A client from Midlothian, Virginia, was at Extreme Audio to have a VAIS Technology satellite radio tuner installed. While the client was here, we started discussing how the stereo system in his 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sounds. Like almost every Jeep on the road, the factory stereo system is barely audible when the roof is off. When the roof is on, the system still sounds mediocre at best. We gave the client a few ideas for upgrades to the system and showed him some photos on our website of Jeep Wrangler Unlimited audio upgrades we had completed. A few months passed, and the client returned to Extreme Audio with plans to move ahead with the upgrade. We scheduled an appointment for him to get started.
Jeep may include a set of component speakers for the front, but they don’t sound very good. We replaced the front woofers and tweeters with a set of JL Audio C2-650 component speakers. The woofer drops right into the factory speaker enclosure on either side of the dash. We mounted the new tweeters in the small pods on the dash.
Jeep locates the rear speakers in the Wrangler in a pod attached to the roll cage above the rear seats. We replaced the factory speakers in the pod with JL Audio C2-650x 6.5-inch coaxial speakers.
To power the system, the client liked our idea for a five-channel amp from Arc Audio. The Arc Audio 850.5 is a five-channel amp that can produce up to 85 watts for each of the front and rear speakers, and up to 400 watts for the subwoofer system.
We mounted the amplifier in the storage tray under the cargo area floor. We connected the factory head unit to the amplifier, using the speaker level input adapters and a set of AudioControl AC-LGD load-generating and stabilization devices. The AC-LGD devices help to ensure that the factory radio “sees” a normal speaker load and, therefore, produces a flat frequency response. We ran Stinger power, ground and speaker wire to the amp and concealed the wiring with split-loom tubing and zip-ties.
The Arc Audio 850.5 includes a remote level control for the subwoofer channel. We mounted the remote in the front of the vehicle to make it easy to fine-tune output from the subwoofers.
We finished the installation of the amp and speakers, but the subwoofer enclosures for the system were not in yet. We loaned him a subwoofer and enclosure so he could go to the beach and enjoy the system that weekend.
A few weeks later, he returned to the shop for the subwoofer enclosure installation. The manufacturer used fiberglass to construct the enclosures and included an MDF mounting panel for the subwoofer. To protect and waterproof the enclosures, they are sprayed with Line-X bed liner coating. We installed a JL Audio 10TW1-4 sub in each enclosure and secured the enclosures in place under each front seat.
Jeep Wrangler Audio System Setup and Delivery
As with every installation we perform, we took great care in adjusting the crossovers and sensitivity controls on the amplifier. We want good midbass from the front and rear channels, and a seamless transition to the output of the subwoofer. Because this client often has the roof off his Jeep, we tuned the amp with a little more gain overlap than normal. This method of adjustment provides some extra output to keep up with the road and wind noise.
Although the client was happy with the system after we initially completed the installation, he was blown away after adding the under-seat subwoofers. In fact, so were we – the bass was stellar in all regards! There was lots of output and good low-frequency extension. Having the subs only a few inches beneath you helps regarding in adding a little “feeling” to the sound.
The client had a goal of improving his sound system without taking up any of the valuable storage space in his Jeep. We all agreed that this project was a home run on both counts. If your Jeep needs better sound, drop in at Extreme Audio or contact us by e-mail by clicking HERE.