Upgrade Your Sound System Car Audio

Sound System Car Audio

The right car stereo can elevate your music listening experience to the next level, transforming your vehicle into a concert hall on wheels. To do this, you need great speakers and an amplifier to make them sing.

Speakers convert electrical signals into audible sound by vibrating, which creates air pressure waves that we hear as sound. Speakers are usually housed in a box or tube and can be divided into various types.

Head Unit

The head unit is the heart of your sound system. It is the component that enables you to select what music you want to listen to and at what volume. It also controls the amplifier and speakers. The head unit is sometimes referred to as a radio or stereo, but those terms are inaccurate and overgeneralize the function of this crucial component.

In the past, head units provided audio signals from 8-tracks, cassette tapes, and a proprietary type of record player. These days, most head units provide CDs and satellite radio. They also offer auxiliary inputs to play your music from USB devices and MP3 players. Many also offer built-in Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to a cell phone. Some have displays that display the name of the song and artist playing on a selected track, or information like your rate of speed and elevation while driving.

Depending on your preferences, you can choose to buy a head unit that has an integrated amplifier or one that needs an external power amp for the speakers. If you are replacing an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) audio system, make sure that your new head unit has RCA line outputs that will enable it to work with the power amplifier and speaker wires of your car.

The amplifier is the second major component of a car audio system. Its purpose is to enhance and amplify the audio signal so that it can physically vibrate the speakers to create sound. The simplest car audio systems only have a head unit and speakers, but even this requires an amplifier because the head unit isn’t powerful enough to generate any significant sound.

Besides adding more bass to your music, an amplifier can enhance the quality of the sound by reducing distortion and boosting clarity. It can also boost the signal to achieve higher output levels without losing audio integrity. There is such a thing as too much bass though, which can cause the car speakers to rattle and distort the original sound. The best bass systems balance rich, deep frequencies with clean highs and mids.


Most factory cars come with an audio system that features a head unit and speakers. While this can give you a great way to entertain yourself during long drives, you’ll likely want to upgrade the amplifier in your vehicle to make the most of your music experience. The amplifier is the heart of your car audio system, as it provides a significant amount of power to your speakers and determines how much sound they can produce.

While many people mistakenly believe that a speaker is what produces distortion or low quality sound, it is actually the built-in amplifier. Built-in car audio amps often struggle to provide the power needed to play at full volume, and this can cause distortion. An upgraded amplifier can solve this issue by providing more power to your speakers, resulting in better sound at all volume levels.

The preamp of your system is located inside the head unit and takes audio data and prepares it for the power amplifier. It does this by slightly boosting the signal, making it compatible with the power amplifier’s input. The power amplifier then takes the preamp’s low-level signal and significantly boosts it. This increase in electrical energy causes the speakers to move back and forth, or vibrate, which creates the sound you hear.

Depending on the type of system you have, the size of your vehicle, and your personal preferences, it’s best to choose an amplifier that is suitable for your needs. Most manufacturers make a variety of amp models, including 2-channel, 4-channel, and more. A 2 or 4 channel amp is suitable for most applications, as it can power front and rear speakers, as well as a subwoofer.

Choosing an amplifier for your car audio system is a big decision, as it will have a large impact on the sound quality of your music. While many people are tempted to skip the amplifier and simply replace their factory speakers, this won’t give you a significant improvement in your music listening experience. If you’re going to invest in a new sound system, it’s important to consider all of the components and choose a complete setup that will be both enjoyable and easy to use.


A car audio system needs three essential components to function properly: the head unit, amplifier and speakers. The head unit provides an audio signal and the amplifier boosts it, but the speakers actually produce the sound. Adding a subwoofer to your system can dramatically improve the quality of your music listening experience.

Your stock speaker system isn’t equipped to handle the bass and range of most genres of music. A good-quality subwoofer can amplify the low frequencies and create window-rattling thumps that let you feel the beat in your body. The best subwoofers can reproduce low frequencies down to 20Hz, well below where most speakers start dropping off in volume.

To get the most out of your audio system, it’s a good idea to upgrade the amplifier and the subwoofer together. A high-quality amp will allow you to turn up the volume without distortion, and an external subwoofer can add deep bass tones that your factory or aftermarket speakers can’t replicate on their own.

Upgrading your speakers will also give you the best-possible performance out of your car audio system. There are a wide variety of sizes and types available, so you can find the perfect set of speakers for your vehicle. Whether you want to upgrade your front-facing stereo speakers, tweeters or full-range speakers, there’s a set of high performance car audio components that can fit your needs and budget.

When you’re deciding how much to spend on a car audio system, consider the amount of time you’ll be spending in your car each day. It may be worth it to invest in a more expensive system now, when you’ll be able to enjoy it for a long time.

Many high-end car audio systems come with an array of features designed to let you fine-tune your music playback. You’ll find controls for bass, treble and sometimes midrange adjustments that help you tune your system to your personal tastes. Alternatively, you can use an equalizer, which adjusts the relative levels of different frequencies within a song. With a good equalizer, you’ll be able to hear your favorite music exactly how the artists, producers and premium audio system engineers intended you to.


As the name implies, speakers convert the electrical signal from the head unit into physical movements – vibrations – which displace air and create sound waves we can hear. Car audio systems typically include at least four “full-range” speakers that combine a tweeter, midrange and woofer into a single unit. However, upgrading to discrete components enables you to accurately reproduce a much wider range of frequencies.

Unlike the acoustic engineers who design home sound systems, the car stereo specialists that build and tune the speaker system in your vehicle know exactly what the acoustics of your cabin will be. They can therefore create a speaker system that will produce the best possible sound given those acoustics.

In addition to delivering the music you love, your speakers play a critical role in minimizing road and engine noise and helping to provide the feel of a real vehicle. They are also used to support a wide variety of other in-vehicle applications including handsfree calling, satellite navigation, vehicle security, and remote diagnostics.

The simplest car audio systems consist of a head unit with a small power amplifier inside and four coaxial speakers. However, you can dramatically improve your listening experience and the overall sound quality in your vehicle by switching to component speakers. They allow you to customize the location and positioning of the drivers within your vehicle’s cabin to create a unique soundscape for your vehicle.

While you can use a set of upgraded speakers with any head unit, the quality and performance of your system will ultimately depend on the quality of the amplifier that powers them. A great amplifier will be able to deliver high output to each of your speakers without taking away from the potency available to the woofers and tweeters.

If you want to crank up the volume, it is important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much bass. Crank it up too high and you will create powerful vibrations that can rattle your windows. There is a happy medium, however, that will enrich your music with powerful beats and bass notes while also not rattling the windows and shaking your entire body.