2003 outback radio comes on but no sound out of any speakers I pulled radio out and checked c0nnector ok only had one connector to it but radio has 2 spots to plug in ???

Asked by Jan 10, 2016 at 12:24 PM about the 2003 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: General

radio connector

13 Answers


If no sound from ANY of the four speakers then it's likely the unit's internal amp is blown. Just chase a used one on Ebay, or send me note as I probably have a few in the garage cheap. Subie uses a largish single connector for the head unit. The other ports are for remote subwoofer, etc. Ignore them. IOW the speaker wires are in the same plug as the power, etc. It makes sense to remove and reinsert this master plug just incase it was loose, but you probably need to replace he head unit. ANY of the single- or double-DIN Subie units will work. Some have single CD, some 6CD, and older ones even a cassette too...and maybe Weather Band.

1 people found this helpful.

Hmm, 2003 , do you spend whether you would be better off looking for a brand new system? There are so many really great units out there, Alpine or Jensen. Here's one, Jensen VX7020 Navigation receiver Item #: 110VX7020


Sorry for the typo, should have read "do you think".... damn auto correct


Sure, Mark: spend hundreds on a new rig and $20 on a harness adaptor or buy a used high end Panasonic or Clarion Subaru OE rig from me or on eBay for $50-80. Hmmm....


Ernie, really depends on what you want your car's audio system to sound like. Sure, you could just as well get a transistor radio.


Mark, you're once again uninformed. The Subaru OE units sourced from both Panny and Clarion had quite good amp sections, and sold new for big bucks. They easily match new units selling currently. Please also note they're ALL transistor radios, btw. Try some decaf, eh?


Ernie, that was a rhetorical question. And, I'm talking about higher end car audio systems like Alpine, Bose, JBL and Infinity . These cars came with Harman Kardan which are also very good. And, speaking of sound systems, this person probably needs to replace all the speakers in this car. They do wear out over time and don't sound as good. It's much harder to get excellent sound quality in a station wagon compared to a sedan. And, if you really want the best sound systems, a separate amplifier with discrete head unit is the best solution. For a 2003 car, its really an upgrade and you can get an integrated navigation and Bluetooth audio system for hands free calls. Why not? Or, just purchase a new car. You know, having these upgrades is less expensive and very satisfying on an older vehicle. Just because your car is an older model, doesn't mean that you can't have updated technology.

1 people found this helpful.

Been there, done that. The ONLY cost-effective upgrade to a 2000-2004 OB interior's soundspace is to mount the Limited model's Panasonic 1/2" plastic dome tweeters in their upper window corner pods. These great tweeters are cheap used and complement the 6" drivers in the doors well. You're correct re speaker aging only if the paper cones get wet from a flood or foam surrounds deteriorate. That's about the only reason to upgrade to the premium Panasonic polypro/butyl drivers Subie sold back then (for $160/4...good deal). I've torn dozens of tiny-buttoned aftermarket JBL and Kenwood, Akai, Pioneer et al out of these and returned them to OE head unit status with added tweeters and ALWAYS the owner is delighted by the improved top octave and raised panoramic soundstage. (Note that I designed speaker systems for audiophiles as an avocation, so watch your step here, my friend.)


Ernie, I understand. I'm an audiophile and have a very robust home theatre and audio system, Polk Audio 10 Studio Monitors etc. If you really want superior quality sound, it doesn't come cheap, there are no short cuts. Car systems are no different. But, I'm done being an early adopter, it's very cool, but Expensive.


Old Polk 10's? Surely you jest.


Expensive? Not necessarily. Sound reproduction is 80-90% environment, the balance equipment. Automobile interiors can can be notoriously tricky to combine frequency response and directivity, especially for more than one head position. Best to aim for midrange smoothness and then dial in a non-harsh top octave, carefully pulling your hair out to eliminate bottom octave resonances. The larger Subarus (Legs/OBs) are reasonably successful...the Imps not so until 2012. It's interesting that for 2010+ the Leg/OB sports decent upper- midrange drivers (can't really call these tweeters, as they have a severely rolled top octave) under the windshield, improving soundstage presentation and all-around decent response with the bigger door woofs, wisely sacrificing the top octave, as it's masked by road noise anyway. Nothing's worse than a bad tweeter, except maybe bass thump, or a lumpy mid, or...the list goes on. It's VERY interesting (at least to me!) to compare the a 2008 Leg/OB's sound qualities vs the 2009 HK setup in the Special Ed or Ltd as the environments and head units are essentially clones. The HK main drivers may have more headroom, but the overall presentation is remarkably similar to the 2005-2008 Panasonic setup: better top octave than the 2010+, but I'm REALLY appreciating the newer Leg's soundstage. With clean acoustic recordings and non-profits II prefer +2 on the treble to pick up the drooping top a bit...but not on too-bright commercial radio. Mark, Ever notice the Dopller Effect when you walk by your double-mid Polks quickly? Lots of peaks and valleys from horizontally-arrayed mid-pairs. That's a no-no all designers learned to avoid....


Ernie, I purchased my Polk Audio 10 monitors in 1982, and I'm so amazed that they work so well even today. Someone told me that they were engineered so well with rubber cones and drivers unlike many other speakers and they've been undisturbed in my home for over 33 years. My home audio 5.1 Dolby Digital system is driven by a Pioneer Elite system driving 125 watts of continuous power to all five channels simultaneously. I have s Klipsch center channel, Polk powered subwoofer and two Jamo rear speakers that are direct firing. Yes, I understand and appreciate what you are saying about the environment and road noise. You cannot equate the environment in your home to the car. I'm one of those people who were early adopters getting into laser discs with AC-3, later known as Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, there's been so many changes as always does happen. In fact, the year after I acquired my system, someone tried to sell me on DVD Audio, and passed on this. That was a good call, DVD Audio never really took hold, but, the demos I listened to was amazing. I had a 1985 Ford Thunderbird Coupe with an awesome sound system, it just lent itself to a better sound environment than a station wagon like my Honda Accord. The Outback sound system and environment is much better than the Accord was, but, much less than the TBird. And, my home theatre system is far superior to all these car systems. Are the Polks the best? Probably not. But, they're quite good and I've certainly gotten my money's worth, don't you think? You know air volume is the key to good sound and this is where the larger drivers really work with the old Polks. At one time, I thought about getting much smaller speakers, but, they sound so rich its hard to justify replacing them.


We've bent this poor guy's thread enough, eh, Mark. Glad you enjoy your "vintage" system. "Trust your ears" is a great adage. I finished my ref system years ago, but listen to it rarely, instead spending time and bucks buying tix to live classical events here in Beantown. I still spin the occasional CD on my Electrocompaniet EMC-1 UP CDP through Nordost SPM to Pass Labs Aleph P pre through Red Dawn to Aleph 2 monos, through SPM again to Verity Audio Parsifal Encores. Realism is scary...even with 16bit/44.1k. Had a fine old Mac tuner, but run my hot-rodded Sony baby FM tuner for live Met Opera and local concert feeds. I used to make audiophile cables for Audiogoners back in the day, but all-Teflon cabling has gotten too pricey to bother anymore (not to mention my aging eyesight!

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