One of the most fun aftermarket Ford F-150 work truck upgrades you can do is add some boom to your stock stereo system. For me, that meant picking up a Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer kit. If you’ve listened to a lot of car stereo systems, you’ll realize that most lack any sort of punch in the bottom end. A third party subwoofer is really the only way to take a multi-speaker system in a truck or car and beef it up. While you can explore all sorts of subwoofer options, the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer is a particularly solid solution as it adds a 200-watt multi-channel amplifier that improves the sound going through your other speakers as well.
We chose the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer for a variety of reasons. For one, it fits behind the rear seat of our 2015 Ford F-150 Super Crew Cab and doesn’t require any cutting of metal or even drilling into the interior body. That means that once you install the Kicker PF150SC15 you can hear it, but you don’t see it—regardless if those rear seats are down in the normal position or raised up for storage. It’s one of the few subwoofers you can install without either creating a large visual presence or taking up valuable storage space underneath your seats.
It’s important to note that this system is made for the stock MyFord Radio audio system of 2015–2016 Ford F-150 trucks (it can use either 4-inch or 8-inch screens) and will not work with the upgraded premium Sony systems. For those, you’ll want to go with the Kicker SF150SC15 which doesn’t include the multi-channel amplifier.
Kicker PF150SC15 Subwoofer Features
Aside from the aesthetic appeal of the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer, it also has some nice components that make it a compelling addition to the audio system in your stock Ford F-150 truck or other compatible vehicle. The Kicker VSS PowerStage system includes an 8-inch subwoofer—that’s 2 inches larger than the Sony subwoofer included in the Ford F-150’s premium audio package. All things being the same, a larger driver has the capability for producing lower bass frequencies. The Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer is powered by a 200-watt amplifier bolted to the side of the steel frame that also houses the driver.
The kit includes the subwoofer enclosure, the attached 200-watt amplifier, and a separate 200-watt multi-channel amplifier that bypasses and replaces the built-in amplifier of the 2015-16 Ford F-150. The kit also includes all of the required wiring and harnesses—from the power supply wires and fuse to the harness for the radio and the subwoofer. Also, all of the mounting points are built right into the steel frame, so nothing needs to be added during the process. It integrates right into your existing stereo, so there are no alterations to your controls or the way your speaker system functions. Even the speed-volume controls continue to work as expected. A computer-optimized, 32-bit DSP (digital signal processing) system takes care of everything.
Installing the Kicker VSS PowerStage System
The first thing we did was install the power supply wires from the battery to the harness. This involves attaching them to the auxiliary connection provided on the positive battery terminal, routing the cables along the back of the engine compartment, and then through the existing firewall grommet (which requires making a small hole on both sides as it’s a two-piece system). We used a short segment of Klein Splinter Guard fish rod to accomplish this. There aren’t a ton of places to tie-down the wires in the engine compartment of the 2015 Ford F-150 (we have a 3.7L EcoBoost model), so be sure to do your best to not let the cables sag. Before pulling the wires through the grommet also be sure to remove the connectors which you’ll then attach to the ends (that way you only need to pull the wire through the firewall and not make room for the connectors.
The next thing to do is remove the plastic trim where you have either a tray or a center channel speaker. Remove the hex screws under that, and you can pull off the entire front panel which houses your entertainment system and climate control. You won’t be able to fully remove it until you disconnect the small harnesses on the back. Next, you can remove the radio to gain access to the rear of it where you’ll attach the two harnesses.
Next, we removed the trim panel to on the left side of the dash to give us access for mounting the amplifier that drives the remaining speakers in the vehicle. The amplifier attaches to some existing bolts underneath the dash and next to the brake pedal. Once you connect the wiring properly, the kick panels come off along the driver’s side, and you can run the subwoofer harness along that channel all the way to the rear behind the seat. The seat actually has a release that lets you pull the back away from the rear of the cab.
Once you move the seat, the bolt holes are already in place, but there’s a provided guide to let you accurately cut the carpeting to allow access to the threaded holes in the floor where the brackets will attach. The enclosure mounts into the Ford F-150 truck using the bolt holes in place for the optional Sony subwoofer system. Once you have the harness attached to the subwoofer enclosure, you can complete the final mounting and installation of the subwoofer to the back of the cab and floor. All-told, the installation took me just under three hours—mostly due to my inexperience and some delays in getting the power supply cable through the firewall.
Kicker PF150SC15 Subwoofer Listening Tests
Listening is subjective, but we can definitely communicate that there was no tactile bass prior to the installation of the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer system. Afterwards, the Kicker’s 8-inch sub delved down deep into the 50Hz range, and even a little below. While it has the surface area on the driver to hit deep, the system is limited by the volume of the enclosure. It’s a perfect trade-off, however, since it fits so nicely behind the rear seat. More than just enhancing bass, the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer system also enhances the clarity of the entire system, and the external 200 watt per channel amplifier gives you a lot more fidelity—even with the six stock speakers.
The “before and after” difference in the audio was subtle, but noticeable. I could discern greater detail in both the midrange and the upper-mids. This was especially apparent on cymbal crashes and female and male vocals. I queued up tracks from both Spotify and CD including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Steely Dan Gold, and Toto Past to Present (I was on a classic rock kick). From clean bass to smooth sibilance to airy rides, the Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer kit added a lot of bass and finesse to my truck’s system.
The Kicker PF150SC15 subwoofer kit definitely improved the sound of our Ford F-150 SuperCrew Cab. While the kit is expensive ($1249.95), you do get a lot for your money. You not only add tangible, tactile bass to your tunes, you also get better detail for the rest of your audio due to the external 200-amp multi-channel amplifier. The included detailed instructions make the installation quite easy, from running the wires to mounting all of the hardware. This is a great update for anyone with a Ford F-150 truck using the stock audio system. If you use an authorized Kicker dealer to install the system you get a 3-year warranty for parts and labor.