Contact us
Close contact box
Connect ID #
379 583 947 4
Connect ID #
379 583 947 4
Don't wait on hold. We'll call you back when it's your turn to talk with the next available .
Please enter your name  
Please enter your phone number  
Please enter a message  

Calls may be recorded for training and quality control purposes.

We are located in Virginia USA.

Thank you. We will be calling you .
We're sorry. We have encountered a problem.

2010-2013 Kia Soul

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Soul

Kia Soul

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

Overview of the Kia Soul

Kia built its reputation on unremarkable cars that came with remarkable warranties. They weren't cool, they weren't stylish and they weren't fun, but they gave you pretty good bang for the buck. The Soul is a different kind of Kia.

Kia has obviously been working hard to change its reputation, and the Soul is just one example of how far they've come. It's a nifty, fun-to-drive little box with a style all its own, so it's a great home for an upgraded audio system.

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.

The factory stereo system

The Soul was available with three stock stereo systems:

  • the Standard system, with an AM/FM in-dash receiver/CD player with an input for an MP3 player. The base model had four speakers, the + model (It gets weirder, see below....) added two more.
  • the Premium system, optional on the ! model (We kid you not.) and standard on the Sport model (Ahhh, that's more like it....), added a center speaker, a sub, and an outboard amp. The ! and Sport could also be equipped with steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
  • the Navigation system, which was available in 2012-13 models. There's really no way to replace this radio, but you can remove it if you need to access the rear of the unit. For nav-equipped cars, replacing the speakers is the easiest route to better sound.

For non-nav cars, single- (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) receivers will work just fine and steering wheel audio control adapters are available.

kia soul factory radio

The Kia Soul's factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

With roughly 7" of usable space behind the dash, the Soul's dash can accomodate just about any aftermarket receiver. Due to the location of the HVAC controls, fold-down face receivers are not on that list, but you'll still have a wide selection of great receivers to choose from.

Installing an aftermarket receiver in your Kia isn't an impossible task, but it does require a fair amount of skill and know-how. The clips that hold the dash panel in place are extremely tight, so you may have to use considerable force to remove the panel. You’ll also have to be careful and patient when you're doing this, as the combination of tight plastic and a pry tool can lead to massive (i.e., "expensive") cosmetic damage.

There are some disassembly process differences between the 2010-11 and 2012-13 models. We'll explain them all in the Crutchfield Mastersheet included free with your stereo purchase.

Kia Soul dash disassembly

The Soul’s disassembled dash, ready for a new receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, a wiring harness that allows you to connect your new radio without having to cut the factory wiring, and an adapter that connects the Kia antenna to your new radio. These installation parts are available at a deep discount with your Crutchfield stereo order, along with our step-by-step MasterSheet™ instructions for your Soul.

The bad news? You'll lose your factory satellite radio capability if you replace the factory radio. If you want to keep enjoying SiriusXM programming, look for an aftermarket stereo that is satellite radio-ready. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from.

The great news? You won’t lose the Kia’s pulsating speaker lights when the factory radio is removed.

The factory amp is located in the right rear side panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory amp is located behind the right rear side panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Premium system

The installation process is much the same with this system, but you have the addition of the factory amp, located behind the right rear side panel. The easy route is to tie your new car stereo into the Kia amp, and it’s a good way to go. The Crutchfield wiring harness will take care of this.

By using the factory amp, you’ll get an improvement in sound quality and performance from your system with a new stereo, plus you keep the 8" subwoofer and the 4" center speaker operating. Otherwise, you’ll have to run new speaker wire from the new receiver to all your speakers. That's not a whole lot of fun.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

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

Shop for car stereos that fit your Kia Soul

Steering wheel audio controls

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

Kia Soul front door

The Soul’s front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers

The Soul has speakers in the dash, the doors, and behind the rear side panel. The Premium audio system adds a center dash speaker, plus a sub and amp.

kia soul front door with panel removed

You'll need to remove the door panel to get to these speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Standard system

Front doors: The factory front speakers, mounted in the doors, are slightly undersized 6-3/4" speakers in a bracket. You can upgrade to 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers with the help of an adapter bracket (free from Crutchfield), but you’ll have to do a little work.

In order to access the speakers, you have to remove the door panel. You'll need to remove several screws and covers before removing the panel. The door panel is plastic, of course, so use caution when removing both the screw covers and the screws themselves.

With the panel removed, you'll have to drill out the rivets that hold the factory speaker in place, so make sure you have the right tool for that job. You'll also want to work carefully and, of course, wear eye protection when drilling.

Once the door panel and factory speaker are out of the way, you'll need to drill new screw holes to mount the aftermarket speaker bracket to the door. Use your free speaker adapter bracket to mark the spots for your pilot holes, then drill new holes, mount the adapter and mount your new speaker. The factory speaker grilles on the door panel will fit perfectly over the new speakers.

Mounting the adapter bracket in the Soul's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Mounting the adapter bracket in the Soul’s front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The 2-ohm factory speakers really aren't bad at all, so if you're going to go to the trouble of doing all that work, we humbly suggest that you spend a little more money and get the most bang for your buck — and your busted knuckles.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, drill plus 1/8" and 5/32" drill bits

Front tweeters: The Soul's 1-1/2" tweeters are mounted up front, on the corners of the dash. To remove them, the corner dash grilles and the outer dash vent assemblies must be removed. This isn't hard, but again, we recommend care and caution during the process.

As on the doors, the clips are extremely tight and may require considerable force to remove. When you're prying them off, remember that brute force can result in cosmetic damage. You’ll have to make a new mounting bracket or spacer to install your new tweeters. A wiring harness is not available, so you'll have to cut off the factory connectors and splice the vehicle's speaker wires to your new speaker wires.

Tools required: panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

kia soul rear door with panel removed

Here's a look at the rear door with the panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear doors: The factory rear speaker is a slightly undersized 6-3/4" speaker in a bracket. You can install 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers in the rear doors with the help of a mounting bracket, but you'll have to remove the door panel to access the speakers.

This process is similar to the removal of the front door panels, and the same notes of care and caution apply. Be patient, be calm and take good care of the panels when you're prying them loose.

Look at the bright side: if "fit and finish" were Kia problems back in the old days, those problems have been solved.

kia soul rear factory speaker

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

You'll need to drill out rivets to remove the factory speaker, then drill new screw holes to mount the aftermarket speaker bracket to the door. A speaker adapter bracket is required, and it's included free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase, along with the wiring harness. The factory speaker grilles will work with your new rear speakers.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, drill plus 1/8" and 5/32" drill bits

kia soul center dash speaker

The factory center speaker is reasonably easy to get to (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Premium system

The Premium system, available on the ! and the Sport models, adds a center speaker, a subwoofer, and an outboard amp. The system boasts 8 speakers and 315 watts. You’ll find an extra plug on the 7303 harness (used to connect your new stereo to the Kia’s factory plug) that turns on the amp. Removing the speakers in the front and rear doors is the same as the base system. If you’re keeping the factory amp, you’ll want to pick aftermarket speakers with a lower impedance, like Infinity or JBL, or you’ll hear a noticeable drop in volume level.

Replacing the factory center speaker: Surprisingly enough, this speaker is actually somewhat easy to remove and replace. The stock unit is a 4" speaker, but there's limited space available in terms of mounting height (how tall the speaker can be before it bumps into the factory grille). The center dash grille must be removed in order to access this location. As usual, the clips are tight and extreme care should be used when removing the plastic bits.

Again, Kia uses a 2-ohm speaker, so pick a low-impedance aftermarket speaker or you’ll hear a big drop in volume from the factory amp. Since it’s tough to find a good single 4" speaker, you might want to hold off on replacing this speaker until you’ve replaced the front tweeters and door speakers.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.

Shop for speakers that fit your Kia Soul

Kia Soul factory subwoofer

The Soul's factory subwoofer lives behind a panel, so it's not all that easy to access (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More bass in your Soul

The factory subwoofer is an 8" low-impedance ( 2 ohm) dual voice coil unit tucked away in a place that makes removing and replacing it a job for pros, semi-pros, wildly-optimistic amateurs, or serious masochists. It's also not that bad a sub, so if you're going to tackle this project, you might want to go with a top-shelf subwoofer that's worth the effort.

You’ll have to remove the far rear side panel to access the sub location. Once you've done that, you'll note that the factory bolt pattern uses four holes of the aftermarket standard 8-hole bolt pattern, but the cutout is smaller than most aftermarket 8" subwoofers. You’ll need to cut metal to install just about any aftermarket 8" sub, so we'd suggest fabricating a bracket and installing a 6-3/4" subwoofer. Like we said, the factory unit isn't that bad.

Of course, if you don't mind giving up a little storage space in the rear area, there's plenty of room for a powered subwoofer.

Tools required: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm & 14mm socket, ratchet and extension, good grades in shop class.

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

weathertech floor liners

Protect your Kia's carpeting with custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners

Other options for your Soul

There are plenty of ways to make your Soul a nicer place to hang out. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Protect the carpets with WeatherTech floor liners

It's easier than you think to mess up your car's interior while you're going about your daily business. Floor mats and liners from WeatherTech will help protect your car's carpeting from dirt and damage. And if they're already dirty and damaged, these mats will cover it up and make your car's interior a nicer place to be.

Add an amp (or two)

A new 4-channel amplifier will help you get the most out of your new speakers. You'll get cleaner power (and a lot more of it), which will result in much, much better sound. A mono amp can provide the juice you need for your new rear deck subwoofer, too. Learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide.


The Soul is a solidly built car, but it’s still a subcompact and it can be a bit buzzy at highway speeds. The Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal out the noise and seal in the sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. This is a great thing to do while you’re installing new speakers. Why take the doors apart twice if you don’t have to? One kit will take care of the front doors on your Soul.


Installing a security system in your Soul 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.

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, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email

  • craig jenkins from gerrardstown

    Posted on 3/1/2023

    Is this a joke or something because I'm looking to replace my multifunctional unit with a touchscreen unit and I enter all my 13 Kia soul info and it says they don't recommend replacing the unit and there's no matching units available. Totally why I came here.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/1/2023

    Craig, Not a joke, just an older article that needed (and has received) an update. Thanks for the heads-up. Alas, there's really no way to replace the nav radio, but you can remove it if you need to access the rear of the unit to install an aftermarket sound processor. You can also upgrade the speakers, of course. Give us a call if you have any questions.
  • reveriano antonio from shelby twp mi

    Posted on 3/30/2021

    2012 kia soul y ya le puse otro amplificador probé con otro estereo y no tengo nada de sonido

    Commenter image

    Crutchfield Writing Team from Crutchfield

    on 3/31/2021

    Reveriano, Si compró sus equipos en Crutchfield, debe llamar a nuestro departamento de apoyo técnico al número que aparece en su factura. De otra manera, debe ponerse en contacto con el fabricante de sus equipos para solucionar el problema.
  • Kevin Payton from Burlington

    Posted on 3/9/2021

    Im really researching hard on replacing the radio in my 2011 Kia Soul Sport. The existing sound system has all of the featues in it (Center channel, subwoofer, Satellite Etc.. ) Im interested in upgrading to something with better car play. I do a lot of talking on my phone while I drive and the existing system handles that well. Im hearing that aftermarket units come with their own microphones and new units cant use the existing mic. IS that true?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/9/2021

    Kevin, We can help you find something that'll work. 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.
  • Matt Garland from Ramona

    Posted on 2/9/2020

    My 2013 kia soul didn't come with a center speaker... Would i be able to add one? I've already replaced the stock head unit and have 2 powered subs... so I'm just curious if I could add a center speaker?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 2/10/2020

    Matt, That could be challenging, to say the least. 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.
  • ojay

    Posted on 7/4/2019

    hey I tried installing an aftermarket stereo in my 2010 sportage however I cant seem to get any audio the unit works fine except for the sound well, was thinking maybe the amp has a remote wire but iam not seeing any remote wire for the amp. can you assist?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/4/2019

    Ojay, There's probably a bad connection in there somewhere, but it's hard to say from here. If you bought your receiver from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased it elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details. Good luck!
  • Jim from Atlanta, Ga

    Posted on 3/20/2019

    What functionality do I lose from the Infinity premium radio with satellite and navigation if I replace it with an after market radio in a 2013 Kia Soul ! Sport?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/20/2019

    Jim, You'll lose the factory satellite radio connectivity, so look for a nav receiver that's SiriusXM Ready. 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 5/21/2018

    Jason, Upon further review, that paragraph could've been a lot clearer, so thanks for bringing this up. The stock sub is a 2-ohm model, so replacing it with a 4-ohm aftermarket speaker will result in lower volume levels. You can, but considering all the work that goes into the replacement process, you probably don't want to! 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.

  • Jason from Fargo, ND

    Posted on 5/20/2018

    Is the sub a 2 ohm DVC speaker or is it 4 ohm DVC? The one in my daughter's car is blown out and needs to be replaced. I haven't taken it out to measure it yet, but everything I've read says that it's a 2 ohm speaker, but this article states to replace it with a 4 ohm DVC speaker.

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    George, With questions like yours, it's always good to chat with one of our Advisors. I've forwarded this to our sales team, and someone will be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat. And thanks for the kind words!

  • George Smith from Rialto, CA

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    Hey Jon, great article. I'd like to upgrade the sub in my 2013 Kia Soul (!). I was thinking of the Pioneer TS-SW2002D2. As long as I can get through removing the panels and fitting the sub the wiring shouldn't be too hard. Will this sub perform good with the existing amp or will I need to upgrade that as well? Thanks!

Looking for
car stereos?

Car Stereos Shop our selection

Find what Fits your vehicle


Checking fit...

Compare the sound