Automotive

Car Speaker Upgrade: Focal?

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  • Feb 17th, 2020 10:23 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 28, 2006
60 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto

Car Speaker Upgrade: Focal?

So I've called a couple of shops to upgrade my speakers and I've been recommended the Focal Integration Speakers. ISS 165 for my 20' Civic. A pair of Components in the front, coaxials in the back.

I'm keeping the factory head unit for warranty purposes, and not using an amplifier, for now. They said these Focals run well with Factory head units and produce a high quality sound.

Anyone here have had experience with Focals? With the price range of these, its pretty entry level, but hoping for some quality sound with some thump which the current speakers don't have. I listen to all kinds of music, EDM, Dubstep, Hip Hop, Trap Music, Motown, classical rock etc. Hoping to not get too bright of a sound.

Also considering the JL Audio C1 series. I'm not looking to spend too much at the moment.

Focal ISS
JL AUDIO C1
20 replies
Deal Addict
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Mar 4, 2007
1870 posts
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Vancouver
Hi,

If your music is heavy on bass & you want to feel more bass instead of just hearing bass. You should get the JL Audio C1 series speakers because they have a lower frequency response than the Focal speakers.
Deal Addict
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Jan 14, 2007
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OP, why do you want to upgrade? Are you looking for more un-distorted volume or are you looking to increase the bass in your vehicle?
Sr. Member
Jan 12, 2013
541 posts
475 upvotes
Halifax
Unless you change the head unit (a nightmare in most new vehicles) or add an in-line amplifier, IMO you are not going to get the results you want... Most factory HUs purposely limit where the bass goes (to mask how poor the quality is on the factory speakers, and get away with a cheaper amp), You can buy the most expensive speakers, but if the signal they're receiving is still garbage you're going to be SOL. This is based on what I've read and what I've personally experienced.

You're probably just going to end up with a brighter sound in the end...

Based on what you're describing I think that you would be well advised to keep the factory speakers and Head unit and do a wire tap-in to the rear speakers and add a powered sub of some sort. You'll get more bang for your buck in what you want from the speaker upgrade.
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2013
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What about adding something like a JL audio Cleansweep or the likes? Doing just a speaker upgrade wont be beneficial without either an amp or a headunit upgrade
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Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
1798 posts
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Honestly I understand OP's pain. Honda has what is likely the worst speaker set up of all time ('16 Accord with "premium sound" here). If I recall correctly the issue is after the fairly clean signal the HU outputs there is the amplifier flattens all the signal being output and it just sounds like garbage. It's a good system for talk radio, terrible for literally everything else. As well the noise cancellation tends to try and compensate for lows/bass and reduce that as well. It's an absolute shit show. If I keep this car I will be doing an upgrade...

But ya OP from what I hear you'll need to disable noise cancellation (easy to do), bypass the amp with a new one (and likely get a good DSP as well) and really any decent speakers you get will be fine. Let me know what you do and where as I'm curious to see what is done.
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 28, 2006
60 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
The_Professor wrote: OP, why do you want to upgrade? Are you looking for more un-distorted volume or are you looking to increase the bass in your vehicle?
So I'm not a crazy bass kinda guy, I'll take any thump speakers can provide. My 2017 camaro's and 2012 camry's stock speakers were pretty decent for that, provided a satisfactory level of bass. The last time I sat in a car with subs, I had tinnitus for a month, so might do a compact sub.

I guess a clearer sound with some "oontz" - to give you an example, I rented a Mazda 3 and it had bose stock speakers. Those were pretty nice.

TBBA29 - Are you talking about compact subwoofers?

6mthatch,LoANeal- The Civic I have most likely does not have that.

So based on what I have gathered from the responses so far, I should get a sub or an amplifier.

My question was - can I just go with the speakers for now, and add an amp later if it doesn't achieve what I want? Or do you save more by installing all at once?

What kind of amplifier am i looking at for 2 components, 2 coaxials, and a potential compact subwoofer in the future?
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Jan 14, 2007
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Replacing the factory speakers will be very easy to do and you won't save much, if anything, doing an amplifier at the same time. I suggest giving it a go and seeing if it works for you. If not, then you can proceed with powering them via a new amplifier.

You can also look into a small powered subwoofer to add. I used to have an 8" one many years ago that did a wonderful job filling out the sound and giving me a bit more than needed. It was integrated with an otherwise fully factory system.
Sr. Member
Jan 12, 2013
541 posts
475 upvotes
Halifax
problemchild786 wrote:
TBBA29 - Are you talking about compact subwoofers?
Yes, I would strongly suggest before you do the speaker upgrade you get the audio shop to install a powered subwoofer. Probably 8” is the most common. They come with the amplifier built in.

If that doesn’t do it for you then go ahead with the speaker upgrade.
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
184 posts
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I would think twice about adding a Focal speaker to a civic.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Focal makes high end/stereophile audio equipment. Putting them in a civic may be akin to "putting lipstick on a pig." (for lack of better words)

I knew of someone who put Focal speakers into his Infiniti G35 (this is years ago) but the system never sounded as good as his friend's factory Acura TL system. The sound was tinny and caused vibrations all over as it seemed the G35 interior was not set up from the factory for this.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 28, 2006
60 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
papermate2 wrote: I would think twice about adding a Focal speaker to a civic.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Focal makes high end/stereophile audio equipment. Putting them in a civic may be akin to "putting lipstick on a pig." (for lack of better words)

I knew of someone who put Focal speakers into his Infiniti G35 (this is years ago) but the system never sounded as good as his friend's factory Acura TL system. The sound was tinny and caused vibrations all over as it seemed the G35 interior was not set up from the factory for this.
They do have some really expensive ones in the upper tier, the one I've been recommended is their entry level. And yeah its a civic at the end of the day, didn't want to go too crazy, but was hoping to get something better because these are just terrible out of all the cars i've owned in the last 10 years.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 28, 2006
60 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
By the way, I'm getting it done by a shop. There's too much shit to take apart and I'm not very good at this stuff.

I've been quoted 200-250 for labour, just to change the speakers.
Last edited by problemchild786 on Feb 14th, 2020 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
184 posts
105 upvotes
GTA
problemchild786 wrote: They do have some really expensive ones in the upper tier, the one I've been recommended is their entry level. And yeah its a civic at the end of the day, didn't want to go too crazy, but was hoping to get something better because these are just terrible out of all the cars i've owned in the last 10 years.
Try reaching out to JoenTell on instagram. He's a youtuber with lots of previous experience with car audio.
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Mar 13, 2004
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Toronto, Ontario
So the issue I think is the head-unit (as other have explained) limits the lower frequency on purpose from factory so you dont set the Bass to max and blow the speakers. So because of this is you change the speakers I dont think your going to get much better bass then factory since its limited. However if you want to try that first you can. If you want to get that lower frequency you need something like this, I'm using this to my 12" JL Audio Sub - https://www.amazon.ca/Audio-Control-LC2 ... 8892&psc=1

I would also recommend you at least put dynamat (or similar product) at least behind the speakers on the doors. Ideally ding the full doors would be best.
To give you an example I have a custom setup in my Golf R but while we were working on the car we put dynamat in the full drunk area. Just from that and still having the stock speakers/sub it sounded much better & had more bass. Which just shows you the big difference just dynamat can make in a car.
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 28, 2006
60 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
sickcars wrote: So the issue I think is the head-unit (as other have explained) limits the lower frequency on purpose from factory so you dont set the Bass to max and blow the speakers. So because of this is you change the speakers I dont think your going to get much better bass then factory since its limited. However if you want to try that first you can. If you want to get that lower frequency you need something like this, I'm using this to my 12" JL Audio Sub - https://www.amazon.ca/Audio-Control-LC2 ... 8892&psc=1

I would also recommend you at least put dynamat (or similar product) at least behind the speakers on the doors. Ideally ding the full doors would be best.
To give you an example I have a custom setup in my Golf R but while we were working on the car we put dynamat in the full drunk area. Just from that and still having the stock speakers/sub it sounded much better & had more bass. Which just shows you the big difference just dynamat can make in a car.
dynamat is one i hear about.

whats your take on these?

4X 6.5 Car Door Foam Speaker Enhancer System Sponge Kit Fast Foam Rings Bass Blocker Soundproof Sponge Car Horns Sponge Car Stereo Foam Car Audio Speaker Foam for 6" and 6.5" Speaker https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07V85RVFG/ref ... rEbE8V3G2H

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