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A buying guide for stereo CD players

The advent of car CD players has made possible high digital quality sound for the car. Nowadays, there are a number of audio stereo systems available for cars, so if you are considering to buy one, your decision should be based on features like sound quality, appearance and price.

What to look for

The head unit, the part of the car's stereo audio system that is installed into the car’s dashboard, is usually compatible with CD changers, which either fit into the boot of the car, or within the head unit themselves. Here are some things to look for when buying a head unit: Music formats In addition to playing CDs, you might want to check if the car CD player plays other music file formats like MP3, WMA and AAC. With a CD player that can read all these formats, you could burn all your songs onto a single CD and do away with the need to use a CD changer. Car security Car systems have a variety of audio systems with different colour schemes and display options. This could pose an audio security threat. A good idea is to buy a head unit with a removable face that you could detach and carry with you, thus reducing car security risks. Sound output quality If the power output from the head unit is insufficient, then additional CD speakers will be necessary. In this case, look for head units that have the required preamplifier output jacks. Some other features to consider are satellite radio receiver and tuner functions.

Top three CD players

In the UK, there are a number of places offering car radios for sale. Car Audio Centre (Caraudiocentre.co.uk) and Car Audio Plus (Caraudioplus.co.uk) are two such places where you can get good deals. Among manufacturers, Blaupunkt, Alpine and Pioneer offer a wide range of car receivers and speaker units. Blaupunkt The oldest name in car stereo systems, Blaupunkt (known worldwide as blue dot or blue spot) is known for its excellent range of car audio products including CD, MP3, MD, cassette players and navigation systems. A typical car stereo could cost about £129 (this price seen at Blaupunktdirect.co.uk on 16.08.11). Alpine Alpine cars benefit from the company’s good reputation in offering high quality audio performance. In addition to car CD player, Alpine also makes GPS for car and DVD units for car navigators. Pioneer Pioneer offers an extensive range of CD players as well as car speakers and amplifiers. So, if you pay close attention to the features discussed above while buying a car CD player, you will end up with many years of high quality sound. Therefore, choose carefully.

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