2008-2012 Honda Accord coupe
Upgrading the stereo system in your Accord
2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Accord'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 Accord coupe
Sedans are perfectly wonderful vehicles, but not everyone wants or needs a practical 3-box 4-door with room for the whole family. For some, a two-door with sleek styling and enough space for one passenger and a good-sized dog is plenty. Trouble is, finding a coupe, especially a mid-sized coupe, is a lot harder than it used to be.
Thankfully, Honda kept the flame burning with the 2008-11 Accord coupe. It's every bit as smart and reliable as its more upstanding sibling, but with that extra dollop of sportiness that only a two-door can provide. The Accord coupe still offers plenty of room for people and stuff if you need it, but no one will ever know it's a practical car if you don't tell them.
The factory stereo systems aren't quite as sporty as the rest of the car, though. They'll probably work fine until your car qualifies for antique status, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it? Coupes are supposed to be fun, so make your Accord even more of a blast with an all-new stereo system.
The factory radio is thoroughly integrated into the dash, so you'll need a dash kit to install a new one (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
The Accord coupe shares its dashboard design and radio options with the sedan, which is one reason the Crutchfield MastetSheet included free with your purchase contains illustrated disassembly instructions for both cars. The standard radio was an AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA player connected to six speakers, while the Premium Audio system added a subwoofer, for a total of seven speakers. A navigation receiver was also available.
The Accord's top-shelf stereo package also included an Active Noise Control System, which kicked in between 1500-2400 RPM and sent out a cancelling signal that reduced low frequency vehicle noise. The two mics are connected to the factory radio, so you'll lose this feature when you install a new one. Depending on how your car was originally equipped, you'll also lose factory features like AUX input, satellite radio, backup camera, navigation, hands-free cell phone interface, and the compass/clock.
The good news is that you'll be able to regain (and upgrade, frankly) most or all of the features listed above. A variety of single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) receivers will fit in the Accord, so you have a lot of options to choose from. And, while you'll need a lot less noise cancellation with a more powerful aftermarket stereo, you can always add Dynamat to your car to achieve the vault-like quiet a true audiophile requires.
This looks a lot worse than it is. Radio replacement really is something you can do yourself. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
Removing the Accord's factory radio isn't difficult, but it is somewhat complicated due to the sheer number of steps involved. The dash and console are smoothly integrated into the overall interior design, so you'll have to start at the console and work your way up to the radio. None of the individual steps are all that tough, but there are a bunch of them, so work carefully and stay organized.
Honda is well-known for fit and finish, so the panels you'll be removing here (and throughout the rest of the car) will be rather snug. Stay patient, because those retaining clips take their jobs pretty seriously, and you don't want to break anything.
You'll need a dash kit to install your new radio, and it's included at a very nice discount with your Crutchfield stereo purchase. This kit, which allows you to retain the factory climate controls, is color-matched to your Accord's interior, so you'll get a very nice factory look. You'll also save big on the wiring harness you'll need to connect your new receiver to the car's wiring.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
Your MasterSheet has plenty of great information, but if you run into trouble, you can call our Tech Support team seven days a week and get expert advice from an actual human.
In case you're wondering, the factory amplifier is located above the passenger's side kick panel. The harnesses can be accessed without removing the amp or the kickboard trim. If you want to use the factory amp with your upgraded system, choose a receiver with front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs.
Note: Make sure the wiring harnesses associated with the airbag are connected before turning on the ignition switch to test the receiver. If they're not connected, the airbag light will come on, and you'll need to visit your local dealership for a reset.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 8mm socket, ratchet, and extension, small flat blade screwdriver
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Accord coupe. 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.
You'll need to remove the door panels to get to the stock speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory speakers
Removing and replacing your Accord's door speakers is a thoroughly reasonable project for the average DIY-er. Detailed disassembly instructions can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet, but we'll hit some of the high points here.
The Accord coupe's doors are big and long, but the process of reaching the stock speakers is reasonably short. Push down on the screw cover release behind the door release handle, remove the cover, and remove the two exposed Phillips screws. Then, pull up the rubber mat inside the door pull cup and remove the exposed Phillips screw you see there.
Next, use a panel tool to pry off the screw cover underneath the armrest to release the retaining clips, then remove the exposed Phillips screw. Pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release ten retaining clips, then push down on the door release assembly tabs to release it from door panel. Work the door release handle through the panel opening, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the door panel.
You can install aftermarket 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" speakers in the coupe's door. Some speakers have a tweeter assembly that sticks up above the speaker frame a bit too much. For those, you'll need to cut off the back of the factory speaker grille (on the back side of the door panel). It's plastic, so this won't be hard to do. The Crutchfield Outfit My Car tool will warn you of this when you're shopping for your new speakers.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver
The tweeters can be found in the Accord coupe's sail panels (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The speaker removal process begins with the sail-panel mounted tweeters found on all Accords of this vintage. On both the sedan and the coupe, you'll start by using your panel tool to pry off the sail panel, starting from the top. Disconnect the harness and pull the sail panel/tweeter assembly out of the way.
Some really terrific component speaker systems fit the Accord, and you'll be able to use the factory tweeter grilles in most cases. To secure the tweeters, however, you'll need to mount the tweeters with backstraps, hot glue, or silicon. Also, there's no wiring harness available for this location, so you'll need to use a set of Posi-Product speaker connectors.
Tools needed: Small flat blade screwdriver
The rear deck houses speakers and, in some cases, a center-mounted subwoofer (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear deck speakers
The Accord coupe is equipped with 6-3/4" rear deck speakers. To remove and replace them, you'll start by prying up the outer front corner of each speaker grille to release the retaining clips. Remove the grille, then remove the Phillips screw securing the speaker. Lift the speaker and push it toward the center of the rear window until it releases. Disconnect the wiring harness and remove the speaker.
We carry a wide variety of 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers that will fit in the coupe's deck. You'll need adapter brackets to install them, and they're included at a discount with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. If you find that your speakers require more mounting height, you can always trim the rings on the back of the grilles.
Your new speakers might not come with screws, so check the box. If you do need screws, it's best to make your run to the hardware store before you get started.
Tools needed: Panel tool, right-angle Phillips screwdriver
A view of the rear deck sub taken from the trunk (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass in your Accord
The Accord coupe was available with an optional factory subwoofer. If that's not enough bass for you, there's plenty of room for a good-sized subwoofer box in the trunk.
Rear deck subwoofer
The optional subwoofer, roughly 8" in diameter, is located between the two rear deck speakers. Unlike the speakers, it's secured to a plate that's welded to the rear deck steel. Thus, getting to it and replacing it is a bit of a challenge.
The work isn't all that hard, mind you, but there is a fair amount of it and you'll need to fabricate a mounting bracket for whatever you put back there. We'd suggest having a friend around to help you with this job, if at all possible.
Removing the deck panel and rear trim panels requires caution and care. These panels exhibit Honda's usual level of fit (i.e., tight), so work slowly and stay calm. As with most situations in life, brute force is not the answer, no matter how tempting it may be. Complete instructions can be found in our Accord MasterSheet, of course.
The stock sub's cutout is pretty snug, so aftermarket subs with larger baskets might not fit without modification. You may also need to trim the back of the factory grille to get more height. And, yes, you should check to make sure your new sub comes with mounting screws.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 10mm socket, ratchet, and extension
Adding bass to your Accord
If your plans call for serious spine-thumping bass, the Accord coupe offers a 22" W x 15" H x 18" D space for a trunk-mounted enclosure. We measured at the front of the trunk, assuming that you'll want to leave at least a little cargo space. For those who don't need tons of bass or do need some practical cargo room, a powered subwoofer is probably a smart choice for your Accord.
Other options for your Accord
There are plenty of other ways to improve your Accord coupe. Here are just a few of the ways Crutchfield can help.
The coupe's sightlines can be a bit narrow in some situations, so if you upgrade to a big-screen DVD or nav receiver, look for one with a rear-view camera connection. The subtle little cameras can be a big help when you're trying to maneuver in tight quarters.
iPod® adapters and satellite radio
Better sound is a wonderful thing, but not everyone is up for replacing the factory receiver. Not a problem. You can still add versatility and great sound to your Accord, especially if you’re okay with the idea of going CD-free. We offer several adapters that will allow you to use an iPod or other music player with your radio, or you can add a dock-and-play satellite radio. You can upgrade the speakers later for even better sound.
Kick panel pods
One great way to boost your sound quality is a set of Q-Forms Kick Panel Pods. These custom enclosures for component speaker systems (the speakers are sold separately), are available in a variety of colors to match your Accord's interior. It takes a fair amount of skill and experience to install these pods, so you may want to consult a car stereo professional. The results will be worth it. For more info, contact a Crutchfield Advisor.
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.
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.