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

Last Updated on: October 6, 2022

We love music, and we bring it with us everywhere we go. But no matter how good your music taste is, playing it on your low-quality car speaker will always be a bummer.

We’ve got you.

Installing a car stereo and a couple of speakers will surely enhance your listening experience, but aside from all the confusing installation process, how much does it cost to install a sound system in a car?

Man thinking with palms raised upward

Well, that’s the thing, it varies, GREATLY. Not to worry.

Keep reading and let’s discuss all the factors that affect your future car stereo’s price ranges and everything else you need to know.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Sound System Installed In Your Car

1. The Head Unit

Since Motorola initially introduced the 5T71 car radio model in the 1930s, car audio systems have continuously progressed.

Most of us are already familiar with the head unit or car stereo, which is used to output signals from cassettes, 8-tracks, and other types of record players.

As the name implies, this is the brain or head of the car audio system. 

Its main duties are to generate a signal, adjust the volume, and access various car audio sources connected to the machine.

Nowadays, a car audio system can already play DVD movies on the screen, stream music, and even link to smart devices via Bluetooth. This comes to show just how vast technology is evolving.

Standard Head Unit Cost

The car unit heads, like any other product, are available in a variety of costs and qualities.

Based on market research and technical analysis, head unit prices range from $80- $200, depending on a couple of aspects and features.

All head units come with all the required components included. So add ons aren’t really that necessary in increasing the sound quality, but it’s still up to you of course.

Installation Procedure

While you can get your head unit installed by professionals, it is ideal to be the one to install your first-ever head unit. 

It’s a great experience and will surely allow you to learn the basics.

Uninstalling The Old Unit
  1. Carefully unscrew all the screws that are holding the car stereo system to your dashboard. Make sure to store the screws in a secure area to avoid losing them.
  2. Remove the head unit from the panel.
  3. Before disconnecting all the wires, take a picture of their positions so you won’t be confused with what goes where later on.
  4. Proceed with disconnecting the wires from the head unit.
Installing The New Head Unit
  1. Connect the wires that were detached from the old device to the new unit, use the photo you took for reference. 
  2. Make use of a wire harness to avoid them from tangling with each other, and to make your future installation quicker. 
  3. Make sure the wires are connected properly, or better yet, utilize the wiring harness instruction handbook.
  4. Attach your power supply.
  5. Locate the screw, wire, or bolt that connects to the bare metal chassis of the automobile, tie the stereo ground speaker wire around it, and tighten the screw.
  6. Replace the unit head on the panel and secure it to the dashboard using screws. If you followed the procedures exactly, you should be fine.

2. The Amplifier

This is one of the major components of a car audio system that helps improve its quality.

Purpose Of The Amplifier

The name is pretty self-explanatory as well, it amplifies. It is only a question of what kind of amplifier is used: monoblock car amplifier or multi-channel car amplifier. 

Amplifiers make use of weak signals from the unit head and bring them to a higher frequency. 

The original signal from the unit head is frequently insufficient to induce sound waves that the speakers will generate.

This is frequently inserted in the head unit to make the car audio system more compact. But even though most audio speakers already come with built-in amps, external amplifiers are highly recommended.

Car Amplifier Installation Cost

Car amplifiers vary in price along with their types. 

A standard mono amplifier costs about $40 up to $200. On the other hand, a multi-channel speaker costs from $80 to $400 based on your picks. At this point, you should already have an idea of how to increase volume of speakers without amplifier to avoid spending lavishly on audio enhancements.

Installation Procedure

  1. Drill tiny holes into the mounting position of the amplifier (make sure it’s a level surface with no cable or pipe flowing beneath it).
  2. Attach the amplifier with screws to the drilled floor.
  3. Connect the battery to the amp power cord.
  4. Connect the ground wire of the amplifier to the vehicle’s ground screw.
  5. Connect the turn-on wire from the remote.
  6. Connect the signal lines.
  7. Join the speaker wires together.

3. The Car Speakers

The speaker of the car stereo system is the most visible component. It’s the final destination of the signals after being released by the head unit and increased by the amplifier.

The speaker’s principal function is to receive amplified signals in the form of electrical energy from the amplifier. The energy is subsequently converted to mechanical energy. 

Sound waves are generated by the speaker as a result of vibrations reaching the speaker.

Car Stereo Installation Cost

Before we get started with concerns like “How much to install car stereo?”, let’s tackle the various types of speakers first.

There are 3 variants of speakers for each car audio system:

  • The Coaxial speaker (full-range)
  • Component speaker
  • Subwoofer

Because they are less expensive and take up less space, coaxial speakers are frequently factory-installed speakers in most cars. 

A component speaker, on the other hand, will be more successful in improving your car audio system.

Similar to traditional speakers, a subwoofer majors in reproducing low-pitched audio frequencies or bass.

A coaxial speaker can cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per piece. Component speakers range in price from $50 to $350. A subwoofer speaker costs between $30 and $80.

Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with car stereo installation cost:

ComponentTypePrice Range
Head Unitx$97 – $200
AmplifierMono Amp$90 – $200
Multi-Channel Amp$92 – $350x
SpeakerCoaxial$30 – $70
Component$97 – $300x
Subwoofer$30 – $80x
Technical Costx$180 – $400
The least possible you can have is $400. Meanwhile, the average total cost you can have is $1100.

Installation Procedure

The speakers in most cars are average, and they don’t always provide good sound. 

Changing your car speaker isn’t an extensive task, but it always makes a noticeable difference.

It is one of the most straightforward car components to change on your own. Let’s look at how to put a car speaker in place:

  1. Remove the grilles from the speakers.
  2. Take out the factory speakers.
  3. Connect the new speaker to the electrical harness in the automobile.
  4. Check to see if the speaker is operational. 
  5. Reconnect the vehicle’s power supply and listen to the car stereo.
  6. To secure the speaker, replace the speaker grille.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Car Stereo: Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Sound System

1. The Receiver

Any car sound system would be incomplete without a receiver. 

You’ll want a receiver with a lot of functions that are simple to use. Consider the following factors:

  • Size and Suitability. When shopping online, you can usually utilize the search feature to filter down options that are compatible with your vehicle.
  • Ease of use. The majority of consumers nowadays choose huge displays with touchscreen technology. You don’t want to have to go through a lot of complicated steps to change the radio station or increase the level while driving. Many of today’s receivers or head units can even be controlled by speech.
  • Connectivity. It’s critical to select a receiver that can connect to your smartphone and use programs such as Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
  • Versatility. Look for alternatives that allow you to listen to music stored on thumb drives. The receiver should be able to readily tune into satellite radio channels and maintain a strong signal.

These functions are not available on low-cost sound system receivers. It’s just the same as when you want high-quality vehicle seat coverings, you’ll have to pay a little extra.

JVC, Boss, and Pioneer are just a few of the best brands. Depending on the brand and features, these might cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more.

Pro Auto Thought: Sometimes even with the best brands you have, there will be problems you need to arrest so that your listening experience is maintained to high standards. Read our post and find out how to fix your stereo if it is not functioning properly — Car Stereo Won’t Turn On But It Has Power: Top 8 Bug Fixes.

2. The Speakers

Most automobile fans think that the speakers are the most significant component, aside from the receiver. Many are contemplating car speaker sizes while others are about choosing 2 way vs 4 way speakers.

You’ve probably seen guys in their backseats with massive speaker cabinets. Although you don’t have to go for these larger speakers with more wattage, many still want them because of their loud sound.

The peaks of standard factory-installed automobile speakers are only around 10 watts RMS. This is simply not enough boom for the majority of folks. 

You’ll want to employ a professional to install your speakers, so they do not create an eyesore in the interior of your car, just like you would when buying the best tonneau truck cover.

The answer on how much to install speakers in a car varies. If you get high-quality speakers, the music will be crystal clear, and you won’t get that annoying interference that destroys a nice beat even at the greatest levels.

Focal, Polk Audio, and Kicker are some of the greatest brands. You should expect to pay between $200 and $500 for a nice pair.

3. The Subwoofer

Car audio without a subwoofer is the equivalent of a truck without sparkplugs. It’s not going anywhere. Subwoofers can be installed in the trunk or beneath the seat. Make certain also you decided already between bass blocker or crossover because these will impact your audio experience!

It remains buried, but the moment you hear the bass begin to thump, you’ll know it’s there.

Good choices include Rockford Fosgate, JBL, Kicker, and Pioneer. The cost ranges from approximately $150 to $300.

4. The Amplifier

While some people prefer their music to be kept quiet, others want everyone to hear it. An amp will be your greatest buddy if you like to pump up the music on a lengthy journey.

The amplifier must be powerful enough to drive your speakers. 

While good speakers produce high-quality sound, they will suffer greatly if they are not accompanied by a decent amplifier. 

This device, as the name implies, amplifies the sound coming from your speakers.

Crutchfield, JL Audio, and Rockford Fosgate, among others, are some of the greatest amplifier brands. The greatest amps will set you back roughly $1000 or more if you want a great sound.


How Much Does It Cost To Install A Car Stereo With Professional Help

Why would you take a DIY method to installation if you’re going to get the best sound system for your car? In addition to selecting the best components, having them professional installation is critical.

You’ll feel assured that every part of the new components will perform at its best and will operate securely if they are installed by a professional. 

A “car speaker installation cost near me” is what might be going through your mind. It may require a huge amount of money but, it assures great customer service.

The majority of specialists will bill by 12 hours. You should anticipate paying roughly $200 for the head unit installation. The technician will charge by the hour while installing the speakers, subwoofer, and amplifier.

Typically, it takes more than a couple of hours at maximum for the full installation, depending on the vehicle you have and the car sound system.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to install a sound system in a car?

With all of the considerations in mind, car audio installation should take anywhere from one to four hours. However, time may vary, and the only way to receive a precise quote for car stereo installation is to take it to a car audio shop.

How many speakers do I need to put in my car?

Two or three speakers should be placed on the front panel. You should put them in cards on the front doors if you have a dynamic one. Another technique to ensure maximum output is to keep the entire car audio system in good shape.

Should front and rear car speakers be the same?

It’s always a good idea to stick with the same manufacturer for both the front and rear speakers. You can simply eliminate unpleasant pitch variations this way.  If your car is equipped with a video stereo and car audio system, then the rear speaker can leave a major impact on creating surround sound with quality.


Conclusion

If you’re an audiophile who’s unhappy with your car’s present sound system, determining how much does it cost to install a sound system in a car, buying a new one, and having it professionally fitted can breathe new life into it.

A high-end sound system not only improves the sound quality of your music by allowing you to hear every nuance of the beat, but it also boosts the value of your car, which is significant even if you do not intend to sell it anytime soon. 

You can turn up the music and feel the beat in your spirit with a new method you learned. Now, don’t pump the breaks of enjoying quality music on the road.

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