2015-2017 Toyota Camry
How to upgrade the stereo system in your Camry
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Camry's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:
- The factory stereo system
- Removing the factory radio
- Removing the factory speakers
- Adding more bass
- Other options for your Camry
Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car.
Overview of the Toyota Camry
To say that the Toyota Camry sells like hotcakes is to give hotcakes a whole lot more credit than they probably deserve at this point. Truth is, if hotcakes sold like Camrys, you'd want to be in the hotcake business. Alas, they do not and you do not. You might want to look into selling Toyotas, though.
Hotcake-related humor aside, the Camry has long been America's most popular vehicle that doesn't come with a pickup bed. Not everyone needs a truck, obviously, and judging by the numbers, a whole lot of those people think a Camry is just what they need. It's comfortable, attractive, roomy, reliable and everything else anyone would ever want in a family car.
For 2015, Toyota gave the Camry a mid-cycle refresh that included a complete exterior redesign and a host of helpful upgrades to the interior. The more aggressive styling and more luxurious accommodations spiced things up nicely and that, combined with all the other general goodness baked into Toyotas, kept the Camry selling like, well, Camrys.
The Camry was available with a base radio or this optional navigation receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)
The factory stereo system in the Toyota Camry
The base system sports an AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3/WMA receiver with six speakers, while the optional JBL GreenEdge sound system has an AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM/CD receiver with ten speakers in eight locations.
The base system is about as basic as you think it is, while opinions on the JBL vary a bit, depending on who's doing the listening. Either way, adding aftermarket gear is the best way to get the sound you want.
You can install your choice of single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket receivers in this Camry. Doing so will eliminate the factory navigation (if present) and/or the stock satellite radio, but both of those capabilities can be found in a variety of aftermarket stereos.
If you choose an iDatalink-ready aftermarket receiver and use an iDatalink Maestro RR and compatible car harness, you'll retain access to all factory vehicle settings and customization options. And you'll save some money on that installation gear when you order your new receiver from Crutchfield. Questions? Just give us a call.
A hybrid's gas-electric hybrid powertrain makes upgrading the stereo system a little more complicated. As you might expect, Camry hybrids contain some very sensitive electronics, so here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Be sure to only use a multi-meter when testing wires, and NEVER use a test light to test wires in this vehicle. Doing so could cause some serious (by which we mean dangerous and expensive) damage.
- A hybrid Camry is not the car to choose if you want to build a massively powerful audio system. The thirsty current draw of a high-powered stereo is not a good thing for the hybrid system, so don't exceed a 30-amp current draw or 350-watt RMS power rating.
- In the hybrid Camry, the relevant vehicle system info will be displayed on the smaller dash screen.
The Camry's base radio and navigation receiver (shown) are both pretty easy to remove (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing the factory radio in your Camry
The receiver, be it nav or not, is pretty easy to remove and replace in the Camry. You'll need some basic tools and a clear afternoon schedule, but the job's not hard and it's a great project for the car audio DIY-er.
The first step is setting the parking brake and disconnecting the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical short. Once that's done, you're ready to get to work. There are a few steps to this, but if you work carefully and stay organized, you'll be fine.
Use a panel tool to pry up the seat heater control panel and release four retaining clips. Disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the control panel, then remove the two exposed Phillips screws.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
Next, pry out the shift lock release cover, then, using the shift lock release, place the gear shift in the lowest position. Pull down the gear shift boot, then unscrew the gear shift knob. Pry up the gear shift/cupholder trim panel, then pry some more toward the rear of vehicle to release six clips. Disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the trim panel. That'll expose a couple of Phillips screws, which you'll also need to remove.
Pull the dash pocket assembly toward the rear of the car to release two clips, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the entire assembly. Remove the two Phillips screws and two 10mm screws exposed when you do that.
Pry up the center vent panel to release those retaining clips, then disconnect the wiring harness, remove that panel (use your shop rag to protect the dash), and remove the two 10mm screws you see. From here, all that's left is to pull the whole radio/climate control assembly out, disconnect the harness, and set the whole thing aside.
At Crutchfield, you'll save money on the dash kit you need to install a new stereo (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Your Crutchfield stereo purchase includes a deeply-discounted dash kit and wiring harness adapter that you'll use to install the new receiver. Between the instructions included with those, and your Crutchfield MasterSheet instructions, you'll have all the info you need to connect your new stereo. Be sure to test it out to make sure it's working before you put the dash back together.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension, clean shop rags
Read our Car Stereo Buying Guide for shopping tips and advice.
Steering wheel audio controls
In most cases, it's reasonably easy to retain your Camry's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with a compatible aftermarket receiver.
Speaker brackets (if needed) are included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing the factory speakers in your Camry
The speaker removal and replacement process is pretty much the same for the base and JBL systems. There are some challenging aspects, but all in all, this is also an excellent project for the average car audio DIY-er.
The JBL system includes a center dash speaker. It's easy to get to and easy to replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the center dash speaker (JBL system)
The JBL-only 3-1/2" center dash speaker is very easy to remove. Starting at the rear edge, use your panel tool to pry up the speaker grille/center vent panel to release the retaining clips. Lift the grille, disconnect the wiring harness, and remove the panel. Remove the two 10mm screws securing the speaker to dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.
Replacing them involves a little bit of thought and work, but not much. First, replacing this 7-ohm or 8-ohm factory speaker with a lower-impedance speaker will result in higher volume levels, so pay attention to that when you're shopping. Second, there's no speaker wiring adapter for this location, so you'll need to use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect to the factory wiring.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension
The JBL speakers all feature this cool orange surround (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the corner dash speakers
The corner dash speakers, found in both the base and JBL systems, are also pretty easy to deal with. Pry up the grille, set it aside, remove the two 10mm screws securing the speaker, then pull it out, disconnect it, and set it aside.
In JBL-equipped cars, there's no speaker wiring adapter for this speaker location, so you'll need to use some more Posi-Products speaker connectors here.
The base speakers are wired in parallel with the front door speakers and there is a wiring harness adapter that'll work.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension
You'll need to remove the door panels to get to the Camry's front door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the front door speakers
The Camry's front door speakers are pretty easy to deal with, and you'll have a healthy assortment of 6-1/2", 6-3/4", or 6"x9" aftermarket speakers to choose from. The mounting bracket you'll need for some of them will be included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.
To start, slide the front edge trim panel forward and remove it. Moving on down the door, pry out the screw cover behind the door release and remove the exposed Phillips screw. Pry up the power options switch panel to release six clips, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the switch panel. That'll expose another Phillps screw, which you'll need to remove.
Pry up the armrest cover to release eleven retaining clips, then remove the cover and remove the exposed Phillips screw. Next, pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release ten retaining clips, disconnect the wiring harness and door lock and release cables, then remove the panel.
From here, all you need to do is remove the four 10mm screws securing each speaker, disconnect the harnesses, and get ready to install your new speakers.
Be sure to test the speakers before putting the doors together. And don't forget to check the door locks and windows to make sure they're working properly, too.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension
The base system has a couple of full-range speakers in the deck, while the JBL system features these component speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the rear deck speakers
Both the base and JBL systems include rear deck speakers, and the removal/replacement process is mostly the same either way. There are a couple of extra steps with the JBL system, which also includes a pair of tweeters mounted near the woofers. Those tweeters are a bit less than 3" in diameter, and you can replace them with the tweeters included with most suitable 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" component speakers.
The job itself isn't extremely difficult, but there are a fair number of steps involved, so you'll want to stay patient and stay organized while you're doing the work. It's also not a bad idea to have a helper. You'll have to drill new mounting screw holes, too, so know what's around the area you're drilling into, work carefully, and always wear eye protection.
In some cases, you'll need a speaker adapter bracket. If so, it'll be included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. There is no speaker wiring adapter for this location, so you'll need some more Posi-Products speaker connectors, too. They'll show up on your way to check out, or you can ask your Crutchfield Advisor about them.
Make sure your third brake light is working properly before you button everything up. And also be sure the seats and seat belts are secure after you put everything back together. Complete step-by-step details for the entire disassembly process can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 10mm and 12mm sockets, ratchet and extension, Torx T-20 driver, drill and 1/8" bit
Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.
There's a fair amount of space for a subwoofer box in the Camry's trunk (Crutchfield Research Photo)
More bass in your Camry
The Camry's trunk offers a decent amount of storage space, so there's some potential when it comes to adding a subwoofer enclosure. There's room for a 44" W x 18" H x 22"/24" D sub box in there, but you'll definitely lose some luggage space.
If you're looking for something smaller that can still fill out your sound, a powered subwoofer is a great choice. Available in a variety of convenient sizes, a powered sub gives you outstanding performance without compromising your everyday cargo-carrying needs.
Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide.
Adding Dynamat to the doors will improve your Camry's overall sound
Other options for your Camry
Here are some other great upgrade ideas for your Toyota Camry.
iPod® and satellite radio adapters
If you don't want to replace the factory radio, you can still add versatility and great sound to the system. We offer several adapters that will allow you to use an iPod, MP3 player, or satellite radio with either of the factory receivers.
The Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal in sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit will take care of your Camry's front doors. If you install a big subwoofer box, you might want to line the trunk lid as well.
Remote start and security systems
Adding remote start capability to your vehicle lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. The iDatastart system is incredibly convenient and makes it easier than ever to install a remote start system, so we highly recommend it. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately) to connect with your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems, so we ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.
You can also talk to your Crutchfield Advisor about a security system. They’re not as easy to install (we usually suggest letting a professional do the job), but we can help you choose a system that’ll work in your Camry.