Audio Upgrade Help

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LDO1

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Hello everyone.

I have a 2012 Ram single cab. Great truck and I have decided it is time to upgrade the audio, in particular the radio. It has the base model radio in it with an aux jack and single cd player (RES).

My main focus is bluetooth capability so I can play music off my iphone. Am I better off getting an advanced model of the dodge radio or aftermarket?

I want whatever I put in there to fit well so if you can post up your pictures of what you guys have done, that would be great!
 

crash68

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You're probably better off with an aftermarket radio that supports wireless AndroidAuto/CarPlay. Check out Crutchfield.com as they can help you select what will work with you vehicle and offer wiring harnesses that make the radio virtually Plug-n-Play.
 

Tom Davis

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My radio went bad in my 2012, the internal amp in the unit itself died. Best Buy was running a deal with free install if you pair over $100, so had them install a Sony, and an aftermarket backup cam. Had the same unit you described to start with, now I have blue tooth, Apple Car Play, back up cam, hand free, etc. The backup cam is not as accurate as the OEM, but it will not let you hit anything, the biggest reason I wanted it was Grand Kids playing outside as I went to leave, it allows me to see what is directly behind me. Have had it over a year now with no issues at all.

You can get an addon for satellite radio as well, I chose to skip that as I prefer local stations for news and traffic alerts.
 

Black-Wolf

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Your best bet is an aftermarket head unit, that is capable of BT and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Unless you want to do an Amplifier install, you'll need one that provides speaker level outputs. If you're planning on doing a subwoofer, you'll need an Amplifier for sure.

Additionally, as old as your truck is, I'll bet your speakers are in need of replacement as well. Crutchfield can help with all that, but don't get hung up on everything they tell you - they want to upsell of course. Unless you want navigation and all the gee-whiz bells, you shouldn't need something with a full touchscreen either.
 

kurek

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If you're replacing speakers in the single cab here's some useful stuff to know:

* The six speaker system you have isn't really ideal to directly run from an aftermarket radio, lowest hanging fruit here is to buy a set of 6x9 components (that is speakers which come with two big oval speakers for low frequencies, two separate small speakers for high frequencies and usually two boxes called crossovers that tell the high and low frequencies which way to go) . Your aftermarket radio will be happy feeding those and they'll sound infinitely better than using an aftermarket radio to push mismatched door and dash speakers in addition to the rear speakers. Mount the crossovers in the dash by the radio and mount the small speakers (tweeters) in the upper dash location in place of the factory 3.5" speakers. You can even gut the factory speakers and use their basket as a mount for the tweeters.

* The doors don't accept huge magnets on the 6x9 speakers so keep that in mind when shopping. In ancient history there was a correlation between bigger magnets and moar powar but that's pretty deeply obsolete and irrelevant on head unit power. Speakers with particularly large magnets physically interfere with the plastic carrier in the door and it's better if you don't have to trim that to install.

* While you're installing door speakers it's a real good time to install some sound deadener on the interior side of the outer door panel (the metal you can see when you look in through the speaker hole) . You don't need a ton of it, the first 20% does 80% of the work. I never install a speaker in a car without also putting at least a square foot of deadener behind it just through the hole. That reduces some of the rumble from wind and tires, and makes your bass tighter and deeper. It's subtle but it's the kind of thing you'd notice right away if you got in an otherwise identical truck.

* Removing the interior panels to replace the rear speakers in a single cab sucks. Either don't replace those, or be prepared to do a real careful job. I'm not sure I'd want some random kid at best buy doing that work for 12 bucks an hour maybe he's the kind who takes a lot of pride in his work and maybe he's not..
 

CanuckRam1313

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Aftermarket head uint
6 x new speakers
Sound deadner in all four doors
Enjoy the sound of music ;)
 

Atcer2018

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* While you're installing door speakers it's a real good time to install some sound deadener on the interior side of the outer door panel (the metal you can see when you look in through the speaker hole) .
+1, this is excellent advice. When I did my speaker upgrade I used the cheap dynamat knockoff from Amazon. It makes a noticeable difference as Kurek points out.
 
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LDO1

LDO1

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Your best bet is an aftermarket head unit, that is capable of BT and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Unless you want to do an Amplifier install, you'll need one that provides speaker level outputs. If you're planning on doing a subwoofer, you'll need an Amplifier for sure.

Additionally, as old as your truck is, I'll bet your speakers are in need of replacement as well. Crutchfield can help with all that, but don't get hung up on everything they tell you - they want to upsell of course. Unless you want navigation and all the gee-whiz bells, you shouldn't need something with a full touchscreen either.
Yes, I've already upgraded my dash speakers and new door and rear panel speakers are on the way. One more question I had was regarding radio controls on the steering wheel. I wonder if that option is possible with an aftermarket radio if I buy all the parts needed?
 
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LDO1

LDO1

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If you're replacing speakers in the single cab here's some useful stuff to know:

* The six speaker system you have isn't really ideal to directly run from an aftermarket radio, lowest hanging fruit here is to buy a set of 6x9 components (that is speakers which come with two big oval speakers for low frequencies, two separate small speakers for high frequencies and usually two boxes called crossovers that tell the high and low frequencies which way to go) . Your aftermarket radio will be happy feeding those and they'll sound infinitely better than using an aftermarket radio to push mismatched door and dash speakers in addition to the rear speakers. Mount the crossovers in the dash by the radio and mount the small speakers (tweeters) in the upper dash location in place of the factory 3.5" speakers. You can even gut the factory speakers and use their basket as a mount for the tweeters.

* The doors don't accept huge magnets on the 6x9 speakers so keep that in mind when shopping. In ancient history there was a correlation between bigger magnets and moar powar but that's pretty deeply obsolete and irrelevant on head unit power. Speakers with particularly large magnets physically interfere with the plastic carrier in the door and it's better if you don't have to trim that to install.

* While you're installing door speakers it's a real good time to install some sound deadener on the interior side of the outer door panel (the metal you can see when you look in through the speaker hole) . You don't need a ton of it, the first 20% does 80% of the work. I never install a speaker in a car without also putting at least a square foot of deadener behind it just through the hole. That reduces some of the rumble from wind and tires, and makes your bass tighter and deeper. It's subtle but it's the kind of thing you'd notice right away if you got in an otherwise identical truck.

* Removing the interior panels to replace the rear speakers in a single cab sucks. Either don't replace those, or be prepared to do a real careful job. I'm not sure I'd want some random kid at best buy doing that work for 12 bucks an hour maybe he's the kind who takes a lot of pride in his work and maybe he's not..
Thank you for the advice. I'm familiar with those rear panels and plan to replace those 6x9s and take my time with it. I also plan to use sound deadening material (I have had good results with hush mat) in the doors.
 

Atcer2018

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Yes, I've already upgraded my dash speakers and new door and rear panel speakers are on the way. One more question I had was regarding radio controls on the steering wheel. I wonder if that option is possible with an aftermarket radio if I buy all the parts needed?
PAC Audio makes several steering wheel control units. I’ve used them several times successfully. Not too expensive either.
 
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