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As you read along, we will discuss why you need to consider a Honda Civic stereo upgrade and how the replacement can be executed or achieved seamlessly.

According to reports, many car owners spend an average of six (6) to eight (8) hours per week in their vehicle.

One of the ways you can get the best out of your driving time or make every journey worthwhile is through music.

As you know, music is regarded as “Life.”

It enhances your mood, making driving more fun and exciting rather than seeing it as a monumental task.

While investing in a new vehicle, a lot of people overlook or do not pay much attention to the audio system.

It takes the first few rides to detect that the vehicle sound system lacks essential performance-enhancing ingredients or qualities.

If you are fascinated or attracted to great music while driving.

A stereo or audio system that is subpar may restrict the fun and excitement.

Upgrading your stereo system is not an easy walk.

You must know about the components that make up or complete your stereo setup and how to get these components connected or attached to get the best results.

The good news is that the essential details you need to know about the upgrade or replacement exercise have been explained in this guide to make the whole process easier.

A Comparison Table of Honda Civic Stereo Upgrade 2022

PreviewBrand NameDetails
Kenwood 6.95"
Pioneer 10.1"
Sony 8.95”
Metra Fits 1998-2005
Planet Audio 800 Watt
Neiko 20596B

Why & When is Honda Civic Stereo Upgrade Necessary?

A higher number of vehicles do not have the finest car stereos equipped in them from the factory.

In an attempt to lower costs and achieve improved efficiency, manufacturers often time choose a lousy design and low-cost materials for stereo construction.

Also, some of these designs may lack modern features that aid effortless control and operation.

While the factory stereos may be adequate to play your favorite music, they lack the power and boost to trigger a feeling similar to what is experienced at concerts.

If you desire a pleasurable and superior listening experience (which your present stereo doesn’t offer) at every point in time while in your vehicle.

You may need to upgrade your stereo and its components.

Interestingly, car owners have countless incredible aftermarket stereos to choose from to achieve exponential outcomes and improved experience.

Required Tools, Time & Cost


  1. Ratchet & extension
  2. Panel Tool
  3. 6mm & 8mm sockets
  4. Phillips screwdriver
  5. Clean rag


The upgrade or replacement time varies from one individual to another.

For instance, it takes an experienced individual (someone who has repeatedly performed this operation) a lesser time than someone who is engaging in this project/task for the first time.

On average, the replacement and upgrade process takes between 1 hour and 3 hours.


The cost of a new stereo system varies from one manufacturer/brand to another.

Usually, stereos equipped with top-end or modern features (the 2-Din design) are more expensive than the simple designs (1-Din).

On average, the cost of a new stereo from popular/household brands such as Pioneer and Kenwood ranges between $100 and $1000.

If you are thinking of engaging an audio expert to have the installation done.

This may cost between $75 and $200, depending on the complexity of the job or the process.

Procedures of Honda Civic Stereo Upgrade

1. Battery Removal/Disconnection

Before you touch or start working on your vehicle’s stereo, ensure the battery terminals are detached accordingly.

2. Factory Stereo Removal

Taking out the old/factory stereo involves a series of steps.

The necessary details are discussed/identified below.

Removing The Slot Cover

To start with, take out the slot cover with the aid of a panel tool.

The slot cover can be found near the lighter and beneath the CD player.

Once this is done, you can then proceed to remove the bolts (2) that are positioned underneath the temp cluster.

You can perform the task using a 6mm socket.

Locating these bolts may seem a bit challenging when you depend solely on your eyes.

You can support the search by putting your fingers to work.

Detaching The Lower Panel

Next, go to your steering wheel’s left side (the driver’s side).

Take out the lower panel using the pry tool and provide the necessary support with your hand.

While the panel tool disengages the lower panel or pulls it apart, your hand can be used to loosen it for an easier and faster process.

Once it has been successfully removed, look at the dash carefully to locate and take out the screw holding the vent panel together.

Now, you can remove the vent panel. Ensure you are careful while pulling it out.

There are two (2) connectors right beneath the vent. Detach them accordingly

Removing The Factory Stereo

To detach the stereo from the dash effortlessly, insert and move the pry/panel tool across its edges.

The pry tool releases the clips, making the removal process easier.

Once the clips have been disconnected, start by taking out the whole central plastic from the top and then move across each side separately until you get to the bottom.

The whole idea is to avoid removing the stereo abruptly or at once.

Once the factory stereo has been detached successfully, go to the back and disconnect the connectors appropriately, including the antenna.

3. Connect The New Head Unit

Usually, you must have conducted adequate research while choosing the new stereo to install on your vehicle.

Asides from the top-class/modern features such design might possess, a top point of consideration is fitment and compatibility.

Connect the original OEM bracket to the new head unit and attach it accordingly to initiate the connection process.

Remember, this is not the stage or time to have the power wires connected or attached yet.

Usually, top stereo designs for Honda Civic are equipped with the necessary accessories or components needed for a stress-free installation.

Notable additions are the dash adapter kit and wiring harness.

The adapter kit is specifically built or molded to work perfectly, ensuring you achieve an attractive and custom OEM appearance.

Go through the installation guide to find out how each cable can be connected for a smooth and effortless experience.

Top designs such as Pioneer and Kenwood provide quality (well-written with helpful graphics) installation instruction manuals.

Follow the steps diligently to avoid missing out on essential connections, especially if you do not have enough experience with this project.

4. Installing The New Stereo Or Head Unit

Now that all the necessary or crucial connections have been made or completed.

Finally, it is time to install the new stereo/head unit in the ideal spot or position.

Connect the necessary wires and reconnect the battery terminals accordingly to power your vehicle.

Now is the time to check the outcome.

Power the stereo and navigate the various features and functions to ensure it delivers the expected results.

Once you are satisfied with the performance, check/confirm that the stereo is sitting well in place, and then make sure the OEM bracket is screwed/attached rightly.

The Buying Considerations of The Honda Civic Stereo Upgrade

1. Budget And Preference

When scouting/searching for a stereo to buy, ensure you strike a balance between your taste and the amount you can let go of or spend to achieve this goal.

There are a series of exciting designs offered within a reasonable/pocket-friendly price range.

However, if you want to raise the standard/bar, you should be ready to pay extra bucks.

So, while drawing out the things you expect your stereo to do, ensure your budget is sufficient to get you the design you want.

2. Available Features

One of the most notable reasons why a stereo upgrade/replacement is considered is to have access to improved, modern, or up-to-date features and functionality.

So, while you are on the market searching or scouting for the next big thing or design to buy.

Check the features and attributes such stereo possess to ensure they are what you need or desire.

CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth are top features that car owners consider.

These features make it possible to stream your favorite shows or music wirelessly from your devices/smartphones.

Also, Bluetooth guarantees safety while driving by allowing you to make and receive calls without holding your smartphone (hands-free).

3. Choose An Ideal Design For Your Vehicle

There are several astonishing/top-class stereos on the market.

While choosing the design to pick up, ensure you do not focus only on the features and functionality.

It is essential to check for fitment and compatibility to avoid unnecessary headaches or stress.

The ideal stereo is the one that is designed for your vehicle’s trim level, model year, or generation.

You can check the space requirements.

Ensure the available installation spot/location is adequate enough to attain a proper installation of the new/modern stereo on your vehicle.

For instance, 2-Din stereos are bigger (almost times two) in size than the 1-Din designs.

If the available space is designed to accommodate a 1-Din stereo, investing in a 2-Din stereo may be inappropriate.

4. Installation Process

Although the installation process is constant across all Honda Civic models, some steps may require more time, commitment, and patient due to the complexity of the stereo design.

While choosing a stereo, ensure you consider the installation process irrespective of how you want to go about it (independent or hiring an expert).

A complex stereo design is not the best choice for someone who wishes to perform the mounting independently, especially if it is their first attempt.

Also, hiring an expert will require spending more than the regular rate for a complex installation.

Commonly Encountered Issues

1. Reduced Or Lack of Sound/Volume

If you experience a sudden decrease or lack of sound, there are certain things you need to look at or consider.

If your stereo is connected to an output device, conduct a relevant inspection and make necessary adjustments.

Also, check the electrical cables to ensure the connections are still intact or connected appropriately.

2. Stereo Won’t Come on

If your stereo fails to come alive after installation, the problem may result from irregular/improper wiring.

Go over the wire connections again to identify where the fault lies and make necessary corrections.

If this issue comes up or is encountered in an old stereo, you may want to check the fuse to see if it is still intact.

3. Head Unit Fails To Play Specific Media File

Each stereo has specific media files that they support.

If you attempt to play a file that your stereo doesn’t support, there is no way it will turn out as expected.

Ensure you go through the list of media files your stereo can play and act accordingly.

4. Stereo Goes Off Now And Then

When your stereo turns off now and then or intermittently, this may be due to an issue with the ground connection or power connection.

Check these connections to confirm if they are still intact.

Extra Options Worth Considering

As discussed earlier, one of the biggest factors you need to consider before initiating your stereo upgrade process is your preference.

1. Replacing The Factory Speakers With The Best Aftermarket Sets

For clean and smoother sound quality, replace your factory-designed speakers with any of the quality options you can lay your hands on.

2. Adding A Subwoofer in Cargo Compartment

If you care so much about taking the bass quality to a different level (extra bass), investing in a top-rated subwoofer does the trick.

3. Adding New 4-Channel Amplifier(s)

If you love your music blasting at the highest possible volume, you will need to pick up a top-rated amplifier, preferably a 4-channel.

The Common FAQs of Honda Civic Stereo Upgrade

1. When Should I Upgrade My Vehicle Audio System?

Over time, the audio quality generated or produced from your vehicle audio system wears out, which limits performance in the process.

Ensure you conduct a relevant assessment from time to time. Preferably every three (3) to five (5) years.

Whenever you perceive any form of dissatisfaction in performance, it may be the right time to upgrade your stereo.

2. How Many Speakers Do I Need To Install in My Vehicle?

When it comes to the number of speakers you can install on your vehicle, this decision mainly depends on what you need or your preference.

3. How Do I Maximize My Speaker’s Performance?

To get the best out of your speakers, ensure the power matches or complements the sensitivity.

4. What Does Speaker Sensitivity Mean?

Your speaker’s sensitivity is regarded as the amount/level of sound your speaker can deliver.

5. How Do I Control/Manage The Effect Of Noise in My Vehicle?

Irrespective of how solid your audio system setup is, external sound or unpleasant noise can overwhelm the audio system, which can affect the mood/atmosphere in your vehicle.

To tackle this issue, we recommend using a voice cancelation system.


When it comes to your Honda Civic stereo upgrade, there are several options to choose from for the best performance.

However, knowing what to look out for or consider is what does the trick.

As a result, we strongly recommend that you read through the information we have discussed to guide or further enhance your purchase/investment decision.

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