I recently had my ICE "overhauled". I had the original stereo, speakers and cd changer removed and some new kit installed, along with steering controls
As said, a new HU will improve sound quality fromt he stock speakers. You will also have a wide variety of advanced features at your disposal such as but not limited to:
- MP3 compatibility allowing over 150 tracks per CD or over 1000 on a DVD HU
- Bluetooth conectivity for taking calls through your HU connected to your mobile, as a hands-free kit; .
- Built in DAB (digital radio) tuner to recieve more radio stations and in better quality
It is generally advised to go with one of the main top brands - JVC, Pioneer or Kenwood as these are the manufacturers that most if not all ICE technicians/enthusiasts will know inside out.
Steering-wheel Audio Controls
Most well-known brands such as JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood etc have HUs which can be controlled using the steering controls - however do check this when you find a HU that you like as it is not a standard feature - certain budget brands (Mutant, Ripspeed) do not have this functionality at all and so you will not find a control adapter for either Connects2 or Autoleads.
Tip - Try and use a kit from Connects2 - from experience, the Autoleads kit requires dashboard removal (said to be easy but I'd sooner not!) - I had a look at the Connects2 kit and it slotted in behind the HU without needing removal of the dash! :D
These are 13cm (5.25") in size front and rear (at least in my 5 door) - the fronts are components (separate mid-bass driver and tweeter - tweeter in the dash) and the rears are coaxial (speaker-mounted tweeter).
Coaxials are said to pull the sound stage down to your feet and so it is recommended that you replace the fronts with components - however these are more expensive generally and so I did not due to budget. I fitted coaxials front and rear - yes, it is a tad too trebley (high) for my liking but I still haven't got round to tuning the EQ settings
Most component speakers include "cross-overs" which separate the sound frequencies (basically high and low - or vocals and bass, to make it easier!) - on the stock speakers this is done by a resistor mounted on the dash tweeters - for it only being a resistor, it works very well in my opinion! However, these crossovers cans sometimes need hiding - some people just stick them in the door pockets but others hide them behind the dashboard or behind the door-cards - something I didn't fancy doing.
Now if you would like to keep the soundstage as it is (highs from the tweeters in the dash, lows from your feet) but dont fancy mucking about with crossovers - Pioneer has one option - they have made a specific set of direct-fit component speakers for Renault with built-in crossovers - however they come at a price of about £70 for the pair. It is something to bare in mind however if you dont like the idea of coaxials in the front.
The fitting of most speakers will normally require cutting of the original speaker connectors and a small amoutn (tiny) of hard-wiring. This is not hard to do as you literally just crimp the speaker wiring into spade connectors. The above-mentioned Pioneers are one known exception to this as they are direct-fit and have original Renault connectors!
Sub and Amp
I wanted more bass (some that I could feel) to add body to my music (Rock, for once!) and I settled on a small 10" box and suitable amp. As long as you don't go stupid with power ratings and sizes then your standard electrical system should be OK
Routing power from the battery on Clios is one of the most common questions I've seen and the answers generally come back as "get out yer drill!" but don't - the wiring 95% of the time can be put through the Bonnet Release Cable grommet which is just up behind the glove compartment (GC removal not required if you're nimble enough!) and pops out into the engine bay just near the screenwash bottle which can be removed if needed to get the cable through.
From the inside to the boot, the cables can be tucked away to the side under the plastic trim in the footwell of the car.
All I can say here is if your decide to do it yourself, make sure you do a fair bit of homework and possibly a mate or two to help - I chickened out and got my local independant Motorfactor to do it for me as my car is my Uni transport. It cost £80 for a complete job - 4 speakers (all coaxials), HU and steering controls, Sub and Amp. Can give peace of mind that its done properly - plus, if anything goes wrong, you have a port of call and possibly someone else to blame!
If you have a local Motorfactors who sells/installs ICE, have a chat - I did and got my Sub and Amp brand new for £50!
That's all I can think of for now - if I think of anything else, I'll return.
Hope this helps