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2003-2006 Jeep Wrangler

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Jeep'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 Wrangler. 

Overview of the Jeep Wrangler

Traditionally, great sound and Jeep Wranglers have not gone hand in hand, but this particular Wrangler actually gives you some pretty cool options for building a rockin' audio system. You'll find enough room in the dash and sound bar for just about any replacement speakers, and some interesting options for bass, ranging from replacing the sub in the center console to amplified subs that fit behind the rear seat.

With a little bit of work, you can fit any DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) radio in the dash. That's really good news compared to Wranglers and CJ Series Jeeps of the past, which were definitely not built with audio excellence in mind.

jeep wrangler factory radio

The Jeep's factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

The Jeep Wrangler came with a standard AM/FM/CD receiver and offered two speaker options.

4-speaker system: two 4" 2-way speakers in the dash and two 5-1/4" speakers in the roll bar;

7-speaker system: two 4" speakers with accompanying tweeters in the dash, two 5-1/4" speakers in the roll bar, and a 6-3/4" sub in the center console.

jeep wrangler factory radio

A closeup of the Jeep radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

There's only about 6" of space behind the dash, but you can unbolt and remove the factory radio's rear support without too much trouble, giving you plenty of room for a new receiver. You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, a wiring harness that allows you to connect it without cutting the factory wiring, and an antenna adapter that connects your Jeep's antenna to the new radio. These installation parts are available at a deep discount with your Crutchfield stereo order, and our step-by-step MasterSheet™ instructions for your Wrangler are included free.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, flat blade screwdriver, 10mm socket wrench, panel tool

Read our Car Stereo Buying Guide for shopping tips and advice.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Jeep Wrangler

Detailed installation instructions

MasterSheet image
If you're looking for step-by-step instructions on how to install a car stereo or speakers in your car, there's nothing better than our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™. This detailed, well-illustrated document is free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for $9.99.

Steering wheel audio controls

In most cases, it's reasonably 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 a compatible aftermarket receiver.

Removing the factory speakers

The Wrangler's speakers are relatively easy to reach and replace, so you'll get much better sound with minimal effort.

4-speaker system

This Jeep will accept both 4" and 4"x6" speakers in the dash with the help of mounting brackets, and 5-1/4" speakers in the sound bar. It's a good idea to get speaker harnesses along with your new speakers. They'll allow you to attach the new speakers to the plugs that connect to the Jeep's factory speakers, and they make it easier to reinstall the factory speakers if you ever sell your truck These brackets and speaker wiring harnesses are available at a very nice discount with every Crutchfield speaker order.

You have plenty of options for replacement speakers, as there's plenty of room in both locations. Your Wrangler may not have speakers in the dash, in which case you'll have to go to your Jeep dealer for speaker grilles and brackets. Many Wrangler owners who drive with their top off choose marine-certified speakers that won't be bothered by an occasional shower or condensation.

jeep wrangler dash speaker

Factory front speakers in 7-speaker system (Crutchfield Research Photo)

7-speaker system

Each of the front dash openings houses a 4" speaker and a tweeter, and you can access the location by removing two small screws. The easiest upgrade is to install 4" coaxial speakers and remove the factory tweeters.

If you're willing to do a little work, you can put a nice set of 4" components up front, but you'll have to fashion mounting plates for aftermarket tweeters. You can also add 4"x6" speakers. Most will fit there, with or without a plate. You'll need a bracket for pretty much any installation in this spot.

jeep wrangler soundbar

The Wrangler's soundbar speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Sound bar speakers

You only have to remove a few screws to replace these speakers, and you have enough room for almost any 5-1/4" speakers to fit.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver

jeep wrangler mod pods

Mod Pods are a terrific speaker option for your Wrangler (Select Increments photo)

Custom speaker installations

Since the Wrangler is such a popular vehicle, there are some options available if you want to put speakers in other locations. These options also let you use larger 6-1/2" speakers, rather than being limited to 4" or 5-1/4" sizes.

Select Increments offers Mod-Pods for the Wrangler, which are unloaded enclosures that hold 5-1/4" speakers just below the Jeep's doors. They also build Quad-Pods, which are unloaded enclosures that hold 6-1/2" speakers and 8" subs in the Jeep's back corners.

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information

Shop for speakers that fit your Jeep Wrangler


Select Increments Stealth-Pod (Select Increments photo)

Bass in your Jeep Wrangler

Bumping up the bass in your Wrangler will really improve your overall sound. You have several options to choose from, here, too.

4-speaker system

Lots of Wrangler owners install an amp and sub enclosure in the area behind the seats. If you like to get a lot of mud on your Wrangler, it's a good idea to splice connectors into the power and speaker wires so you can quickly remove your sub from the back of your Jeep when you're heading out on the trail. You'll also appreciate the quick disconnect if you're headed to a risky area and don't want someone walking off with your gear.

You'll also find a wide range of subwoofer options available. Select Increments makes the Stealth-Pod, an enclosure that bolts onto the back door and holds a 10" sub of your choice.

MTX also makes a variety of dual 10" amplified and unamplified enclosures that fit behind the back seat. If you're into building your own enclosure, here's the available space: Width (side to side) = 35", Height = 15", Depth (front to rear) = 7" at top, 10" at bottom. The height measurement brings the box even with the top of tailgate.

7-speaker system

You'll have to remove the center console to replace the factory subwoofer. It's not a difficult job, but it'll take some time. Here are the dimensions for this factory sub location:

  • Mounting depth: 2.789 inches
  • Magnet diameter: 4.178 inches
  • Mounting height: 0.712 inches

You may have to re-drill screw holes, but you should be able to find a small 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" sub that's within these dimensions. And, as long as you're going to drop an upgraded sub in the console, you might as well put a small amp under the seat to give it some decent power. If you're keeping the factory amp, you'll want to replace the factory dual 2-ohm voice coil sub with another DVC sub so you don't lose power.

jeep wrangler factory subwoofer

Here's the factory sub, removed from the console (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, panel tool, 10mm socket wrench (with ratchet and extension), T20 and T30 Torx drivers, needle nose pliers

Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Jeep Wrangler

Other options for your Wrangler

Here are some other ideas for improving your Jeep's sound, security, and appearance:

Interior protection

When you head to the great outdoors in your Wrangler, some of the outdoors will undoubtedly find its way into your truck. portable GPS from Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom will mount on your dash and give you turn-by-turn directions, traffic updates, and everything you need to make your trip go smoothly. Plus, when you get where you're going, you can put your GPS in your pocket and hit the trail.

Security systems

Installing a security system in your Wrangler 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.

Jeep Wrangler Audio FAQ

I'm OK with the power of the Jeep system, but I'm constantly turning up the bass control trying to get more punch. What should I do?

You might try adding a powered sub first. Cranking up the bass control puts a huge strain on your Jeep's radio, and the extra bass produced by a sub allows you to turn the bass control back down so you get more usable power from your radio. The extra bass will also make your factory speakers sound better when you're driving with the top off.

My Jeep's system sounds cool in the driveway but it's useless at 55 mph with all the road noise. What should I replace first?

Whatever you replace, you should definitely buy an amplifier because clean power is what you need. The amplifiers that are built into car stereos are relatively low-powered — an outboard amp will give you more headroom so your system can coast along instead of straining to create the level you need on the highway.

I don't want to put a new radio in my Jeep, but my music doesn't sound that great. Will new speakers help?

Absolutely. If you're going to keep your factory radio, look for speakers that are efficient (sensitivity rating over 90 dB). Spend a little more money on the 5-1/4" speakers that are going over your head — a good tweeter will bring out all the details in your music without taking your head off.

Let's get started!

Ready to shop? Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car or truck. If you have questions of your own, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email

  • John Escarsega

    Posted on 3/20/2023

    Hi, I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler and purchased the Polk DB 5252 speakers to replace the front speakers. There is only wiring to the existing speakers. I do not know which wires or wiring I need to connect to my crossover unit (power supply). The picture in your article is identical to my layout for front speakers. Are the wires or wiring shown is what I need to use for power supply into crossover?

    Commenter image

    Crutchfield Writing Team from Crutchfield

    on 3/21/2023

    John, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.
  • Vanessa from Camp Hill

    Posted on 7/11/2022

    Can you install a subwoofer in the center console, when that wasn't how it came from factory?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/12/2022

    Vanessa, 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.
  • Abigail from Adelaide

    Posted on 10/13/2021

    Hi there! I've got a 2004, 4 litre TJ and am looking to upgrade the overall sound system, with a main focus on the radio and the amp. The amp hasn't worked for some time due to salt damaged from beach off-roading, so am wondering which one would be best suited to the vehicle? The aim would be deep base and clear sound.hopefully not too large to fit in the original area underneath the centre console. Theres a lot of information out there so at bit at a loss. Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 10/13/2021

    Avigail, I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.
  • Micah gammill from Gaffney sc

    Posted on 12/14/2020

    Hey im trying to replace my speakers in my 2004 jeep and I have that works in the front and one in the back I was replacing one of them in the back that doesn't work I have the wires and all that hooked up but there is still no sound coming through it any ideas why

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 12/14/2020

    Micah, In all likelihood, something's not connected properly. But with questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.
  • Erik from Terre Haute

    Posted on 7/20/2020

    My 2004 jeep wrangler actually has a 6 speaker system. Two in the front of the dash, tower speakers in the corners of the dash (look like small tweeters), and 2 more in the roll bar. I don't see this detailed anywhere. Looking to replace them all. The original sticker from factory mentions 6 speaker system. Why can I not find this variation on Crutchfield,

  • Brian from Lolo

    Posted on 6/10/2019

    I currently own a 2003 Jeep Wrangler sport. The factory radio/cassette has buttons for a CD outboard player. Is a unit like this available?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/11/2019

    Brian, Portable CD players are still out there, but they're getting harder to find as the digital revolution continues. There are some other ways to modernize your Jeep's entertainment without replacing the radio, though. 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.
  • mark from Redondo Beach

    Posted on 4/3/2019

    Hello, I replaced my head unit and used a wiring harness adapter for the front and rear speakers. It was my understanding that those 4 speakers go into the subwoofer amp and then onward to their respective speaker. Only problem is the subwoofer doesnt work. I bought the Crutchfield install guide but it doesnt mention this problem. Is there a power lead coming from the stock radio to turn on the sub or did I mess something else up?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/4/2019

    Mark, As a Crutchfield customer, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Even if you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Lou from Radcliffe

    Posted on 10/2/2018

    My 2004 Jeep TJ once had a factory subwoofer console but now only the wire harness that it connected to is left. Is there a way I can connect an aftermarket powered subwoofer to this harness/coupling?

    Commenter image

    Jon P. from Crutchfield

    on 10/3/2018

    Lou, There's a bit more to it than that. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/12/2018

    Jon, We can totally help with that. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat. Oh, and good job on spelling the name the right way!

  • Jon from Scottsdale, AZ

    Posted on 3/11/2018

    Hi There, I have a 2004 Jeep TJ and I am looking to replace all speakers and add a new deck. Everything is stock at the moment. I removed the center consel sub and front side speakers. The roll bar speakers seem to not be popping out after I remove the 4 screws but I can figure that out. So I am looking for two front side speakers (minimal fabrication, maybe 4x6's), two roll bar, center sub, add an amp, and new deck. Budget is about $650-800. Maybe $900. I am neutral on branding. Please reach out and thank you!

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