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Discussion Starter #1
I've joined to start sharing my findings and opinions after two months of ownership. I've got some details about the vehicle that I don't think are common knowledge and may be interesting.

First up is Active Noise Cancellation. ANC is a frustrating technology that some manufacturers use to avoid making their vehicles more quiet by adding mass loading dampening material to metal and using better materials. While I will say that Honda has come a long way with cabin noise and the cabin rides quiet at low speeds, there is still plenty of evidence of cheap materials and poor design choices that I have found as I removed door panels, unplugged the ANC module, etc. At high speeds like 75 on highway it is obvious they could do better. They could do worse too, so there is that.

Now, what does ANC do? It tries to put sound waves in the audio system to counter noise of various types, mostly low frequency due to the ridiculous VCM technology that Honda will not abandon, and maybe some mid frequency cabin noise is slightly reduced. VCM is an engine "feature" that shuts off 3 of 6 cylinders when not accelerating and saves a very miniscule amount of gas. Prior versions of it caused oil use and engine wear and it is claimed to be better now- overall it is a useless technology that is not worth the imperceptible fuel savings for the noise, response loss/hesitation, and maintenance issues it presents. It is noisy at mostly low frequency, and so ANC cancels that drone out fairly well using your speakers and factory subwoofer. Neither of these technologies is optional, but with some work you can disable both ANC and VCM without doing anything irreversible. I have no idea what the dealer says about warranty but they do have to prove your changes cause an issue if you had one.

Perhaps the most interesting things about ANC are:

1) if you want to add aftermarket stereo equipment there will be loud feedback in the factory equipment as the ANC mics think your new equipment is making cabin noise. A simple software option to disable ANC would alleviate this, but no Honda could never be that smart (they have the setting but it doesn't work or stay in memory), so you have to phsyically disable the two ANC mics in the ceiling being careful to leave the hands free/phone call mic alone, or you must unplug ANC module behind the glove box. A really sophisticated installer might tap the harness and install a relay switch but that is extreme and expensive modification.
2) Honda is putting FAKE EXHAUST SOUNDS into cabin via the speakers. Yes that is correct. I am about 95% sure of it. I plugged/unplugged ANC and did nearly a dozen controlled speed test drives up and down the same road at night with no traffic for repeatability and there is a distinct undertone or closeness of the exhaust sound in the cabin when ANC module is on. It makes the exhaust sound a bit better tonally but louder in cabin, and overall sounds slightly 'tougher' by boosting the lower tones slightly.
3) ANC muddies your stereo a bit. With it disabled it gets more power and is slightly more crisp because there are not sound waves of opposing frequencies- all power from the audio amp is for your music. The amount of cabin noise it reduces in this car seems to be very small, and I have added sound deadening to the doors and floors in places, so the little bit of additional cabin noise is offset by that and the reduced exhaust sound.
 

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Timely...I spent some downtime yesterday looking into this. I have a nice low profile powered sub that I used in a 4runner. Was thinking of putting it in the PP. But this ANC system...gives me pause.

I installed a VCM defeat device. So maybe I can live without the ANC?

Any tips on how to access that module behind the dash? I've seen online that some folks have just deadened the two pickup mics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Timely...I spent some downtime yesterday looking into this. I have a nice low profile powered sub that I used in a 4runner. Was thinking of putting it in the PP. But this ANC system...gives me pause.

I installed a VCM defeat device. So maybe I can live without the ANC?

Any tips on how to access that module behind the dash? I've seen online that some folks have just deadened the two pickup mics.
I didn't notice much more noise without ANC and my VCM is still active. The fake exhaust sound goes away, which I like. Note that I also have sound deadening material in a few places but still, I don't think ANC is doing as much for this car as say a 2012 Accord or something.

I'll tell you how to unplug ANC below but ...warning... I don't use hands free calls or voice much and on some older Hondas, pulling ANC reportedly affected those. I tested both several times and they appear to work fine though. Do your own tests. Worst case you would have to spend the 20 mins to remove the glove box and plug it back in.

Disabling the mics is the slow way and bad if you don't like modifying the car. It involves cutting a wire or pushing a pin out of the harness above the front dome lights, and muffling or unplugging the rear mic on the headliner over the cargo area. Muffling the front mic doesn't seem that possible since it is twin next to the hands free / bluetooth mic and hard to get something in there with enough mass to deaden it and not damage it (its the two holes under the plastic grill behind the sunglass holder and in front of the the driver/left dome light). Maybe if you disassemble the entire dome light assembly and put sound deadening right into it it may work but I could never tell which mic was ANC and which was handsfree/voice even after looking at the circuit board. To muffle the rear might work, but to disconnect that one, you must drop the rear headliner some. Messing with all this takes a while and for many reasons isn't the good way to go. Keep in mind that disabling mics vs. a full disconnect, the ANC is still on with no feed signal, so it will still pump fake exhaust sounds into the cabin and also might take a little power from your stereo.

The fast way to get rid of all ANC is to unplug the module, takes about 20 minutes. Remove the glove box housing and locate the small square module on the top left corner of the cavity left when you pulled the box. I didn't take pics but found this youtube video that shows a 2016 Ridgeline and the ANC module.

The procedure and module are very much similar to that video, almost the identical dash as ours in it, but you have to pull the trim panel above the glove box which he glosses over, and the it seems the location of the module is similar but slightly further recessed. Just look for the square module on the left that looks like the one in the video. If you unmount it to see the part number, it is 39200-TGS-A11 and may be followed by a couple more numbers and letters. All you have to do is push the release tab and pull the connector. Easiest to press the tab with one hand and hook a thumbnail on the bottom ridge on the connector.

Good luck if you do it, again test everything yourself. Also I have no idea what the dealer would say, but the mod should not in theory affect warranty same as the VCM defeat.

Last note, I've heard pro installers with the full wiring diagram (oh I wish I had that) can sometimes put a relay switch so that ANC is either switchable or comes on when the aftermarket subwoofer is off. I'd like to go all out and do that, but unplug works for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just adding to this thread as I learn about either ANC and audio. Our speakers in the doors are 20W 2 ohms if the label is believed. This is a pain for replacement as almost no one has quality 2 ohm speakers. Many make 3 ohm though, and if they are more sensitive and better, they should work well. Most amplifiers have a range of 2 to 4 ohms compatibility but I have not found the spec. of the factory amp yet. I will be adding 3 ohm coax in all doors at some point, a fairly cheap mod for good speakers at only about 150 for all 4. I will report back results.
 

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Just adding to this thread as I learn about either ANC and audio. Our speakers in the doors are 20W 2 ohms if the label is believed. This is a pain for replacement as almost no one has quality 2 ohm speakers. Many make 3 ohm though, and if they are more sensitive and better, they should work well. Most amplifiers have a range of 2 to 4 ohms compatibility but I have not found the spec. of the factory amp yet. I will be adding 3 ohm coax in all doors at some point, a fairly cheap mod for good speakers at only about 150 for all 4. I will report back results.
Just purchased a Passport Touring late September. So far very impressed with my new Passport - other than the sound system. I was aware that Honda speakers were very low end even in the upgraded audio system in the Touring model. However, I hoped I would be able to tolerate the lousy sound reproduction from these crappy speakers but they are extremely disappointing. At 540 watts, power seems adequate but there are issues to changing out the speakers. As mentioned by storm303, the Passport's Panasonic speakers are 2 ohm. I was hoping to just replace the front door speakers (mid/woofer & tweeter). However, high quality replacement upgrade speakers are typically 4 ohm so you would have to replace ALL speakers to avoid mismatching impedence that would result in lower power/volume issues. Further, if the (2) amplifiers total 540w rating is at 2 ohm then converting to 4 ohm speakers would reduce the system to a paltry 270w driving 10 speakers. I have just made a request from my local Honda dealer for detailed information on my Touring model's amplifiers & speakers specifications so I can try to figure out how to economically improve the sound of my audio system without breaking the bank. I realize that no one at the dealership is likely to have this type of in-depth information so I am hoping that Honda North America will ultimately be able to help.
It is ridiculous that Honda continues to not make a truly "high end" audio system available as so many other car manufacturers do so. I guess Honda is trying to push car audiophiles to Acura which has the incredible ELS (Elliot Shiner) audio sound systems in the vehicles.
 

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Timely...I spent some downtime yesterday looking into this. I have a nice low profile powered sub that I used in a 4runner. Was thinking of putting it in the PP. But this ANC system...gives me pause.

I installed a VCM defeat device. So maybe I can live without the ANC?

Any tips on how to access that module behind the dash? I've seen online that some folks have just deadened the two pickup mics.
Hi, I just bought a 2019 Honda Passport Touring and installed dual 12 kicker compr's with a kxa1200.1 mono-amplifier. I made a video on disabling the ANC module and it only takes about 10 minutes even for someone who is not used to this sort of thing. It will not harm any handsfree function in the vehicle and doesn't require messing with mics or installing expensive workarounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Minimal difference as far as I can tell. I spend an hour on the highway every day and I don't see any major difference. Honestly the only way it would matter is if you drive in complete silence but who does that?
Stephen glad to have the additional confirmation that ANC makes minimal difference and that handsfree is not affected. Nice video!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just purchased a Passport Touring late September. So far very impressed with my new Passport - other than the sound system. I was aware that Honda speakers were very low end even in the upgraded audio system in the Touring model. However, I hoped I would be able to tolerate the lousy sound reproduction from these crappy speakers but they are extremely disappointing. At 540 watts, power seems adequate but there are issues to changing out the speakers. As mentioned by storm303, the Passport's Panasonic speakers are 2 ohm. I was hoping to just replace the front door speakers (mid/woofer & tweeter). However, high quality replacement upgrade speakers are typically 4 ohm so you would have to replace ALL speakers to avoid mismatching impedence that would result in lower power/volume issues. Further, if the (2) amplifiers total 540w rating is at 2 ohm then converting to 4 ohm speakers would reduce the system to a paltry 270w driving 10 speakers. I have just made a request from my local Honda dealer for detailed information on my Touring model's amplifiers & speakers specifications so I can try to figure out how to economically improve the sound of my audio system without breaking the bank. I realize that no one at the dealership is likely to have this type of in-depth information so I am hoping that Honda North America will ultimately be able to help.
It is ridiculous that Honda continues to not make a truly "high end" audio system available as so many other car manufacturers do so. I guess Honda is trying to push car audiophiles to Acura which has the incredible ELS (Elliot Shiner) audio sound systems in the vehicles.
Interesting how subjective things are. I find that while the sound could be better in the Touring, it is actually decent for stock. To my ears it blows the awful sound in the best selling Toyota Highlander away, for example- which sounded like muffled garbage. I find the Passport sounds at least comparable to a couple other SUV models I tried, but didn't really beat them (Cherokee, Sorento, etc). The high range is a bit weak and unclear I think. When I added vibration damping and mass loaded vinyl to the doors there was a marked quality improvement in midbass and midrange to high but that is to be expected for any speakers. I was able to turn down the EQ and bass and turn up the sub and volume for more power and clarity overall. EQ shouldn't necessarily be boosted to try to force better sound, cuts work better in many cases. When I was young and really into car audio, I learned there is no substitute for giving plenty of power to well controlled speakers to get clarity and balance.

For the record, you do not have to change all speakers at once. Just get compatible speakers in the 2-4 ohm range, and that channel will drive whatever they are. I was able to confirm the amp capability, see below. You are right though, a higher ohm load is less volume for an exactly identical speaker, but usually aftermarket speakers have higher sensitivity and better magnets than the cheap factory stuff meaning they are louder/more efficient and more clear per realized watt. So you will not notice much if any loss of volume in many cases if you buy a good speaker. Also note, that speakers are really a dynamic load that vary impedance across frequency and are transient loads, which is why amps can handle a range of impedance and not one number. They usually have a best match, but if you are in range, that is ok.

From a Crutchfield installer, I requested and got the following Passport audio system info along with my 3 ohm Infinity 6.5" coax speaker purchase:
  1. The amplifier is paired with speakers from 2-4.8 ohms in various trims of the vehicle. Different trims have 4 ohm or 2 ohm, and source either Panasonic or Pioneer components. The amp can handle either.
  2. Factory subwoofer box is up to 4.54" inches deep, with a 7.39" cutout diameter.
  3. There are no quick tap harnesses sold for line level to aftermarket amps for our vehicle. We will have to splice ourselves :(
I chose efficient Infinity coax speakers for front door and am not doing more upgrades yet, installing tomorrow. They are 3 ohms, and alleged to have very crisp highs which should tighten up the front nicely. I will update with how they do.

If you upgrade, I suggest not getting power hungry speakers unless you are using something more than the factory amp to power them. Those types of drivers will not perform well on weak factory amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi, I just bought a 2019 Honda Passport Touring and installed dual 12 kicker compr's with a kxa1200.1 mono-amplifier. I made a video on disabling the ANC module and it only takes about 10 minutes even for someone who is not used to this sort of thing. It will not harm any handsfree function in the vehicle and doesn't require messing with mics or installing expensive workarounds.
I was thinking of tossing an aftermarket amp and sub in. Where did you find it easiest to tap the signal for your amp? Assuming a line level from the factory amp in the left hub or by the head unit is simplest?
 

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I took my line level signal from the wire harness in the cargo area. It is included with exact wires to tap in my install video for subwoofer system.
 

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It's a complete install video so if you just want the line level signal section it starts at 32:53 of the video.
 

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I just took out the ANC module. As said, it's 10 minutes. Re-tuned the stereo...turn down the bass, turn up the sub. Turn down center speaker; balance a little to the rear.

Holy sh*t! It's like a completely different stereo!

I'm doing door speakers and door sound proofing next. Should make it even better.
 

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I just took out the ANC module. As said, it's 10 minutes. Re-tuned the stereo...turn down the bass, turn up the sub. Turn down center speaker; balance a little to the rear.

Holy sh*t! It's like a completely different stereo!

I'm doing door speakers and door sound proofing next. Should make it even better.
It makes the factory sub almost enough, I did much the same tuning. I can also report, my 3 ohm speaker upgrade went very well, almost no volume drop (maybe one or two ticks on the volume, but way clearer and punchier throughout the range.

For anyone doing the sound deadening, if it is your first sound deadening project expect incremental improvement from each area you treat. Noise may appear to have shifted around, and as you treat more areas, the overall volume and character improves. Speakers clarity really benefit from the full door treatment. I suggest Dynamat or SecondSkinAudio product for the vibration damper. Most of the other brands use asphalt or other chemicals in their tiles and they stink in heat and fall off. You get what you pay for. SecondSkin is the best one I have ever tried and the also have some of the best decoupling foams for reasonable prices.

The MLV barrier needs to be 'virgin' material meaning not reprocessed to be odor free. I got mine on Amazon from Trademark Soundproofing but Dynamat and Second skin also make that stuff.
 

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Try RAAMAT at www dot raamaudio dot com
The stuff does not smell and is very, very inexpensive, but not cheap material.
I've used it often.
 

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Just purchased a Passport Touring late September. So far very impressed with my new Passport - other than the sound system. I was aware that Honda speakers were very low end even in the upgraded audio system in the Touring model. However, I hoped I would be able to tolerate the lousy sound reproduction from these crappy speakers but they are extremely disappointing. At 540 watts, power seems adequate but there are issues to changing out the speakers. As mentioned by storm303, the Passport's Panasonic speakers are 2 ohm. I was hoping to just replace the front door speakers (mid/woofer & tweeter). However, high quality replacement upgrade speakers are typically 4 ohm so you would have to replace ALL speakers to avoid mismatching impedence that would result in lower power/volume issues. Further, if the (2) amplifiers total 540w rating is at 2 ohm then converting to 4 ohm speakers would reduce the system to a paltry 270w driving 10 speakers. I have just made a request from my local Honda dealer for detailed information on my Touring model's amplifiers & speakers specifications so I can try to figure out how to economically improve the sound of my audio system without breaking the bank. I realize that no one at the dealership is likely to have this type of in-depth information so I am hoping that Honda North America will ultimately be able to help.
It is ridiculous that Honda continues to not make a truly "high end" audio system available as so many other car manufacturers do so. I guess Honda is trying to push car audiophiles to Acura which has the incredible ELS (Elliot Shiner) audio sound systems in the vehicles.

I would be very interested in also seeing the Touring Stereo Spec's...!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, I finished my stock upgrade tonight. Infiniti Reference 6532 / 6522 EX in all four doors and a Pioneer TS-SW2002D2 8" Subwoofer in the stock box. Also all my sound deadening as discussed previously.

Results: Sound deadening and the front door upgrade were a really good upgrade. Not so sure about the rear doors and sub replacement.

The front door speakers can be changed out with 6522EX for about 60 bucks including install supplies and they made a big difference in clarity and sound stage with a minima loss in the muddy bass from the stock fronts - a no brainer.

The rear door replacement with the same speakers may not be as good idea as I thought. While they are way clearer, the loss of midbass on four speakers begins to be more noticeable and the sub must fill it all in. The tweeters in this model speaker are also bright enough to really help the front, but in the rear door they pull the sound stage a bit back since they are right behind your seat position. The stocks were not as clear, but tamer and a bit more bass heavy, if sloppy bass.

The subwoofer replacement is mixed. This sub is amazing for some material, really tight and crisp on high frequency bass at 120Hz, but not as good as the factory sub at 60Hz (the low thuds and rumbles). I hate to say it but while not the top of line, the factory system is well balanced and uses not bad speakers.

I might leave the rear doors, but I will probably put the factory sub back in and just install my aftermarket 12" sub box and amp, I was just hoping for a little bit more than stock and I could have gone without. So close. The replacement sub could not cut it and there are few enough dual 2ohm voice coil subs that I probably won't try the stock replacement again.

If anyone else upgrades, I suggest the front doors first, then carefully consider if you need to do more. For this car, I think replacing the fronts and some sound treatment are the best balance without a full aftermarket install.
 

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Sorry to hear that your upgrade didn't have the results you had hoped for, are you sure the factory amplifier can handle that upgrade. I think the RMS power needed for those 5 speakers you added is 370W total which leaves you only 170W on the factory amplifier for the other 5 speakers. Assuming that the 540W listed on the factory amplifier is RMS. Also assuming that much wattage is actually reaching the new speakers. I don't know what speakers are prioritized on the factory amplifier.
 
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