Buying a car audio system can be a really confusing proposition – there are so many different types out there that it blows your mind. So how can you make finding the right one a little bit easier? In this article I’m going to hopefully help you discover to shortcuts to finding the best car audio system for you (and your car!).
Starting out you want to figure what type of stereo system you want for your car, do you need a CD player? If you’re like me (old school) you may have a large CD collection that you aren’t ready to part with, so you still need one of these. For those who want high-tech systems that play only MP3s, then you can avoid the CD systems right off the bat. And of course there are “combo” systems that play both, if you don’t mind paying a little extra for the privilege of that choice. Perhaps you want to check out the new satellite radio systems that are getting more popular these days? They are pretty easy to install yourself, and are comparatively very cheap.
How much power do you need? There are systems today that are super powerful, costing thousands of dollars. You may also buy a separate power amp that will boost your power only when you need it, but this is a high cost item that you may not need. If you are a true car audio enthusiast however, this is the way to go. Power amps can run about $100 to around $600 or more, so if you want the power it’s not cheap. A typical $600 unit has about 1000 watts though, more than enough for any car unless you are happy to have extreme hearing loss as a side effect.
Another issue is the speaker system – that is usually going to come along with the stereo itself, but there are high-end speaker systems you can buy separately that are way better in quality, if that is what you are searching for. Speaker prices start at around $20 and go up to around $1500 for top of the line JBL speakers. There is of course everything in between, too, so if you are going to get speakers separately you probably want the really high quality ones. Otherwise, it’s cheaper and smarter to go with a package that includes the speakers in the total price.
For the typical car audio buyer, the smart way to go is to buy a “package” deal, one that has the MP3/CD/Radio unit along with power amp together, and includes the speakers as well. These are more economical in the long run, and price ranges are from about $150 or so on up to about $300 or so depending on the brand. Shop around though, since getting a car audio system can be much cheaper if you know exactly what you want first, and have the patience to buy it one sale.
Typically around the holiday season is the best time to buy, but shop around online too since many stores now have online specials too! Find out more about Orion XTR series.