2014-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
How to upgrade the stereo system in your Corvette
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Corvette's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:
- The factory stereo system
- Removing the factory speakers
- Adding more bass
- Other options for your Corvette
Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your vehicle.
Overview of the Chevrolet Corvette
The buzz over the mid-engine C8 Corvette is totally understandable, but the final "front-engine" Corvette is pretty awesome, too. The C7 represents everything that the Corvette team learned over the years about how to extract maximum performance out of a front-engine platform. The various street versions were remarkable performers, and the C7.R GT race cars racked up an impressive number of wins and championships, including a 2015 triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
BTW, those screaming yellow race cars also sounded incredible. If you never saw them race in person, surf around and look for some clips. But not until you’re done reading this article and learning how to make your C7’s stereo system sound incredible, too.
Alas, removing and replacing the stock "stereo" just isn't gonna happen (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The factory stereo system
The C7 coupe was available with a reasonably decent 9-speaker Bose® audio system and a 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint system that added a subwoofer. The convertible offers base and Bose systems, too, but we haven’t had an opportunity to fully research one of those yet. If you know something we don’t about the ragtop’s rear speaker and subwoofer layout, we’d love to hear from you. The dash and door information below is the same for both models.
In either case, the Corvette’s dash unit is a display/control module that’s connected to a tuner module located under the passenger's side footwell. This combo does a lot more than a traditional car stereo, which means it’s pretty much impossible to replace with any sort of traditional aftermarket receiver. The dash disassembly process is fiendishly complicated anyway, trust us.
Detailed speaker removal instructions
Since the dash unit is going to have to stay where it is, new speakers are best way to improve your car’s audio performance. If you decide to add aftermarket amplifiers or subwoofers to your Corvette’s system, you’ll need to access the factory amp to disable the active noise cancellation system.
If you have questions about this (and we’re betting you do), remember that your Crutchfield purchase includes free tech support for the life of your gear. Our expert tech advisors are right here in Virginia and they’re available seven days a week.
You can't replace the stock receiver, but you can improve your sound with aftermarket speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory speakers
The C7 has speakers in the dash, doors, and, in the coupe, the sides of the cargo area. There’s also an 8" rear subwoofer that’s part of the premium Bose system.
In the coupe, the sub is in the rear wall of the cargo area. In the convertible, it’s….like we said, if you know, we’d love to hear from you. To learn more about our "crowdsourced" vehicle research process, check out this informative article. If that sound like something you'd want to do, contact us via the email addy in the article.
The center dash speaker can be replaced by a variety of 3-1/2" aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the center dash speaker
The center dash speaker is reasonably easy to remove, and there are plenty of 3-1/2" aftermarket speakers that will fit in this space.
To get to the speaker, use a panel tool to pry up the grille and release four clips, then remove the grille. Remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.
A wiring harness is not available for this speaker, so. you'll have to splice or tap the vehicle's speaker wires to your new speaker wires. You can also use Posi-Products speaker connectors, which might be the easier option.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
The corner dash tweeters are wired in parallel with the door woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the corner dash tweeters
The corner dash tweeters measure just a smidge over 1-1/2" in diameter and are wired in parallel with the corresponding door woofers.
An aftermarket tweeter will fit here, but you’ll need to hot glue, silicone, or our universal backstraps to secure them. A wiring harness isn’t available for this location either, so you’ll need to splice, solder, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speakers to the car’s wiring.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T15 driver, small flat blade screwdriver
The Corvette's long doors contain mids and woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the door speakers
The Corvette’s doors contain both 3-1/2" midrange speakers and shallow-mount 10" woofers. You'll replace the stock woofers with smaller speakers, and the mounting brackets you'll need to install them will be included free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.
You’ll need to remove the door panels to get to these speakers, a process that’s a little different for each door. It's not hard to do, but you'll want to work carefully and keep everything organized.
A wiring harness is not available for the midrange speakers, so you'll need to splice, tap, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speaker to your car's speaker wires.
The woofers have their own unique bolt patterns, which is another reason we include the necessary mounting brackets with your speakers purchase. These are low-impedance speakers, so replacing them with 4-ohm aftermarket models will result in lower volume levels. Keep that in mind while you’re shopping.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T30 driver, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet, and extension
The coupe's rear side speakers take some getting to, but replacing them is do-able for the average DIY-er (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the side panel speakers (Coupe)
The coupe’s rear side panels contain 6-3/4" speakers, and while the process is a bit fiddly, removing and replacing these speakers is a do-able DIY project. The entire removal process is illustrated in our Crutchfield MasterSheet™, which is free with your speaker order.
Depending on the speakers you choose, you may need speaker mounting brackets to install them. Crutchfield will include these brackets with your speaker order.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
The Corvette's factory sub has a unique bolt pattern (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory subwoofer
If your car has the rear panel subwoofer and you want to replace it, you’re well on your way to getting to it by the time you get most of the way through the side panel speaker removal process.
Once you get all the way there, you’ll need to remove the six 1/4" hex screws securing the sub to the enclosure, disconnect and push the harness out, then remove the sub.
You'll re-use the factory enclosure when you install your new subwoofer. Depending on which subwoofer you choose, you may have to drill new screw holes or fabricate a speaker bracket. Drilling holes certainly isn’t the hardest task in the automotive world, but work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and always wear eye protection.
A wiring harness is not available, so you'll need to splice, tap, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speaker to the vehicle's speaker wires. This is a low-impedance speaker, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for your new aftermarket sub.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver, 1/4" hex driver, drill with 1/8" bit
Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.
Here's a look at the stock amplifier. You'll need to disable the car's active noise cancellation system when you install aftermarket amplifiers and/or subwoofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Accessing the factory amplifier
To disable the active noise cancellation system, you'll need to access the Bose amplifier, which is located under the cargo area floor and will be exposed pretty early in the side panel speaker removal process.
Once you get to it, lift up the access cover to access the amp. Your disassembly instructions include an amp wiring diagram that will show you how to disconnect the ANC module. Be sure to test your car's audio and phone operations before you put everything back together.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T40 driver
A powered subwoofer might be the best way to boost your Corvette's bass performance (Crutchfield Research Photo)
More bass in your C7 Corvette
If you like big bass, there's some room to work with in the Corvette coupe's hatch area. If you want to add a subwoofer box, you have a 10" H (top to bottom) x 42" W (side to side) x 35" D1 (bottom), 35" D2 (top) space available. Reduce the height to 6" if you want to make sure the sub sits below the targa top when the top is stowed in cargo area.
Given this limited space, a powered subwoofer might be the right choice for your Corvette.
Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide.
A high-performance car deserves high-performance floor liners. WeatherTech DigitalFit® liners are custom-designed to fit your Corvette perfectly.
Other options for your Corvette
There are plenty of other ways to improve your C7 Corvette. Here are some of the ways Crutchfield can help.
Protect your car's interior
The Corvette is a high-tech, high-performance car, but the factory floor mats are...just regular old factory floor mats. A set of custom floor liners from WeatherTech will help protect your car's carpeting from dirt and damage.
Add a camera
A dash camera is an awesome accessory for touring or track days, and it can also be a handy thing to have on your car's dash when you're cruising around town.
Security systems and remote start
Installing a security system in your Corvette won't be easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea in a car like this. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car to a professional installer.
Adding remote start capability to your Corvette will allow you to warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. Installation is usually easier with these systems, but we still ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.