Working a 7.1 Car Surround Sound System into Your Car

Lead Image
  • 4-8 hours
  • 200-750
What You'll Need
Car surround sound system
Wiring harness
Speaker wire
Twisting wire connectors
Wire terminals

When it comes to having the best sound available, working a car surround sound system into the vehicle for your daily commute can make for an enjoyable ride. A 7.1 surround sound system is one that has a subwoofer coupled with seven different speakers set up to make you feel like you are surrounded by a dynamic sound shield. Setting up this type of car surround sound system is not a tough project, but it is time consuming and requires great attention to detail.

Step 1: Plan out Subwoofer Placement

Before cutting holes into your dash and rear panels, you will want to make sure that you know where everything is going. This goes for the subwoofer that will deliver the deep sounds of your car surround sound. In a normal car stereo installation, the subwoofer goes into the trunk. However, in a 7.1 surround sound system the subwoofer will need to remain in the vehicle for the richest sound. Think about where the subwoofer is going to go.

Step 2: Install Subwoofer

Once you know where it is going to go, you can then install the subwoofer. Run the wires directly under the carpeting and close to the sides as much as possible. Connect to the rear of the stereo receiver.

Step 3: Plan Speaker Placement

Much like a home 7.1 surround sound system, you want to take as much time as you need to make sure that the speakers are going to work correctly. Plan out the positions of the seven speakers around your vehicle. Remember that two must be mounted in front, while two are in back, two on the sides and one in the middle of the headliner in the front. This will give you the optimal sound.

Step 4: Connect 7.1 Surround Sound Wire Harness

Once you know where the speakers will be installed, connect the wiring harness to the car receiver. You will need to make use of the wiring terminals to make the connections.

Step 5: Have a Dry Run

Without actually setting the speakers into a permanent position, connect the speaker wires to each of the speakers and turn the stereo on. You should take some time to sit in each of the different seating areas to make sure that your speaker system is working correctly.

Step 6: Install Car Surround Sound System

With the dry run out of the way, and you know that the speakers are working correctly, you can then secure them permanently. Remove the headliner and carpeting trim so you can easily hide the wires after you run them to each speaker. Cut out the placement holes with the jigsaw and make sure that they are a good tight fit or the speakers will rattle around causing vibration in the sound. Secure the speaker wires to each speaker and install permanently.

Step 7: Hide Wires

With your speakers placed into the correct positions you do not want to have a bunch of wires running through your car. Lift up the carpeting, and different trim pieces, and stuff the wiring along the edge. If you can, place the wires inside the trim pieces for added protection.