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Let's list all of the "systems" that the head-unit handles:

Backup Cam (easily integrated)
Bluetooth (easily integrated)
Steering Wheel Controls (easily integrated)
Amplifiers (in some cases) (easily integrated)
Starlink App (not easily integrated (Starlink actually in litigation right now / class-action))
My Subaru App (not easily integrated)
RAB Controls when trailering (not easily integrated) (Maestro maybe)

...please add to the list...
 

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There's the vehicle settings like headlight sensor sensitivity, dome light time out, door lock/unlock behavior, defogger, welcome lighting, one-touch lane changing, etc. I haven't played around in a while. Some of those feautres might be redundantly accessible in the other screens. Otherwise, Maestro will have to come through with an interface.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Some settings require "cooperation" of both the head unit settings and the multi-function display settings, to, um...set things...
 

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Let's list all of the "systems" that the head-unit handles:

Backup Cam (easily integrated)
Bluetooth (easily integrated)
Steering Wheel Controls (easily integrated)
Amplifiers (in some cases) (easily integrated)
Starlink App (not easily integrated (Starlink actually in litigation right now / class-action))
My Subaru App (not easily integrated)

...please add to the list...
RAB Controls when trailering
 

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There's the vehicle settings like headlight sensor sensitivity, dome light time out, door lock/unlock behavior, defogger, welcome lighting, one-touch lane changing, etc. I haven't played around in a while. Some of those feautres might be redundantly accessible in the other screens. Otherwise, Maestro will have to come through with an interface.
I thought all of those were on the Multi-Function screen/controls ABOVE the head-unit.
 

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I thought all of those were on the Multi-Function screen/controls ABOVE the head-unit.
Maybe? I'll double check that at some point. I mentioned that there might be redundant settings controls via one of the other screens. I just know the head unit is the easiest interface with if you wanted to change the settings I listed.
 

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@Robert.Mauro recently said that Subaru was aware of the problem. Perhaps there's some hope.
Regarding the 3 band eq... I said SoA could commission HK to address it, and that they're aware at least some of us would like that - because I've emailed them to such effect 😉.

But I strongly suggest everyone who wants to see a better eq email Subaru and suggest it. Perhaps it will be one of the new or updated features in the next upcoming release, but even if I did know about some of what's coming, I couldn't share that... not my place to ruin Subaru's surprises.

I will say that Subaru does take owner feedback seriously, so, with this and all things Subaru, it's always best to individually email them suggestions.
 

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We want the HK 7-band EQ back that they took away from us. It was awesome in my ‘14 Forester XT.
That’s it.
So do I, but don't tell me. I don't work for them... I just volunteer to be a brand Ambassador. 😉

Seriously though, they track owner email suggestions, but won't track me letting them know "BroDoze wants this". 😁

Anyways, pretty sure the previous units were Fujitsu Ten and Clarion units. I suspect HK wasn't concerned with what they did. 😣
 

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My ‘14 Forester XT Touring has the Harmon Kardon 400watt blah blah with Nav and 7-band EQ.
They definitely removed functionality from their previous HK units.
Post up the email to send requests to, please. :)
 

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My ‘14 Forester XT Touring has the Harmon Kardon 400watt blah blah with Nav and 7-band EQ.
They definitely removed functionality from their previous HK units.
Post up the email to send requests to, please. :)
The HK amp in the Ascent or Forester isn't the issue.

The software on the Forester's Clarion/Fujitsu Ten or Ascent's HK head unit is the solution or issue, respectively.
2342
 

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On a desktop computer you can email SoA from here...


On some phones, it crops the page in the wrong place.
 

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As a '20 Limited owner the HK system is indeed disappointing. First time I heard it I couldn't believe this was an upgrade to anything. I've gained some peace with the system after numerous adjustments particular getting more sound from the rear speakers and giving up time in my other cars so I wouldn't be reminded what a downgrade this was.
 

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Yep, my 7-year old Volvo and my wife's 6-year old Forester audio sound a LOT better than the one in the Ascent (Touring, HK version). Subaru went backwards on this one.
 

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So i've noticed that XM sounds considerable less worse than HD Radio...and even then, its very station (or even format) dependent. I've tried everything...it just doesn't sound good in any combination of adjustments. Interestingly enough, my 2015 Suburban that had a Bose stereo (it was actually VERY good) the HD Radio sounded way better than XM. Need to play music off of my phone next and see if using the internal EQ i can doctor the sound!
 

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  • Yes the HK is really the only disappointment for me. I opted to install this nifty subwoofer box by JL Audio. It fits perfectly in the tray and sounds great. No rattle. This one is a 10” self amplified model. Tons of output and heavy clean bass. Got it at Crutchfield for $500. Easy DIY project that can be easily removed anytime. Still not perfect, but tons better. I turn the midrange way down, but bring the highs up a little. JL audio makes great products. Make sure that you buy the volume control sold separately. A must have for full control. This is my hack for now and pretty happy, but there’s still moments where that midrange creeps back in. I’m tempted to swap out speakers now, but time and motivation are a factor. This is a good easy fix for most people. View attachment 2279
How did you tap into the OEM head unit for signal? Was there a need for any additional gear?
 
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