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Thread: Upgrade Bose Speakers?

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    2016 Mazda 3 Touring

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    Jun 2017
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    Durham NC
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    Upgrade Bose Speakers?

    Hello!
    I have a 2016 Mazda 3 Touring with the Bose audio system. I'm not happy with the sound, and attribute that to the cheap, paper speaker drivers. Has anyone replaced the speakers for better ones? I do tend to use Centerpoint.

    My concern is that Bose is sending the speakers a signal that is not flat, but boosted in the highs or lows to make the cheap drivers sound more full range. So, replacement speakers that are better quality may actually sound worse because they're being sent a signal designed to compensate for the poor speakers.

    Has anyone successfully upgraded all 9 speakers? If so, what did you use? Are the specifications available for the various drivers?

    Thanks!
    Bob

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring with Bose

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    Los Angeles
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    Hey Bob,

    I'm doing the same thing for my 2017 Mazda 3 Grand Touring right now, and I just did the same thing to my wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring. Both cars have the same Bose system with all the same parts. Five of the speakers are 3.5 in (FL, FC, FR, RL, and RR) running at 3 ohms. The back and front doors are different, though. The front has 8in subs running at 1.25 ohms, and the back has 5.25in drivers running at about 3.5 ohms. I swapped everything in her CX-5 except for the front door subs, and it sounds super-clean. The feed was initially a touch bright, probably because of Bose signal processing, but the built-in Bass/'Treble adjustment on the dash unit completely addresses the issue.

    I used two pairs of the Infinity 3022CFX speakers for the front and far back (i.e. dash and rear pillars), an Infinity Kappa Perfect 300M for the front center in the dash, and the Infinity Kappa 50.11CS 5.25 components in the rear doors. That was for the CX-5, but I'll also be replacing the front door subs in my Mazda 3 with the Earthquake SWS-8Xi 8 subs. Those are the only shallow 8in subs I could find that run natively close to the stock 1.25 ohms. The Earthquakes are rated for 2ohms, but they actually run at 1.76 Ohms if you check the manual, so they are the best option for a replacement (maybe the only option unless you swap out all the Bose electronics).

    The results in the CX-5 were amazing! The biggest difference was the center speaker. Originally, I replaced the right and left on the dash only, and it was too light on the mid, so adding a mid-driver in the center dash helped a lot. You'll be happy with these parts. I researched it a lot and even wrote a lot in the 2016 CX-5 thread. I'll probably come back here for updates on my Mazda 3 upgrade, though, because I just got the car two days ago and have some work to do.

    -Eggz
    Last edited by Eggz; 08-03-2017 at 03:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered Member

    2016 Mazda 3 Touring

    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Durham NC
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    Eggz,
    This is great information, thank you!

    Did you happen to figure out the frequencies being sent to each speaker? Seems I remember the dash speakers are crossed over very high, about 3kHz. My main gripe about the Bose is that there's no midrange, and it sounds like they're trying to push cheap speaker drivers to their limits with equalization. I assume you are using the stock amp?

    My concern would be putting the woofers in the doors - don't they have to handle a lot of midrange too?

    Let us know how those woofers work out.

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eggz View Post
    Hey Bob,

    I'm doing the same thing for my 2017 Mazda 3 Grand Touring right now, and I just did the same thing to my wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring. Both cars have the same Bose system with all the same parts. Five of the speakers are 3.5 in (FL, FC, FR, RL, and RR) running at 3 ohms. The back and front doors are different, though. The front has 8in subs running at 1.25 ohms, and the back has 5.25in drivers running at about 3.5 ohms. I swapped everything in her CX-5 except for the front door subs, and it sounds super-clean. The feed was initially a touch bright, probably because of Bose signal processing, but the built-in Bass/'Treble adjustment on the dash unit completely addresses the issue.

    I used two pairs of the Infinity 3022CFX speakers for the front and far back (i.e. dash and rear pillars), an Infinity Kappa Perfect 300M for the front center in the dash, and the Infinity Kappa 50.11CS 5.25 components in the rear doors. That was for the CX-5, but I'll also be replacing the front door subs in my Mazda 3 with the Earthquake SWS-8Xi 8 subs. Those are the only shallow 8in subs I could find that run natively close to the stock 1.25 ohms. The Earthquakes are rated for 2ohms, but they actually run at 1.76 Ohms if you check the manual, so they are the best option for a replacement (maybe the only option unless you swap out all the Bose electronics).

    The results in the CX-5 were amazing! The biggest difference was the center speaker. Originally, I replaced the right and left on the dash only, and it was too light on the mid, so adding a mid-driver in the center dash helped a lot. You'll be happy with these parts. I researched it a lot and even wrote a lot in the 2016 CX-5 thread. I'll probably come back here for updates on my Mazda 3 upgrade, though, because I just got the car two days ago and have some work to do.

    -Eggz

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring with Bose

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    17
    Hi Bob,

    Sorry for the long delay. Fortunately, I've had a lot of good new information come through and was able to do the first major phase of my Mazda 3. The front dash (L & R) and rear pillars are the Infinity 3022CFX speakers, and the center is still the Kappa Perfect 300M. But I ended up going with a larger rear door speaker and better front-door woofers. The back doors on my Mazda 3 now have the Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6.5in components, which I was able to pull off with this simple adapter (Amazon says it's for older cars but it fits our 2017 Mazda 3 GT perfectly!). As for the front woofers, I actually measured the impeadance with a multimeter, and it came out to exactly 1ohm, rather than the 1.25 ohms that the wiring diagram says. So I ended up installing a pair of the dual voicecoil Infinity FLEX 8in adjustable-depth woofers. You'll have to cut off the extra plastic for the speaker to fit well in the door, but it's really easy to do with a basic Sawzall. You'll notice the speaker has a plastic cylinder housing that's deeper than necessary, so cutting down is simple (but necessary).

    To get that sub signal, I tapped into the speaker wires for the door subs and ran it through an AudioControl LC2i. The Bose signal in the door woofers is a bit heavy (actually a lot heavy) around the 50hz mark, so I also got an AudioControl EQL to tame it down. Otherwise, it's pretty boomy when 50 hz kicks in and too soft everywhere else.

    For the next stage, I think I'm going to just amp all of the speakers and use a DSP (AudioControl DM-810). The front speakers have a really heavy spike in the upper-mid to lower-high region that can cause listening fatigue, so I am thinking about just overriding all of the factor EQ with the DM-810. I'm still "thinking about" it because I'd have to get three more amps (two four-channels for the highs and a two-channel for the door subs), which would probably call for an upgraded alternator and battery. That's not cheap, but I also don't want to let the Bose EQ damage my ears . . . First world problems - ha!

    -Eggz

  5. #5
    Registered Member

    2016 Mazda 3 Touring

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    Jun 2017
    Location
    Durham NC
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    You're awesome! Thanks for sharing your findings. I really wish Bose wouldn't so terribly equalize the signal to the speaker. If they used decent drivers they wouldn't have to go to such extremes to try to compensate for them.

    Where are you going to put the AudioControl equalizer? Is there room under the front passenger seat?

  6. #6
    Registered Member

    2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring with Bose

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    17
    Hi Bob,

    Seriously! The EQL fit under the passenger seat next to the LC2i, but it does block the under-seat air vent for your backseat passengers. I don't care about that, but maybe you will. Also, I ended up getting the AudioControl DM-810 DSP. It's pretty impressive! The writeup I'm planning to do for my system will probably end up being rather long, but basically I just did a preliminary tune last night - and man - it sounds muuuuch better. I used the AudioControl 4140i-SPL microphone for testing pink noise playing through the speakers. It puts an RTA on your iPhone while the DM-810 has the EQ on a laptop. From there, I just flattened the curve in the middle, slight boost in the bass, and a rolloff the treble starting around 2.5k. Driving today revealed a few issues, but they're honestly just nit-picks at this point. The system is on point. Then again, it better be good with all new speakers, full sound deadening, a new DSP, and four amplifiers driving everything (two 4-channels for the six small speakers, one 2-channel for the door woofers, and a mono block for the rear sub . . . 10 of 12 channels in use). I'll let you know when I plan on posting the writeup for everything. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions. I've basically torn apart the entire car multiple times, so I know it pretty well at this point.

    -Eggz

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