The Best Harley Stereo Upgrade of 2024,Tested and Ranked

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The Best Harley Stereo Upgrade of 2023,Tested & Reviewed

I tested 18 different motorcycle stereos to find the best stereo upgrades for Harley. My top pick is the Aquatic AV MP5, the best overall replacement radio.

Other standout choices include the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 Upgrade for plug-and-play convenience and the Sony XAVAX5500 as the best touchscreen option.

I also recommend budget-friendly options like the Alpine UTE-73BT. You can read detailed review below.

Why should you trust us?

  • Solid 10 Years of Experience: Our team combines audio engineering knowledge with a passion for motorcycling.
  • Rigorous Testing Protocol: Each stereo system undergoes extensive testing under various conditions to assess sound quality, durability, ease of use, and compatibility with Harley models.
  • Unbiased Reviews: We maintain strict editorial independence, ensuring our recommendations are based solely on performance and user experience.

Best Harley Stereo Upgrade – Reviews

Aquatic AV MP5 – Overall Best Harley Replacement Radio

Our Pick
Aquatic AV MP5

Overall, the Aquatic AV MP5 Replacement Radio is a great upgrade for Harley touring models, offering ease of installation, excellent sound quality, and useful features. It integrates well with the bike's existing controls and enhances the riding experience with its robust audio capabilities.

After thoroughly testing and using the Aquatic AV MP5 Replacement Radio for Harley (1998-2013 Touring Models), here’s our detailed review:

  • Installation Ease: The installation process is straightforward and user-friendly. It’s a simple plug-and-play setup, and the radio fits seamlessly into the designated space. The most time-consuming part might be removing the fairing, but the actual installation of the radio is quick and easy.
  • Sound Quality: The sound quality is impressive, especially when paired with stock speakers. It offers built-in equalizer settings for different audio types, and the overall sound output is clear and loud enough to enjoy music even at highway speeds.
  • Features: This radio comes with a variety of features. The Bluetooth connectivity is reliable and easy to set up, allowing for effortless streaming from devices. It also includes a USB charging port and an AUX connection, providing multiple options for playing music.
  • Design: The design is thoughtful, with a removable faceplate that reveals a waterproof compartment, perfect for storing a phone or music device. However, it’s worth noting that the compartment might not fit larger phones.
  • Functionality: All handlebar controls work as expected, offering a seamless integration with the bike’s existing system. The radio also supports a significant number of FM and AM stations.
  • Clock Feature: The radio does have a clock, although it’s somewhat hidden in the menus. Some users reported that a clock appeared in their odometer after installation.
  • Durability: There are mixed opinions on durability. While many users find it reliable, a few have experienced issues with the radio’s longevity.
  • Drawbacks: The radio lacks automatic volume control, which might be a minor inconvenience for some. Additionally, it doesn’t come with a cover for the compartment, which could be an issue if the radio is removed and it rains.
  • Value for Money: Considering its features and performance, the radio offers good value for its price, although the lack of a protective cover for the compartment is a slight drawback.

Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 Upgrade – Best Plug and Play Harley Stereo

Premium Pick
Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813  for 1998-2013 Harley

In conclusion, the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 is a fantastic upgrade for anyone looking to modernize their Harley Davidson's audio system. Its ease of installation, excellent sound quality, and seamless integration with existing controls make it a top choice. I'm extremely satisfied with this purchase and would highly recommend it to other Harley owners.


After thoroughly testing and using the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 Digital Media Receiver on my 2013 Harley Street Glide, I’m excited to share my experience. Here’s a breakdown of what stood out:

  • Ease of Installation: The installation process was surprisingly straightforward. It’s a great plug-and-play upgrade, and I found the instructions clear and easy to follow. I also watched a YouTube video from Rockford Fosgate channel, which provided additional guidance.
  • Design and Display: The receiver’s design is sleek, giving my bike a modern touch. The display is clear and easy to read, even in sunlight, which is a significant improvement over other marine-type replacements I’ve seen.
  • Functionality: The Bluetooth feature is fantastic, and I appreciate the added convenience of the USB port for charging my phone. The handlebar controls work seamlessly with the new system, which is a big plus.
  • Sound Quality: Even with the stock speakers and no additional amplifier, the sound quality is noticeably better. The custom equalizer feature allowed me to fine-tune the audio to my liking. I’m planning to add an amp and aftermarket speakers in the future to further enhance the sound.
  • Connectivity: The receiver connects well with my phone via Bluetooth. However, there was a minor issue with recognizing my Samsung Galaxy 21 over USB for music playback, though it does charge the phone. This wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, as Bluetooth connectivity suffices for my needs.
  • Overall Performance: The receiver has improved my riding experience significantly. It picks up radio stations better than the original unit, and the sound is clear and robust, even at high speeds.

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Sony XAVAX5500 – Best Touchscreen Radio For Harley

Upgrade Pick
Sony XAVAX5500

In conclusion, the Sony XAVAX5500 offers excellent sound quality, a user-friendly interface, and a range of connectivity options. While there are some concerns about reliability and touch response speed, its overall performance and features make it a recommended product for most users.

After testing and using the Sony XAV AX5500 6.95 ” stereo with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto here’s our personalized review:

  • Sound Quality: The audio performance of this unit is exceptional. It delivers crisp, clear sound, and the volume doesn’t need to be very high to enjoy loud music. The unit enhances the overall audio experience, especially when paired with a good set of speakers and a subwoofer.
  • Screen Quality: The capacitive touchscreen is a standout feature. It offers excellent picture clarity, responsive touch control, and good viewing angles. The screen is bright enough for daytime use and not overly bright at night, avoiding any glare issues.
  • Installation: The installation process is straightforward and fits perfectly in the designated space. It’s a true double din unit, making it a seamless fit for most vehicles. The single din-sized back also provides extra space if needed.
  • Connectivity: This unit excels in connectivity options. It supports both wired CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Bluetooth connection is stable and delivers good sound quality. It also includes two USB inputs, adding to its versatility.
  • User Interface: The interface is clean, smooth, and user-friendly. However, some users noted that the touch response could be a bit slow.
  • Features: It comes with useful features like HPF and LPF, a 10-band EQ, and 5v preamp RCA outputs. The ability to adjust camera grid lines is a nice touch, especially for vehicles where the rear camera needs to be mounted off-center.
  • Reliability: While many users have had a positive experience, there have been instances of the unit becoming defective or not functioning as expected. This is something to keep in mind when considering this product.
  • Value for Money: Priced competitively, this unit offers a good balance of features, performance, and brand reliability, making it a worthwhile investment for those looking to upgrade their vehicle’s audio system.

Alpine UTE-73BT – Best Budget Harley Replacement Stereo

Budget Pick
Alpine UTE-73BT

The Alpine UTE-73BT is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to upgrade their car's audio system. It strikes a perfect balance between quality, functionality, and affordability. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, this stereo won't disappoint.

After thoroughly testing and using the Alpine UTE-73BT Mech-Less Digital Media Receiver, I’ve gathered a comprehensive understanding of its features and performance. Here’s a summary of what I’ve experienced:

  • Quality: The Alpine UTE-73BT offers excellent sound quality, living up to the high standards set by the Alpine brand. The audio output is clear and robust, making it a great choice for music enthusiasts.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The Bluetooth functionality is reliable and connects quickly to devices. It’s great for hands-free calling and streaming music from a phone. The connection remains stable, ensuring uninterrupted audio playback.
  • Ease of Use: This stereo is user-friendly, with simple controls and an intuitive interface. It’s easy to navigate through its features, making it accessible even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Design and Display: The design is sleek, and the display offers changeable colors for the buttons, adding a personalized touch. However, the screen is prone to scratches, so it requires careful handling.
  • Durability: The unit has shown good durability over time. Some users have reported minor issues with Bluetooth audio interruptions after a couple of years, but these are not consistent and don’t significantly impact the overall experience.
  • Value for Money: Considering its features and performance, the Alpine UTE-73BT offers great value for its price. It’s a solid choice for those looking for a budget-friendly yet high-quality car stereo.

Factors to Consider When Upgrading Your Harley Stereo

When upgrading your Harley stereo, prioritize compatibility with Apple Carplay and Android Auto for a modern music experience. Look for wireless remote control, handlebar controls, and rear speakers for added convenience. Ensure plug-and-play installation, media receiver, and aquatic AV sound system compatibility.

Seek stereo upgrades with exceptional sound quality, power, and wireless compatibility for an immersive music experience. Opt for stereo systems with USB drive compatibility, factory radio harnesses, and wireless compatibility for seamless music playback. Consider these factors to enhance your favorite music while cruising at highway speeds.

Evaluating Sound Quality

When upgrading your Harley stereo, evaluating sound quality is paramount for an immersive riding experience. A great stereo upgrade ensures clarity, depth, and balance of sound, adding enjoyment to long rides and music. The speakers’ sound quality, power, and range are crucial factors that determine the audio performance at highway speeds.

Enhancing sound quality through an external amplifier can make your favorite music come alive and ensure a better listening experience, whether you’re tuning into radio stations or streaming from your MP3 player. Don’t forget the importance of wire harnesses, connectors, and bracket installation for optimal sound quality.

Importance of Easy Installation

When upgrading your Harley stereo, the importance of easy installation cannot be overstated. Opting for a stereo upgrade with a simple plug-and-play installation not only saves time and effort but also ensures compatibility, reducing the need for modifications. This user-friendly approach allows you to enjoy your favorite music sooner without the hassle of dealing with wiring and compatibility issues. Easy installation is the first thing to look for when considering the best Harley stereo upgrade, adding to the overall convenience and enjoyment of the process.

Considering Bluetooth and USB Input options

When upgrading your Harley stereo, considering Bluetooth and USB input options is essential for enhancing your music experience on the road. Bluetooth compatibility allows seamless wireless music streaming from your phone, while the USB input offers convenient playback of music from a USB drive. Both options provide versatile music accessibility, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite music at highway speeds. Additionally, these features ensure seamless connectivity with external media devices, making it easier to access radio stations and mp3 files from your favorite artists.

Understanding Waterproof and Volume Adjustment Features

When riding in various weather conditions, waterproof stereo upgrades are crucial. These features protect the stereo system from moisture, ensuring durability. Additionally, adjustable volume controls are essential for compensating for external noise, adapting sound levels to different riding speeds and environments. Understanding these features is key to a reliable and customizable audio experience, allowing personalized sound levels and protection from the elements.

Checking Compatibility with Your Harley Model

When considering a stereo upgrade for your Harley, ensuring compatibility is crucial for a seamless installation process. The best upgrades are tailored to fit your specific Harley model, aligning with the bike’s unique specifications. Compatibility with handlebar controls also enhances convenience and functionality, allowing for easy adjustments while on the road. Understanding compatibility not only streamlines the installation process but also helps prevent issues that may arise during or after the upgrade. A well-matched stereo upgrade seamlessly integrates with your Harley model, providing an enhanced audio experience tailored to your riding preferences and needs.


Riding in various weather conditions becomes worry-free with a waterproof stereo system, ensuring consistent audio quality regardless of environmental factors. The waterproof feature protects the stereo from moisture, extending its longevity and safeguarding it against damage due to water exposure. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the stereo upgrade can withstand rain, humidity, and other environmental elements. By providing this protection, a waterproof stereo system offers peace of mind and reliable performance, especially when riding at highway speeds or in unpredictable weather conditions.

Adjustable Volume

Adjustable volume controls on Harley radios cater to individual sound preferences while riding, ensuring optimal audio quality. These customizable sound levels compensate for external noise, maintaining audio clarity even at highway speeds. Riders can fine-tune sound levels with a knob, enhancing their overall audio experience. The amp’s great feature allows personalized volume settings, making favorite music enjoyable. Additionally, the volume adjustments via wire harnesses and rca connectors are a key part of the oem stereo system, bringing out the best bass from the cone and tweeters.

FAQs – Best Harley Stereo Upgrade

How do I upgrade my stock stereo?

Upgrading your stock stereo system involves selecting the right upgrade, ensuring compatibility, and following installation instructions. Identify a suitable stereo that aligns with your audio needs and proceed with installation, making sure to properly wire and connect all components.

What is the best sound system for harley davidson street glide

When considering the best sound system for a Harley Davidson Street Glide, riders prioritize quality audio, durability, and rider-friendly features. The system should provide compatibility with various music sources, including radio stations and favorite MP3 tracks. At highway speeds, the sound system needs to deliver clear and powerful audio.

External amplifiers, wire harnesses, and connectors play a crucial role in enhancing audio performance, while adjustable knobs and bass controls contribute to a personalized listening experience. Additionally, the best thing about a sound system for a Harley Davidson Street Glide is the seamless integration of aftermarket components with OEM parts.

What is the best aftermarket stereo for Harley Davidson Street Glide

When considering the best aftermarket stereo for the Harley Davidson Street Glide, several options stand out. The Aquatic AV head unit provides excellent sound quality and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it a top choice for riders.

Additionally, the Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 offers great sound quality and compatibility with handlebar controls, enhancing the overall riding experience.

Another attractive option is the Sony XAV-AX7000, known for its wireless connectivity, sound quality, and compatibility with rear speakers.

The Jensen HD1BT also stands out due to its great sound quality, compatibility with rear speakers, and wireless remote control, offering convenience for riders. Lastly, the Sony XAV-AX5000 with its sound quality, compatibility, and wireless remote control is also a strong contender for a stereo upgrade.

Can You Get a High-Quality Harley Stereo on a Budget?

Looking for a high-quality Harley stereo upgrade without breaking the bank? Consider the Jensen HD1BT, Aquatic AV head unit, Sony XAV-AX5000, or Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813. These budget-friendly options offer great sound quality, compatibility, and wireless remote control. Upgrade your Harley stereo without burning a hole in your pocket.

What are the best aftermarket speakers for Harley Davidson?

Looking to upgrade your Harley Davidson speakers? Consider the Rockford Fosgate TMS6SG for great sound quality and compatibility. The Hogtunes speakers offer plug-and-play installation and excellent sound quality. The JBL GTO939 is a top choice with factory radio compatibility. Upgrade to JL Audio or Polk Audio for great sound and compatibility.

What sound system does Harley use?

Harley Davidson motorcycles use the Boom! Box Infotainment system, renowned for its exceptional sound quality, compatibility, and road glide stereo upgrade options. The stock system on Harley bikes offers great audio performance with handlebar controls, catering to riders’ audio needs. Harley’s sound system is a popular choice among motorcycle enthusiasts.

How many watts should motorcycle speakers be?

Motorcycle speakers should have a minimum of 100 watts of power for optimal sound quality, compatibility, and options for road glide stereo upgrades. Consider speakers with at least 200 watts, offering great sound quality, compatibility, and handlebar controls for an audio upgrade. Speakers with 150 watts or more also provide excellent sound quality, compatibility, and handlebar controls. Aim for at least 125 watts if you want to upgrade your motorcycle’s audio system. Another option is to go for speakers with at least 175 watts.

Hi there! I'm James Williams, founder of CarAudioUp. As a Mobile Electronics Certified Professional with over 10 years in the industry, I'm passionate about creating custom car audio solutions that leave you saying "wow" every time you get behind the wheel.

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