2023 OBW stock audio is the worst

OBW’s goal is not a quality sound system. It’s going out in the boonies with a few dogs and a load of gear for a few days at a time, getting dirty, catching fish, rock climbing, and trail-breaking. All with a little ground noise coming from the radio. Want to spend more time in the car than out, you bought the wrong trim package. Nowhere is it written that the OBW was supposed to have the best sound system Subaru has to offer simply because it is loaded in other areas. Which is not.
It’s nice that there are custom audio places around to correct what we’re not happy with.

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While we sit just below 3.3 million acres of public land and take full advantage of all it has to offer (with a few dogs), there are still 38-mile round trips to and from the city, occasional trips to refuel in Tucson, and getaways. We’re not huge audiophiles, but we know a really crappy stereo system when we hear one. As another contributor put it in one of the many discussions about aftermarket stereo upgrades, why did Subaru bother installing six 79 cent speakers?

We are lucky to have the resources for it slowly improvement. It started with the speakers. I waited, then the amp was updated. Next week, the final act, an 8″ powered subwoofer under the seat. The installer at the shop two hours away was knowledgeable and thorough. Keep going back because I believe the car’s systems won’t feel any work during the process. I have a feeling there may be some not-so-good audio places around! In the end, we’ll have invested more in aftermarket sound tweaks than the cost of upgrading the Harman-Kardon system. Not all Outback owners are into forum It just seems that enough Base, Onyx, Premium and Wilderness model owners on the forum that having upgraded sound systems is important enough that Subaru could be kicking itself in the foot by not offering the HK upgrade option. ;)

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