How to Use Home Speakers for Car Surround Sound

What You'll Need
Speaker Wire

Creating your own car surround sound system doesn't have to be a difficult, or expensive process. Regardless of your knowledge of car audio systems, or audio components in general, it is not terribly difficult to create your own car stereo that will rival many other car audio systems on the road. Frequently, you can use home audio components as well as car audio components. Home stereo speakers may be readily available, inexpensive (or even free depending on the source), and produce excellent sound quality. Installing home speakers in a vehicle is only slightly different than installing car audio speakers. Here you will find the information needed to install them in your vehicle.

Step 1 - Build Boxes

All of the speakers that come with the vehicle stock are installed into openings that are built in at the factory. Sometimes these speaker openings are only openings in the interior trim of the vehicle, but many times, the openings are also built into the underlying metal body. While it is pretty easy to create an opening for a speaker in the trim, it is not in the metal body of the vehicle. You can build simple, inexpensive boxes out of scrap wood, plywood, or plexiglass to house speakers that won't or shouldn't fit in the vehicle. Many people choose to cover the box with a matching carpet material to tie it in even more with the interior of the vehicle.

Step 2 - Install an Amplifier

While not necessary, if you are adding speakers to the existing system, an amplifier will ensure that you get proper power to all components and give you greater control over the sound of the entire system once it is done.

Step 3 - Wire the Speakers

You can buy speaker wire by the roll, which is probably a good investment. It is inexpensive. Examine the existing speaker wire that is attached to the speakers to see if it will be long enough to be routed to where it needs to go. You will most likely need to strip existing connectors (like a jack plug connector). Simply cut them off, and replace them with the appropriate connector for your system. Make sure you know what connectors you need for either an amp or existing stereo. If you need to replace the speaker wiring entirely, you may need a soldering iron. With the iron hot, hold it to the bit of solder where the wires are attached to the speaker, until you can pull the wire off. Reattach new wiring the same way. Hold the iron to the bit of solder until the new wiring end adheres to the solder.

Step 4 - Clean up

Once you have your speakers where you want them in the vehicle, and all components are connected and working properly, tuck any wiring behind the carpet inside the vehicle. Speaker wires should be run on the opposite side of the vehicle from the power supply, so if you are running an amplifier, keep this in mind when tucking wires away.