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2007-11 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011

Chevy Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab (Crutchfield Research Photo)

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 GMT800

The 2007 "Classic" models looked a lot like this truck. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

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 and at left. The more aggressive-looking "Classic" truck features distinct "eyebrows" above the headlamps, plus a slight dip in the front bumper that accommodates 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. Crutchfield includes these installation parts free with most orders, along with our step-by-step instructions for your Silverado. We also offer a 50% discount on the special adapters mentioned below that you'll need for this installation.

Non-Bose 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.

Dash without radio

The Silverado's dash opening (Crutchfield Research Photo)

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

There are two companies (PAC and Axxess) that make adapters for connecting your steering wheel audio controls to a new car stereo. This truck uses Metra wiring adapters to retain the warning chimes and other features when you install a new car stereo. If you want to retain your truck’s steering wheel audio controls, we recommend the Axxess ASWC-1 adapter, which will plug right in to the Metra harness.

Replacing your factory speakers

Front door speaker

The Silverado’s front door will accept a variety of aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Non-Bose 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 Silverado’s rear door will 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. Again, GM uses 4-ohm speakers in the rear doors, so if you're planning to keep the factory radio, you can install just about any speakers back there.

If you rarely have passengers in the rear seats, you might consider using these locations for midrange speakers that really fill out your music’s sound. 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 – these easily pry out, but you’ll need to cut the wires to splice in your aftermarket tweeters, and you'll usually have to make some kind of mounting bracket. 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 Bose 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

Factory subwoofer

The Bose subwoofer is located in the Silverado's center console (Crutchfield Research 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.

Subwoofer enclosure

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

More Options

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.

Helix PP50DSP
If modifying your ride just isn't in your DNA, Helix offers another option for vehicles without factory amplifiers. You can use their PP50DSP processor to make a dramatic improvement in the sound of your truck's factory system. It works like this: you buy the processor, along with a vehicle-specific cable and a plug-in powered sub. The cable plugs into your factory radio's plug, connecting the processor/amp to your factory speakers. Next, go to Helix's site, download your vehicle’s audio parameters onto a microSD card, then load that info into the amp/processor. The PP50DSP is now ready to use equalization and time alignment to make your factory speakers sound great. Add in the bass from the optional Helix sub, and you've got a total system upgrade with minimal work.

Satellite Radio
Chevy made satellite radio available as an option on most models. If you have a current satellite radio subscription, you’ll want to buy a new stereo with built-in 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. 

Powerstage
If you don't want to replace your factory radio, Kicker has come up with an interesting way to upgrade your vehicle's audio system. The Powerstage package consists of a 4-channel amp/processor, a powered subwoofer, a T-harness, and assorted hardware. Kicker has created a sonic profile of your vehicle, which is downloaded into the amp/processor. Once set, the processor corrects for all the deficiencies in your factory speakers, then uses time alignment to make sure the sounds from all the speakers reach your ears at the same time. The amp sends 50 watts per channel to your front and rear speakers, while the bass is routed to a 200-watt powered sub that fits your vehicle perfectly. The T-harness connects the Powerstage into your speaker system, so no splicing is required. It's an ingenious way to get impressive sound quality without removing a single door panel.

Security
If you're installing a simple security system, we recommend the FLCAN interface because it has the best firmware for GM vehicles on this platform. If you're installing a remote start system, you also need an FLR3 wiring interface for transponder bypass.

Outfitting your Silverado

Quick & Easy
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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