[E60] Audio: Wiring Amp/Subs into Standard Head-Unit

This is very much the same process as fitting your subs and amp to an E39 5-Series as described in this thread. The battery is located behind the right-hand boot-panel for your live feed and it's the same deal with no RCA-output or remote-signal from the stock head-unit. The RCA-output [audio-feed] is still taken from the rear-speaker wires and doesn't even need the parcel-shelf or seat removing, but the remote-signal [on/off trigger] is a bit trickier thanks to the E60's iDrive. Taking a 5-12v feed from the wiring-loom in the boot, such as the parking-sensor live-wire on the E39, will cause problems on the E60. iDrive also has a 16-minute shut-down sequence that activates every time the engine is switched off, so the thirsty amp won't turn off for quarter of an hour. Even if this doesn't drain your battery, it's not healthy for it. The only actual ignition-live feed known so far on the E60 is the 12v-adapter [cigar-lighter] in the ash-tray and getting to it and running the wire through the car is the most involved part of doing this, requiring half the dash to come out and a bit of ingenuity to get the wire through into the boot.

1. Wiring Power-Ground to the Amp
2a. Getting a Bass RCA-feed from the Stock Subs
2b. Getting an RCA-feed from the Rear-Speakers [NOT for subs]
3. Installing a Crossover / Speaker Level-Converter
4. Getting a Remote-signal from the 12v-Adapter
5. Adding an On/Off Switch

1. Wiring Power / Ground to the Amp:

The battery being in the boot on E60s makes it very easy to power an amp, but the red Power cable supplied with most wiring-kits is about 5m long so it might be worth cutting it shorter after the fuse-holder to save hiding it all away.

1. Fasten the ring end of the red Power cable to the auxiliary bolt on the battery live-terminal using a 13mm wrench.

2. Fasten the ring end of the black Gnd. lead to the car's main earth-stud beneath the rear light, using a 13mm wrench.

3. Run the cables through the aperture in the boot-lining with the other power cables and out of the top by the suspension-turret, so the wire doesn't exit around the panel door/hinge.

2a. Getting a Bass RCA-feed from the Stock-Subs:

The head-unit on an E60 splits the EQ for different speakers. The low-range frequencies needed for large subwoofers are only sent to the stock 6.5" subs under the front seats, so this is where you will need to splice your RCA [audio] feed from if you want proper bass.

See this DETAILED GUIDE on how to do this.

2b. Getting an RCA-Feed from the Rear-Speakers:

The rear speakers get hardly any low-end frequencies sent to them at all, so this is not an ideal place to take an RCA-feed for subs, but if you are intending to run coaxial/component speakers from your amp then this is where you will need to splice the audio from.

See THIS GUIDE on how to get an RCA-feed from the rear-speakers.

3. Installing a Crossover / Speaker Level-Converter:

The wires to the rear-speakers will be getting the full range of frequencies from the head-unit. A crossover cuts out all but the low-end frequencies that the subs are designed to handle. The crossover also has a separate volume control so the amp/subs can be balanced to the car's system. The detailed guide is in THIS POST.

4. Getting a Remote-signal from the 12v-Adapter:

The wire is run from the Red live-wire on the cigar-lighter, under the steering-column, down along the sill and up the back-seat into the boot.

The full instruction on how to remove the fascia and run the wire is in THIS POST.

5. Adding an On/Off Switch:

Just mount a switch in the dash somewhere, cut the remote-wire and connect both ends to the switch. Explained more in THIS POST.

This was my final layout. [CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE]


  1. Hi
    BMW E60.I have base system.I installed a factory amplifier taking signal from x1312 head unit but it has no sound. Do I have to code it first?
    Thank you