How to Convert a Car Stereo Into a House Stereo

By Nichole Liandi

The single biggest obstacle in using a car stereo in your home is power. Not the power output of the car stereo--these often have impressive power output to the speakers, despite their relatively small size. The power in question is for the input. Home audio systems use the power we get out of our wall outlets--120 volts AC--but car stereos are designed to operate on 12-volt DC power. But with the use of a power converter, you can use a car stereo in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Red and black 12-gauge insulated wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Power converter (11-14 volt DC output at 10 amperes)
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Cut a length of black wire and a length of red wire. Each should be long enough to reach from your car stereo to the power converter. Remember that the power converter must be near a power outlet so you can plug it in.

Step 2

Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of each of two wires with a set of wire strippers.

Step 3

Loosen the terminal marked "+" on the power converter with a Phillips screwdriver. Insert the bare end of the red wire into the opening of the terminal and tighten with a screwdriver to hold the wire.

Step 4

Loosen the terminal marked "-" on the power converter with a Phillips screwdriver. Insert the bare end of the black wire into the opening of the terminal and tighten with a screwdriver to hold the wire.

Step 5

Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the red and yellow wires connected to the back of the car stereo. Twist the ends of the red and yellow wires together. Twist together these wires with the other end of the red wire connected to the power converter. Apply a soldering iron to the joint and touch your solder to the joint when the wires are hot, so the solder flows into the junction. Let the wires cool and wrap the bare wires in electrical tape.

Step 6

Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the end of the black wire connected to the back of the car stereo. Twist this wire together with the other end of the black wire connected to the power converter. Apply a soldering iron to the joint and touch your solder to the joint when the wires are hot, so the solder flows into the junction. Let the wires cool and wrap the bare wires in electrical tape.

Step 7

Plug the power converter into the wall and turn the converter's power switch on. Turn on the stereo's power switch to use it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not plug in or turn on the power converter until all your wiring has been completed.