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Top 6 Ford F150 Stereo Replacement DIY in 2021 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Buying and installing a new Ford F150 stereo replacement is easy if you know what you’re doing. And that’s our main purpose today!

In this article, you’ll find everything there’s to know about buying a stereo for your Ford F150 and the steps to install it.

The process is a bit tricky, but everyone can do it without paying a professional.

Besides guiding you through the replacement, we will also talk about which stereos are the best and how to pick one.

So, make sure to read the article thoroughly to answer all of these questions fully.

When do you need to Ford F150 Stereo Replacement?

The Factory Stereo Doesn’t Work or Has Issues

The factory stereo of the Ford F150 is decent enough to enjoy fun times behind the wheel for many years.

However, this stereo may not work properly in due time, or it could have some issues.

When either of those scenarios happens, buying a replacement is the only solution.

The Factory Stereo Lacks Essential Functions

If your current stereo doesn’t have connectivity with smartphones, camera compatibility, or USB inputs, consider buying a replacement.

Modern stereo units come with new technology to support modern devices with Apple or Android operating systems.

Plus, you can use newer stereos for much more than playing music.

For example, you can watch videos, make calls, check emails, read notifications, and more.

Because A Ford F150 Stereo Upgrade Would Make The Car Look Better

Modern stereo replacements look incredible, sporting a sleek design with a contemporary look.

Installing a new stereo would inevitably make the car look better.

Brand NameDetails
American International DIN Dash Kit
Metra 95-5820B Installation Kit
Maestro KIT-F150 Dash Kit
Alpine iLX-W650
Kenwood DMX7706S
BOSS BV9386NV
Hieha ‎7023B
LINKSWELL Gen IV
UNITOPSCI 6.2-Inch

What You Need to Know Before Installing a Ford F150 Stereo Replacement

Cost

The cost to replace a Ford F150 stereo is between $350 and $500.

If you have all of the tools, the only expense would be the head unit.

Otherwise, you must get all of the tools that will inevitably raise the amount of money you will end up spending.

Luckily, we also share a DIY method to get the job done yourself without a professional.

Paying for the service would also increase the overall cost of replacing the stereo.

Time

The estimated time to install a Ford F150 stereo replacement is between one or two hours.

Most of the process is easy and quick, but working in the wiring connection consumes plenty of time.

Experienced mechanics may get the job done faster, but if you have to look for videos and other guidelines, the installation can take a couple of hours.

Tools

  • Mounting brackets
  • Pry bar
  • Wire Cutters
  • Heat Gun
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wiring harness
  • Adapter for radio
  • Soldering iron
  • Stereo replacement kit

Recommended kits: American International DIN Dash Kit, Metra 95-5820B Installation Kit, Maestro KIT-F150 Dash Kit.

Step by Step Guide for Ford F150 Stereo Replacement

With the tools ready, now you can start working on installing the Ford F150 stereo replacement.

Make sure to check the product manual for suggestions on how to install the device of your preference.

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting to work on the Ford F150 stereo replacement, make sure to have a proper kit with all the hardware included.

Also, use your phone or a camera to take pictures of the wiring.

If you don’t have any experience doing this type of work, take pictures during every step for visual guidelines on where everything goes.

Step 2: Removing the Faceplate

Remove the side covers out of the faceplate, and find the bolts that keep the faceplate in place.

These bolts can be on the top, on the sides, or at the bottom. The faceplate has tabs that indicate where the bolts are.

Use the pry bar to remove the faceplate. Start at the bottom right corner, and apply pressure to pop off the faceplate.

Then, switch to the left side corner, and work your way up until it comes loose.

The panel has some wires attached to the back, so remove them carefully.

Step 3: Removing the Factory Stereo

Four screws keep the stereo in place, and you must remove them using a screwdriver.

The stereo should come out of the dash easily after getting the screws out.

Step 4: The Wiring

Use the camera to take pictures of the wiring harness if necessary.

There’s a large connector on the left and a smaller connector on the right.

On the last slot, you’ll find the connector to the antenna.

The two main connectors have a small trigger that you can push using your thumb to release the latch and remove them.

Wiggle the antenna connector to get it out of the stereo.

Step 5: Wiring the Harness

Now you have to make the wiring connections. This step involves soldering the car wiring harness to the new stereo harness.

Use wire cutters to strip some of the insulation, place the heat shrink tubing, and solder the connections.

Slide the heat shrink over the soldered connection, and use the heat gun to shrink it.

The wiring is the trickiest part of installing a new stereo. Here’s a good video that shows how to do it properly.

 

Step 6: Installing the new Stereo Replacement

Attach the mounting bracket to the new stereo, and set up the wiring connections to the vehicle.

Place the stereo in its place, and tighten the screws to secure it.

Step 7: Placing the Faceplate

Make the connections to the back of the faceplate again and install it over the stereo by attaching the clips into place.

Put the covers back in their place, and secure the bolts again if it’s necessary.

And that’s it! The new Ford F150 stereo replacement is ready to use.

The process can be hard to follow, but the manufacturers offer instructions and details every step of the way.

There are also diagrams and online videos that provide an insightful view of the whole process. You can check those videos here:

6 Best Ford F150 Radio Upgrade

After learning about how to replace the stereo in Ford F150, now let’s look at the different units you can buy.

These devices deliver a fantastic performance in audio, video, and navigation, among other things. Find your ideal stereo replacement here.

01. Alpine iLX-W650

 

 

Highlighted Features

  • AM/FM Tuner
  • Shallow-Mount Cassis Design
  • Touchscreen Swipe Controls
  • Apple Carplay & Android Auto Support
  • Voice Commands Compatibility

Here’s our top pick for the best Ford F150 stereo. The Alpine iLX-W650 is a digital media receiver with AM/FM functions and touchscreen swipe controls.

It works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a hands-free design to access many apps and features using only voice commands.

The receiver is small and compact, making it easy to fit almost anywhere.

It has a shallow-mount chassis design for a straightforward installation.

Other worthy features of this unit are the rear USB port, auxiliary input, inputs for two cameras, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Pros

  • Compact design that fits without accommodations
  • Intuitive and responsive controls
  • Simple and easy installation
  • Quick configurations and adjustments

Cons

  • It may need an adapter to work with some factory steering wheel audio controls

02. Kenwood DMX7706S

 

Highlighted Features

  • Dual-Phone Connection
  • Remote App
  • Wireless Music Browsing
  • Dual Camera Input
  • 13-Band Equalizer
  • Bluetooth

Go with this stereo if you like your music to sound in the highest quality possible.

The unit has many functions to make that possible, allowing you to customize the sound to tune it optimally.

Plus, this device has the option to connect up to five devices through Bluetooth.

Everyone in the car gets a chance to play songs and have a fantastic time on the roads.

We liked the dual camera inputs, too. It’s pretty easy to add a front and rear camera for more safety on the roads.

The cameras work well with the built-in parking guidelines that guarantee safe parking access and exits.

Pros

  • Outstanding sound quality for music players
  • Quick connection to CarPlay to access maps and music
  • Fantastic watts power per channel
  • Provides safety parking guidelines with two cameras

Cons

  • Only one USB input

03. BOSS Audio Systems BV9386NV

 

Highlighted Features

  • Touchscreen Control
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Built-In Tuner
  • Video Output
  • Audio Streaming

What we liked about this stereo is that it has a straightforward design.

There’s a 6.2-inch touchscreen that is easy to understand and a set of buttons next to it.

These buttons are pretty intuitive, providing access to the menu and map without complications.

The knob is another plus because it responds quickly and guarantees smooth navigation through the interface.

The touchscreen is a digital TFT display panel with a colorful graphic interface.

It answers via a one-touch function, giving you access to all features with a single-finger touch.

Use it to set up auxiliary cameras, map navigation, music, video, and more.

Pros

  • Simple and intuitive design for easy use
  • Great music and image quality
  • Responsive control buttons and knob
  • Colorful and vivid touchscreen layout

Cons

  • Bulkier than most other stereos

04. Hieha ‎7023B

 

Highlighted Features

  • 7-Inch Touch Screen
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • FM/AM Radio
  • Rear View Camera
  • Steering Wheel Controls

This double din stereo offers ultimate connectivity with smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions.

Use this modern technology to access map navigation, emails, notifications, and more without taking your eyes off the road.

The 7-Inch HD touch screen allows you to play 1080p video or answer calls by just pressing a button.

The 170-degree viewing angle of the backup camera is another benefit of this unit.

Rear images display clearly on the screen, keeping you safe while driving in reverse or parking in a lot.

This rearview camera comes in the package, and it has a waterproof design to resist heavy rain.

Pros

  • Compatible with Apple and Android smartphones
  • Controls multiple functions while keeping your hands on the wheel
  • High-quality video playback
  • Intuitive interface for easy configuration of functions

Cons

  • The cable for the rearview camera is a bit short if you own a four-door truck

05. LINKSWELL Gen IV

 

Highlighted Features

  • 1-Inch Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi & HDMI Technology
  • Sleek Design
  • 64 GB Storage Capacity
  • Plug-and-Play Installation

This stereo is an excellent choice for large Ford trucks like the F150 Platinum.

The touchscreen measures a staggering 12.1 inches, making it one of the largest available.

Each menu displays visible icons that are easy to understand and use for everyone.

You can use it as a Wi-Fi or HDMI unit to ensure proper connectivity with different devices like phones.

Installing this stereo is not hassle-free in some trucks like the F150, and that’s the biggest flaw.

You may have to buy a B&O adapter and a 360 view adapter to get everything working.

However, the replacement works perfectly, and it’s worth the trouble.

Pros

  • Visible icons with a straightforward menu layout
  • Plenty of storage capacity for media
  • Fantastic connectivity technology
  • Compatible with cars and trucks

Cons

  • The stereo needs adapters to work in F150 trucks

06. UNITOPSCI 6.2-Inch LCD TouchScreen Player

 

Highlighted Features

  • FM Receiver
  • TF Card Compatible
  • Built-In Bluetooth
  • Remote Controllers
  • USB Port

This stereo from UNITOPSCI comes with a remote controller and a steering wheel remote controller for the ultimate driving experience.

Companions in the vehicle can interact with the unit using the remote, and you don’t have to take your hands from the wheel to use it either.

The stereo supports mirror link GPS navigation, wireless audio streaming, MP3, MP5, and more!

The interface is a 6.2-inch touchscreen with the capacity to display 1080p images and videos.

It also works via Bluetooth, allowing you to connect Android phones and access features like calls, emails, and notifications.

This stereo is also an excellent FM radio receiver in an 87.5-108MHz tuning range.

There are multiple sound adjustment options to control volume, bass, balance, etc.

Pros

  • Excellent multimedia playback
  • Convenient size to consume less space
  • Installing this unit is a breeze
  • Supports hands-free calls, messages &more

Cons

  • No GPS function

Buying Facts About

Consider the following information to buy the ideal Ford F150 stereo.

A Complete Kit

Make sure to buy a stereo replacement with all the hardware included.

The kit should include mounting brackets, adapters, and wiring harness, to name a few.

A replacement with all the parts included in the purchase will make the installation much easier.

You also have to check for instructions or guidelines.

Some manufacturers even include diagrams with wiring guides, the colors of each cable, and their functions.

This manual can make a whole difference during the installation.

Size of the Unit & Faceplate

When you buy a stereo, the faceplate should measure the size of the screen.

Otherwise, the screen won’t fit into the faceplate, and you may need to shorten or widen the panel to get a proper fit.

This process would take a considerable amount of time and more resources.

Find a head unit compatible with the front panel to prevent all of these issues.

Steering Wheel Controls

The steering wheel controls are an essential part of the vehicle, but not all head units support it.

If you want to keep that function in your car, find a stereo replacement compatible with steering wheel controls.

Camera Compatibility

Another feature to consider before purchasing a stereo replacement is whether it supports cameras.

Some devices allow you to connect front and rear-view cameras to the vehicle, providing a perfect view of your surroundings.

Adding a few cameras makes your experience behind the wheel safer on the roads and while parking by avoiding blind spots.

Music Options

A high-quality stereo replacement should have different methods to enjoy your favorite music.

In our reviews, most of the products work with Pandora Music and other similar services.

The stereos also have USB inputs to access music, video, photos, and much more.

Controls

A stereo can have three types of controls: push-up, touch, and knobs.

Find the most comfortable for you to navigate through the menus without taking your eyes off the road ahead.

In some cases, the stereo also comes with a remote controller to adjust settings from a distance.

The remote is a plus if you have family or friends come with you for a ride.

Smartphone Connectivity

Everyone has a smartphone nowadays, which is why the stereo should be compatible with them.

Look for a device that supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

This technology makes it super easy to access the functions of your phone using the touchscreen of the stereo.

Voice Commands

The Alpine iLX-W650 offers the option to access multiple functions using voice commands.

Due to this technology, you can control and use many of the applications hands-free.

It’s safer, more comfortable while driving, and super cool, too.

Interface

Most stereos come with an intuitive and colorful interface. The size of the display varies, but there are smaller and larger screen sizes available.

A smaller interface fits in almost any panel, but the larger units are more visible.

Find the one that best accommodates your vehicle’s existing conditions.

Backlight Buttons

Driving during the night can be dangerous, but backlight buttons on the stereo make it easier to use it.

The Hieha stereo, for example, offers several colors for the buttons. The list includes red, green, blue, yellow, purple, cyan, and white.

FM/AM Receiver

Do you enjoy listening to the radio? Then look for an FM/AM radio receiver that picks up your favorite frequencies.

The Hieha car stereo has a tuning range between 87.5-108MHz, offering plenty of variety coming from many stations.

Use it to listen to music, weather forecasts, news, and more.

FAQ’s About Ford F150 Stereo Replacement

What sound system do Fords use?

Fords use the B&O PLAY system from Bang & Olufsen.

These audio systems come from a partnership with Ford to deliver high-quality sound across the cabin for drivers and passengers.

The unit comes in the dashboard of the car, and it’s easy to use and navigate.

Why are B&O sound systems so expensive?

B&O systems are expensive because of the production costs, materials used, audio quality, and brand popularity.

A B&O system excels in many areas, but the high price is a disadvantage.

It’s better to consider buying more affordable receivers with the same or even more functions.

Why do Ford F150 have two antennas?

Ford trucks have two antennas because one contains the embedded modem, and the other is the SiriusXM satellite radio.

This information comes from Andrew Suma, who confirmed the function and purpose of the two box-like items on the roof of Ford trucks.

How many speakers do B&O sound systems have?

B&O sound systems may have about 12 speakers. The speakers offer a dynamic and immersive experience to enjoy music and video on the roads.

However, a replacement may be better because it could provide much more functions to use.

Do 6×8 speakers fit into 6×9 slots?

Usually, 6×8 speakers fit inside 6×9 slots. The tabs are long enough to accommodate the speakers in most cases.

If the speakers don’t fit properly, consider buying a mounting bracket and set it up to fit the speakers.

The mounting bracket should be the most effective solution to this problem.

How to reset the F150 body control module?

You can reset the F150 body control module by disconnecting or turning off the battery.

Let the vehicle rest for a bit, and then reconnect or restart the battery.

Ideally, you have to wait for about 15 minutes after draining the vehicle and before restarting it.

How to remove the Ford F150 antenna?

Remove the Ford F150 stock antenna by turning it counterclockwise.

Putting it back is easy, just put it back in pace and engage the threads in a clockwise movement to get them tight.

Use this method to replace the antenna for car wash trips or replacement.

Verdict

Don’t look any further for your Ford F150 stereo replacement!

The products listed here are some of the best, and now you also know how to install them.

Follow the instructions carefully and check the videos shared to complete the process without any complications.

If you do, your Ford F150 will be ready to blast some music and spend some quality and fun times on the road.

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