Home / DIYs / Upgrading Speakers for Non-Bose B6/B7 Audi A4

 

The non-Bose sound system on 2002-2008 (B6/B7) Audi A4s is underwhelming, especially lacking in clarity and bass, and quick to turn any loudness into unwanted distortion. In this tutorial, we will be replacing the primary culprit of that poor sound, the speakers, while keeping the stock housing. This tutorial presupposes a moderate level of knowledge  with car audio. Estimated time of completion is 2-4 hours, depending on experience.

Tools & Parts Needed:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Panel-popper kit 
  • X-ACTO knife or razor blade
  • Soldering iron OR crimps + crimper tool
  • Size 6 torx screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Super glue
  • Replacement panel clips 
  • Two pairs of 6.5 inch speakers (max mounting depth 57mm) with component tweeters (less than 20mm in diameter). Lucky for us, Audi B7s run on 4ohms, so any speaker with these dimensions will work. The best speakers for this car, in my opinion, are the Alpine SPS-610C Type-S component set. With these speakers, You’ll have just over a millimeter of clearance between the magnet and housing back, and just under a cm between that and the window, so alpine type Rs wouldnt fit without spacers. Kickers and slim JLs might fit without the backing, but I consider the backing to be a critical component.
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Alpine Type S SPS-610C Component 2-Way Speaker System 6-1/2" Pair with Tweeters Current Price: $45.0
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Alpine SPS-610C 6-1/2" Component 2-Way Type-S Speaker System Current Price: $64.99
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Part 1 – Upgrading Bass Speakers

The first step is to remove all four door cards, you can follow this walkthrough:

Next, remove the bass speaker housings. This is accomplished by unplugging terminals from all four speakers, unwrapping the tape loom holding the wires to the speaker housing, and unscrewing three torx screws from each speaker. Now, with a blade or X-ACTO knife, draw around the perimeter of the speaker:


Remove the speaker cone:


Cut through the support beams:


Remove the coil and magnet:


Break off the remaining support nubs:


Wrap the edge twice (as in circle it two times) with tape to ensure airtight seal:


Drop the speaker into the housing. Solder or crimp the connections. Consider trimming the speaker cushioning if it doesn’t fit flush (see bottom of post for more info).


Place screws in the designated holes around the edge of the speaker.


Reinstall the speaker housings to the doors, then plug in the speakers and test them.

Part 2 – Upgrading the Tweeters


Moving on to the tweeters: It is important to note that your stock tweeters will technically function with the Alpine Type-S speakers, though I’d highly recommend replacing them. The stock tweeters are thick aluminum mounted directly to a magnet. They sound tinny and hollow, and, while common sense would tell us that aluminum tweeters should replicate high-end sounds better than the silk tweeters, this is an instance where common sense would be wrong. This is the easiest part of the install—so much so that I couldn’t find anything to take a picture of until it was put together.

  1. Remove the old tweeter from the door card by pulling back on it to break the two connecting lines. Clear this space of any debris that may accumulate in the process.
  2. On the new tweeter, remove the speaker from the plastic housing. Remove the foam insert from the packaging and tuck the speaker inside of it. Place this assembly into the nook where the old tweeter was removed.
  3. Find a good spot for the crossover (the inline cigar shaped piece) and adhere it to the door card with a healthy amount of super glue.  Clean up your wiring when finished.
  4. Before the final step of reattaching the door cards, check for broken, bent, or smashed door clips. In taking off the doors, I managed to break only two clips, but found a few others that had been slightly damaged so I replaced those as well.

Lastly, reattach the door cards, find a song you like, and play it louder than you think you should.

Optional – Modify the Speakers



While the speaker housing itself is intended for 6.5 inch speakers, the shelf is just shy of 6.4 inches. There is virtually no downside to simply screwing the speakers in without modifying them, however I opted to“seat” them into this shelf. I accomplished this by creating an angular (often mistakenly called radiused) edge along the outside diameter of the new speakers. The thinking was as follows: In order for a speaker to perform optimally, the enclosure around the excursion path must be airtight, meaning both the housing and the speaker must be properly fitted to their corresponding mounts.

Fig.1 shows the fitment of the unmodified speaker.

Fig.2 shows the speaker material to be removed.

Fig.3 shows the fitment of the modified speaker to the housing.

This can be carried out in multiple ways: blade, file, wheel grinder, belt grinder. I chose the wheel because it was readily accessible and I’m not concerned about the quality of the cut.

 Want it to sound better?

Try installing an aftermarket head unit and bypassing the amp, or installing sound deadening sheets such as Dynamat to your door frames.

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About the author: Jordan Allred

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Hey Jordan, my front speaker blew out on one side so i’m looking to do this upgrade. Will these speakers sound okay with the stock head unit? Are there any better speakers up to ~120 dollars that would work for this upgrade?

  2. Hi Austen,
    These, and all aftermarket speakers, will significantly improve the sound from the stock head unit. Something you may notice when replacing only two is that the replacements will be clearer and/or warmer than the stock speakers.

    Sound is a pretty subjective thing, but in my opinion, the Alpine S components are the best bang for your buck, within these size constraints.

    6.5″ speakers tend to run
    – bassy (kicker, jl, alpine R)
    – flat (alpine S, rockford fosgate, jbl)
    – trebly (focal, infinity)

    Infinity Reference and Prumus series should* fit, but I’ve found the warm Alpine S components to have pretty brutal highs as it is. I wouldn’t recommend more treble.

    *Not tested.

  3. Hey Jordan,
    Thanks for the write up, after lots of googling stuff I ended up ordering Polk DB6501’s, crutchfield said they should fit so we shall see, i get them on friday. Are you planning to upgrade your head unit sometime cause i am interested in that aswell.

  4. I’d put polks in the same category as Infinity Reference, as their smaller speakers tend to run a little bright for my taste. Again, it’s subjective. If you’re installing subs and you prefer an aggressive mid cut, these would be perfect. If not, you may find yourself turning down the tweeters on the nifty crossover that comes with the set.

    As for aftermarket deck, I ended up buying a Joying perfect-fit android indash similar to http://bit.ly/2fDJ3YJ. Mine is one year older with a dvd slot and half the ram. It turned out to be the best investment I’ve made into the car by a long shot. Spotify, backup cam, bluetooth, torque, etc. One important consideration is that it takes 25 seconds to cold boot.

    Other options are double din aftermarket (better quality but leaves a ~1in gap around the perimeter), perfect fit windows CE, and perfect fit proprietary. I haven’t done enough research on the last two to have an opinion yet.

  5. Update: speakers came early this morning, the tweeter fit the stock housing with no modification. The speaker themselves have a metal mounting ring that sits on the inner ring slope of the stock housing, should work fine.

  6. Awesome! Any update on how these fit in the housings?

  7. Hi Jordan,
    I have a b7 A4 too. I’m gonna listen to your advice and get the 4 door speaker set that you recommend. Now for the subwoofers that the car has, what do you recommend replacing them with? Also should I go for an aftermarket head unit and a new amp and new wiring harness? Thanks!

  8. The stock b7, whether Bose or not, should have one free air 8″ hanging from the rear bench. A free air sub is one that uses part of the car (in this case, the entire trunk) as a box. Real sub boxes, however, have a scientific acoustic similarity throughout them, whether ported or sealed; they’re all made of the same materials, lined with the same felt, and have similar thicknesses, widths, and depths, relative to the enclosure. The entire trunk of your car is not designed to these specifications, and with the massive amount of standing air and air leakage between the cabin and trunk, any free air sub won’t fare much better than a sub flapping around on a countertop.

    For this reason, I completely ignored the factory sub and mount, instead installing an Alpine TypeR 10″ in a tuned wood and felt box in my trunk. Though I used the smallest box in spec, it still takes up a decent amount of trunk real estate (about 1.5 cubic feet). If you’re desperate to salvage trunk space, I’d recommend a fit box.
    https://goo.gl/Z28N2g
    These come in 8″ and 10″ only, and the air space is technically under spec (the box is too small) for a powerful sub. This is an option only when you want a nice clean bass tone that can barely be heard and definitely not felt.

    All subwoofers need amplifiers, so if you replace it with anything, you’ll need to get an aftermarket amp as well.

    I highly recommend upgrading your stock head unit if you’re installing a sub. If you don’t, your only option is to
    a) tag your speaker lines and use a hi-lo converter (which are terrible)
    b) tag your factory sub’s line-in (which is terrible)
    For the past 14 months, I’ve been using the older version of https://goo.gl/RjAQSa, which I bought for 399usd with half the ram, half the internal storage, and a much slower cpu, and I love the hell out of it. The only downsides with mine are the ram (fixed in the new version) and 25 second cold start (allegedly fixed in the new version, but I haven’t tested it personally). I’m in the middle of a writeup for perfect-fit head units at the moment, so if factory appearance is important to you, I should have that up within the week. If that’s not important to you, your best bet is picking up a double din alpine, kenwood, pioneer, etc. head unit along with the necessary mounting kit and harness.

  9. Bryan Polanski

    Hey Jordan, I finally upgraded the speakers in my car with your recommendation of the alpine S, the next step is Subwoofer, Amp, and new head unit that fits nicely and is new. Now i remember you talking about putting up a post for a new haed unit that fits nicely in the A4 B7. Would really appreciate feedback for what subs, amp and head unit that i should purchase. Thanks Man!!!!!!!! (P.S. total noob at speakers but can do it!!!)

  10. What are the best options for replacing just the tweeters? As you noted, they are horrible. Thanks!

  11. You can follow the same process as in the blog post above, just only buying the tweeters of your choice.

  12. Hey Jordan,

    I just completed this DIY last weekend.

    Not sure if it’s is just a coincidence or not, however, my car alarm not longer sets or beeps. I checked the fuse for the alarm itself (fuse #37), but it’s not blown.

    Do you know if there is something that I overlooked while installing the new speakers that could be related to the alarm itself? Thanks in advance.

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