Toyota Nation Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, this is my first write-up for the forum, so bear with me. Being into custom car audio since 1990, I had my share of different car audio systems. I was disappointed with the JBL audio system of my 2008 Highlander Limited. I found the dash speakers weak and lacked high-mids and high end presence. I wanted to replace the OEM dash speakers with more powerful 3.5” coaxial speakers, but found most wouldn’t fit and/or I would have to modify the mounting surface in the speaker location. I wasn’t ready to go that route yet, so I searched for a smaller speaker. I’ve found the Powerbass S-275CF to be the closest replacement I could find in comparison to the JBL OEM speaker, in size. They're 4-ohms, handle 30w RMS each and I had an Amazon gift card for my birthday so I decided to give them a shot.

Here’s the link of the speaker via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Powerbass-S-...=1484077905&sr=8-1&keywords=Powerbass+S-275CF

For more details of the speaker, here is the link to product page via Powerbass: http://www.powerbassusa.com/us/en/products/mobile-audio/s-275cf-chrysler-ford-oem/





Looks almost like the JBL OEM dash speaker.




Side by side comparison (sorry for the pic quality, this was quick n dirty!). Powerbass on the left, JBL OEM on the right. The Powerbass is a much better build, with a nice gauge size speaker lead. Look at that magnet.


Now for the removal of the dash JBL OEM speakers. Use a plastic panel tool to pop off the speaker covers.


Use a 10mm socket or wrench to remove the bolts holding in the OEM speaker.


Pull out the speaker and disconnect the wire harness to free the speaker.


You can use a small flathead screwdriver to pull off the wire harness from the metal tab and snip off or de-solder the leads from the OEM speaker to connect to the replacement speaker using crimp connectors or soldering and heat shrink tubing to insulate the joint (I just snipped off the leads and soldered and heat shrinked mine). Or, you can order the wire harnesses from Crutchfield: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_12071045/Speaker-Wiring-Harnesses.html?tp=3097


Connect the wire harnesses and drop in your replacement speakers. Using metal speed nuts, I was able use small screws and washers to hold the speaker in. For the screws away from the left and right A-pillars, I was able to use a small angled screwdriver to screw in and use one of the OEM holes. For the screws closest to the A-pillars, you’re going to need to screw into the plastic. It’s impossible to use a screwdriver, so I used a 1” square drive drywall screw and square drive bit. I used a corkboard thumbtack to start the hole. Because the screw is so sharp, I was able to use the square drive bit and apply downward pressure in a clockwise motion to cut and thread a hole through the plastic and engage the speed nut. I did this with using just my fingers.

Right side (I left the square screw partially screwed in for context purposes):



Left side (screwed down):


Replace the speaker covers. Boom! You’re done. In my opinion, these Powerbass speakers sound so much better than the JBL OEM speakers (they suck!!!). I may go back and use sound deadening materials to fill in the gaps, which I’m sure will help bring out the sound even more. Also, I plan on adding tweeters to the A-pillars to compliment these speakers. I also replaced all the OEM door speakers, which made them sound even better, but that is another possible post.
 

Attachments

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Help - Cannot add images to thread

I just completed my first write-up, but the images aren't displaying, they're showing as a generic image icon. I'm using "Insert Image" and pasting a link from Google Photos. Are you not allowed to use https links? Perhaps the .jpg image size 800x600 72 dpi?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Did this really help a lot with the muddiness of the jbl system? I also have an 08 limited and recently added a sub but I hate the fact that it just sounds like the highs cant get to where they need to be. For $30 bucks these are worth a shot if a true difference is made. Thanks.
 

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
SweeneyP, you're right, the Google Photos hosting is very iffy. It looked like the pic issue was resolved, as I was able to view the photos. Then they died after a while, during the editing. When I reinserted the image, it was cool, then they reverted back. I don't think I want to pay for Photobucket. Are there any free pic hosting services you can recommend? I going create a PDF of this write-up and try uploading it.
 

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GritsNGravy: In my opinion, the Powerbass have a fuller, more natural sound, more mids. These are temporary until I find something better. I replaced the weak 6x9 JBL front door speakers as well, which improved the overall soundstage up front. I used some old Blaupunkt 6x9's I had in storage, but still sounds a LOT better (about 80w RMS each).

You may want to view this video in which a guy dropped in some JBL Club 3020 3.5" in his dash speakers, but it was for 3rd gen Highlander (the OEM JBL speakers look the same for 2nd and 3rd gen):

The only thing I didn't like about this guy's install is that he snipped wire harnesses at the line level instead of the OEM speakers and used electrical tape instead of heat shrink tubing, but hey, that's me.

If these JBL Club 3020 3.5" fit in 2nd gen, I might upgrade to these later or Infinity REF-3022cfx.
 

·
Resident Nutcase
Joined
·
12,236 Posts
SweeneyP, you're right, the Google Photos hosting is very iffy. It looked like the pic issue was resolved, as I was able to view the photos. Then they died after a while, during the editing. When I reinserted the image, it was cool, then they reverted back. I don't think I want to pay for Photobucket. Are there any free pic hosting services you can recommend? I going create a PDF of this write-up and try uploading it.
photobucket is free.

There are paid accounts (I have one, its like $2 a month), but you only need them if your images have a super high volume of traffic. Mine have a ton so I had to upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I thought that I had read somewhere that the original JBL speakers are only 2 ohm? Did you notice any side effects switching the speakers out to a 4 ohm speaker in the dash like lower volume, etc.? I recently purchased a 2009 Highlander with the JBL Nav. system and one of the front door speakers was busted. Replaced it with Infinity Kappa 693.11I 220W 6 x 9 which is a waste in the end because of course the front door does not receive full range...it did fix the busted speaker though. I also bought Infinity Kappa 62.11I 150W 6.5-Inch 2-Ways for the back doors, which do receive a full range signal, though I don't know if I will go through with installing them (not sure they will make that much difference for me in the front seat). I suspect the biggest improvement I will see with the factory system is just using the equalizer app on my Android to improve the mids and highs and reduce the ridiculous, un-natural bass (which is not balanced very well imo).
 

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks SweeneyP for clearing that up about PhotoBucket, I saw something that I had to pay. I'll check it out and likely sign up and clean up this pic issue. Well, at least there's a PDF available until it's resolved.
 

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
gibran: Yes, the OEM JBL speakers in the dash and the front door are both 2-ohms. I replaced both speakers with both 4-ohm speakers, however, I did notice a very slight decrease in power, but I also noticed the sound quality was improved and less distorted. I replaced the front door 6x9 weak ass OEM JBL speakers with some 4-ohm Blaupunkt 6x9 3-way speakers (80w RMS), knowing I wasn't going to get the full range of the speaker. However, the sound was so much better, the bass response was increased. I had to create a custom speaker brackets, but that's another post. This is temporary until I install an aftermarket head unit and amps.
 

·
World Renowned DJ
2008 Highlander LE
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
gibran: Yes, the OEM JBL speakers in the dash and the front door are both 2-ohms. I replaced both speakers with both 4-ohm speakers, however, I did notice a very slight decrease in power, but I also noticed the sound quality was improved and less distorted. I replaced the front door 6x9 weak ass OEM JBL speakers with some 4-ohm Blaupunkt 6x9 3-way speakers (80w RMS), already knowing I wasn't going to get the full range of the speaker. However, the sound was so much better, the bass response was increased. I had to create a custom speaker brackets, but that's another post. This is only temporary until I install an aftermarket head unit and amps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
gibran: Yes, the OEM JBL speakers in the dash and the front door are both 2-ohms. I replaced both speakers with both 4-ohm speakers, however, I did notice a very slight decrease in power, but I also noticed the sound quality was improved and less distorted. I replaced the front door 6x9 weak ass OEM JBL speakers with some 4-ohm Blaupunkt 6x9 3-way speakers (80w RMS), already knowing I wasn't going to get the full range of the speaker. However, the sound was so much better, the bass response was increased. I had to create a custom speaker brackets, but that's another post. This is only temporary until I install an aftermarket head unit and amps.
Thanks. Good to know that the 4ohm speaker you used works fine overall, something I may consider doing at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Thanks. I added the Powerbass speakers and I can easily tell the difference. Yes you may lose a little top end volume but I find the muddiness of the sound is gone. I may look at replacing the 6x9's at some point. I really wish I could get those to play in full range. Thanks for the write up. I replaced them in under an hour with a cold beer in the cupholder watching football. So the install is pretty simple. I did tap into the speaker line so I could keep the original connector in case I needed to go back.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top