Driving a Jeep Wrangler is a fantastic experience, especially when listening to the quality music from the soundbar.
Unfortunately, not every soundbar speakers are of the highest quality but do not worry. There are simple ways to fix it. So, how to upgrade soundbar speakers in a Jeep Wrangler? Let’s find out.
As a general rule, upgrading your Jeep Wrangler’s soundbar should start with a sound deadening its interior with butyl rubber panels and filling it with polyester stuffing to add dynamic to the sounds and reduce the resonance. Another step is to replace serial soundbar speakers with aftermarket speakers.
Tip: The most crucial part of upgrading a soundbar is making sure it is solid and does not create any strange sounds or vibrations.
With both combined and when applied correctly, your soundbar should have reduced resonance, add bass and sound reflections allowing for less loss of acoustic energy.
In this article, I will cover all the ins and outs of a Wrangler’s soundbar and detail how to upgrade it in terms of sound treating it and replacing the speakers.
Are Soundbars for All the Wranglers the Same?
Soundbars for all Jeep Wranglers are definitely not the same.
Depending on the make and model of your Wrangler, you may have one situated in the headliner or the back roll bar. Furthermore, you can’t just go out and purchase any old soundbar for your Wrangler.
You will have to check if it indeed does fit your Wrangler make and model.
Is It Worth Upgrading a Soundbar for Jeep Wrangler?
If you are a true audiophile, it would be beneficial to upgrade, or replace either the speakers or the entire soundbar, depending on where it is placed. Such modification would offer better overall sound with deep and fuller bass.
The standard factory enclosures often lack bass performance. This is because they are just not ready for high-performance aftermarket speakers or subwoofers.
Since 2015 Wranglers get a boost in the audio department, the standard audio system grew to 8 speakers with two soundbar tweeters.
Opting for the upgraded stereo system from Alpine, you would receive nine speakers, including a subwoofer on the cargo floor.
These sound systems and speakers were much better than what the Wrangler before its 2015 models. The standard sound system that comprises the eight speakers comes with a stereo that includes AM/FM/CD/MP3, features SiriusXM, and an auxiliary input jack.
The upgraded Alpine package comes with either a standard stereo or an optional navigation system. This also includes a subwoofer that is weather resistant.
Replacing the stereo with an aftermarket infotainment system should offer a surprisingly better upgrade if you choose to go that route.
However, keep in mind that replacing the OEM factor stereo will remove the factory navigation, satellite radio, and auxiliary input.
If you choose an infotainment system that offers these features, replacement should not be a problem because this system includes all primary functions.
What Size Are Speakers in a Jeep Soundbar?
For Jeep Wrangler models between 2007 and 2017, the standard OEM factory speakers that fit in the soundbar are Mopar 6.5 inches. If you want to make a direct replacement for the existing speakers, check the latest price on Amazon.
One thing to consider is that these can be replaced with larger speakers, and even packages that you can opt for when purchasing the vehicle can include bigger speakers.
Do I Need an Amplifier for a Soundbar?
An amplifier is always an option, and it depends on the installed speakers. Remember that you are adding an amplifier to match the speakers and never vice versa.
If you use the stock OEM stereo and serial speakers your Wrangler came with, you do not need an amplifier. However, if you plan to put in a subwoofer or stronger aftermarket speakers, it is always beneficial to install an appropriate amplifier.
An amplifier will help the speakers to reach their full potential with additional benefits, like a crossover for specific drivers.
How to Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler Soundbar?
It doesn’t take much to upgrade your soundbar to improve its performance and your overall sound quality, and that means you don’t even need to replace your speakers to achieve better results.
You can take steps to get a better base and speaker performance to achieve the audio quality you want from your Wrangler soundbar.
After that, you can see what the difference makes to your overall sound accuracy, and then you can decide to purchase aftermarket speakers.
Taken steps to upgrade a soundbar in your Wrangler can be applied to any vehicle, any speaker pods, and subwoofer boxes.
If you are not happy with the number of speakers, or overall sound quality, you can replace the entire soundbar with DS18 TJ-SBAR/BK, prepared to accommodate not two but four 6.5″ speakers and separate tweeters.
With this soundbar and proper new speakers, your sound quality will change forever. Of course, you still should sound deaden this enclosure, but your sound experience from four speakers will not be comparable to what you used to hear.
Do I Need to Sound Deaden Soundbar in My Jeep?
Sound deadening your soundbar or any other speaker enclosures is an absolute necessity if you want to enjoy clear and dynamic audio.
Reducing and even eliminating resonance is critical in producing better overall sound. Remember that sound travels through the air in waves, and these waves will push against the soundbar or anything else located inside the soundbar, and this will cause these elements to shake.
This shaking causes resonance and reflected soundwaves could cause unwanted echoes, reverb, and in some cases, a booming effect.
Remember, the volume at which you play your music will impact how much resonance will occur, and this is especially true for subwoofers or woofers with crossover handling bass frequencies.
Bass frequencies are the biggest and slow-moving sound waves, and when at high volume, they create a lot of air pressure.
Removing the speakers and soundbar
The best way to start upgrading the soundbar, sound deaden it, and replace the speakers, is to remove it from your Wrangler if you have this possibility. It will be much easier to remove the entire soundbar and work with the enclosure on a table.
You will first need to remove the speakers from the soundbar, so they do not get damaged, and this is a simple procedure requiring only a screwdriver. Speakers are being held in place by four screws.
Remove the screws, and this will allow the speaker grill and speakers to come out. All you need to do after is disconnect the speakers from the speaker wire and place the speakers somewhere safe.
For the most part, the speaker wire will be attached to the speakers with crimp terminals or a speaker harness that you can unclip and pull out, so this should not cause too much of a problem.
Removing the actual soundbar is the next stop, and this will be easily done. There are typically six screws fastening the soundbar to the Wrangler frame, and once these are removed, the soundbar should be detached relatively easily.
Considering that some Jeep Wrangler models may not let you remove the soundbar, you will need to work with it still attached to the frame, but removing it and working with the soundbar on a level table would be easier.
What Tools Do I Need to Remove Soundbar From Jeep Wrangler?
There are a couple of accessories you will need to upgrade your soundbar, and I have added all my favorites to the list below. If you do not have any of them in your garage, I added links so you can easily purchase them from Amazon.
How to Upgrade Soundbar in Jeep Wrangler. A Step by Step Tutorial
The first and most important thing you will need to do is make sure that there is no rattling inside your soundbar.
This is critical, especially if you intend to install aftermarket speakers that produce more bass.
Wiring is the main culprit in your Wrangler soundbar when it comes to rattling. So what you will need to do is remove the wiring from the soundbar.
To remove the wire from the soundbar, you will first want to attach a piece of string at one end of the wiring harness. This is to make things easier once you have insulated the wire and push or pull it back in position.
Pulling on the string will pull it through, and you will easily be able to prop it back into its original position.
Just make sure to cut the string a little bit longer than what you measured or assumed the length of the wire to be because it is always better to have a little bit extra for safety’s sake.
To treat the wire, all you need to do is cut the length of closed-cell foam that is the length of the wire. Make sure it can wrap around the wire nice and snug, and if you need to shave off a couple of inches here and there, that is perfectly fine.
Using the tesa tape, you will begin at one end of the wire and wrap the tape around the foam, fastening it securely. The closed-cell foam will help keep the wire vibrations in check.
Now you can wrap the entire wire in tesa tape or cut and cover a wire section depending on how long it is. It is up to you, depending on how much tape you have.
Ensure that if you choose only to secure certain sections of the wire (the ends and middle), the wire does not fall out of the closed-cell foam.
Test this by giving it a good shake. If the wire comes out at a certain point, then all you need to do is wrap up those sections, and you are good to go.
Once you have removed the wires, you will first sound deaden the soundbar before any further steps.
The first thing you will do is to add pieces of Soundskins to the interior of the soundbar. It will help if you cut medium-sized square patches that will fill the speaker wholes’ areas.
If you can cut and place Soundskins (rectangular pieces) in the lengthy parts of the soundbar, this would be great.
Peel off the sticky section of the Soundskins and place it into the areas, and press firmly down. You can use a small roller for additional pressure, but this is not necessary.
The advantage of the Soundskins is that it has a closed-cell foam layer on top, further reducing to help reduce resonance, thus preventing loss of acoustic energy.
At this point, you are almost ready to re-install the wire. However, if you have chosen to install new aftermarket speakers, you will need to check the connection points of the speakers and the speaker wire.
If your new speakers have the same type of terminals as the old speakers, you are good to go.
However, in some instances, you may find that your speakers have terminals, and your speaker wire might have a harness or some other form of a connection point.
If this is the case, then it would be best to cut the wire and add the crimp terminals to the speaker wire making the installation process a lot easier. In addition, you can add a Heat Shrink to the end of the terminals to make sure you have no exposed wire.
Now that you have insulated your soundbar and wires, you can feed the wire back to its original position using the string by just pulling on it. If you choose not to use string, you may have a tough time getting the wires back into place.
Once the wires are in place, it is now time to add the polyester stuffing. Polyester stuffing will help with reducing the internal reflections (sound that bounces around inside the soundbar).
This stuffing will also make the air within the soundbar seem as if it is larger as it slows down the air and thus reduces the system resonance. This type of stuffing also works well with a soundbar because the filling can become sort of rigid in such a small space.
Stuffing should be done carefully, with the attempt to stuff every knock and hole within the soundbar, only leaving enough space for your speakers to fit.
All you need to do now is replace your speakers and mount them into the soundbar before putting the soundbar back in your Jeep Wrangler.
If you would prefer more of a visual guide, check out this short video:
Now you realize that Jeep Wranglers have various types of soundbars that they come with depending on the make and model.
I am not talking about home theater soundbars, but rather those placed within the Jeep for its sound system.
Although you do get an upgraded version of a sound system based on Alpine that comes with nine speakers, you might be better off upgrading your entire Wrangler sound system if you are looking for a truly unique car audio experience.
Upgrading your soundbar in your Jeep is not a master DIY project and can be achieved with a screwdriver and a couple of accessories used to sound treat the soundbar.
Even replacing the speakers is child’s play, and after this article, I know you will have all the information you need to create the best possible sound that your speakers can produce from your Jeep Wrangler soundbar.
2015-2018 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited (JK)