How To Install Car Speakers: Step By Step Guide

The speaker systems installed in brand new cars are usually pretty lousy. A cost effective and easy way to improve your audio system is to install your own aftermarket speakers.

Doing that will help you to improve bass and sound quality. Here’s how to do it:

How To Install Car Speakers – All You Need To Know

how to install car speakers1. Check Your System

Many car stereo systems with limited output and can only support 2-4 channels which is often not enough. The quality of audio will decrease if you try to add too many speakers to a system that doe snot have the capacity to power them.

2. Check The Size Of Your Speakers

Speakers are made in various sizes and dimensions.  Checking the shape of your existing speakers will help you to choose a new set that have similar dimensions to make the installation process as easy as possible.

3. Check The Electronic Features

You need to be sure that your new speakers will connect properly to your existing system.  Look out for things that might cause a problem, for example some speakers do not come with the ability to wire them in with woofers and tweeters, and others need to be wired in at the source in order to properly resist the electrical current.

4. Consider How Much Power You’ll Need

Original wiring may not be sufficient to is difficult to install and do not support speakers that require high wattage, and modification can mean a lot of arduous work with no guarantee of success.

Speaker Installation


All speakers are different.  Hopefully your new set will come with an instruction manual to tell you exactly what you’ll need to install them.  But just in case, we’ve set out a list of the tools that you’re likely to need to properly fit your new purchase:

  • Flathead screwdriver (flathead, Phillips head, etc.)
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Wire cutter
  • Socket wrench
  • Allen wrench
  • Electric drill
  • Soldering iron (and solder)
  • Torx driver
  • Panel popper

Check That Your New Speaker Fits

Some after-market speakers will fit directly into the spot that you want the, and some will need amending.  You might need to shave a panel, mount a bracket, drill a few holes, or add a bit of glue to make things work.  If you don’t like getting your hands dirty you should get new speakers to fit the space.

Disconnect Your Battery

Direct contact to the electric wiring can cause injury (and also mess up your system) so disconnect your battery before you begin.

Follow The Instructions

As we’ve said, your new speakers should come with a decent manual to help with installation.  Different brands require different steps to install, so read the accompanying manual before taking any further steps.

Installing New Speakers

Remove Panels

Your original speakers will be protected by a grill.  You’ll need to remove this before you can proceed.

Take Out The Originals

Chances are your original speakers are attached to a coil of wiring.  Be careful not to tear it when pulling out the speaker.

Connect Your New Speakers

  • If your car has a relatively straightforward audio system it might only be a case of plugging the speaker wire into your car’s wire harness.
  • In case of other cases you might need to make some modifications with a soldering iron to secure the connection.
  • Follow the connection polarity.
  • Try to avoid using the tape to secure connections – it can result in a temperamental performance


Test the speaker by reconnecting the battery and turning on the radio. Check the sound quality, bass and vibrations by running tunes at varying frequencies.  If the sound quality is not quite there chances are that there is a problem with your installation.

You can try the bass test below to help you out:

Secure Your Speakers

If you’re happy with the bass and sound quality after testing you need to make sure that your speakers are secure.  The last thing you want after going through this process is to have to go through most if it again when a bump in the road knocks your speaker free. With a torch, check that the new speaker fits snugly in the original housing.  If it does; great.  If not, secure it in the door seat and dash – you may need a mounting bracket, sum glue or a few screws depending upon what you find.

Optional: Add A Subwoofer

If you’re a bass junkie you might also like to add a Subwoofer to get that extra boom.  If your car has connections to support a subwoofer already it should be easy to install a new one by simply connecting it up with the pre-existing wire harness.  If not you’ll need to make a few amendments to your existing setup – like expanding your mounting hole or building in a box cover.  Subwoofers require a large amount of power to properly function, and can require quite intricate wiring, so bear that in mind before you buy.

Optional: Install Tweeters

Tweeters produce high pitch frequencies. The same comments for subwoofers above apply to tweeters.  Installing them can be well worth it for that extra increase in sound quality, but do your homework first before buying.

Replace Your Panels

After completing the process of installation, mounting and wiring, the protective car panels that covered your original speakers can be replaced.

Enjoy Your Music

car speakersSo that’s it.  You’re all done!  Hit the road, pop your favorite tunes on and enjoy!

Hopefully that has been a helpful guide on how to install car speakers.  Let us know what you think below.  We’d love to hear from you.

If you need more help fitting some speakers, check out these handy notes on how to install car speakers from Crutchfield and Medium.

Looking to get to upgrade the bass in your car?  Then check out our new post on the best car speakers for bass.

Having trouble with your screws?  No problem – learn how to thread your own with our tap and die set guide, or you could try welding as a more extreme fix.

And for even more boom take a look at our post all about subwoofers.


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