We are a participant in the Amazon Affiliate program. If you buy products through our chosen links, we may receive a small commission, but the price of the product will remain the same. Learn more.

5 Best Jeep Wrangler JL Radio Upgrade With Simple 8 Steps

Do you think it’s time to have a long-overdue Jeep Wrangler JL Radio upgrade?

What are some factors that you are seeing before having it done?

As audio systems are usually one of the top features considered before choosing a car, it’s not to say that radios can’t be replaced for better parts – or upgraded for that matter.

If you want the best radio accompanying you while you drive, maybe it is time to get that upgrade.

When Should You Need To Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler JL Radio?

There are various factors that have to be taken into consideration when thinking about upgrading your Jeep’s radio.

Considering that a car’s radio would affect your entire experience, you have to plan on it.

But if you still can’t see reasons as to why you should get that upgrade, here are some specifics:

  • Distorted Audio Sounds
  • Speaker’s Vibration is Lacking
  • Limited music range
  • Possible static feels
  • Electrical Response

And if that list doesn’t tick off anything, then maybe the sign is simply because you want to.

Table of Jeep Wrangler JL Radio Upgrade

Brand NameDetails
Stinger HEIGH10 10"
Insane Audio Fits 2018-2020
LinksWell Citreal
Kenwood DMX7706S
AWESAFE B08THLGF6V

What Are The Costs Of Upgrading Your Jeep Wrangler Jl Radio?

You have to factor in labor fees for the people who will be installing the radio.

Most shops would ask for an hourly rate which would typically range around $70-$90 per hour.

Meanwhile, dealerships would charge around $80-$125 per hour, for that matter.

However, if you want a flat rate rather than paying for an hourly rate, retailers such as BestBuy and Walmart can do so at around $100 per hour.

Moreover, you also have to consider the replacement piece, which would average at $1000-$1200 for the stereo in whichever shop you choose to buy it from.

How Much Time Will Upgrading Your Jeep Wrangler Jl Radio Take?

The time of installation will entirely depend on who is doing it.

It can be a DIY thing; however, it depends on how much you know and what level your skills are in automotive customizations.

It could be as easy as a walk in the park, or it could mean a lot of work for you.

Moreover, if you decide to take it to an auto shop, you’ll immediately have your new radio in 30 to 60 minutes.

Tools Needed

The tools you will be needing:

  • Panel Tool
  • Right-angle Phillips Screwdriver
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Wiring Harness Adapter
  • Soldering Iron Tool
  • Optional Crimping Tool
  • Compatible Radio Replacement

Step By Step Guide For Jeep Wrangler JL Radio Upgrade 2021

Step 1 – Do Some Situation Analysis

Every car is different, and while we are mainly on Jeep Wranglers, some models would also vary in the slightest details.

Some might have additional screws, switches, and plugs.

Some might even have different sizes for compatibility.

It is important to first assess and evaluate what exactly is being needed for the car in the first place.

This is extremely helpful if you want to create a proper plan when trying to do the installation process by yourself.

You also want to be exact with the car component you will be buying, so knowing the ins and outs of the unit will be useful.

To do this, you mainly have to inspect the area of the component unit, including features surrounding it, as it may also be affected once you get on with the removal of the car radio.

Step 2 – Remove the Car Stereo

Once you have formulated a plan based on the situation analysis you performed early on, it is now time to remove the car stereo.

While the radio is still running, remove any discs or external connections attached to it.

Turn the ignition off, set the brakes to park, and remove the keys from the ignition to ensure safety during the duration of the installation process.

In the case of Jeep Wranglers, you have to pry the trim panel near the air-conditioning unit.

In other models, the top of the dashboard can also be where you should be opening.

With this, remove the screws that are attached near the receiver and the climate controls.

After this, also try to pry open the edges of the trim panel to eventually remove the stereo from the dashboard.

Step 3 – Remove Any of the Straps Left and Check for More Wired Connections

Before finally removing the whole of the stereo, you also have to remove the wires connecting it.

This is easier when you open the glove box to reach out to the straps that hold the door.

Maintain a reasonable distance as you drop the door down.

Reach behind the door with your hand and with a wrench, remove the nuts and bolts attaching your stereo to the car.

Step 4 – Slide in the New Radio

Once the old radio has been properly removed, prepare the new unit, and check its compatibility again.

Slide it on the now-empty dashboard location and make sure it fits well with its size and the trim surrounding it.

If ever the unit purchased is too small for the dashboard, some auto shops sell bezels that can help finish off the fitment of the radio.

Step 5 – Put Everything Back to Its Original Place

To have your radio look good as new, you have to put everything back in its proper place, from all the trim panels you have removed to the wirings that need to reconnect again.

It is wise to note how you have taken apart the components, as it would be easy for you to do things in reverse order.

This is to ensure that you are doing everything correctly and you have not missed anything.

Step 6 – Turn the Car On and Test the New Radio

Once you have finished the installation process and checked if everything removed has been reconnected and attached again, it is now time to test the new radio.

To do this, turn the car on along with the new radio.

You have to test all of the unit’s features, which would depend entirely on the type of unit you bought.

Some would have to test touchscreen responsiveness, speaker sound quality, auxiliary inputs, USB inputs, button functions, and even screen resolution evaluation.

This is to know if everything is working well and if it has been installed properly.

This can also help identify errors and malfunctions of the new system to help take care of it immediately when required. 

Buying Considerations And Factors of Jeep Wrangler JL Radio Upgrade

Budget

Budgeting allows you to create a frame for how much you can shell out for a new radio.

When it comes to cars, spending money is not a matter of “if,” it will always be a matter of “how much” and how far can you go.

So, knowing how much you can allocate for that new upgrade is preferable if you want to set a limit.

It can also be super useful if you are still saving up some cash for that new radio you have been eyeing.

As a recommendation, a range of $1000-$1500 would be the safety net as to how much you should be able to assign if you’re getting serious about that new audio system.

That budget will be including labor costs and the new component.

Of course, there will always be a possibility that it might go higher, so you must also prepare for that.

However, for a better piece of angle, there is also a possibility that you spend less than the said budget if you get to find a good deal.

It will entirely depend on where you are geographically located and where you source your pieces from.

Size

In terms of size, there isn’t much that needs to be said other than knowing whether it fits your Wrangler or not.

It will vary on the specific model and year type or if it is entirely customizable.

You can also measure the dimensions by yourself to be exact with the numbers as you do not want to buy the wrong component piece for your car.

However, if you are having trouble doing so, auto shops would ask for the name and model of your car, and they will just come with the selection of radio components that they have in store.

Music Options

Along with many reasons to get an audio system upgrade, one of the features that many people are eyeing is the option as to how to play music.

Some car radios would only offer music playing options through connecting your phone with an auxiliary cord – and some are stuck with CDs.

If you want to replace and upgrade your Wrangler’s car radio, you might as well get the most updated head unit that would be compatible with the times.

Not only would they offer a much cleaner sound while you’re driving, but they will also be able to pair with your phone and assess your music library via Bluetooth.

Some units would even have smart features that would enable you to access virtual assistants while you’re focusing on the road.

Top 5 Best Jeep JL Radio Upgrade

01. Stinger HEIGH10 10″ Multimedia Car Stereo

 

 

Highlighted Features

  • HD Digital Touchscreen Monitor
  • Can connect to Apple Carplay, Android Audio, SiriusXM-Ready
  • Bluetooth Compatibility
  • Built-in amplifier
  • 1 HDMI input
  • 2 USB input
  • Output for Audio with Subwoofer Control

The unit can fit well in any vehicle that requires a double din radio and a few cases of single din applications.

However, it would always be subject to different bases and the appropriate kit to do so.

Pros

  • The screen is flexible enough at it can be adjusted and removed whenever it is needed.

Cons

  • The unit does not come with specific parts for any vehicle, which, in turn, would need to have you purchase them separately.

02. Insane Audio 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler Jl/Gladiator

 

 

Highlighted Features

  • Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility
  • GPS Navigation
  • 3D Topography
  • Shock, water, and dustproof
  • Touchscreen and buttons
  • On-board diagnostics

It has the closest to perfect factory fit for 2018 to 2020 Jeep Wranglers.

Moreover, it is also designed to look like the original car radio on top of being an easy and fast installation

component for those wanting to do some DIYs.

Pros

  • This is a good option for people looking at saving money through eliminating labor costs as its installation merely requires you to plug and then play.

Cons

  • You will need WiFi from your phone to get the best out of this component
  • It cannot give Bluetooth text notifications
  • The GPS needs a bit more improvement to function well

03. LinksWell Gen IV

 

 

Highlighted Features

  • AM/FM Radio with RDS
  • USB Inputs
  • Apple and Android Compatibility
  • Camera Inputs for Three Angles
  • GPS Navigation
  • Manual HVAC controls

It is a satisfactory upgrade according to previous customer reviews about the easy plug and plays option.

However, the installation process might be difficult for those wanting to have some DIY stuff with their car radio because the package does not include instructions.

Pros

  • Clear and responsive screen
  • Good overall sound quality

Cons

  • Hard to install
  • Rebooting problems
  • Weak compatibility with Android phones

04. Kenwood DMX7706S

 

 

Highlighted Features

  • Android and Apple Compatibility
  • High-Resolution Audio
  • Two Camera Inputs
  • Touchscreen LCD

Overall, it is one of the best options to buy as not only does it house multiple features – but the quality is also of a high standard.

According to previous customer reviews, it is also one of the most cost-effective units in terms of Jeep Wrangler car radios.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Sleek and clean looks
  • Fast CarPlay Connectivity
  • Easy Installation

Cons

  • It only has one USB input
  • Reported Restarting Issues

05. AWESAFE Car Radio Stereo

 

Highlighted Features

  • Touchscreen
  • Voice Command Compatibility
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, and Auxiliary Compatibility
  • Camera Inputs

The unit has equal sides of the coin – it has both good and bad qualities.

However, the bad would not be a deal-breaker for some.

It has easy installation, but only to a certain point. It has multiple features, but it still needs overall improvement when running.

Pros

  • Fast Touch Screen Response Rate
  • Easy Installation Process
  • Excellent Screen Resolution
  • Good Sound Quality

Cons

  • Missing Instruction Guides
  • Camera Issues
  • Microphone Issues
  • GPS Issues

Common FAQs of Jeep Wrangler JL Radio Upgrade

01. Who Can Upgrade?

The question as to who can upgrade your Jeep Wrangler JL Car Radio would entirely depend on various factors, including prior skillsets, time, and cost.

In some cases, it can be a very easy do-it-yourself venture as general instructions as to how is available above and videos are also for anyone to follow.

Along with that, there is always an option to take it to an automotive shop if you want and need to have the professionals take care of it.

However, this will add to more costs as you will have to shell out a couple of hundred dollars for the labor fee depending on where you are located and the standard fee for radio installation.

02. Why Should You Upgrade?

There are numerous reasons why you should upgrade your car radio, and every reason is entirely valid.

It may be for repair purposes, updating purposes, and even just because you want to.

There is a specific list of possible reasons that could sway you into finally getting that upgrade, and maybe you’ll find yours there.

As you do so, keep in mind the external factors you have to consider, such as timing and costs, as they will entirely affect the whole process.

03. Where Can You Upgrade?

You can upgrade your Wrangler car radio by yourself if you want to, and you have the required skill set to do it correctly and properly.

There are instructions and guides available such as the one written above.

However, if it isn’t an option for you because of determining factors such as unavailability and lack of knowledge, taking it into automotive shops and even dealerships can always be an option.

04. When To Upgrade?

Put, upgrade when you need it, and upgrade if you want it.

All you have to do is consider the time, the implications, the costs, and the method for how you will be able to do it.

05. How To Upgrade?

There are numerous guides and instructions, such as the one listed above, to help you upgrade or replace your car radio.

If ever step-by-step instructions cannot do, YouTube channels are also there to aid you in doing so.

If external factors deem you unable to do it by yourself, spending on professional fees can always be worth it.

The Verdict

Whether or not you need to replace your Jeep Wrangler’s car radio, or you simply want to get an upgrade to have a better audio system – it all boils to the fact that the decision is entirely easy to make once all the factors are considered.

It’s also a very easy job to do, so having a DIY process can be a fun option.

After all, having a more efficient and higher-quality sound system in your car makes the overall experience even better.

Leave a Comment