I'm new here and as you can tell from the subject line, I want to improve the factory system in my 2013 Fiat 500 Sport. I commute 120 miles a day and love music and appreciate good sound. I've not had a "good" car system since my 1993 VW Corrado SLC (Alpine/Rockford Fosgate) so I am way out of the loop on car audio.
The car has the optional ($700) Beats Audio by Dr Dre. Probably a stupid move but it is done now. As I understand it, the system is the Fiat/Alpine premium audio upgrade, with an added subwoofer and "368 watt" amp. The doors have 6.5" midwoofers, with tweeters in the A Pillars. The rear fill is a pair of 3" drivers in the side panels, but can also accept up to 6.5" drivers. There is some type of DSP processing built into the amp. If the amp is really 368 watts, it is at some really high distortion. Also, if it were really rated that high, the size of the amp tells me it must be a Class D amp.
The bass (8" driver) is decent enough. I'd like to keep the head unit due to Siruis satellite radio and built in hands free blue tooth for the phone. What I really hate about the system is that M/Satellite/CD are fine volume wise, but the USB input is much lower. I've seen issues on the Fiat forums of a blinking odometer when the head unit is replaced, unless a certain wiring harness is used. One member even managed to burn up a wiring harness along with the fuse box. I'm thinking he didn't know what he was doing, but still would like to keep the head unit if possible.
Here's what I am thinking:
Upgrade all speakers (except the sub) with Focal Access series speakers- components up front, 6.5" coax for rear fill.
Replace the amp- I'm thinking a 5 channel amp. Not sure at all what to do here. The Focals are rated at 60 Watts RMS per speaker.
Is there some king of "USB Booster" to increase the output when using the USB input? Like something that goes between my iPod and the USB input in the glovebox? I prefer the USB input over the AUX input as it gives me control of the iPod from the steering wheel, although the AUX input sounds far better.
I visited a local car audio shop (they tinted my windows) and they guys there were great to deal with. They recommended Mmats speakers- the components alone were $550 installed. Of course, they said these were better than the Focals. They said I could also bring them whatever I wanted and they would install the speakers for $200. I can buy all of the Focal speakers online for around $350.
They also said something about needing an Audio Control processor between the head unit and the amp to tune the system to the car. I'm not opposed to this, but does it make that much of a difference?
I am my mid 40's and listen to a lot of rock and roll. Any opinions/suggestions are welcome.