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Upgrade your car stereo's sound

...without replacing the factory radio

Sometimes, you just have to keep the factory stereo. And the good news is that you don't have to replace the factory radio to get awesome car audio sound. Below, we'll show you a few examples of how to improve on the OEM sound system without replacing the radio. 


actory stereo systems often leave a lot to be desired. For example, sometimes they're programmed with equalization (EQ) curves that compensate for the system’s lack of power by reducing the level of the bass. And if you want to replace the stereo, the dash designs of some vehicles make it difficult – or impossible – to do. 

And sometimes, especially in newer cars, like the 2013 Ford Focus shown above, the factory stereo is actually pretty cool. But there's still plenty of room for improved sound. 

Custom sound system upgrades to the rescue

Luckily, this problem has some solutions that let you keep your factory stereo and get spectacular sound, customized for your specific vehicle. The upgrade systems we discuss in this article improve the factory sound of different vehicles in different ways — you can call us if you need a hand deciding which will work best for yours.

Stealthy add-ons keep your dash intact

In addition to improving the sound to match your vehicle’s size and shape, these upgrade systems are "stealthy," in that they’re designed to fit in your vehicle with no visible modifications to its interior, except for the addition of a subwoofer.

Alpine PXE-0850S

Spectacular sound for nearly any factory stereo

Alpine’s developed a neat product that solves the sound issues of many factory systems. The PXE-0850S amplifier/processor takes up to three pairs of high-level inputs, processes the sound, then sends out up to eight channels of amplified signal to your vehicle’s tweeters, midrange drivers, woofers, and subwoofers.

Alpine amp.

You use an app on your Bluetooth® device or wired PC to adjust a 31-band EQ and set crossovers and time alignment for better fidelity and imaging. Crutchfield Car A/V Editor Matt installed a PXE-0850S in his 2014 Ford Focus, and had this to say: 

The PXE-0850S amp/processor comes with a wired LCD remote controller so you can control volume, store and recall EQ presets, and select between sources from the driver's seat.

Kicker VSS™ Powerstage™

Custom fit and programmed to make your vehicle sound great

A Kicker VSS Powerstage system upgrade will transform your vehicle's stock radio and speakers into a high-fidelity sound system capable of giving you full, accurate, and richly textured music. And it does it without changing the look of your car's interior or dash.

VSS Powerstage

VSS Powerstage system for the 2012 Ford Mustang

It plugs into your factory wiring with no cutting

The heart of the system is the VSS Powerstage processor/amp module that plugs in between your car's stock receiver and speakers with the help of a vehicle-specific wiring harness. Kicker's technicians measured the acoustics of the specific vehicle's interior, then developed a program to get the strongest and cleanest audio performance possible from the stock speakers. The VSS Powerstage module breathes new life into your vehicle's factory system, automatically correcting for the limitations of the factory speakers, then adding plenty of power so the speakers can sound their best.


Kicker VSS Powerstage subwoofer for the 2012 Mustang

Of course Kicker includes a subwoofer! 

A powered subwoofer, built to fit exactly in your vehicle, supplies the bass you need for fully balanced music. VSS Powerstage upgrades come with all the wiring precut and terminated to make installation easier. Step-by-step, illustrated instructions make this sonic upgrade a fun and rewarding project.


VSS Powerstage subwoofer installed in the Mustang

They’re currently available for many Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and Jeep vehicles. Use our vehicle selector to see if there's a Kicker VSS Powerstage system available for yours.

Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP and iDatalink Maestro

Vehicle-specific power and sound control

A problem with many premium sound systems is that replacing the puny factory amp with a more powerful one will mean losing some of the vehicle’s audio functions and audible notifications.

The Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP 6-channel amplifier plus the iDatalink amp replacement module make a great solution, retaining your vehicle’s audio and communication functions while adding tons of power and tuning ability to your system.


The iDatalink Maestro AR module uses a vehicle-specific T-harness plugged into the factory radio to provide a clean audio signal for this amp. You control the XR600-6DSP's sound processing wirelessly by way of your compatible iPhone or Android device and Kenwood's DSP control app. It lets you apply and adjust filters to match signal to speaker, set the time alignment so the stereo image will sit centered on the driver seat, and adjust the tone to perfection.

Examples of the app screens.

Cecil, a tech advisor at Crutchfield's Norton, VA, facility, installed this system in his 2013 Ford Focus. He told us:

The Kenwood/iDatalink system works in many Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Lexus, Subaru, Toyota, and Ram vehicles. Use our vehicle selector to see if there's a system available for yours.

Improve the sound of your factory stereo

These are just three ways to add improved sound to your car without changing the factory stereo. For more ideas, check out the Factory Radio Improvement section of our website, or give us a call and talk to our knowledgeable advisors. They'll help you figure out the options available for your car.

  • Eric Zikmanis from Phoenix

    Posted on 2/11/2021

    My daughter is going to buy a 2019 or 2020 Mustang. We built a stereo in her Kia that will not go with the car. Can we add the amps and component speakers and leave the stock speakers intact and functioning?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 3/23/2021

    Eric, Give us a call so an Advisor can help you and your daughter sort out what's the best upgrade solution for whichever car she gets.
  • Em from Alameda

    Posted on 1/30/2021

    I would like to keep the factory radio in my 2002 BMW 325Ci, but I want to somehow add bluetooth or iphone controls? How does that work?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 3/22/2021

    Em, If your car's receiver has a USB input, you could get a Bluetooth receiver to connect your phone to the stereo. Give us a call so an Advisor can confirm whether it's possible with the factory receiver or not.
  • Vincent lim from Anaheim

    Posted on 12/16/2020

    Is it possible to bypass 2008 acura tsx factory amp without losing navigation voice on speakers and replace it with an aftermarket amp?

  • Josh Mattingly from Louisville, Ky

    Posted on 7/26/2020

    Hello. I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si, in which I do believe the factory amp under the driver seat has quit working, making my rear deck (2x6 1/2 speakers, and 8" sub" stop playing. What's the best way to go about getting sound back to my car. And also the cheapest route here?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/3/2020

    Josh, The best way would be to give us a call so an Advisor can help you sort out what's wrong and find a solution.
  • Robert C. from Dallas, TX

    Posted on 4/16/2020

    Hello, I have a 2014 Ford Taurus SEL, with a pretty basic Radio (not touchscreen/has dials). I am not at all happy with the stock system. I am no expert, but I am trying to learn what I can, to make the best decision I can, for me, where I am getting the most bang for my buck to upgrade the sound. I would prefer to NOT replace the stock radio. What is the most affordable way I can add new speakers/subwoofer/Amplifier and get great sound without changing stock radio? I like BASS, and loud music. What I have is not enough.....

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 4/18/2020

    Robert, The best way to improve the sound while leaving the factory radio is to add aftermarket amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Often, you'll need a line output converter (LOC) to integrate the new gear into the factory system. Give us a call so an Advisor can help you pick out the best upgrade gear for your vehicle.
  • Highladner Harvey from Madison

    Posted on 4/15/2020

    I have a 2005 Dodge 2500 ram with a radio/Cd system, it has 7 speakers. I wanted to put a Bluetooth radio in it but was told that it would be impossible to do as I would have to bypass the speakers in it. Is this true

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 4/15/2020

    Highladner, It is not impossible to replace the factory radio in your vehicle, just a bit difficult. Not only would you have to modify the dash to accommodate the new receiver, you'd lose factory satellite radio and navigation. Why don't you give us a call so an Advisor can walk you through all the options available.
  • moka from DXB

    Posted on 1/22/2020

    I have c 450 AMG model 2016 .. base sound system which really sucks !! what do I need to have the best sound system ? Thanks

  • Barry from Pompano Beach.Fl

    Posted on 1/2/2020

    I thought I needed to replace my OEM speakers in my 2006 merc benz SLK to get the best sound but I've been advised that it would be overkill to use Audison spkrs due to my cars small cabin. "just that the environment in the SLK cabin is not ideal for audio because of the small cabin, dont expect deep sound stage, good imaging, head space...etc. You will spend alot more $$$for little gain!! was the advice given and it was recommended to just change the head unit and get a sub and keep OEM (cheaply made)speakers.... Do you have any experience with late model SLK owners changes that supports the advice about Audison speakers? Thank you!

  • Brent from Portland

    Posted on 1/1/2020

    I have a07 Nissan 350Z convertible with the Bose system. No navigation. I want to improve the sound but keep the Bose head unit to ward of potential break-ins. I know the Bose systems is 1 or 2 Ohm. So I am not against replacing the factory speakers and sub. What can I do?

  • Brisher from Donaldsonville

    Posted on 12/26/2019

    Best way to improve sound in a 2019 Jeep Cherokee latitude keeping the factory radio?

  • Sam from Alvarado

    Posted on 11/14/2019

    In a 2017 Nissan Titan would I get much better sound quality if I replace only the factory speakers? It has a basic head unit I have not been able to find the specs for it but from what I have read the speakers are ohm. I thought about replacing the radio but I do not plan on replacing speaker wiring with larger gauge wires.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/15/2019

    Sam, Replacing the 2-ohm factory speaker with a 4-ohm aftermarket speaker will result in lower volume levels. You should consider installing an amplifier along with new speakers to get the greatest sound improvement.
  • Mike from Hawley, PA

    Posted on 10/17/2019

    What is the best route(s) on a leased car/truck to improve sound, but quickly be reverted back towards the end of the term? I decided this round to do Focal Integration ISC 690 in the front and the 165 (haven't had a chance to install these yet) in the rear. The 690s made a massive improvement in terms of quality. The audio clarity in my 2019 GMC Canyon went from sounding like vocalists were singing into handkerchiefs to it sounding like the vocalists was sitting in the front seat with me. They plugged right into the stock harness with Metra 72-4572 adapters. I would love to drive them with an amp, but that seems to be a lot more invasive than the 2.5 years left on the lease is worth. Will see where I am at after the rear speakers. I have an old RockFord Fosgate P300-10 sitting at home, which had been previously installed in my old Subaru Crosstrek. Maybe I will reinstall that - those seem quick to revert back to stock.

  • Frank from Pembroke Pines, FL

    Posted on 10/4/2019

    I have a 2001 Silverado 2500HD Ext. cab pickup. I want to keep the factory stereo / CD unit. Truck has factory 6 speaker system w/ separate tweeters & 6 1/4" speakers in front doors. I want to replace ALL speakers, including rear door 4x6s. Cannot find any Crutchfield info on 6 speaker system, just 4 speaker system. Please suggest replacement speakers for 6X system.

  • Owen Michaluk from Okotoks

    Posted on 9/4/2019

    I am a novice in this area and have made a few inquiries with local electronic stores. I get mixed replies. I have a 2019 Subaru Hatchback and wanted to upgrade the sound for an extended trip. My smart phone connects via Bluetooth to play my music library. I need to turn the radio volume to almost max to get the sound. I understand if I instead connect it via a USB cable to the "auxiliary", that will solve the quality and volume issues. Is it possible to have a rear seat portable blue tooth sound box added to enhance the music at the same time my smart phone is connected to the stereo car radio? Would I instead need to hard wire in an amp and hard wire it to the factory speakers to improve the bass/overall sound. Thank you

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/4/2019

    Owen, I think your best short-term solution is to splurge on a USB cable. After your trip, give us a call and an Advisor can help you pick out the right upgrade for you and your vehicle.
  • William cowart from Turlock

    Posted on 8/29/2019

    Hi. First off i love the fact that crutchfield takes time out of their day to answer questions from people whether or not the buy from them. Which i will be and have in the past. Main reason I'm writing.... My wife has a 2017 nissan rogue sv and wants me to upgrade the speakers to make it sound better but wants to keep the factory stereo.... Any good suggestions that won't break the bank? Thanks again. Bill

  • Sean Parrott from Salt lake city

    Posted on 7/30/2019

    I have a 2013 Kia Optima with navigation, stock everything. The stock system has a subwoofer, but I have a fever, and the only cure is... More Subwoofer! I need a solution, I want to add a subwoofer to give me more oompfh, but I wouldn't mind improving the stock audio all around if possible. I've considered a complete replacement to those Android driven "Tesla" style head units, but if I can avoidto take 200 hours of my life ripping my dash apart I'd prefer not to.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/1/2019

    Sean, It is not recommended that high power audio systems be installed in your hybrid vehicle due to the large current draw they will introduce to the system. However, you might find a cool compact powered subwoofer to cure your craving.
  • Marcos de Paula from Charlott NC

    Posted on 6/27/2019

    I have a 2017 Audi A4 base model and the sound system us awful. Is it possible to install an after market bass amp and speaker without cancelling the vehicle's warranty? Is there a system that you would recomend?

  • Alexander from Asheville, NC

    Posted on 5/30/2019

    I'm facing down a complete overhaul and renovation of my '96 Ford Ranger XLT's sound system. The factory radio (and amplifier, underneath the passenger seat) are already gone. I'm still deciding on a specific head unit, but have definitely made up my mind on component 2-way door and rear speakers. So, before choosing a stereo with a built-in amp, I'm looking for suggestions on whether one of these devices might be the right way to go. [I've already started building a non-ported subwoofer enclosure (for a set of JBL 10's) that will take up most of the room behind the seat, but provide plenty of mounting surface. I'll be having a dedicated amplifier & crossover for the subwoofers.]

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 5/31/2019

    Alexander, The factory system upgrades described in this article are for when you leave the factory radio intact and then add aftermarket products. Your case doesn't present this kind of opportunity.
  • James from Las Vegas

    Posted on 5/16/2019

    Hi there, I'm looking at upgrading the audio in my daughter's 2016 Jetta (base model 1.4 nonfender-audio). The crutchfield finder only brought up 6 x 6.5 speakers that will fit.... after researching, I'd like to get 4 x Pioneer TS-A1676R put in. My installer recommended I just purchase 4 replacement 6.5 speakers, a 5 channel amp, and subwoofer. Does that sound right to you and any idea if those Pioneer TS-A1676R will fit? Thanks so much, this is her high school graduation gift so looking to do entire install soon

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 5/17/2019

    James, Crutchfield's fit guide shows that speaker does not fit your vehicle. Maybe your installer knows more about it. An amp and sub will definitely improve the sound, but you don't have to get them if you don't want more than just a speaker upgrade.
  • Jose from Belen

    Posted on 1/14/2019

    So I was just gifted 2 12s and a 600w amp..I have a 2006 Infiniti coupe with the premium Bose system...I was wondering what I would need to get everything hooked up the easiest and cleanest way possible..(also wanting to keep the stock radio in for budget reasons...if that's possible?)

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 1/14/2019

    Jose, Without knowing precisely what amp and subs you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.
  • Joakim Berg from Söderköping, Sweden

    Posted on 12/11/2018

    Hello! First I wanna say thanks for a nice site with lots of good information! I have a Renault Clio 2017 with Focal 165AS kit, Rockford Fosgate Prime R1 2*12" and a Crunch GTO3750 amp with sound dampening. Its a 3 channel amp that runs my 2 front speakers and my sub separately. Do you think there will be a huge upgrade quality wise to upgrade to a sound processor? I just want to improve the sound quality as much as possible. I want to keep my HU and will probably get the Rockford Fosgate DSR1 in that case. I want to be able to customize the EQ easily and since its wireless I guess thats a good idea. Thanks for answer!

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 12/12/2018

    Joakim, I don't know what products are available in your country, so I can't tell you if a DSR1 will work in your vehicle or not. - it needs to get flashed for a specific vehicle via iDatalink's download site. But generally speaking, adding a digital sound processor allows you to improve the sound as much or as little as you want.
  • Denise Bouvier from Pendleton, sc

    Posted on 12/5/2018

    I bought a 2018 Nissan Rogue sv and the sound is awful. I'm not sure if it is a four or six speaker but would like to upgrade without replace head unit. What can I do to get better bass and overall sound

  • Peter Antico from Madison

    Posted on 11/30/2018

    I have a 2017 Ford F-150. The max volume is too low. Can I add just an amp to fix this? Any recommendations? (FYI I have the upgraded Sony system currently and it's not nearly powerful enough).

  • Jonathan from Leeds

    Posted on 11/4/2018

    Hi i have a 2014 Audi A3 sportback. I want to improve the sound quality in my car without changing anything with the head unit or interior. Is it possible I can achieve this by just getting new door speakers? Would I need an amp, tweeters, sub? I was hoping I could just replace the two front door speakers and then the back two at a later date and I would get the upgrade I'm after. I just want a little bit more volume and bass for under £100. Any advice would be great. Thank you

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/5/2018

    Jonathan, You will not improve the volume or bass in your vehicle by just replacing speakers. You would at least need an amplifier to accomplish that. I don't know what products are available in your country, but here in the USA you'd be hard pressed to find any audio upgrade for your vehicle at that low of a price.
  • Jay

    Posted on 11/2/2018

    How about something for my new 2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4? The base system sucks and there is no subwoofer (even though there's actually a dedicated space for one in the trunk). Not trying to spend more than $2K..

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/5/2018

    Jay, I can't offer any recommendations because I don't know what will fit or work in your vehicle. A car so rare and expensive as yours isn't in our database because we've never had a chance to research one in person. Maybe if you brought yours to our research team here in Charlottesville, they could examine, measure, and determine what upgrades will work.
  • Janis from Riga (Latvia)

    Posted on 10/12/2018

    Hello! I have Honda Civic 5D (2015). I would like to know what kind of upgrades should i make to maintain factory head unit, but to have sound adjustment option, and if it is possible. i guess i need better tweeters & mids + i need to buy sub, amp and wires. I should do some sound and vibro isolation. Do i need power condenser? Does amp work like equalizer? Please give me some tips. Sorry for being noob...

  • Frank from Bridgewater

    Posted on 8/12/2018

    Hi Buck, I just purchased a Lexus NX200T and the factory stereo is not very good- actually very disappointing. My previous car, a 2011 Acura TSX had he best factory stereo I've very heard, ( came with a sub-woofer and such great treble and a bass sound that shook why rear view mirror). What can I do to match this with my present factory stereo ? Thanks !

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/14/2018

    Frank, Your gas-electric hybrid vehicle contains very sensitive electronics. It is not recommended that high power audio systems, 350 watts RMS or more, be installed in it due to the large current draw they would introduce to the system. A great way to improve the bass in your situation would be to look into getting a compact powered subwoofer. It won't rattle your neighbors' windows, but it'll improve the bass sound. If it's a more high-fidelity sound you're looking for, check out the Alpine PXE-0850S. This amplifier/processor will not only beef up the power, it'll give you access to 31-band EQs, adjustable crossover filters, time-alignment, and Bluetooth streaming.
  • Johnny Rodriguez from Bronx

    Posted on 6/2/2018

    I just bought an 2018 grand Cherokee altitude and it has 6 speakers and I'm looking for a louder better sound quality, I feel like the volume level is too low to pump my music in the Jeep. Hope you can help

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2018

    James, I can find no upgrade that'll fit your vehicle.

  • James vazquez from Chicago

    Posted on 5/25/2018

    I have a 2011 X5 BMW, want to know if this would work for my vechicle as well.

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/8/2018

    Adam, Setting the volume of a Bluetooth connection can often present a challenge. Controls are on your mobile device, receiver, or amplifier, depending on their features. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Adam Bourgeois from Harvey

    Posted on 2/5/2018

    I have a 2017 Silverado without the bose system. I put aftermarket door speakers and an amp. It amplified everything, including my blue tooth. So if I'm using navigation through my phone it blares through the speakers and sounds horrible. Is there a way that I can tone it down a little bit. Or a way to bypass the Bluetooth around the amp to where it's not getting amplified?

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/29/2017

    Bryan, To add aftermarket sound processing to a factory radio, you start by using its speaker-level, amplified outputs for the processor's inputs. Either your equalizer will have speaker-level inputs, or you will need to employ a line output converter (LOC) to lower the speaker-level signals down to line level, which the processor can handle. Then, the processor's outputs go to an amplifier to power the signals back up for the speakers to handle. You can accomplish the same thing with a single amplifier/DSP, like a AudioControl D-4.800. It features time-alignment, bass restoration, 30-band graphic EQs, as well as parametric equalization to go along with its 125 watts RMS per channel output.

  • Bryan from Parrish

    Posted on 7/28/2017

    I have a 2017 Honda Accord lx and I would like to know what is needed to connect a 7-band parametric equalizer to the factory stereo. So far I have replaced all 4 factory speakers with two 40cs654 2-way Kicker speakers in the front and two Pioneer ts-a1676r 3-way on the rear deck. Does anyone have any insights???..greatly appreciated..

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/5/2017

    Darrell, There are a lot of options for upgrading your factory sound system, from replacing speakers to adding a subwoofer. (Hint, get a subwoofer that can use factory speaker wiring for input.) Your best option is to get in touch with a member of Crutchfield's Sales Advisor Team via phone or chat, for help choosing the right gear - just click on the phone icon at the very top of this page for more information.

  • Darrell from Houston

    Posted on 1/4/2017

    What are my options for upgrading the speakers and adding a subwoofer without replacing the current head unit on a 2016 buick lacrosse?

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/26/2016

    Marty, There are a lot of options for boosting the sound in your vehicle, from small power packs that can mount behind the dash to larger 4- or 5-channel amplifiers. Why don't you get in touch with a member of Crutchfield's Sales Advisor Team via phone or chat - just click on the phone icon at the very top of this page.

  • Marty from Wylie

    Posted on 12/24/2016

    I have a 2011 Hyundai Tucsan that I have repaced the factory stealers with pioneers. I really like the factory stereo features. I want to boost the sound on it. A sub really isn't an option,just a better quality sound. Suggestions?

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/15/2016

    Larry, If you're unsatisfied with the sound after replacing the speakers, maybe upgrading the receiver will improve things. Give one of our Advisors a call, at 1-888-955-6000, for help getting the best sound in your vehicle.

  • Larry from Medford

    Posted on 12/14/2016

    I have a 1992 civic VX with an acura integra GSR stock radio in it. I have a 4 speaker POLK audio setup (DB652 6.5 front/ DB522 5.25 rear) What can I do to improve my sound?

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/24/2016

    Tom, I've forwarded your questions to Crutchfield's Sales Advisor Team, and a member will get in touch with you by email to offer suggestions and help you choose the right aftermarket receiver for you and your vehicle. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat - just click on the phone icon at the very top of this page.

  • Tom from Boise, ID

    Posted on 10/23/2016

    This doesn't address my main objection to the factory system, namely the lack of any way to get content into it. I have 2004 Chevy Silverado with the premium sound system (Bose speakers, etc). It has a radio and I can play CDs that I buy in the store--that's it. It won't play CD-R or CD-RW discs, no USB port, no earphone jack, no wireless, no nothing. It's useless. When I'm in this vehicle, I bring earbuds and listen to content on my phone. Third party systems like those from Crutchfield do have some of these features, but the user interface of the unit is terrible. Crutchfield, as nearly as I can tell, sells one unit with a variety of cosmetic differences. There isn't a single item in Crutchfield's catalog where power is turned on and off by pressing the volume knob like the factory unit does. People keep their vehicles a lot longer than they used to. Even vehicles that had state-of-the art systems when they were new become obsolete as they age. Does anyone retrofit factory systems with modern features?

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/4/2016

    Karen, You could contact the Kia dealership to find out what the OEM radio is and to get an idea of what the market for one would be. Although factory replacements are generally very expensive, their resale value is usually quite low.

  • Karen from Magee

    Posted on 8/3/2016

    My in laws bought a new Kia Soul but didn't want the radio in it because it didn't have a CD player. Therefore they went down from the factory install. How can I find out what this one that came out has so I can sell it? All I know is it costs $1200.

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/25/2016

    Frank, Without knowing how your converter connects to your factory system or what a dub crossover is and does, I can still say that if everything works well except the radio, then something about the radio's at fault. Maybe the antenna connection is loose. Check out our Noise Suppression Chart for detailed steps to take in order to eliminate noise in a system.

  • Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/25/2016

    Glenn, You can use a Line Output Converter (LOC) to integrate a subwoofer amp into a factory system, tapping into the rear speaker wiring to convert the signal for the sub amp's input to handle. Even more convenient, many amplifiers have an LOC built in, and so can handle speaker-level inputs by themselves. All the Powered Subwoofers Crutchfield carries have this feature.

  • Frank from Jourdanton, Tx

    Posted on 7/23/2016

    I have a 2011 yukon with the bose system. It does not have a powered factory subwoofer. I like the bose sound, but needed more thump. I added a solo baric l7 15 with ma audio 2,000 watt mono amp. Its tapped into the rear pillar speaker via covertor for aux plugs. My problem is i couldnt get the sig to the amp so the sub wasnt hitting. Ive added a dub cross over and turned the gain up to get the signal. It hits pretty good with aux or cd. But if i try using the am/fm there is alot of static when the sub is trying to hit. What can i do to stop the signal interference when listening to the fm radio?

  • Glenn from Pearl River

    Posted on 7/22/2016

    Hello. I recently purchased a 2016 Toyota Camry SE and would like to upgrade my audio system with a subwoofer. However; I would like to keep my stock head unit. Is there a package or device that I can purchase that will permit this?

  • Jeremy from The District

    Posted on 4/24/2016

    I bought a 2016 Honda Civic Coupe LXP. I found little to no information regarding the speakers specs. The 5 inch media screen head produces 160 watts but the sound is muddy. Would swapping out factory speakers be a viable option to improve the sound clarity?

  • Darricgs400 from Rancho belago

    Posted on 4/3/2016

    Need a sub woofer for 2016 Honda civic ex

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/23/2016

    Jason, While there may not be a vehicle-specific solution available for improving the sound in your car, Crutchfield does offer a few digital signal processors that can hook up to the factory speaker wiring and produce high-fidelity signals for aftermarket amplifiers and speakers to play. For help deciding which would be best for you, contact us via phone or chat - just click on the phone icon at the very top of this page.

  • Jason from Medford, MA

    Posted on 3/22/2016

    Given the generally terrible quality of subaru stereos, and especially the WRX, I'm kind of shocked you don't have an upgrade guide right there for us poor slobs. Seems like a built in market right there. I want to keep my nifty multi-function display working, but i want a little more oomph and clarity out of my sound.

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    Ruben, It appears that Kicker does not make a PowerStage upgrade system for your vehicle. Crutchfield does carry a JL Audio Stealthbox custom subwoofer for your Grand Cherokee, if you're interested in upgrading just the bass.

  • Ruben Moreno from Calexico, CA

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    Is there a VSS Powerstage System and custom powered subwoofer available for my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo model? It comes with a stock radio and speakers. The sound right now is decent, but I know it can be improved.

  • Anthony Espinoza from San Diego

    Posted on 11/12/2015

    I just purchased a 2016 Honda Accord and would like to know if there is anyway I can improve the sound quality in the vehicle without installing a new stereo

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/30/2015

    Dax, Most factory speakers have high sensitivity and low impedance so they will play loud with less amplification. Aftermarket speakers often require more power to sound as loud as the factory speakers did. This why many people put in amplifiers when they replace their speakers.

  • Dax from POMONA

    Posted on 9/30/2015

    I replaced my 1999 Camry stereo head unit, few months later upgraded my speaker (no amp). After the installation, the stereo now requires me to crank up my volume higher. (from 14, to 30 volume level). I want to upgrade my 2014 Sienna stock speakers but I do want to keep the stereo as is. Will I have the same issue where I have to crank up the volume just to hear the sounds?

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/21/2015

    Andy, That equalizer is designed to get connected inline between a receiver's RCA outputs and an amplifier's inputs. Without RCA outputs on your receiver nor any amplification mentioned, I see no way you can integrate that EQ into your present system.

  • Andy from Corvallis

    Posted on 9/21/2015

    I have a 2013 Subaru Legacy and I used to have the Pioneer DEH-P7900bt that are actually died on me yesterday, so I have to go back to factory head unit. Right now, my setup is having the LOC converter to connect the factory deck to the subwoofer and I have Rockfords in fronts and pioneers for rears. With the setup right now (factory head unit), can I only straight add an EQ ? Thinking about buying Clarion EQS 746

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/18/2015

    Gary, What you're looking for is an amplifier, to boost the power going to your speakers. I've forwarded your question to Crutchfield's Sales Advisor Team, and a member will get in touch with you by email to offer suggestions and help you choose the right gear for you and your vehicle. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Gary Bolanos from New Brunswick

    Posted on 9/17/2015

    I have a 2004 acura tl. I want to make my speakers louder because the volume of my stock stereo only goes to 40. My friend said there's an adapter to do that. Just don't know which one it is.

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/3/2015

    Charles, you've already done pretty much everything you can to improve the audio side of things. Your FM modulator is your weakest link. You need to upgrade the source input. That might mean finding a new stereo that you're comfortable with. On the other hand, if your factory stereo has an "AUX" button, then you can add an external iPhone adapter, which should indeed improve the audio quality. I've sent your message to our advisors. One of them will be in touch via email soon. But if you don't want to wait, just give us a call!

  • Charles Barrington from Mooringsport, LA

    Posted on 9/3/2015

    I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado with the factory am-fm CD player. It also has a factory cassette player as the aux input. In 2003 I had it upgraded with subs, replaced the factory speakers and amps for both with an EQ that is fed from a reducer of some sort that is wired into the front speaker outputs. I understand that an aftermarket head unit would be superior for sound but I didn't want that look. Now I am using a fm modulator to utilize my IPhone 5S as a music and podcast player and am very disappointed I the sound quality and static. Especially at night. What are my options to improve sound quality but retain my factory head unit?

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/17/2015

    Cody, Crutchfield carries two Powerstage systems, one of which may fit your vehicle: the one for a crew cab and the one for an extended cab.

  • Cody from United States

    Posted on 8/16/2015

    Hi, I recently bought new kicker speakers for my 07 (new body style) chevy silverado, from you guys and was wondering if the kicker VSS powerstage was compatible for my factory stereo unit. thanks,

  • Timothy Whittall from United States

    Posted on 8/15/2015

    Good advice

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/30/2015

    Aldrin, If you visit our vehicle selector, you can enter your vehicle information and quickly find out what speakers fit your truck. I've forwarded your question to Crutchfield's Sales Advisor Team, and a member will get in touch with you by email to offer suggestions and help you choose the right speakers for you and your vehicle. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Aldrin from Clarksville

    Posted on 7/29/2015

    I have a 1981 Toyota pickup with the original push knob. Not even a cassette. I would like to upgrade my 3 1/2" factory original speakers without having to cut out for bigger speakers. I'd like to keep this truck original as much as as possible. I would also like to find a device compatible with the original radio to improve sound and volume output to the new speakers. I am having a difficult time trying to find what I want that actually fits (plug and play) my application

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    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/27/2015

    Angel, Make sure that the powered sub you pick has speaker-level inputs. That way, you can tap off the rear deck full-range speaker wiring to get the sub's input signal. This will require two 2-conductor speaker wires long enough to stretch from the rear deck speakers to wherever you mount your sub. 18- or 16-gauge wire will work. You'll also need an amplifier wiring kit containing power and ground wires plus the proper fuse. The size kit you'll need depends on which powered sub you pick. Just give us a call at the toll-free number or go to chat and we'll set you up with everything you need.

  • Angel C. Reyes from Saipan, MP

    Posted on 7/26/2015

    I have a 2014 Honda Civic EX with factory stereo and I want to add a powered subwoofer. What do I need to make a complete install? Thanks In Advance...