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More often than not, the default speakers that come new with your car may not meet your expectations, especially if you are passionate about your music.

Potentially the most important aspect of your vehicle in terms of making your journey more comfortable, it can be so important to ensure that you have a top-quality speaker system that produces great-sounding music whilst you are driving.

PreviewBrand NameDetails
Rockford Fosgate B00E81RAU0
BOSS Audio Systems ‎MCKGB350B.6
Skar Audio (2) FSX65-4
BOSS Audio Systems ‎CH6520

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Sound System In A Car?

This may sound like an expensive and unnecessary feature.

Prices offered by garages and workshops might leave you feeling deflated, with many quoting upwards of $400 for the job.

This article, however, will offer cost-friendly solutions that you can do yourself, with just a few tools you are likely to already have at home.

The speakers highlighted here start from as little as $27 per speaker, meaning that you can save money and ensure a fantastic sound system for your car journeys.

How Long Does It Take To Upgrade And Replace Default Car Speakers?

As with many processes of this nature, the process length will vary considerably depending on the type of car you are working on.

For example, depending on the size of your default speakers, you may need to install a bracket to mount new speakers of different dimensions.

With almost all speakers, there will be some type of shielding panel to be removed in order to access and remove them.

This also differs from car to car, but even the most complicated should not add too much time to the process.

What Tools Will You Need To Replace The Default Speakers In Your Car?

As mentioned above, every car is going to have a different process when replacing stock speakers, and depending on the car, and you might require a specific tool.

However, it is most likely that replacing your speakers will include the majority of these tools;

  • Screwdrivers (A variety of different heads)
  • Socket wrench
  • Torx driver
  • Electric drill
  • File
  • Crimping tool
  • Allen wrench
  • Hobby knife
  • Wire cutters
  • ‘Panel popper’ tool

Guide to Replacing Default Car Speakers

Step 1: Preparation

You will, of course, need to consider a few things before you can pick up your tools and start replacing your speakers.

Firstly, consider the stereo system itself – Some will have a lower wattage, which will limit the number of speakers you can physically install without compromising on sound quality.

Importantly, the wattage of new speakers might not be compatible with the vehicle’s default wiring – This would lead to a great amount of work needing to be completed as car manufacturers tend to hide wiring as much as possible.

Next, measure the dimensions of your vehicle’s default speakers.

By doing this, before you start replacing the speakers, you can be sure that you can simplify the process and not need to make too many modifications to the structure of the car.

Finally, take some time to really compare different speakers available on the market.

You will want to consider the quality and materials used for each type as speakers made of fabric or composite material cones are generally of a higher quality.

The overall look of the speaker is also a fundamental aspect to be aware of, as this will likely be a long-term modification to your vehicle.

Within a single price bracket, you can find a wide array of different colors, styles, and trims.

Step 2: Installation

As soon as you have got the speakers that are right for you and your car, the installation process can get underway.

Ensure that you disconnect the main battery of your car before you undertake any electrical work, as this completely rules out any risk of personal injury or vehicle damage from electric shocks or short-circuiting.

Be sure to refer to the instructions that arrive with your new speakers, too, as these will be highly specific.

The first step will be to remove any of the panels that are in place to protect your default speakers.

This can usually be done with just a screwdriver, but depending on your car, the access might be concealed by seats and doors.

The speaker itself is often attached to a wire, so be careful not to rip it out quickly.

Many speakers are held in position by other bolts or glue, so it is important to ensure that you investigate this as you go.

More often than not, connecting the new speaker will be simply a matter of replacing the default wiring harness with your new one.

Make sure to match the polarity when fitting the new speaker (the positive terminal should be marked with a ‘+’ or a tiny dot).

Once fitted, you should give the new speaker a test before fitting any bolts and security panels back on because if there are any issues, you will be able to address them quickly.

Reconnect your main battery and activate the stereo.

If the speaker does not work at all, there is an issue with the electrical connection or with the speaker itself.

Try the above steps again and if the issue persists, refer to the specific instructions of your speaker.

Finally, when your speaker is running smoothly, secure it back into the housing.

If the speaker is not the same size as the default speaker, you will need to install a mounting bracket which often comes with the new speaker itself.

Again, refer to the specific instructions of your new speaker here.

For a detailed overview, check out EricTheCarGuy’s Youtube video here:

Things you Should Consider Before How Much Does it Cost to Upgrade Car Speakers


Naturally, the first thing to consider when comparing products of any type is your budget.

Whether you are looking to save money or spend big for a top-quality experience, there is a perfect speaker for you.

The budget can often depend on your long-term plans – If you are looking for an upgrade but plan to sell or trade-in the vehicle in a couple of years, it is recommended to go for entry or mid-level speakers.

However, if you are looking to build a new system and intend to keep hold of your current vehicle, investing in a premium setup is certainly not a bad idea.

Size of Speakers

Whilst browsing for different types of speakers, you would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the huge lists of different aspects, descriptions, and sizes that you come across.

It is recommended to measure your existing speakers for their size, as then you will have a target size to aim for if you want to reduce the time spent replacing them.

You might have options for speaker sizes, and in that case, usually, the bigger, the better in terms of getting more ‘oomph.’


Used to outline how your speaker transfers power into volume, a sensitivity rating indicates how loud your music can be played.

Default speakers usually have low-powered stereos, which means that buying speakers with high sensitivity ratings is generally the way to go so as to get the most value for your money.

Conversely, if you have a high-powered stereo, you might want to find speakers with a lower rating to maximize quality.


The amount of power your speakers are able to handle.

This rating will always show you two numbers; one for the minimum amount of power needed to get the desired sound from the speaker, the other the amount of power your speaker can consistently handle.

It is advised to use speakers that fall within the recommended range of your power source.

Type of Speaker vs. Type of Music

The way our ears detect and translate different types of sound is largely rooted in the actual frequency of the sound, measured in Hertz (Hz).

Ideally, you would want to have a speaker setup that can consistently reproduce the audible range for humans (20 Hz – 20,000 Hz). This isn’t often as possible as it sounds.

This isn’t to say certain systems would be obsolete for you, but more than knowing where to sacrifice and where to focus on is useful.

For example, if you are heavily into your bass, you might want to focus on subwoofers that are of high quality as these reproduce sounds below 80 Hz.

Whereas if you listen exclusively to a human voice, you might want to focus on other ranges.

Overall, the best way to test whether a speaker will work for you is to actually listen to it!

You can definitely save money by buying and installing yourself.

However, if you can get down to a garage or workshop just to test some speakers out, do it.

The 5 Best Speakers Recommended

01. JBL GTO629


The GBL GTO629 comes with carbon-injected cones, which drastically improve the quality and fidelity of your sound compared to other materials.

12-decibel crossover components will automatically direct sounds to the appropriate speakers for the most immersive sound possible, and the 3-ohm speakers are able to push your car’s default wiring to the max without dropping in quality.

These speakers are currently sitting at the number one spot in sales right now, and it is clear to see why; Setup is easy with clear instructions, and the sound range and quality are both fantastic.

If you are looking for a great product for a reasonable price, look no further than the JBL GTO629.

02. Rockford Fosgate R165X3


A perfect option for buyers looking to completely revamp their existing speaker setup whilst bringing costs to a minimum, the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 speakers are an audiophile’s dream come true.

A prime three-way at just over $50 a pair has the potential to shake the doors off any car with beautiful clarity and deep levels of bass.

This speaker does not lack in any department, with clear midrange notes and exquisite highs.

Setup for this model is noted to be slightly more time-consuming than others.

However, you will be reaping the rewards as soon as it is complete.

03. Kicker 43DSC69304 D-Series


Kicker enters the list with a coaxial setup that is aimed to fit ‘nearly any vehicle door’ straight out of the box in order to provide an overwhelming improvement on default speakers.

The D-Series features polypropylene cones to amplify low-bass and foam surrounds to ensure optimal performance, with a highly sensitive motor delivering higher volume whether or not you decide to upgrade from your factory head unit.

Like most three-way speakers, you will notice an immediate impact on the clarity of your music compared to your original car speakers.

04. JVC 300 Watt


With the budget entry on this list, JVC has hit hard with the CS-J620 and ensured that customers are getting incredible value for their money.

The two-way coaxial speaker uses a poly-ether material within the tweeter to produce better highs than your average factory speaker, with the material enabling a huge range of frequencies.

The installation is intended to be seamless, with a pre-arranged hole pattern and extra screws and tabs provided in case your installation requires any modifications.

The CS-J620 does not make any claims to be the best speaker on the market.

However, it does provide excellent value for anyone looking to upgrade their default speaker setup on a limited budget.



The BOSS MCKGB350B comes with a receiver and 2 speakers from the box, offering Bluetooth streaming, an IPX6 rating against water splash damage, USB and auxiliary inputs, built-in subwoofer control, and more.

The sound produced is great for a relatively inexpensive setup, and the variety of inputs makes it a competitive system with minimal distortion and sublime fidelity.

They are highly recommended for those looking to upgrade their speaker system, especially on a boat or UTV.

FAQs of How Much Does It Cost To Install A Sound System In A Car?

01. Why are default car speakers not as good as aftermarket speakers?

In the majority of cases, factory car speakers provide reasonable sound quality and volume.

However, if you are a keen audiophile, drive often, or simply prefer higher quality sound, aftermarket speakers are often the first port of call.

Aftermarket speakers generally are composed of higher-quality materials, producing more dynamic sound compared to the cheaper materials used in factory speakers.

Moreover, replacing your factory speakers is a simple task that you can do yourself, with no need to visit a garage or workshop.

This is the most budget-friendly way of drastically improving your car stereo system.

02. Will aftermarket speakers work properly with the factory stereo?

Most people will have zero issues in terms of their new speakers working well with the factory stereo system.

If you are a true audiophile seeking the highest performance from your stereo system, you might want to look at purchasing an external amplifier.

For most people just looking to improve the overall quality of their music whilst driving, simply improving the speakers is a perfect solution.

03. Do tweeters and subwoofers make a great difference?

As the human ear detects different sounds according to the wavelength of each individual sound wave, we need to have different types of speakers to adjust for different frequencies.

Tweeters are speakers that are designed for high-frequency sound waves, whilst subwoofers are made to amplify those low-frequency waves.

The materials used in these types of speakers by car manufacturers tend to veer on the side of cheap and ineffective – Just enough to get the job done.

By purchasing aftermarket tweeters and subwoofers, you can ensure that the materials used are of higher quality and therefore perform to a better standard, improving your overall sound and listening experience.

04. Does the material of the speaker cone affect the sound?

Yes, just like with tweeters and subwoofers, the material that is used to build a speaker is integral to the way in which it performs.

Cones are built with various different materials; paper, synthetics, fabrics, composites, and more.

The more firm the material is, the stronger bass notes will sound.

The drawback for manufacturers is the cost, so if you are looking at upgrading your speakers, make sure to look at what materials new speakers are composed of to ensure they are right for you.

05. What is the difference between component speakers and coaxial speakers?

Component speakers excel in terms of sound quality, power handling, installation creativity, and technology options for tweeters and subwoofers.

However, not every person is particularly bothered about the actual ‘crispness’ of the sound.

Therefore, it is important to decide which type is best for you.

Component speakers generally come separately, with each individual part needing to be mounted individually.

Conversely, coaxial speakers fit the whole system into a single assembly.

Coaxials usually have lower power ratings compared to component speakers and are also generally much easier to install.


In short, it really comes down to whether you are a person looking for a simple way to increase their overall car audio or a dedicated music-lover who wants the best possible clarity and sound quality.

If you sound like the former, then you might prefer a coaxial speaker that is easier to install, whereas the latter may want to invest in a component speaker for the absolute pinnacle of audio experience.

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