Home » How Much is a Sound System for a Car? (Explained)

How Much is a Sound System for a Car? (Explained)

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“How much do I need to spend on the sound system for a car?” Is it really that much confusing? Well, when I was trying to figure out which sound system should I go for? Trust me, I felt the pain in my mind and got confused about which receiver would be better, including the speaker, subwoofer, or amplifier.

How to choose them, what to consider when buying and how I can put together all of them within my budget? Yes, I know everyone has a budget limitation but the sound should be as I expected.

So, I deepen my knowledge and gather as much information about all of them as I could. I have put together my whole experience and the solution that I believe is to help anyone who needs a sound system for a car within the budget but gets a mind refreshing sound in the car.

So, if you want to know how much is a sound system for a car, keep reading till the end. 

Plus, the new updates, best selling music systems in the market, and the price range that matches your budget are all included in today’s article.

So, let’s get started. 

How Much Does a Complete Car Stereo System Cost?

The price of the car audio systems available in the market varies with different brands and models. Popular brands, for example, Pioneer, Sony, Bose, JBL, and Rockford offer a better quality sound system at a range of prices than the one that comes with your car. 

Keep your budget range from $500 to $700 to have the standard quality sound system in your car. Though you can spend as low as $400 to upwards of $20,000. The cost of a car stereo system will be proportional to your preference. 

After thorough market research and user review, I have found the budget range given below for a car music system. 

Music System Preference Quality Budget Range
Cheap Average $100-$300
Mid-Range  Standard $300-$500
Fancy  High-quality $450-$1000

This chart is made without the installation cost included. Moreover, your budget may vary with the number of speakers you will use, quality, and your car’s stereo sound systems. But even so, it will be better not to go for the cheap music systems as you may end up with a distorted sound system. 

Now, let me tell you the price range of the sound system separately. This way, you can either choose to change any specific features or the whole system. And also, I have recommended the best system available in the market that will help you make your decision faster and easier. 

By looking at the separate parts replacement cost, you will be able to make a chart of your own. And for your convenience, this chart also shows how much you will need to separately install each part. 

Parts Price Range Installation Cost
Receiver $100-$1000 $120 to $130
Speaker $200-$500 $40 to $100
Subwoofer $100-$400 $20–$300
Amplifier $50-$200 $20 to $100

This is the standard price range for an average sound system in your car. You can go down or further up to install a lower coverage or higher range Audio system, respectively. 

The Receiver

The receiver is also known as the head unit of a sound system. When you want good quality sound in your car, you need to install the best quality receiver.

What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Receiver? 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind while looking for a receiver.

Compatible Size

Before you start looking for a receiver, you need to make sure that the receiver of your speaker fits in the car and is compatible with it. It is better to stick with 4’’tall or 2″ tall radios.

There are intelligent features, for example, filters on the online website. You can select some categories specifically for your vehicle and get the best receiver choices in a few seconds.

Displays

It would help if you had a receiver to command the system what you want to listen to. Unlike the old-school nobs, people like to have brand new, stylish, and advanced technologies nowadays. Choosing an upgraded version to tune the radio frequencies without much trouble will be wise.

So, you can either choose the trendy big screen display or pick the voice activation feature. Most car owners prefer the later one as it is easier to say the words while driving than change the FM channel or find the right song. So, no more distraction!

Smartphone Compatibility

Pick a receiver that you can also operate on your smartphones. For example, using the updated apps, Apple Car Play or Android Auto will make it less complicated to select the perfect track that goes with your mode each day.

Price

If you can find a decent receiver that contains all of these features, you may need to spend a little more than your budget. But do not get disappointed as there are some budget-friendly options as well.

JVC, Retro Sound, and Boss could be better options among the excellent quality stereos on budget. These will cost you in between the range of $100 to $500.

You can also choose Bose Speaker in your Car for $399, which is portable and will give you pretty decent sound if you camp a lot. You can listen to music in your car and take it to the camp area without much hassle.

And if you are willing to pay a little extra, the high-quality receiver will be your new best friend on the road. Sony, Pioneer, Alpine Halo are worth mentioning as they are the hot choice in 2022 and will cost around $600-$1200.

Recommended Receiver: Pioneer DM-WC5700NEX.

Cost: $750 

Features: 

  • Touchscreen display with icons
  • Double-DIN height
  • Easy installation
  • App-Friendly
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa 

Installation Cost for Receiver

The Installation cost varies on your vehicle model, receiver, and features. Total cost including parts, labor, dash kit, wirings, you may need to spend around $100 to $600. The labor cost may vary from $40 to $60, depending on the service you trust to do the installation. 

The Speakers

What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Speaker 

Why do you think your car’s factory sound system does not seem enough? One of the main reasons is the low watts RMS that is not suitable for your car’s power, amplifier, or even stereo. So, replace your speaker and see how it plays your favorite song.

What Should Be Considered When Choosing a Speaker? 

You do not need to spend a huge pile of money to get high-quality sound. Consider the following factor before purchasing the speaker and you can have a top-notch sound system in your car within your budget. 

  • Focusing on the RMS number more than the peak handling capacity is a much wiser option.
  • It would help if you got a factory system upgrade because they only provide 13 to 18w per channel, which is insufficient to produce good quality sound.
  • For good quality audio in a small car, 50-75 watts RMS with a range of 18 to 20 Hz is enough.
  • If you want more sound, high quality, and no distortion, you must install more wattage speakers.
  • Keep in mind that high capacity speakers need to be installed with high capacity amps and a suitable stereo system unless the speaker will not get enough amps to produce crystal clear sound. 
  • RMS should work perfectly fine for a hatchback and an SUV with 50 watts RMS and 75 watts. 
  • High amps will only provide you with the best quality sound when you attach a high-quality speaker compatible with it.

Price

I know you are wondering how much does car speaker costs? There are all ranges available in the market for you to fit your budget. 

The popular brands for best car speakers are Pioneer, Rockford Fosgate, JBL, Sony, or Boss. With a price range between $200 and $500.

Recommended Speaker

Rockford Fosgate p1683 Punch Speaker 

Price: $130 

Features:

  • 65Watts RMS/130 Watts Max power handling,
  • PEI dome tweeter,
  • High output,
  • Accurate frequency reproduction,
  • Around 5888 people reviewed this item as a good quality one. 

Car Speaker Installation Cost

To replace and upgrade your car’s speaker system, you may spend $500 to $1000. The higher the quality and number of speakers you want to install, the higher the installation cost. 

The Subwoofer

Now you can say, why would I need a subwoofer when I have already installed the speaker? Well, I used to think the same but ended up installing it anyway after feeling the difference in one of my friend’s cars. Trust me; the difference is overwhelming.

You will be able to listen to music through the speaker. But to get the best of your music system, you must install a subwoofer. 

A subwoofer helps to generate low-frequency sounds. Your speaker has a limited range of wavelengths for producing sound. So, the subwoofer works at the lower level of frequencies that your speaker cannot deliver.

Price

Three ranges of subwoofers are available in the market. The lower, mid, and high range subwoofer setup will cost you $100, $110, and $400. 

You can choose from- JBL, Kicker, Pioneer, or Fosgate, which range from $100 to $300 (only the subwoofer). You can get as low as $45 if you are willing to compromise on the quality.

Subwoofer Installation Cost

Usually, the package comes with a subwoofer, an enclosure, and an amplifier. For a midrange setup, it may cost you the following: 

JL Audio 12W0v2-4 subwoofer $100
Belva Subwoofer $40 
NVX BDA7501 Amp  $45
Average Installation Cost $50 to $150

Recommended Product

You can go with a Kicker 12″ subwoofer, box, and amp(500watt) for only $139. 

The Amplifier

Now it’s time for me to introduce you to the boss of a sound system. The sound you listen to in your car moves from the speaker to your ear after the amplification. After the stereo generates signals, the amplifier boosts the low-level music and prevents distortion.

So, an amp is a must to get the best quality sound from a sound system. 

According to market research, Blaupunk 1500W, Alpine MRV-M500, Kicker 46CXA8001, and Skar Audio are the market’s bestselling amplifiers.

Price:

You can buy the amplifiers at only $49 to $350 on Amazon.

Recommended Amplifier: Boss Audio Systems R1100M

Price: $80.99

Features:

  • High and low-level inputs
  • Variable input gain control
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • 1100-watt provides max power amp

Installation cost:Around $120 and $130. 

Installation Cost

Installation Cost of Different Car Music System Elements

Now, let’s take e look at what it cost to install each component.

Equipment Installation Cost 
Car Amplifier  $120 to $130
Satellite Radio  $40 to $100
Standard-Speaker Installation $50 to $500
Component Speaker Installation $80 to $150
Subwoofer Installation $20 to $100

*The table shows how much it costs to install a car music system.

So you can expect the installation cost is between $300 to $1000.

Tips On Keeping the Costing Down

  • Start with upgrading your subwoofer and amp, and if you do not feel significant changes, replace the head unit with a high-quality one to avoid distortion. 
  • The best option is to upgrade the whole factory-installed music system. It will cost you less to install the entire system than install it separately. 
  • You can try to change the parts separately. For example, upgrade only the speaker, or amplifier-speaker combo. If you are satisfied with changing only one part or two, you do not need to upgrade the whole system. 
  • Investing in an amplifier to power up your speaker is a wise decision. 
  • Stock speakers are prone to deteriorate over the year. So, it is better to upgrade to an aftermarket speaker. This will help you save double installment costs in the future.

Final Tips

Now that you know how much a Sound System is for a car, you need to find out the best auto shop near you. Although you can DIY the whole system if you want, it is better to trust your repair shop to do the task.

Find out what you already have in the system and what needs to be changed. Ask us any question that pops in your mind in the comment section and share this article with your friends. Have a safe ride!