How do I improve the sound of my car's stock stereo?

I have a Jeep Wrangler, and during the summer months I have a canvas top, or no top on it. I’d like my stereo to sound a little better (louder without distortion), but I don’t want to install anything that would entice thieves.

Do I just need better speakers? Is that all there is to it?

I’m no expert, but when one of the stock rear speakers in my car broke and I replaced them with a cheap pair of on-sale Pioneers, the sound got way better. So I’d say that’s a good way to go.

Since you’ve eliminated improving everything besides your speakers, the only thing left to improve is your speakers.:smiley:

You’ll need to know the output of the stereo in watts(W) and the output impedance (Ohms( Ω)) to determine what replacement speakers you can use.
You also may be able to add additional speakers or improve their placement to maximize their sound and volume.

Usually, factory installed stereos will have thin, cheap wire and connectors throughout the vehicle. You could upgrade the gauge of your speaker wire and eliminate any junctions with straight runs to eliminate any line loss, noise, or interference, etc…

Most factory car amplifiers are installed under the front seats now. In addition to new speakers and wiring, I would also add a simple 4-channel amp.

True. I probably could have worded it better.

“Will upgrading my speakers improve the sound of my stock stereo, or do I need to do other things, too? I don’t want to buy a fancy stereo, because I’m afraid it will get stolen.”

On a Wrangler? Good luck. The road and wind noise in that vehicle is so bad that the only thing you can do is throw more power at the problem. And it might not be enough.

There aren’t many questions that can’t be answered “more power”. :slight_smile:

And yeah, high-quality acoustics are not in the cards. If I could buy $75 worth of speakers and perceive some improvement it would be worth it, though.

Do you have the infinity system, or just the base two- or four-speaker? If the base, then a small 4-channel amplifier with a set of speakers that can handle more power might help. But speakers alone won’t do it; aftermarket speakers tend to have lower sensitivity than OEM and may actually be not as loud.

I’ve been trying to find an answer to the question “Do you have the infinity system, or just the base two- or four-speaker?”. I think I have the upgraded 4-speaker sound system, but not the infinity system. It’s a really decent stock stereo, but not great.

well if your not gonna upgrade your amp, or head unit, and you are really thinking about speakers, go with component type systems. These have the sub and tweeter separated and includes a crossover. Lots of systems can crank past the threshold of perceived THD. Total Harmonic Distortion. These component systems allow the power of certain frequencies to be diverted to the speaker that can best utilize it without sounding like crap. This allows you to crank it more and hear less crap clipping. Check out crutchfield. These will be better than ANY all in one speaker IE, 2 way, 3 way 6x9’s or whatever size you may have. Some speakers are more efficent so you could get more DB from one speaker over another. You only need 3 db to effectively double the sound. To double the sound thru a amp you need to triple the power.

I have owned many convertibles, and I have found the best way to have a loud and clear sound system is with an amplifier and surface mount speakers such as these:

Pioneer TS-X150 3-Way Surface Mount Speakers

I typically can mount the speakers under the seats, with the sound aimed towards my feet, and they are hidden so none of mine have ever been stolen.

The advantages of surface mount speakers are that they are self contained and do not require any cutting of the interior of the vehicle.

One thing, if your Jeep has a BOSE system (I have no idea if any do) you can’t replace anything without replacing everything! Amps & speakers are a non-common ohm and only work with other BOSE components…

Chrysler doesn’t use Bose. However, what you’re saying is true for many/most branded OEM audio systems these days.