The Honda Civic Type R was a huge win for the tuner car scene in North America but unfortunately the sound system was a bit of a letdown for many owners. The factory system is 12 speaker system with supposedly a 542 Watt output but we found it to be very weak for such a high power claim. There's a small Pioneer amplifier in the passenger's side footwell from factory and it's possible that the output number is a peak output and not RMS. The factory subwoofer is an 8" unit in the right side of the trunk and seems to pump out negligible bass even when compared to the factory door speakers.
For this Type R, we installed:
- Alpine R-S65C.2 component door speakers
- Kicker KS 3.5" coaxial dash speaker
- Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 8" shallow subwoofer
- Vibe Powerbox Micro mono amplifier
- Dynamat Superlite Sound Deadening
Door and Dash Speakers
Slight modification is required to fit the Alpine tweeter in the factory hole but it's not too bad. Once in place, the tweeter looks like it belongs in the factory trim piece. The only difference is that it is mounted on a pivot so it can be aimed based on user preference.
We mounted the 6.5" Alpine woofer with some direct-fit brackets with no issues. This customer requested Dynamat Superlite as he wanted to minimize the weight penalty with the sound deadening. We typically use Buzzmat which is a heavier and thicker material with a more noticeable effect but would add about 6-8 pounds per door if we were to do the inner and outer skin.
The dash speaker is a 3.5" size and is virtually a drop in with many aftermarket 3.5" speakers. You can purchase a Metra 72-7800 speaker harness to avoid cutting any wires. The magnet on the Kickers are a lot beefier and there's a small in-line tweeter as well. Do note that there is only a single dash speaker and aftermarket speakers will typically come in pairs. This speaker is applicable to other Hondas as well though so it may be possible to find a friend who could use the upgrade.
Amplifier and Subwoofer
For an amplifier upgrade, we installed the Vibe Powerbox Micro which has an RMS output of 170W @ 4 Ohms. Additionally it has a remote bass knob but because the length of the wire is only about 5 feet long, we mounted the knob inside the glovebox. Thanks to the compact size, the amp doesn't interfere with any of the electronics under the seat or rear seat legroom. The footprint of the amp itself is only the size of a US dollar bill.
Subwoofer choices are limited as our customer wanted to reuse the factory enclosure and location. The stock enclosure is quite shallow so Alpine's S-series subwoofer would not fit. We ran the Pioneer IB Flat subwoofer which has a top mounting depth of just over 2". It is actually more shallow than the factory Honda subwoofer. As this enclosure is made of cheap plastic, we made sure to dampen the housing with plenty of Buzzmat.
We previously installed a Rockford Fosgate Punch 8" subwoofer in another customer's car and while there were no issues with mounting depth the subwoofer would hit the inside of the factory grille when the bass was kicking.
These modest upgrades go a long way in improving the fidelity and overall enjoyment of the vehicle. There's more that can be done such as the rear door speakers, rear doors and hatch sound deadening, 4CH amp upgrade for the door speakers and then some!
Also, check out the video below for a comparison between the front doors (with sound deadening) and rear doors (without sound deadening)
Contact us if you have any questions about upgrading the sound system in your Honda today!