Upgrading Audio System in 2024 Kia Sportage - Need Advice

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
A friend purchased a new 2024 Kia Sportage, and he's dissatisfied with the car's sound system (Came with a basic 6 Speaker System - Not Harman Kardon 8 Speaker), intending to upgrade it using a subwoofer amplifier and speaker amplifier from his previous car (Alpine S-A60M + Rockford Fosgate T400-4).

I have a few questions:

  1. Which speakers should he consider buying, and what size is suitable for this car?
  2. Is there any issue with installing non-original speakers concerning the multimedia screen and safety systems? I've heard about non-original speakers causing problems with the safety systems (the beeping sound stopped working).
  3. Does he need any external DSP? or is the car's multimedia screen sufficient?
  4. He consulted with a store, and they suggested that adding an amplifier alone would provide a significant improvement (without replacing the speakers). Is it advisable to do this?
  5. Will it harm the car warranty to make these audio system modifications?
Thank you very much.
 

Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
  1. Which speakers should he consider buying, and what size is suitable for this car?
For that year and make, you have A pillar mounted tweeters (1”) and 6.5-6.75” door openings for component midbass or coaxial (bypasses the “A” pillar tweeters.
In the rear doors, 6.5”/6.75” openings
  1. Is there any issue with installing non-original speakers concerning the multimedia screen and safety systems? I've heard about non-original speakers causing problems with the safety systems (the beeping sound stopped working).
Replacing the audio speakers should not negate any OEM functionality. That is dependant on how you end up wiring the head unit to the new components such as amplifiers and subwoofers. It can be done so none of that changes.
  1. Does he need any external DSP? or is the car's multimedia screen sufficient?
DSP is different from just EQ-ing the system. Some factory head units allow for time alignment and some features found in DSP units but real aftermarket DSP setups require that you learn to analyze the signal (using a calibration mic and software) then have working knowledge of how to set everything up. It is a labor of love-hate for those that dive in and worth the time and money but generally speaking, adds a lot time effort and money to get done correctly. If you use an aftermarket (actual DSP) DSP unit, it will add $500 to a $1500 to the build. Moderate DSP EQ can be had when an amplifier is purchased that has it built in as a feature. And while the functionality is much more limited in budget scenarios, it can be incorporated into modest builds for slightly more than the basic system upgrade would cost.
  1. He consulted with a store, and they suggested that adding an amplifier alone would provide a significant improvement (without replacing the speakers). Is it advisable to do this?
External amplification makes it louder and more dynamic, no question. But, you are still just making the current sound louder and more dynamic not changing the sound per se, just making what is there louder. That is not something I would advise as it limits you in a big way as most factory speakers are designed to be efficient and not fond of added power. Kind of like running high octane fuel in a stock engine, no real benefit.
  1. Will it harm the car warranty to make these audio system modifications?
Not if it is done correctly.

Minimum needs

OEM HU wiring harness that retains the functionality of the original head unit.
Wiring for electrical and speakers
6.5"-6.75" components (or coaxials if tweeters bypassed) for the front and same size/type coaxial versions of the front components/coaxials for the rear.
4 or 5 channels of amplification
A passive or powered sub (based on amplification decision/need)

Last, budget.

Once a budget is established then I and others here can advise on our preferences for whet will fit the need. It's good to know what types of music is prefered listening, bass heavy, loud or sound quality or both.
 
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OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
  1. Which speakers should he consider buying, and what size is suitable for this car?
For that year and make, you have A pillar mounted tweeters (1”) and 6.5-6.75” door openings for component midbass or coaxial (byoasses the “A” pillar tweeters.
In the rear doors, 6.5”/6.75” openings
  1. Is there any issue with installing non-original speakers concerning the multimedia screen and safety systems? I've heard about non-original speakers causing problems with the safety systems (the beeping sound stopped working).
Replacing the audio speakers should not negate any OEM functionality. That is dependant on how you end up wiring the head unit to the new components such as amplifiers and subwoofers. It can be done so none of that changes.
  1. Does he need any external DSP? or is the car's multimedia screen sufficient?
DSP is different from just EQ-ing the system. Some factory head units allow for time alignment and some features found in DSP units but real aftermarket DSP setups require that you learn to analyze the signal (using a calibration mic and software) then have working knowledge of how to set everything up. It is a labor of love-hate for those that dive in and worth the time and money but generally speaking, adds a lot time effort and money to get done correctly. If you use an aftermarket (actual DSP) DSP unit, it will add $500 to a $1500 to the build. Moderate DSP EQ can be had when an amplifier is purchased that has it built in as a feature. And while the functionality is much more limited in budget scenarios, it can be incorporated into modest builds for slightly more than the basic system upgrade would cost.
  1. He consulted with a store, and they suggested that adding an amplifier alone would provide a significant improvement (without replacing the speakers). Is it advisable to do this?
External amplification makes it louder and more dynamic, no question. But, you are still just making the current sound louder and more dynamic not changing the sound per se, just making what is there louder. That is not something I would advise as it limits you in a big way as most factory speakers are designed to be efficient and not fond of added power. Kind of like running high octane fuel in a stock engine, no real benefit.
  1. Will it harm the car warranty to make these audio system modifications?
Not if it is done correctly.

Minimum needs

OEM HU wiring harness that retains the functionality of the original head unit.
Wiring for electrical and speakers
6.5"-6.75" components (or coaxials if tweeters bypassed) for the front and same size/type coaxial versions of the front components/coaxials for the rear.
4 or 5 channels of amplification
A passive or powered sub (based on amplification decision/need)

Last, budget.

Once a budget is established then I and others here can advise on our preferences for whet will fit the need. It's good to know what types of music is prefered listening, bass heavy, loud or sound quality or both.
First of all,
THANK YOU so much for the detailed answer, I truly appreciate that.
We already got amps from his previous car - for the sub it's Alpine S-A60M and for the speakers Rockford Fosgate T400-4.
So budget is roughly 450-500$ for component speakers, rear coax speakers, decent wiring kit, and a small subwoofer (maybe one of those 150$~ kicker down firing subs under seat? or better go with one at the baggage?).
If that is not enough, I believe he can stretch that a bit more.

DSP is out of budget it seems and probably not worth the hassle to my understanding (?)

He's listening to everything, from 80s to EDM, rap, and mainstream.
He wants the system to be louder than stock without sacrificing sound quality of course.

P.S.
This is his car multimedia screen - https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/kiamotors/kia_sportage_2024_feature-showcase_12-3-inch-dual-panoramic-displays:S?dpr=on,2.8125
 
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Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
Figure about $100-$150 for the harness and mounting accessories and a 4 gauge OFC wiring kit Crutchfield is the go to for determining what you'll need for a harness that integrates with the amps and the HU. You can find many bargain 4 gauge OFC wiring kits and accessories on Amazon. query this for a two way distro block:

$17.99

Recoil MFH12 2 Way Mini-ANL Fused Distribution Block, 1 X 0/2/4 Gauge in / 2 X 4/8 Gauge Out Fused Distribution Block with 60A, 80A, 100A Fuses​


This for your wiring kit: $59.99 ($49.99 w/coupon)

AgClover 4 GA Amp Wiring Kit, 100% Oxygen Free Copper OFC 3000W Complete Amplifier Wire Installation​


You will get a ton of input for speakers, I'll share what i like and what I've used/recommend.

For bright, articulate bass oriented hi-end "pop' these up front will do nicely and are about half price while they last @ $99 (usually around $199 to $249) The tweeter mounting is pretty straight forward too and is fairly easy to incorporate into existing OEM locations. I was able to mount them in my "A" pillars with a very little modification.


In the rear $199


- OR - $125

I have a set of these that are brand new that I upgraded the CAPs to 1% Dayton MPP precision caps for a build that didn't materialize that I will sell for $125 shipped.

That would put you at $375 to - $450 right there.


Add one of these to the rear area a steal at $69


in one of these @120


That sub/box combo would be hard to beat, lets stay with that for now. You could save a little on the comps/coaxial optnios too going with these instead.

$140 for front and rear N Series comps/coaxials


Well worth the $40 upgrade to the V Series front conmps/rear coax @ $180


Again, there are a lot of options that work. but these I've used, the NVX set up recently with a guy in here on his BMW M3 and he was really impressed with the outcome as well.
 
OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
Figure about $100-$150 for the harness and mounting accessories and a 4 gauge OFC wiring kit Crutchfield is the go to for determining what you'll need for a harness that integrates with the amps and the HU. You can find many bargain 4 gauge OFC wiring kits and accessories on Amazon. query this for a two way distro block:

$17.99

Recoil MFH12 2 Way Mini-ANL Fused Distribution Block, 1 X 0/2/4 Gauge in / 2 X 4/8 Gauge Out Fused Distribution Block with 60A, 80A, 100A Fuses​


This for your wiring kit: $59.99 ($49.99 w/coupon)

AgClover 4 GA Amp Wiring Kit, 100% Oxygen Free Copper OFC 3000W Complete Amplifier Wire Installation​


You will get a ton of input for speakers, I'll share what i like and what I've used/recommend.

For bright, articulate bass oriented hi-end "pop' these up front will do nicely and are about half price while they last @ $99 (usually around $199 to $249) The tweeter mounting is pretty straight forward too and is fairly easy to incorporate into existing OEM locations. I was able to mount them in my "A" pillars with a very little modification.


In the rear $199


- OR - $125

I have a set of these that are brand new that I upgraded the CAPs to 1% Dayton MPP precision caps for a build that didn't materialize that I will sell for $125 shipped.

That would put you at $375 to - $450 right there.


Add one of these to the rear area a steal at $69


in one of these @120


That sub/box combo would be hard to beat, lets stay with that for now. You could save a little on the comps/coaxial optnios too going with these instead.

$140 for front and rear N Series comps/coaxials


Well worth the $40 upgrade to the V Series front conmps/rear coax @ $180


Again, there are a lot of options that work. but these I've used, the NVX set up recently with a guy in here on his BMW M3 and he was really impressed with the outcome as well.
Thanks!
The NVX VSP does look promising considering the "cheap" combo price.
Do you think the Pioneer combo justify the additional $120? or the NVX is as good?

For the subwoofer I think we prefer a smaller box that will not take so much space.
Such as this one - Pioneer TS-WX306B - Is it any good?
Or one of those cylinder shaped ones? Like the Rockford RF1400T?
 

Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
That is subjective. The Aluminum dome tweeters are about $100 a pair on their own. Not everyone is a fan of metal domes but these are pretty smooth and fast, very accurate so ones cymbals sound like tis-tis, instead of tish-tish which is common in the price range we're talking about. So I think forme any taste, yes. Now if you're inclined to prefer a more laid back, softer representation of the top end, the NVX's are great too. I have the NVXs in my garage and they sound great.

As for the pioneer sub (and I'm a huge fan of pioneers upper end stuff) they tend to use undersized boxes tuned quite high (45-55hz) which a lot of people who really don't know better seem to think is great. That same woofer in a larger box tuned lower would probably be a lot better. Their Z series subs are very good too. Even those if you go by pioneers (well many manufacturers) box recommendations, are a bit off. Most of the major players in this price range and market will often recommend very small boxes as a means to entice people that again, don't really know what to listen for and tune them higher than is optimal.

That Pio that you considered is small for a 12" but it sacrifices low end and is much more boomy than I care for, ( think BASS guitar middle end as opposed to the pop-pop of a tom-tom or kick drum), tends to stand out not blend as people that do this stuff usually prefer. IF you must have a smaller box, that same 12" NVX with this grill

$15


In a slightly smaller box 1.25 Cu ft versus the other 1.75' box (sealed and stuffed with 1lb of Acousta-stuf ) would much better than that particular Pio all the way around.

$80 on Amazon


That NVX 12" at $69 sub is a great buy (kind of wonder if is a typo as the other dual 4VC is $99), that box is well made. I put that same sealed combo sealed and stuffed in my grandsons car with the same wattage (600 @1 ohm output) pioneer GM-D8601 (same output as the alpine) and it is really impressive.

It boils down to do you want to say wow that sounds a lot better than what I had or for a couple of more inches of space, WOW, that is impressive, WOW (with a big grin on your face everytime you play that favorit tune)! For roughly the same amount of money, it's a no brainer to me.

Keep in mind that you have 600 watts to play with, that Pio sub is rated for 350 watts RMS - max. The NVX 500 watts RMS. I always prefer to have the headroom to play to the level I want instead of wishing I had a little more but it isn't there.
 
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Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
If you decide to go with the pios on the speakers, i would meet you half way at $220.00 for a set of the comps and the upgraded coaxials - shipped. They are BNIB and the coaxials have upgraded metalized poly caps on them. Was to go in my other Hatch before I totaled it in a snow blizzard. $hit happens and getting another 2nd vehicle/ride was more Important at the time. ;)

Just puttin it out there, I'll be here and they will sell sometime, no worries. It should come down to sound. They are better and worth the money. Might want to go into a shop and see which type of tweeters sound good to you. These alloy tweeters are quite good and quite smooth for an alloy dome at their respective price point.
 
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OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
If you decide to go with the pios on the speakers, i would meet you half way at $220.00 for a set of the comps and the upgraded coaxials - shipped. They are BNIB and the coaxials have upgraded metalized poly caps on them. Was to go in my other Hatch before I totaled it in a snow blizzard. $hit happens and getting another 2nd vehicle/ride was more Important at the time. ;)

Just puttin it out there, I'll be here and they will sell sometime, no worries. It should come down to sound. They are better and worth the money. Might want to go into a shop and see which type of tweeters sound good to you. These alloy tweeters are quite good and quite smooth for an alloy dome at their respective price point.
Thanks! I will definitely consider your offer.
For context, he had in his previous car Hertz MPK165P.3 Pro (which he REALLY liked!) installed along with an Hertz HX300D subwoofer in a huge ported box - How would the NVX/Pioneer compare to the Hertz component when it comes to sound signature? Which one would be closer to the Hertz?

Would that be possible to take the Hertz HX300D subwoofer and put it in a much smaller sealed box? or is it not going to perform well?
EDIT: After checking it further, it seems like the Pioneers are not that efficient at 85db sensitivity and our amp (Rockford Fosgate T400-4) is only rated at 60W RMS at 4 ohms, I assume it is going to "hit" the volume of these speakers (?)
 
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Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
At $600 the hertz are going to outperform both these Pios and the NVX, different ball game altogether. If that is within the realm of possibilities, then another grouping from CDT would be something that I would consider. The hertz have silk domes and while accurate have a more laidback signature asis normal when comparing alloy to silks. The NVX are similar but are not nearly as accurate as the Hertz in this pairing, apples and oranges.

The HX300 is a good subwoofer, and $250+ without a box (providing that you can even get one in the US without paying another $75 in shipping). While it takes a smaller box ported, approximately 1.25" to 1.5" to reach the desired tuning frequency of 40hz, your still talking about $350- $425. The sealed option is really small at 18L or around .6 to .8 cu ft but the tuning frequency jumps WAY up to around 50hz at best!

If that kind of $$s are on the table, there are combinations from Si or Hi-Q that come to mind before going with the Hertz. Was trying to stay on budget. I don't think you can do better for the $$$ on a sub than that NVX, ported or sealed, currently.
 
OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
At $600 the hertz are going to outperform both these Pios and the NVX, different ball game altogether. If that is within the realm of possibilities, then another grouping from CDT would be something that I would consider. The hertz have silk domes and while accurate have a more laidback signature asis normal when comparing alloy to silks. The NVX are similar but are not nearly as accurate as the Hertz in this pairing, apples and oranges.

The HX300 is a good subwoofer, and $250+ without a box (providing that you can even get one in the US without paying another $75 in shipping). While it takes a smaller box ported, approximately 1.25" to 1.5" to reach the desired tuning frequency of 40hz, your still talking about $350- $425. The sealed option is really small at 18L or around .6 to .8 cu ft but the tuning frequency jumps WAY up to around 50hz at best!

If that kind of $$s are on the table, there are combinations from Si or Hi-Q that come to mind before going with the Hertz. Was trying to stay on budget. I don't think you can do better for the $$$ on a sub than that NVX, ported or sealed, currently.
Fair enough. Now I am even more confused :D
The Hertz components cost roughly $400 in my country (brand new).
Which coax rear speakers should go with them?
And another question - Someone told me the 12.3" multimedia screen in the Kia is "basic and simple" and won't provide "high quality" signal to the amp/speakers so there is no need to spend a lot on speakers/amp/sub etc ... Is it true?
 
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Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
Fair enough. Now I am even more confused :D
The Hertz components cost roughly $400 in my country (brand new).
Which coax rear speakers should go with them?
And another question - Someone told me the 12.3" multimedia screen in the Kia is "basic and simple" and won't provide "high quality" signal to the amp/speakers so there is no need to spend a lot on speakers/amp/sub etc ... Is it true?
Wow, didn't see that you are from israel! Nothing personal (my family DNA is 75% Ashkenazi) but I wasn't paying attention! i can't sell my stuff for that kind of money shipped to israel - Continental US only, bummer.

So, that means you pay a lot less for the Hertz products too. If you can get the NVX there, that would be the way to go. Hetz make awesome equipment and if I lived abroad, would certainly consider their products.

Since you're in that neighborhood, why not consider your own backyard? Morel is a fantastic brand and they have some pretty reasonable offergins too. I did find some of the NVX on the Israeli eBay site too.

What about these for the front:


and these for the rear

 
OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
Wow, didn't see that you are from israel! Nothing personal (my family DNA is 75% Ashkenazi) but I wasn't paying attention! i can't sell my stuff for that kind of money shipped to israel - Continental US only, bummer.

So, that means you pay a lot less for the Hertz products too. If you can get the NVX there, that would be the way to go. Hetz make awesome equipment and if I lived abroad, would certainly consider their products.

Since you're in that neighborhood, why not consider your own backyard? Morel is a fantastic brand and they have some pretty reasonable offergins too. I did find some of the NVX on the Israeli eBay site too.

What about these for the front:


and these for the rear

LOL. Don't worry about it, I have enough relatives in the US to have it shipped within the USA in case I want to buy it :D
I wouldn't open a thread here if I could not buy stuff from the US and import it :)

The NVX is a Sonic Electronics brand so only available in the US it seems.
Morel does not get much love here, I think people look at it like an old school brand that is not relevant today (I could be wrong!).
For the Morel you linked, I can have them here for $295, that's $130 less than the USA.
Are they any good for their price?
 
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Doxquzme
Premium Member

Current build, 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.5T
1,622
522
Boise, ID
LOL. Don't worry about it, I have enough relatives in the US to have it shipped within the USA in case I want to buy it :D
I wouldn't open a thread here if I could not buy stuff from the US and import it :)

The NVX is a Sonic Electronics brand so only available in the US it seems.
Morel does not get much love here, I think people look at it like an old school brand that is not relevant today (I could be wrong!).
For the Morel you linked, I can have them here for $295, that's $130 less than the USA.
Are they any good for their price?
Ha, well then... I'll certainly take you money then! ;)

Morel are great speakers, especially the Accuflex coated tweeters and mids, a little spendy here but yeah, very good equipment.

The brand is thought of highly in the states (myself included) and around the globe (or so I thought) and those that get them are pretty faithful to the brand. I've used a number of their accuflex dome mids and dome mid/tweeter plates in home theater applications and really like them quite a lot. One of the best soft dome mids/tweeters on the market in my option. The Piccolos are par excellence and not one you ever hear anyone sing anything but praise about here or any of the other forums I visit.

For what we pay on them here, there are other products in the sub $500 a pair that compete favorably for the same or less money.

Like these sets for $499


paired with these coaxials $399


If I could afford the Morel hybrids or Elate Carbon series, I'd get them in a heartbeat! We pay a premium for them here and that often pits them up against other fanatic domestic US/Canadian brands and then it's gets very subjective. Brands like Stereo Integrity Stevens and CDT to name a few.
 
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OP
U

uriel250

CarAudio.com Recruit
26
1
Israel
Ha, well then... I'll certainly take you money then! ;)

Morel are great speakers, especially the Accuflex coated tweeters and mids, a little spendy here but yeah, very good equipment.

The brand is thought of highly in the states (myself included) and around the globe (or so I thought) and those that get them are pretty faithful to the brand. I've used a number of their accuflex dome mids and dome mid/tweeter plates in home theater applications and really like them quite a lot. One of the best soft dome mids/tweeters on the market in my option. The Piccolos are par excellence and not one you ever hear anyone sing anything but praise about here or any of the other forums I visit.

For what we pay on them here, there are other products in the sub $500 a pair that compete favorably for the same or less money.

Like these sets for $499


paired with these coaxials $399


If I could afford the Morel hybrids or Elate Carbon series, I'd get them in a heartbeat! We pay a premium for them here and that often pits them up against other fanatic domestic US/Canadian brands and then it's gets very subjective. Brands like Stereo Integrity Stevens and CDT to name a few.
The Hybrids and Elate Carbon are super expensive here too haha ... Just checked the price in the US, they are still 60% cheaper here.
I think I'll bite the bullet and go with the Morels, it says on their website that they can even work well on stock headunit, should I give it a try before going with amp or just put them with the amp straight out of the box?

I can even afford the "higher" tier Morel Tempo Ultra 602 MKII (Only $220 for components without rears, they are almost $500 at Cruthfield) but it looks like they don't have coax version of them for rears.

And what if I don't go with subwoofer, will I miss out on low bass?
 
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