The Lotus Cars Community banner

Basic Audio Upgrade Cost

1519 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Viggen
Okay so I'm looking at upgrading my audio but I'd like to know the price ranges to get something put together.
I'll have to take it to a shop to get it done but before I go I'd like to know what kind of quotes I can expect and what is reasonable.
I'm looking for a new headunit, I know the price ranges can be very different. I like the double din units, but I really just want something that sounds better and allows me to use Bluetooth, I don't need GPS or video.
I'd like a sub to make it sound better as well.

I know there's some serious audio gurus out there but I'm wondering what I should expect to spend on an upgraded not too of the line audio system and how much is reasonable to pay for installation.

Also I'd like it to look clean on the interior.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

Premium Member
3,387 Posts
If you're looking for a basic audio upgrade, I just installed this in my car today.
Electronics Technology Electronic device Media player Font

And this:
Text Font Technology Electronic device Parallel

And some kicker speakers.

Easy install for yourself. Crutchfield supplies the wiring harness free of charge. I mostly wanted bluetooth, streaming pandora from phone and hands free calling.
I haven't had a chance to set it up yet, but I popped in a cd and it already sounds exponentially better than what was in there.

Sent from App

2,376 Posts
Ideally 90% of your money should be spent on speakers.
Then amps, up to a certain point.
A decent, basic deck is rare.
I like kenwood excellon usually.
Polk speakers are generally the best buy at the low end.
Boston has a good rep and some efficiency, very crucial.
Focal has good higher end speakers.
Many choices when you spend enough.

Amps are poorly specced.
Look at voltage - should be 12 volts - noise -100db, at least -80db - RMS wattage with a distortion rating - should be below 0.05% with ALL channels driven.
Some "100 watt amps" are about 20-30 and not useful at that power.
1% thd power is meaningless.
You need ten times the power you will be using or equivalent headroom- clean.
Go for efficient speakers.
The polk components appear similar, but crutchfield says they are less efficient.
Could be the crossover.

349 Posts
Best bang for you money is put some 5-1/2" speakers in the front and 6-1/2" in the rear.
That made a world of difference in my elise.

2,376 Posts
Many people recommend marine components especially in an open car, and high vibration.
Especially applies to the head unit.
They often have unique features.

A couple of decent appearing amps.
Note the 1% thd and very high voltage rating.
You can be certain the wattage rating is NOT accurate.
Alpine PDR-F50 4-channel car amplifier 鈥 85 watts RMS x 4 at
Focal FD 2.350 Ultra-compact 2-channel amplifier ? 105 watts RMS x 2 at

Also a mono subwoofer is to be avoided, though most people don't arrange space for stereo subs.

2,376 Posts
Best bang for you money is put some 5-1/2" speakers in the front and 6-1/2" in the rear.
That made a world of difference in my elise.
Always a good idea to use larger.

Worth mentioning that many companies now use a fraudulent method for measuring drivers.
This is especially important if you are dealing with a reputable company vs others or older drivers.
Drivers are measured across the open cone surface.
Many car speaker companies are now measuring the entire frame, a totally unreliable approach, as they can all be different.
So a "five inch" can actually be a four inch and so on.
A " 6 1/2 " will be 5.25" in the real world, or some other fraction.
Higher end drivers will still be accurately described.
My older Kef Kars are 7" across the cone.
Something to bear in mind.

Also low depth doesn't usually mean low depth.

678 Posts
I have jim claytons speaker adaptors for the larger fronts....see my sig' i am more than happy with the sound...the sub makes all the difference.

8,598 Posts
Here's your easiest and best bet. All done yourself

Fronts - 5.25 JLs with Clayton rings
Rears - 6.5 JLs
Head Unit - Alpine 143bta. Stream bluetooth from your phone
Alpine KTP power pack. Plug and play

If you more bottom, add a powered sound ordnance b8 sub on the rear shelf behind seat

2,376 Posts
Nothing wrong with it.
I'd check the amp specs though.
It matters.

The pack is 15 to 30 watts per channel.
Great while parked.
Driving? What's the sensitivity on those JL drivers? 89?
Not enough for low power for most people.

You will certainly be happier with the ability to compress audio on the road.

How quiet is your actual car?

663 Posts
If you live in a area with a few audio shops I suggest stopping by each of them and asking for their opinion as well as prices. Lots of great products available and like stated numerous brands to choose from.

Most local shops will meet or beat crutchfields prices.....

I do agree that quality speakers and a quality amp make all the difference.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.