Car stereos are one of the most important features of a car. The biggest appeal of getting a new car is that it comes with an audio system to play music and tune into the stations. While some people just settle with the default stereo system that comes with their car, others prefer to upgrade their audio system. Once you’ve made that decision to upgrade your car’s audio system, the next logical question is which stereo system to buy.
What to look for before buying a car head unit
This article serves as a guide in helping you select the best car stereo system.
Size: How much room do you have?
Car stereos come in a variety of sizes. The first thing to consider is the space available for your stereo system. You can’t buy a massive stereo system and expect to fit it into your car. So if you’re looking for a new car stereo, first measure the available space in your car’s dashboard and find out the size that will be able to fit into it.
Most cars come with a standard size of 6.5 inches for the car stereo system, but some models can fit in 4 inches and 9-inch stereos. A 9-inch car stereo system is the most recommended size because it’s big enough to give you great sound quality but not too big that it will occupy the entire dashboard.
Now the single din car stereos also come with floating and flip out designs. A floating design is good for luxury cars and it’s equipped with a front panel that can flip up so users can access the touch screen display easily. On the other hand, a flip-out head unit is more ideal for regular cars because it’s compact and can be fitted into tight spaces. Plus Pointer: If you want to buy the best floating screen car stereo system, make sure that your car can accommodate it.
Power: What are your speakers’ capabilities?
Another thing to consider when buying car stereos is the amplifier’s power rating. This rating tells you how much power your system can handle before it breaks down or when it distorts sound at high volume levels.
Why will you need all that power? Well, for an audio system to produce great sound quality, it has to deliver enough wattage to your speakers. In addition, you’ll need a high power-rating for those large subwoofers that can give better bass sounds.
Most car stereos have an RMS (Root-Mean-Square) wattage of 20 to 50 watts per channel and a peak output of 100 watts or more. Afterward, it’s also important to check what kind of speaker your new stereo can support.
Your speakers’ wattage should be able to match the power rating of your car’s audio system. If not, then you’ll have to purchase additional speakers that can work with your new system. However, if you want to save up on money, it is possible to make do with your car’s original speakers if they are in good condition.
Sound Quality: Top brands to consider
If you want your new stereo system to be worth the money, then you need to make sure that it can produce high-quality sounds. No matter how good your speakers and amplifier are, they will be producing static sounds if they can’t process those sound signals properly.
And that’s where the signal-to-noise ratio comes into play. This is a measurement of how much background noise (hiss) is heard when no music is playing through your stereo system. A car audio system with a higher S/N ratio will be able to deliver clear and crisp sounds without any interference or disturbance from background noises.
Features: How important are convenience features?
Now you know what to look for when shopping around for new car stereos, here are some of the most helpful features that top car stereo brands offer.
1) Bluetooth Connection- this will let you take hands-free calls and connect your phone to listen to your favorite tracks wirelessly.
2) USB and Auxiliary Inputs- these ports will allow you to play files from your smartphone, iPod, or another digital music player.
3) AM/FM Tuner- this lets you listen to the radio whenever you want.
4) SiriusXM Radio compatibility- access 100+ channels of live sports, news, talk, and music in the dashboard.
5) HD Radio compatibility- enjoy your favorite FM station in clear digital high definition
6) Built-in GPS Navigation- this will let you get to your destination without having to look for a GPS app.
7) Remote Control- control everything from the dashboard and never take your eyes off the road.
8) Android Auto and Apple Carplay Integration- access your favorite mobile apps on the touchscreen.
Warranty: What does it cover?
Even if you happen to buy the best car stereos in terms of power, sound quality, and features, it will be useless if the unit malfunctions after just a few months of use.
To avoid such problems, you need to look for brands and models that offer extended warranty coverage. A good rule is to buy those with a manufacturer’s warranty of at least 1 year.
This way, you can get it repaired or replaced in case something goes wrong. And don’t worry about service costs because most brands won’t charge anything for repairs during the first 12 months of ownership. Also, keep in mind that some products come with extended warranties that cover your new stereo system from defects up to 60 months from the purchase date.
BOSS AUDIO provides a 3 years warranty on its products so you can be sure to get the best car stereos.
Price: How long will your budget last?
Even though car stereos vary in price, some models cost more than $500. If you’re on a tight budget, then it’s best to shop around until you get the most value for your money.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for which means cheaper stereos are not made to last. So if you’re just buying this for your car, then it’s okay to go for a less expensive model. However, if you’re looking for something that will last for the long haul, then consider investing in a higher-end model that will not only deliver exceptional sounds but also be durable.
One good brand to start is BOSS AUDIO. Boss Audio Systems is a manufacturer of high-quality car stereo systems and their products are sold in national retailers across the country. Their humble yet high-performing car stereos are not only good in terms of sound quality and performance but also come with affordable price tags.
So shop around, get the best car stereos for your budget and make your drive more enjoyable every time you hit the road.