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4x4tographer

Terra Acoustics Jeep JL & JT Speaker Upgrade

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The bottom line - If you want to significantly improve your Jeep's factory audio in less than 15 minutes, consider this front soundstage upgrade.

 

 

Terra Acoustics is a pretty new company specializing in small-batch manufacturing of plug-and-play speakers for a few different Jeep platforms, such as the JK, JL, and JT. Their sole product offering at this time is an upgrade to the front speaker system from your factory "do it all" speakers to a 2-way component system with a nice silk-dome tweeter and a mid-range driver.

 

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In order to get a pair, you need to get on their mailing list. As they release batches of their speakers, you'll get an email with a unique link where you can place your order. If you're not ready to make a buying decision, you'll be placed back in line until the next batch is released.

 

 

In the distant past, I've gone pretty big with my audio on pretty much every vehicle I've ever owned. Complete DIY system installs, fancy DVD head units, multiple amplifiers, capacitors, crossover filters, all new component speakers, custom sub boxes, you name it.

 

But then I got old. My opinion now is that wiring up a stereo is a real pain in the rear and takes a lot of time and energy to do it right. Peeling up trim panels, being a contortionist to reach that one fastener, running power through the firewall - no thanks. And since I'm sooooo old, in my last few vehicles I've just opted to be lazy and go for the upgraded factory audio. Boom - done.

 

On my current Jeep JL, I've been pretty happy with the upgraded factory Alpine system. It's amplified, has a punchy little sub, and overall decent sound quality. However on longer drives, I've noticed the audio gets a little bit muddy. A lot of that has to do with the fact Jeep/Alpine is using a mid-range speaker to produce a range of sounds that are honestly beyond it's capabilities. A component system gets you past that by delegating duties - allowing a tweeter to produce your highs, and letting the mid-range speaker focus on its job in the, uh, mid-range.

 

 

Terra Acoustics Packaging:

The shipment showed up in some pretty nice packaging, if thats your thing. Plenty of foam to protect your purchase, some stickers (yay!), and a small tool bag. As for the tools, Terra Acoustics ships everything you need to get the job done including a 7mm socket, a shorty screwdriver, and a pretty nice trim removal tool.

 

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I'm a sucker for handwritten notes, so that was a nice touch. 

 

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The design, materials, and the speakers themselves are nice. They don't have massive magnets on them, everything looks very well built.

 

Here's the mid-range driver:

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The tweeter that is pre-installed into the speaker grille:

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Sticking to the theme of "you get everything you need to install it" - it's worth noting that the grille comes with pre-installed trim panel clips, so you don't need to worry about salvaging your current clips.

 

Here's a side-by-side of the factory grille and the Terra Acoustics grill. Don't mind the filth, I haven't cleaned the Jeep in a minute!

 

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Terra Acoustics Speaker Installation:

The install took me 5 minutes per side. Fastest speaker install of my life.

 

  1. Use the pry tool to peel up the factor grille cover. 
  2. Use the 7mm socket/driver to remove 2 screw fasteners
  3. Pull the old speaker
  4. Unplug it
  5. Plug the connectors between the Terra Acoustics tweeter and their mid-range together
  6. Plug the entire assembly into the factory speaker harness
  7. Install the speaker in the reverse of the above steps. 

 

Pretty easy. Here are some photos of the install process.

 

A look at the factory Alpine speaker - note that the factory system has a thin mesh over it to keep dust/grit off of the driver. I actually like this feature, given what we do in our Jeeps.

 

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Here's the final assembly in the dash. The fit an finish are "factory quality", with no awkward gaps in the panels. Other than the tweeter dome, you'd never know the difference.

 

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How does it sound?

Terra Acoustics notes that there is about a 3 hour break-in period where you should listen to your tunes. This allows the vibration of the speaker to break in the drivers and the adhesives used in the manufacturing process. 

 

My first impression - it's a dramatic improvement. While playing a playlist that I listen to almost daily, I noticed nice crisp highs and more clear vocals, which made me happy. I'm looking forward to getting them broken in for the full experience. 

 

I just need to find an excuse to go on a 3-hour drive!

 

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looks like quality stuff, old man! ;)

  • Haha 2

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9 minutes ago, 4x4tographer said:

On my current Jeep JL, I've been pretty happy with the upgraded factory Alpine system.

 

 

the factory Alpine upgrade in my JKU was also worth the money and time/hassle savings... well the speakers and amp portion. the factory head-unit actually sounded terrible and only had bass/mid/treble knobs for adjustment. my aftermarket Pioneer unit really woke up the components once i dialed in its included EQ. of course your JL has an entire new generation of infotainment system that i'm sure is worlds better!

 

i do still want to put in a better sub eventually though. the little factory one sounds great for its size, and is plenty loud for this old man too - but it just can't produce really low frequencies that some of that new-fangled electronica likes to use ;).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Trail Toy said:

Gotta find a sub-woofer that can get down into the mid to low 20 Hz range.  JL Audios are REALLY good for low Hz bass, been using their subs for years.

 

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yup, this has been on my wishlist for years because of the JL reputation and i wouldn't lose any cargo space that i actually use... alas, more functional things always take priority: https://www.jlaudio.com/products/sb-j-wrud-10tw1-4-car-audio-stealthbox-94606

 

 

 

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