No car journey would be quite the same without our in car entertainment (or ICE). With such a huge choice on the market today, what do you need to look for when purchasing sound systems for modern cars? Stereos, Cd players, audio speakers and amplifiers, it can be a minefield. So, here is a brief guide.
CD players and multi-changers
There are three basic options to choose from when deciding on the CD player for your car audio equipment. In-dash single slot player An in-dash single slot player is the easiest to fit and normally offers the benefit of being a direct replacement for your factory unit. This may not always be the case, however, as car makers are beginning to adopt specific model styles and shapes that only fit specific cars. In-dash multichanger Your second option is an in-dash multichanger. These have the advantage of holding several discs at once thus alleviating the need to swap whilst driving. The downside is that there are only a few aftermarket choices, so you may be restricted to those offered by the vehicle manufacturer. Both these styles of audio stereo come with radios but ensure that these are digital as the analogue versions will no longer work in the U.K. shortly. MP3 and USB car stereos are also becoming popular so look for these features when you buy. You may want to think about integrated GPS car systems as these look neater and save space over separates. When purchasing a replacement head unit, what should be high on your list of considerations is car audio security. Look for a product with coded protection and some form of removable face plate to deter thieves. Boot mounted CD muilti-changers are the final option. These fit neatly out of the way and accept up to 12 discs. Disc changes are controlled from the head unit in the dash. So, you need to ensure the two items are compatible.
What else do you need?
There is far more to car audio systems than just the head unit. Think about upgrading or adding amplifiers, stereo speakers and sub-woofers. The are many car audio kits you can buy that make fitting this equipment easier. High quality cables and wiring can vastly improve your systems audio capability. Although none of this is exactly cheap, there are many car stereo discount suppliers online who offer a large range of CD players, navigation systems and car radios for sale. Check the classifieds in car modifying magazines like Max Power for some excellent deals on packages and upgrades. A superb audio system does not have to be massively expensive or difficult to build, so why not enjoy the next generation of in car entertainment?