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E12 Corolla monophonic sound: speaker upgrade

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My E12 is quiet and plays monophonic sound. L&R Speakers all work. I have to put vol to 35 for it to sound decent (not blaring but just enough to feel bass etc) but Im not sure if this is normal. 

I want to change my radio to an android auto/carplay touchscreen setup for cosmesis and ideally to:

1) increase output so i dont have to crank the volume so much to hear the music, currently i get a lot of 60 cycle hum (that staticy noise) which is annoying to say the least and dampens the music 

2) have a stereophonic sound i.e. L & R are independent and play L & R channels. 

Will changing the radio to a supposedly stereo radio unit solve this issue? And would i need to replace my Speakers (which arent damaged) to be able to play music louder, but with less static (i.e. cranking the head unit less so 20 volume is quite loud). 

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Assume  its a newish car to you that came with these problems ?

Do you have the stock toyota head unit with inbuilt single cd player like the pic below and with the original 4 Speakers and possibly 2 tweeters ?

When you say you get a lot of static / hum, is that just on the radio or also when playing a CD ?

We can play ours loud enough to get looks from other cars when at lights etc and always in stereo which you can also fade /adjust L to R.

Mono sound, low volume and hum etc are not normal, so before upgrading you need to find the cause of the problem , if it was the Speakers or wiring you could damage a new head unit.

We have upgraded our front Speakers and that gave us better sound quality.

If you look back/search  on  recent posts ( this year)  someone else did a similar Android update.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the response!

Everything is stock and all works, I have the stock head unit BUT I should've have mentioned sorry!! I use a bluetooth transmitter to connect my phone to the stock head unit (this exact one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Q82LRDK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

The stock radio (i.e. BBC radio 1) plays mono, bluetooth transmitter (phone to transmitter to car stereo) plays mono. I work with audio as a side business so i know about speaker setups, mixing & mastering etc but not for cars.

The sound from every speaker is the same, exactly like if you unplugged your earphones (i.e. stereo sound) and listened to music through your single phone speaker (i.e. monophonic sound). For an 'audio engineer' like myself this really kills the fun of the music and is very noticable - But maybe every E12 Corolla does this?

All im really asking is: will changing the head unit resolve this and give 'surround' stereo sound? (i.e. L Speakers play L channel, R Speakers play R channel) Any head unit, even the older single din aftermarket ones.

Each speaker can fade & balance i.e if i wanted only front L speaker to play: it does. Dont think the speakers/faders themselves are damaged but its confusing why if thats the case: it plays mono rather than using stereo.

I would be extremely grateful if you could point me in the right direction regarding this, thank you.


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Upgraded our front Speakers to Pioneers which came with separate tweeters which we fitted in the little covers over the wind mirror mounts, similar to those fitted the top spec models.  They gave a good soundstage to our ears , considering its an old car.

Also have one of those similar  little bluetooth units and we play  MP3s on a USB stick and it sounds as good as the Radio or CD player, so never had cause to check things out further.  Just been out and tried the Fade and Balance with a MP3 playing and all sound good.

Think we did do a phone test but cannot remember if it was good or bad, but never followed that up as we do not use the phone in the car. Will give the phone / music a try tomorrow and see if its a good as the USB stick.

if you have not used a USB MP3 file on yours, give it a try and see if it gives a clear sound  which might show that the  problem is on the phone side of things... ?


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