2007-2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011

By

Charlie Pastorfield

Charlie Pastorfield writes about car audio for Crutchfield. Raised in Connecticut and the U.S. Virgin Islands, he graduated from the University of Virginia, but was having way too much fun to leave Charlottesville. After a long, beautiful career touring the East Coast from Boston to Atlanta as a professional guitarist (Skip Castro Band, The Believers), he married Emilie, had two daughters (Morgan and Emma), and got his first full-time job at Crutchfield. Still an extremely active musician, he's now a member of The Gladstones, a 4-piece group that plays just about anything, and Alligator, an 8-piece band that plays late 60's Grateful Dead.

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This article is an overview of your vehicle's audio system and its upgrade options. Looking for step-by-step instructions on installing a car stereo or speakers in your Silverado? We'll include a Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one for $9.99.
Chevy Silverado

2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Chevy Silverado GMT800

The 2007 "Classic" models have a distinctive face. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Overview

Pickups aren’t just about hauling what’s in the bed or on the hitch anymore; they now feature interior touches that rival some luxury cars. The audio/video equipment in this new breed of pickup truck is no exception, and Chevrolet made sure to equip the new-for-2007 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab with some top notch features.

If you didn’t get the premium stereo on your truck, or you just want to improve on what’s already there, you can add anything from a simple speaker upgrade to a complete mobile theater makeover.

The chassis discussed here, known inside GM as the GMT900 and to the rest of the world as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, was introduced in 2007. The previous generation, the GMT800, hung around for another year as the "Classic" model. If you're not sure which '07 version you have, compare your truck to the photos above. The more aggressive-looking "Classic" features distinct "eyebrows" above the headlamps, plus a slight dip in the front bumper to accommodate the grille.

Factory radio

The GM factory radio in the Chevy Silverado (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

The Silverado came equipped with several stereo systems, including a 6 CD in-dash Bose® system and options to add navigation, rear seat audio, DVD systems, or satellite radio. It’s possible to add to or completely replace any of these stereo systems fairly easily, though getting to the amplifier and 6-1/2" subwoofer of the Bose system requires some extensive tear down of the interior. And it’s not hard to replace any of the features you may lose by taking out the factory stereo, because there are adapters that let you keep OnStar®, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth® and more.

You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, along with an antenna adapter that allows you to connect the Chevy antenna plug to your new radio. You'll get these parts at a deep discount with most orders, along with free step-by-step instructions for your Silverado. We also offer a very nice discount on the special adapters mentioned below that you'll need for this installation.

Dash without radio

The Silverado's rather spacious dash opening (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

If you’re replacing your standard GM radio, you’ll need to purchase an adapter that allows you to install a new stereo and still retain your warning chimes (along with OnStar functionality if you have it). You’ll also need a relay to keep your audible turn signals working with your new car stereo.

Bose system

If you’re replacing your GM Bose radio, you’ll need to buy an adapter to install your new stereo, allowing you to retain your warning chimes, the use of the Bose amplifier, and your OnStar functionality (if you have it). Another note: if you have the GM Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system, you also need a separate adapter to keep that system working and connect it to the audio/video output on your new receiver.

Note: Some double-DIN radios may not fit because of irregularities in the dash substructure. It’s best to pick a double-DIN radio with wire harnesses or RCA connectors located on the bottom half of the back of the radio. Your other option is to pick a new radio with a depth that’s less than 6-1/2 inches.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket and ratchet.

Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain your Silverado's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with your aftermarket receiver.

Replacing your factory speakers

Front door speaker

The front doors will hold a variety of aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

The factory speakers in the Silverado front doors are closest in size to an aftermarket 6-3/4" speaker, but you’ll need an adapter plate to install any speaker in there. The front doors will accept several very common speaker sizes, including 6-3/4", 6-1/2", 5-1/4", and the adapter plates make for an easy installation. GM uses a 4-ohm speaker in the front doors, so you have lots of great choices.

Rear door speaker

The rear door usually accept the same speakers used up front (Crutchfield Research Photo)

You'll need speaker harnesses to attach your new speakers to the plugs that connect to the GM factory speakers. The speaker harnesses, along with the speaker mounting brackets you'll need if you're installing smaller-than-stock speakers, are included free with every Crutchfield speaker order.

You can use the same size speakers in the Silverado's rear doors. GM uses 4-ohm speakers back here, so if you're want to keep the factory radio, you can install just about any speakers.

If you rarely have passengers in the rear seats, you might consider using these locations for midrange speakers that will really fill out your music’s sound. On the other hand, if you do a lot of people-hauling, you should consider replacing the rear door speakers with full-range units, which will maintain some high notes for back-seat passengers.

Bose tweeter

The Bose system includes A-pillar tweeters. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bose system

The Bose system also features one tweeter mounted in each A-pillar, and they can be pried out with relative ease. You can splice or solder your new speaker's wires to the factory wiring, or use a set of Posi-Products connectors. We recommend the latter option, because it's faster, easier, and the connection is much stronger. A mounting bracket is not available, but you can use our universal backstrap to secure the new tweeters..

Replacement speakers can work with the factory Bose amps, or you can power them with your own amps. The Bose system also uses a 1.9-ohm speaker in the front doors and a 3.6-ohm speaker in the rear doors, so it's a good idea to pick an Infinity, JBL, or other aftermarket speaker with 2-ohm impedance if you're going to keep the factory amp, or you'll notice a loss in overall volume.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm & 10mm drivers, drill with 1/8" bit, flat blade screwdriver, needle nose pliers

Bass in your Silverado

MTX Thunderform

This ThunderForm fits under the rear seat of your 2007-up Silverado Crew Cab. (MTX photo)

If your Silverado came equipped with the Bose system, there is a small woofer mounted in the center console, along with the amplifier that powers all your factory Bose speakers. If you want more bass, it’s a good idea to simply eliminate or bypass this woofer and add a new, larger sub with a more powerful amp.

Thanks to a variety of custom enclosures that fit in the center console or under the rear seats, you’ll be able to keep valuable interior room and add more kick to your music and movies. To see the complete list of what's available, enter your truck's information in our Outfit My Car page.

A variety of sub enclosures will fit the Silverado, including a dual 10" model that goes under the rear seat. (photo courtesy of JL Audio)


Other Options

There are plenty of other ways to improve your Silverado. Here are some of the ways Crutchfield can help.

Rear seat DVD/stereo

The optional DVD system features a flip-down screen in a roof console and two pairs of wireless headphones. A secondary set of controls for the radio and DVD system are housed in the rear of center console, and some models include an A/V input for adding more gear, like a gaming console. If you’re replacing the factory stereo, you’ll need an adapter to keep that system working and connect it to the audio/video output on your new receiver.

Adding an aftermarket DVD player and screens to a Silverado is pretty easy, thanks to products like flip-down overhead monitors with DVD players or replacement headrest screens that match the truck’s interior.

SiriusXM satellite radio

Chevy made satellite radio available as an option on most models. If you have a current subscription, you’ll want to buy a new stereo with built-in SiriusXM satellite radio or a model that works with an outboard tuner. You can call SiriusXM to move service over to the new stereo. If you have multiple vehicles, consider getting a plug-and-play tuner to take your satellite radio along, no matter which vehicle you’re driving.

Amps

The factory Bose system includes amps, but they aren’t ideal for use with aftermarket head units or speakers. It’s best to bypass or eliminate these amps in favor of newer gear if you want the best possible sound. You’ll find room for amps in the spaces under and behind the Silverado’s seats or in the center console.

Security

Installing a security system in your Silverado isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.

Outfitting your Silverado

Start with the basics: Even Silverados equipped with upgraded Bose systems can benefit from better speakers. The speakers in the doors and dash are easy to access and swap, with a wide selection available in the aftermarket. Look for speakers with high sensitivity ratings if you plan on keeping your factory stereo – this means they’ll sound great even without added power.

An office on wheels: If you use your truck for work, there are a few additions that make any Silverado a great business partner. Stereos with navigation and Bluetooth technology let you get to job sites without trouble and stay connected on your way there. The added power from an aftermarket head unit will make your stereo loud and clear, especially when matched with new speakers. Throw in a satellite radio to stay on top of business news and current events or enjoy listening to a game after a long day of work.

Party in the front, business in the rear: You may have purchased a pickup to get work done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride between job sites or tasks on the honey-do list. Your truck can serve a dual purpose as a great family vehicle, especially with kid-friendly features like a rear-seat DVD system or the ability to add a gaming system. Replacing the speakers with new units and powering them with a quality amp keeps the music perfectly clear, even at highway speeds with the windows down. Consider adding an in-dash stereo with a screen and a rear-view camera to make sure you’ve got all the angles covered when behind the wheel.

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