2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab
2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013
After a long, beautiful career touring the East Coast from Boston to Atlanta as a professional guitarist (Skip Castro Band, The Believers), I got my first full-time job at Crutchfield, where they actually pay me to write about one of my favorite subjects — car audio gear! It's now my mission in life to make people understand how much fun it is to have a first-rate sound system in your vehicle.
More from Charlie Pastorfield
2007 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The 2007 "Classic" models have a distinctive face. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
In a Nutshell
In this article, we'll tell you how to install new audio gear in your Silverado or Sierra. Even trucks with Bose systems can benefit from better speakers, so that's a good place to start. The speakers in the doors and dash are easy to access and swap, and there are plenty of aftermarket options. Look for speakers with high sensitivity ratings if you plan on keeping your factory radio - this means they'll sound great even without added power.
If you use your truck for work, there are a few additions that make any Silverado a great business partner. Receivers with navigation and Bluetooth technology help you get to the job site and stay connected on the way. The added power from an aftermarket stereo will make a difference, especially when matched with new speakers. Throw in a SiriusXM satellite radio to stay on top of the news or enjoy a ballgame after a long day of work.
Overview of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra
Pickups aren’t just about hauling what’s in the bed or on the hitch anymore; they now feature interior touches that rival some luxury cars. The audio/video equipment in this new breed of pickup truck is no exception, and Chevrolet made sure to equip the new-for-2007 Silverado/Sierra Crew Cab 1500/2500 with some top notch features. If you didn’t get the premium stereo on your truck, or you just want to improve on what’s already there, you can add anything from a simple speaker upgrade to a complete mobile theater makeover.
The chassis discussed here, known inside GM as the GMT900 and to the rest of the world as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, was introduced in 2007. The previous generation, the GMT800, hung around for another year as the "Classic" model. If you're not sure which '07 version you have, compare your truck to the photos above. The more aggressive-looking "Classic" features distinct "eyebrows" above the headlamps, plus a slight dip in the front bumper to accommodate the grille.
The GM factory radio in the Chevy Silverado (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
These trucks came equipped with several stereo systems, including a 6 CD in-dash Bose® system and options to add navigation, rear seat audio, DVD systems, or satellite radio. It’s possible to add to or completely replace any of these stereo systems fairly easily, though getting to the amplifier and 6-1/2" subwoofer of the Bose system requires some extensive tear down of the interior. And it’s not hard to replace any of the features you may lose by taking out the factory stereo, because there are adapters that let you keep OnStar®, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth® and more.
You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, along with an antenna adapter that allows you to connect the Chevy antenna plug to your new radio. You'll get these parts at a deep discount with your receiver order, along with free step-by-step instructions for your Silverado. We also offer a big discount on the special adapters (see below) that you'll need for this installation.
The Silverado's rather spacious dash opening (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
These are reasonably easy systems to work with, but there are some differences between the regular and Bose systems.
If you’re replacing your standard GM radio, you’ll need to purchase an adapter that allows you to install a new stereo and still retain your warning chimes (along with OnStar functionality if you have it). You’ll also need a relay to keep your audible turn signals working with your new car stereo.
If you’re replacing your GM Bose radio, you’ll need to buy an adapter to install your new stereo, allowing you to retain your warning chimes, the use of the Bose amplifier, and your OnStar functionality (if you have it). Another note: if you have the GM Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system, you also need a separate adapter to keep that system working and connect it to the audio/video output on your new receiver.
Note: Some double-DIN radios may not fit because of irregularities in the dash substructure. It’s best to pick a double-DIN radio with wire harnesses or RCA connectors located on the bottom half of the back of the radio. Your other option is to pick a new radio with a depth that’s less than 6-1/2 inches.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket and ratchet.
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain your truck'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 aftermarket receiver.
Replacing your factory speakers
The front doors will hold a variety of aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front and rear seats
The factory speakers in the Silverado/Sierra front doors are closest in size to an aftermarket 6-3/4" speaker, but you’ll need an adapter plate to install any speaker in there. The front doors will accept several very common speaker sizes, including 6-3/4", 6-1/2", 5-1/4", and the adapter plates make for an easy installation. GM uses a 4-ohm speaker in the front doors, so you have lots of great choices.
You'll need speaker harnesses to attach your new speakers to the plugs that connect to the GM factory speakers. The speaker harnesses, along with the speaker mounting brackets you'll need if you're installing smaller-than-stock speakers, are included free with every Crutchfield speaker order.
You can use the same size speakers in the rear doors. GM uses 4-ohm speakers back here, so if you're want to keep the factory radio, you can install just about any speakers.
If you rarely have passengers in the rear seats, you might consider using these locations for midrange speakers that will really fill out your music’s sound. On the other hand, if you do a lot of people-hauling, you should consider replacing the rear door speakers with full-range units, which will maintain some high notes for back-seat passengers.
The Bose system includes A-pillar tweeters. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front pillar speakers
The A-pillar tweeters found in some trucks are easy to remove, but you’ll need to do a bit of work to install the replacements. There's no wiring harness adapter made for this location, either, so you'll need a set of Posi-Products speaker connectors to hook everything up. You'll also need a mounting bracket, and using our universal backstraps will be a much easier solution than making one of your own. You can also use hot glue or silicone to secure your new tweeters.
Tools needed: small flat blade screwdriver
Bass in your Silverado or Sierra
If your Silverado or Sierra came equipped with the Bose system, there is a small woofer mounted in the center console, along with the amplifier that powers all your factory Bose speakers. If you want more bass, it’s a good idea to simply eliminate or bypass this woofer and add a new, larger sub with a more powerful amp.
Thanks to a variety of custom enclosures that fit in the center console or under the rear seats, you’ll be able to keep valuable interior room and add more kick to your music and movies. To see the complete list of what's available, enter your truck's information in our Outfit My Car page.
A variety of sub enclosures will fit these trucks, including a dual 10" model that goes under the rear seat.
A well-appointed truck deserves well-chosen audio and electronic gear. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Other options for your Silverado or Sierra
There are plenty of other ways to improve your Silverado. Here are a few suggestions:
Rear seat DVD/stereo
The optional DVD system features a flip-down screen in a roof console and two pairs of wireless headphones. A secondary set of controls for the radio and DVD system are housed in the rear of center console, and some models include an A/V input for adding more gear, like a gaming console. If you’re replacing the factory stereo, you’ll need an adapter to keep that system working and connect it to the audio/video output on your new receiver.
Adding an aftermarket DVD player and screens to a Silverado is pretty easy, thanks to products like flip-down overhead monitors with DVD players or replacement headrest screens that match the truck’s interior.
SiriusXM satellite radio
GM made satellite radio available as an option on most models. If you have a current subscription, you’ll want to buy a new stereo with built-in SiriusXM satellite radio or a model that works with an outboard tuner. You can call SiriusXM to move service over to the new stereo. If you have multiple vehicles, consider getting a plug-and-play tuner to take your satellite radio along, no matter which vehicle you’re driving.
The factory Bose system includes amps, but they aren’t ideal for use with aftermarket head units or speakers. It’s best to bypass or eliminate these amps in favor of newer gear if you want the best possible sound. You’ll find room for amps in the spaces under and behind the seats or in the center console.
Installing a security system in your Silverado or Sierra 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.