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Can You Install a Sound System in an Electric Car?

For any music lover, having a great sound system in the car is one of the greatest upgrades.

We all love great music while taking a ride, and there are some great sound systems in the market today, which one should consider when thinking of an upgrade.

While most people may be familiar with the installation of sound systems in gas-powered cars and trucks, a lot of questions have been asked in regards to new electric car models and whether it’s advisable to install a sound system in them.

So, can you install an audio system in an EV? Let’s find out.

Generally, a sound system can be installed in an EV, but the factory infotainment system should remain unchanged for the car’s best performance. The best way to upgrade the audio in an EV is to add an amplifier with the subwoofer and replace the serial speakers with the hi-end aftermarket models.

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Tip: When modifying the sound system in the electric vehicle, remember that any additions to your car could affect the range of your car battery.

Once you ignite your electric car, the sound system will automatically consume the power from the main battery pack. This, in return, affects the range within which the battery can power your car.

It’s also worth noting that electric car batteries are subject to degradation just like any other battery.

This means that with time, the car battery will deplete, and as a result, the car range will be affected.

In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to add some tunes to your EV. 

Whether you’re looking to improve the driving experience or just want to rock out while cruising around town, adding a sound system is a great way to make the ride more enjoyable.

Do Sound Systems Affect the Performance of Electric Cars?

The answer to this question is a straightforward yes.

However, this would only happen if the sound system upgrade is done wrongly and without considering how the battery works and how to connect the sound without negatively affecting the overall power system.

Therefore, all upgrades to the car audio in EVs should be done by a professional who understands the impact of having the right system in the EV plus how to make all connections properly.

To prevent the adverse effects of the sound system on the performance of the electric car, several tips would be worth considering, and these include the following:

Focal 165AS3 6.5” 3-Way Component kit, RMS: 80W - MAX: 160W

Avoid Changing the Head Unit.

Typically, your electric car comes with a touch screen display customized to work with the electric system.

As such, you wouldn’t want to mess up by changing that. It would, however, be worth knowing that these displays are suitably designed and can operate even an advanced audio system upgrade if done correctly.

Add a Subwoofer or Upgrade the Speakers.

Your sound can experience a remarkable difference by simply adding some new speakers in place of the factory ones.

By adding top-class speakers and the subwoofer, you can do a complete change-over, especially if you add top-class speakers like Focal Access 165AS.

When it comes to the subwoofers, excellent examples are the NVX models specifically designed for Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model S (links to Amazon open in the new window)

NVX BETSLASVCW104 Professional Grade Vehicle Specific, Optimized and Tuned Loaded Subwoofer Enclosure for Tesla Model S

Only Use the Services of a Professional

Unless you completely understand the electric system in the EV, it would be advisable to avoid working on the electric car by yourself.

Instead, you should consider hiring a professional to do the sound system installation and especially one with experience working with EVs.

Do I Need an Amplifier for the Aftermarket Speakers in the Electric Car?

An amplifier is crucial as it helps improve the sound output and as such, adding it and match with the newly installed speakers in your electric car is advisable.

Whether you like your sound output to be soft or loud, an amplifier will work wonders as it introduces extra power, breathing some life into the music system.

An amplifier helps boost the sound system, thus improving the intelligibility and clarity of your music while overcoming the road noise.

On top of that, adding an amplifier to the aftermarket speakers will help increase the system’s headroom which helps eliminate distortion while allowing you to play sudden blasts with ease and great power.

An amplifier will be essential, especially if you opt for a subwoofer, especially considering that bass sound waves can take up much of the air space, which means more power will help propagate.

Amazingly, there are many compact designs of amplifiers available in the market, thus making it possible to have one for your electric car.

It’s good to note that your amplifier of choice will be determined by what you want to power.

If you’re just adding a subwoofer to the existing system, you can choose a mono amplifier, but if you’re interested in running several speakers and subwoofers, you can choose from the options below to fit perfectly well with a custom-designed system.

NVX Powered Boost 2018-2021 Tesla Model 3 Sub Upgrade Kit with Amp, Sub, Box & Wiring Kit

If you’re a true music lover, an amplifier would be a great addition as it offers a significant boost in musical power and impact.

Can I Install an Amplifier in the Electric Car?

This question is primarily due to the concern on whether the car battery can sustain the related power consumption without impacting the range. 

The answer to this question is an emphatic YES, but only if the installation is done right.

The type of battery used on the car could also play an important role in helping determine what kind of an amplifier or additional electronics should be added to the system.

Tesla battery lifespan is considered to be one of the best for supporting both the range and any electronics installed in the car.

Generally, driving an electric car requires much more power than what is needed to power an amplifier.

It’s however important to understand the power consumption of your preferred system before investing your money in it.

The electrical system of EVs is usually sophisticated, and there’s a limit on how far you can go when it comes to the addition of other electronics to the system.

You should try not to exceed a current draw of 30 amp on the battery or output 350W RMS power from the amplifier. This power may not sound a lot, but this range leaves you with more room for sound system upgrades to satisfy your sound needs.

When selecting an amplifier for installation in an electric car, checking the total fuse rating is essential.

This is because compact amps only draw minimal current, which doesn’t significantly impact the powering system of the car. These amps are also cost-effective and do not become an obstacle.

Can I Install an Amplifier in a Hybrid Car?

As with electric cars, you can also fit hybrid cars with amplifiers. However, the same caution should be taken and the installation done by a professional who has good experience with hybrid car systems.

Hybrid cars have electrical systems that are more than enough to power amplifiers that can drive any new subwoofer or speaker upgrades.

Most of the interfaces are specifically designed to work with the pre-installed source units, thus making the addition of new speakers and amplifiers easier and more reliable.

Can Tesla Handle Amplifiers Without an Additional Battery?

While Tesla is one of the leading electric car makers, the battery life or driving range largely depends on many factors. The battery, just like all other electronic elements, will degrade with time.

Tesla batteries are designed to provide excellent output, and you can use an amplifier without an additional battery, especially if the original battery is in good condition and properly charged.

However, the need for an extra battery depends on the amplifier’s power consumption, so if you have installed a powerful Audio Control LC-5.1300 with a total of 1,300W RMS in Tesla, you will need an additional battery, and on top of that, you will have to charge it daily. 

AudioControl LC-5.1300 High-Power Multi-Channel Amplifier with Accubass

Adding a battery can help extend your listening time by several minutes while leaving the main battery to take you a few extra miles.

If you’re adding an extra battery, connecting it in parallel between the amplifier and the original one helps your car’s entire system work with extra capacity.

How to Add a Subwoofer to an Electric car?

The electric car system is a bit complex and not one that we would encourage you to consider as a DIY project.

While there could be a few guides available to help you attempt the process, I recommend that you seek a professional familiar with electric and hybrid cars to help you with the process.

While upgrading your electric car’s audio system might not be much more complicated than diesel or gasoline power vehicles, choosing a qualified installer could help you make proper assessments of the entire process and execute it properly.

Do I Need to Replace a Head Unit in the EV?

This is the most common question I came across, and in my opinion, no, unless you make a professional car audio system or a show car.

While upgrading your sound system, the head unit should be left intact and not changed.

Electric vehicles usually come with a touch screen display that’s generally customized for the car’s electrical system. It supports all electronic features, so you can mess up the functioning of the whole vehicle by replacing it with the aftermarket radio.

I recommend upgrading the car audio system using the same manufacturer’s displays since they are suitable for adding other car audio elements.

Conclusion

A typical car sound system has multiple components that ought to work harmoniously to produce the best audio quality and clarity.

While different components such as speakers, amps, head units, and subs can all play an important role in giving you great results, the installation ought to be done professionally for guaranteed safety and quality.

Wiring is one part of the process that many people don’t consider much, but you should approach it with utmost care as it can impact the sound quality and the overall safety of the car systems.

Essential is also using quality wiring, and this means using quality power, signal, and speaker wires that should have the correct gauge capable of supporting the sound system.

Always consider your car’s powering system, make sure that the battery can withstand the demand, and hire a professional if you are uncomfortable with the EV electrical system.