A lot of people are constantly complaining about the OEM Jeep Wrangler audio system. My particular model of Jeep Wrangler (Altitude Edition) came with a premium Alpine system and includes a sub-woofer in the rear cargo area. This premium audio system is also the subject of a ridiculous number of complaints.
I’m going to tell you it really isn’t “that” bad! You’ll want to make a few minor changes though and in doing so you’ll maximize the sound quality of your OEM supply sound system. Your results may vary, and of course, it may even depend on what you’re listening to, as our definitions of music may vary quite significantly.
First, run out to Wal-Mart and grab yourself a pillow. You’ll want a ‘poly’ filled pillow. The poly strands are a synthetic blend known for insulating qualities. Pull the pillow apart and stuff this material behind your roll bar speakers, and in the rear sub-woofer enclosure. What this does is insulate against ‘standing’ waves in the speaker enclosure. The speaker enclosure isn’t a high quality wooden enclosure known to absorb these waves, so lets cut down on some of that ‘rattle’, and unwanted back pressure on the speakers.
Once you’ve put everything back together, you’ll need to make some adjustments, that really few people want to do. And that is to adjust your audio settings on your head unit. Most people have an idea in their head that they want the bass turned up, treble down, and the balance and fade just in certain conditions.
Forget the settings in your house, forget the settings on your previously owned vehicle.
Turn your settings down and adjust up.
Above is what I typically run with. Depending on the era of music I’m listening to, the bass setting may come up to the neutral setting.
I’ve never understood it, but why a good many people set up their ‘sound stage’ like it’s coming from behind them is beyond me. I’ve never once gone to a concert and turned my back to the band, so why would I want that in my vehicle? Below are my fade and balance controls. I want the sound to come from the front, but enough coming from the rear bar to fill in the mid-range sounds.
Play around with your settings, as that will determine what will work best for you – just remember, turn down your bass before turning it up. The speakers aren’t that bad, but the enclosures will rattle and you can over drive the speakers easily. They will go loud, and you can get some (reasonably) quality sound out of them.