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There are so many choices and decisions to make about car audio equipment and how to get the best audio experience possible. Eliminate much of the guesswork with our Car Stereo Buyer’s Guide below. It describes each element of the audio sound system from the after-market speaker to the subwoofer. This guide is designed to give you a better understanding of what audio systems can do and what to look for when ready to make a purchase.

Top Things To Look For In a Car Stereo System

Speakers Create Quality Sound

After-market speakers help get the most from a listening experience. Stock speakers generally produce very basic sound. It is important to verify that the RMS wattage is compatible with the RMS rating of the speakers.

The addition of amplifiers to each speaker will safely eliminate the need for strict adherence to the RMS ratings supported by each speaker. The amplifier also helps to produce a more true sound.

The depth of a speaker is the amount of space and shape for the speakers that will be used in the car. Several cars are built with round speakers installed, but there are other more favorable shapes available. The size of a speaker does not indicate the amount of sound it will produce. Most vehicles are built with 2 speakers in front and 2 in the rear. They range in size from 5 – 9 inches.

A majority of factory installed speakers are considered two way speakers. This means that there are two distinct drivers or speaker cones. One is for low frequencies, and the other driver for high frequencies. Three way speakers take the listening experience to a new level of excellence. This type of speaker delivers a sharper and broader sound.

Inputs and Wire

Inputs are another important consideration when looking at car audio equipment. Receiver inputs identify what can be utilized through the audio system. Achieving bass with little to no distortion, for example, can be accomplished by having a subwoofer input.

Today’s techno age does best with a system having digital music capabilities. In essence, this means that users can transfer music from a computer through USB or SD cards. It many cases, it can also be played through an MP3 player. Say goodbye to commercials; listeners hear only music they enjoy.

Speaker wire is what allows the receiver, speakers and amplifiers to work together to produce enjoyable sound. A high-gauge insulated wire delivers safe, proper wiring.

The basic components of car audio systems have multiple features and range in price from around $40 to a four-figure range. It boils down to what the buyer is looking for and how much they want to spend. Many of the comforts found at home are being integrated into the automobile. This is especially true of the technology media market. Evolving media formats affect the car audio system for the better.

Pretty much gone are the days of basic radio and am/fm cassette combos. Even the compact disc is being replaced through MP3 formats of mobile music. Stepping outside the box even further results in audio receivers chock full of wonderful features to keep the mind busy for hours on end.

The Wonder of GPS

Remember how easy it used to be to get lost while driving? That has ceased to be a concern with the integration of GPS systems in the audio receiver. Several in-dash audio visual devices provide a GPS navigation system as a standard feature. Some set-ups offer the service as an optional feature. GPS is great for guiding the driver where to go, what is around to eat, where the hospital is, and just about anything else that is location based. Yes, it can even tell you the way home in case you forget.

Bluetooth and Other Modern Features

Practicing safety on the road is easier with Bluetooth technology, integrated into many newer model vehicle audio systems. Through Bluetooth, calls are directed from a cellular device through the car speakers, keeping the driver’s hands on the wheel while completing important phone calls. Older model cars are brought up to speed with new vehicle audio systems featuring Bluetooth technology.

Satellite radio continues to increase in popularity as well, even as a fee service. There are hundreds of satellite channels that provide every kind of programming conceivable. From talk shows to rock-n-roll, the listener is sure to find something of interest.

For the clearest sound from a broadcast perspective, the Car Stereo Buyer’s Guide suggests that HD audio is the way to go to experience the clarity in sound. The HD Receiver separates multiple signals to provide a true and clearly projected sound.

Several receivers on the market today provide a patch cord and line in jacks so users can plug in iPods and other musical devices. Personal playlists are run through the car stereo and speaker system.

DVD playback is another option that is available with some newer car audio systems. This feature enables listeners to the audio portion of their favorite DVDs. A system equipped for video playback lets passengers view the actual movie once the screen is displayed.

Select an audio system that falls into the parameters of the vehicle’s RMS rating capacity. The RMS rating is the amount of continuous power that can be sustained by the audio system for uninterrupted output.

Up-to-date car audio systems add an element of luxury to both long and short drives. It is more than just hearing the music. Audio systems found or installed in current automobiles bring a listening experience for drivers and passengers that covers all dimensions of the audio world.

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