Planning a Car Audio System Installation

With such a wide range of components and gadget on the market for car audio systems, the big question is “Where do I start?” First you must decide what exactly you wish to do. If you are wanting to build a car audio system for a daily driver (the car you drive back and forth … Continue reading “Planning a Car Audio System Installation”

With such a wide range of components and gadget on the market for car audio systems, the big question is “Where do I start?”

First you must decide what exactly you wish to do. If you are wanting to build a car audio system for a daily driver (the car you drive back and forth to work) with good sounds, but you are not interested in competing, a system can easily be put together for under $1000. However, if you are looking for the all-out bass monster, be prepared to drop in some big bucks into your system.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when building a car audio system is planning. Get an idea of where you are going to place components, subwoofers, amplifiers, and power distribution. A lot of headache can be avoided with the proper planning!!

For the basic system, lets look at some of the components needed.

Let’s first start with the head unit (CD player). Obviously you are going to want a nice head unit. If you start with a good quality cd player, and choose to upgrade your sound system in the future, purchase a head unit that will grow with you. Some of the features you may want to keep in mind are:

1. CD changer controls

2. XM / Sirius controls (if you decide to add Satellite radio in the future)

3. Dual RCA outputs (carries signal to the amplifiers)

4. Pause button (important for competing)

5. Detachable face, or other security devices

6. High voltage line driver – this will send the sound signal at a higher voltage to your amplifier/s reducing noise and improving overall sound quality.

After you have chosen your head unit, you will want to make a decision on amplifiers and subwoofers. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A $30 subwoofer will be as big as a $300 subwoofer, but the capacities of each will differ greatly. Look at the power handling of each subwoofer and decide accordingly. You will want subwoofers will work with your amplifier/s (see compatibility).

You must also keep in mind the available space in your vehicle. Are you willing to give up your entire cargo area? How many subwoofers will fit? Decide on the size. Sizes will vary from 8″ up to 18″, some are square (Kicker), but most are round. Also keep in mind the resistance (ohms) of the subwoofer and make sure they are compatible with your amplifier/s (see compatibility). The subwoofer decision will also have an effect on the enclosure you decide to build or buy. For the basic system, I would recommend purchasing a pre-fabricated subwoofer enclosure. This will save you a bit of money and headache (especially if you end up building it two or three times!!). Make sure you take accurate measurement of your cargo area before building or buying an enclosure!!

Other components may be needed depending on the type of system you are building and how elaborate you want your sound to be. For the competition vehicle, figure on upgrading your alternator, adding a battery to your system (maybe more), running high quality RCA cables, power cables, ground cables, and speaker cable. You may need to add a capacitor to provide your amplifier with a reservoir of power for bigger hits from the subs. You may need an electronic crossover, an equalizer, replacement factory speakers, an amplifier for your mid-range and tweeters, additional speakers within your vehicle for staging, etc.

Top Car Audio Upgrades You Might Also Need

Car audio experts are very familiar of what’s in and what’s out in the industry. In the same way, they are also aware of what people mostly need and demand for their own leisure and expediency. But having a conversation with a group of experts opened up my mind on endless possibilities of car audio innovation, which mainly benefits car owners who are yet about to experience relevant transformation in in-car stereos. Take a look and get some ideas!

AUX-in plug

Of all car audio upgrades, this is probably the cheapest. Jacks are usually present in most car stereo systems there is available, but more often than not, they are not used to their largest potential. Some car owners disregard the fact that these jacks can be used to produce music or sound through the use of external sources such as a Walkman, an mp3 player, an iPod, et cetera. Through the use of an AUX-in plug, sound is transmitted from these portable gadgets to the main stereo for release. The good things is that, you are just going to buy a set of wire with expected specifications. It’s certainly something you can afford!

Overhead DVD player

A car audio system is not only limited to audio producing features, but to video as well. Yes, video becomes an essential source of entertainment inside vehicles as it pairs up with audio. While music can be a source of leisure during long hours of road trips, movies do the same thing as well. The thing is that, it allows people to use not only their sense of hearing, but also their sense of sight. What’s nice about having an overhead DVD player is that it also serves as a watch combo for any AV files available. Convenient, isn’t it?

Speaker wire upgrade

Most car owners check on their amplifiers and speakers with a thought in mind that one of these car audio features might be the root of an unlikely and dissatisfy sound produced by a car stereo system. Not all the time, though. Little did everyone know that such problem could also originate from poor old speaker wires that become incompetent of transmitting audio signals from the amplifier to the speakers over the years. Heavier gauge speaker wires are capable of providing you that crisp and clear sound that have missed for a long time! It is an investment everyone should not hesitate on taking.

High-cost head unit upgrade

Embrace what technology has to offer and take advantage of having a “connected” car audio system which is capable of handling multi-tasks from iPod and Bluetooth connectivity to voice recognition to audio or video accessibility through AUX-in jacks, among others. If you are living a fast-paced life, this is definitely for you! Allow yourself to emerge in updated innovations that improve your car’s musical value. The good thing is that a high-cost head unit upgrade is not as expensive as its first release. Indeed, technology evolves very fast. Don’t get left! Participate in this trending phenomenon among car owners. Do the tapping inside your own vehicle.

The Prospects of the Car Audio Industry

Now with the rapid development of technology and techniques in the car industry, cars have become part of our daily life. We always try to find many ways to decorate our dear cars since they are our best companions on our way to the office or back home. Cars seem to be our small home in which we want to feel in it as comfortable as at home.

Perhaps several years ago, the cars with inserted radio and DVD belong to the high-end markets. But if you visit the recent auto shows, you will find out that the audio industry has been taking the leap into civilian status. Of course, if your car does not have all the advanced functions as you have wished, you could realize your dream through some alterations. Besides the car manufacturers who can provide the car audio systems like portable car DVD, auto TV, Bluetooth device and so on, most household appliance corporations and even handset makers have entered the market of car audio appliances. This phenomenon indicates great opportunities of development and large profit margin in the car audio market.

With the increasing number of car audio suppliers, the competition in this area is becoming more and more important. The positive results for us customers may be that we will be able to purchase these systems or cars inserted with the whole set of audio system at a rather lower price while the sound effects are better and their functions enjoy great diversity.

In the future auto markets, cars without DVD players may disappear and we can watch TV in the car from the flip down car monitor whenever we would like to. Imagine a situation: you get stuck in a traffic jam and what can you do to make the waiting become less annoying? Reading or listening to music? They are one choice. But you can have a better choice if your car is installed with an advanced set of audio system. The present audio system has a digital TV receiver, Bluetooth device and various games for recreation.

The future popularization of car audio systems is also caused by their high technology like inserted rearview cameras, navigation systems which offer real-time traffic updates, high-end video processors and perfect compatibility with different mobile devices like cellphones, PCs and so on. These new functions can offer the driver a lot of convenience and thus are all the car owners’ favorites.