First a warning before you think about dumping a lot of money into upgrading your audio system: You will never get the same audio quality like in a Lexus or a Mercedes passenger car. The Sprinter is a big metal box and even with a lot of sound deadening and insulation you’ll still have some road noise that will impact your audio experience negatively. But the good news is that you can still make significant improvements over the cheap Sprinter speakers that you’re having now.
Front Dash Speakers
The only speakers that came standard in your T1N are hidden in the dash next to the A pillar. When you remove the pillar covers you can lift of the speaker cover and you should see a 4″ speaker on each side.
Long story short: pretty much any 4″ speaker you can find is a vast improvement over what’s already in there but here are some speakers that T1N owners installed and are proven to deliver a very good sound quality and a perfect fit (although some people had to remove the mounting tabs to fit the speakers in the enclosure):
- Pioneer: Pioneer TS-G1043R [@Amazon] or TS-G1044R [@eBay]. Both are two way speakers with 120W or 200W and can be found online for about $50 for the pair.
- Blaupunkt GTX 402 DE [@eBay]. Another alternative on the lower end price spectrum – about $50 for the pair. 140W two way speakers.
- HERTZ DCX 100.3 [@eBay]. A more expensive 60W two way speaker for around $80.
- Rockford Fosgate Power T142 [@Amazon]. A more high end two way speaker with 80W. Price is about $200 for the pair.
While the speakers in the dash might be ok for listening to music while standing at a traffic light, you need more oomph to actually hear your music while driving. Also when listening to music in your bed you’ll want some speakers closer to the rear or the van. But lets go from the front of the car to the rear and show some options.
One location for additional speakers in the cab is the headliner. Personally I don’t like that solution too much because you basically end up with one speaker very close to your left ear and the other one five feet away.
Another spot often used for additional speakers in the Sprinter cab are the door panels, where most other cars have speakers. The upside of installing speakers there is that you can use some bigger size speakers. The newer NCV3 Sprinters (from 2007 on) actually have speakers in the door panels but the older T1N’s don’t. I’ve also heard of Sprinter owners adding speakers in the plastic cup holders box between the driver and the passenger.
In the back of your van, the options for adding speakers are endless. I’ve put mine between the sliding door and the bed which gives me a nice stereo sound when I’m watching movies laying in bed 🙂
The final location I think is worth mentioning is in the rear back doors. If you have some here they can actually do double duty: when closed you’ll get all that sound blasted directly to the front and if you open the doors you’ll have some outdoor speakers (not that I’m in favor of that – actually quite the opposite).
I don’t have one yet but if you read the audio threads in the forums there’s one common theme: For the best sound you’ll need to add a subwoofer somewhere. One common location is in the passenger seat base or you can build a custom enclosure for the subwoofer and place it somewhere else in the back.
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