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2014-up Jeep Cherokee

How to install your new stereo and speakers
2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021 • 2022 • 2023

jeep cherokee

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Cherokee's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about: 

Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your vehicle. 

Overview of the Jeep Cherokee

There’s a lot to like about the "KL" Jeep Cherokee, a thoroughly modern SUV that's very much a Jeep, yet also very much designed for the way most people are going to use it. It all starts with the styling, which retains enough Jeep cues to let you know what it is without looking like every buff and boxy Jeep SUV that came before it.

Inside, you’ll find all the tech and comfort features people have come to expect from vehicles in this segment, including the stock stereo systems. They aren’t terrible, but they’re also not awesome. We’re guessing you prefer awesome to not, so upgrading the factory system will be a nice way to add bring some awesome audio to your Cherokee. This article will explain what you can do and give you some tips on how to do it.

jeep cherokee radio base

The factory displays come in two sizes, small and large. This is the 5" (small) LCD. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory stereo system

The base system offers s a 5" LCD AM/FM/SiriusXM receiver with six speakers, while the upper-end systems center around 7" or 8" LCD receivers.

The Cherokee’s USB, AUX, and SD card inputs are located below the climate controls. When you replace the factory radio, you'll lose those inputs, and you’ll also lose UConnect functionality.

Removing the stock radio is pretty simple, but to replace it, you’ll need the right combination of iDatalink-ready aftermarket receiver and iDatalink module. We’ve thoroughly researched all of this, so rather than going through the various permutations and combinations here, we’ll suggest that you enter your vehicle information to see the aftermarket stereos that fit your Cherokee.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

ResearchNotes image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield ResearchNotes™ 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.

When you order your new stereo from Crutchfield, we’ll give you a nice discount on the installation gear you’ll need to secure the new receiver in your Cherokee.

In some most cases, you’ll need to remove a support bracket in the sub-dash in order to install your new receiver. If this is the case, we’ll let you know early in the shopping process. This is not the hardest thing to do, but you’ll want to work carefully. We also recommend wearing some eye protection for safety’s sake.

jeep cherokee 8-inch radio

Removing the factory receiver is the same for both sizes (Crutchfield Research Photo)

If you’re bypassing the factory amp in Alpine-equipped Cherokees (it’s in the glovebox), we recommend replacing the low-impedance factory speakers with 4-ohm aftermarket models to prevent overheating and other damage to your new radio. On the other hand, you can also add an aftermarket amplifier and expand your speaker choices quite a bit.

If you have questions about any of this — and you very well might — give us a shout via phone or chat

jeep cherokee radio removal

The good news is receiver removal is a reasonably easy process in the Cherokee (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

As noted, removing the radio is the easy part. The process is basically the same for all factory receivers, since they all fit into the same basic center dash assembly.

To start, use a panel tool to pry out the climate control panel, then disconnect the harness and remove the control panel. That will expose two Phillips screws, which you’ll need to remove.

Next, pry out the receiver trim panel/center vent assembly, releasing twelve clips, then remove the assembly. Remove the four Phillips screws securing the receiver to the dash, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the receiver.

Before you start doing any of that, though, be sure to set the parking brake and disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical shorts.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver


Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain your Cherokee's steering wheel audio controls 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.

jeep cherokee front door speaker

Upgrading the speakers will improve your sound, even if you decide to keep the factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers

Whether you decide to replace the stock receiver or not, a speaker upgrade can really make your music sound better. Removing and replacing the stock speakers is reasonably simple in the Cherokee, so it's a fine project for a reasonably skilled DIY-er.

jeep cherokee alpine center dash speaker

Removing and replacing the Alpine-only center dash speaker will be a reasonably simple task (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the center dash speaker (Alpine system)

The 10-speaker Alpine system includes a 3-1/2" center dash speaker, and it’s pretty easy to deal with. Open the top dash storage pocket, then, starting at the rear edge, pry up the center dash grille to release eight clips and remove the grille. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

Tools needed: Panel tool, stubby Phillips screwdriver

jeep cherokee corner dash speaker

You'll find these 3-1/2" speakers in the dash corners (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the corner dash speakers

All Cherokees have 3-1/2" speakers in the dash corners, and these speakers are also pretty easy to remove and replace. Starting at the rear edge, pry out the dash grille to release four clips and remove the grille. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

jeep cherokee front door speakers

You'll need to remove the door panels to replace the Cherokee's front and rear door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the front door speakers

The stock front door speakers are 6"x9" models that can be replace by a healthy selection of same-size, 6-1/2", or 5-1/4" aftermarket models. You’ll need brackets for the smaller ones, and we’ll include them free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

To remove the speakers, pry out the screw cover behind the door release handle and remove one Phillips screw and one 10mm screw. Next, pry up the rubber screw cover inside the door pull cup and remove one 7mm screw. Pry up the power switch panel to release those clips, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the switch panel.

Pry out all sides of the door panel to release fifteen retaining clips, then, starting at the rear edge, pry off the door lock/release assembly and let it hang while you keep working. Remove the door panel and store it someplace clean and dry.

Finally, remove the four Torx T-20 screws securing the speaker to the door, disconnect the harness, and remove the speaker.

Once you’ve secured the new speakers, test them out to make sure they’re working as they should. If they are, put the doors back together by doing all of the above steps in reverse order. Before you button it all up, be sure to check the door lock/release assembly and also make sure there aren’t any wires interfering with the windows.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet and extension, Torx T-20 driver

jeep cherokee rear door

The rear door panels come off in much the same way as the ones up front (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear door speakers

The rear door speakers are also 6"x9" full-range models that can be replaced by same-size, 6-1/2", or 5-1/4" aftermarket speakers. If you need brackets, we’ll include them free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

The door disassembly and speaker installation process is pretty much the same as what you do on the front doors, and the step-by-step guide to this job can be found in your Crutchfield disassembly instructions.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet and extension, Torx T-20 driver

jeep cherokee alpine pillar speaker

The Alpine system's rear pillar speakers are actually quite easy to deal with (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear pillar speakers (Alpine)

The Alpine system includes 3-1/2" speakers in the rear pillars. To get to them, you’ll start by prying the speaker grille off the rear pillar trim panel and removing it. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker to the pillar steel, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

jeep cherokee factory subwoofer removal

Getting to the factory subwoofer will take a bit of work (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear side-panel subwoofer

The Cherokee’s stock subwoofer is located in the right rear of the cargo area. It’s an 8" sub with a 6-hole bolt pattern, and there are several shallow-mount subs that’ll fit right in. If you choose a standard 8" sub, you’ll need to drill new mounting screw holes. This isn’t hard to do, but since you’re drilling into your own vehicle, you’ll want to know what’s around and behind the drilling area before you start. We also recommend wearing eye protection.

As for getting to and removing the factory sub, we recommend clearing your schedule for the afternoon. The job’s not all that hard, really, but there are a lot of steps involved (we counted 13...) and this will take some time. You can do this, but you’ll need to be organized, work carefully, and stay patient.

All the details can be found in the vehicle-specific disassembly instructions included with your subwoofer purchase


jeep cherokee cargo area

There's plenty of room for boom in the Cherokee's spacious cargo area (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More bass in your Cherokee

If you’re big on bass, the Cherokee has the space you need for a larger subwoofer box. The actual measurements are 38"W x 18"H x 29"/27"D, so you can do something pretty nifty back here if you want to.

If you’d rather conserve some of that cargo space for things like, well, cargo, you might want to go with a more compact powered subwoofer. Talk to one of our expert advisors to see what will be the best bass-enhancement option for you, your Jeep, and your lifestyle.

weathertech floor liners

Keep your carpeting looking good by adding WeatherTech FloorLiners to your Jeep's interior

Other options for your Cherokee

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

Add an amplifier

In a utility-style vehicle like this one, you need clean power (and lots of it) going to your speakers and sub. A new amplifier will give you the "headroom" you need to get the sound you want at highway speeds. 

Protect the carpeting

If you're using your Jeep 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 Cherokee 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.

Last updated 11/3/2022
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