To install a car audio system in your home, you’ll need to rig up a power supply for the stereo head and then connect speakers, an amp, and a subwoofer just as you would in your car. A computer PSU is a commonly used power source for this project.
My name is Donovan, and I love everything about making and listening to music. I’ve worked as a recording artist and producer in the music industry and have built several home studios. I’ve done some research to know how to use a car audio system in your home.
This post will show you how to install a car audio system in your home. I’ll walk you through the steps of modifying a power source to power your car stereo and how you can connect the rest of the system for home use.
Let’s get rolling.
- Key Takeaways
- Initial Thoughts
- How to Install Car Audio System in Your Home
- Step 1: Get Your Tools/Supplies
- Step 2: Prep the PSU
- Step 3: Connect Car Stereo Head to PSU
- Step 4: Connect Speaker Wires
- Step 5: Connect PSU to Amplifier
- Step: 6: Test the Stereo and Enjoy
- Best Power Supply for Car Stereo in House
- How to Connect a Car Stereo to a House Plug Without PSU
- Car Stereo Home Conversion Kit
- Can you put the car sound system in the house?
- Can you hook up a car stereo to a house outlet?
- How do you power a car sub in your house?
- How do I connect my car amp to my home stereo?
- What is the difference between a car subwoofer and a home subwoofer?
- Are car subwoofers good for home use?
- Can you connect a car amplifier to electricity?
- Final Thoughts
- The most challenging aspect of installing a car audio system in your home is connecting the stereo head to a power source, such as a computer power unit.
- The average person does not need to try installing a car audio system at home, and it’s easier to use a standard stereo.
- As long as you have a power source, setting up the rest of a car audio system at home is pretty straightforward.
- Always be sure to take safety precautions and work carefully when dealing with electronics and wire splicing.
- You cannot directly connect a car stereo to a wall plug in your house because the stereo uses DC power, and the house uses AC power.
You can hook up a car audio system in your home, but this is a bit technical, so I don’t recommend trying it unless you are reasonably competent with electrical and stereo system setup.
A car stereo is designed to run on DC power, and a home stereo works on AC power. The simplest way to think about this is that the car stereo needs a dedicated power source, which is your car’s battery in most situations.
To get your car audio system to work at home, you need to somehow convert DC power into AC power. The most common way this is done for the purposes of this article is to use a separate PSU, or power source, from a different piece of equipment.
A desktop computer PSU is a good option for this and is what I’ll base my instructions on. But in order to make this work, you’ll need to cut some wires and splice your car stereo head to the PSU.
If that sounds like a daunting task or is just over your head, I don’t recommend that you try to use a car stereo in your home. If you don’t do it right, you can risk injuring yourself or causing problems with the electricity in your home.
There really isn’t much reason to install a car audio system in your home unless you have a spare car stereo you don’t want to waste. It’s easier to use equipment that is already designed for in-home use.
How to Install Car Audio System in Your Home
Ok, now let’s dig into the details about how you can install your car audio system in your home. Again, this isn’t a task the average person should tackle because it’s somewhat technical. But if you feel good about making it happen, it can be done.
Step 1: Get Your Tools/Supplies
You need to have some special items to make this project work. Assemble all of these before you begin so you’ll have everything on hand as you start the installation.
The first major item you need is a power supply. This is essential because you can’t just plug in the car stereo into your home and need to modify it from DC to AC power.
Most people tackling this project will use a modified power supply from a PC computer. You can buy one of these new or remove it from an existing PC. It will have enough output to power the car stereo effectively.
You can also buy a DC/AC power converter, but these aren’t as effective as a higher-output PSU. Use a PC PSU if you have access to one.
You’ll also need these tools and supplies:
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Electrical tape
- Wire nuts/connectors
- Speaker wires
- Power cables (to plug in power supply once modified)
- Cable jumper connector
Step 2: Prep the PSU
You’ll need to do a bit of modification to get the PSU ready to connect to the care stereo head. There will be several cords and cables sticking out of the PSU, and you’ll need to cut a few of these and splice them together.
All of the PSU wires should be connected in one bundle. Cut any black wire you see here to free it up for connecting it to the stereo head. This is the ground wire that you’ll connect to the car stereo.
You also need to cut the yellow wire on the PSU. With the black and yellow wires exposed, you know how a positive and negative power terminal to connect to your car stereo head.
Strip the black and yellow wires from the PSU with the wire strippers until about ½-inch of the wire is exposed.
Next, cut or pull out another black ground wire and the green wire you see in the PSU. Strip these back and splice them together. The green wire is the control signal wire, and it needs to be jumped to a ground wire to get the PSU to work.
Step 3: Connect Car Stereo Head to PSU
Now you need to connect the ground and power wires from your car stereo head to the PSU because this will give you the proper power.
Take the two wires you just stripped from the PSU and match them with the corresponding wires on the car stereo head. You’ll match black-to-black and yellow-to-yellow.
Twist these wires together and cover them with tape or use a different type of wire connection, like a wire nut or shrink connector. Make sure these connections are solid before continuing.
Also, ensure that the PSU is not plugged into a wall outlet when messing with wires.
Step 4: Connect Speaker Wires
Now that you have the main power connected from the PSU to the car stereo head, you need to connect the speaker wires from the head to your speakers.
You often use more speakers for your car stereo than you do for a house stereo, so you might not need to connect all the speaker wires if you only use two speakers for a home stereo.
If you are using all of the speakers from your car stereo, you need to match the speaker wires from your stereo head to the amp you use for the stereo.
If you are just using two wires for two speakers in a home studio, pair the front right and front left with the corresponding speakers in your system. Tape off the ends of any loose wires to keep them safe and out of the way.
Connecting the speaker wires from the amp to the speakers might require you to loosen up a screw, depending on which type of amp you use. Be sure to screw these back down tight after you install the proper wires.
You can also connect your subwoofer to the amplifier if you use one in your setup. This will be the same setup as connecting the sub to the amp in your car, and you just hardwire them directly.
Step 5: Connect PSU to Amplifier
Now you need to connect the PSU to the amplifier to get that unit powered up and ready to rock.
Connect a black wire from the PSU to the negative power terminal on your amp. Connect the yellow wire from the PSU to the positive power terminal on your amp.
If you haven’t done so, you’ll need to strip back these wires. And be sure to properly attach or screw the connections into the amp.
Step: 6: Test the Stereo and Enjoy
You’re pretty much all set now, but you should test your stereo system to ensure everything works.
First, plug in all the power cords you need. If you followed all the steps above, just plug your PSU power cord into a wall outlet, and the rest of the system should have power.
Play some music on your car stereo and see if you get a signal out of your stereo speakers. If everything sounds good, you’re all set and can enjoy your music.
If you run into any issues, double-check your wiring connections to ensure they are fastened properly. One wrong wire can result in no sound coming, so just take your time and get things rewired if necessary.
Best Power Supply for Car Stereo in House
I think the best power supply for a car stereo in your house is using the PSU from a desktop computer. These have enough output to power your system easily, and you can also salvage one from a used PC without spending much money.
You can also purchase a dedicated AC/DC power converter, but just make sure it has enough volts to work with your stereo. The plug-in type of converters don’t work very well, and you’ll get a lot of signal loss that isn’t ideal.
As far as which PSU to use, it doesn’t really matter as long as you have one that works properly and is in fairly good condition. You’ll be good to go as long as it puts out power and you can make the wiring connections correctly.
How to Connect a Car Stereo to a House Plug Without PSU
There really isn’t a good way to connect a car stereo to a house plug without using a PSU. I don’t recommend pursuing this because you are likely to run into all sorts of issues, and using a PSU is simpler.
You can technically use a plug-in AC/DC concerted rather than a PSU. These types of units allow you to plug in the DC power from your car stereo, and it will change it into AC power right in the wall socket.
But you’ll notice some pretty significant signal loss if you go this route, and you won’t get good audio quality as a result. It’s not worth going through all the trouble of even attempting to use a car stereo in your home unless you use a PSU.
I’ve seen some videos of people using a car battery in their house to run a car stereo system. While this definitely works, it’s more of a novelty than a setup I’d actually recommend using. For obvious reasons, you don’t want a car battery sitting around your living room.
The only way to effectively and safely connect a car stereo to a house plug is to use a modified PSU. But please let me know if you are aware of any other ways to make this happen!
Car Stereo Home Conversion Kit
I’ve also heard of some car stereo home conversion kits that are available to purchase. All these really are is a PSU and some instructions, so they aren’t necessary unless you want a little added convenience.
These kits will cost more than a used PSU and function essentially the same way, so I’d stick to the DIY route rather than a kit. But either option will allow you to set up your car stereo at home.
I don’t have any specific recommendations on which kit to use, as I’ve never tried any of them. The attempts I’ve used with a PSU work fine and are affordable, so that is good enough for me!
Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to install a car audio system in your home.
Can you put the car sound system in the house?
Hooking up a car sound system in your house is possible, but you need a way to convert DC power to AC power. This means you’ll need to attach the wires from the car stereo head to a different power source, which requires some know-how and tools.
Can you hook up a car stereo to a house outlet?
You can’t really hook up a car stereo to a house outlet directly. Car stereos are designed to work on DC power, and house outlets are AC power. You’ll need a converter or power source to make this happen and need to splice some wires together.
How do you power a car sub in your house?
You can use a power inverter to power up a car subwoofer in your house. Or you can connect the car stereo head to a power inverter and then connect the rest of the stereo just like you would in your car.
How do I connect my car amp to my home stereo?
It’s pretty easy to connect a car amp to your home stereo if your amp has the proper inputs. You just need to plug in the speaker lines, input lines, and power source. You can use the same input chains if you use your car stereo head as the primary input source.
What is the difference between a car subwoofer and a home subwoofer?
The main difference between a car subwoofer and a home subwoofer is that a car subwoofer is passive, and a home subwoofer is active. This means that car subwoofers require an outside power source while home subwoofers are powered as they are.
Are car subwoofers good for home use?
Car subwoofers can be good for home use and essentially function as stereo subwoofers if you get them properly connected to a power source. To avoid issues, you must ensure that the car subwoofer draws the same load as your home stereo.
Can you connect a car amplifier to electricity?
You can use a separate power source to connect a car amplifier to house electricity, but you can’t use the amp without doing so. The amp needs a power source because it’s set up to run on DC power rather than the AC power the house is on.
It’s not that difficult to install a car audio system in your home as long as you have a little technical knowledge of wiring and home audio. The key is using a PSU that converts AC to DC power, which enables the car stereo to be plugged into a wall outlet.
I really don’t think there is much reason to install a car audio system at home. You can get just as good of audio quality and simplify the installation process by going with a normal home stereo system. But it’s still a very doable project if you want or need to!
Have you ever installed a car audio system at home? Why did you do it? Let me know in the comments below.