So I got a "new" 2005 Prius a couple weeks ago. It had the JBL upgrade system, which sounded OK for a factory system, but there was no aux, USB or BT streaming, which left me with CDs, and that just wasn't going to work long term.
Since it was Xmas, I decided my present was going to be an audfio overhaul. I found a JVC AV61BT on sale at Best Buy for $229 (down from $349) and I picked up a set of Infinity Primus PR 6500cs components for the front doors (I'l do the back seat soon).
That upgrade was OK, but not great on its own. I'd never installed a sub before. I never wanted to go to the trouble since I rarely keep a car for more than a year or two, but this Prius came to me with only 64,000 miles and I'm determined to drive it for 200,000 and finally stick with a car for a while. So i wanted make the sound the best I could for a reasonable price. Maybe I'll upgrade again later, but for now this was what I could afford. So what to do. I decided to shop for subs, since the 12v battery in the Prius is already in the cargo hatch area and installing would be simple.
As I said in the title I added a sub. My goal wasn't to get deep, thumping, car shaking bass that has no tone to it at all, but instead to augment the new speakers I put in. The Infinity Primus PR6500cs components in the front doors and while they were doing great for mids and high, they were struggling with the bass. So the solution was to get something to take the bass off their plate and let them do what they're good at.
I looked around quite a bit over the last week or so. I didn't want to spend a ton on a sub. I didn't want a huge box. Finally I found that Best Buy was clearing out the Polk Dxi108 and selling them for $75. That's $75 for the speaker and the enclosure. So I drove to Cedar Rapids (the local best Buy didn't have any in stock) and then went to Wal-Mart and got a $59 Dual XPR520 amp and a $25 Schoche install kit. In and out for just a little over $150.
The install was pretty easy. I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to get the Prius apart. I've had the dash apart 3 or 4 times now and it's just as easy as anything. I ran the remote power cable for the amp down the passenger side and the RCA cable down the driver's side The panels along the doors came off so easy as well. I tucked the cables up around the back seats and into the cargo tray. Then I Attached the power cables and the ground. Fired the thing up and was golden.
I will say this: I know you can spend a crap ton of money on this stuff and I'm sure at the the upper levels the difference is noticeable and pleasing, but this install sounds pretty darn amazing. I thought a lot about what I wanted to achieve and then I did it. The 8" speaker on the Polk is the perfect size for my application. The Dual is more than adequate to drive is and the Schoche wiring kit was high quality for the money.
This is the best sound setup I've had in any vehicle so far. I'm an audio engineer among other things and am listening to music on $1500 studio monitors as I write this. I've worked with sound for the past 25+ years and I know what sounds good. This new setup in my car is really pleasing me a lot.