If you’re looking to enhance the listening experience in your vehicle, you may want to consider upgrading your car audio components. There are many different options to do this, from a new radio to an entire sound system to provide you with unmatched acoustics and heart pounding bass. With all the choices you have, I know that upgrading your car audio equipment can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. To help get you started, I’ve provided my top 3 questions to consider when looking into upgrading your vehicle's sound system.
Do You Need a Complete New System or Just a Few Upgrades?
It can be easy to get carried away when it comes to purchasing car audio equipment, especially with all of the choices and configurations out there. The costs can add up quickly if you’re looking to upgrade the entire sound system, but there are also many cost effective ways to improve your car audio performance.
You could start by just upgrading your car stereo. Buying a new car stereo will not only improve the appearance of your vehicle, but it may also provide you with better sound quality, as well as more features, all without breaking the bank. If you’re looking to just add MP3 playback capabilities but don’t want to upgrade to a brand new radio, you may consider an FM transmitter such as the iSimple - JamKast F FM Transmitter. This will allow you transmit your music through your car speakers while still using your existing car stereo.
What Will Fit In Your Car?
You will want to ensure that any car audio components you purchase fit in the same location as the stock components.
Car audio speakers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different manufacturer specifications. Traditional speaker sizes are usually 6-1/2", 6" x 9", and 5-1/4", with many sizes in-between. These sizes refer to the diameter of the speaker, but you’ll also want to consider the speaker depth to make sure it will fit within the door panel or rear deck lid behind the seats.
If you're looking to add a subwoofer, it is highly recommended that a quality subwoofer enclosure be used. Traditionally, subwoofer enclosures can be placed in trunks or under seats if using in a pick-up truck. You’ll want to ensure you have enough room to place the enclosure according to how you want it to look. You can also purchase subwoofers that come already loaded in an enclosure.
For a new car stereo, you'll find that these usually come in two sizes; DIN (image top), and Double DIN (image bottom). DIN units are traditionally 7” wide, and 2” tall. Double DIN units are generally one single unit that is the same size or near the same size of two DIN units stacked together. Double DIN units often have a larger screen, and more features such as DVD enabled (Only when the vehicle is stopped and in Park) and GPS navigation. In addition to the car stereo, you will most likely need a Dash Installation Kit to ensure the car stereo fits properly in your vehicle.
What Kind of Sound Do You Want?
Deciding how you want your car audio to sound is crucial when it comes to choosing car audio components, especially if you’re purchasing any kind of speakers.
You'll want to consider the type of music you listen to when purchasing your upgraded car speakers, as different genres carry many different tones. By adding new speakers, you’ll hear cleaner bass and more clarity then you would’ve before with stock speakers. In addition to upgraded speakers, you may consider adding an amplifier. An amplifier will provide your system with enough juice to provide it with plenty of clean power. Using a 4 channel amplifier in conjunction with upgraded speakers will allow you to hear your music like never before.
If you enjoy the hit of loud, clean bass, you may consider adding a subwoofer to your car audio system. A subwoofer and a suitable mono amplifier will give you cleaner, sometimes heart-pounding bass. In addition to clean bass, you’ll hear the mid/low tones like you’ve never heard them before.
Now that you’ve added more power to your existing system, you want a way to contain that power. Sound deadening materials such as the Ballstic - Hollow Point Series Speaker Kit help eliminate vibrations and rattles, while containing your audio inside of the vehicle. In addition to keeping your audio inside of the vehicle, it will help to keep road noise out of the vehicle for distortion free audio.
Upgrading your cars audio system can seem overwhelming, but with the right selections and proper research, it can make a world of difference to the listening experience you enjoy in your vehicle. Feel free to check out our vast selection of car audio equipment here. We’ve also got plenty of Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Autotech installers to help you pick out and install the perfect car audio system.
Still have some questions? Feel free to post on the Car, Marine & GPS board on The Best Buy Community.