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2003-2007 Honda Accord sedan
2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007
2003 Honda Accord EX sedan (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The Honda Accord sedan has long been the poster child for what the automotive industry does right. It's attractive, comfortable, safe, reliable, and known for maintaining a high resale value. Most people keep their Honda Accords for a long time, so it makes sense to upgrade the stereo system. Honda claims six speakers — two of them are tweeters — and 120 watts of power for the Accord’s sound system. The reality is that it's powered by a low-output Honda radio (roughly 10 watts RMS x 4 channels) that, along with the speakers, could stand a lot of improvement.
The Accord's factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
You have plenty of room behind the dash, so you can install any DIN radio in the Accord. If you don't have the dual climate controls in your Accord, you have a choice on how to install a new car stereo in your dash. You can use a simple dash kit to put the radio in the factory pocket below the existing radio, or you can purchase a more sophisticated dash adapter that replaces the entire climate control/radio pod. The adapter houses the new radio, and retains heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls in vehicles with either single- or dual-zone climate control systems.
The factory stereo removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)
It may seem intimidating taking the dash apart from the gear shifter all the way up to the AC vents but, by following the step-by-step instructions in your free Crutchfield MasterSheet™, you’ll find it’s not complicated. You remove the factory radio/changer, only to unplug its car harness and antenna. Then, you drape those cables down to where the new receiver’s going and put the radio and dash back together, replacing the old storage bin with the new dash kit, which has a small storage shelf of its own. Then, you can install a single-DIN sized (2" tall) aftermarket receiver into the opening provided.
You will need the factory radio security code if radio power is interrupted and the factory radio is re-installed. Honda usually includes this code on a card in the owner's manual. If you don't have that card, you'll have to talk to your local Honda dealer. Also, you'll lose your Honda's satellite radio capability when you replace the radio.
Accord stereo with navigation (Crutchfield Research Photo)
If you have the factory navigation receiver, you'll have to enter two codes if the power is disconnected: one for the navigation system and one for the audio system. Once these codes have been correctly entered, the entire system will be unlocked and ready for use.
Aftermarket kit and new radio location (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Tools needed: A Phillips screwdriver, a small flat-blade screwdriver, and a panel removal tool.
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain your Accord'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 new receiver.
Replacing your factory speakers
Depending on the options package, the Honda Accord will have speakers in the doors, the dash, and the rear deck.
Factory tweeter location (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The "6-speaker system" includes two tweeters mounted in the upper corners of the dash. The only tool you’ll need to install new tweeters is a flat blade screwdriver, but you’ll need to use our Universal Backstraps or some other way to secure your new tweeter in the factory grille assembly.
You’ll also need Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect them to the factory wiring, because there’s no tweeter harness available. The factory tweeter has its crossover built-in, so the simplest way to replace them would be with one that also has its crossover built-in.
If you are adding components, it would be best to put the crossovers near the radio. Connect the front door speaker leads to the woofer output on the crossover network, and then run new speaker wire from the crossover to the tweeter. This keeps you from having to pull a new wire through the Molex plug in the door jamb, which on most Hondas is nearly impossible.
Tools needed: flat blade screwdriver
Front door speakers
The Accord's front door speakers are easy to deal with (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The plastic-framed factory 6-1/2" speakers unclip easily enough from the door frames, but you'll need to drill new mounting-screw holes into the door steel to install any new speakers. Aftermarket options include 5-1/4" and 6-1/2" speakers.
Both sizes require adapter brackets. Speaker harnesses are available for all locations in the Accord except the tweeters. These will let you connect your new speakers to the car’s harnesses without cutting or soldering wires.
These brackets and harnesses are available at a very nice discount when you order from Crutchfield.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small, flat-blade screwdriver, panel tool, drill and 1/8" bit
Rear deck speakers
The Accord's rear deck speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The rear deck 6"x9" speakers are much easier to replace. There's plenty of room there, so most aftermarket 6"x9" speakers will fit, and you have the option of installing 5-1/4" and 6-1/2" speakers with the help of mounting brackets.
Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, 8 mm socket
Bass in your Accord
The factory system, at least, can really do with the additional bass a subwoofer provides. The roomy trunk offers plenty of space for a sub, enclosure, and amplifier. And you can also consider small powered subs that'll fit under the front seat.
Another solution is to replace the rear deck speakers with 6-1/2" or 6"x9" subs, for a stealthy way to get bass. If you choose this option, make sure you use plenty of Dynamat or another noise-dampening material on the back deck. This material will keep the deck from rattling and buzzing when the small subs start pumping out lots of bass.
There are plenty of options available when you decide to take your Accord to a whole new level.
Security and remote start
Installing a security system in your Accord isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be. 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.
Keep the factory radio
If you want to leave your Honda’s radio connected, you can still add features like Bluetooth® and iPod® connectivity by way of accessory adapters and harnesses that hook in behind the factory radio. Some Hondas come with XM Radio built-in, and you'll lose that if you replace your radio. If you're a satellite radio addict, pick a new car stereo that supports SiriusXM so you can keep listening to your favorite channels.
Step-by-step upgrades for your Honda’s sound system
The great thing about upgrading car audio is that you don't have to do it all at once. You can replace your car's old audio gear as your time and budget allows.
First, the speakers
Replacing the speakers brings immediate improvement to the sound. The easiest way is to replace the front door speakers with coaxial, full-range speakers. But your best choice is to replace your four front speakers with separate woofers and tweeters, as these component speakers will help you achieve superior presence and stereo soundstaging.
Add an amplifier and subwoofer
An aftermarket amp driving new speakers will really bring impact and excitement to the ride. If you're keeping your factory radio, pick an amp with speaker-level inputs so you can tap into the factory radio’s harness to get signal. You can also use a line output converter to prep the signal for an amp that just offers preamp inputs.
Replace the radio/changer
When it comes to serious playtime, you’ll want a receiver that can keep up with all the different media you’ll want to feed it, and give you more than the typical treble and bass controls. Many high-end receivers now come with time alignment and automatic EQ features that can bring breathtaking stereo imaging to your on-the-road listening.
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