About Car Sound Systems

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A car sound system starts with the head unit, which is the AM/FM radio and CD player that gives a system its sound quality and controls. Learn about improving a car stereo's head unit to get certain features, such as XM radio, with help from a car sound system designer in this free video on car audio tips.

Part of the Video Series: Car Audio
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Video Transcript

A car sound system starts with the head unit. Which is your AM, FM radio, CD player. That is the brain of the system. That gives you, your sound quality, gives you all of your control. So that's where you would start looking, and that's where most people, actually first improve their car stereo, is they replace the head unit. And usually it's because they're looking for certain features, and that's what we ask. What do you want to do. What do you want to add. What do you want to improve, to your car. Why are you looking for a certain type of sound. You can add iPod. You can add the XM or Sirius Satellite radio. Bluetooth hands free kits are very popular, because they're being required by law now. And that can actually be integrated in an after market radio, that goes in the front. That is the main component. Next component of course would be your speakers, which are hooked to the radio. They give you your sound reproduction. And that really determines the quality of your system, because it's only as good as your speakers are. If they're poor quality, then your sounds going to be poor quality. If they're very good, then your sound qualities going to be very good. If you want it louder, or clearer, amplifiers would be next. And a lot of, even factory systems, have amplifiers, but they're not the quality of after market. What we would sell. They're not going to have the physical power, and the size, and the clarity that you can get elsewhere. If you want the bass response, that you have in a typical home stereo, or home theater system, that's where a subwoofer would come into play. Most factory systems, do not have subwoofers, therefore they are lacking. They actually do not give you the bass response that's in the music. It's just never reproduced. You can add a different size subwoofers, at different locations. They can be integrated out of the way, actually hidden, in panels, and that gives you the low end that you're missing. And it's not necessarily the kid you hear three blocks away, it's just the sound that's in the music, that you just don't get in a car stereo. And that's the three basic components. Your head unit, speakers, and amplifiers.

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