later...

Trying to change mine as the dash Speakers are distorting. Any recommendations? My stock Speakers are larger than the ones above. It's a 2019 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Hatchback Design. Everything is stock/OEM apart from under seat subwoofers. I've attached a photo of the current Speakers on the dashboard. TIA.

20211217_143025.jpg

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On 12/17/2021 at 10:42 PM, TazUddin said:

Trying to change mine as the dash speakers are distorting. Any recommendations? My stock speakers are larger than the ones above. It's a 2019 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Hatchback Design. Everything is stock/OEM apart from under seat subwoofers. I've attached a photo of the current speakers on the dashboard. TIA.

20211217_143025.jpg

That bigger speaker is part of the SOS system and you can't remove it, as explained above. You can remove the tiny tweeter though (just cut the wires and pull it off, it has glue on the bottom). Then you have to cut the wires that feed signal from the Head Unit to the Speakers that are attached to the big white plug, and connected them to the crossover and then to the new tweeter and woofer.

My Focals are great, I'm happy with the sound quality and power (not bad for a 4x18W, and I couldn't listen much higher than it gets). But there are millions of options, from many brands. Just choose high sensitivity Speakers and you'll be OK.

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Omg I just swapped both Speakers at a shop that sells and installs sound systems. They didn't say anything about the sos system. All they done was take both the tweeter and the larger speaker on the left out and replaced with a 4". Will there be any issues now? 

 

Edit.

 

I've just called them and they said its not an issue and they could just erase the code. Not sure if I should believe them or not? Such a headache. Would appreciate any feedback. TIA.

16400225431722096028837476278625.jpg

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They're wrong, not knowing what they're talking about. If you push the power button there is a tiny led near the SOS push button that will light. After a few seconds it will go off and green one should light. If not, the system is not properly connected. This is a safety issue, I expect there's no way to clear the error code (if there is then Toyota engineered it very poorly). This happens because the SOS system misses its speaker.

It's common in safety to have independent/redundant parts: the audio system could certainly be also used for the SOS system but, for reliability we use an extra one, independently connected to make sure it works even if the audio system is damaged.

The larger speaker (SOS) only shares the bracket and the big white plug with the tweeter, there's NO connection between them, I can assure you (measured and tested properly with a digital multimeter). If they didn't scrap the original, it can still be fixed.

If they insist you can ask them to show you the connections they've made as there are 6 wires going in that plug. Ask them what schematic/wiring diagram they have used to do the job 

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22 hours ago, TazUddin said:

Thank you for the reply. I have still got the old speaker/SOS unit.

Good, at least you can restore the system.

22 hours ago, TazUddin said:

Do you sell the cover that you placed ontop of the old speaker? I'm happy to buy if you do. I'll get the same set up as you

I'll take that as a compliment to my job but no, I don't sell it. I can teach you how to do one, though. It's not hard and is cheap. Some patient and you'll do it from the original grills, a piece of black faux leather with a texture similar to the dashboard and the tweeter pods. I've also used a thin layer of foam but it would have been better to use it only over the pod and not over the total area of the grill. Tools needed: good quality contact cement (I've used Pattex), a sharp craft knife a 3/4mm drill (the tweeter wires have to pass trough the grill) and some baking paper and cardboard to make the moulds to cut the leather (and to test the tweeters placement). If you want that red stiches, you'll need a needle, some red (or any other colour that match your car interior) waxed thread and a marker to make some small holes on the leather (any fork will do the same job). No hard to find materials or tools and no special skills required.

If you want I can share all the photos I've made during the process.

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Thank you for your reply and help. Sounds to difficult for me. I'm popping back to the shop tomorrow so will keep you updated. See what they can do. Once again, many thanks for the help.

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