Is there anyway to upgrade the 2014 JBL sound system?

120

Asked by Feb 07, 2015 at 06:37 PM about the 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

Question type: General

I just bought a 2014.5 Camry with the premium sound system and I HATE it. It has terrible
sound quality.  I had a 2007 with the JBL and it was 10x better. I wish I had my old car
back!!!  Is there anyway to upgrade the 2014 system?

27 Answers

42,815

You can go to Best Buy and pick out exactly what you want and they will install it for you. Other than that, your stuck with the factory install.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
120

I was told by Crutchfield that the 2014 system can't be upgraded because it is inter connected with the cars computer system. Toyota designed the JBL system so you can not upgrade. AND THE SYSTEM IS WEAK... Anybody want to buy a 2014.5 Camry Hybrid?

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
42,815

Don't you just love how everything is designed to either fail, or totally put the screws to the consumer?

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
120

You hit it right on the head!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

Not an answer, but I totally agree with you that this premium JBL system is sooo weak. You have to adjust the speakers to full rear to hear anything from the back. Otherwise, it is ALL front speaker and NO BASE what so-ever. If you find a good replacement, let me know !

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
120

After much frustration, and no cooperation from the dealership, I returned the vehicle. I'm now looking at a BMW.....

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
90

After reading the ToyotaNation forums, I found that turning OFF the Surround Sound setting for each source, you can get better sound from the JBL system. Still isn't perfect, but much better. I can now live with the vehicle. CD's sound best, XM isn't bad.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
42,815

I'm starting to get the feeling the best Toyotas to buy are the models from the late 80's-90's. Quality and dependability have gone way down. I bought an '89 4X4 pickup with 59K on it back in 1997 and drove it for 14 years. The only repairs I did were the basics, brakes, exhaust, and timing belt. Had over 250k on it when I sold it. Which is almost unheard of in Vermont. I also have a '95 Camry with over 250k that my youngest daughter is now driving. I am currently driving a '99 Camry with 120k. I just drove it 3200 miles from NV to Montreal. With 6 error codes! Made it no problem! Can't say that for anything manufactured after 2000...........

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
23,205

Wow, we have the JBL Premium Sound system in our 2009 Toyota Prius and it works and sounds fine. What a great argument for keeping the older car. THANKS FOR THE TIP.

130

The 2015 Camry XLE is no better. The so called "Premium " sound system by JBL in a word, SUCKS. Very disappointed and dissatisfied.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

I mistakenly bought the 2013 Camry with Premium JBL sound system ($2700 upgrade!). It is absolutely the worst piece of shit I've every heard in my life. I haven't turned the damn stereo on in 6 months. If you look in the trunk on the 2013-2014 models with the "Premium" system, its actually missing a 6x9 speaker! Really! There is a plastic "plug" there in its place. I was infuriated! I showed the dealer, wrote notes to Toyota Corporate - I'm really hoping the who design team got canned over this. One of the reasons I bought the car is because the 2012 model sounded amazing - it had a sub in the trunk, actually had all the speakers it advertised. Then they went and redesigned things somewhere between 2012 and 2013. They got rid of the sub and put "sub-speakers" in the doors and like I said it sounds like absolute shit. Boo, hisss and negative sentiments Toyota! The dealer had me try all the little tricks too, like the surround setting off - no deal to my ears. I fought and fought and fought with Toyota Corporate and they sent me $1500 back - you might want to give it a try. I also consulted stereo pro shop in my area and a previous post is right, the ENTIRE system has to be ripped out, including the wiring and redone because of the Toyota design engineer genius'. Again, boooo, hisss and negative sentiments, Toyota!

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
23,205

So, what was the $2,700 price for exactly? Good for you getting back $1,500, but, that still leaves you with a $1,200 upgrade for zilch? You could have purchased a very nice Alpine unit with separate components and an amplifier in the trunk for that!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
60

Just adding my thoughts on the 2015 "Premium" sound system. It is horrible! Was it made for the lover of muzak or for people who like to listen to music, and perhaps with the windows open? Not only is the sound system too quiet, but the EQ does almost nothing at all.Finally got around to taking the car in for the 10,000 mile service so they could fix the EQ too. I was told there's nothing wrong with it! Yes there is! I've never had an EQ that had such a subtle effect that, depending on what you are listening to, it can be impossible to detect a difference between the max and min with the bass and treble! Now, reading here, I can't even upgrade it? What the heck?!!??!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
60

Also, I meant to ask this: Are others finding the same issue with the EQ having almost no effect as I stated in the previous post? I want to know whether it is broken or indeed actually really sucks that bad.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
130

The system really sucks that bad. I gave up fighting with the dealership even though the salesman and technician agreed with me it SUCKED. I ended up going to a stereo shop and for 2k ,had the system replaced. The speakers they took out were the cheepest speakers I've ever seen. I had a new Dimond Amp and 4 Dimond speakers installed. They were able to integrate my new system with the factory system so I have total balance and fade adjustments from my head unit. The sound is a thousand times better now. A word to the wise, DO NOT PAY FOR THE SO CALLED PREMIUM JBL UPGRADE. TOYOTA SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED TO EVEN OFFER THAT SYSTEM IN ANY VEHICLE.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
130

The system really sucks that bad. I gave up fighting with the dealership even though the salesman and technician agreed with me it SUCKED. I ended up going to a stereo shop and for 2k ,had the system replaced. The speakers they took out were the cheepest speakers I've ever seen. I had a new Dimond Amp and 4 Dimond speakers with a 10 inch subwoofer installed in the trunk. They were able to integrate my new system with the factory system so I have total balance and fade adjustments from my head unit. The sound is a thousand times better now. A word to the wise, DO NOT PAY FOR THE SO CALLED PREMIUM JBL UPGRADE. TOYOTA SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED TO EVEN OFFER THAT SYSTEM IN ANY VEHICLE.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
23,205

All I can say is that the JBL sound system in our 2009 Prius came with navigation, six speakers, Bluetooth audio integration, and some other things. OK, does it sound as good as my home theater system, NO, but, it's not terrible either. Get your expectations in order or go to an independent audio shop and purchase an after market system like Alpine or Eclipse, they're top brands. Talk with stereo shop professionals and realize that not all cars are going to have the same accoustics.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
130

Sorry Mark. You missed the point. It's the new JBL systems that are a waste of money. For some reason after 2012-13 the quality when down the toilet. One would think for the extra money one would get a Premium Sound. However this is not the case, and toyota can care less. The JBL system gives good sound from the front speakers so much that it hits you right in the face and drounds out any sound from the rear speakers because in reality the rear deck speakers are only two, 2 inch tweeters with a 6X9 subwoofer. It is impossible to expect that small of a speaker to over power the 6x9 dash speakers and the 6x9 front door speakers. At least that was the case I had with my 2015 Camry XLE. I just expected a better sound system out of a $37k vehicle.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
30

I agree with everyone that the system sucks. I previously owned a 2002 Lexus with a premium sound system which was fantastic. What a disappointment. My nephew owns a Ford 150 and his standard sound system sounds awesome. I am considering putting a new system in the trunk. Peter A

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
23,205

Yes, it's always better to have a separate amplifier in my back of a car with a head unit in the dash. Alpine Electronics have been a leader in the industry for a long time, and have a well deserved reputation.

10

I wonder what happened because the JBL Camry systems from 2002 - 2011 were quite good. On my moms 2012 Camry though, it does seem a bit quieter. Don't know what Toyota did to degrade the sound quality.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
23,205

Trimming costs increases profits, the simplest answer is usually the most correct, don't you agree?

10

Yeah, one can say that. Toyota overall reliability though is still there. My 03 Camry which has a fantastic and vibrant sound system has 148,000 miles on it. My younger brother's 2008 Corolla has about 155,000 miles on it. Both cars have had very few problems. My dad's fully loaded 2013 Avalon hybrid though has a wonderful JBL sound system.

10

I'm wondering if one changes out the headunit for something different (although on the 2012+ models the headunit looks pretty much integrated and mandatory for your Tire Pressure Monitoring System Gauges, Entune Apps, etc. etc.) if the sound system will sound better. An example is on my 03, the only change I made was change out the factory "premium" headunit which comprised of both a CD player and cassette deck and exchanged it for an excellent Nav, Bluetooth (with Audio Streaming), CD (though I don't use it because I use Bluetooth audio streaming), etc. Prior to exchanging out the headunit, the system produced what I thought was very heavy muddy bass (though it still sounded good for a factory sound system) and kind of low treble. When I changed out the headunit, the system really came to life and the speakers still had a great amount of bass, but the clarity of highs, mids and lows was so much better. People often asked me if my car has a 10" sub and I tell them know, it's just the door 6x9s, rear 6x9s and the two window dash factory tweeters. (It's supposed to be an 8 speaker system, but I only count 6 speaker locations).

10

I bought with JbL premium, literally its worse sound I have ever heard. if anyone is satisfied with this sound system,then I am sure he didn't hear good sound system. I mean for $800. same harmon Kardon is making sound system for subaru legacy. it is unbelievable. day and night difference in subaru and toyota premium system, both are made by harmon Kardon. Toyota are saying they give JBL by Harmon kardon. and subaru are saying we give you Harmon Kardon. I learned you can upgrade jbl system without bypassing oem factory amplifier by adding line output convertor... my friend has camry without premium sound system that has more clear sound than premium. only basic HU w/o amp has low bass at vol:40. other wise great and clear not muddy like in premium.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I worked in mobile electronics and installation for years. These are the things I learned. If you even have a thought you might want to alter the stereo system in any way, always get the basic system. "Premium" systems are typically quite inferior to anything you could get aftermarket. You are paying for a Name, and little more. Also, the way they are configured, the output either an extremely low current signal, or have an odd ohm load not typical of any other speakers or amps. This makes it virtually impossible to change out any pieces of a system. I have been out of that line for some time, but often the only option was a full rewire, bypassing all original speaker wiring, and all new hardware. It was often more than anyone wanted to pay, and the would leave with there "had to have it" Bose or infinity joke of a system. It is why I will never pay for a premium system. I hope this has answered someone's questions, or helped in some way.

i have a 2012 camry se with no nav, apps or jbl system. it sounds good but i wanted to upgrade the system so i have nav, apps for the most part, jbl system would be a bonus, but i bet if i go to a dealership, they will charge me out the ass if they can do it

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