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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OEM Microphone splice? Mic hiding ideas? (Solved)

(Now resolved... read my second post for details. And aftermarket mic picks up voice commands perfectly)

Read lots of 'Head Unit Replacement' posts. I see a fair number of "...I had to use the microphone that came with my new head unit..." comments.
I've just started a HU replacement on my 2010 Limited with JBL. I would like to find a way to splice the wire from my new HU into the wiring for the factory microphone to avoid the less-than-clean look of the mic that came with my new HU. But I know next to nothing about the audio or electrical ramifications of such a splice.
Has anyone successfully accomplished a tie-in to the factory mic? Does that sound 'doable'? Barring that, has anyone managed to hide a new mic behind the OEM grill for the factory mic (in the ceiling, yes?)? Open to other placement ideas for ways to conceal the new mic if I have to use it.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Has anyone successfully accomplished a tie-in to the factory mic? Does that sound 'doable'? Barring that, has anyone managed to hide a new mic behind the OEM grill for the factory mic (in the ceiling, yes?)? Open to other placement ideas for ways to conceal the new mic if I have to use it.
Thanks.
Read various RAV4 and other Toyota forums. Appears the factory mic is an amplified mic whereas the typical HU (including my Kenwood) accept connection to passive mics. Various posts on options to attempt to disconnect the amplified mic and make it passive, but sounds like mixed results.
I chose to use the mic that came with my HU.
To try to make it look OEM, I installed it behind the grill opening in the overhead console where the factory mic was located. I popped the clips and removed the overhead console and released the wiring connector; I released the factory mic using a small screwdriver on the side. The factory mic is connected to a small circuit board - likely the amplifying circuit. Disconnected the mic connector and left the short wiring taped in the factory location. Modified the plastic clip for the aftermarket mic that came with my HU and attached it in the overhead console with double backed tape - with the mic in the space made by removing the factory mic, pointing out toward the grill opening. Routed the thin mic wire through the headliner to the windshield and slipped the 1/8" mic connector out from under the headliner at the windshield edge. Pushed the mic wire up in the headliner along the edge of the headliner/windshield over to the the passenger 'A' pillar... under the top edge of the 'A' pillar plastic trim (without having to remove the pillar trim)... and into the gap between the door weatherstripping and the 'A' pillar trim. Tucked the wire down the weatherstripping edge to the dash trim where it was a little tight getting the 'L' shaped 1/8" mic jack around that corner, but got it thru and into the space under the dash behind the glovebox. From there I will route to the new HU and should be good to go, assuming the mic quality is enough to pickup from the overhead location (near where I would have placed it anyway, near rearview mirror). If necessary after testing (not ready for that yet) I may pull the overhead console down again and pack some sound deadening material in the space around the aftermarket mic. See pics.

(NOTE: Completed install and everything works great... and the aftermarket mic is hidden behind the OEM mic grill, so it looks great as well.)
 

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THANKS a lot for this post, it's so useful. I have learnt that mic is amplified so I can stop searching for OEM adaptor to aftermarket caraudio... And now I can see how to put aftermarket mic in a good place! Thanks thanks!
 

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THANK YOU! This post, along with parts 1 and 2 of the head unit replacement instructions, were exactly what I needed! I now have a completely modern 2008 Rav4, and couldn't be happier! I installed a Kenwood DMX906S, and the microphone works superb. I'm told I can be heard clearly, and without shouting. Plus, there is no evidence that it's not a factory install. Thanks again!
 
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