car stereos & components?
2006-11 Honda Civic
2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011
2006 Honda Civic coupe (Crutchfield Research Photo)
After the Honda Civic’s initial release in 1972, it rapidly evolved from its humble beginnings as a sub-compact coupe, to become a leader in the compact segment. By 2011, it regularly topped nearly all competitors in U.S. market sales. The Civic regularly carried a host of amenities ranging from leather seating, long lists of premium entertainment systems, and more power in the form of high-revving 1800cc, and 2000cc fuel-injected VTec engines. The Civic was also one of the first widely accepted hybrid gas-electric vehicles.
The Honda Civic's stereo (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
The 2006-2011 Honda Civic carried a base stereo package comprised of an AM/FM/CD unit with an auxiliary input and either four or six speakers. The 6-speaker system added tweeters in the dash. An upgraded sound system was available that featured seven speakers (adding a subwoofer in the rear deck) and an external amplifier to power it all. In-dash GPS navigation was another option available on most models.
Replacing the factory stereo
4- or 6-speaker stereo systems without navigation
The Civic can handle either a single-DIN or double-DIN stereo up to 8-7/16 inches in depth, so you have lots of options for your new receiver. When you replace your factory stereo, you’ll lose the auxiliary input, so make sure your new stereo has the inputs you need for your electronic devices and music sources.
Removing the factory stereo is a little bit involved, but our MasterSheet will walk you through it, step by step. To remove the factory stereo, the first thing you’ll need to do is use a panel tool to pry away the knee panel located just under the steering column. Once the retaining clips are free and the knee panel is out of the way, locate the single Phillips screw in the center of the lower internal dash assembly and remove it. This process will allow you to lift the entire instrument trim panel away, disconnect the instrument-cluster’s wiring harness then move on.
Removing the radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Next, open the storage compartment, pry off the internal storage panel located next to the power module and remove it. Once that panel has been set aside, remove the two 8mm Phillips screws located behind the panel, then move to the trim panel that encloses the stereo and climate controls. Pry the trim away until the retaining clips are free and, finally, lift the entire trim assembly away from the dash in order to gain access to the radio/climate control assembly, lift it out, disconnect the wiring harness, and set it aside.
Honda Civic dash adapter kit
Installing a new stereo, no matter which size you choose, will require a special integration kit. This kit replaces the central dash panel and integrates the climate controls and new stereo, just like the factory dash panel. The kit is available in three colors, to match your dash. When installing the integration kit, you’ll need to remove the climate controls from the factory dash panel and attach them to the kit. Once you’ve mounted the kit, installing the new stereo in your Civic is straightforward. Just follow the mounting instructions included with the kit.
You’ll also need a wiring harness so that you can connect the new stereo without cutting into to the car’s wiring. You attach the wires from one end of the harness to the wires from the stereo. The other end of the harness has a connector that plugs into the Civic’s stereo connector. Honda uses a non-standard connector for the radio antenna, so you need an adapter for that too. (Luckily, when you purchase your stereo from Crutchfield, the wiring harness and antenna adapter are free with most orders, and we’ll give you the integration kit for half price. A pack of Posi-Products Car Stereo Connectors makes the job of connecting the harness wires to the stereo wires much easier.)
One important note: If your Civic is a DX model that doesn’t have a factory stereo, you’ll need to purchase stereo mounting brackets from your local Honda dealer.
The amplifier bypass harness from Metra
7-speaker stereo system without navigation
The upgraded, 7-speaker system is largely the same, and you'll use the same integration kit in the dash. The biggest difference comes from the addition of a factory amplifier. You'll need to bypass that amp when you install your new receiver.
Bypassing the amplifier entails using a “bypass harness” to run the speaker wires from your new stereo to the factory amplifier location. (This bypass harness is offered at half price if you purchase your new stereo from Crutchfield.) The location of this amplifier depends on which type of car you have. In sedans, it’s located under the driver’s seat. Just run the harness’ wires to the amp. In coupes, you’ll find the amp beneath the center console, in front of the gear shifter. In this case, you’ll need to disassemble the console to get the wires to the amp, a process that is explained fully in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.
In either case, you unplug the speaker connector from the amplifier and plug it into the connector on the bypass harness. This removes the factory amplifier from the system, letting you safely power your speakers with the new in-dash receiver.
Honda navigation system (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Stereo systems with navigation
If your Civic came with a factory navigation system, then you might want to consider leaving the stereo as-is, or having a car audio professional do the installation. The difficulty lies in the amount of work involved in mounting a new stereo in the dash. There aren’t any installation kits available to make this easier, so you’ll have to create a custom trim panel to fill out the space around the new stereo.
Otherwise, the wiring works according to the two scenarios above. To be honest, if you have the Honda navigation system, you’re better off keeping it and improving your car's sound system by replacing your speakers and adding an amplifier.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, panel tool, 8mm socket, ratchet, and extension
Steering Wheel Audio Controls
If your Civic has audio controls on the steering wheel (and most of them do), you’ll need to install an adapter if you want to use those controls with a new stereo. There are a couple of adapters available, but the Axxess ASWC adapter is a little easier to install, thanks to its auto-programming capability. Instructions are included, and if you purchase your adapter from Crutchfield, our tech support team can talk you through any questions you might have.
Replacing your factory speakers
Regardless of which stereo system your Civic has, speaker access and replacement is the same.
Civic tweeter location (Crutchfield Research Photo)
If your Civic has tweeters in the dash, they are easy to remove. Just pry up the dash grille panel and pull it toward you to remove it. Unplug the tweeter harness and pry the tweeter out of its setting. Installing replacement tweeters involves fashioning a mounting bracket, and we offer a universal bracket that’s great for this. If you’re comfortable using a hole saw, you can flush-mount the tweeters in the dash grille itself. You’ll have to cut off the plug on the speaker wires and connect the wires directly to the new tweeter’s wires. A few Posi-Product wire connectors would be very helpful here. The factory tweeter has a diameter of 1-1/2" and you have an available depth of 1-1/8", so keep these dimensions handy when you’re shopping for replacements.
Factory tweeter (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory front door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The front doors will accept a number of 6-1/2" speakers, but the space between the front of the speaker and the door panel (called the mounting height) is limited to 3/4", so speakers with large tweeter assemblies might not fit. Stepping down to a 5-1/4" speaker will open up more options.
In either case, you’ll need a mounting bracket to hold the speaker in place and a wiring harness so that you can install the new speaker without modifying the Civic’s wiring. (These mounting brackets and wiring harnesses are included free when you purchase your new speakers from Crutchfield.)
The process of removing the door panel varies slightly depending on whether you have a coupe or sedan. In either case, you’ll remove a few screws behind the door release and handle, then pry off the door panel. The speaker is held in place by a single screw. Remove the screw, pull out the speaker, and unplug the factory wiring harness from the speaker. Our MasterSheet instructions, included with your order or available separately, will walk you through this process step-by-step.
Now for the new speakers. Attach the speaker to the mounting bracket, according to the included instructions. Connect the wiring harness to the speaker, then plug it into the Civic’s wiring connector. Mount the new speaker and bracket assembly in the door with the same screw you removed earlier, then reassemble the door panel.
Rear deck speakers
Honda Civic rear deck (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The rear deck is outfitted with a pair of 6-1/2" speakers, so you won’t have any problems fitting most aftermarket 6-1/2" speakers in there. As with the front door locations, you have the option of using a 5-1/4" speaker and you’ll need a mounting bracket and wiring harness in either case.
2-door coupe: The installation process depends on whether you have a coupe or sedan. In the 2-door version, you’ll have to pry up the rear deck to uncover the speakers. This is done by folding down the rear seat and removing two screws in the front edge of the rear deck. (In EX and SI coupes that have a subwoofer, there are ten retaining clips instead of the screws. Place your hand under the front edge of the rear deck and push up to release them.) Pull down the trim panel for the trunk light and disconnect the rear-window brake light harness. Guide the seat belt through the slot in the rear deck and remove the deck. Remove the single screw from each speaker, pull up the speaker, and unplug the wiring connector.
Rear deck speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Just like in the front doors, you'll attach the mounting bracket to the new speaker, connect the wiring harness, and secure the new speaker assembly to the rear deck. Repeat with the other speaker, the reassemble the rear deck.
4-door sedan: Replacing the rear speakers in the sedan is much easier than the coupe. All you have to do is pry up the grilles over each speaker, then remove the four screws securing the speaker to the deck. Assemble the speaker and mounting bracket structure, connect the wires, and put it all back together.
Honda Civic sedan rear speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
See below for notes about the factory subwoofer found in the EX and SI models.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, panel tool
Factory subwoofer (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass options for your Honda Civic
Some Civic models have a factory subwoofer mounted in the center of the rear deck. This location is sized to fit an 8" subwoofer, but there’s not a lot of room to accommodate an aftermarket sub. The mounting height is limited to half an inch due to the rear deck panel. Mounting depth and magnet width are both limited by the trunk torsion bars below (available depth is 4" and magnet diameter is 4-1/2").
The rear deck is a very handy spot to mount a better woofer if you can find one that fits. An aftermarket sub mounted in this location needs to be free-air capable, and you’ll need to install an amplifier to power it. The factory amp is fine for the factory woofer, but it’s not going to give you the power needed to drive an aftermarket sub.
Removing the woofer is simple. Fold down the rear seats, place your hand under the front edge of the rear deck, and push up to release the deck. Guide the seatbelt through the slot in the panel, then lift the panel off of the deck and set it aside. The woofer is secured by four Phillips screws and the wiring connection.
JL Audio Stealthbox custom-fit subwoofer (Photo courtesy of JL Audio)
If you want a low-profile bass system, but don’t have the rear deck option (or can’t find a sub to fit the deck), consider the JL Audio Stealthbox®. The enclosure mounts in the rear corner of the trunk, on the passenger side, and contains a 10" JL Audio subwoofer wired for a 2-Ohm load. Add an amplifier (the Stealthbox can handle 150-600 watts RMS) and the Stealthbox will give you a new appreciation for what good bass can sound like.
Standard component subwoofer boxes and powered subs are also a good option in the Civic, depending on how much bass you want and how much cargo room you’re willing to give up. The available space for a subwoofer box is roughly 34" wide and 15" high, with an available depth (front to rear) of 29" at the top, and 34" at bottom.
Hands-free calling and iPod® control: If you are keeping your factory stereo, you can still add a Bluetooth® phone interface or an iPod adapter. A universal Bluetooth adapter works with any car. For your iPod or iPhone®, you can add an interface that lets you control your music from the Civic’s stereo, and keep the device charged, too. When installing one of these iPod interfaces, or a one of the Bluetooth kits that need to be hardwired, you still need to remove the factory stereo to connect the new device to the rear input.
Security: Adding an alarm system to your Honda Civic is no more difficult than most other vehicles, but it's still a complex and time-consuming process. Unless you're experienced with this sort of work, you might want to rely on the skills of a professional installer. If you want to add remote start capability, you’ll need a transponder bypass module in addition to the remote start system. We suggest either the FlashLogic FLCAN or the XpressKit PKH34 transponder bypass modules. Our advisors can help you choose the best option. Again, you won't need either of these a bypass if you're just installing an alarm.
Good, better, best
Good: The Civic's stereo system offers a lot of options for upgrades. The factory nav unit is hard to replace, so don't. Keep it and invest in a great set of speakers. If your car doesn't have nav, replace the radio first and get to the speakers whenever you can.
Better: After you’ve done the basic upgrades, you have a choice of what to do next. 1) Add a nice subwoofer and amp to the trunk to give you the bass notes you just can’t get from the regular speakers. 2) Add a 4-channel amplifier to drive your aftermarket speakers. The extra power will bring out details you probably didn’t know you were missing.
Best: Do whichever option you didn’t do above. Adding the 4-channel amp will let you get the most out of your upgraded speakers. When you’re ready for a bass system, seriously consider the JL Audio Stealthbox. It’s a little pricey, but you’ll like having both the hard-hitting bass AND cargo space.
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