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2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Corvette

C7 Corvette Stingray

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

Overview of the Chevrolet Corvette

The buzz over the mid-engine C8 Corvette is totally understandable, but the final "front-engine" Corvette is pretty awesome, too. The C7 represents everything that the Corvette team learned over the years about how to extract maximum performance out of a front-engine platform. The various street versions were remarkable performers, and the C7.R GT race cars racked up an impressive number of wins and championships, including a 2015 triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

BTW, those screaming yellow race cars also sounded incredible. If you never saw them race in person, surf around and look for some clips. But not until you’re done reading this article and learning how to make your C7’s stereo system sound incredible, too.

chevy corvette c7 factory radio

Alas, removing and replacing the stock "stereo" just isn't gonna happen (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory stereo system

The C7 coupe was available with a reasonably decent 9-speaker Bose® audio system and a 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint system that added a subwoofer. The convertible offers base and Bose systems, too, but we haven’t had an opportunity to fully research one of those yet. If you know something we don’t about the ragtop’s rear speaker and subwoofer layout, we’d love to hear from you. The dash and door information below is the same for both models.

In either case, the Corvette’s dash unit is a display/control module that’s connected to a tuner module located under the passenger's side footwell. This combo does a lot more than a traditional car stereo, which means it’s pretty much impossible to replace with any sort of traditional aftermarket receiver. The dash disassembly process is fiendishly complicated anyway, trust us.

Detailed speaker removal instructions

ResearchNotes image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield ResearchNotes™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

Since the dash unit is going to have to stay where it is, new speakers are best way to improve your car’s audio performance. If you decide to add aftermarket amplifiers or subwoofers to your Corvette’s system, you’ll need to access the factory amp to disable the active noise cancellation system.

If you have questions about this (and we’re betting you do), remember that your Crutchfield purchase includes free tech support for the life of your gear. Our expert tech advisors are right here in Virginia and they’re available seven days a week.

c7 corvette door speaker

You can't replace the stock receiver, but you can improve your sound with aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers

The C7 has speakers in the dash, doors, and, in the coupe, the sides of the cargo area. There’s also an 8" rear subwoofer that’s part of the premium Bose system.

In the coupe, the sub is in the rear wall of the cargo area. In the convertible, it’s….like we said, if you know, we’d love to hear from you. To learn more about our "crowdsourced" vehicle research process, check out this informative article. If that sound like something you'd want to do, contact us via the email addy in the article.

c7 corvette center dash speaker

The center dash speaker can be replaced by a variety of 3-1/2" aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the center dash speaker

The center dash speaker is reasonably easy to remove, and there are plenty of 3-1/2" aftermarket speakers that will fit in this space.

To get to the speaker, use a panel tool to pry up the grille and release four clips, then remove the grille. Remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

A wiring harness is not available for this speaker, so. you'll have to splice or tap the vehicle's speaker wires to your new speaker wires. You can also use Posi-Products speaker connectors, which might be the easier option.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

c7 corvette corner tweeter

The corner dash tweeters are wired in parallel with the door woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the corner dash tweeters

The corner dash tweeters measure just a smidge over 1-1/2" in diameter and are wired in parallel with the corresponding door woofers.

To remove these tweeters, start at rear edge and pry up the door's scuff panel to release seven clips, then pull the panel up and toward the rear of car to remove it.

Next, you’ll need to release the sun visor from its holder. Pry open the visor holder screw cover, remove one Torx T15 screw, then remove the visor holder. Pry down the upper windshield trim to release two clips, just enough to clear the visor mount screw cover. Pry off the visor mount screw cover, then remove the three exposed Torx T15 screws. Disconnect the harness and remove the visor assembly.

Pry out the pillar trim panel to release three clips, then disconnect the harness (found on the driver's side only) and remove the trim panel. Pry up the corner dash grille to release two clips, then disconnect the harness and remove the grille. Finally, pry out three tabs to release the tweeter from the grille.

An aftermarket tweeter will fit here, but you’ll need to hot glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure them. A wiring harness isn’t available for this location either, so you’ll need to splice, solder, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speakers to the car’s wiring.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T15 driver, small flat blade screwdriver

c7 corvette door speakers

The Corvette's long doors contain mids and woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the door speakers

The Corvette’s doors contain both 3-1/2" midrange speakers and shallow-mount 10" woofers. You'll replace the stock woofers with smaller speakers, and the mounting brackets you'll need to install them will be included free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. 

You’ll need to remove the door panels to get to these speakers, a process that’s a little different for each door. On the driver’s side, you’ll use your panel tool to pry up the power switch panel and release five clips, then disconnect the harness and remove the switch panel. Pry out the door release button panel, then disconnect the harness, remove the panel, and remove the now-exposed 10mm screw. On the other side, you’ll remove a slightly less complicated panel.

On both doors, you’ll need to remove two Torx T30 screws along the bottom edge of the door panel. On the driver’s side, pry off the screw cover under the arm rest, then remove the exposed 10mm screw. On the passenger’s side, you’ll need to remove the 10mm screw located under that arm rest.

Starting at either lower corner, pry out the door panel to release eight clips, then disconnect the harnesses, remove the door panel, and store it someplace safe. Remember to keep all those screws and panels organized for later.

For the midrange speakers, you’ll remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker to the door panel, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker. A wiring harness is not available, so you'll need to splice, tap, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speaker to the vehicle's speaker wires.

To remove the woofers, remove the four 7mm screws securing the woofer to the door, then pry out the woofer, disconnect the harness, and remove the old speaker.

These speakers have their own unique bolt patterns, which is another reason we include the necessary mounting brackets with your speakers purchase. The woofers are low-impedance speakers, so replacing them with 4-ohm aftermarket models will result in lower volume levels. Keep that in mind while you’re shopping.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T30 driver, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet, and extension

c7 corvette cargo area

The coupe's rear side speakers take some getting to, but replacing them is do-able for the average DIY-er (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the side panel speakers (Coupe)

The coupe’s rear side panels contain 6-3/4" speakers, and while the process is a bit fiddly, removing and replacing these speakers is a do-able DIY project. And remember, this process is illustrated in our custom instructions, which you'll receive when you place your speaker order. 

Remove the cargo floor mat (if you have one), then unscrew the two cargo hooks on the rear trunk hatch trim panel. Pry off the screw cover on the two cargo floor panel loops, then remove the exposed Torx T40 screw at each location and remove both cargo loops. Pry up the storage compartment trim to release the retaining clips, then lift up the cargo floor panel and store it someplace safe while you keep working.

Pry out the rear hatch trim panel to release eight clips, then remove the panel. Next, pry out the targa top latch cover to release five clips and remove the cover. Pry off the screw cover on the side panel cargo loop, remove one Torx T40 screw, then remove the cargo loop.

Use your panel tool (which is getting quite a workout back here) to pry out the mid-side panel and release nine clips, then remove the panel. Next, pry down the headliner panel to release nine clips and remove that panel. And, finally, pry out the rear pillar trim panel to release seven clips, then remove the panel. The panel will remain tethered to seat belt.

With the speaker exposed, you’ll then remove the four 7mm screws securing the speaker to the side wall, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.

Depending on the speakers you choose, you may need speaker mounting brackets to install them. And, as noted before, Crutchfield will include these brackets with your speaker order.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

c7 corvette factory subwoofer

The Corvette's factory sub has a unique bolt pattern (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory subwoofer

If your car has the rear panel subwoofer and you want to replace it, you’re well on your way to getting to it by the time you get most of the way through the side panel speaker removal process.

Once you get all the way there, you’ll need to remove the six 1/4" hex screws securing the sub to the enclosure, disconnect and push the harness out, then remove the sub.

You'll re-use the factory enclosure when you install your new subwoofer. Depending on which subwoofer you choose, you may have to drill new screw holes or fabricate a speaker bracket. Drilling holes certainly isn’t the hardest task in the automotive world, but work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and always wear eye protection.

A wiring harness is not available, so you'll need to splice, tap, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speaker to the vehicle's speaker wires. This is a low-impedance speaker, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for your new aftermarket sub.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver, 1/4" hex driver, drill with 1/8" bit

c7 corvette bose amplifier

Here's a look at the stock amplifier. You'll need to disable the car's active noise cancellation system when you install aftermarket amplifiers and/or subwoofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Accessing the factory amplifier

To disable the active noise cancellation system, you'll need to access the Bose amplifier, which is located under the cargo area floor and will be exposed pretty early in the side panel speaker removal process.

Once you get to it, lift up the access cover to access the amp. Your disassembly instructions include an amp wiring diagram that will show you how to disconnect the ANC module. Be sure to test your car's audio and phone operations before you put everything back together.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver

Shop for speakers that fit your Chevrolet Corvette

c7 corvette cargo area

A powered subwoofer might be the best way to boost your Corvette's bass performance (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More bass in your C7 Corvette

If you like big bass, there's some room to work with in the Corvette coupe's hatch area. If you want to add a subwoofer box, you have a 10" H (top to bottom) x 42" W (side to side) x 35" D1 (bottom), 35" D2 (top) space available. Reduce the height to 6" if you want to make sure the sub sits below the targa top when the top is stowed in cargo area.

Given this limited space, a powered subwoofer might be the right choice for your Corvette.

weathertech floor liners

A high-performance car deserves high-performance floor liners. WeatherTech DigitalFit® liners are custom-designed to fit your Corvette perfectly.

Other options for your Corvette

There are plenty of other ways to improve your C7 Corvette. Here are some of the ways Crutchfield can help.

Protect your car's interior

The Corvette is a high-tech, high-performance car, but the factory floor mats are...just regular old factory floor mats. A set of custom floor liners from WeatherTech will help protect your car's carpeting from dirt and damage.

Add a camera

dash camera is an awesome accessory for touring or track days, and it can also be a handy thing to have on your car's dash when you're cruising around town.

Security systems and remote start

Installing a security system in your Corvette won't be easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea in a car like this. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car to a professional installer.

Adding remote start capability to your Corvette will allow you to warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. Installation is usually easier with these systems, but we still ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.

Find the audio gear that fits your car

Visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information to see stereos, speakers, subs, and other audio accessories that will work in your vehicle. If you have any questions, contact our advisors. They'll be happy to help.

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