Improving your vehicle sound system is not rocket science. And with new techniques, it is now possible to enhance your music experience just the way you want it.
One such example is the truck bed sound system. Whether you are riding in your car or just having a picnic outside of it, this type of stereo setup can create the ambiance you are looking for.
But how do you set up speakers on a truck bed? How much will it cost? In this article, you will know everything. By the end, you are sure to have zero confusion and full confidence. Let’s start.
Preparation For the Speaker Setup on A Truck Bed
Properly installing the speakers require some preparation. Things may get out of hand if you don’t get certain points right. You surely don’t want to break your sound system!
I am not trying to scare you with these warning signs!
So, you can guess how delicate it can be to get everything on just the right spot, and that to all at the same time. This is why it’s easy to mess up the whole process.
The getaway of this problem is to plan out what you are going to do. I always follow this strategy, and so far, I didn’t have any issues with the process. You won’t face any trouble either if you maintain these simple things. Here are the preparations I take.
Choose The Spot
Your first task here would be to determine where you are going to set up the speakers in your truck. The two common positions are inside the existing sound system and (yes, you’ve guessed it right) outside of it.
In case of internal storage, I have to set up the speaker directly into the tailgate, back cab wall, or the sidewalls of the truck bed.
Honestly, I don’t recommend this arrangement. Why? Because it demands heavy maintenance of the vehicle, and I don’t want to hack up my truck.
Although, I have seen many cars with speakers pre-installed inside. If this is the case for your car, you are in for luck. In this situation, handling and working on the speaker is a breeze.
Just swapping out the old speaker and installing a new one is all there is to it.
What if your truck is not like this? Then you can always consider setting up the sound system on the external part of the truck bed. I personally prefer this. It doesn’t require any form of modification, and its installation process is hassle-free.
No wire or anything gets in my way. However, I always need a speaker box for this (more on this later) arrangement. Otherwise, the speaker can get easily damaged.
Just so you know, by external arrangement, I don’t mean outside of my car. It means I prefer to set up my sound system, not in the panels where they usually are, but ‘outside’ of it.
For example, under the rear seat is a good option. I guess this draws a clear picture for you.
Clean The Area
Once I’ve found the perfect position for the speakers, I do a bit of cleaning here. For most people, once the speaker is set, there is no more option to clean that particular area. As a result, the accumulation of gunk and debris slowly damages that spot.
In my experience, I have seen the emergence of fungus as well. This is as dangerous as it sounds.
For this reason, you should never have second thoughts when it comes to cleaning. I usually clean the whole area in a three-step process.
Firstly, I vacuum the space so that there aren’t any durst. Then I brush the area clean. Now for the final part, I spray alcohol on the spot. I don’t leave any opportunity for any sort of damage.
Gathering The Essentials
At this point, I am almost done with the preparation. But before I move to the installation process, I make sure to have everything I need near my reach.
Who likes to get up and grab a tool in the middle of work! Even if you don’t have any problem getting up frequently, you should avoid this habit. Distraction can decrease the quality of your performance.
Now, as I have babbled enough, here is a list of all the items I keep near my reach before starting with the process,
- Wire strippers
- Speaker enclosure
- Audio speakers
- Speaker cable (stereo to amp)
- Power cord (amplifier)
- Screws ratchet
- Screwdriver soldering iron
- The speakers itself
All there’s left to do now is get to work.
How To Setup Speakers on A Truck Bed
In case you are wondering, it takes me a bit more than an hour to have everything ready to play. The same should be true for you as well if you follow my path.
I don’t do magic. I just know my way around, and I will happily share my tactic with you. If you want to know more, then keep reading. Below I have described how I install truck bed speakers. I tried to be as detailed as possible so that you don’t miss anything.
Step 1: Determine the Size of The Speaker
I hope you have made up your decision about where you want your speaker to be. As you already know, I prefer to set up the sound system on the external side.
In case you don’t remember, by setting the speaker outside, I mean installing it anywhere but inside a panel or box (for example, speakers in the front panel don’t fall into this category). So, where do I install it? Preferably under the rear seat.
Why is it so important to know the position now? Because I am going to measure the space and get a speaker compatible with this slot.
Speakers usually come in 8, 10, or 12-inch sizes. I have even seen 20-inch car speakers (I am pretty sure you won’t need that). As tons of options are available, it’s easy to get confused. So, I quickly make up my mind before moving to the next step.
Step 2: Get Everything Out of The Way
When I cleaned the spot during the preparation, I cleared out everything that could damage my speakers. Now is the time to get everything out of the way…literally.
As I am planning to install speakers under the rear seat of the truck bed, I need to remove the seat first. For this, I grab a ratchet.
Removing the seat is easy. Just unscrew the bolts with the tool, and voila, they are out of your path. You can now either flip the chair over or move it out of the car. I feel comfortable with flipping the seat backward. Moving the chair is too much hassle.
Finally, I removed the center brace. This is basically a stand that supports the rear seat, and this stands in my way. However, I will be needing this later. So I make sure to save it.
Step 3: Install the Enclosure to The Speaker
Now, as everything is ready, I can work freely. The next step is to install the speaker to the enclosure. This might be the trickiest part but don’t worry, it’s manageable.
To install the speaker, I followed these steps:
- Open the speaker enclosure and place the speaker inside it. Make sure it fits properly and aligns with the mounting holes in the enclosure.
- Use screws or other suitable fasteners to secure the speaker to the enclosure. Ensure that the screws are tight enough to hold the speaker securely in place.
- Double-check the alignment and stability of the speaker in the enclosure. Give it a gentle shake to make sure it doesn’t move or rattle.
- Repeat the same process if you have multiple speakers and enclosures.
Now that the speakers are securely installed in the enclosures, I can move on to the next step.
Step 4: Connect the Speaker Wiring
With the speakers ready, it’s time to connect them to my audio system by wiring them to the amplifier or head unit. Here’s how I do it:
First, I identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals on the speakers. These are usually marked or color-coded. I make sure to connect the positive terminal of each speaker to the corresponding positive terminal on the amplifier or head unit, and the same for the negative terminals.
Using wire strippers, I remove a small portion of insulation from the ends of the speaker wire to expose the bare wire for connection. I twist the exposed wire strands to prevent fraying.
Then, I connect one end of the speaker wire to the positive terminal of each speaker and the other end to the corresponding positive terminal on the amplifier or head unit. I repeat this process for the negative terminals of the speakers.
I make sure the connections are secure and tight to ensure good sound quality and prevent any loose connections.
I have multiple speakers, So, I repeated these steps for each one.
Step 5: Reinstall the Rear Seat and Center Brace
Now that the speakers are installed and wired, it’s time to put everything back in place.
I carefully reattached the center brace that supports the rear seat, making sure it was securely fastened with the appropriate screws or fasteners. Then, flipped the rear seat back to its original position as I had removed it completely.
Ensure that the rear seat is properly secured and stable before moving on. With the rear seat and center brace back in place, my speaker setup on the truck bed is almost complete.
Step 6: Test and Fine-tune the Sound System
Before wrapping up the installation, it’s important to test the newly installed speakers and make any necessary adjustments.
- I connected an audio source, such as my smartphone or music player, to the amplifier or head unit.
- Turning on the audio system, I played some music or sound to test the speakers.
- I listened and adjusted the sound settings on the amplifier or head unit to achieve the desired sound quality.
Though in my case it was not necessary, however, if it is needed, fine-tune the positioning and orientation of the speakers to optimize the sound distribution in the truck bed. Everyone has different sound preferences, so make adjustments until you are satisfied with the audio quality and ambiance.
The Cost of Setting up Truck Bed Speakers
The cost of setting up truck bed speakers can vary depending on factors such as the quality and brand of speakers, the type of enclosure, additional accessories, and labor costs if you choose to hire a professional.
In general, the cost breakdown may include:
- Speakers: Prices for speakers can vary widely, ranging from around $50 per pair for entry-level speakers to several hundred dollars or more for high-end speakers.
- Speaker enclosures: The cost of speaker enclosures can range from $20 to $200 or more, depending on factors like material, design, and brand.
- Wiring and accessories: This may include speaker wire, cables, connectors, and other accessories, which can cost around $20 to $50, depending on the quality and length of the cables.
- Amplifier or head unit: If a compatible amplifier or head unit is needed, prices can range from $50 for basic models to several hundred dollars for high-quality options.
- Labor costs: If I choose to hire a professional for installation, labor costs can vary based on the complexity of the installation and local rates. It’s best to inquire with local car audio shops for estimates.
These cost estimates can vary, so it’s important to consider the budget and choose components that meet my needs and preferences. In my case, I saved the labor cost my doing it myself and my overall cost was $200.
Setting up speakers on a truck bed can be a rewarding DIY project that enhances your music experience while on the road or during outdoor activities. By following the right steps and being prepared, you can install the speakers with confidence.
Remember to choose the right location for the speakers, clean the area beforehand, gather all the necessary tools and materials, and follow the installation steps carefully. Test and adjust the sound system to achieve the desired results.
While the cost of setting up truck bed speakers can vary, it’s essential to consider your budget and choose components that suit your needs and preferences. With your new truck bed sound system in place, you can enjoy your favorite music and create the perfect ambiance wherever you go.