If you spend large quantities of time in your vehicle and are tired of settling for the mediocre sounds of your factory-install audio system, it may be time to face the music and buy a new car audio system. So, how do you choose a quality sound system?
Below you’ll find six things to keep in mind when buying an audio system for your car.
6 Things to Remember While Buying Your Car Audio
The after-market audio system market is huge. There are a ton of options out there. This can lead to difficulty when deciding which one is perfect for your car.
The first thing to factor in is how much you’re able to spend. Opting for a cheaper system isn’t always a good idea as the components may be little improvement on your current system. You’re likely to get more boom for your buck with a mid-range system well-suited to your vehicle and listening tastes.
The next thing to consider is size. What size is the most compatible for your vehicle? There are three different types:
- Single DIN has dimensions compatible with most vehicles.
- Double DIN is double the size of the single DIN and useful if you wish to incorporate a touchscreen.
- OEM replacement for vehicles that need specialized audio system dimensions such as vintage and collectors’ cars.
It’s important that the system you chose will fit in your vehicle for obvious reasons, but when shopping with a third-party rather than professional installer, it’s easy to forget you need to measure.
The number of speakers provided in a factory system is usually inadequate for proper surround sound. This is sometimes evident when passengers in the back seats frequently make volume-increase requests. When buying a new system keep in mind how many seats you have and ideal speaker locations to ensure everyone in the car can enjoy the music.
Look for quality:
Higher quality power and superior circuit designs are what allow aftermarket stereos in cars to be louder, clearer in tone, and purer than factory installs, but be wary of aftermarket systems that just look nice. Fancy LEDs don’t make a quality system. Do your research.
Aftermarket car audio can provide more functions than standard models such as satellite radio, GPS navigation, smart device compatibility, Wi-fi and app access, Bluetooth, and playback for CD/DVD and MP3/WMA/AAC. Sit down and really consider which of these features matter to you the most. For example, if you don’t need a GPS, choosing an audio system that includes one may be an unnecessary expense.
A car audio system has three main components:
- The Source, usually located in the dashboard, offers the selection of listening options. Standard sources include radio capabilities and CD player. More technological systems will offer satellite radio, smartphone integration, Bluetooth, and a USB port.
- The Preamp controls the system’s sound such as volume control, balance, and tonality. Modern systems offer a better range of quality sound control.
- The Amplifier boosts the audio signal to the speakers. Both amps and speakers are popular upgrades for car audio systems.
With all this information at your fingertips, you’ll have no problem choosing the car audio system of your dreams.