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Many of today’s factory installed audio systems come integrated into the dash and include many desirable features straight from the manufacturer. Some automakers enlisted the help of boutique audio system manufacturers to design and deliver a premium, enhanced sound system. However, not all premium systems are perfect, and some customers cannot justify the significant price increase, electing to go with a standard audio package instead. Some of these standard systems were designed to be basic in order to save on production cost.

Take the Scion FR-S, for example: It comes standard with a Pioneer head unit driving an eight speaker sound system. Scion’s ‘no premium “trim” packages’ means there’s also an absence of a premium sound system upgrade. Thus, FR-S owners don’t have the option to upgrade their sound system at the dealership, save for the BeSpoke® Audio upgrade, which adds navigation and other satellite and Internet channels to the head unit. However, even this upgrade does not actually increase or improve the sound output of the factory system. Fortunately, OEM Audio Plus recognized this dilemma and has stepped up with a solution.

Bring Back the Boom

Sandy Lirag, a veteran of the automotive audio scene, founded OEM Audio Plus. While he is no stranger to building IASCA SPL competition audio systems, he also observed what today’s market needed on a consumer level. Relying on his past experiences while innovating new ideas of his own, he brought to market a solution that could satisfy the strictest of standards set forth by automakers. At the same time, his OEM Audio Plus upgrades offer improved sonic performance, a stock-appearing presentation and plug- and-play simplicity. Lirag describes his customer base as, “The consumer that is not interested in aftermarket audio but loves music.”

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Plug N’ Play Generation

We live in a time where simplicity is king. The plug-and-play era set a new precedent for just about any electronic component. Gone are the days of splicing, soldering, butt connectors and the like, unless you’re still building car audio systems for competitions or shows. A plug-and-play solution offers several benefits to these consumers. First, the guesswork and uncertainty of which wires to connect are no longer an issue, making the installation almost foolproof. Secondly, the installation (and uninstallation) is much faster, saving precious time. Lastly, it’s user friendly to anyone with the slightest mechanical inclination to complete the installation.

Living the Digital Age

All of OEM Audio Plus’ systems (except for the Lexus IS) include a 360-watt, eight-channel amplifier with a built-in Cirrus Logic 32-Bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP). Unlike the power amplifiers found on the amp racks of show cars and sound off vehicles, this compact and programmable amplifier converts analog signals into digital signals by way of four analog- to-digital (A/D) converters. It accepts speaker level signals, enhances them digitally and then amplifies sound as an analog signal to the speakers again. Lirag states that the D/A converters and DSP will maintain signal integrity and precision adjustment not possible with an analog signal. As with every platform that OEM Audio Plus designs a system for, Lirag employs a sophisticated array of microphones to represent an average of driver profiles. With this information, he tunes the DSP to optimize the signal being produced and amplified. Because of the programmable DSP, clean, clear and crisp sounds can be achieved without requiring a massive power amplifier.

One More Use for Carbon Fiber

Now that an enhanced signal is in place, the next limitation can be addressed, the speakers. Speaker cones have traditionally been manufactured from paper, which is still regarded as the best material for sound reproduction. However, paper has a shorter lifespan and is susceptible to moisture and UV damage. To develop a superior speaker, Lirag focused his efforts on designing a neutral sounding speaker, one that would perform well in a less than ideal sound environment, the vehicle cabin. He looked to technology to offer an industry first, speakers with true, dry carbon fiber cones. For each OEM Audio Plus application, the speakers are designed as a direct OEM replacement. Thus, fitment is spot on, with speaker baskets that fit the OEM speaker position without any modification. Each speaker basket has been engineered to be more rigid than stock and has a more robust overall design than stock. Successfully implementing dry carbon fiber material into the speaker design lends to durability, sound quality and UV resistance (for speakers exposed to direct sunlight.)

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Big Sound In A Small Package

Improved sound processing and speaker design takes sound quality to another level, but to add another dimension, another speaker was essential. OEM Audio Plus engineers every subwoofer enclosure to seamlessly incorporate into the trunk or cargo area of a vehicle with the least amount of intrusion on cargo space. Each enclosure displaces 14-liters and houses an OEM Audio Plus 8-inch, dual voice coil subwoofer. This subwoofer shares the same carbon fiber cone technology and speaker design as the rest of the OEM Audio Plus lineup. A separate 130-watt DSP subwoofer amplifier mounts to the back of the enclosure. The Quick-Sync wiring harness that joins the 8-channel amplifier to the OEM harness also connects to the subwoofer amplifier to provide signal and power.

Testing and Reflashing

Hearing is believing, and all of OEM Audio Plus’ systems deliver on most fronts, and they offer three different profile settings for the subwoofer amplifier: Balanced, Full and Robust. If you want a little more bass than what comes standard, you can send it in for a reflash; simply send it in to be reprogrammed. They’ll do this free of charge for both programming and shipping.

Consumer and Technician Friendly

Installation on any of OEM Audio Plus’ systems are largely straightforward with easy to follow instructions, making the system appealing to both the do-it-yourself installer as well as the professional technician. They also offer a couple helpful installation videos on their YouTube channel: A huge bonus is your vehicle’s interior will be unchanged by installation of the system, save for the addition of the minimally invasive parts, depending on your application. Also, unlike generic audio installation kits, the Quick-Sync wiring harness doesn’t leave you with a rat’s nest of extra wires.


OEM Audio Plus is available through dealership networks and tuning shops, offering plug-and-play solutions for several other vehicle platforms, with an ever-expanding product lineup. Here are audio system upgrade packages for: Lexus IS, Subaru WRX/STI and Toyota Tundra.

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LEXUS IS "bōōst Series" by 0+ 

Subwoofer System: Dual Voice Coil 8-inch Carbon Fiber Cone Subwoofer. Featuring our Lexus specific enclosure. Designed to have the ideal size air volume without intruding into the trunk space of the vehicle. Enclosure mounts in trunk area under the rear deck using existing mounting locations.

Subwoofer Amplifier: Dedicated subwoofer power delivers bass that is heard as well as felt without impeding your mids and highs -130 Watts RMS (@1-ohm) / Low voltage short circuit protection.

Quick-Sync Wiring Harness: Connects seamlessly to the factory harness maintaining the integrity of the signal ensuring reliable operation for the life of the vehicle.

Speaker Augmentation: In-line compensation filters are integrated to the front speakers to address the tonal balance issues.

Sound Quality: Absence of excessive sibilance and edginess from the door speakers. 

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SUBARU WRX/STI System 400+

DSP Amplifier: 8 channels / 360 Watts RMS (at 2-ohms) / 32-Bit Digital Signal Processing

Subwoofer Amplifier: Dedicated subwoofer power delivers bass that is heard as well as felt without impeding your mids and highs -130 Watts RMS (at 1-ohm) / Low voltage short circuit protection.

Quick-Sync Wiring Harness: Connects seamlessly to the factory harness maintaining the integrity of the signal ensuring reliable operation for the life of the vehicle.

Subwoofer System: 8-inch Dual Voice Coil, Genuine Carbon Fiber Cone Woofer (1.2 + 1.2 ohms impedance), 100W RMS (200 Peak), Sensitivity 88.9dB (1W, 1M), Frequency Response: 20 – 1000Hz

1-Inch Soft Dome Tweeter: Dramatically enhances music’s clarity and detail. Housed in one-piece, precision-milled aluminum baffle plate. Neodymium magnet assembly with integrated first order high-pass crossover.

System 500+ (Dual Subwoofer System Option): The addition of a second Subwoofer Amplifier and driver side Subwoofer System—whether you choose the Single or Dual option, you’ll receive the OEM Audio Plus signature sound reproduction and deep, non-localized bass response without impeding vocals or compromising trunk space.

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DSP Amplifier: 8 channel / 360 Watts RMS (at 2-ohms) + 32-Bit Digital Sound Processing; real time diagnostics for trouble free operation

Subwoofer Amplifier: 180 Watts RMS (at 1-ohm), low voltage short circuit protection

Subwoofer System: Dual Voice Coil 8-inch Subwoofer. Enclosure houses subwoofer amplifier for ease of install. Mounts using existing vehicle hardware locations behind driver side rear seat.

Quick-Sync Wiring Harness: Seamless connectivity to factory plugs with OEM grade wiring and connectors, maintaining the integrity of the signal, ensuring lifelong, reliable operation. Plug and play.

1-Inch Soft Dome Tweeter: Dramatically enhances music’s clarity and detail. Neodymium magnet assembly with integrated first order high-pass crossover. Seamless integration.

Signature Sound Reproduction: 10 channels of 32-bit digital signal processing using vehicle-specific acoustic engineering to transform your truck into a concert hall.

JBL Audio Compatible: Tweak your existing audio package without removing your truck’s head unit. The OEM Audio Plus upgrade improves clarity, dynamics and low frequency reproduction. Plug and play package featuring 1-inch Soft Dome Tweeter and Subwoofer System.


Source: OEM Audio Plus, 855/636-6346,

(Story: Rich Fong, courtesy of DSPORT)

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