How much does a new sound system cost for a car?

How much does a new sound system cost for a car

What can be the best companion for you than an outstanding sound system in boosting your long-drive experience? A good sound system can immediately turn a boring journey into a more pleasurable one. Besides, an excellent quality sound system enhances the resale value of your vehicle. 

Therefore, many users intend to upgrade the sound systems of their cars. Do you know how much does a new sound system cost for a car? It is difficult to provide a straightforward answer since the cost depends on the quality of the components and the installation charge. One may need to spend from $400 to $20,000 for a sound system, depending on the audio requirements.

Go through the entire article to know more about the cost of a new sound system for a car and other information. So, let’s start. 

What are the major components of a car’s sound system?

major components of a car's sound system

One will find lower to higher-range automobile sound systems in the market. But quality talks at the end of the day which will also shape the costing as well. Therefore, it is essential to know about the components of a sound system before digging into the spending. Here are the major components of a car’s sound system:

Head Unit:

Located in the dash, a head unit is the most important component of a car’s sound system. People may know it as stereo, radio, CD player, and tape player. The head unit is responsible for creating electronic audio signals which are later passed on to the speakers. Therefore, what you basically listen to is mainly played in the head unit. 

The general features of a head unit are a display screen, FM radio tuner, CD player, satellite radio, etc. Drivers can select songs, and adjust volume from the head unit. Some head units are also capable of showing video data, such as Blu-ray discs, DVDs, etc. There are also Bluetooth and USB input options to connect other devices. Moreover, one can customize the sound, play video games and navigate other online sites in high-end head units.

Modern head units feature infotainment systems which provide the drivers with a wide range of information, including:

  • GPS navigation
  • Climate control information
  • Fuel usage
  • Rear-view from a backup camera
  • Speed


Suppose, you have the best-quality head units and speakers, but you won’t still get the best sound quality until you get an amplifier. An amplifier receives audio signals from the head unit and then enhances the signal before sending it to the speakers. 

Nowadays, head units and amplifiers come together in a single technology to save space in cars. However, original equipment manufacturers or OEM sound systems utilize separate amplifiers. 

Most people get confused about what amplifiers they should choose: a head unit with a built-in amplifier or an external amplifier.  Head units, incorporating amps can generate 5 to 15 watts on average per channel. In contrast, external amplifiers can generate 50, 100, or even more watts. Therefore, external amplifiers are more convenient for bigger vehicles, such as trucks. Moreover, sound quality tends to drop in the built-in amplifiers when the sound increases. 


The main job of the speaker is to transform the audio signals into sound waves. The sound quality mostly depends on the speaker’s quality, number of speakers and power. People often think that the bigger the speakers, the better the sound quality. Bigger speakers will offer louder audio, but loud sound does not necessarily mean better audio. If you prefer moderate sound, then you don’t need bigger speakers at all. 

The speaker is the component that one will find in the largest number in a car’s sound system.  Most modern cars feature at least four full-range speakers. Since full-range speakers have limited sound quality, people often want to upgrade them. 

For instance, they can add a Subwoofer to the new speakers. The subwoofer is responsible for controlling the base beat. So, if you are a rock music lover, a subwoofer will help you to enjoy the music to its fullest. 

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How much does a new sound system cost for a car?

sound system cost for a car

The cost of a car’s sound system can vary depending on the user’s preference, budget, quality of the components, brand, configuration and system size. Besides, there will be an installation charge. Therefore, it is better to initially decide what you expect from your sound system and then take a number of estimated costs before the final installation. In general, a new sound system can cost you from $400 to $ 20, 000. 

The individual price of the sound system’s components:

Head unit: Various options are there to choose from when it comes to head units, such as Single Din Head Unit, Double Din Head Unit, etc. Depending on the type of head unit, the expense can range from $50 to $1000. If the head unit features a built-in amplifier or Subwoofer, the price can further increase. 

Amplifier: A decent amplifier can cost you from $40 to more than $200, depending on the brand and power. 

Speaker: It is another affordable component of a car’s sound system. The price of Speakers can range from $50 to $200+. Therefore, one can purchase a bunch of speakers between $800 and $ 100. 

Subwoofers: The cost of a mid-range subwoofer can range from $100 to $300 while the premium quality one will cost you around $500.  

Cost of a car’s audio system package: 

Many users find it convenient to purchase an audio system package for their cars rather than buying them separately. In such cases, the cost can range from as low as $400 to as high as $20,000. Let’s look at the car audio system package cost in detail: 

  • Budget-range Car Audio system package

Users will find a decent audio system for around $400 that includes a head unit, speakers and amplifier. However, it is suggested not to have high expectations from this package as it would be silly to expect premium quality service in this price range. 

Moreover, it is highly recommended not to drop your budget below than $400, if you don’t want to pour money into the water. If you can’t manage at least $400, then go for a second-hand audio system bargaining rather than purchasing a full -range audio system for less than $400.

  • Mid-range Car Audio system package

Mid-range audio systems are more long-lasting and offer far better sound quality than those of systems that cost around $400. People can use them for several years without any issues. One can easily purchase a mid-range car audio system package from $600 to $1000. 

  • Premium quality Car Audio system package:

Premium versions of car audio systems include all the latest and most convenient features. Therefore, users will get a number of new beneficial options in these versions that are unavailable in the low and mid-range systems. Such options include top-notch sound quality, sound customization options, unbeatable base beats, smartphone and Bluetooth connectivity, four to six top-notch speakers and many more. The cost range for a premium quality Car Audio system package can range from $1200 to $10,000.

Can Plasti Dipping a Car Affect the Cost of Installing a New Sound System?

The cost of plasti dipping a car does not directly affect the installation of a new sound system. Plasti dipping, a popular way to change the exterior appearance of a vehicle, involves applying a rubber-like coating. While the cost of plasti dipping may vary, it does not impact the cost or process of installing a new sound system in the car.

Installation Charges

It will be indeed cost-effective if you can install the system on your own. It will save you lots of money. Users will get several videos on the car’s audio system installation processes on YouTube. 

However, the installation processes of some components are very complex. In such a situation, a professional can best serve your purpose. Professionals charge based on their time spent for installation and how many components you expect them to install. By considering these issues, a professional can charge between $200 and $600. 

Moreover, location is another factor in deciding labor costs. For example, if you live in New York, you may need to spend more compared to other states in the USA as the labor cost in New York is higher than in other states. 


How often should one replace a car’s Sound System?

If you own a decent sound system, you can use it for several years while high-end systems will last a decade or even more than that. In general, it is better to replace the sound system every 6 to 7 years.  You may not need to replace the entire system, but some components. Speakers tend to degrade quicker than other components. Therefore, it is better not to raise the volume above 70 to 80% to ensure its longevity. 

Are subwoofers worth it?

A car’s sound system can work pretty fine without a subwoofer. If you have a tight budget, you can skip a subwoofer.  However, it is better to have a subwoofer as it significantly enhances the sound quality by providing three-dimensional sounds. Besides, it boosts up the clarity and bass beats of the sound.

Final Verdict:

Many people want to upgrade their car’s sound system and therefore ask, how much does a new sound system cost for a car? In this article, I have discussed the factors that shape the overall cost and other relevant issues. I hope the readers will find the information helpful in their practical use. 

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