How much does it cost to install car audio?

An audio system in the car is possibly the most important feature when it comes to making a journey more pleasant. 

Most people spend less money on car audio systems, resulting in a great car with poor speakers. Almost all the car dealers make you spend so much on car upgrades but they will never tell you to spend more on car speakers.

The average cost of a quality car audio system starts at $400 and you can expect to pay up to $2000. The price is usually based on the size of the car and the quality of the audio system that is installed in the vehicle. Even at $400, these audio systems sound much better than the standard audio systems from the manufacturers.

The custom car upgrades that come from the manufacturer, are not likely to have any special upgrades done to the speakers and audio system. This can make the audio experience in a car less enjoyable. The best way to counter this is to install a quality, pro-grade speaker system from a custom manufacturer.

This is the surefire way that you can get around the problem of having sub-par speakers in a great car. Installing a custom audio system in a car doesn’t have to break your bank. You can get quality speakers that don’t just sound good but are within your budget too.

Knowing that you have to install custom car audio systems is just the beginning. Understanding what to look for when selecting car audio systems will help you to make more informed decisions about customizing your car’s audio. In this article, I will walk you through the types of car audio systems and how they are installed. Let’s get started.

Types of car audio systems

There are a few typical types of audio systems when it comes to hardware. These types are based on user preference. The main two types of car audio systems are:

  • Bass focused system
  • Treble focused system
  • Balanced system

Bass focused system

In a bass focused system, the number of bass elements is significantly high. The install usually includes components that have a bass boost in their subwoofers and tweeters. This makes the install more inclined towards the bass.

There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to a base install. One of the advantages includes experiencing the complete spectrum of the track or song in a tight space. A disadvantage though, is that you cannot listen to bass-heavy songs for a long time in a bass focused system.

Treble focused system

In a treble-focused system, the number of bass elements is reduced. The install includes components that don’t have much bass in subwoofers and tweeters. This makes the install more inclined towards the treble.

There are various aspects to take into consideration when it comes to a system with more treble. An advantage of the treble-focused system is that you can hear the intricate mixing that is done to the vocals very clearly. On the other hand, one would not be able to experience the full energy of the song since the bass is missing.

Balanced System

The important feature of a balanced audio system in a car is for it to emulate both bass and treble in a balanced spectrum. This ensures that the audio that is played in the car is transmitted to the listener with 100 percent accuracy. In the case of bass and treble-focused audio systems, you cannot expect accuracy as they are always inclined to one side of the spectrum.

Balanced systems are the best choice if you love to listen to a lot of music during your travels. Balanced systems can keep your ears from getting tired while the bass and treble systems will tend to tire your ears faster. Having a system with a lot of bass installed in your car may sound really cool but it’s not ideal for everyday use.

Choosing a car audio system

When it comes to choosing a car audio system, you have to understand the different components that are involved in a car audio system. The main audio controller sits in your dashboard, where you’ll find the tweeters as well as the sub-woofers. The tweeters play a major role in exposing the treble of the song while the sub-woofers bring out the bass of the song.

Based on the budget, you can choose different parts and even pair them together. Let’s look at three different builds below.

400$Spend a Higher amount on bass and tweeter
less on Media controllers
1000$Spend double the amount on Bass
Don’t go cheap on tweeter and Media controller
2000$High-end media controller
With the same amount spend on both tweeter & Bass

$400 budget build

There are so many options out there that you can start with but his is a decent price for a starter car speaker system with a digital controller. It’s difficult to mention specific brand names as there is an abundance of choices available.

The most amount of money should be spent on the bass and tweeter and not on the audio controller. If you care about the aesthetics more than the sound quality, go with a costly audio controller for the dash.

In the case of a $400 build, you have to keep in mind that you shouldn’t overspend on the sub-woofers. This is the second costliest component in the car audio system.

 $1000 medium build

This is a sweet price range where you can get the most bang for your buck. You will not get a mediocre audio system for 1000 bucks. The audio controller, as well as all the peripherals, will sound extremely good when you spend around $1000 on the audio system.

Make sure you are not getting second-grade tweeters which will destroy how the audio sounds in the high end. Always ensure the quality of the speaker is comparable with all the other components being used in the building of an audio system.

$2000 extreme build

This is the budget where you go crazy on how much you spend on both audio controllers and sub-woofers. You can get expensive sub-woofers, which transmit incredible bass frequencies in this range of car audio speakers.

Usually, the bass boosted audio systems come into the extreme build category. Sometimes you can also do a balanced system with expensive car touch audio controllers, which will bring the price to $2000.

Installing car audio system

Installing a car audio system yourself might seem intimidating but it can be done, if you understand how the input and output functions work in a car audio controller. If not, the best thing to do is to take your car to a local dealer or a repair shop that can install the audio system.

Taking care of the installed car audio system is as important as installing an expensive audio system. Keeping it clean and not dropping any liquids or debris on it will make it last longer without losing sound quality.

Can I install any stereo in my car?

Yes, you can install any stereo in your car. This is usually where people make the mistake when installing stereo speakers in a car. Always make sure that the audio controller system in your car can handle the watt requirement to power the speakers.

How do I install a new radio in my car?

Nowadays radio systems come inclusive of audio controllers. This guarantees that you don’t have to install separate radio systems. Getting an audio controller system with radio functionality is how you’ll get to enjoy radio in your car.

Is it hard to install a car stereo?

If you understand the functions and wirings of a car audio system, you will be able to easily install a car audio system without any issues. If you have doubts about how to go about it, it’s a best practice to allow the experts to handle it.


The evolution of audio systems has gone from mono to stereo. This paved the way for different modifications in the audio systems that emphasize different aspects of music.

Some are made to emphasize the bass and some emphasize the treble. Understanding what these mean and where your budget lies is very important. You cannot buy a cheap controller and match it with an expensive speaker.

There are so many nuances to how the car speakers work and where they should be placed. Learn more about how different speaker components interact with the audio controller.

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