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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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.