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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2019 EX Premium EV with the Harmon Kardon audio system. It is pretty good, but not the best. I am looking to improve my jazz and rock listening pleasure by replacing the amp and speakers without altering the head unit to maintain functionality. I am wondering if it is possible/advisable to do this?

TIA!
 

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2020 Niro PHEV LXS
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If I am not mistaken, the HK system has 2 tweeters and a center speaker in the dash, 1 6.5 in each door, and something in the rear quarters (I forget if its a Sublike thing or another 6.5).

The answer is Yes with a long list of modifications, or a short and concise No. Not impossible, but amazingly complicated.

The upgraded factory sound systems in any car are amazingly incompatible with aftermarket parts. They are designed by the manufacturer not to be modified. Its easier to upgrade the basic stock system in a vehicle than the upgraded stuff.
 

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I agree. While it is possible, it is not easy nor cheap. Here is the why behind it;

With the basic audio system, all you need to do is get a 4 channel line level converter to convert the low wattage speaker wires to RCA connections that an amplifier can use. Connect an amplifier and speakers of your choice and you are done.

With a premium audio system, it is not advisable to do the same because you are now reamplifying the signal. So now you are also amplifying the distortion from that amplifier. Those factory premium audio amplifiers are never that great as it is. So you need to get a wiring schematic of the car to find the low level input wires to the factory amplifier and convert them to RCA wires. BUT, you can’t use that signal yet. You must get a device that removes the signal processing that the premium radio does. Audio Control has been making these types of devices for years and they make a great product. They are not cheap though. Most of their processors are in the $500-$1,000 price range. After that is done then you can connect the signal to an amplifier of your choice.


Premium audio factory systems are great for most of the public that don’t know what a good sound system sounds like. For the rest of us, a factory premium sound system just makes it harder to upgrade.
 

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Premium audio factory systems are great for most of the public that don’t know what a good sound system sounds like. For the rest of us, a factory premium sound system just makes it harder to upgrade.
I was trying to be a little nicer about it... But essentially, This.
 
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