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2006-2010 Jeep Commander

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Commander

jeep commander

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

Overview of the Jeep Commander

As far as anyone can tell, the Commander exists mostly because third-row seating was once deemed absolutely essential in anything but the smallest SUVs. As nice as the mid-aughts Grand Cherokee was, it didn’t have room for a third seat, so Jeep raised the roof, lengthened the body, and called it a Commander.

And yes, you could transport seven people in your Commander, provided that two of them are spry enough to clamber into the third-row seats and small enough to be comfortable back there. Once they’re settled in, you will see their smiling faces and very little of what’s coming up in the rear window.

We’re guessing most owners folded those seats down before driving home from the dealership and haven’t put them up since. And with those out of sight and mind, the Commander is a pretty nifty SUV. There’s plenty of room for people and stuff, the retro styling proves that it’s hip to be square, and the available Hemi power will get this big SUV moving along quite nicely.

The stock stereos weren’t bad for the time, but when this gear was new, trucker hats were high fashion and planking was cool. So yeah, it’s been a while. Upgrading the audio system will make your Commander a nicer place to be, whether you’re on the road or on the trail.

jeep commander base radio

Here's an up-close look at the Commander's base radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

The Commander’s base system was an AM/FM/CD receiver with six speakers. The upgrade was a Boston Acoustics system, while the top-line option was the BA system with a navigation receiver.

When you replace the factory radio, you'll lose your factory satellite radio capability and the factory hands-free cell phone interface (if present). Both of those functions can be easily replicated by choosing the right aftermarket stereo. And you can also get a much newer, better nav system, too.

If you’re bypassing the factory Boston Acoustics amp, we recommend replacing the low-impedance factory speakers with standard 4-ohm aftermarket speakers to prevent overheating and other damage to your new radio. Another idea would be choosing the 4-ohm speakers you really want and adding an aftermarket amplifier to the system.

Some Commanders were equipped with an optional rear seat DVD player. If you remove the stock radio, the DVD will still work, but the audio will only play through headphones.

jeep commander nav radio

Removing and replacing the nav radio is reasonably simple, but you might need to modify the dash cavity for certain double-DIN aftermarket radios (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

The details of the radio removal and replacement process depends on whether you have a 2006-2007 Commander or a 2008-2010 model. For the earlier trucks, all the disassembly info can be found in the Crutchfield MasterSheet that’s included free with your purchase. As for the ’08-’10 trucks, that info is included in the dash kit manual. For details, take a look at the kit, the manual, and our assembly video.

You can replace the stock receiver with a variety of standard-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket receivers. And when you buy your new receiver at Crutchfield, you’ll save money on the dash kit and wiring harness you’ll need to install it.

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.

If you’re installing a double-DIN receiver in your 2008-10 Commander, you’ll want to test-fit the receiver assembly in the dash. If you need more depth, cut off the upper rails in the dash cavity to accommodate the receiver assembly. This isn’t hard, but you are cutting into your own vehicle, so work carefully, stay patient, and wear eye protection.

Once the new receiver is installed and connected, be sure to test it out before you put the dash back together.

Tools needed: Panel Tool, 3/16" hex socket, ratchet and extension, Phillips screwdriver

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

Shop for car stereos that fit your Jeep Commander

Steering wheel audio controls

In most cases, it's reasonably easy to retain your Commander'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.

jeep commander speaker removal

Replacing the stock speakers will really improve the sound in your Commander (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers

Even if you decide to stick with the stock receiver, new speakers can improve your sound. The job's not that hard in the Commander, and the results will be worth it.

jeep commander corner dash speaker

Replacing the corner dash tweeters isn't all that hard to do (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the corner dash speakers

The 3-1/2" corner dash tweeters are pretty easy to deal with. Use a panel tool to pry up the speaker grille and remove it, then remove the two Phillips screws securing the speaker. Pull the speaker out, disconnect it, and remove it.

Once you’ve installed your aftermarket tweeters, test them out to make sure they’re working.

Tools needed: Panel tool, stubby Phillips screwdriver

jeep commander front door speakers

You'll need to remove the panels to access the front and rear door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the front door speakers

The 6"x9" factory front door speakers can be replaced by a nice variety of same-size, 6-1/2", or 5-1/4" aftermarket models. You'll hear a loss of volume if you replace the low-impedance factory speakers with standard 4-ohm replacement models, so we recommend aftermarket 2-ohm speakers in this location.

The removal and replacement process is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to remove the Commander’s door panels to get to the speakers, and all the how-to details can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.

Depending on the speakers you choose, you may need to cut the plastic film in your door's speaker opening to obtain the depth you need for the new speaker to fit. This isn’t all that hard, just work carefully. You’ll need mounting brackets for some of the smaller speaker sizes, and we’ll include those and the necessary wiring adapters with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

Once the new speakers are connected and secure, test them out to make sure they’re working properly. If they are, you can start putting the doors back together. Make sure the speaker wires aren’t interfering with the windows and also check the door lock and release operation.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver.

jeep commander rear door speakers

Depending on the speakers you choose, you might need to cut out this bit of plastic in the door speaker cavities (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the rear door speakers

As for the 6-3/4" rear door speakers, the removal and replacement process is pretty similar to what you do up front. You can choose from same-size, 6-1/2", or 5-1/4" aftermarket models, and we’ll include the wiring harness adapters and brackets (if needed).

You might have to cut the the plastic film in the speaker opening in order to get the depth you need for your new speakers. As noted above, work carefully and wear eye protection. Also make sure the doors are working properly and the wires are out of the way before you put the doors back together.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver.

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.

Shop for speakers that fit your Jeep Commander

jeep commander cargo area

With the third-row seats folded down, there's plenty of room for a sub enclosure in the Commander's cargo area (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More bass in your Commander

As you’ve probably noticed already, the Commander’s cargo area is pretty enormous when the third-row seats are folded down. Thus, if you want to install a good-sized subwoofer box back here, you certainly can.

If you need all that cargo room for, well, cargo, you can boost your Commander’s bass performance by installing a more compact powered subwoofer.

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

weathertech custom floor liners

Protect your Commander's carpeting with WeatherTech FloorLiners (WeatherTech Photo)

Other options for your Commander

Here are some other ideas to improve your Commander's comfort and functionality.

Upgrade the camera

The Commander was available with a factory rear-view camera, but the reviews were decidedly “meh” when the thing was new. It’s a lot older now, and camera tech has come a long way. A new receiver and a new rear-view camera will help keep your chest from tightening up when you’re backing out of a tight parking space.

Add an amplifier

In a big utility-style vehicle like this one, you need clean power (and lots of it) going to your speakers and sub. A new amplifier will give you the "headroom" you need to get the sound you want at highway speeds. You can learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide.

Protect the carpeting

If you're using your Jeep as intended, it's probably going to get dirty every now and then. Keeping your vehicle in great shape really helps retain resale value, so protect your carpets (and your investment) with a set of custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners.

Remote start and security systems

Adding remote start capability to your Commander lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. The iDatastart system is incredibly convenient and makes it easier than ever to install a remote start system, so we highly recommend it. 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 vehicle.

Let's get started!

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