Australians love their utes for the practicality and fun factor being able to go off-road, camping or simply into nature or the outdoors. And whilst they are superb for these functions and can carry 5 people as well as a payload, if you're like us and enjoy listening to music they unfortunately don't come with quality audio as standard in the vehicle.
There are essentially 2 critical factors that limit the performance of the vehicle's audio, those being:
1. The power output from the factory stereo
2. The factory speakers located in the front and rear doors
Wanting to maintain the factory appearance and not consume any of the usable space in the cabin leaves us only a few options to improve the audio. The first of those upgrades is the installation of a subwoofer behind the rear seats.
In this instance the subwoofer of choice was the Kenwood KSC-PSW8 - an 8" compact powered subwoofer that is designed to fit neatly under the driver or passenger seat, or in this case against the rear cab wall behind the seats. Delivering amazing performance and powerful bass for utes, compact vehicles and trucks, the 250W Max Power rating is delviered through the built-in High-Efficiency D-Class Amplifier. Included in the kit is a wired remote control that enables volume, frequency and phase adjustment at your fingertips.
After selecting an appropriate position for the subwoofer we carefully had to cut a hole in the plastic cover that sits behind the rear seat. This is a tricky task which requires accurate stencilling and then precision jigsawing to ensure the hole is evenly spaced around the subwoofer housing.
Wiring for the subwoofer is relatively simple and can be neatly run by following the existing loom in the vehicle.
We tapped into the factory speaker wiring behind the head unit to get a high level input for the subwoofer.
At the same time we ran the wired remote control cable through to the glovebox leaving some slack if the driver ever wanted to adjust the volume, frequency or phase on the fly.
The end result was exactly as desired - the subwoofer is tucked neatly out of sight and is able to produce sufficient bass to give the overall sound some punch and fullness. This installation is not restricted to dual cabs or HSV's, in fact most brands of ute should accommodate this type of install. The subwoofer also works well in compact vehicle's like a Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift or similar.