Thank you for the detailed updates! I know this white/grey noise has been a notorious issue with these head units in the EX models and as far as I know no one else has been able to fix it.
Could you put together a guide to help others get around this as well? A comprehensive parts list & wiring diagram would be very much appreciated by the community. I have been wanting to put one of these in my own vehicle but have been hesitant as I am pretty particular about audio quality. I have seen several people saying that these Android units would be the perfect solution if we could just figure out how to eliminate the static.
I never imagined myself getting a request related to car audio stuff but I'm glad to hear that you find my posts helpful.
I'm usually the one asking questions to forums, etc. but clearly, I can see that I'm one of the few who shared about how to fix the static noise issues.
There are others who have fixed it but they used a youtube video instead of documenting them in writings like mine.
So I took references here and there and was able to solve the issue.
To answer your question, there are already many posts on how to DIY install an aftermarket HU.
I decided to bite the bullet and ordered this Android head unit from Aliexpress. I chose the CS1-4-64-WIFI-4G - an 8-core model with 4GB of RAM, 4G, upgraded display, and wireless CarPlay. It set me back $299.35 USD shipped to Canada. Mounting As I'd read others say about these, the mounts...
This post is made by RioRyan and he did a great job there. His head unit is exactly the same as mine and he fixed the no-sound issue there which I used as a reference.
I will just write how to remove the static noise issues which I already posted above but will put more details here. So this is the step after everything has been done properly such as installing the aftermarket head unit, fixing no sound issue, etc. There are many good posts on how to install an aftermarket amp and a subwoofer, so please refer to those.
And the reason the speakers make static/humming noise is due to the Android unit feeding hi level input power into the factory amps which do not accept hi level input but only low-level inputs.
This is where the LOC jumps in. So far after trying several different LOCs, I find that PAC SNI35s is the best as I could still hear a bit of humming noise with a 4-channel Scoche LOC (non RCA version). Sure, it's more expensive but it will give you peace of mind. Also, not just Android units but also regular brand head units such as Alpine, Nakamichi, etc. will cause static/humming noise issues due to the high-level input. This won't be a problem with a CRZ or any car without a factory amp. My Acura TL which comes with a factory amp by default had the same static noise issue as well as a good non-android head unit. That static noise issue was solved when I bypassed the factory amp and directly let the head unit feed power to the speakers. From my research, no CRZ with base audio (no premium audio) had any static noise issues in general.
Also if your aim is to have a good sound quality like competition level (music studio level), Android units may not satisfy your taste.
This is my personal experience, but the SQ of the Android unit is not a competition level, not anywhere close. I'm not an audiophile but I have seen some cars with extreme audio systems and heard them in person. Who would not appreciate good sound quality?
Sure, the Android has an amazing EQ app that allows you to change over 32 different frequency channels, unlike those simplified EQ apps in which you can only touch 3 or 4 (sub, low, mid, high).
I played with the EQ app for an hour or more to increase the SQ, but it was not anywhere close to my 2006 TL(sold)'s ELS system. You would find it hard to believe but Acura's ELS head units are competition-ready and this is confirmed by Acura and other car audio forums. As long as the ELS head unit gets the right power and speakers, it will shine and be ready for audio competitions.
I was originally planning to keep the CRZ's factory HU and change speakers only and add a subwoofer and I did that after reading some posts. The SQ improved significantly but not anywhere close to what I experienced with the TL's ELS system. This is where I started leaning toward changing the HU to an Android because I also wanted a dash camera and a backup camera with a monitor. After extensive research, I found out that the Android unit was the only HU that allows the recording of the Front Dash Cam. Regular aftermarket head units only supported backup cameras in general. I personally am a minimalist and love simple stuff (aka lazy), so instead of installing a stand-alone dash camera, a monitor, and a backup cam, which will make the interior look messy, I went with the Android route.
Android is going to satisfy most of the users, but not audio manias. I read some complaints about the SQ of Android units from audio and android forums. I understand their disappointment. Once you taste the SQ like the ELS system I experienced before, it's hard to compromise. But we have to remember that the Android units bring bang for the buck value. The price is good and it comes with all the accessories such as a dash kit and harnesses.
While writing this, I was thinking that maybe the Android unit's SQ can be improved if you try a different audio app. I'm just using the default audio player app. I tried installing other apps and noticed a bit of difference as every app has its own taste/colour. The default audio app is okay. I wish it had a "search" function for those who have many songs. I tried other music player apps as stated above but they are annoying due to ads (If your android is connected to internet, those apps will trigger pop up ads). So far "PowerAmp" app is the top app according to some forums which I will try soon.
However, if your #1 objective is to achieve good SQ, then it's best to avoid Android and go with Pioneer or something similar.
Accessories You will need to buy:
-2x of PAC SNI35s Line Out Converter (LOC). This is a 2 channel LOC, therefore you will need two of these for Front and Rear channels.
(Maybe you want to get 1 more LOC, total of 3 if you have an aftermarket amp with an aftermarket subwoofer and hear poof/boom noise everytime when you turn off the car. I am experiencing that issue right now and I saw some people claiming that LOC has removed that issue which I am going to try in the future but I'm not bothered by it by now)
-Crimping tools with terminals Something like this to connect harness and the LOC ends
Wire Terminals Crimper Kit, Knoweasy Wire Crimping Tool of AWG22-10 and Electrical Connectors Kit with 700PCS Wire Terminals Connectors : Amazon.ca: Tools & Home Improvement
-RCA to Wire (LOCs have RCA output)
JZK 10 Pcs RCA to Speaker Wire Adapter, Subwoofer Speaker Phono RCA Male to AV 2 Screw Terminal Female, Video Audio Spring Press Type Balun for CCTV : Amazon.ca: Electronics
Tiabiaya Speaker Cables to RCA Plugs Adapter, 2-Channel (1 Foot) : Amazon.ca: Electronics
-Harness for Honda Factory Amp
I searched through the entire Amazon, etc. and I found that Aliexpress was the only one who had the harness with full of pins.
The Metra's Honda harness is missing some pins such as for Steering Wheel Control 1 & 2. So SWC will not work. RioRyan's Post explains about it as well and he used a solder to melt the original harness to take out some pins to re-use those pins into the new harness to fill up the missing pins. I tried that but I failed miserably so I ended up buying a new one from that link above.
You will save at least a minimum of 30 mins, if not days and money, realizing that SWC pins are missing from all Amazon sellers' harness.
-Flat/Slotted Driver to adjust LOC level
Installation is easy. Again, this is written under the condition that you did everything right and are just dealing with the static noises. If you are having no sound issues, you have to read my entire post and you will figure out why. It's due to the goddamn harness that prepped and sent by the Aliexpress whatever Chinese sellers screwed up with the wrong pins/diagrams. You will have to cut the entire prepped harnesses, keep it simple, and re-do the wiring by looking at the wiring diagram.
Once again, I am writing the installation instruction under the assumption that you have everything right (sound is coming) except you lost SWC functions and are struggling from the static/humming noise issues.
To be able to use the factory SWC, you must use the #22 pin of the 24 pins harness . The diagram below says "detects SWC" for pin #22. For the negative of SWC, you must connect it to any negative wire. So I ended up cutting any negative wire, crimping it with a terminal that has a bit bigger hole so that it could accept two negative wires (One for SWC negative, one for original negative). You may notice that the some colors of the wires and the colors mentioned in the diagram don't match, but rest assured, the functionality matches, so don't worry about it.
So yeah, at this point, your SWC will work.
For LOC, well, it's straight forward, but if you still need an instruction, here we go.
You just need to connect those -/+ wires to the Android's -/+ wires appropriately, meaning, you match the L/R wires. Each LOC will be used for Front or Rear
And for that RCA output, you connect it with the RCA to speaker wire adapter. There are a few different versions for this, but I went with a simple route by choosing this one.
You connect these RCA adapters to the RCA outputs of the LOC, and connect -/+ wires of the Honda Factory Amp Harness appropriately.
In the end, you will need to adjust the input/gain level on the LOC. The level knob is on the opposite side of the RCA outputs.
You will need to use a thin flat/slotted screw driver to adjust the level.
To adjust, set the radio's volume to 2/3 full and adjust the SNI-35's pots clockwise to increase the volume level
Personally, my SNI-35 LOC is set about at 70%.
Since then, I never heard of any static/humming noise and have been enjoying the audio to the fullest.
So this sums up the whole Android thing.
In a few points
- Get the best Android for the best response
- Re-do all wiring again with crimping tools and terminals (not a fan of soldering but you can solder if you want)
- Get a proper harness full of pins from the Aliexpress link posted above
- Get RCA to wire adapters from Amazon or whatever
- Get 2 or 3 of 2 channel LOCs or 1 of 4 channel LOC from Scoche with RCA output and 1 2 channel LOC for the subwoofer poof issue (if you want to fix it)
- Adjust LOC volume to your taste
You may have noticed that my writing is not as smooth as a native English speaker due to English being my 2nd language. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that English has been one of my weakest things in my life despite of trying to learn it for more than 20 years living in Canada. I guess this is a fate for Far East Asians such as Koreans and Japanese like myself.
For fun, I'm going to copy and paste my English and let the AI re-write and post below.