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Everything You Must Know About Car Stereos Before Replacing Your Old System with A New One

Since 1930 when Motorola introduced its first commercially successful car radio, in-car entertainment has come a long way. Over the past many decades, car stereo has evolved from being considered fundamental to complex electronic systems that can reproduce music. Many car stereo systems can play music from various audio sources like CDs, DVDs, radio, portable music players, USB drives, Bluetooth, and even mobile applications.

Well, if you want to know everything about the audio choices that an advanced car stereo offers, your head might start spinning. Unfortunately, understanding car audio systems entirely is not as easy as you might be thinking. But it is not difficult when we are here to provide you with all the information you need to know before installing a new car stereo.

If you are planning to replace your factory-installed car stereo with an aftermarket car stereo system, understanding the options will be helpful. Many companies have manufactured top-notch car stereo systems in recent years, and it has become overly complex for the buyers to settle for the one.

Well, before considering the factors that would help you to purchase a good car stereo, let us understand the car stereo system a little bit.

What Are There in A Car Stereo System?

A car stereo consists of three main components: the head unit, amplifier, and speakers. Hope now you understand that it is a cooperative process that all the components take part in to entertain you while driving. Let us know the individual responsibilities of each element.

The Head Unit

The head unit of your car's audio system controls the entire system and generates the audio signals. If you compare your car audio system with your home audio system, the difference is noticeable. A home audio system generally uses separate electronic components connected by various cables to generate sounds. Since a car audio system is compact, the automakers need to pack as many of those components as possible into one device.

The head unit of your car stereo system performs multiple duties. The main functions of the head unit are to control the volume of the overall design and manage various audio sources in a vehicle.

If you look a little back, AM radio was the only audio source for cars. Later FM radios came into play. And right now, there are hi-end car audio systems available with separate subwoofer and subwoofer level controls. The modern-day head units can control media players, including iPod and USB flash drives. If your head unit allows Bluetooth, you can play music from a compatible mobile phone.

The Amplifier

Your car stereo system must have an amplifier to control the power of an audio signal so that it becomes strong enough to make the speakers generate sound. Amplification is done in two steps. A preamp and a power amplifier collaboratively manage the procedure.

The preamp is generally accommodated inside the head unit, taking data from a radio, CD player, or other audio sources to prepare it for the power amplifier. The preamp somewhat improves the audio signal to make it consistent for the power amplifier. Later the power amplifier receives the signals, improves them, and shift them to the speakers and generate sound.

The Speakers

The speakers receive amplified electrical signals and convert them into mechanical energy and create sound. We all know that sound is nothing, but vibrations produced in the air. When the speaker cone creates vibrations, the human ear hears that vibration in a frequency range from about 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz.

Nowadays, even the most basic car stereo systems are designed to be full range. Many car stereo systems have two different sized speakers combined on one frame, and they create a two-way speaker.

How To Buy the Best Car Stereo System for Your Car?

Now you have a basic idea about what your car stereo consists of. Suppose you are considering upgrading your existing car stereo. In that case, it is a fantastic way to incorporate some additional features and get a better-looking car interface. Replacing your factory-installed car stereo with an aftermarket one will definitely bring you better sound quality and a more enjoyable driving experience.

But this decision is not as easy as it seems. But we can simplify the process for you to become a lot more confident while making a purchase for your car stereo.

Consider These 6 Things While Buying Your New Car Stereo:

Audio Sources: The first thing you must consider before investing in a car stereo is ensuring that it supports all sorts of playback formats. There are many types of formats available into which audio files are encoded. Therefore, ensure that your car stereo supports all the playback formats and accommodates all kinds of audio sources, be it DVD, CD, USB, Bluetooth, or smartphone.

Mobile App Integration: In the current times, the customers love listening to music played from their mobile. Therefore, you need to have a car stereo unit that can be integrated with your smartphone. So, it is essential to make sure that your car stereo has that feature. Your car stereo must-have smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple car play. This will simplify your driving experience and allow you to manage your smartphone via the head unit to give you a smooth and safer driving experience.

Local Satellite: If you are among those people who love to listen to the radio while driving, your car stereo must have that option. Radio is an excellent source of getting quick news and staying updated about current affairs. Now mostly all traditional radios are being replaced by digital radios. Not only do digital radios offer crisper sound quality, but they come with useful functions like the ability to play songs directly from Spotify and other digital libraries.

GPS Navigation: GPS navigation helps to focus on the road while driving in a new area. You can easily navigate to your destination without asking people at every street corner. Most car stereos come with GPS systems, and you do not necessarily have to spend extra bucks for that. With the smartphone integration trend, you can use GPS navigation on your car via Apple car play or Android Auto.

Power: one of the main functions of the head unit is to take inputs from your audio source. Another essential function is to output the same audio to your car speakers via the amplifier. Remember that your amplifier must have two power rating peak power and RMS. 

Peak power is the capability of your amplifier to produce the maximum amount of power, and RMS power is the amount of power the amplifier will constantly generate while in use.

A high RMS power will give you more volume without reaching the maximum limit of the amplifier. If you are looking to upgrade your car stereo system, you can add extra subwoofers and amplifiers if required. But you need to make sure that the car stereo you are buying has the option of upgradeability. It is easy to determine by checking the number of preamp outfits on the rear end of the stereo.

Budget: You need to pay for everything you buy. But there must be a balance between what you want and how much you are willing to spend on it. For example, many decent car stereos won't harm your pocket much. But, if you're going to buy a more advanced car stereo, it might come at a high price. Therefore, before purchasing a car stereo, you need to decide what you want and how much you are ready to spend.

How To Install a Car Stereo System?

There is nothing much tricky about putting on your new unit replacing the old car stereo. But the question of exactly how hard the process is depends upon a bunch of different factors. While some cars are just easier to work on, others can be relatively difficult. It also depends upon your own personal experience how easily you can replace your old car stereo with the new one.

We always suggest going for professional hands while installing your car stereo because:

  • With no or a little knowledge, you may end up breaking the delicate components of your car stereo and end up wasting the money.
  • You might face difficulties while fitting and mounting the head unit. It is also essential to buy a suitable size head unit.
  • You can face some confusion during the installation process. Though there are standard wiring color combinations, it can be difficult for you if you don't have prior experience.

Remember that even your car stereo comes with a warranty; it won't cover you if you destroy the setup for your own fault. The easiest way to buy the best car stereo and have the proper installation is to look for a professional. Car Toys is one of the best car stereo installation shops, with a team of mechanics and technicians who can help you replace your old car stereo system. They are equipped with all the modern tools and technologies required to do the job. You can visit our website to check the best possible car stereo options available and schedule installation service for your car.