Unimpressed with my Safari's audio system: Options for upgrade?

I think the speakers are pretty decent but the 8-inch subwoofer is very inadequate.

BHPian parik_ind recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I took delivery of my Tata Safari XZA+ Dark Edition in August of 2022. It is mostly used in the city but that being said highway trips happen monthly. Both my wife and I are big music aficionados and our eight-year-old seems to be following in our footsteps. For this reason alone, we prefer to have the best ICE system that we can afford. While we are not bass heads, we do prefer a set-up that can handle a fair amount of base because our music preferences are very varied - everything from Metal to Rock, Mollywood, Bollywood, Kollywood, HipHop, Carnatic and the occasional EDM track.

Right from the get-go I have been unimpressed with the ICE system in my Safari. I find the low end to be very weak and the mids to be very pronounced. I think the speakers are pretty decent but the 8-inch subwoofer (which is what I think it has) is very inadequate. At volume levels of over 30%, I hear a lot of vibration and that kills the entire listening experience. I am not sure if it is a subwoofer issue or if the JBL amplifier that comes as stock is not capable enough. The audio settings on the head unit are a joke. There is a three-band equaliser, a few presets and a fader. Nothing else!

I have spent many months tweaking the very limited settings on the head unit, messing around with my phone's equaliser, changing streaming services and even using a DAC/AMP dongle along with the AUX functionality. Nothing is making a big difference. While I did enjoy using the AUX functionality, I needed to use two phones because I unable to use Android Auto while using AUX.

What I want to know is if changing the hardware will help. I will leave the head unit as is but was wondering if the:

  • The subwoofer can be replaced with an aftermarket unit if that will help. Assuming that the connections are already present, it may not be too difficult. Also, what is the part number of the stock subwoofer?
  • Should I replace the amplifier? What are the specs of the stock amplifier and which models can we easily swap?
  • Lastly, should I consider changing all the speakers, the subwoofer and the amp?

I have looked for answers to the above questions, and even asked Tata A.S.S., but have found nothing relevant.

Any help/ guidance here will be immensely appreciated.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Surprised to see this query as I quite liked Safari's audio system by OEM standards (although Hector's is the segment-best IMHO).

All I can suggest is, to tread carefully. These are not the most reliable of cars & any visible electrical modification will void your warranty.

  • Invest in proper damping.
  • Try playing with the settings & connection options. E.g. in many cars, I find Bluetooth audio to be superior to Android Auto. Using Rocket Player's equalizer, the SQ from my phone has significantly improved. If on YouTube Premium, choose the "high quality" audio option.
  • Go simple. Speakers, subwoofer, then amplifier. But get the installation done at a Tata dealer. Either sweet-talk your own dealership into it, or find another Tata dealer who will do it. Pay a premium price & stick to the dealer.

Here's what BHPian Safari_Beast had to say on the matter:

I also own Safari ZXA plus and I recently upgraded the audio in my safari. If you are upgrading the audio in safari then you have to invest in good DSP as well to achieve a sound stage. Also, there is no 8 or 10-inch subwoofer in safari, there is a 6x9 paper cone oval subwoofer.

Also, make sure to get it installed by a reputed installer and also go for a front active setup.

My advice would be to go for a high-end setup in safari rather than a basic one if you are fiddling with the safari OEM setup.

I have ordered a 6-inch JL sub along with a Pioneer mono amp which would be placed in the stock location.

My current setup:

  • Sound Magus MP6 Max ( DSP AMP built-in)[/COLOR]
  • Front - Blam Audio Relax 165RX components[/COLOR]
  • Rear - Infinity Kappa 60 CSX

Sound magus DSP-AMP has been placed under the passenger seat, all four doors have been damped with CTK damping and Autoshim Lace damping on door panels.

DSP has a BlueTooth module so I stream music directly via DSP instead of playing via Headunit. Sorry didn't click any pics during the installation.

Below is the link which shows the complete audio installation of Tata safari also you will get to know the stock subwoofer as well.

If you are based in Mumbai then you get audio upgraded from Sound Factor Pro as he is the best.

Note: Thats not my Safari.

Here's what BHPian wild child had to say on the matter:

Speedfreaks, Chennai is the best in the business. They sell an immersive audio experience without affecting the factory warranty.

There are S classes and GLCs, Bimmers and other luxury brands which are driven to Speedfreaks straight from the showroom for audio and aesthetic upgrades, which stands as testimonials for their expertise. From an Alto to an A class, they treat the car and the customer the same way.

Karthikk, the head of SF, is a Pro when it comes to audio installation, fabrication, tuning and calibration.

I've got my car ICE'd by him and I was completely blown away by the way he transformed my humble drive into a disco on wheels. No wires spliced whatsoever! It is totally worth every buck spent.

I would suggest you first give him a call and discuss your requirement.

Karthikk Speedfreaks, Chennai.

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