Shopping for a new car entertainment can be quite a challenge especially if you have no idea what you are looking for. This article seeks to help readers with that conundrum by breaking down some of the things you need to take into consideration while looking at the different products on the market today.
Understanding your Entertainment System
As you probably already know, your choice of entertainment system can directly affect the overall listening experience. After all, there is nothing like driving down the highway with no one but your favorite artists to keep you company. That is why it is perfectly normal for car owners to want to switch to a stronger system if they feel that the factory-made stereo system does not quite fit the bill.
However, before we start looking at the different things you need to consider, you must first look at the basic components of your system. This way, you will know exactly what it is you are looking at.
- Source — This is the basic component part that lets us you choose your audio files. This can be anything from a CD or DVD player, standard AM/FM tuner, satellite radio, or even your personal smartphone.
- Preamp — This lets you adjust the sound as you see fit. You can use it to tweak your volume, adjust audio balance and make other tonal adjustments. The level of complexity depends on the system itself.
- Amplifier — It boosts the audio signal coming from your preamp section to your speakers.
Things to Look for in a New System
- Smartphone Compatability – Nowadays, it is virtually undeniable that our smartphones have essentially become remote controls for real life. Even while driving, we can hardly escape its presence as we find ourselves needing to use the apps they offer. This is why smartphone compatibility is one of the things you need to look at when shopping for a new music system for your car. Additionally, if you like to use music streaming services then you should also check whether the product you are looking is compatible with it.
- Local and Satellite Radio – All car entertainment systems come with a basic AM/FM radio that lets you listen to the local stations. However, seeing as we have made major progress in this regard, you may want to make the most of it. Satellite radio lets you listen to your favorite radio stations wherever you may be. Additionally, you should also look for a system that has a receiver equipped with built-in HD Radio decoding as this will do wonders in terms of audio quality.
- Headphone Compatability – If you’re driving with your friends or family members, some of them may want to listen to their own favorite music without bothering anyone else. In this case, it will be smart to use this feature using a pair of headphones that also block all outside noise. It can be quite loud on busy streets. Remember: the driver must never use headphones when on the road.
- Power – This is probably one of the most important things to look for. The power of your amplifier is presented in two ways: peak power and RMS. For our purposes, you should focus on the latter. It essentially refers to the amount of power consistently produced by your amplifier during regular use. Generally speaking, the higher the RMS power rating, the better. This is because the additional power gives you more flexibility in terms of volume before you are able to reach the maximum limit of amp capacity.
These are just a couple of things that you would do well to remember when shopping for a new entertainment system.