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2005-2006 Nissan Altima

2005 • 2006

John Pollard spent the first six years of his time at Crutchfield on the phone helping people as an Advisor. He later joined the writing staff, focusing on car stereo gear. A native of Charlottesville, VA, he left our rolling hills for the idyllic wonderland of Seattle. Despite the distance, John still works for us, leading up a special project for our vehicle photos database.

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2005 Nissan Altima

Overview of the Nissan Altima

With an efficient engine and sharp styling, the 2005-06 Nissan Altima  remains a popular choice for commuters and car lovers alike. For this Altima, Nissan offered a basic system and upgraded Bose stereo system, and aftermarket upgrades are available for each. You can replace the stereo and speakers without too much work, and you can even retain your steering wheel audio controls.

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

Nissan Altima factory radio

This receiver is part of a factory Bose® system. Note the logo. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

The Altima was available with two different systems, a regular 6-speaker system and an optional Bose® system.

6-speaker system

Installing an aftermarket stereo is a great way to make your factory system sound better, plus add new features like iPod control or HD Radio reception. You’ll need a dash kit to install a DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) car stereo, and it's a good idea to get a wiring harness that plugs into the Nissan plug so you don't have to cut into the factory wiring.

The dash kit and harness needed for this installation are deeply discounted when you buy from Crutchfield, and our step-by-step instructions for your Altima are free.

If you don't want to change your radio, you’ll find inputs on the rear of the Nissan radio that allow you to add an iPod adapter or a satellite radio tuner, then control them with the Nissan radio or your steering wheel controls. You can certainly put together a complete audio system with new speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers while retaining the factory radio, but a nice aftermarket stereo offers superior circuitry that will make these upgrades sound even better.

Note: If you have the Nissan satellite radio option, you’ll lose it when you install a new stereo.

Nissan Altima dash disassembled

The Altima's dash, disassembled (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bose® system

You’ll know that you have the upgraded Altima system if you see the Bose® logo on your radio and on the rear deck speaker grilles. The Bose system sports a set of 5-1/4" speakers in the rear door, along with the tweeters in the dash, 6-3/4" speakers in the front door, and 6"x9" speakers in the rear deck.

You’ll use the same dash kit to replace the radio in the Bose system, and you’ll also need a special Nissan/Infinity Factory Integration Adapter (made by Scosche) that connects your new stereo to the Bose system's amplifier.

Why keep the Bose amplifier? If you want to get rid of it, you’ll have to run speaker wires from your new stereo to each of the speakers in your Altima, and that takes a lot of time and effort. Plus, a nice aftermarket receiver will send a cleaner signal to the amp so you'll hear the difference in the quality of sound. This Scosche adapter is also available at a deep discount.

If you want to keep the Bose radio, you can buy adapters to connect your iPod® or add satellite radio reception. You can also replace the factory speakers in the Bose system without having to replace the radio.

Note: If you have the Nissan satellite radio option, you’ll lose it when you install a new stereo.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, panel tool

Steering wheel controls

It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Altima. 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.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Nissan Altima

NIssan Altima front door

A look at the Altima's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory speakers

Removing and replacing the speakers is basically the same with the two different systems. The Bose ystem adds rear door speakers and an amplifier to the mix, though.

Basic 6-speaker system

This basic system comes equipped with tweeters in the dash, non-standard 6-3/4" speakers in the front door,  and 6"x9" speakers in the rear deck. Nissan typically uses 2-ohm speakers in their factory systems, so you’ll want to use JBL, Infinity, or other aftermarket speakers that offer 2-ohm impedance if you're keeping the factory radio, or you’ll hear a very noticeable loss of overall volume.

Nissan Altima factory 6-3/4 speaker

A close-up of the front door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front doors: The Altima’s front doors house 6-3/4" speakers with a 3-bolt pattern, so an aftermarket 6-3/4" speaker will not fit. You can install a 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speaker  in the front door with the help of a mounting bracket, but you’ll have to redrill your screw holes.

The door panel must be removed to get at the speaker and the factory speaker is attached to the door with three Phillips screws. The factory speaker is molded to the bracket, so you will definitely need a new bracket to mount any aftermarket speaker. Those mounting brackets are available at a special price with every speaker order.

At this time, wiring harnesses are not available to connect your new speakers to the factory wiring, so you’ll need to splice into the factory wires or cut the factory plug to connect the new speaker.

Nissan Altima Bose system rear deck speakers

The Bose® system includes rear deck speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear deck speakers: You’ll find 6"x9" speakers on the rear deck in the 6-speaker system. To access this location, you'll need to remove the rear seat and the rear deck to access the speakers, not a difficult job but it'll take a little time.

You can replace these speakers with aftermarket 6"x9" speakers or use a bracket to install 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" size speakers. At this time, there isn’t a wiring harness available for the rear speakers either so cutting or splicing will be necessary.

nissan altima tweeter

Tweeter with "A" pillar removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Tweeters:The Altima has tweeters in the front "A" pillars. You will remove the "A" pillar trimpanel to access the tweeter location. Keep in mind that tweeters do not come in standard sizes, so you may have to cut, drill, glue, or fabricate a mounting plate to install an aftermarket tweeter in the factory location.

If you're shopping for tweeters, the factory tweeter is a shade under 1-3/8" in diameter, and you have a mounting depth of about 1-1/2" behind the pillar.

Nissan Altima Bose rear door speaker

Bose® system rear door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bose® system

The upgraded Bose system adds rear door speakers and an amplifier to the mix. The other speaker locations are present from the standard 6-speaker system and accommodate the same size speakers. Again, the Bose speakers are usually 2-ohm, so you’ll want to pick new speakers with a lower impedance.

Rear door speakers:  The rear door speakers found in the Bose system are standard 5-1/4" speakers. You’ll have to remove the door panel to install new 5-1/4" speakers. You shouldn't have to drill new screw holes or use a mounting bracket for installation, and there's a wiring harness (available at a discounted price) that will attach your new speakers to the Nissan speaker plugs. 

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat screwdriver, 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm socket, panel tool, wire stripper/crimp tool, crimp caps, drill and 1/8" bit

Shop for speakers that fit your Nissan Altima

nissan altima trunk

There's room for more boom in the Altima's trunk (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Nissan Altima

The bad news is that nobody makes a custom-fit sub enclosure for the Altima. The good news is that the Altima has a decent-sized trunk, so finding room for a subwoofer and amplifier (or a powered sub) won’t be a problem. You’ll have easy access to the wiring of the rear deck speakers if you want to use them to get audio signal for your subwoofer system.

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Nissan Altima

Other options for your Altima

Here are some other ways to make your Altima sound terrific:


An amplifier will give you a big boost in the performance of your new speakers, even if your vehicle came with the Bose system. We don’t recommend using an amplifier with your factory speakers as they won't handle that much power.

Satellite radio

You can add satellite to the factory radio to enjoy commercial free digital music by adding a satellite tuner. This tuner can be controlled by the factory stereo and will show station and artist information on the display. You can also add a Dock-and-Play satellite radio that you can take from car to car. If your factory radio came equipped with satellite radio, you will lose that option with a new car stereo. Look for a new radio that’ll work with an outboard SiriusXM tuner.


Installing a security system in your Altima 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.

Shop for car security systems for your Nissan Altima

Find the audio gear that fits your car or truck

Visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information to see stereos, speakers, subs, and other audio accessories that will work in your vehicle.

Last updated May 10, 2016
  • Adriel from Constitución

    Posted on 10/5/2015 1:47:28 AM

    Tweeters and front doors speaker are connected together at same speaker wire?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/5/2015 11:40:56 AM

    Adriel, The tweeters are wired into the same channels as the door woofers, just like aftermarket components would be. If you are only replacing the tweeters, you can just tap into the tweeter wires at the factory connector. Hope that helps!

  • Jamie from Richmond BC

    Posted on 3/29/2016 5:01:41 PM

    I have a Nissan Altima 2006 with the same stereo as the one shown in this article. Buttons #3 and #6 have broken off and I can no longer load or play CDs from these two slots. The Nissan dealership told me I have to replace the entire unit but I can't see how that's possible. Do you have any knowledge about this? I just need to replace two plastic buttons, I don't want to replace the entire deck!

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/30/2016 10:56:59 AM

    Jamie, Honestly, that's not something we usually deal with around here. Unless you're the first and only Altima owner to experience this (highly unlikely), there's probably some info out there on an owners' forum. It just depends on whether or not you want to go to the time and trouble to track down replacement buttons. If you do, good on ya for working to keep your car original. If you don't, we can help you find a good aftermarket receiver. Good luck!

  • Thomas from Louisville

    Posted on 5/13/2016 5:20:47 PM

    Hi Jon, I have a 2006 Altima with normal speakers (not Bose). If I replace the factory radio with one that you sell, can I keep the factory speakers? Will it sound awful? What if the new radio has a built in amp...will that help? I'm not an audio snob, I just want the sound to be at the same level as with the factory radio. Thanks in advance.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/16/2016 10:14:13 AM

    Thomas, A new receiver will definitely help you get more (and better) sound out of your factory speakers. It's an ideal first step in updating your system. New speakers will be a good idea down the road, but if your stock models are in decent shape, you're smart to enjoy them for a while longer. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat. Good luck!

  • Kevin from 32817

    Posted on 5/25/2016 5:39:11 PM

    I bought aftermarket speakers with 4 ohm and i know 'll hear a very noticeable loss of overall volume, so what i need to do to have a good sound?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2016 12:37:38 PM

    Kevin, the cheap fix is to turn the volume knob farther to the right than usual. Or you can bypass the factory amp and add an aftermarket amp. Give us a call, and one of our advisors can give you some recommendations.

  • tim lennon from Thompsons Station

    Posted on 7/17/2016 7:51:17 PM

    Does a 2002 Nissan altima with a nose systemate well with the Sony mex-XB100BTor will there be extensive rewiring problems due to an outb OK are factory amplifier vs. The built in one in Sony unit

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/18/2016 9:01:03 AM

    Tim, I've sent your question to our sales team for the best answer, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.