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Discussion Starter #1
I'm paying off the Focus next week. As a reward to myself and the car, I think I'll first use a bit of that extra cash to upgrade the audio system. Given that it's the base model S (2016), anything is better than what it currently has.

While I'm happy and confident to wrench on my cars all day, when it comes to audio and interior mods, I admit a fair amount of ignorance and indifference...and heavy handedness with fragile plastic clips...so I'm leaning toward having a professional sound shop do this job. I just want to be sure I'm not taken to the cleaners in this deal so I'm wanting some advice on what exactly I'll actually need for a REASONABLE sound system.

I'm not going for big sound here. Just better overall ambience and clarity. Ya, I like to rock out sometimes too, but not to the point that I need window shaking volume or a sub woofer. Sooo...

Obviously, the four door speakers will need to be replaced. I think my biggest concern though is whether or not I'll need an amplifier installed so as not to overwhelm the stock radio with whatever power the new speakers need. Or, on that front, would it be easier and/or cheaper to just upgrade the radio unit to one that can supply the juice to the new speakers without need of an amp? Ultimately, I don't mind keeping the original unit, but I don't want to hurt it with the speaker upgrade. I also don't mind upgrading the radio to something better so long as it's not stupid expensive and I get to keep the screen and sync and steering wheel controls functional.
 

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If money was a bit tight, then maybe you could start with a head unit and speakers with no amplifier. Running the aftermarket speakers on door with an aftermarket head unit might be sufficient enough for a while until you decide to add the amplifier. Speakers will sound much better when amplified. If money still too tight for both head unit and speakers, then maybe just replace head unit and count on it to clean up the speakers enough while you save for additional audio equipment. Plus when going with a new head unit, especially a double din type, you get additional bells and whistles than what stock system is. Most nowadays offer Apple Carplay and Android Auto among other things.

That's my 2 cents. Good luck with your audio upgrade path.
 

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It looks like a lot of people run an amp like this Alpine amp behind the headunit because it's a small and simple upgrade. Then replacing the stock speakers for some 2 or 3 - way aftermarket speakers with the amp would pretty much be it; no recommendations from me on this though - I'm not an expert in sound systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It looks like a lot of people run an amp like this Alpine amp behind the headunit because it's a small and simple upgrade. Then replacing the stock speakers for some 2 or 3 - way aftermarket speakers with the amp would pretty much be it
Aaaah. Interesting. You put two key words together there. "simple" and "upgrade". I'm def gonn look into this option. Thanks!
 

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I have a 2010 with the "premium audio" which has a sub in the trunk and maybe an amp (?). All I did was upgrade the front speakers with some Infinity's and it brightened up the sound a bit when you turn up the treble. Still not great, but less flat and "muddy", now with better range. If I ever come across some ok aftermarket speakers in a junkyard, I'll upgrade the rear seat speakers, but that's about all I'm willing to spend.
 

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Aaaah. Interesting. You put two key words together there. "simple" and "upgrade". I'm def gonn look into this option. Thanks!
I think you'll still have to splice the cables from the stock headunit to the amp, but at least it's all contained up front in the dash and you don't have to route any cables throughout the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thx for all the advice. I went ahead and started with just replacing the speakers. Focal components up front (since the tweeter screens were already there might as well use them) and Focal coax in the rear doors. The factory head unit doesn't seem to be having any issues with the new speakers in terms of clipping or anything. Also stuck some Dynamat in the doors. Just doing the speakers and dynamat made a huge difference in sound. Music and vocal clarity is fantastic now. Better than it is in my Lincoln. I'm really happy with it.
It is a little short on bass still; and the brilliance of the mid and high range only amplifies that fact now; so there may still be a mini-amp and sub in my future but for anyone wondering, just a decent set of speakers will get you 90% there in terms of overall satisfactory improvement IMO.
 
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