2005-2006 Nissan Altima
2005 • 2006
John Pollard spent the first six years of his time at Crutchfield on the phone helping people as an Advisor. He later joined the writing staff, focusing on car stereo gear. A native of Charlottesville, VA, he left our rolling hills for the idyllic wonderland of Seattle. Despite the distance, John still works for us, leading up a special project for our vehicle photos database.
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In a Nutshell
This article will explain how to install new car stereo gear in your Altima. Check it out and then use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car.
Replacing the receiver is a good first step in this car. You'll get better sound, of course, but you can also add Bluetooth connectivity, hands-free operation, and plenty of inputs for gear you'll add later.
Replacing the speakers involves a bit of work in places, but you'll really be impressed by the results. If you want bigger bass, there's room for a subwoofer enclosure in this car, or you can go with a space-saving powered sub.
Overview of the Nissan Altima
With an efficient engine and sharp styling, the 2005-06 Nissan Altima remains a popular choice for commuters and car lovers alike. For this Altima, Nissan offered a basic system and upgraded Bose stereo system, and aftermarket upgrades are available for each. You can replace the stereo and speakers without too much work, and you can even retain your steering wheel audio controls.
This article is an overview of your vehicle's audio system and its upgrade options. If you're looking for step-by-step instructions on installing a car stereo or speakers in your Altima, we'll include a Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one for $9.99.
This receiver is part of a factory Bose® system. Note the logo. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
The Altima was available with two different systems, a regular 6-speaker system and an optional Bose® system.
Installing an aftermarket stereo is a great way to make your factory system sound better, plus add new features like iPod control or HD Radio reception. You’ll need a dash kit to install a DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) car stereo, and it's a good idea to get a wiring harness that plugs into the Nissan plug so you don't have to cut into the factory wiring.
The dash kit and harness needed for this installation are deeply discounted when you buy from Crutchfield, and our step-by-step instructions for your Altima are free.
If you don't want to change your radio, you’ll find inputs on the rear of the Nissan radio that allow you to add an iPod adapter or a satellite radio tuner, then control them with the Nissan radio or your steering wheel controls. You can certainly put together a complete audio system with new speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers while retaining the factory radio, but a nice aftermarket stereo offers superior circuitry that will make these upgrades sound even better.
Note: If you have the Nissan satellite radio option, you’ll lose it when you install a new stereo.
The Altima's dash, disassembled (Crutchfield Research Photo)
You’ll know that you have the upgraded Altima system if you see the Bose® logo on your radio and on the rear deck speaker grilles. The Bose system sports a set of 5-1/4" speakers in the rear door, along with the tweeters in the dash, 6-3/4" speakers in the front door, and 6"x9" speakers in the rear deck.
You’ll use the same dash kit to replace the radio in the Bose system, and you’ll also need a special Nissan/Infinity Factory Integration Adapter (made by Scosche) that connects your new stereo to the Bose system's amplifier.
Why keep the Bose amplifier? If you want to get rid of it, you’ll have to run speaker wires from your new stereo to each of the speakers in your Altima, and that takes a lot of time and effort. Plus, a nice aftermarket receiver will send a cleaner signal to the amp so you'll hear the difference in the quality of sound. This Scosche adapter is also available at a deep discount.
If you want to keep the Bose radio, you can buy adapters to connect your iPod® or add satellite radio reception. You can also replace the factory speakers in the Bose system without having to replace the radio.
Note: If you have the Nissan satellite radio option, you’ll lose it when you install a new stereo.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, panel tool
Steering wheel controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Altima. 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.
A look at the Altima's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory speakers
Removing and replacing the speakers is basically the same with the two different systems. The Bose ystem adds rear door speakers and an amplifier to the mix, though.
Basic 6-speaker system
This basic system comes equipped with tweeters in the dash, non-standard 6-3/4" speakers in the front door, and 6"x9" speakers in the rear deck. Nissan typically uses 2-ohm speakers in their factory systems, so you’ll want to use JBL, Infinity, or other aftermarket speakers that offer 2-ohm impedance if you're keeping the factory radio, or you’ll hear a very noticeable loss of overall volume.
A close-up of the front door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The Altima’s front doors house 6-3/4" speakers with a 3-bolt pattern, so an aftermarket 6-3/4" speaker will not fit. You can install a 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speaker in the front door with the help of a mounting bracket, but you’ll have to redrill your screw holes.
The door panel must be removed to get at the speaker and the factory speaker is attached to the door with three Phillips screws. The factory speaker is molded to the bracket, so you will definitely need a new bracket to mount any aftermarket speaker. Those mounting brackets are available at a special price with every speaker order.
At this time, wiring harnesses are not available to connect your new speakers to the factory wiring, so you’ll need to use Posi-Products speaker connectors.
The Bose® system includes rear deck speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear deck speakers
You’ll find 6"x9" speakers on the rear deck in the 6-speaker system. To access this location, you'll need to remove the rear seat and the rear deck to access the speakers. It's not a difficult job, but it'll take a little time.
You can replace these speakers with aftermarket 6"x9" speakers or use a bracket to install 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" size speakers. At this time, there isn’t a wiring harness available for the rear speakers either so you'll need to use Posi-Products speaker connectors here, too.
Tweeter with "A" pillar removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The Altima has tweeters in the front "A" pillars. You will remove the "A" pillar trimpanel to access the tweeter location. Keep in mind that tweeters do not come in standard sizes, so you may have to cut, drill, glue, or fabricate a mounting plate to install an aftermarket tweeter in the factory location.
If you're shopping for tweeters, the factory tweeter is a shade under 1-3/8" in diameter, and you have a mounting depth of about 1-1/2" behind the pillar.
Bose® system rear door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The upgraded Bose system adds rear door speakers and an amplifier to the mix. The other speaker locations are present from the standard 6-speaker system and accommodate the same size speakers. Again, the Bose speakers are usually 2-ohm, so you’ll want to pick new speakers with a lower impedance.
Rear door speakers
The rear door speakers found in the Bose system are standard 5-1/4" speakers. You’ll have to remove the door panel to install new 5-1/4" speakers. You shouldn't have to drill new screw holes or use a mounting bracket for installation, and there's a wiring harness (available at a discounted price) that will attach your new speakers to the Nissan speaker plugs.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat screwdriver, 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm socket, panel tool, wire stripper/crimp tool, crimp caps, drill and 1/8" bit
There's room for more boom in the Altima's trunk (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass in your Nissan Altima
The bad news is that nobody makes a custom-fit sub enclosure for the Altima. The good news is that the Altima has a decent-sized trunk, so finding room for a subwoofer and amplifier (or a powered sub) won’t be a problem. You’ll have easy access to the wiring of the rear deck speakers if you want to use them to get audio signal for your subwoofer system.
Other options for your Altima
Here are some other ways to make your Altima sound terrific:
An amplifier will give you a big boost in the performance of your new speakers, even if your vehicle came with the Bose system. We don’t recommend using an amplifier with your factory speakers as they won't handle that much power.
You can add satellite to the factory radio to enjoy commercial free digital music by adding a satellite tuner. This tuner can be controlled by the factory stereo and will show station and artist information on the display. You can also add a Dock-and-Play satellite radio that you can take from car to car. If your factory radio came equipped with satellite radio, you will lose that option with a new car stereo. Look for a new radio that’ll work with an outboard SiriusXM tuner.
Installing a security system in your Altima 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.
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.