How Much Does A Full Car Sound System Cost?

Do you enjoy belting out the words to your tune of choice as you drive? Do you now consider upgrading your audio system?

However, how much of your hard-earned money are you willing to invest? Upgrading your car’s audio system can help increase the value of your vehicle.

It can cost well over $400 to simply replace the stock radio and speakers, but if you want to add subwoofers and an amplifier, you should be prepared to spend over $1,000 on parts alone.

In this article, CarMats will discuss the details that need to be installed to have a complete sound system and the cost to spend on them.

How Much Do I Need to Spend On a Car Sound System?

Really, there is no definitive answer to this query. A car sound system can cost as little as $400 or as much as $20,000, depending on how extravagant you want to be.

But don’t worry, you do not need to spend a fortune to equip your car with a perfectly good sound system.

The amount you’ll spend will depend on a number of factors, including your budget and the obvious ones like what you actually want from your new sound system, the components you want to use, the system’s size, and the audio quality you want.

A professional fitting is another cost consideration that you will need to make.

What Do You Get For Your Dollar?

Speakers, a head unit, an amplifier, and one subwoofer are typically included in a $400 sound system. Even though this won’t be a top-of-the-line system, it will perform admirably given its price.

If your budget is lower than this, you run the risk of purchasing a system that is poorly made, unless, of course, you are fortunate enough to find a used deal.

You will have enough money to buy a really good sound system for your car if you spend a little more on it, like $600. A system that will serve you well for many years can be had if you are willing to spend a little more, about $1000.

With a budget of more than $1,000, you can buy premium accessories like speakers, a head unit with Bluetooth connectivity and other extra features, a good amplifier, and a premium subwoofer.

Cheap vs. Expensive

We all get excited when we think we have found a great deal, and we enjoy bragging about our best purchases and sharing how fortunate we feel to have found the most recent discount. When it comes to auto sound systems, this can be a risky move.

We’ve all heard the adage “You get what you pay for,” and it definitely applies to the majority of life’s experiences. Do you also get what you pay for with car audio systems, though?

The worst thing you can do is spend your hard-earned money on your ideal car but then cut corners on the audio. A cheap sound system may leave you disappointed and force you to buy another one sooner than you’d like.

You must spend money on a complete car system to get the highest-caliber sound. In order to get the best audio system for your car, we have done extensive research on the parts you might need to upgrade.


Considering that this is the main system, investing in a good receiver won’t disappoint. You must make sure the device you buy meets your needs because technology is constantly evolving.

Nowadays, many receivers have touch screens that make switching radio stations and volumes simple. These touch screens not only look the part, but some of them also support Bluetooth connections to Apple Play and Android devices.

They are obviously expensive, and a good model may cost you around $1,000 depending on the features you require.

If this seems a little too expensive for your budget, don’t worry; if all you want is a system to play your vintage CDs or connect to without any additional features, a ballpark price of $400 might be more suitable for your budget.

There’s no doubt that you get what you pay for. The more expensive receivers will have more features than the cheaper ones.


The speakers determine how well the sound from your receiver sounds, even if you recently bought the best receiver on the market. The size and wattage of the speakers in your car determine how loud your audio system will sound.

Although you don’t need those enormous speaker units, buying some with better wattage and size has a noticeable effect.

The best sound for singing along is provided by purchasing high-quality speakers. Standard speakers in most cars produce sound at a volume of about 10 Watts, which is respectable. However, if you want a louder boom for when the beat of a song drops, you should look for speakers of higher quality.

Speaker prices can range from $200 and up, but you should always read reviews first because models can vary greatly.


The sub is in charge of regulating the bass beat in music. A subwoofer can produce a bassy, rock, drum and bass, or electronic music sound that will make your hair stand on end.

The sub is more of a matter of taste, but the beat’s drop will tell you right away if a car has one. Depending on your taste, subwoofers can be seen or hidden in your car, but they can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.


The amplifier comes last. Even though you went all out and bought the best receiver and speakers, until you get an amplifier, you won’t really be able to hear how powerful the music is. The name of the device gives it away: An amplifier increases speaker output volume.

Without one, you won’t get the most from your speakers. Again, not necessary, but you can spend $1,000 on an amp if you’re looking for that crystal-clear beat that makes your ears ring.

Installing in Stages

The majority of people do not have thousands of dollars on hand for installing the ideal sound system in their car. If your cash flow is a little limited, do not worry; there is an alternative option. You could decide to upgrade each part of your system separately.

You can spend slightly more and get a higher-quality component while still staying within your budget if you choose one component at a time. However, which element do you upgrade first?

The first upgrade that you decide to make will largely depend on the kind of system that your car already has. For instance, if your vehicle is older and your head unit is older, you should start here.

Better features will be immediately apparent thanks to this upgrade, and you will also hear the effects right away. This will also motivate you to finish the rest of the upgrade.

However, if you drive a more recent model of car, you should be aware that your head unit might also include other controls like climate control, reversing cameras, and even sat-nav.

Installation Charges

The audio system that is ideal for you and your needs may already be in your possession. You may have spent a significant amount of money on the right parts to give your motor the sound you’ve been craving.

The next step is installation, which most people overlook.

Watching an installation video online might not be the best course of action with this top-of-the-line audio system. Consider having the system professionally installed if you’ve already spent so much money on it.

You must include this in the overall cost of the new system since professionals will undoubtedly bill for their time. Regular technicians can bill you based on how many components they are installing and how long it takes.

It will likely take a couple of hours to replace an entire unit in a car, so as a rough estimate, installation could cost you $200 or more, whereas audio professionals might bill you up to $600 or more.

They are not there to “rip” you off, but they do have the expertise to install and obtain the best acoustics for your car. In the long run, hiring a professional to install your components might pay off.

Please keep in mind that this is merely an estimate, and you might find a more affordable or more expensive quote.


How long does it take to install a sound system in a car?

Installing a new sound system in your car can take anywhere from one to four hours on average.

How much do subwoofers cost to install?

You could expect to spend between $20 and $300 to install a subwoofer. You should get quotes before choosing the first person you speak to because this is subject to additional fees.

Are subwoofers worth it?

Subwoofers enhance the clarity and bass of your sound system, giving the listener a three-dimensional audio experience. If you have a limited budget, you might think that this part is not worth the money, but installing a sub in your car will give you the best experience.

Do you need an amp for a sub?

Your subwoofer will only not require an amplifier if you already have a system in place to power it. Yes, every sub needs an amp aside from that.


A great sound in your car is definitely worth the cost of upgrading your audio system, which can be as expensive as you make it.

The cost of upgrading your system can start at $400 without installation. The final cost is entirely up to you; you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars.

To get the best sound possible from an audio system, certain essential components are required.

  • A good head unit.
  • New speakers.
  • A Subwoofer.
  • An Amplifier.

You should always keep in mind that you have control over your money and that you don’t “need” to spend $20,000 on an audio system. Let’s face it, you won’t get your money’s worth if you buy an audio system that costs more than your car!

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