Sometimes Less is More – Quick Easy Install of the JBL Cruise X Audio System
Story By: Kyle Callen
Photos by: Savannah Rose
The UTV audio market continues to explode. From mild to obnoxiously wild, it seems that every car has some sort of noise making system other than the exhaust in it these days. So much so that major players like JBL continue to enter the market. We have a pal that has a Honda Pioneer that he and his wife love to take out and putt around the local trails. He too would like a soundtrack to their adventures. After talking to him for a while, we got a feel for what he was looking for, the Cruise X system fit the bill perfectly. They are a retired couple and didn’t want the pounding bass or insane volumes that you would find in the majority of the southwest builds today but wanted a nice, clean sound that was easy to use and took up as little space as possible.
Installing the Cruise X system was pretty simple. The system could have been installed in an hour or less but I can’t bring myself to coil that much wiring under the hood. It is definitely a universal kit and it took some time to cut all the wiring harnesses down to the right length for a nice install. The speakers are designed to clamp to the roll cage with hose clamps wrapped in rubber, making install easy but not the custom look you see from other systems. To make the install upfront a little easier-on-the-eyes we ordered a couple 1” ball mounts from Amazon to tuck the front speakers into the top of a footwell cubby. This would ensure they are out of the weather and not in the occupants face while they drive.
Once the amp and speakers were mounted, a 1” hole was drilled in the dash for the very simple controller. It too plugs right into the amp. The control is nothing more than a power, Bluetooth sync and volume knob making it the simplest system I have ever used. The rest of the controls are all done through your device. The amp needs power, ground and key power and it’s ready to make noise. Once everything was installed, an iPhone was paired quickly to the system, the sound quality was pretty decent but it was quickly apparent that this system lacks tunability and can’t be cranked to the max. We quickly remembered that’s not the intended purpose of the system though. The $699.95 MSRP is a premium price tag for what the system is but we all know not everyone pays retail anymore. Scour the internet, it’ll be worth the effort. The JBL Cruise X is a solid system for what it is – easy to install, compact size, and decent sound. Just don’t expect it to do more than it’s capable of, but that goes for the UTV itself too!