We all love to listen to our favourite music while driving, and while some are happy with a basic sound, the majority of car owners are looking for a hi-end audio system in their car, and with that in mind, here are a few aspects of in-car entertainment to consider.
Major Audio System Components
The major components of a top-notch in-car audio system are as follows:
- The Media Player – Also known as the head unit, the media player is the device that creates the signal, which might be via FM radio, CD, DVD or an MP3 file on a memory stick. The best brands are Kenwood and Pioneer, and all controls are touch-screen, with many units incorporating DVD output, and the unit has its own built-in amplifier, although real enthusiasts prefer an external power amp.
- Power Amplifier – If you won’t settle for anything less than deep pounding bass, you’ll want to acquire a power amp – 4-channels, ranging from 400W to 1,500W – which is usually fitted under the front passenger seat. If you are not too bothered about in-car music, the media player’s built in amplifier would suffice, as long as you have a set of four high-quality coaxial speakers.
- Coaxial Speakers – One of the best buys is the JBL Stadium GTO600 series, bringing you hi-fi clarity that can handle the raw power, with 6.5-inch units that incorporate glass fibre woofers. If you are going to invest in a quality media player, you simply must have hi-end coaxial speakers, which deliver the clarity and power without any distortion.
Most car audio enthusiasts prefer to build their own system from specific components; media player, power amp and coaxial speakers, and finding an online supplier is easy enough using Google. The major brands are the following:
You can order the separate components and they also sell installation kits that contain everything you need for a professional installation, and with lower than retail prices, you can’t really go wrong. One thing you should be aware of is that you should not play around with the controls while driving, and with that in mind, here are some great gadgets to reduce the risk of an accident.
Once you have browsed the many components and made some notes, you can ask in the car audio forums for recommendations about various components, which ensures that you get maximum value for money. Prices range from a few hundred dollars all in, to a system that runs into 4 figures, depending on what you are looking for, and using Bluetooth technology, you can integrate your smartphone with your car audio system. Here is a link to the Australian consumer protection website, which states your rights as an online consumer.
Unless you happen to be experienced at installing hi-end sound systems in cars, this is something for a professional. A wrong wiring could fry that expensive power amp, and with a significant investment, you are advised to seek out a car audio expert to install the system. The features on the media player are many, and the sound system would integrate with GPS mapping and you can play music from your smartphone with Bluetooth connectivity.
Once you have a budget in mind, shop online for the components and you will save some money.