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The Guide to Choosing the Right Car Music System
The Buying Guide for the Best Car Music System
The receiver is what most people envision when they think of a “car music system.” If you are a first-timer, do note that the receiver, also referred to as the head unit or deck, is the component of your car music system. You will be directly interfacing with it when driving.
It serves as both the system’s brain and heart. When choosing a receiver, you lock in the other features, functions, and audio sources of your car’s audio system.
The OEM in-car music systems have significantly improved in recent years. Nevertheless, every automobile audio system has three essential parts, regardless of complexity.
As you can see, car audio has advanced significantly since the 1930s, when the automakers would essentially cram the first AM tube radios into automobiles.
It’s simple for the average user to become perplexed by his car’s audio hardware. This is obvious since the stock systems have become more complex and automakers incorporate new technologies. However, if you want to be happy with your audio system long after your original purchase, it’s essential to know what to look for in one.
Modern OEM audio systems come with such smart integration with a car’s electronics that replacing them would be preferable if you wanted to improve sound quality. The problematic aspect is deciding which components to add or replace.
What, therefore, should you consider while deciding on a new receiver? You can find the top qualities experts look for during car accessories online shopping below.
- Sound Sources
There’s no denying that the audio sources you utilize the most frequently are the most crucial components to look for.
Going by the book, make sure your new receiver at the absolute least has a USB port for MP3. Moreover, it must also feature a 3.5mm analog auxiliary input for universal communication.
- Integration Of Apps And Smartphones
There’s a strong chance you carry a smartphone, and you will desire your new car music system to work well with it. So, as per the experts, you must ideally look out for iPhone compatibility. This will allow you to confirm that one of your new stereo’s USB ports enables media on your iDevice with lightning speed.
On the other hand, you don’t require any badge if you use Blackberry, Android, or Windows Phone. Choosing a car music system that supports A2DP stereo Bluetooth audio streaming would be best. Otherwise, you can utilize an auxiliary input for the most direct connection.
If you frequently use streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, you should look for a car music system with controls for those services. This way, you can put your stations and pause/skip rules in the dashboard.
- Satellite And Local Radio
Every radio device with car music systems can tune into your nearby stations. However, it would be best if you ideally upgraded from there. Remember that neighborhood radio stations make digital broadcasts sound much better if you use a receiver with integrated HD Radio decoding.
- GPS And Compass
Most modern-day car music systems can assist you in getting to your destination using GPS navigation. You can use this feature while also playing your music in the background.
For those who are too slow to visit the link, you should search for maps stored on flash memory. Then, you can choose to upgrade it using an SD or micro SD card.
There’s no denying that an in-dash system is a more popular choice than the navigation software on the phone. The experts concur with the selection as well. However, it is essential to mention that the most excellent aftermarket in-dash GPS receiver fails to compete with popular smartphone navigation apps.
Instead, they provide more accurate and up-to-date maps with the most recent traffic information, voice commands, and superior destination search.
Ideally, looking for a car music system with some app mirroring capability would be best. This will allow you to have the optimal combination —the bigger touchscreen car stereo and the superior smartphone app software.
Lastly, also understand that the in-dash receiver’s function is not only to accept your audio sources. It also serves the purpose of distributing that audio through its built-in amplifier to the speakers in your car.
You must always consider the receiver’s upgradeability to add powered subwoofers, external amplification, or other accessories. You can identify this by the quantity of A/V inputs and pre-amp outputs on the rear panel.
You may add more features and improve the appearance of your automobile interface by upgrading your car music system. Moreover, you’ll enjoy your drive more and hear better sounds.
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