Do Steering Wheel Audio Controls Work With Aftermarket Radios?

Do Steering Wheel Audio Controls Work With Aftermarket Radios?

We understand that many Boston drivers wonder if their steering wheel audio controls will still work following a car stereo installation. With the factory radio no longer in place, will you still be able to control the track and volume from the comfort of your fingertips? The good news is that, yes, you will be able to. But it will take some extra work to ensure your steering wheel communicates with your new aftermarket radio.

Steering Wheel Audio Control Adapters

Upgrading a car stereo and retaining steering wheel audio controls can be more intricate than other upgrades. While it is possible to integrate aftermarket stereos with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hardware, compatibility between a new head unit and the controls is not guaranteed. It often requires purchasing and installing a specific steering wheel audio control adapter to facilitate communication between the factory controls and the aftermarket head unit.

While some exceptions exist regarding the need for an adapter, such cases are rare. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the type of controls your car interfaces with and find a head unit that has a compatible adapter.

In your search, you will find two main types of steering wheel inputs (SWI). This includes the SWI-JS, which is used by Jensen and Sony, and the SWI-JACK, which JVC, Alpine, Kenwood, and others use.

It is possible to create an adapter from scratch, but this requires proper wiring knowledge and will typically be more of a headache than it’s worth for even an experienced DIY-er.

Installing A Steering Wheel Audio Control Adapter

Even if you find a compatible head unit, interfacing it with your steering wheel is not a simple plug-and-play operation like other car audio installations. Each vehicle will have specific instructions for its wiring harness, and the installation will typically involve splicing wires.

As such, we suggest that you seek out professional guidance for this type of work; at ProCarSound&Security, you can expect the following:

  • Expert Research. Rely on our expertise to research and select the appropriate adapter that matches your vehicle’s communication protocol. We have the knowledge and access to resources that will save you time and effort.
  • Compatible Head Unit Selection. Our professionals will assist you in identifying head units that seamlessly integrate with the chosen adapter. We understand the complexities involved and will narrow your options by considering your desired features and ensuring a perfect match.
  • Seamless Simultaneous Installation. To eliminate unnecessary labor time and potential headaches, our skilled technicians will simultaneously install the adapter and the selected head unit. This ensures that your new audio system and steering wheel controls work in harmony without the need for subsequent disassembling.

Get Help With Your Steering Wheel Audio Controls Today

At ProCarSound&Security, we specialize in delivering exceptional car audio solutions, including the integration of steering wheel audio controls with aftermarket head units. While the prospect of tackling this task on your own may seem overwhelming, our professional team is equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle the complexities involved. While you’re changing your car radio, why not consider a full-scale audio upgrade with new car speakers or a car sub and accompanying car amp?

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team.

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