The owner of this Ford Ranger Wildtrak popped by our shop and requested for some advise on improving his in-car audio experience. His needs was pretty simple. He wanted his audio to be better than stock. More clarity, more bass and overall a better listening experience.

Since he was happy with the head unit in his car, we opted to add on a DSP Amplifier. Our choice of DSP Amp is the Blaupunkt GTD 1407 A 4/7 channel DSP. Since we were not planning on active crossovers nor needed more power from the amplifier, this DSP Amplifier was sufficient for the goals we had in mind. We wanted enough power for the speakers, low level outputs for the subwoofer and also the ability to time align, EQ and set individual channel gains. All of this achievable with the GTD 1407 A DSP amp nicely.

Next up was the speakers, The goal here was speakers that didn't need much power yet is able to deliver excellent sound, especially in clarity and mid bass feel. The Kenwood KFC-XS1704 Hi-Res Component was a no brainer. Not only does these speakers have an amazing frequency response (34Hz - 56kHz) but the fact that it is rated at 45W RMS means it would fit perfectly with our setup. Having experience with this speakers, we were pretty confident the listening pleasure would increase significantly when compared to stock. The power output of the DSP Amplifier was not an issue at all.

The next piece of the puzzle is a subwoofer to take care of the low end bass.  Since we didn't have much space in this car and wanted to keep the install simple, we opted for an under-seat compact active subwoofer. Kenwood has always been wonderful when it comes to subwoofers. The KSC-PSW7EQ definitely did the job. In fact, we had to turn it way down and it was overwhelming the cabin at the default settings. Thanks to the DSP, we were able to fine tune the system and get the low end bass blend in to the overall sound. 

Finally, as a last finishing touch to improve the overall system, we did a 2-layer soundproofing treatment. Firstly a dampening layer on the outer most panel. This is a must for any car as the first step as it will help lessen the vibrations travelling through the large metal panels. This is very noticeable especially with aftermarket speakers plating at louder than usual volumes. We also treated some areas on the inner part to further reduce the possibility of vibrations ruining the listening experience. Next we did a second layer of sound absorption material to absorb any bounces of waveforms travelling through the door. Overall cabin noise is also reduced slightly from this treatment.

For those looking to do the same in your Ford Ranger, please do take note you may need to disable the factory ANC when installing a subwoofer. Also, we had a real tough time getting the Ford DSP Harness and had to make our own in the end. If you can get a harness ready it would speed up process.