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2010-2013 Kia Soul

2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013

Kia Soul

In a nutshell: This article is an overview of your Soul's audio system and its upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Kia. 

Overview of the Kia Soul

Kia built its reputation on unremarkable cars that came with remarkable warranties. They weren't cool, they weren't stylish and they weren't fun, but they gave you pretty good bang for the buck. The Soul is a different kind of Kia.

Kia has obviously been working hard to change its reputation, and the Soul is just one example of how far they've come. It's a nifty, fun-to-drive little box with a style all its own — and yes, you still get that remarkable Kia warranty.

Detailed installation instructions

MasterSheet image
If you're looking for step-by-step instructions on how to install a car stereo or speakers in your car, there's nothing better than our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™. This detailed, well-illustrated document is free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for $9.99.

Factory stereo system

The Soul was available with two stock stereo systems:

  • the Standard system, with an AM/FM in-dash receiver/CD player with an input for an MP3 player. The base model had four speakers, the + model (It gets weirder, see below....) added two more.
  • the Premium system, optional on the ! model (We kid you not.) and standard on the Sport model (Ahhh, that's more like it....), added a center speaker, a sub, and an outboard amp. The ! and Sport could also be equipped with steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

You can replace all or part of either system with a reasonable amount of effort. Single- (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) receivers will work just fine and steering wheel audio control adapters are available.

Factory radio

The Kia Soul's factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

With roughly 7" of usable space behind the dash, the Soul's dash can accomodate just about any aftermarket receiver. Due to the location of the HVAC controls, fold-down face receivers are not on that list, but you'll still have a wide selection of great receivers to choose from.

Installing an aftermarket receiver in your Kia isn't an impossible task, but it does require a fair amount of skill and know-how. The clips that hold the dash panel in place are extremely tight, so you may have to use considerable force to remove the panel. You’ll also have to be careful and patient when you're doing this, as the combination of tight plastic and a pry tool can lead to massive (i.e., "expensive") cosmetic damage.

The Soul's disassembled dash

The Soul’s disassembled dash, ready for a new receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, a wiring harness that allows you to connect your new radio without having to cut the factory wiring, and an adapter that connects the Kia antenna to your new radio. These installation parts are available at a deep discount with your Crutchfield stereo order, along with our step-by-step MasterSheet™ instructions for your Soul.

The bad news? You'll lose your factory satellite radio capability if you replace the factory radio. If you want to keep enjoying SiriusXM programming, look for an aftermarket stereo that is satellite radio-ready. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from.

The great news? You won’t lose the Kia’s pulsating speaker lights when the factory radio is removed.     

The factory amp, located in the right rear side panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory amp, located in the right rear side panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Premium system

The installation process is much the same with this system, but you have the addition of the factory amp, located behind the right rear side panel. The easy route is to tie your new car stereo into the Kia amp, and it’s a good way to go. The Crutchfield wiring harness will take care of this.

By using the factory amp, you’ll get an improvement in sound quality and performance from your system with a new stereo, plus you keep the 8" subwoofer and the 4" center speaker operating. Otherwise, you’ll have to run new speaker wire from the new receiver to all your speakers. That's not a whole lot of fun.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Soul. 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 Kia Soul
The Soul's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The Soul’s front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory speakers

The Soul has speakers in the dash, the doors, and behind the rear side panel. The Premium audio system adds a center dash  speaker, plus a sub and amp.

Front door with panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front door with panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

Front doors: The factory front speakers, mounted in the doors, are slightly undersized 6-3/4" speakers in a bracket. You can upgrade to 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers with the help of an adapter bracket (free from Crutchfield), but you’ll have to do a little work.

In order to access the speakers, you have to remove the door panel. You'll need to remove several screws and covers before removing the panel. The door panel is plastic, of course, so use caution when removing both the screw covers and the screws themselves.

With the panel removed, you'll have to drill out the rivets that hold the factory speaker in place, so make sure you have the right tool for that job. You'll also want to work carefully and, of course, wear eye protection when drilling.

Once the door panel and factory speaker are out of the way, you'll need to drill new screw holes to mount the aftermarket speaker bracket to the door. Use your free speaker adapter bracket to mark the spots for your pilot holes, then drill new holes, mount the adapter and mount your new speaker. The factory speaker grilles on the door panel will fit perfectly over the new speakers.

Mounting the adapter bracket in the Soul's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Mounting the adapter bracket in the Soul’s front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The 2-ohm factory speakers really aren't bad at all, so if you're going to go to the trouble of doing all that work, we humbly suggest that you spend a little more money and get the most bang for your buck — and your busted knuckles.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, drill plus 1/8" and 5/32" drill bits

Front tweeters: The Soul's 1-1/2" tweeters are mounted up front, on the corners of the dash. To remove them, the corner dash grilles and the outer dash vent assemblies must be removed. This isn't hard, but again, we recommend care and caution during the process.

As on the doors, the clips are extremely tight and may require considerable force to remove. When you're prying them off, remember that brute force can result in cosmetic damage. You’ll have to make a new mounting bracket or spacer to install your new tweeters. A wiring harness is not available, so you'll have to cut off the factory connectors and splice the vehicle's speaker wires to your new speaker wires.

Tools required: panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

Rear door with panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door with panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear doors: The factory rear speaker is a slightly undersized  6-3/4" speaker in a bracket. You can install 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers in the rear doors with the help of a mounting bracket, but you'll have to remove the door panel to access the speakers.

This process is similar to the removal of the front door panels, and the same notes of care and caution apply. Be patient, be calm and take good care of the panels when you're prying them loose.

Look at the bright side: if "fit and finish" were Kia problems back in the old days, those problems have been solved.

The rear factory speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The rear factory speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

You'll need to drill out rivets to remove the factory speaker, then drill new screw holes to mount the aftermarket speaker bracket to the door. A speaker adapter bracket is required, and it's included free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase, along with the wiring harness. The factory speaker grilles will work with your new rear speakers.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, drill plus 1/8" and 5/32" drill bits

The factory center speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory center speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Premium system

The Premium system, available on the ! and the Sport models, adds a center speaker, a subwoofer, and an outboard amp. The system boasts 8 speakers and 315 watts. You’ll find an extra plug on the 7303 harness (used to connect your new stereo to the Kia’s factory plug) that turns on the amp. Removing the speakers in the front and rear doors is the same as the base system. If you’re keeping the factory amp, you’ll want to pick aftermarket speakers with a lower impedance, like Infinity or JBL, or you’ll hear a noticeable drop in volume level.

Replacing the factory center speaker: Surprisingly enough, this speaker is actually somewhat easy to remove and replace. The stock unit is a 4" speaker, but there's limited space available in terms of mounting height (how tall the speaker can be before it bumps into the factory grille). The center dash grille must be removed in order to access this location. As usual, the clips are tight and extreme care should be used when removing the plastic bits.

Again, Kia uses a 2-ohm speaker, so pick a low-impedance aftermarket speaker or you’ll hear a big drop in volume from the factory amp. Since it’s tough to find a good single 4" speaker, you might want to hold off on replacing this speaker until you’ve replaced the front tweeters and door speakers.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

Shop for speakers that fit your Kia Soul
Kia Soul subwoofer

The Soul's sub (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Kia Soul

The factory subwoofer is an 8" low-impedance ( 2 ohm) dual voice coil unit tucked away in a place that makes removing and replacing it a job for pros, semi-pros, wildly-optimistic amateurs, or serious masochists. It's also not that bad a sub, so if you're going to tackle this project, you might want to go with a top-shelf subwoofer that's worth the effort.

You’ll have to remove the far rear side panel to access the sub location. Once you've done that, you'll note that the factory bolt pattern uses four holes of the aftermarket standard 8-hole bolt pattern, but the cutout is smaller than most aftermarket 8" subwoofers. You’ll need to cut metal to install just about any aftermarket 8" sub, so we'd suggest fabricating a bracket and installing a 6-3/4" subwoofer. Like we said, the factory unit isn't that bad.

Of course, if you don't mind giving up a little storage space in the rear area, there's plenty of room for a powered subwoofer.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm & 14mm socket, ratchet and extension, good grades in shop class.

Other options for your Soul

There are plenty of ways to make your Soul a nicer place to hang out. Here are a couple of suggestions:

iPod® and satellite radio adapters

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 Fit, especially if you’re okay with the idea of going CD-free. We offer several adapters that will allow you to use an iPod, MP3 player, or satellite radio with the factory system. You can upgrade the speakers later for even better sound.


The Soul is a solidly built car, but it’s still a subcompact and it can be a bit buzzy at highway speeds. The Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal out the noise and seal in the sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. This is a great thing to do while you’re installing new speakers. Why take the doors apart twice if you don’t have to? One kit will take care of the front doors on your Soul.


Installing a security system in your Soul 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 Kia Soul

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.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/21/2018

    Jason, Upon further review, that paragraph could've been a lot clearer, so thanks for bringing this up. The stock sub is a 2-ohm model, so replacing it with a 4-ohm aftermarket speaker will result in lower volume levels. You can, but considering all the work that goes into the replacement process, you probably don't want to! 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.

  • Jason from Fargo, ND

    Posted on 5/20/2018

    Is the sub a 2 ohm DVC speaker or is it 4 ohm DVC? The one in my daughter's car is blown out and needs to be replaced. I haven't taken it out to measure it yet, but everything I've read says that it's a 2 ohm speaker, but this article states to replace it with a 4 ohm DVC speaker.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    George, With questions like yours, it's always good to chat with one of our Advisors. I've forwarded this to our sales team, and someone will be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat. And thanks for the kind words!

  • George Smith from Rialto, CA

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    Hey Jon, great article. I'd like to upgrade the sub in my 2013 Kia Soul (!). I was thinking of the Pioneer TS-SW2002D2. As long as I can get through removing the panels and fitting the sub the wiring shouldn't be too hard. Will this sub perform good with the existing amp or will I need to upgrade that as well? Thanks!

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/12/2018

    Edd, You'll probably want to have a chat with our experts, too! 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.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/12/2018

    Paul, 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.

  • Edd from Marietta

    Posted on 2/11/2018

    Exact same issue and question as Paul Vasquez-Negron; we have the 2013+ premium pkg w/6 speakers and newer graphic version UVO head. Our amp has a 2 connector configuration as opposed to the 3 connector type in the picture, and on the only diagram I could find for that amp (it's made by JBL for Kia). But a replacement is likely in the works if Crutchfield has a suggestion for suitable replacement or slight upgrade.

  • Paul Vasquez-Negron from Wilmington

    Posted on 2/10/2018

    I have a 2010 Exclaim (!) with the 8 channel app. It seems to be a common issue with the amplifier failing over time. I'd love to replace it but would rater not replace it with another used OEM amp that will also fail over time. Does Crutchfield have any 8 channel amplifiers or a combination of amps that can be used?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/29/2017

    Michael, If you purchase a new receiver from Crutchfield, we'll include our vehicle-specific instructions free with the order. But you can also purchase one separately for just $10.

  • Michael White from Ocala

    Posted on 8/27/2017

    I need a diagram of the wiring on the back of the head unit for the 2012 Exclaim Soul with the Premium system.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/2/2017

    Jerry, During our research process, we didn't remove the rear side panel from the base model Soul, so it's hard to say for certain. A different "no-sub" panel makes no economic sense, though, so there's probably an opening. If you're into serious DIY, you'll have a blast installing a sub in this car. If you have time, visit our Custom Car Showroom and tell us all about it!

  • Jerry from Atlanta

    Posted on 3/1/2017

    Would a 2016 Soul without the premium sound have the opening in the sheet metal for the sub? I know the trim would have an opening but I'm a DIY modder at heart.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/19/2017

    Matt, That depends on a couple of things, so 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.

  • Matt from west columbia

    Posted on 1/19/2017

    What's the best way to go about installing a second amp to power a kicker L5 while still using the stock amp to power the rest of the speakers besides the stock subwoofer (it was cheaper to get an aftermarket sub as I only had to pay for a box)?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/31/2016

    Cody, Probably not. Most manufacturers aren't going to run wire unless there's a speaker at the end of it. There are exceptions to this rule, but not a lot of them. You might check your Kia's center dash location to see if there's anything under there.

  • Cody alsteen from Appleton

    Posted on 10/29/2016

    Does a 2013 kia soul without the upgraded speaker package have the wiring with it?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/18/2015

    Mike, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for expert wiring advice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Mike from Queen creek, AZ

    Posted on 11/17/2015

    Can you tap into the EOM wiring to use the stock Bluetooth mic with an aftermarket head unit instead of using the aftermarket supplied mic? If so, can you help me locate those wires/connector?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/29/2015

    The tweeters are 1-1/2" models, and the center speaker is 4" in diameter. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm which speakers fit your car and get some info on what else is needed for the installation. Good luck!

  • Dave

    Posted on 10/28/2015

    Hello. I already replaced the 4 door speakers, subwoofer, and amp. Now i want to tackle the dash tweeters and dash center channel. What are the dimensions of the holes of the dash tweeters and dash center speaker? Width and depth? Thankyou

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/2/2015

    Ken, I'll send your question to our sales team for the best answer. They'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • ken from Butler

    Posted on 10/1/2015

    What do you recommend for aftermarket head unit for a 2012 kia soul sport? I have a 12" plant audio sub 1500 with a alpine amp.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/17/2015

    Doug, If you're planning to replace the amp in your Kia, I'd suggest starting with our Car Amp FAQ. An aftermarket amp will give you more volume and more clarity, so it's a smart addition to your system.

  • Doug Pollock from Toronto, Ontario

    Posted on 9/16/2015

    It is an 8 channel amp, is there anything else you need to remember when replacing the amp? Any recommendations for more volume from this system? Any adapters needed?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/31/2015

    Melvin, The fuse box is on the side of the dash on the driver's side, behind a panel.

  • melvin from chicago

    Posted on 8/30/2015

    were is the fuse and relay located for my 2013 kia soul

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2015

    Dave, Seems a bit much, but then again, dealership parts and labor often do. That estimate could turn out to be entirely reasonable, but you might want to get a second opinion.

  • Dave Hester from Garland, TX 75040

    Posted on 8/7/2015

    The radio on my 2010 Soul started making a loud screeching sound. I talked with the service manager at the kia dealer....he listened to the screeching and stated that he thought the amp had gone out. He quoted $1000 to replace the amp....was this reasonable??

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2015

    The factory subwoofer is an 8" dual voice coil unit tucked into a 3.629" opening that's a bit too small for most aftermarket 8" subs. It's hard to get to and you'll have to enlarge the cutout when you install a new piece. This is a pretty good factory sub, really, so it you're going to replace it, we'd suggest buying something that's really worth the work. Good luck!

  • joey c. from webster, tx

    Posted on 5/23/2015

    What is the cuft volume of the factory sub enclosure and what is the diameter of the cutout/hole?

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