Selecting and buying a new stereo system for your car is a challenging job, especially for those with hardly any knowledge on the subject. You need to research adequately in order to get the best possible deal and the features that you desire. Automotive stereos have come a long way over the past decade, adopting new features and technology regularly. MP3 compatibility and mobile phone connectivity are now becoming more common in-vehicle sound systems. But still, the decision in what fits best for you and your vehicle remains the main focus point. Making the wrong choice could cost you a lot. There are few simple steps that can make the process easier for you.
Know the components
You don’t have to know every component of your stereo but knowing the basics can help you a lot. Knowledge of the function and features of a stereo deck, amplifier or speaker can help you to ask the right questions to sales staff and prevent them from trying to over-convince you. It will make selecting your system a much easier experience. The stereo deck controls the overall output of the sound while amplifiers boost the signal power, resulting in a clearer sound with more volume available whilst removing distortion. Speakers are where the sound from the stereo is emanated. Different types of speakers are designed to produce different frequencies. A good site for DIY car stereo guide can also help you to get the right thing.
Types of Car Stereos
Car stereos come in two variations: single and double-DIN (Deutsche Industrie Normen). Instead of getting into the debate about which is better, remember they both are useful but have different features. Double DIN head units with a large touchscreen will bring you more convenience and pleasure. But one shouldn’t overlook the comfort of use of good physical controls from single DIN units, mainly when you’re driving at high speed. Deciding between a single or double-DIN car stereo is dictated by your vehicle’s dashboard head unit enclosure.
The audio sources you most often use are the most important bits you should be looking for in a head unit. Your preference should decide whether you need a CD/MP3 player or whether you favor digital music formats.
Apps and smartphone combination
Nowadays, mobile devices and, particularly, smartphones are becoming common and universal. You have collected many music tracks on your smartphone that you’d want to play while you’re driving. Having a receiver with Bluetooth connectivity is a brilliant way to wirelessly stream music from your smartphone or tablet to your receiver.
HD Radio & Satellite Radio
Every car head unit available in the market features an AM/FM radio that will tune into your local stations. But if you want to improve upon that, opt for a car receiver with built-in HD Radio. It will make an enormous difference in the audio quality of local radio stations. If audio clarity is high on your list of desires, a car stereo with built-in HD Radio is the way to go.
GPS and Navigation system
Car audio receivers, particularly high-end head units can do more than just play your music. They can help you to get where you’re headed with turn-by-turn GPS navigation. And yes, your smartphone navigation apps such as Google maps, Apple Maps, and Waze stand head and shoulders above even the best aftermarket car stereos with GPS device. They offer more up-to-date and accurate maps with fresher traffic data, voice commands, and better destination search.
At the end of the day, it is quality sound that you need from your sound system. This is somewhat subjective, but your goal should be to hear every instrument and voice from your musical source. Having the loudest sound means nothing if the sound quality is not what you want. It may seem obvious, but you get what you pay for. A cheap car stereo usually ends up with lower sound quality and potentially paying more in the long run with repairs. Knowing the basics about your vehicle and your sound system goals are key to being prepared as you shop for a car audio system. But remember the tagline – don’t buy more than what you need.