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2016-2021 Honda Civic coupe and sedan

Upgrading the stereo system in your Civic
2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021

honda civic sedan

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

Overview of the Honda Civic coupe and sedan

Now in it's tenth (!) generation, the Honda Civic is one of those cars that's thoroughly ingrained in everyday North American life. We defy you to find a parking lot (Big Three automaker plants excepted) where there isn't at least one Civic parked somewhere at any point in the day. And feel free to ponder many people who were driven home from the hospital in their parent's Civic have driven their kids home in a Civic. 

We've come a long way from the tiny-but-awesome first-gen Civic, a legendary small car that essentially made Honda a player in the car business. Today's Civics are a lot bigger and a lot more luxurious, but they still have the metronomic reliability, everyday practicality, and enjoyable driving dynamics that keep people coming back for more, generation after generation.

honda civic coupe

Factory stereo system

The Civic’s stock audio systems consist of a base system with four speakers and a Premium Audio system with ten. The base receiver is pretty basic, as you’d imagine, but the Premium system includes SiriusXM, HD Radio™, and more which is nice.

It’s especially nice considering that the Premium Audio system's 7" LCD receivers can’t be replaced because the climate controls are built-in, and also because there are no wiring harness adapters or dash kits available. That last bit may change in the future, so watch this space.

If you want to upgrade your receiver, you'll want to start with a base model. When you replace your 5" receiver, you’ll lose the factory USB connection. This is fine, because there are plenty of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) receivers that fit in the car and offer their own USB inputs.

honda civic base radio

The Civic's standard radio (shown) is pretty easy to deal with. The Premium Audio 7" LCD is impossible at the moment. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing your Civic's factory radio

The standard 5" LCD receiver is pretty easy to remove and replace, so it’s a good project for the beginning car audio DIY-er. You’ll have a better shot at eventually becoming an experienced car audio DIY-er if you set the parking brake and disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical short or accidental airbag deployment. Once those tasks are taken care of, you’re ready to begin.

Starting at the rear edge, pry up the driver's side console trim strip to release four clips. Remove the strip, then remove the exposed Phillips screw underneath. Next, you’ll do the same thing with the trim strip on the passenger’s side.

Pry out the climate control panel to release four clips, then wrap the panel in a clean shop cloth and place it on the console without disconnecting the harnesses. Remove the two Phillips screws exposed by removal of the climate control panel, then pull the receiver toward the rear of the car to release the retaining clips, disconnect the harnesses, and remove the receiver.

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.

You’ll save money on the dash kit and wiring harness adapter needed to install a new receiver in your Civic when you purchase your new stereo from Crutchfield.

Do note that the wiring harness interface we include does not provide the reverse trigger needed for a backup camera. You'll have to have to tap into the car’s analog reverse wire to get that parking lot view you want. Call our tech support team when you start the installation, and they'll tell you where to find that wire.

The dash kit and harness interface include instructions, so follow those to prepare the new receiver for installation. Once it’s secured and you’ve tested it out, you’ll be ready to start putting the dash back together by doing the disassembly process in reverse. All those details (basically, what’s above) can be found in the Crutchfield MasterSheet included free with your Crutchfield stereo purchase.

As noted, we don’t recommend replacing the 7" receiver, but if you (or your local car audio shop) want to put in the (large amount of) work, we can provide disassembly instructions and some advice. Give us a call and talk to one of our expert advisors.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, clean shop cloth

Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain your Civic'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.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Honda Civic

honda civic stock speaker

Replacing your Civic's speakers will really improve your sound (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing your Civic's factory speakers

From the front doors back, these Civic models differ quite a bit in the speaker location and removal details. All will be explained in your MasterSheet, but we’ll hit the high points below.

Please note that when you’re replacing the Premium Audio speakers, make sure your new speakers are low-impedance models or you'll get a major drop in volume. If your new speakers are 4-ohm models, then you should seriously consider bypassing the factory amp and installing a new amplifier to power those new speakers. That's your key to better sound. 

honda civic center dash speaker

The Premium Audio system includes this center dash speaker. It's quite easy to deal with. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the center dash speaker

The Premium Audio system’s 3-1/2" center dash speaker is pretty easy to deal with and there are some good aftermarket replacement options available.

Starting at the rear edge, use a panel tool to pry up the center dash grille and release six clips, then disconnect the harness and the remove speaker/grille assembly. Remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker to the grille and remove the speaker. Connect the speaker wiring adapter of the replacement speaker to the vehicle’s speaker harness, then secure the new speaker to the grille. Be sure to test it and make sure it’s working before you move on.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

honda civic front door speaker

You'll need to remove the door panels before you replace the stock door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the front door speakers

Your Civic’s front door speakers/woofers, regardless of stock system, are 6-3/4” models that can be replaced by 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket models. Because of the unique dimensions of the stock door speakers, you’ll need mounting brackets to install the new ones. We’ll include them with your Crutchfield speaker purchase, along with the wiring harness adapter you’ll need to connect them to the factory wiring.

Replacing the speakers starts with removing the door panels. Grab your panel tool and, starting at the lower edge, pry off the door pull outer cover to release the retaining clips and remove the cover. Remove the three Phillips screws exposed by the removal of the door pull outer cover, then pry up the power options switch panel to release its clips. Disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the switch panel.

Next, pry open the screw cover in the door pull cup and remove one exposed Phillips screw, then remove another Phillips screw under the armrest. From there, you’ll pry out all sides of the door panel to release twelve retaining clips. Disconnect the wiring harness and remove the door panel.

Set your door panels aside, preferably in a cool, safe place where they won’t get damaged by dirt, sunlight, birds, or any other unfortunate circumstance. Once that’s done, you’re ready to contemplate your next moves.

honda civic front door speaker

These Honda speakers have a unique size, so we'll send mounting brackets along with your new aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

You won’t have to contemplate much, because the speaker removal/replacement process isn’t that hard. But the details of the process will depend on the system and body style you’re working with, because there are some minor differences between the sedan’s front door and the much longer coupe door.

None of those things make the job much more complicated, but going through all the details would be a bit tedious for both of us, and they’re all in your MasterSheet anyway. Not reading it here means you’re already 5-10 minutes ahead on your speaker replacement project. And, come to think of it, I’m 5-10 minutes closer to…what am I doing tonight? Eh, that’s not important right now…. Where were we?

Once you’re done installing the new speakers, be sure to test them out before putting the doors back together. Check to make sure the door locks and releases are working as they should and also make sure the windows are working properly.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

honda civic sail panel tweeters

The Premium Audio system includes these sail panel tweeters (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the sail panel tweeters

The Premium Audio system's front sail panel tweeters measure 1.688" in diameter and can be replaced by a nice variety of aftermarket component system tweeters. If you’re replacing the front door woofers, you’ll be well on your way to replacing these tweeters because both jobs involve removing the door panels. Component speakers are definitely the call in the front doors, BTW.

Once the tweeter is removed, we recommend flush-mounting the aftermarket tweeter to the opening in the sail panel. You’ll need to use glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure them, and you’ll also need Posi-Products connectors to connect them to the factory wiring. Complete removal instructions can be found in your MasterSheet

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

honda civic coupe rear deck speaker

Getting this far takes some work, but replacing the Civic coupe's rear deck speakers isn't really that hard (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear deck speakers — Coupe

Getting to the coupe’s rear deck speakers involves a bit of work, but it’s nothing the average car audio DIY-er can’t handle. The only process difference between the base and Premium systems is the number of speakers you’ll find when you finish removing panels. The base system has 6-3/4" woofers, while the Premium system adds 3" tweeters and an 8" subwoofer.

Getting there is half the fun, as they say, and the journey begins when you use your panel tool to pry off the airbag screw cover on the rear pillar, then pull out the metal clip behind the cover. Next, open the garment hook above the rear window and remove one exposed Phillips screw.

Pry off the rear pillar/window trim panel to release six clips, then remove the panel. Pay close attention to the airbag retainer clip, which could remain in the pillar when the trim panel is removed. Pinch the retainer to remove it, then be sure to reposition the clip in the trim panel before reinstalling the panel. Once you’ve done that on one side of your Civic, repeat the entire process on the other side.

Once all that’s done, fold down the rear seat back cushion and work the seat belt through the slot in the rear deck panel. Reach under the rear deck panel and disconnect the wiring harnesses from the tweeters. Pry up the front edge of the rear deck panel to release four clips, then pull the panel toward the front of car and store it someplace safe while work continues.

Removing the speakers themselves is pretty simple, and it’s all explained in your MasterSheet. There are a few things to know about those speakers, however.

  • Full-Range speakers/Woofers: Because of the unique dimensions of these speakers, you’ll need mounting brackets to install your new ones. We’ll include them with your Crutchfield speaker purchase, along with the wiring harness adapter you’ll need to connect them to the factory wiring.
  • Tweeters: A wiring harness is not available for these Premium Audio speakers, so you’ll need to splice the wires or use Posi-Products connectors. There’s no mounting bracket available, either, so you’ll need to use hot glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure the new tweeters.
  • Subwoofer: You'll need to fabricate a speaker mounting bracket or spacer to replace this sub.

Once all the new speakers are installed, test them out to make sure they’re working. If they are, you can start putting things back together.

honda civic sedan rear deck speaker removal

This isn't quite as hard it looks, but it will take some time. Replacing the Civic sedan's rear speakers is worth the effort, though. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear deck speakers — Sedan

Removing the sedan’s rear deck speakers is similar, but different, and it’s also a fine project for the newish car audio DIY-er. As with the coupe, the base system has 6-3/4" woofers, while the Premium system adds 3" tweeters and the 8" sub.

You’ll start by removing one 10mm bolt between the seat bottom and the seat back cushions on the driver’s side. Pinch and pull two releases under the front edge of the rear seat bottom, then lift the seat bottom and remove it. Next, pry up both rear door scuff plates to release two clips, then remove the plates.

Fold down the rear seat back cushion, then pull both door gaskets away from the door pillars along the seat side bolsters. Remove one 10mm screw securing the bottom of each side bolster, then pry out the bolsters to release two clips on each and remove the bolsters.

Pry out each pillar trim panel to release four clips on each, then remove the panels. Pry out both lower window trim panels to release two clips on each panel, then remove them. Work all three rear seat belts through the slots in the rear deck panel.

Pry up the front edge of the deck panel to release six clips then pry up the panel to release ten more clips. Disconnect the brake light wiring harness and both tweeter wiring harnesses, if present. Now you’re ready to remove the panel and remove the speakers.

Removing the speakers themselves is pretty simple, and it’s all explained in your MasterSheet. There are a few things to know about those speakers, however, and they’re the same things you need to know in the coupe. Refer to the bulleted list above and you’ll be good to go.

Shop for speakers that fit your Honda Civic

honda civic coupe trunk

There's some room for a sub box back here, if you want one (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Civic

Any modern Civic is a well-designed car with plenty of practical space for important things like cargo and subwoofer boxes. This edition is no different.

Whether you have a coupe or sedan, you’ll have a 40" W x 17" H x 27"/34" D space to work with for a subwoofer box.

If you’re more concerned with everyday hauling needs than eyeball-rattling bass, you can still fill out your sound nicely with a powered subwoofer that’ll take up less space.

weathertech floor liners

Your custom floor liners will fit your Honda Civic as nicely as these fit this Lexus

Other options for your Civic

Here are some other cool upgrade ideas for your Honda Civic coupe or sedan.

Protect the carpets with WeatherTech floor liners

It's easier than you think to mess up your Civic's comfy interior while you're going about your daily business. Floor mats and liners from WeatherTech will help protect your floors from dirt and damage.

Seal in sound with Dynamat

The Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal in sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit will take care of your Civic's front doors. If you install a big subwoofer box, you might want to line the trunk lid as well.

Addressing the amp 

As noted above, when you replace the Premium Audio speakers, you'll need to bypass the factory amplifier and replace the low-impedance stock speakers with standard 4-ohm aftermarket models and add an aftermarket amp. To get to the amp, use a panel tool to remove the passenger's side door scuff plate, then pull out the door gasket from the passenger's side kick panel. Remove the passenger's side under-dash panel and kick panel to get to the amp.

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. 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 Civic.

Shop for car security systems for your Honda Civic

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 3/8/2022
  • Jeff B. from Ashland

    Posted on 4/21/2022

    Hello, I'm in a 2017 Honda Civic EX-T Coupe, and I seem to be unable to find anything that shows, in detail, how to access my rear speakers/subwoofer. I'm not looking to upgrade to anything aftermarket. I'm only looking to replace the stock (blown) subwoofer, with an OEM Replacement subwoofer. Just attempting to access the speakers is painfully difficult, from what I can tell, and I'm afraid that I'll have to mess with the rear side curtain airbags (which kinda terrifies me, if I'm being honest), and I'm afraid of doing so, as I've had more than one negative experience with unintentionally/unexpectedly deploying airbags, in other vehicles....

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/22/2022

    Jeff, Our our vehicle-specific instructions are included free with speaker and/or stereo orders, but you can also purchase a copy separately for just $10. If you have any questions, our advisors are available via phone or chat.
  • Miguel from San Diego

    Posted on 5/31/2021

    Hi! Do you recommend using the crossover that comes with the kit on a 2021 Honda Ext? If so, where do you connect them?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2021

    Miguel, 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.
  • Josh from Orlando

    Posted on 3/28/2021

    Great guide! Gives me more confidence to get upgrading my civic sound!

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/29/2021

    Josh, Thanks! Give us a call when you're ready to upgrade your system!

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