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2011-2014 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited

Upgrading the stereo system in your Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited
2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014

20011-up Jeep Wrangler

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

Overview of the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited

Once upon a time, driving a Jeep meant bumping along the road with the wind in your hair, bugs in your teeth, and every single road surface imperfection going directly to the base of your spine. In other words, it was very much like driving an old British sports car, except you could climb the side of a mountain and the wiring didn't fry every time it rained.

Oh, how times have changed. The "JK" series, introduced in 2007, proved that it was possible to combine the rugged, go-anywhere capability that hardcore Jeep enthusiasts demand with a level of comfort and refinement that appealed to a more mainstream audience.

The addition of a 4-door model, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, raised eyebrows among some purists, but quickly found favor among people who had always wanted a Jeep, but kept settling for a more "practical" SUV.

No matter which Wrangler you drive, if you still want to feel the bugs in your teeth, you can always remove the top, drop the doors, and head for the trail. When it's time to take the kids to soccer practice, put 'em back on. As the ads used to say, "Only in a Jeep."

For 2011, Jeep rolled out some improvements to the Wranglers, revamping the interior and improving the surfaces and switchgear. They also spent time working on the sound insulation, so this Jeep is a great place to install an aftermarket audio system.

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.

Factory stereo system

The standard Wrangler system was a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 receiver that included an aux input. The optional Infinity (2011-2012) and Alpine (2013-14) speaker packages (available with both the standard and optional nav receivers) included a subwoofer in the cargo area. Nifty features like Bluetooth hands-free calling, Sirius satellite radio, and USB connectivity were also available.

If you replace the stock receiver, you'll lose the factory nav, satellite radio, and/or aux input. All of those things can be replaced – and improved upon – with an aftermarket stereo. The 2-door and 4-door models are the same in terms of receivers and speakers. There are some different subwoofer packages available, so enter your vehicle information in our Outfit My Car page to see what's available.

Jeep Wrangler radio

The Wrangler's factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

You can replace the stock radio with a variety of single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) receivers. Removing the factory unit involves a fair amount of dash disassembly, but it's nothing that the average do-it-yourselfer can't handle. The difficulty of installing the new one depends on what kind of receiver you choose.

A single-DIN receiver is rather easy to deal with. You'll secure the receiver to a custom mounting bracket, then make the necessary wiring connections. The bracket and the wiring adapter kit are available at a discount when you buy your stereo at Crutchfield.

Installing a double-DIN receiver is a tad more complicated, because you'll have to remove the metal receiver support bracket behind the factory radio. This is actually pretty easy, and only involves the removal of four screws. Next, you'll have to trim the bar at the top of the dash opening to create room for the new receiver. You don't have to trim it very much, just enough to get the receiver in. But it's still a bit of work, and you'll want to proceed carefully.

Note: In some (rare) cases, the double-DIN mounting kit doesn't exactly play well with fold-down face receivers. Those receivers will fit – eventually – but there might be some trial and error involved in making everything look and operate just right. It may require a bit of extra patience, so take a deep, soothing breath before you start.

Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, 7mm socket

To see how to do this installation, watch our stereo and speaker installation video at the end of this article.

Steering wheel audio controls

If you want to continue using the steering wheel controls on your Wrangler, you'll need an adapter to hook everything up to the new receiver. We stock several models that will work, and our website's Outfit My Car feature will match things up for you. If you have questions, a Crutchfield Advisor can help you get the equipment you need.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Jeep Wrangler

Replacing your factory speakers

The Wrangler's speakers are not easy to replace. The job isn't hard, there's just a lot of job to do. The results are worth it, though.

Jeep Wrangler dash speaker

Honestly, the driver's side speaker is really tough to get to (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front woofers

The Wrangler's doors aren't like the doors on your average vehicle. For one thing, you can take them off if you want to, which is not something you can do on a Honda Accord. As cool as that is, it means the speakers you'd normally find in the doors have to go somewhere else. In the Wrangler's case, the front woofers are mounted to plastic enclosures that are bolted to the sub-dash.

Not surprisingly, replacing them is a little harder than it would be on most vehicles. Removing the enclosure on the driver's side is, to be quite honest, difficult and time consuming. The passenger's side is much easier, but all in all, this job can easily eat an entire afternoon.

Speaker tabs

These tabs need to be shaved or filed down in order to attach the new speaker bracket (Crutchfield Research Photo)

There's no single part of the job that's really, really tough, it's just that there are a lot of parts of the job to get through. Be patient, take your time, and be sure to keep all the various parts and screws organized as you're removing them. That'll make it a whole lot easier to put things back together and enjoy the sound of your new speakers. Your Crutchfield MasterSheet will guide you through every step of the process.

The factory front speakers are oversized 6-3/4", 4-ohm GM/Chrysler units. Aftermarket 6-3/4" speakers will fit using the factory bracket, but you'll need to shave the tabs off of the face of the stock enclosure in order for the new speaker to fit flush.

Jeep Wrangler dash speaker

The passenger's side speaker is much easier to work with (Crutchfield Research Photo)

In the case of 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" replacements, a speaker adapter bracket is required, and it's available at a discount with your speaker purchase. Once the speaker and bracket are attached, you'll shave the tabs off of the enclosure to make that combo fit flush.

Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, 7mm, 8mm & 10mm sockets, Torx T-20 driver, file

Jeep Wrangler tweeter on the dash

The tweeter is easy to pry out (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front tweeters

The 7.8-ohm tweeters, which are about an inch deep, are located in pods on the top of the dash. To replace them, you'll need to pry the tweeter out of the pod. Provided the depth and cutout are sufficient, you can flush mount the aftermarket tweeters using the aftermarket hardware.

If this is not possible, remove the tweeter from the grille, fabricate a mounting bracket, and re-use the factory grille. A wiring harness is not available, so you'll make your connections using Posi-Products connectors. This is much easier than soldering, and you get a more secure connection than just twisting and taping the wires. That's a good thing in a vehicle that's going to spend at least some of the time bouncing along backwoods trails.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver

Jeep Wrangler soundbar speaker

The Wrangler's weatherproof soundbar speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Jeep JK soundbar speakers

The Wrangler has oversized 6-3/4" 4-ohm GM/Chrysler speakers located in the overhead soundbar. The speakers and grilles are held in with the same screws, so they're quite easy to reach and replace.

Due to the rather shallow mounting depth in this location, your replacement options are 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" units. A speaker adapter bracket is required, and it's included at a deep discount with your speaker purchase.

The factory soundbar speakers are weatherproof, but if you do a lot of topless (the Jeep, we mean) off-roading, you should still consider a set of marine-rated speakers. You'll get the same level of power, plus the security of knowing that your speakers will still rock even after you've spent the afternoon splashing through creek beds and mud holes.

Tools needed: Torx T-15 driver

Shop for speakers that fit your Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler factory sub

The factory subwoofer (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Wrangler

In Wranglers equipped with the Infinity or Alpine sound systems, the factory 8" dual voice coil subwoofer is located in an enclosure on the passenger's side of the cargo area. The subwoofer and grille are both held in with the same screws, so it's easy to remove the old one. You'll have to re-drill the screw holes to mount a new aftermarket subwoofer, though. The factory amplifier isn't terribly impressive, so if you upgrade the sub, you'll want to replace the amp, too (see Other Options, below).

Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited upgrades for bass

If your Wrangler doesn't have a factory sub at all, or if a new 8" sub isn't enough bass, you have some interesting options. Several manufacturers offer custom enclosures designed to fit your Jeep perfectly. You can choose from unloaded (pick your own sub) or loaded (comes with a sub installed) models that will add plenty of thump to your driving adventures. Enter your vehicle info to see what's available.

Of course, if you want maximum bass, there's only one way to go: a subwoofer box stuffed with the biggest subs you can cram in there. In the Wrangler's case, if you want to go big, you have a 35" (with factory sub) or 41" (without) W x 12" H x 9"/12" D space to work with. For the Unlimited, the space increases to 13" H x 26"/33" D.   

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Jeep Wrangler

Custom-fit JL Audio subwoofer

This custom-fit JL Audio sub fits your Wrangler perfectly.

Other upgrade options for your Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited

Here are some suggestions on how to make your Wrangler even better.

Marine audio gear

If you spend a lot of time off-road (or just running around with the top off), you should look into marine audio gear for your Jeep.

"Regular" car receivers are great, but they're not built to handle rain or creek water. Marine receivers are sealed to keep out salt and spray, so they can stand up to mud and sand, too. Unfortunately, our Outfit My Car tool won't sort the marine stereos for fit, so we encourage you to give us a call. Our internal database DOES allow our advisors to see which ones will fit your Jeep.

Marine-rated speakers are another trail-ready idea. These speakers aren't water-proof, but they're remarkably water-resistant, and they won't be bothered by storms or splashes.

We also offer marine-rated subwoofers and amplifiers, so you can build a Jeep audio system that's tough enough for extreme off-roading.

Car care

If you're using your Wrangler as intended, it's probably going to get dirty every now and then. Keeping it in great shape really helps retain resale value, so protect your carpets (and your investment) with a set of custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners.

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 Jeep Wrangler

Watch a professional installation

Now that you have some idea of what's involved in upgrading the audio gear in your Wrangler, watch our installation video. You'll see for yourself that the task isn't that hard.

Watch one of our expert installers show you how to put a new stereo and front speakers in your Jeep. He also shares a lot great tips to save you time and install your new gear like a pro.

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.

  • Geraldo Maria from Farmington

    Posted on 12/31/2020

    I have a 2013 Jeep JKU with the Alpine upgrade stereo system and I would like to start to upgrade the subwoofer. I don't have a lot of room to spars so reusing the existing subwoofer box is my best option. I don't want to break the bank and buy a JL enclosure but rather upgrade the existing box and subwoofer, is that even possible?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 12/31/2020

    Geraldo, 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.
  • Paul from Nashville

    Posted on 9/19/2020

    I have a 2014 Wrangler Unlimited with the alpine upgrade. I just bought a Pioneer DMH-1500NEX. I'm trying to figure out if I should set the pioneer to Standard speaker output or Network. Any idea?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 9/21/2020

    Paul, They each offer different levels of sound and adjustability, and that's all detailed in the owners' manual. It really depends on what you're looking for, so test them both and see how they sound and how they work for you. Of course, if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.
  • Alfredo Montoya from Seattle

    Posted on 2/7/2020

    Hi I'm looking to upgrade my factory head unit in my 2014 wrangler unlimited sport with uconnect non-alpine system. I don't want to use the steering wheel controls or the uconnect what do I need to change out the head unit ?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 2/8/2020

    Alfredo, We can help you with that. 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.
  • April Wisberg from Nampa

    Posted on 1/18/2020

    I have a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. I replaced the stock stereo with a double din Pioneer AVH 2500nex. When I turn the ignition I wait for the stereo to come on and it pops like someone tapping on your window. If I just start the jeep and not wait then It will not make the popping sound and my speakers will not work so I have to completely turn it off, open the door so it shuts off then restart it with the delay. All speakers, amp and subwoofer are stock which I believe are Alpine. We have the Scosche interface and wiring harness for the Chrysler Jeep 2007-2018. I don't want my speakers or anything else to blow up. Please advise on what we can do to fix the popping. It's only when I turn it on not off. Thank you.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 1/20/2020

    April, The first thing to do is double-check the receiver and harness connections. Something might be amiss there. If that doesn't help and 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.
  • Wes

    Posted on 3/11/2019

    I have a 2013 jk with the alpine premium system. I want to up grade my system but don't know if i need to upgrade the entire system as it sounds pretty good. What would be the best single upgrade for me and then what would be the next upgrade you would suggest as far sound quality? Thanks

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/11/2019

    Wes, Determining the "best" upgrade for someone else is hard to do, but it's hard to go wrong when you start with a new receiver, then add new speakers. But vice-versa works, 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.
  • Becca from Jackson

    Posted on 12/3/2018

    Hi, I plan on purchasing a radio as a gift but don't know what other supplemental materials I will need in order for the person to install it properly. I was going to use (a competitor's) free installation but they recommend buying an extra $200 worth of materials I don't know are necessary. What is the easiest way to give this as a gift/install it properly?

    Commenter image

    Jon P. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2018

    Becca, Some gear is required to connect everything and to make sure it fits securely in the dash. In most cases, we'll give you a nice discount on that stuff, which can be a big help. 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.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/2/2018

    Kevan, We're talking about the enclosure. As for the sub, we'll need some details to answer that question properly. Give our Tech Support team a call and they'll help you out.

  • Kevan from Coquitlam. BC Canada

    Posted on 3/2/2018

    Hello, I bought the replacement subwoofer for my 07. you say to redrill the mounting holes. DO you mean re drill the holes in the plastic factory enclosure or in the new crutchfield sub? How does the factory sub grill cover go on or am I supposed to run the new sub with no protective grill? Thanks

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/6/2017

    Justin, 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.

  • Justin from Kansas

    Posted on 11/4/2017

    Trying to find the right stereo that will keep the SiriusXM radio, USB connection, steering wheel controls, and the fader. Are there any?

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