Imagine that you are cruising on a picturesque county highway, through vast green grasslands, the horizon shrouded in bright white clouds. A herd of cows is grazing grass far away, completely indifferent to your presence, as a lone tree or two flashes past, the road ahead as clear and free of traffic as a whole new unexplored planet. Your eyesight is overwhelmed with the beauty of it all, and the only thing that is lacking is some soothing country music to complement the mesmerizing scene. You flick your antique car stereo on, but the sound is interspersed with loud crackling noises which ruin the pleasant atmosphere outside.
Don’t wait to come across such a captivating landscape to replace your old car music system. Your very next drive out of town may lead you to one! However, there are so many new audio systems in the market that it may be tough to find the right one for your regular commute. Don’t sweat, for we are here to help you out. A complete car audio solution has two main components – the speakers and the dashboard.
1. Choosing the Perfect Set of Speakers
The popping and crackling sounds emanating from your factory-installed speakers can be temporarily dealt with by replacing the cable, but it is much better to buy a new set of speakers to enjoy uninterrupted music throughout your drive. The first thing that you should look for while purchasing speakers is the price. Can you afford to buy the whole set? There is no point in getting a couple of front speakers and leaving the rear speakers for later. Your new brand may not sync with the old one.
Fixing your budget also allows you to choose between the type of speakers you need. Component speakers relay the best surround sound but are quite expensive. On the other hand, coaxial speakers are cheaper and easier to install, but those won’t exactly provide the elevated listening experience that you may desire. Save up for component speakers if optimum sound quality is what you crave.
2. Picking the Right Audio Dashboard
Gone are the days when you needed a rocket science degree to operate the physical knobs on your car stereo dashboard. This is the age of smart, touchscreen interfaces which allow you to switch between stations or songs without hassle. Forget the manual 1 DIN dashboards and welcome the digital double DIN head units to your car stereo dashboard with open arms. Double DIN dashboards, as the name suggests, are twice the size of single DIN audio consoles, but only in height. The width of the unit usually remains the same.
Double DIN units are not only ideal for easily choosing the right music for the right driving experience but are also perfect for navigating your way through unknown terrain with the aid of GPS. The large screen has the capability to display a GPS map when needed. However, there is one important factor that you need to keep in mind while purchasing a head unit – the power of the console should match that of the speakers. If there is even a slight discrepancy between the two, then it may cause heavy distortion in the speakers.
The Top Audio Solutions for your Car
Now that you know why you need to replace your factory audio system and have understood the intricacies of buying the right console for your car, here are a few latest options that you can upgrade to.
- Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX
The great thing about Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is the multitude of features that it offers. It’s a comprehensive car stereo powerhouse that has a 7-inch wide resistive touchscreen with multi-source playback. Numerous connectivity options and a separate AV selection for rear passengers make this model the best in the trade right now.
- Sony XAV-AX8000
The XAV-AX8000 has one of the largest screens in car stereo systems (8.95 inches), and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The console comes with a customizable mount that can be moved in three different positions. It also has a set of powerful speakers with a few unique sound enhancement options, essentially transforming the gadget into a compact car theater system.
Two other car stereo brand models worth noting are JBL GTO629 and Kenwood DNX997XR.
Finding a suitable head unit for your vehicle isn’t particularly difficult as long as you know what you want out of it. A few factors that may affect your choice are the sound quality, smart functionality, device compatibility, GPS navigability, etc. Another element to be considered is the genre of music that you listen to. For instance, your car speaker requirements may change depending upon whether you listen to hip hop or metal. That said, your car stereo system isn’t going to buy itself. So get off your couch and start researching that perfect audio solution for that picturesque drive!