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2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Avalanche

2007 Chevy Avalanche

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

Overview of the Chevy Avalanche

If you're looking for one big vehicle that can do just about anything the average person needs to do, the Chevy Avalanche might be everything you need. It's definitely big, and the innovative "Midgate" allows it to transform from comfortable SUV to lumber-haulin' pickup truck in almost no time. That's a very cool thing, because most of us need a passenger vehicle most of the time and a truck some of the time. The Midgate makes the Avalanche a terrific truck all of the time.

The Avalanche is also a Chevy truck, which means it's a nice platform for an upgraded audio system. Replacing the factory radio and speakers is pretty straightforward, but adding bass can get a bit complicated. We'll help you choose the right gear and give you the advice you need to get the job done right.

chevy avalanche factory radio

The factory radio is reasonably easy to remove and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

The Avalanche was available with several different stereos, including a 6-CD Bose system. Other options included rear seat audio, DVD systems, and/or satellite radio. Replacing the factory receiver won't cost you any of the features you actually like, thanks to adapters that let you keep your OnStar®, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth® connectivity and more. You will, however, lose the factory nav system if your vehicle is so equipped.

Augmenting or flat-out replacing most of the factory stereo equipment is fairly easy, though getting to the amplifier and subwoofer of the Bose system requires some extensive interior tear-down. We'll talk more about that later.

Chevy Avalanche factory radio cavity

There's plenty of space in here for a wide variety of aftermarket radios (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

Removing the stock receiver isn't terribly difficult, but you should work carefully and patiently to avoid damaging the trim pieces. Starting at the bottom edge, pry around the edges of the receiver trim panel to release the retaining clips. These clips are very tight, so don't succumb to the temptation to use brute force. They'll come, but finesse is the best approach.

Once you've gotten the trim panel off, remove eight 7mm screws securing the switch panel, the temperature controls and the radio. It's okay to let the switch panel and temperature controls hang while you pull out and disconnect the radio.

Single- or double-DIN aftermarket receivers will fit in the Avalanche. You'll install your new stereo by following the instructions for the installation kit you'll get at a deep discount with your Crutchfield stereo purchase. It's a good idea to test the receiver and make sure it's working properly before you button everything up. You don't want to remove that trim panel twice, and certainly not in the same afternoon.

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.

Some double-DIN (4" tall) radios will not fit because the wiring harness interferes with the dash substructure. Check our product photos to make sure the radio you're buying does not have wire harnesses or RCA connectors that plug into the top half of the back of the radio. If you have any questions, our Crutchfield Advisors are here to help.

In order to connect a new stereo to your truck's electronics, you'll need a special integration adapter that retains your warning chimes, keeps the Bose amplifier working, and retains the OnStar functionality (if either of these are present). You might also need a relay to keep your audible turn signals working with your new car stereo. You'll also need an antenna adapter to connect the Chevy antenna plug to your new radio. And, if your Avalanche is equipped with the GM Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system, you'll also need a separate adapter to connect it to the audio/video output on your new receiver.

You'll get all the adapters you need at a very nice discount when you order from Crutchfield.

Since installing a new receiver can disable the warning chimes in your Avalanche, in the interests of safety, you must use the recommended Crutchfield integration adapter to retain these warning chimes. We will not provide technical support for any installation that does not utilize the recommended adapter.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm driver.

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

Shop for car stereos that fit your Chevrolet Avalanche

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 Avalanche has speakers in the front and rear doors, plus A-pillar tweeters and a center dash speaker.

Chevy Avalanche front door speakers

As with most Chevy trucks, the front door speakers in your Avalanche are easy to replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front door speakers

The front speakers are a sort of non-standard size, but they can be replaced with a variety of 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" speakers. A speaker adapter bracket is required, and it's included free with your speaker purchase. A wiring harness is not available, though, so you'll either need to splice the speaker wires or connect the speaker to the vehicle wires using a set of Posi-Products connectors. If you use your truck off-road at all, the latter is a better option because the connection is much more secure.

The removal and replacement process isn't difficult, but it is somewhat detailed and there is drilling involved. Helpful instructions can be found in the Crutchfield MasterSheet included free with your order.

If you're even slightly handy around the home and garage, you know how to use a power drill. That said, we should remind you to be extremely careful when drilling in a vehicle. Be aware of things such as wiring, windows, fuel lines and safety devices. And, of course, check (and re-check) the drilling depth and location before you drill.

One last thing: Your new speakers might include mounting screws, but then again, they might not. Check your packaging and, if needed, make that run to the hardware store before you start working.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm & 10mm drivers, drill & 1/8" bit.

Chevy Avalanche rear door

Speakers that fit in the front doors will work back here, too (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door speakers

The rear speakers are a little easier to work with. As with the front speakers, the rears are a non-standard factory GM size, but they can be replaced with a host of 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket models.

You'll need to do a bit of drilling here, too, but it's the same basic job that it was up front. You should check for mounting screws in your rear speaker packaging, too.

Detailed instructions for the rear door speaker installation can also be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm & 10mm drivers, drill & 1/8" bit.

Chevy Avalanche tweeter

The tweeters are located in your truck's A-pillars (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front pillar speakers

The tweeters are mounted at the base of the "A" pillars. They're covered by a grille that you'll need to pry off before you pull the entire assembly away from the pillar trim panel. From there, pry the tweeter away from the grille and clip the wires.

Because of that little bit of work, you'll need to use a set of Posi-Products connectors or splice the wiring when you install a new tweeter. You'll also need to fabricate a way to secure the new tweeter. Our tech support team can offer suggestions.

Tools needed: Small flat blade screwdriver.

Chevy Avalanche dash speaker

The dash speaker is pretty easy to work with (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Center dash speakers

If your Avalanche has a center dash tweeter, it's easy to get to, but a bit challenging to replace. There aren't any aftermarket tweeters that fit exactly, so you'll have to fabricate a mounting bracket to install a new tweeter in this location (our universal backstrap can really help in situations like this). If you're not into wire splicing, you'll also need Posi-Products connectors for this installation.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm driver.

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.

Shop for speakers that fit your Chevrolet Avalanche

JL Audio Stealthbox

This JL Audio Stealthbox is one bass option for your Avalanche

Bass in your Avalanche

The factory subwoofer is an oblong piece that's roughly the size of a 6-3/4" speaker. It's located in the center console, which is nice, but if you want to replace it, the entire console must be removed. That's not so nice. It's actually a very difficult process, and it's quite easy to damage the truck's interior. Because of all this, we don't recommend replacing the factory subwoofer.

If you want big bass, though, it's available. JL Audio's fiberglass Stealthbox enclosure houses a 10" JL Audio sub and works nicely in trucks with front bucket seats and a center console.It's an impressive piece, and installing it takes an impressive amount of skill and experience. Consult a Crutchfield Advisor before you order, and consider turning the work over to a pro. This enclosure will not work in vehicles that have A/C vents on the back of the center console.

You can also add more sound up front, with the help of a Q-Forms Kick Panel Pod. As you might imagine, it installs in the kick panel, and is available in three colors to match your truck's interior. Q-Forms enclosures hold 6-1/2" speakers in an ideal position, angling them to maximize sound quality. Since the Q-Forms are located near your feet, the distance from your ears to each speaker becomes closer to equal, creating a superior soundstage. Q-Forms do not come with pre-cut holes and installing them can be challenging, so check with a Crutchfield Advisor before you order. And, yes, you should consider turning the work over to a pro.

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

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Chevrolet Avalanche

accele rear view camera

This Accele rear-view camera is a smart addition to your Avalanche

Other options for your Avalanche

There are plenty of other ways to improve your Avalanche. Here are some of the ways Crutchfield can help.

Rear-view camera

With a vehicle this large, it's important to be aware of your surroundings. A rear-view camera is a big help when you're backing up in a crowded parking lot.


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 a new amp in the spaces under and behind the seats or in the center console. Learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide.

Speaker baffles

We frequently suggest speaker baffles for other vehicles, but for the Avalanche, we strongly recommend them. These big, thick doors can waste a lot of great sound, and this is an inexpensive way to rein it back in. The rubber baffles are easy to install, and they'll give you improved performance while also protecting your speakers.

Remote start and security systems

Adding remote start capability to your vehicle 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. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately) to connect with your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems, so 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!

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

  • Colin Yarbrough from Tyrone

    Posted on 6/5/2022

    Hi I have a 2007 chevy avalanche Ltz I'm having trouble installing the new radio, when I use my voltage meter it says the power wire has no power. But when I hook the factory radio up it turns on, but I plug in my new radio and it won't turn on. Any suggestions?

    Commenter image

    Crutchfield Writing Team from Crutchfield

    on 6/7/2022

    Colin, 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.
  • Shane Johnson from Portage, WI

    Posted on 1/8/2022

    Similar question as the preview one: What should I tap into to use as a high level input, just for adding a stand alone sub & sub amp?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 1/10/2022

    Shane, Apologies for the similar answer, but 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.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/19/2018

    Keith, You can retain the DVD screen when you upgrade other parts of your system. All it takes is a special adapter. 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.

  • Keith from lafayette

    Posted on 3/18/2018

    Can please you address ways to keep the overhead dvd screen? I have a 2010 LTZ Avalanche

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/12/2016

    Owen, Not necessarily. When you enter your vehicle's info into our Outfit My Car tool, you'll see which receivers fit your Avalanche, plus the correct harness to install the receiver you choose. If you have any questions, our advisors are available via phone or chat.

  • Owen from Centreville

    Posted on 12/9/2016

    Since this article covers 07-13 avalanches... does that also mean that they all use the same wiring harness configurations?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/30/2016

    Billie, Interesting question. I'll send it along to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Billie Hall from Stillwater, OK

    Posted on 6/30/2016

    Would you know what wires are best to attach to for adding an aftermaket sub to the Bose system in a 2011 model? What output would be the closest to full range? The sub speaker or one of the door speakers. I want to run the amp with high level just for the ease of hookup and I do not have to mess with adjusting the gain to not clip on a LOC.

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