A car audio system can make any time you spend in your vehicle a pleasant experience. It has three main components: the radio or “head unit” that controls the system and generates an audio signal; an amplifier that increases the strength of the audio signal; and speakers that produce sound.
Upgrade Your Speakers
Americans keep their cars for a long time, and most factory systems do not have the sound quality that many drivers want. There are a number of cost-effective upgrades that can be made to a car audio system to improve its overall sound quality.
Step one is to replace your speakers. A higher-quality set of speakers will make your music clearer and give you the volume that you crave. You should look for speakers with high power handling ratings that can be matched to an amplifier. You should also look at the sensitivity rating, which tells you how much juice the speaker needs to perform optimally.
Then, you can install a signal processor to take the sound quality even further. A signal processor smooths out the frequency response of your speakers, resulting in a crisp and accurate listening experience. This is an upgrade that will really pay off if you like to listen to classical music or any type of music with heavy bass. Another great option is to add a subwoofer to the setup. This will provide the deep bass that is missing from your music, making it more realistic and enjoyable to listen to. When shopping for a subwoofer, you should consider the mounting depth of your speakers and select a model that can be installed in the same location. You should also look at the sensitivity and impedance rating.
Add an Amplifier
Upgrading your stock speakers with new aftermarket ones and adding an amplifier will vastly improve the sound quality of your vehicle. It will also make the music you listen to more powerful and clear. However, it’s important to choose the right type of amp and make sure it can interface with your vehicle’s factory head unit.
Most aftermarket retailers that sell car audio equipment for sale offer complete “amp kits” with everything you need to get started. An amplifier installation kit typically includes power and ground wiring, an inline fuse, RCA cables, and a remote turn-on wire. The power wire that runs from your battery to the amplifier must be thick enough to handle the amp’s power demand. The instructions that come with the amp should include a recommendation on what size wire to use.
You will need to find a bolt on your vehicle’s metal frame to connect the ground wire to. If possible, choose a location that’s close to the amp. Otherwise, you’ll need to drill a hole for it — be careful not to drill into any wiring, lines, or the gas tank. Once you locate a bolt, scrape away any paint and clean the area thoroughly before you crimp a ring terminal (usually included in the amp kit) to the short piece of ground cable.
Loose or improper grounding is the number one cause of amplifier problems.
Get a Wiring Harness
Your car, truck or SUV is more than just a means of transportation. It’s your chariot, your companion and sometimes even an extension of yourself. As such, you want to make sure it’s equipped with the best audio equipment that will take your music listening experience to the next level.
If you’re planning on replacing your factory stereo with an aftermarket model, you’ll likely need a wiring harness to simplify the installation process. Harnesses are groups of wires bundled together and connected to an adapter that enables the radio to connect to your vehicle’s wiring system. These wire harnesses also include connectors and terminators for connecting and identifying different types of signals.
A harness may also have a labeling system that includes both the wire type and its function. It may also feature a color code for quick identification. This ensures that the wires are properly connected and can relay data and power in an optimal manner.
Some of these harnesses can also include amplifier integration adapters. These allow you to retain the factory amp while using the new stereo for speaker output. They also include connections that tie the speaker wires to the factory amplifier’s input section. Harnesses like these often cut down on the amount of time required for installation and can help you save money. However, it is important to always check the wiring harness adapter colors with the color codes on your aftermarket stereo and vehicle wiring. Matching the wrong wires can lead to a messy, ineffective installation and potential damage to your car.
Get a Multi-Line Display
Many aftermarket stereos feature a multi-line display that allows you to control your vehicle’s infotainment system with ease. These displays can show music app playlists, track data and more. They can also display your vehicle’s navigation maps and allow you to easily switch between different source options.
A multi-line display is a must-have for car audio enthusiasts who want to enjoy their favorite tunes in style. It can give you the functionality that you desire without taking up valuable dashboard space. Whether you want to add an extra line of information or use it as a monitor for your backup camera, our team can create the custom solution that suits your needs.
Adding an amplifier to your car audio system is the best way to boost the volume of your speakers. Amplifiers have high voltage and current capabilities that are able to deliver more power than the limited circuitry of stereo head units. Whether you are upgrading your factory stereo to a full component speaker system or adding new subwoofers, an amplifier is required for increased output and quality.
Today’s car stereos are nothing like their predecessors. They are packed with a range of complex functions including smartphone integration, Bluetooth, mobile video and vehicle system monitoring. Our selection of aftermarket stereos includes models with screen sizes the size of tablets for easy source selection while driving. Many of these systems are equipped with Pandora, allowing you to customize your playlist by giving tracks a thumbs up or down and bookmarking them for later.
Get a Bluetooth Hands-Free Solution
Today’s new car radios are often equipped with Bluetooth for hands-free calling and streaming music. They also include technology like Android Audio and Apple CarPlay, which allows you to control your phone’s most important functions right from your car’s infotainment screen. But what if you want to upgrade your older stereo with Bluetooth without buying a whole new car?
The simplest solution is to get an FM transmitter. These devices connect to your radio’s AUX input and send the Bluetooth signal over the FM frequencies. You can pair your phone with the device by entering its settings and selecting your name from the list of available devices. Once you’re paired, every time you enter your car, it will automatically connect to the device.
Another option is to get a battery-operated Bluetooth receiver. These can clip to your visor or hang around the front of the dash, and they can be used as a speakerphone for hands-free calls. These devices are small and easy to mount, but they have one major drawback: They need to be charged.
If you’re willing to take a little more time to install an add-on, you can buy a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into your cigarette lighter or AUX input. These systems are fairly inexpensive, and they can also be moved from vehicle to vehicle. They’re not as convenient as a wireless system, but they’ll still let you enjoy your favorite tunes while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Get a Backup Camera
The area behind your vehicle is a danger zone for people and cars alike. To avoid backing into them, you need real-time visual guidance. That’s what backup cameras provide, giving you a view of what’s directly behind your car to help keep you and others safe. Most systems feature on-screen guidelines and some will even use an audio alert, such as a beep, to warn you when you’re too close to something. You can add a backup camera to an existing car stereo by installing a monitor that has a video input, or you can choose a receiver with a built-in backup cam that has a harness designed specifically for your vehicle’s model.
Some of these systems are wireless, but most require the installation of a wired camera and monitor. Look for a system that has low-light ratings to work reliably in challenging conditions. It’s also possible to get a portable backup camera that mounts to your license plate and plugs into a standard power outlet.