Upgrading the Prius, Prius v, and Prius Prime Head Units with a Kenwood DMX7706S

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by xcel, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I am considering purchasing my parents lightly used 2012 Prius v despite the poor driver ergonomics and terrible infotainment.

    On the infotainment front, I think the following solves most of the infotainment problem. I hope? It is missing HD radio but the next head unit up to include that feature costs well over $300 more. HD Radio is not worth that by any stretch.

    Kenwood DMX7706S

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    The screen is larger with higher resolution, it includes the "must have" Android Auto w/ Google Maps Navigation and Apple CarPlay for the wife - and hopefully a much better audio and infotainment experience. I have spec'ed out some relatively inexpensive Kenwood speakers to replace the trash OEM paper coned 6x9s up front and 6.5s in the rear doors as well.

    None of the following is expensive on a per piece but the whole package is not inexpensive by any means.

    Head Unit

    $281 - Kenwood DMX7706S

    Necessary Installation Hardware

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    Speakers
    The Hardware comes to $620 so maybe $650 to $675 once actually purchased? The installation details using some outdated Steering Wheel Control HW can be found in this YouTube where the team put in a modern high-end Android Auto/Apple Car Play head unit in a std. Gen 3 Prius.


    Yesterday afternoon I spoke with two Google rated 4.6 and 4.7 out of 5-star installers near my parents’ home in IL and they are indicating it would cost between $250 and $500 to install all the HW at their respective shops. All in, probably $900 to $1,150 as a turn key. That is a lot of extra $$$. Especially considering that both Hyundai and Kia include a much higher resolution display, much higher audio quality, std. HD Radio - a < $25 chip, and std. dynamic reverse camera guidelines on all their vehicles down to the basic Rio and Accent. You have to practically purchase a Lexus to receive dynamic reverse camera guidelines on any Toyota product and Android Auto only on the upcoming and not yet available 2020 Highlander and Lexus RX. I digress. It just ticks me off that Toyota has such an inadequate infotainment solution with Entune 1, 2, and 3 over the past decade making this kind of upgrade an expensive and necessary evil. :(

    Wayne
     
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  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I may as well do a little more research. Unfortunately my parents 12 Prius v is in Illinois and it is getting cold. Not a good time to be doing Audio installations.

    Regardless, there are sound deadening material mats that help reduce NVH. And you do not need to cover the entire panel or area. Only about 25 percent dampens the vibration of an interior door skin, floor, or trunk which in turn reduces audible noise. Especially higher frequencies which provides a noticeable increase in Stereo quality without changing the hardware or good hardware sound even better.

    NOICO Automotive Sound Deadening Material

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    There are a number of name brands with very similar if not identical construction. Namely a thin aluminum foil sheet backed by a butyl rubber with a sticky back side. And why I am considering the NOICO? Price of course as NOICO is $2/sq. ft. or less vs. something like Dynamat for $5/sq. ft. A door with the trim removed and access to the interior metal skin can be completed with about 1 to 1.25 sq. ft. of material. In total, you should not need more than 5 sq. ft. to do all 4-doors of a Toyota Prius v. I plan to add a few square feet to the rear hatch and hopefully quiet the v down even further.

    $20.00 - 10 sq. ft. of Noico sound deadening sheets

    Wait until I get into the and speaker foam rings and backs... I am still doing research on those as one name brand that pops up is uber expensive for all their products.

    Wayne
     
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And the next item on the Toyota Prius v wish list to move it not only up to but ahead of the std. crowd of decent Audio installs. Word on the street is the Open Cell foam used by Stinger is useless for attenuating any wave coming off the back of the speaker, reflecting off the inner door skin and back towards the speaker. Some manufacturers were going to produce a closed cell foam but ran into Stinger Patents which prohibited their sale.

    In any case, some of the installers swear by these.

    My favorite YouTube Audio system installers using the Fast Rings during one of their basic installs.


    $13.99 - Road Kill RKFR6 3 Piece Foam Speaker System Kit for 6" & 6.5" Drivers

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    $22.99 - Road Kill RKFR69 3 Piece Foam Speaker System Kit for 6" x 9" Drivers

    Wayne
     
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  4. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Buy the V if you need that cargo space? If if seen people gut these and turn them into MPG monster cargo vans. You can also do a ECO Hitch brand and tow more cargo! I also want to change my display unit but on the C, it was part of the cabin style the way it is interrogated. Maybe someone makes one that will look right?
     
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  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi George:

    I would not normally consider a v today given the poor infotainment - I am brainstorming a way to cure that problem, and the poor driving ergonomics for taller drivers. My parents own one with very low miles and want to get rid of it making it a possible decent addition to my own fleet.

    I am seeing low to medium (30k to 75k) mileage 2016 and 2017 Prius Two Eco's in $15k to $17k range. That is almost what I paid for my parents 2017 Prius Prime brand new!

    2012 Toyota Prius v - KBB TIV

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    Wayne
     
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  6. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I have a pioneer AVH-4201NEX (discontinued) unit in my pickup . It's a few years old now, .. but I still think it's better than what I see coming from any of the OEMs. -- probably the best upgrade you can do to make an older car seem modern/new. Well, maybe right after new tires and struts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    Great choice! I have seen quite a few AVH-4200NEX upgrades in third gen Prius' while doing the background work on this topic. Having HD radio in the Pioneer is killer and I am still considering moving back to one with it. All I am really hoping to do is bring the Prius v's infotainment back into the 21st century. The three's NAVI/BT/XM OEM head unit and even the JBL upgrade are both really awful.

    Pioneer AVH-4200NEX/4201NEX Review


    The only thing really new is some receivers are offering WI-Fi Android Auto, sometimes a higher res display, some gauges via OBD-II, higher current USB port(s), and a video output jack for a rear screen if you have one one.

    Wayne
     
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  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I also upgraded the door speakers to Infinity REF-5022cfx (now 5032cfx(?)).

    Very decent sound for the price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    I bet it sounds fantastic and way better than the stock system!

    Wayne
     
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  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I guess the table top exercise was for naught. Before speaking with my parents earlier today, I checked the TIV price for their 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus. With just 5k miles of it - half were mine driving it back from the RI dealership to IL, it appears it is worth about $19,200. It was purchased for just 2017 Toyota Prius Prime purchase for $19,094 + TTL ($2,025) = $21,119.

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    A $2k hit after almost 2 years of ownership is just like the Prius Gen 3 for the Prius v deal I setup which lost just $900 after two years.

    In any case, my parents are currently considering trading both the Prius Prime and Prius v in if they can get the $28k TIV ($19,200 Prius Prime + $8,800 Prius v) for a 2020 RAV4 Hybrid XLE (MSRP $29,395) with the XLE Convenience and Cold Weather pkg. ($2,190), carpet floor and cargo mats ($269), and the $1,190 D&H charge for a grand total of $32,974 - $28,000 = $4,974) + TTL. While there are few discounts on the RAV4 Hybrid anywhere in the country, I am not paying retail, as in ever, PERIOD! ;)

    Oh well, it was fun to work out a table top upgrade exercise and think of how I was going to remove the doors and rear hatch trim, apply a full sound deadening treatment, install rivnuts in place of the front and rear door speaker rivets, add new speakers front and rear incl. the dash tweets plus a new Kenwood head unit with almost all of the fixings...

    Wayne
     
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  11. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Tell mom and dad to wait for the plugin Rav4?
     
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  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi George:

    I have. My mom is 76 so it will not be long and her driving days will be over.

    Wayne
     
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