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2010-2014 Ford Mustang coupe

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Mustang

Ford Mustang

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

Overview of the Ford Mustang

In 2010, Ford gave its wildly popular fifth-generation Mustang coupe a thorough mid-cycle freshening. The revamped ponycar boasted subtle styling tweaks, increased horsepower, and improved fuel economy.

Several stereo systems were available for this Mustang, many equipped with the SYNC interface system that a lot of owners love. But if you're serious about sound, there's plenty of room for improvement. The aftermarket loves the Mustang as much as the car-buying public does, so there are options for everything from replacing a few speakers to adding a completely new system.

Removing the factory radio

ford mustang shaker radio

This is the receiver that's at the center of the Shaker system (Crutchfield Research Photo)

4-speaker system

The factory deck is integrated into the dash, which makes replacement a little complicated. You'll need a special dash adapter that replaces a good portion of the dash and allows you to install a DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) radio. You'll also need a special wiring adapter that allows you to connect your new radio without having to cut the factory wiring, along with an antenna adapter that connects the Ford antenna to your new radio.

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.

It's not an easy job, but the good news is that there are products to make it better, including a dash adapter that matches the factory colors of your interior and adapters that retain your steering wheel control features. Crutchfield offers a very nice discount on the gear needed for this installation, and our step-by-step MasterSheet™ instructions for your Mustang are free.

Ford was kind enough to pack most factory systems with plenty of features and options, including stereos with integrated satellite radio tuners, as well as the ability to add more music sources like an iPod. If you decide to keep the factory head unit, you can still get great sound, as there are plenty of ways to improve the overall system by adding speakers, amps and more.

Ford Mustang dash

It takes a bit of work to get here, but it's not as bad as you might think (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker systems

Ford offered two versions of its long-running Shaker system in the Mustang:

  • the Shaker 500 system features powered 8" subwoofers and 2-way 6"x8" speakers in each front door, with 6"x8" speakers in the rear parcel shelf
  • the Shaker 1000 system adds another amplifier and two larger subs in the trunk.

You'll run into the same issues replacing the radio in your Shaker system, with the added complication of the SYNC system. SYNC gives you the ability to control several features of the Mustang, like audio settings, Bluetooth® functions, climate controls and more, through voice commands and steering wheel controls. To retain all that SYNC functionality, you'll need the right wiring harness adapter. When you enter your vehicle info on our Outfit My Car page, our KitFinder tool will help you find the right receiver, the right dash kit, and the right wiring kit.

Tools needed: 7mm socket, panel removal tool, small slotted screwdriver

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

Shop for car stereos that fit your Ford Mustang

Steering wheel audio controls

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

Ford Mustang front door

On Shaker-equipped cars, the mid-range speaker is above the 8" sub. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front doors

From 2010-12, the Mustang's front doors held 6"x8" full-range speakers, which can be replaced by same-size or (with brackets) 5-1/4" speakers In 2013, 5-1/4" speakers became the standard factory size, but in either case, door removal is largely the same. You'll need speaker harnesses to attach the new speakers to the factory wiring, and at Crutchfield, these harnesses (and mounting brackets, if needed) are deeply discounted with every speaker order.

Ford Mustang speaker

The Mustang's 6" x 8" door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removal of the speakers is fairly straightforward — just pop off the door panels (requires removing eight 7mm bolts, and two T30 Torx screws) and replace the old speakers with your new ones. You can use speaker harness adapters to connect the new speakers to the Ford speaker plugs, or you can splice the new speakers' wires into the factory harnesses if you know what you're doing.

Ford Mustang rear speakers

The Mustang's rear deck speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear deck speakers

The Mustang's rear speakers are also 6"x8"s, and again you have the option of round 5-1/4" speakers in speaker brackets. In most cases, you'll be able to use the same speakers front and back. You must remove several interior body panels as well as the lower portion of the rear seat to access the speakers, and you'll again need wiring adapters if you don't want to splice into the factory wire harness.

Rear deck speaker removal

Removing the rear deck speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker systems

The Shaker systems offered on the Mustang came with pretty decent speakers, so you'll want to pick some good-quality speakers to replace them. Your Mustang will also have 8" subwoofers in the doors.

Tools needed: Socket wrench, 7mm socket, Torx T20 and T30 drivers, panel removal tool, small slotted screwdriver

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information

Shop for speakers that fit your Ford Mustang

Bass in your Mustang

How and where you pump up the thump in your Mustang depends on what you want and, to an extent, what you're starting with.

4-speaker system

If you want to preserve your trunk space, you'll find a number of specially-made subwoofer enclosures available for the Mustang from brands like JL Audio and MTX that fit neatly in the out-of-the-way corners of the trunk. If you want competition-level bass, you'll find plenty of room in the Mustang's trunk for a custom installation.

Factory sub

Shaker system 8" sub in the door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker 500 system

Due to the low impedance and odd size of the 8" subs in your front doors, there are very few options for replacing them with aftermarket 8" woofers. The 3-1/4" mounting depth in the door makes it especially tough. You can keep these subs along with their amps, or remove them entirely to use this space for component speakers, crossovers and more. You can get better sound from an amplified midrange speaker in a nice component set, so you won't be losing the low notes by going without these shallow subs.

Factory sub

Subwoofer removed from the door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker 1000 system

The biggest difference between the Shaker 500 and the Shaker 1000 systems is the addition of powered subwoofers in the trunk. We recommend installing some of the Mustang-specific sub enclosures we carry, as they require less room than the Shaker 1000 subs while delivering more of a kick. You'll save space and get more bass.

MTX Thunderform

Loaded or unloaded, MTX Thunderform enclosures fit perfectly in your Mustang (MTX photo)

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

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Ford Mustang

Other options for your Mustang

There are plenty of great ways improve your car's sound and functionality. Here are a few ideas.

Protect the carpets with WeatherTech floor liners

It's easier than you think to mess up your Mustang'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.

weathertech floor liners

Keep your Mustang's carpeting looking sharp with a set of custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners

Add an amp (or two)

Adding an amplifier, even to the Shaker systems that include small factory amps, will increase the sound output and clarity of your music; it will get louder and it will sound better. Since some of the factory speakers have odd impedance levels, you'll want to upgrade those when you upgrade your amps.

Learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide.

Tune up your satellite radio

Many Mustangs come from the factory with a satellite radio tuner. If you're replacing your factory radio, you can switch over to an external SiriusXM satellite radio tuner and simply transfer your subscription.

Install 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, give us a shout via phone or email

  • James H. Mundy IV from COEUR D ALENE

    Posted on 2/14/2023

    Can I add just the loaded or unloaded MTX Thunderform enclosures (and two large subs/amps)in the trunk - to the Shaker 500 system? Which would give me better bass and clarity!

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 2/15/2023

    James, 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.
  • SCOT DUNNET from northboro ma

    Posted on 8/25/2020


    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/25/2020

    Scott, "New old stock" factory radios aren't our bag, but you might have some luck on the internet. If that site that starts with an "e" (you know the one) doesn't have anything, you might want to ask around some Mustang owners' forums. Good luck, and if you ever decide to go aftermarket, give us a call!
  • Soundset from Poznan

    Posted on 6/19/2020

    Hi guys. I have problems with connecting RCA cables to stock amplifier signal inputs. Where are +/- ? Thanks P. S. : Now mounting 2way 8" system to front and 5x7" to rear, plus 2xSubwofer(4channel AMP+1ch monoAMP)

  • Steve from Dallas

    Posted on 2/8/2020

    Have you considered posting answers UNDER the question instead of above? This is only site that does it this way...

  • Bryan young from Baltimore md

    Posted on 8/15/2019

    I have a 2012 ford mustang gt with the stock Shaker 500 I added a sub and amp to the trunk and used a converter to convert the rear Speakers too low level for the amp. The problem I'm having is when I turn the volume up to half way or more I loose bass to the box. I've also tried a different amp and now I'm using a pac line converter that comes off the back of the factory radio with the same results. Why am I losing bass to the amp when Raising the volume more than half way up. Thanks

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/20/2019

    Bryan, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. 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.
  • alan from SPOKANE

    Posted on 5/26/2019

    I am told there is a sealed chamber in the doors of the 2012 Shaker 1000 system that the 8" subs are mounted too. Cannot find any details on this chamber.

  • RM

    Posted on 5/25/2019

    It seems that with some power tools and determination one could get a pair of 6x9s into the rear deck. I can't find where anyone has actually tried this. I can't be the only one who's had this idea...

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/11/2018

    Christian, Cool ride! This sounds like a Shaker 500 system with a loose wire or a blown speaker, but it's best to have a conversation with one of our experts. 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.

  • Christian Gonzalez from Las vegas

    Posted on 4/10/2018

    I have a 2012 Ford v6 mustang club America with a shaker stereo set up, no sub in the trunk. Right side door speaker is crackling now, how can I tell if my doors have the sub speakers?. I'm also looking at your mtx trunk subwoofer speaker set up. Will I need to splice any wiring for installation?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/9/2018

    Scott, Nothing dumb about it. You can't beat free, right? You might need speaker harnesses, though, and while those aren't free, they're not that expensive. 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.

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