Struggling to find the perfect stereo upgrade for your Harley?
Look no further! In this blog, we’ve narrowed down the top 7 best options for upgrading your Harley’s sound system in 2023. From budget Bluetooth receivers to high end touchscreen radios, we’ve got you covered.
As a team of experienced technicians with over 10 years in the motorcycle industry, we understand the importance of finding the right audio setup for your ride.
That’s why we’ve personally tested and reviewed these products to ensure they meet our high standards and deliver top-notch sound quality on the road. So, let’s dive into the top 7 best Harley stereo upgrades of 2023!
Best Plug and Play Harley Stereo – Aquatic AV MP5
If you’re looking for the best plug and play stereo system for your Harley, look no further than the Aquatic AV MP5. This unit is packed with features that will make listening to music on your bike a truly enjoyable experience. From its Bluetooth connectivity to its built-in amplifier, the Aquatic AV MP5 has everything you need to enjoy your music while on the road.
I put this stereo on a 2012 Ultra Classic Electra Glide. It was really simple to install. Removing the four mounting bolts that attach the deck to the stock bracket was the most difficult part (you’ll need a thin 90 degree hex). Also, be sure you have some extra zip ties because you’ll have to cut several of them for better access.
The audio quality is much improved over the stock deck/speaker setup. Bluetooth connectivity works effectively, and the space behind the face plate is enormous! It accommodated my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 without issue.
The handlebars are well-designed and work properly, and I can’t see any technical difficulties with this setup. If you want to use Bluetooth music on your touring bike, I would highly advise you to get one of these decks.
This stereo looks great on my bike and the sound quality is amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new stereo for their motorcycle.
Bright 3″ Monochrome Display
The MP5 Stereo features a 3″ bright, easy-to-read display that automatically dims in low light conditions for optimum viewing day or night. The unit also includes a rain sensor that automatically adjusts the display brightness to account for weather conditions, so you can enjoy your music rain or shine.
This receiver comes with built-in storage for putting your phone inside it while riding.
This innovative design allows you to keep your devices safe and sound while still having access to all the features you love. The detachable faceplate means you can take your stereo with you on the go, while the storage compartment is perfect for holding chargers, headphones, and other small items.
Wireless Music Streaming Via Bluetooth
You can use wireless music streaming via Bluetooth which supports both iPhone and Android. Plus, it’s the first aftermarket Harley radio to receive native iPod/iPhone support. The Bluetooth works great and has a pretty strong connection.
288 Watts Powerful Built-in Amplifier
The Aquatic AV MP5 Stereo is a powerful and versatile amplifier that is perfect for powering up to 8 speakers or a combination of speakers and subwoofers. Thanks to its powerful 288W amplifier, this stereo can provide great sound quality for any audio set-up. Additionally, the 2 Ohm stable Class A/B amplifier ensures that your audio will sound great even at high volumes. So if you’re looking for an amplifier that can provide both power and great sound quality, the Aquatic AV MP5 Stereo is the perfect choice for you.
On top of that, this stereo comes with a 2 v preamp output plus a whole host of other inputs including aux (minijack), aux (stereo RCA), and a rear USB port for charging and music streaming.
It is built with high-end materials and is resilient against the sun, humidity, salt water, and UV rays, the Aquatic AV MP5 has been designed to take on life’s adventures.
The big knob allows you to control your music hands-free when you’re underway and wouldn’t it be great if bike controls could control your listening experience? You can do that with the Aquatic AV MP5!
- Single din chassis with monochrome LCD
- Compatible with wireless music streaming
- AM/FM tuner with 30 presets
- Compatible with up to 8 speakers
- Built-in high-quality A/B amplifier
- Power Output of 180 watts
- RMS of 24 watts by 4 channels each at 4 ohms
- And RMS of 40 watts by 4 channels at 2 ohms
- 75 watts of Peak power (RMS) at 2 ohms
- 45 watts of Peak Power (RMS) at 4 ohms
- Works with both Apple and Android phones
- Frequency response from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz
- Amount of current at standby: 6mA
- Max. Amount of current: 7A
- Fits easily in all models of Harley-Davidson motorcycles (1998-2013)
- Warranty of 36 months
- Click Here to read full specifications
- Bright and easy to read monochrome display
- Rain sensor automatically adjusts display brightness
- Excellent Sound Quality with built-in EQ
- Detachable faceplate for easy portability
- Built-in storage for phone and other small items
- Wireless music streaming via Bluetooth
- Powerful built-in amplifier (288 watts)
- You can control music directly from the handlebar controls
- Faceplate is difficult to attach/detach
- Glove box is too small to accommodate a phone or other devices
- Only one set of RCA inputs
- Requires additional installation for rear speakers
Best Harley Replacement Stereo – Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813
The Rockford Fosgate HD9813 is a premium and the best Harley stereo upgrade in 2023.
The design of this unit is way impressive compared to any other single din radio.
The 3” display is very bright and colorful and comes with a night mode which helps to watch the display while traveling at night.
You can use Bluetooth to connect your phone with the receiver for wireless music streaming. The Bluetooth supports mostly all the old as well as the latest iPhone and Android devices. You can also control the stereo through factory handlebar controls.
In terms of audio quality, this is the best head unit for Harley Davidson due to its high quality and powerful built-in amplifier which power peak of 50 watts by four channels and twenty-five watts RMS at 4 OHMS. Ther is a built-in graphic equalizer available for full customization.
The installation of this radio doesn’t take long dues to its play-and-play installation. You don’t need wiring or a factory harness for the installation.
The good thing we notice In this head unit is that it remembers the last song which was playing on SD Card/ USB and starts from there.
- 3-inch Color Display(NO/DVD)
- Built-in Seven Band Graphic Equalizer
- Chassis Size: 2.5 x 8.2 x 7.5 inches
- Compatible with Harley-Davidson motorcycles(1998-13)
- 2006-13 Street Glide, 1998-13 Road Glide, and 1998-13 Electra Glide models
- Compatible with iPhone, iPod, and iPad Control
- Compatible with factory handlebar controls
- Compatible with Sirius XM satellite radio
- Power Peak: 200 watts max. at 4 ohms
- RMS: 25 watts by 4 Channel at 4 ohms
- Frequency Response from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
- Inputs: 3.5mm Aux, RCA Stereo Aux, front USB
- Output: 4 Channel Preamp having 4 volts each
- Warranty: 24 Months
- Impressive Design
- Bright and large display
- Loud and High-Quality Audio
- Big and easy to use the Volume knob
- Bluetooth works great for both iOS and Android
- Installation is easy and takes only a few minutes
- IPX6-rated which means the stereo is waterproof and dust proof.
- The user interface is not that good
- No automatic volume control
- The Intercom system does not works with this stereo
Installing this radio was simple and didn’t take long at all. It comes with Bluetooth features that the stock unit lacked as well a storage compartment inside! This radio has many good reviews online especially on the sound quality.
Best Touchscreen Stereo for Harley Street Glide – Sony XAV-AX7000
The Sony XAV-AX7000 is a (plug-and-play) single-din touchscreen stereo, which fits easily in Harley Davidson.
The display size is quite large also, it comes with anti-glare protection which helps you to see the display in bright sunlight, which is a good thing for bikers.
This head unit doesn’t require any external amplifier due to its powerful built-in amp which offers a power peak of 100 watts and an RMS of 45 watts per channel which is sufficient to power four speakers.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are its main feature. With this feature, you can use a large number of apps such as YouTube, Apple Maps/ Google Maps, Pandora/Spotify, and many more.
However, the bad side of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is, it works only with a USB connection, which might be a problem for bikers.
For wireless connectivity, you can use Bluetooth to play music via Pandora or Spotify, or Hands-Free Calling. Bluetooth takes a few seconds to connect, also the Bluetooth strength is rock solid.
- 6.95″ Touchscreen Display
- Chassis Size: Single Din
- Designed for Harley Davidson Street Glide
- Built-in Ten Band Equalizer
- Wired Apple CarPlay/Auto
- Support Hands-free calling via Bluetooth
- Dual USB input, Backup Camera input
- 5 Volt Preamp Output (5 Channel)
- Support High-resolution FLAC files
- Support Sirus XM HD Radio
- Dynamic stage Organiser
- Direct subwoofer controls
- 36 Months Warranty
- High Powerful built-in amplifier
- Plug and Play installation
- Large and responsive touchscreen display
- Best Quality than any double din radio
- GPS Navigation via CarPlay and Android Auto
- Hands Bar Control works perfectly this head unit
- No Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto
Best Budget Harley Radio – Jensen HD1BT
The is the budget friendly Harley stereo upgrade, you can every found online.
This head unit even fits in your bike without the need for brackets or mounting kit.
It includes all of the features that traditional models lack, and can withstand nearly anything short of water damage or excessive wear from salt environments like those found on bike paths during winter months.
The installation of this stereo is simple and takes less time compared to aquatic av because it fits easily with your bike’s factory harness plug.
Jensen HD1BT is the ultimate all-in-one stereo head unit for those who appreciate quality as well as value.
It has a versatile, sleek design that allows for convenient integration into nearly any vehicle perfectly. With this product, you won’t sacrifice sound no matter how high your jams go!
Wireless music streaming via Bluetooth works well. You can also play music via connecting your phone with the receiver in Auxiliary input or via a USB connection.
You can also control the music system and change the volume of the receiver through Harley’s factory handlebar controls.
The other best thing about this stereo is the ability to connect with SiriusXM satellite radio. But, you have to purchase the tuner and subscription separately.
The backlighting on this stereo will also let you see nearby traffic lights in the dark!
- Single Din Stereo with matrix LCD
- 12 AM, 18 FM Presets, Weather tuner
- Support Bluetooth Connectivity
- Built-in Amplifier
- Power Peak: 4 x 50 watts
- RMS: 22 watts x 4 Channel
- Built-in 5 Band Equalizer
- Support iPod and iPhone
- 3.5mm Aux input, USB input, USB input
- 4 preamp output for connecting speakers and subwoofers
- Support Sirius XM HD Radio
- Support MP3, WMA Playback
- Easy installation due to plug and play RCA connectors
- Handlebar controls work great
- Compatible with all the latest iPhones
- Great audio quality with customizable options
- Red Color, Old design
- Difficulty to view display in sunlight due to reflections
The fifth and the best Harley stereo upgrade in our list is from well known brand Alpine.
The Alpine CDE-175BT is another and the perfect companion for those who love listening to music in the Harley and want a budget-friendly option.
Whether you enjoy old-school radios or want a modern upgrade, this single slot stereo offers you what you need and wants with its built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control so that driving becomes even easier.
With these 3 band parametric EQs and high pass filters, anyone can find your favorite tunes without too much effort.
And if whoever’s along for the ride doesn’t like it, no problem! You just need to utilize this sweet subwoofer level control that will be able to change their minds by leaning over just a touch more than usual.
The detachable face allows you to customize what color variable display suits your style best! Giving you complete power over how the hardware looks as well.
Alpine CDE-175BT offers a variety of expandability options, including SiriusXM tuners and an auxiliary input. Just add your favorite music from other players to the USB inputs for quick listening with Alpine’s Bluetooth system.
- Single Din DVD Receiver
- AM/FM tuner
- Bluetooth compatible with both iPhone and Android
- iPhone/iPad Control
- Siri Eyes-Free compatible
- Built-in 3-band EQ with 10 user presets
- Support FLAC files
- Support Pandora for both iPhone and Android
- Power Peak: 4 x 50 watts
- RMS: 18 watts per channel
- AUX and USB Input
- 6 Preamp Output (5-volt front, rear, subwoofer)
- Audio Formats: CDs/CD-Rs, and CD-RWs
- Support SiriusXM tuner
- 12 months warranty period
- The Bluetooth connectivity of this unit is impressive
- 5 Volt Preamp Output
- Built-in CD/DVD Player
- Good audio quality with nice customization options
- It doesn’t come with Remote Control
- Tough to install in Harley
The Pioneer SPH-10BT is another one the best Harley stereo upgrade in 2023.
The Pioneer S-Series SPH10BT receiver is the perfect solution for consumers who want to retrofit their factory stereo with a competitive digital media system.
You will get excellent sound quality with 13 bands EQ and variable color display, hands-free calling via Bluetooth, high-powered amps for dynamic music playback at higher volume levels, compatibility with steering wheel steering controls (with necessary adapters), and included iPod/iPhone dock.
You can use the Pioneer Smart Sync app to wirelessly control the features of your receiver right from your smartphone without ever touching the screen. Freightliner has just announced that they will be including this in future vehicles as an option!
This digital media receiver is also compatible with most factory steering wheel audio controls, so you can stay focused on the road while still being able to enjoy your favorite tunes from virtually any device.
Built-in amplification has been designed specifically for this unit, targeting those seeking enhanced audio quality at volumes as high as 100 dBA.
After getting Smart Sync up and running on my phone, I found that it only took me about 15 minutes for the first couple of times doing tests under similar conditions.
- Single Din Mechless Receiver
- LCD Display with 10 Level Brightness Control
- USB Direct Control for iPhone
- Bluetooth with Hands-free Profile (v1.6)
- 13 Band plus Equalizer
- 18 FM and 6 AM Radio Presets
- Audio Formats: FLAC, AAC, WAV, MP3, WMA
- 2 Volt (4 channel) Preamp Output
- Detachable Face Plate
- USB, AUX Input
- Wired Remote Input
- 1-Year Brand Warranty
- Compatible with both iPhone and Android
- Rock Solid Bluetooth Connection
- You can attach your phone with the receiver with its phone cradle
- With its Pioneer Smart Sync app, you can do calls, use maps and equalizers up to 31 bands.
- Low Preamp Output
- Might be difficult to install on the bike.
Best Budget Touchscreen Replacement Radio – Sony XAV-AX5500
The last and the best Harley stereo upgrade in our list is again from Sony but this model is less expensive compared to the XAV-AX7000 model.
The Sony XAV-AX5500 is another ultimate stereo for Harley Davidson because it lets you stay focused on enjoying your ride while navigating with Apple CarPlay, listening to music, and making calls.
The simple 6.95 inches touchscreen wakes up 2.5x as fast as previous models without sacrificing touch response or audio quality thanks to our built-in 4 x 55 W amplification that delivers clear highs at high volumes.
The 500 cd/m2 brightness will keep things easy to see when there’s no bike light handy.
The Sony XAV-AX5500 has luxury, durability, and entertainment without compromise. With high-performance dual USB ports for your music needs and the power to provide crystal clear sound at any volume – this stereo is perfect for any journey!
With this head unit, you can enjoy commercial-free music, sports, news, and entertainment due to its compatibility with the Sirius XM Radio satellite tuner.
- 6.95-inch Capacitive touchscreen
- Chassis Size: 2” Tall Single Din
- 4” Tall Double Din Display
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support
- Wireless Music streaming through Bluetooth
- Power Peak: 220 watts max.
- RMS: 20 watts x 4 channel
- Built-in 10 Band graphic equalizer
- 5 Volt Preamp Output (total 5 channels)
- Compatible with SWC, and Backup Camera
- Three-year brand Warranty
- The touchscreen is very sensitive
- The audio quality is clear and loud
- Both Apple CarPlay and Android works flawlessly
- You can control the head unit through your voice
- No wireless CarPlay/Auto
- The installation is tough
Below are some frequently asked questions related to this article.
What is the Best Harley Davidson Stereo Upgrade?
If you want the best Harley stereo in terms of every aspect such as quality audio, bright display, latest features, and easy installation, go with Rockford Fosgate HD9813.
However, If your budget is low for the Rock Fosgate you can with Aquatic AV MP5, which offers almost the same as Rockford Fosgate, the only difference you can find is audio quality.
There is no doubt, Rockford Fosgate is more expensive than Aquatic Av and offers a high-power amplifier. But Aquatic AV’s audio quality is also a good stereo receiver for audio quality as well as budget-friendly.
Should I buy an external amplifier for Harley Davidson?
If your head unit is quite powerful like the Rockford Fosgate HD9813, then you don’t require any external amp.
But if you had a low-power stereo receiver then, an external amplifier will be must required in order to improve your overall sound system.
How can I make my Harley radio louder?
There are mainly five-way, to improve your Harley audio quality louder and clear, these include:
- Upgrading to a new Head Unit
- Upgrading your factory speakers
- Adding more speakers
- Adding an external amplifier
- Adjusting Equalizer settings
How do I get Apple CarPlay on my Harley?
To get Apple CarPlay on your Harley Davidson, you need to upgrade our factory stereo to a new touchscreen head unit like the Sony XAV-AX7000 or Sony XAV-AX5500. Both head units fit perfectly in Harley and work even with your handlebar controls.
How much does it cost to upgrade the Harley stereo?
The top-rated Harley stereo starts from the price range of $300 and ends somewhere around $1200. For the installation, it cost around $50–$300. The price of stereo and installation depends on what type of stereo you bought. Single Din Stereo like Aquatic AV costs you less, while touchscreen head units like Sony XAV-AX7000 will cost more.
How many watts are stock Harley speakers?
Most Harley Davidson motorcycles come with speakers with between 20 and 30 watts RMS of power. Therefore, it is safe to say that most stock Harley Davidson speakers have an output of around 25 watts.
However, some models come with higher-powered speakers. For example, the Harley Davidson Street Glide comes with 40-watt speakers. So, if you’re wondering how many watts are stock Harley speakers, it depends on the model of the motorcycle.
What kind of speakers does Harley-Davidson use?
Harley-Davidson uses a variety of speakers to create its signature sound, including woofers, tweeters and mid-range speakers. By combining these different speakers, Harley can produce a rich, full sound that is perfect for cruising down the open road. Harley’s speakers will give you the sound you crave, whether you are looking for a deep bass rumble or a high-pitched roar.
What size are speakers in a 2021 Street Glide?
There are two speaker sizes in a 2021 Street Glide. The front speakers are 6.5 inches, and the rear speakers are 4 inches.
What are fairing speakers?
Fairing speakers are mounted in the fairing, or main body, of a motorcycle. These speakers tend to be larger than other motorcycle speakers, and they offer superior audio quality. Harley-Davidson fairing speakers are some of the best on the market, and they are known for their clear sound and robust bass. These speakers are also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting damaged in the rain.
Is the Rockford Fosgate upgrade worth it on Harley Davidson?
The Rockford Fosgate upgrade is a popular choice for Harley Davidson owners who are looking to improve the sound of their motorcycle. This upgrade gives you a significant increase in power and the ability to add an amplifier to your system. The Rockford Fosgate upgrade is a great way to get the most out of your Harley Davidson sound system.
What size are speakers in a motorcycle fairing?
The size of the speakers in a motorcycle fairing can vary, but they typically range from 6.5 to 8 inches. The larger the speaker, the more powerful it will be and the better the audio quality will be. However, consider that a larger speaker may not fit in all motorcycle fairings. You’ll need to measure your fairing to ensure that the speakers you want will work.
Are Rockford Fosgate Harley speakers waterproof?
Yes, the Rockford Fosgate Harley speakers are waterproof.
Do I need an amplifier for my Harley Davidson stereo?
If you want to get the most out of your Harley Davidson stereo, you will need an amplifier. An amplifier will increase the power of your stereo and allow you to play your music louder. It will also improve the audio quality of your theme by making it clearer and more powerful. If you’re serious about getting the best sound possible from your Harley Davidson stereo, an amplifier is a must-have.
Are 2021 Road Glide speakers waterproof?
Ye, the 2021 Road Glide speakers are waterproof.
What size are speakers in a 2007 Harley Davidson Road Glide?
The 2007 Harley Davidson Road Glide has 6.5-inch speakers in the front and 4-inch speakers in the rear.
What size are speakers in the 2020 Road Glide?
The 2020 Road Glide has 6.5-inch speakers in the front and 4-inch speakers in the rear.
Can you flash a Harley radio?
Yes, you can flash a Harley radio. It’s not difficult to do, and most people find it a pretty easy process. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the radio from your bike. Once it’s out, you can disconnect the battery and then unscrew the back panel of the radio.
After that, you’ll need to remove the four screws that hold the circuit board in place. From there, you can disconnect the wires and then reattach everything in reverse order. When you’re done, just make sure that your bike’s battery is properly connected and then turn on your radio to see if it works.
What does flashing a Harley Davidson radio do?
Flashing a Harley Davidson radio simply means reprogramming it to work with your bike’s electronic systems. This is usually done by connecting the radio to a computer and using special software to send new code to the radio. Flashing can be used to fix compatibility issues, add new features, or update the radio’s firmware.
All of these Harley stereos mentioned in the list have been looked into carefully and are generally loved by a large number of Harley owners.
There are lots of great stereo receivers which provide quality audio, the latest features better design, responsive touchscreen.
At the end of the day, it’s not about getting the Best Harley Replacement Radio you can buy.
Instead, you should focus on your budget and what Head Unit works best for you.
If you are confused then here is the short answer:
- For High Power and great performance single din stereo go with Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813
- For Budget single din stereo go with Aquatic AV-MP5
- For responsive touchscreen go with Sony XAV-AX7000
- Touchscreen in a Budget, go with Sony XAV-AX5500
We hope you will get an idea for your future upgrade. If you like this article, please consider leaving a comment.
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