OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution Review For 5th Gen 4Runner

OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution - Take Your Factory 5th Gen 4Runner Audio Setup To The Next Level

OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution – Take Your Factory 5th Gen 4Runner Audio Setup To The Next Level

When it comes to the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner, there are a lot of positives and negatives regarding the vehicle. One of those negatives always seems to be the audio system. Whether stock or JBL, it just doesn’t cut it and owners are always looking for something better.

Thankfully there OEM Audio Plus has made a direct plug-and-play set up for the 5th Gen 4Runner to boost your audio experience. From speaker only upgrades and even speaker tweeters upgrades to their full reference 500 system, OEM Audio Plus has quite a few different systems to choose from. Whatever your budget level is, OEM Audio Plus likely has a solution for you. All of their speaker systems art direct plug-and-play kits that are made to be installed by the everyday guy. You don’t need to be an audio engineer in order to install any of their products. OEM Audio Plus makes the process incredibly simple.

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  • OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution | 5th Gen 4Runner: Check Price

Who is OEM Audio Plus?

OEM Audio Plus is an audio dedicated company based out of Southern California and has been specializing in audio since 2007. Not only do they make dedicated plug-and-play kits for the 5th Gen 4Runner, but they also make them for other models as well as makes.

Why C3 Sound Solution?

With so many options on the market, and do it yourself kits, it’s hard to decide which one is the best option for your 4Runner. For me it was simple. I wanted a clean install that wasn’t complicated and very straight forward. I didn’t want to have to do a bunch of wiring (something I dread), nor cut pieces of plastic up in order to fit specific speakers.

OEM Audio Plus fits all of those categories.

With everything being plug and play I knew all I would have to do would be simple things like removing plastic trim and pieces away to access speakers. Additionally, I knew with an amp that the system would be semi-serious compared to direct speaker replacements.

I also realized I likely didn’t need a subwoofer like the other kits for the 5th Gen 4Runner, and this was a way to note have that. With that said this kit does have the option to add the subwoofer if for some reason down the road you decide you want it.

Personally I just didn’t need the extra bass. While I enjoy bass, I guess I’m at an age now where that isn’t as big of a priority as maybe when I was younger.

OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution Install Overview

OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution - Take Your Factory 5th Gen 4Runner Audio Setup To The Next Level

Initially, I was a bit intimidated to install the C3 Sound Solution. Mostly because I have never installed an audio setup before and I didn’t want to mess something up to where I blew a fuse or something else. Always imagine the worst of the worst happening and the vehicle catching on fire. Needless to say that never happened and is literally impossible to have happened with this kit.

Each speaker gets unbolted and replaced with a new speaker that goes in the same exact way with the same OEM bolts. That means you aren’t trying to find the correct bolts, or figure out which was the speaker lines up. It’s a simple pop in and out.

The trickiest part may actually be the door panel itself, as it is required to be removed when installing. I highly recommend lowering the window when doing this part as when you reattach the panel it can be difficult to do with the window up. With it down it takes a matter of a second or two to get it fixed back on, with it up, and I found this out the hard way, it took a good 3-5 minutes.

If you have a friend helping you with the install you can easily “cheat” this step by simply unclipping the sides and bottom section of the door panel, and going underneath to unbolt the old speaker and bolt in the new. This may not be an extreme time-saving measure, but it allows you to not have to worry about undoing and redoing the door handle mechanism.

For a complete step-by-step install of the system, please check out Frank’s OEM Audio Plus install.

Sound Quality

OEM Audio+ Tweeter System Step-By-Step Install + Review For the 5th Gen 4Runner

With the C3 Sound Solution, the sound quality is night and day difference. I truly wasn’t expecting this for such a simple plug and play kit, but it truly is a game-changer. You immediately can tell the difference in the levels of base, the clearness of the audio, and the tones produced.

One thing I noticed with the original Toyota sound system is that it always seemed like if you went beyond 24 levels of volume that the system was going to literally break. In fact, while driving on the highway with the windows cracked I always feared I would damage or blow out a speaker.

With the C3 Sound Solution I can turn the volume up well into the 40s and it still has that beautiful sound quality. Nothing sounds like it’s going to explode nor cause damage. Obviously you won’t need to listen to music that loud, but it’s nice to know that if you want it semi loud for whatever reason that you can now do it.

I sadly used to find myself thinking how nice it would be to have my music in the 4Runner sound like my Samsung soundbar at home, and now I have that exact quality in a much more confined area.

Give Me More Road Trips

OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution - Take Your Factory 5th Gen 4Runner Audio Setup To The Next Level

As someone who works out of town a lot, I found myself needing that extra boost of energy on the drives, and because caffeine makes my body get all out of whack I’ve always depended on music to keep me going. Whether due to being tired or just sick of driving.

Typically I enjoy throwing on some good music with a nice bass beat. This can range anywhere from hip-hop to electronic music, but I listen to just about everything as a whole. Lately, I’ve been on a SICKO MODE by Travis Scott, kick. The song features a little bit of everything and the C3 Sound Solution handles it all brilliantly.

With the roof rack on my vehicle, one thing you have to deal with is more wind noise. While the rack isn’t terribly loud, it is definitely louder than when the vehicle was stock. One thing I immediately noticed with this system was the level of volume when turned up takes over the wind noise nearly immediately. With the stock system, I had to hit the levels of 24 where I felt the damage was bound to happen.

Audio Settings

OEM Audio Plus recommends leaving all of your settings to stock as that is what their system is designed to improve, however, because I do like a little bit of extra bass I decided to bump it up two levels in the EQ system of the 4Runner. I feel this gives enough bass to where you’re happy, but not to where you’ll give yourself a headache.

Of course, if you aren’t as sensitive to sound, or love bass THAT much, by all means, bump it up to what you see fit. Otherwise, I agree with their recommendations for leaving everything dead center.


OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution - Take Your Factory 5th Gen 4Runner Audio Setup To The Next Level

There’s usually something you don’t like with the setup or item you purchase, and OEM Audio Plus as a whole I have no complaints about. The audio is by far superior and I would install it 10 times over again if I had to, it does make that much of a difference.

However, I ran into two issues when installing and thought I would point them out. These aren’t game changers and may not be an issue for you.

The channel in which the wiring goes in above the glove box can be extremely annoying at times. I highly recommend not trying to do this by hand unless you have smaller sized hands. If you have bigger wrists like myself, use a wire loom! This will save you a lot of time. Once it’s in the channel it’s easy to get through, but it’s getting it into that channel that is the issue.

This isn’t an issue that OEM Audio Plus causes, but rather the awesome engineers at Toyota. You would think they’d make a simpler way to channel things, but in this case, they didn’t.

The other issue I ran into was running the power wire from the cabin to the battery. This is because I have my ARB air compressor setup above the grommet on the firewall that allows access to the cabin from the engine bay. If you have this setup (BandiWorld) you will want to remove the upper section of the airbox in order to give yourself enough room to move between the bottom of the air compressor mount and top of the airbox. Doing it without this can probably be done, but it’s going to leave you a nice bruise (don’t ask) and a lot of time wasted.

Both of these again are not an OEM Audio Plus problem, but if I had to pick anything I don’t like, it’s these two things.


If you are in the market looking to upgrade your audio system, the OEM Audio Plus C3 Sound Solution is an excellent choice to go with. With everything being plug and play, installation couldn’t be easier and can be done from your home rather than needing a shop.

It is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring a clear yet powerful sound quality experience to your 5th Gen 4Runner. Whether you go on long trips during camping season or work out of town a lot, this system is guaranteed to make the commutes to said places much more enjoyable.

While we don’t think much about audio for an enjoyable ride experience, I’ve found since installing my C3 Sound Solution that my drives are exactly that, much more enjoyable. Wind noise from the roof rack seems to disappear, and phone calls are even clearer.

If you’ve thought about upgrading give the C3 Sound Solution from OEM Audio Plus a good look.

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