Car Audio formats have evolved over the years. From 8-tracks to cassettes, CD Players to Bluetooth and Connected media streaming, there are many options and formats of media player across several fleet years. From car Bluetooth® speakers to stereos and amplifiers, you’ll find everything you need to perfect sound in your vehicle.
Where should I start in terms of upgrading audio in my car?
Audio improvement can come down to personal preference. That said, one budget-friendly place to start is with your front speakers. With a simple replacement, you should hear a noticeable difference in terms of car audio quality, depending on the speakers you choose. From there, you can replace audio components like amplifiers and subwoofers one at a time, as budget allows.
How does a car audio system work?
Here are the common components of an automotive audio system:
Stereo / Head Unit
Since space is at a premium in a vehicle, automakers fit several components (CD player, radio, and more) into one device - the head unit or stereo. This device can do many different things, but the main function is to control system volume and audio sources.
A car stereo system needs power to create a signal that will activate the speakers. An amplifier creates this power through a two-stage system involving a preamp and a power amplifier.
Basic automotive speakers cover a full frequency range. In doing so, they may lose quality in the low and high end. As price rises and quality improves, individual speakers cover less frequency, trading a “one size fits all” approach for many speakers specializing in specific tasks.
Woofers and subwoofers are large speakers designed to produce low-frequency bass sounds. Midrange drivers handle the middle-range frequencies, and tweeters reproduce upper treble frequencies.