How to go About Upgrading Your Car Stereo

            Does your car stereo need an upgrade? If the answer is yes, follow these simple steps to find the stereo system for you.

            The first thing to upgrade is the head unit. The head unit not only looks nice and allows you to change your music settings but also enhances the sound of the music you play. Head units come at a wide range of prices from $50 to $800 and up. However, price does not always mean better quality. I recommend sticking to name brands such as kenwood, sony, and pioneer. After you decide on a head unit it is time to move to speakers.

            Most people go out and look for speakers in their price range or the most expensive speakers they can find. This is not what you want to do. Just because a speaker is more expensive does not mean it is the best. When looking for car speakers, listen to the speakers before you even look at the prices. Speakers sound different, some are crisp and clear with everything while some have more bass and less all-around quality sound. Different people prefer different things such as myself. I like my bass but clear high quality sound is more important to me.

            Once you have figured out what you want it to sound like, look at the price and brand if you find speakers that you like but are too expensive then look at find the next best speaker that compares. In my eyes there are four tiers of speakers.

            The first tier is paper speakers that come stock in almost every car you can buy. These speakers are not what you want. If you see paper speakers, which you would have to go to a junk yard to get, do not bother with them.

            The second tier is a better cone and usually foam or cheap rubber around the cone. These are speakers such as boss, scosche, sound ordinance, and dual. These speakers are better than the paper speakers and will sound good at first, but if you listen to music at high volume or just a lot, these speakers will not  last very long.

             The third tier has a slightly stronger cone and has rubber around the cone. These speakers are the common speakers you could find in most stores. Brands such as kicker, pioneer, kenwood, JBL, sony, and Rockford Fosgate prime series make these types of speakers. These speakers are all very good for the common person who likes their quality music and does not want to spend too much money in the process.

            The fourth tier is polymer cones or even stronger woven materials with hard rubber around the cone. These are the speakers you will find a car audio shops. Brands include Rockford Fosgate, polk, bose, and Herts. These speakers are much more expensive and have a very large range in price. For the music enthusiast, these are the speakers you want to go with. Note that if you buy these speakers, hook them up and you are not that impressed, all speakers have a break-in period. For the lowers tiers, it could be a couple days up to three weeks maximum without an amp. The tier four speakers take 4-6 months to break-in without an amp. With an amp you can cut half to three fourths of that time off.

            When upgrading your stereo system just follow these easy steps. 1) start with the head unit. 2) once you have the head unit upgraded change the speakers. 3) When choosing speakers the order goes sound, brand, price. 4) Make sure you have done enough research before you buy the speakers so you do not regret your decisions. 5) Enjoy.

            Head units can be a little tricky to install but overall it is not to difficult. Speakers are easy to install if you can take off the door panels and back panels of the car. Keep in mind the door panels are a lot harder to get back on than to get off. If you do want to install your new stereo, you can pay a company to do it or find a friend who knows how. I can also help you if you have questions or will install them for a very cheap price; just contact me at

            If you are wanting to know about subs and amps I will post another blog in the next week or two on those. I can help you choose one, install them or build you a box for the sub that you buy if you need one. Just email me at that email address if you need or want any of those done, I will quote you a price. So what will you do with your car stereo?

                 Karl TimmermanImage


4 thoughts on “How to go About Upgrading Your Car Stereo

  1. I really enjoyed your post, I don’t have much interest or really know much about cars and or car speakers. I do know my speakers in my car stinks, so I may be needing to use your tips very soon! I really liked how you specify what everything was and what the name brands were for people like me! thanks for the helpful tips it will come very handy in the future!

  2. Thank you for the feedback and I hope this is helping if you decide to look for speakers in the future also if you need to know what size speakers you need for your car then you can go to and they have a car fit guide.

  3. timmkar22,
    This post showed me how to really look into getting a new stereo system. I need a new set up, and I will say that seeing all of these tips help out. I have been looking on Craigslist, and now I can filter through the good and bad speakers. I can’t see any problems with this post, and I want to thank you for the tips. Hopefully I will find a new set up soon.
    Emerson V.

  4. Hello, I really enjoyed reading your post. I recently put new speakers in my truck, and I had lots of problems. I tried to hook them up and nothing I could do seemed to work so I just decided to have a professional install them. Bad idea on my part it cost so much more money to have someone do what I could’ve done. I know next time if I’m putting speakers in my truck I’ll look at this first. Thanks!!


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