Alpine Audio Plug & Play Update

Significantly upgrading the audio in the T6.1 Beach.

The standard audio system choices in the T6.1 are limited to a different size display unit. There is no option to upgrade the speakers like in the T6 (to Dynaudio or anything else). The standard tweeters are literally the cheapest 3 Euro China-mass-produced Sonavox tweeters possible. The medium range speakers in the doors are not much better. The doors are, like more or less all mid-level cars these days, just an empty shell where road sound travels and speaker sounds get muddled and amplified in all the wrong directions.

The first and cheapest ("bang for the buck") improvement is to add sound-dampening material inside the doors. This greatly reduces vibrations and also makes the doors sound better when closing as an added benefit :-)

The next step is replacing the tweeters and the door speakers. Alpine has a very good package for this, priced around €399 for the set. The installation is easy, probably 2-3 hours total, including dampening the doors.

In order to dampen the doors, there are a few good videos on Youtube which show the location of the little clips, and how to approach the disassembly of the door plastics. The only trickier part which sounded more scary than it actually was, is to tape up the window while removing the window-lifting "thingy" (see, I can be technical sometimes). If you have a partner and want to bore him/her for 20 minutes you could do this without tape. I went with tape. And it came off again, yay-me!

I got a dampening kit from, it's all Gladen (German quality), two Aero-Multi and two Aero-Butyl. see the picture at the end of this blog article, plus another type of mat (Gladen AERO WAVE). It's all incredibly easy to stick on, and quite fun too. Probably because I only ever replaced a speaker set in a VW Polo as an 18year old, this felt more fun than I expected.

Dampening the doors by itself takes the sound experience up a good notch in terms of highs and overall clarity. Whilst the highs play clear and bright, the base is not really improved very much by this set though. Probably hardly at all. The set is worth doing by itself, just don't expect rumbling low-ends or decent bass in any type of music by this alone.

The next step is adding an amplifier which is optimised for the interior of the T6.1 and add the Alpine sub-woofer (part of the second upgrade kit with the amplifier) which goes nicely with this first part of the upgrade kit.

Of course there are (much) higher end combinations available, but Alpine's set goes with the aforementioned tweeter and door speaker set nicely. And it's still going to be a family bus, not a concert hall, so this is quite a good solution in my opinion. A bit like having a SONOS Arc/Subwoofer and two rear speakers at home - it is for all normal purposes a decent home cinema system, but o-b-v-i-o-u-s-l-y there are always better solutions if that's the only hobby.

Note this second stage of the sound upgrade requires quite a bit more work to install then the first part, but the sound changes are worth it. And who doesn't like to spend a weekend with the bus taken apart - just make sure your other half is on board. Just like some people can't stand to see blood, some don't want a new car taken apart. Luckily, we're good with both.

Taking it easy and with the right tools, this can be done in about 2-3 hours, probably more likely to be 3 to 4 hours to take it easy and work things out.

To learn where all the screws and clips are, there is a very good install video (from a different system) shown here:

Part 1 - Alpine tweeters and mid-range speakers: (English). (German)

Here are some pics from various stages taking the car apart - definitely get some plastic tools to bend off other plastic parts - and don't do this in cold temperatures as things get more brittle then.

Part 2 - sub-woofer and amplifier (different brand in the video, but the procedure is similar):

Part 3 - rear speakers!

As the rear plastic interior was off to run a couple of cables from the roof to the front of the bus anyway, I had to remove the rear (in the side on the California Beach) speaker to access the space behind it. To no big surprise, VW puts the same (cheapest possible) China Sonavox speakers in there (just like the original front speakers), and there is zero dampening material behind them.

Looking around for a "quick win" (easy to install, no huge cost), we ordered the Alpine 2-Wege Coaxial SPG-17C2, 16.5cm and 60W (240W peak), along with a bit of dampening material. The speakers were purchased from "" in Germany who have the best speaker selection search I've come across. A quick email confirmation later, the order was placed.

Here's the installation picture - use small hands to get the Gladen dampening in the smallest nooks:



  • 20mm Seiden-Kalotten-Hochtöner
  • Neodym Magnet


  • Mica beschichtete Polypropylen Membrane
  • Quadratischer Schwingspulendraht
  • Kräftiger Ferritmagnet
  • Stabiler Kunststoffkorb
  • Speziell für große Auslenkung entwickelt


  • Peak Power: 240 Watt
  • RMS Power: 60 Watt


  • Lochausschnitt Woofer: 14,1cm
  • Einbautiefe Woofer: 6,1cm


  • Frequenzgang: 68Hz - 20kHz
  • Impedanz: 4 Ω
  • Wirkungsgrad: 88,5dB/W (1m)

 And of course a necessary dampening pack for the back speakers:

This is what the different pieces are, and what they supposedly do (they all have a peel off back, super easy to install!).

In summary, this approach makes for a remarkable upgrade to the sound in the California Beach. I'm not sure any part can really be left out if you expect a "decent all round improvement" - the dampening of the doors definitely helps, as it is very plasticky underneath, followed by sheet metal. The clarity of the mid- and tweeter set is distinguishable by anyone, and if you do enjoy playing slightly louder, whether it is a slow "In the Air Tonight" building up, a drum solo by Sully Erna or full on Metallica / Eminem / dance/techno whatever, then the subwoofer will bring you joy.

The rear speaker change is only necessary if you have passengers - but this is a very low cost improvement and fairly easy, so I'd recommend that as well even if the main use might be playing audio books on longer journeys.