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2007-2011 Honda CR-V

Upgrading the stereo system in your CR-V
2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011

2007-2011 Honda CR-V

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your CR-V's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Honda.

Overview of the Honda CR-V

The third generation of Honda's compact SUV took the well-rounded wonderfulness of the previous models and added a bit more size and refinement to the package. Big enough for family duties and compact enough to scoot around town, this comfortable, versatile vehicle has proven to be the perfect choice for all sorts of drivers. No wonder it's been the most popular nameplate in its class for quite a while now.

There are things that the CR-V doesn't do well, but they're probably not things the average CR-V owner would want to do in the first place. If you're thinking about climbing a rocky hillside, this is not the SUV to choose. But if you're picking up a few bags of rocks for the garden on the way home from the gym, the CR-V is ready, willing, and able.

If you're planning to play some rock during your daily drive, the CR-V's factory stereo systems are competent, but that's about all. If you care about sound, you'll definitely want to install some aftermarket upgrades.

Honda CR-V radio

The CR-V's base receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory stereo system

The third-gen CR-V offered a few different factory stereo packages over its run. The base model was an AM/FM/CD receiver with six speakers and an AUX input inside the center console. A navigation receiver was optional, and XM satellite radio was also available.

In 2008, Honda added a premium sound system that could be ordered with the base radio instead of only with the optional nav. In 2010, Bluetooth® connectivity and a USB audio port were added to the options list. 

Replacing the CR-V's factory receiver will mean losing (if present to begin with) select inputs, the factory navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite radio. The good news is that you can get all of these features back with the right aftermarket receiver.

Honda CR-V navigation receiver

The CR-V's optional navigation receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

The CR-V's dash will comfortably accommodate a wide variety of single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) receivers, with the help of a dash kit that's included at a very nice discount when you purchase your receiver from Crutchfield. The removal process is the same for the base and nav receivers, and all is explained in the Crutchfield MasterSheet™ included with your receiver or speaker purchase.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

MasterSheet image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory stereo and speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

To remove the factory radio, you'll start by prying off the shift lock release cover with a panel tool. Depress the shift lock, then move the shifter to its lowest position. With the shifter out of the way, you'll need to remove the climate control panel.

Using the pry points at each side of the panel, carefully pry out the assembly, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the whole thing. You'll then need to remove two Phillips screws exposed by removal of climate control panel.

honda cr-v radio cavity

You can leave the vent panel on top of the dash while you're working (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Moving upwards, you'll next need to pry up the top dash panel to release the retaining clips that hold it in place. The vent panel is next, and you'll start prying up those retaining clips at the rear edge. Don't disconnect this panel; just leave it on the top of the dash.

This will expose two more Phillips screws at the top of the factory radio. Remove them, then pull out the factory radio, disconnect the harnesses, and set it aside. To install the new receiver, secure it to the mounting bracket and connect the receiver wiring adapter by following the instructions supplied.

This is all pretty straightforward, but to turn on your vehicle's factory amplifier, you'll need to connect the new stereo's amp remote wire to the amp remote wire in the wiring harness. After plugging the stereo wiring harness into the dash, connect the RCA plug from the harness to the subwoofer output on your new stereo.

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

Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls in your CR-V 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.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Honda CRV EX

Replacing your factory speakers

The CR-V has factory speakers in the dash and doors, plus (in some models) a subwoofer.

Honda CR-C dash tweeter

The tweeters are rather easy to get to (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Dash speakers

The stock tweeters are located in the dashboard, near the base of the windshield. These speakers measure just about 1-1/2" in diameter, so a number of component speaker tweeters will fit comfortably beneath the factory grilles.

A speaker adapter bracket is not available for this location, so you'll need to bend and shape a set of our universal backstraps to secure the speakers in place. You can also secure them with hot glue or silicone.

Wiring adapters aren't available for these speakers either, so you'll need to splice into the factory wiring or use a set of Posi-Products connectors to make the connections. We recommend the latter, because you'll get a much more secure, long-lasting connection.

Tools needed: Small flat blade screwdriver, panel tool

Honda CR-V front door speaker

A look at the CR-V's front door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front door speakers

Replacing the front door speakers is a reasonably uncomplicated process in the CR-V. You'll need to remove the door panels, of course, but that's not difficult at all.

Installing 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" replacement speakers (you'll have plenty to choose from) isn't too tough, but you will need to use the mounting brackets that are included at a nice discount with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. We also recommend adding a set of foam baffles, which will improve sound quality and also protect the speakers from dust and moisture.

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

Honda CR-V rear door speaker

These rear speakers don't have the biggest magnets you've ever seen... (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door speakers

Replacing the rear speakers is essentially the same process as replacing the ones up front. You'll have a wide selection of 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" aftermarket models to choose from, and you'll need to use mounting brackets here, too.

When you're replacing door speakers, it's always smart to test the new speakers before you hook everything back up and put the door panels back in place. Though we know how tempting it can be to button everything back up and see how it all looks, we also know how annoying it can be to have to take the doors apart again and figure out why one of the speakers isn't working!

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

Shop for speakers that fit your Honda CRV EX

honda cr-v factory subwoofer

Replacing the factory sub is...not a thing you want to do. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your CR-V

The CR-V's premium sound system included a subwoofer and a dedicated subwoofer amplifier. This is a good thing in general, but if you're upgrading your audio system, the presence of this gear makes the process a bit more complicated.

The main problem is that the sub is located under the passenger's side front seat, which is also home to the seat airbag harness. You can't remove the sub without disconnecting the harness, and doing that can send an airbag fault code to the SRS unit, which potentially opens up a whole bunch of problems we won't get into here. Short version: Do not — do not — attempt to remove and replace the factory subwoofer.

If you want to continue using the factory sub with your aftermarket stereo, you'll need to bypass the factory amplifier (located behind and below the console pocket in the dash), and install an aftermarket amp with a low-pass crossover. Make sure your new car stereo has a subwoofer output, because the vehicle-specific wiring harness has a plug that connects to that output.

Another option would be disconnecting the factory sub, leaving it where it is, and exploring some other options.

You can add a subwoofer box stuffed with component subs, which could theoretically provide all the bass you could ever want. The available space for this kind of installation is 40" W x 12" H x 35"-34" D, so you can go big if you're not worried about cargo room. The height measurement can even be increased to 20" if you remove the cargo shelf.

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Honda CRV EX

weathertech custom floor liners

A set of WeatherTech floor liners will keep your Honda's carpets looking great

Other options for your CR-V

There are plenty of other ways to improve the sound, safety, and comfort of your CR-V. Here are some of the ways Crutchfield can help.


The third-gen CR-V isn't as blocky as some of its predecessors, but it still produces a fair amount of wind noise. The Dynamat 10435 Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to quiet the roar and enjoy your music. This heavy-duty, noise-damping material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit will take care of both front doors.

Rear-view cameras

Though it's a "small" SUV, maneuvering the CR-V in a crowded parking lot can still be a challenge. We offer rear-view cameras from Kenwood, Alpine, Sony, Pioneer, and more. Some are designed to work with same-brand receivers only, but others come with a composite video connector and will work with almost any video receiver.

Interior protection

If you have an SUV of any size, you're eventually going to haul something somewhere. And even if you don't, the front floor mats will get a lot of abuse. Floor mats and cargo mats from WeatherTech will help protect your floors from dirt and damage.

Remote start and security systems

Adding remote start capability to your vehicle lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. The iDatastart system is incredibly convenient and makes it easier than ever to install a remote start system, so we highly recommend it. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately) to connect with your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems, so we ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.

You can also talk to your Crutchfield Advisor about a security system. They’re not as easy to install (we usually suggest letting a professional do the job), but we can help you choose a system that’ll work in your vehicle.

Shop for car security systems for your Honda CRV EX

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.

  • Ashly

    Posted on 11/7/2020

    I successfully installed my unit from crutchfield and it works great. Except I paid extra for the kit to retain the steering wheel controls but the instructions don't elaborate how to install that part. Any resources available?

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 11/9/2020

    Ashly, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.
  • Kade Leininger

    Posted on 7/14/2020

    I just got some new subwoofers for my 2011 Cr-V and want to know if I would be able to put a touch screen radio into the car so it could replace the radio I have now??

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/16/2020

    Kade, Absolutely. When you enter your vehicle's info into our Outfit My Car tool, you'll see which stereos fit your vehicle, plus the correct harness. If you have any questions, our advisors are available via phone or chat.
  • Dan from Columbus, OH

    Posted on 5/21/2020

    In reading this, using the vehicle selector, and browsing many of the radios you have (combined with the install kits, thanks!) I think I have all of my questions answered save one. I have a 2011 CRV EXL (leather but no Nav) which has the steering wheel controls, Aux port in the center console, the subwoofer, and the glove-box USB. The install kit indicates it will connect all of those except the USB, which is the one part I can't seem to find any information about. If I purchase a unit that has a rear USB connection (for example, Pioneer DMH 1500NEX), can I easily connect my existing CRV USB port that's in the glove box to that new unit's rear USB connection? Keeping that functionality is HUGE for me. Thanks for all you do. Crutchfield makes it about as easy as can be.

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 5/22/2020

    Dan, If your new stereo has a rear USB, you could run it into the glove box without too much effort. I'm guessing that might not answer the entirety of your question, though, so I'd suggest giving us a call and talking to one of our expert advisors. Thanks!
  • Mark from Townsend

    Posted on 3/11/2020

    Hello y'all, Is there a crossover from the factory to separate the high from the mid ? Or do I have too wire in the whole crossover box that comes with new speakers?

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/12/2020

    Mark, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Arthur from Honolulu

    Posted on 1/14/2020

    2011 Honda CRV without navigation and premium sound system. I want to install an aftermarket head unit and keep my sterling wheel controls. Also I DO NOT want to cut any wires in the vehicle. Is there an adapter that is plug and play?

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 1/14/2020

    Arthur, "Plug and play" is a tricky term when it comes to car audio, but it's easier than you might think to replace the radio, though, so I'm going to send your question to our sales team. They'll be contacting you via email soon, but for immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat. Thanks!
  • Lemaire from Orlando

    Posted on 8/15/2019

    I changed my 2 front speakers and my power windows aren't working. I just can control the driver window control. All is plug well! Please tell me why?

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/30/2019

    Lemaire, Hate to say it, but there's probably a bad connection or a pinched wire somewhere. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Kevin from New York

    Posted on 7/28/2019

    Are there aftermarket headunits available that'll retain the factory Auxiliary input in the center console and the USB functionality in the glove compartment of my 2011 Honda CR-V? (Preferably a unit with Apple Carplay and Android Auto)

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/29/2019

    Kevin, Unfortunately, no. The good news is that you can get all of these features back with the right aftermarket receiver. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • Guillermo Paret from Jacksonville

    Posted on 5/29/2019

    Can I tap into the sub to supply audio to my power amp

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 9/12/2019

    Guillermo, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • Taylor Struna from Lansing

    Posted on 12/24/2018

    How exactly do we bypass the factory amp? Is it standard speaker wires that come from the sub to the amp, then just hook up the sub wires to an aftermarket amp, and then to the stereo? Also, can I steal power from the factory amp to power the after market? Or would I need to run power from the battery through the fire wall? Thanks!

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 12/27/2018

    Taylor, you won't be able to piggyback power off the factory amp. Check out this article for an overview on installation. Keep in mind that if you buy your gear from Crutchfield, you can always call Tech Support for free help with installation as well. If you purchase your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/16/2018

    Alex, That shouldn't be a problem with the CR-V, but if you run into difficulty, check the owner's manual first.

  • alex from greenville

    Posted on 1/16/2018

    will the radio have to reprogrammed by a dealer, is there a code that is needed?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/28/2017

    Chris, That can work nicely, but there are some things to keep in mind. If you want to use the factory sub with your new stereo, you'll need to bypass the factory amplifier (located behind and below the console pocket in the dash), and install an aftermarket amp with a low-pass crossover. Give us a call and we'll help you find everything you need.

  • Chris from Nashville

    Posted on 12/28/2017

    Will the OEM Honda subwoofer connect to an aftermarket Pioneer stereo? I want to fit a new stereo but keep the original speakers and sub.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/26/2017

    Sharon, Your CR-V has an AUX input in the front center console.

  • Sharon from Holly springs

    Posted on 9/25/2017

    Is there an auxiliary input in my 2008 Honda CR-V with navigation

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/8/2017

    Ismael, We don't recommend that swap because of the airbag harness under the seat. You'll get much better sound from an aftermarket sub, anyway, and the installation is a lot easier.

  • ISMAEL LEBRON from Caguas

    Posted on 9/7/2017

    HI! Can i install the OE premium sound subwoofer that goes under the passenger seat in a noon premiun sound Honda CR-V? et me know. Thanks

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/19/2017

    Linda, 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.

  • Linda A Torrence Richey from Portland

    Posted on 6/18/2017

    This information is good but, all I want to know is what brand of single pin adapter and where May I purchase it to fit a 2010 Hona CRV (regular model) auxiliary plug to hear my cell phones directions through my SUV speakers. Thank You