The hot sellers in automotive decoration shops since the dawn of time are car stereos. Because who wants to sit in silence in our dreadful traffic jams with horns honking away for absolutely no reason? Welcome to our car stereo guide, where we help you pick the best setup for your tunes.
The head unit
First off, a good headunit is a good place to start, a decent single din unit with AUX, USB and all the bells and whistles can cost anywhere from 7k-15k while a double-din unit with a touch-screen display, Bluetooth and navigation average around 30 to 80 thousand. This will significantly improve your audio quality and add feasibility of playing your favorite playlist from your smartphone. Look for brands like Kenwood, Pioneer & JBL that offer great value for money, while higher-end brand like Kicker cost way more. Try to avoid Chinese replicas as they are prone to early failure and some offer worse quality than your factory stereo.
Modern cars already come with decent speakers out of the box, but if you have an older car or want better output, you might want to look into upgrading to aftermarket component speak. These can cost you 7k a pair and usually come with tweeters and mini-subs. Although I like a balanced sound, most people just want ground breaking bass, for which you'll have to invest in a sub-woofer. A decent sub-woofer ranges from 6k-10k. Most cars will have the option from factory to fit component speakers usually inside the door cards, but for sub-woofers, you need to have a box fabricated.
Most head-units contain built-in amplifiers but they are usually not very powerful. There are a number of reasons to include an amplifier in your car audio system: louder sound without distortion, to power a subwoofer, to get the most out of your new speakers. If you don't mind a little distortion and no desire to crank your head unit to eleven, then you can probably skip the amp and focus on other components. If you still want to add an amplifier, a 4 channel unit for powering component speakers can range from 10k-30k for decent units and separate mono amplifier used to power sub-woofers can cost from 7k to 40 grand.
This is the single most critical aspect of any audio system, unless you specifically ask your installer for heavy duty wiring they will try to skimp out to minimise cost and maximise profits. Since none of us wants to be mocked for having our cars burnt down due to poor wiring, it's wiser to invest in quality wires, another step would be to add a protective shield to the wiring to ensure it doesn't short out and cause headaches. Improper
wiring can also ruin your expensive audio components. A good ground connection is also vital for proper stereo performance.