HOW-TO: Install a sound system in your UTV

One of the most unnecessary but most enjoyable upgrades you can make to your UTV might be a sound system. Nowadays with streaming music, huge iTunes libraries and satellite radio, it’s easier than ever to carry and play your music with you to the remote places you ride to. Basically, all you need is a speaker system and maybe an amplifier to connect to your music player and you’re rocking. In this article we are going to show you a few options on how to transform your UTV into a concert stage on wheels.

Our project stereo vehicle is a 2016 Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport. The Sport is a perfect vehicle for its versatility of being more of a trail machine than a race machine.

HEAVY-DUTY SOUNDS
If you were to get a custom stereo installed into your pickup truck, any local stereo shop can build speaker boxes and amplifier trays to carry however much equipment you want to run. Well, the same goes for your UTV, and all across the country we are hearing more and more reports of increased business by these shops for customers owning UTVs.

The four speaker pods are mounted on the rear rack we picked up from D&P Performance. The pods fit nicely in the dimple-die holes, and the roll-bar clamps are included, but we opted not to use them.

If you are wondering how a stereo system survives in the harsh world of mud, dirt and especially water, the marine industry has done the dirty work for us. In the marine industry, especially in the world of wakeboard boats, those sound systems have been developed to be water- and shockproof, making them perfect for off-road as well, and Rockford Fosgate has an extensive line of marine and off-road sound equipment perfect for your custom install.

The placement for the amplifiers was in the cargo bed between both subwoofers. To keep the wires hidden out of sight a panel was made to fit above and around the amps for a clean and simple look.

CATALOG
For this project we used four M2 Wake pods that retail for $280 for a set of two, two M2 subwoofers retailing for $250 each, a $289 Punch head unit, two T500X16R amplifiers for the subs that are $411 each, one $467 T400X4AD for the four pods, and a custom $400 subwoofer box.

We picked up a rear rack from D&P Performance and four M2 Wake pods, two M2 subwoofers, a Punch head unit, two T500X16R and one T400X4AD amplifiers from Rockford Fosgate audio. We had custom subwoofer boxes made to fit in the cargo bed from Metro Sound in Huntington Beach, California.

FULL-CUSTOM INSTALL
Our sound machine subject is a 2016 Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport. It has an average-sized cargo bed, so equipment placement had to be well thought out. To start, we picked up a $499 rear rack from D&P Performance that would hold the four speaker pods. The four M2 Wake pods mounted in the existing 1 1/2-inch dimple-die holes for an easy installation behind the driver and passenger. Roll bar mounts are included for installation options, but we opted to not use them. To mount the new subwoofers in the bed/cargo area we removed the bed and had Metro Sound in Huntington Beach, California, build custom-molded subwoofer boxes to fit snuggly against each side with the three amplifiers in the center. We then removed both front seats to allow more room for routing all the needed power cables. To connect power to all these accessories, we got a stereo wire kit that includes the power cable with an in-line fuse, ground and speaker cables. Afterward we determined the best route for the cables so they are free from any moving parts and away from the engine. Now we can reinstall the bed with the subwoofers and amplifiers. With all of our speakers and amplifiers mounted where we want them, we can now start connecting the power and speaker wires. And last, we connected the main power cable to the battery.

We installed the head unit in the place of the glovebox. Mounting it here allows for easy access for the driver and passenger, along with keeping all the wires tucked away out of sight

HOW DID IT SOUND?
With all the speakers and subwoofers getting optimal power, the sound is extremely clear and loud. The four speaker pods provide a crisp sound that can be heard over the noise of the engine while running our favorite trails, even with helmets on. The subwoofers generate a great, low bass sound, giving us the thump that we want.