What are you looking to do/ how much do you really have to spend? That's a question you need to ask yourself. I personally have dropped about $5000 into my TJs audio system piece by piece, upgrading everything as I go sometimes more than once until I am satisfied, and I am not done yet. That being said everything I'm doing is completely custom and would cost an insane amount if I could even find anyone would attempt to do it. If you are looking for a significant upgrade on a budget under $1000 to replace your stock speakers as well as upgrade your soundbar with minimal modifications I can make some strong recommendations.
1) angled speaker bracket replacements for 5.25" in dash speakers $30
-note you will need to Dremel or grind out some irritatingly designed pieces of metal
2) Rockford fosgate 5 1/4 T-series component speakers $170
2) 6.5" kicker cvt subwoofers (2 of them)
-note: you will need to use a Dremel or grinder to enlarge the stock soundbar hole to fit the speakers $120
1) you will beyond a doubt need an amplifier for this upgrade, your setup will dictate what you need. If you go with the aforementioned setup you will need a rockford T400/4 amp $250
1) knukonceptz 4 gauge OFC wire kit $100
OR knukonceptz 4 gauge CCA wire kit $50
-for the amplifier
2) 14 gauge knukonceptz speaker wire $20
Headunit - options
- pioneer appradio 3,
Pros: it can mirror your iPhone or android which means the screen can essentially become the phone, supporting gps, maps, Siri hands free etc, and it just looks sexy (HD)
Cons: pricey, not easily installed if you want any kind of security, requires dash modification in most cases
Midlevel/ good enough for most
- Kenwood Kdc line of HU's
Pros: can get for under $100, allow iPhone control via the phone and via the stereo itself, looks pretty good, and to most thieves just isn't worth stealing
Cons: it's not as big as the stock radio, with different mounting options it's a personal choice
Tools you will need/Other
- torx security screws (top down or not, nobody is taking those speakers) $18
-Dremel (just get one if you don't have one it's worth it)
- cable cutters ($5 at harbor freight)
Why you should listen to my recommendations
- the component front speakers will give you a much better sound stage and the rockfords I mention not only sound great but hold up under use and have a bright, clean high end, which will make a huge difference on the road and highway.
- the kicker comp cvt mini subs aren't what you imagine when you think "subwoofers" but these little bad boys can take extreme abuse and are built like a brick shit house. They add a much needed low end and don't overpower the highs you get from the component speakers in front
- the rockford T-series (or POWER Series) of amplifiers simply cannot be beaten. They are behemoths when it comes time to pump out the power, highly efficient power-wise (you can still get by with that crap stock alternator), and extremely configurable at multiple impedances (trust me this is important it's one reason they consistently pump out power). They trump every amp released by JL audio and are priced reasonably. You'll only be disappointed if you get something else, I've gone through Jl slash amps, hifonics Brutus amps, kicker amps (which are decent but larger and inefficient) Infinitiy amps, etc etc. Dont get a cheaper rockford style amp, spend the money for a power series amp they are worth every penny and you can pick them up on craigslist frequently for a good deal.
- the knukonceptz wire is the best for the price, it is highly flexible and exceeds standards, I recommend OFC, it is better. However if you don't have upgraded battery grounds and alternator cables it's not worth spending the money on. (Also known as the BIG 3 UPGRADE, you should do it)
Jeep wranglers are not designed well for audio, and they do not have desirable characteristics if you want to make a super sound system in the stock setup. What they do offer is a highly customizable "blank palette", that with some creativity, workmanship, and cash can become a one-of-a kind powerhouse of clean sound and off-road fun. So for those of you who want to get into this kind of stuff (beware it's highly addictive) this vehicle is a great choice to start. In my experience car audio installation shops are generally owned by scumbags (my apologies to those I haven't met who aren't) who make a living selling audio to drug dealers and the like, install breathalyzers for people who get DUIs, and they often repo the very cars they modify or buy them back for instance $4500 when their client goes to jail after having installed $20000 into the car. They take short cuts on installations in many cases and many use inferior parts. They will do their darnedest to sell "high-end audio" (Jl audio $$$) the same as car salesman will try to talk you into buying a new car the same day with great "deals". They sell Jl audio because they can charge a lot for it and sell the hell out of it. They often also sell complete shit brands of speakers like Pyle, pyramid, Kenwood, sony etc. for the people who aren't willing to buy JL. If you aren't paying attention they might even install used equipment in your car, I've seen it.
I will be in St. Louis for Marti-gras. If you want I will send you links for everything you should order then you can pay me to correctly install it in your jeep or if you want to do it yourself id come drink a few beers and give you some pointers. Respond and PM if you're interested and I will give you my phone #.