Requesting guidance: truck stereo upgrade


Junior Member
Jan 7, 2014
Sudbury, Ontario
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some starting advice to upgrade the stereo in my 2006 Tundra truck. Attached photo shows the stock stereo I currently have in it.

Guidance from experienced people is needed. I am completely new to car audio and feel a bit overwhelmed by the range of options out there!

I frequently make long road trips for work (4-6h at a time) and would like to have USB (for music and audio books) and Sirius satellite radio. I'm a musician, so excellent audio quality is a priority, along with good EQ and tuning options.

The basics I am looking for:

Aux input

USB ports (front and back)

CD (support CD, CD-R, CD-RW)

Bluetooth hands free for phone calls

File formats: MP3, WMA

Sirius satellite ready

AM/FM radio

Full dot display

Graphic / multi-band EQ

Strong power output (maybe I need a separate amp?)

Nice to have:

Ability to change colour of LED lighting / display

OGG, FLAC file formats

Also the ideal front panel design isn't too "blingy". Minimal lighting effects and blinking LEDs. I'm after a more boring, clean cut appearance, with a good display and some dials and buttons to control the unit. (The excitement should come out of the speakers, not console lighting effects, IMHO.)

Budget is $300 but I might go up to $400 for the right "wow" factor.

Any suggestions?

Would I need new speakers to go with a new stereo?

It would be good to keep the stock speakers for now, just to minimize cost and time, but I would upgrade if there is a compelling reason.

Is a separate amp advisable, to put out a bit more volume?

Thanks very much. Looking forward to your thoughts.



Junior Member
Jan 16, 2014
Cooperstown, NY
Some of the cheaper brands have more channels on their graphic equalizers than the mid-range expensive models, Kenwood has only 3 bands and Pioneer 5 I think. That might be your driving factor. The more expensive bands have rely on different modes rather than an equalizer.

In order to get Sat Radio you will probably have to give up Nav to make your price range. HD Radio is another option you may have to give up. Most of these can be added on later, but the total cost will be more than getting a Head Unit with that feature up-front.

I generally recommend no aftermarket amp if sticking with stock speakers, and adding an amp when upgrading speakers. It's not a set rule or anything. Some factory speakers are better than others. It's just that OEM speakers have rather low power ratings. You want to match your amp output to your speaker's power rating.

Since you're on a budget I would recommend spending your money on a good Head Unit. After a while if you're not satisfied, look into an Amp and speakers.


fatboytyler Elite
Nov 11, 2013
Easternl Kentucky
I thought that picture looked familiar! I have a 2000 Tundra.

As for your speaker question, does your Tundra have the upgraded "Premium" speaker system? I don't even know if they offered that in the 2006 Model, but I know they did with mine. If so, then they'll do you fine. An aftermarket head unit makes a huge difference in sound quality on a stock system.

I personally run this: JVC KW-R500 In-Dash Car Stereo Receiver w/ Pandora Integration and am looking to upgrade to this soon: Kenwood DDX370 6.1" LCD DVD/MP3/USB Car Receiver w/ iPod Support

The JVC is great. Many color options, front Aux and USB, Bluetooth and steering wheel adapter ready. However it does not have Sirius. The Kenwood is well, touch screen. However, it is also Sirius Radio ready with a tuner, which would put you slightly over $300 (Again, this is just my suggestion. I am by no means an expert).

When you upgrade though, be sure to remove the factory amp. Which I know in mine is located underneath the radio, back behind the AC controls. I am wanting to say that the 2006 Tundra might have it in the back seat behind the driver side backseat. You can head over to Tundra Solutions forums to figure that one out.


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