There are few things in life as enjoyable as driving down the road, jamming to your favorite music. It helps us relax, pumps us up, or makes long road trips all-around more enjoyable. Audiophiles everywhere know that the best auto audio comes from investing in your car’s audio systems.
The reason for this is simple. The factory audio system on most cars is beyond mediocre. Even mid-range third-party options make a world of difference. It’s a simple fact that to experience the ultimate audio; you’ll need to do some upgrading.
Lucky for you, we’ve prepared a list of the nine ways to improve your auto audio experience. Read on, and you too will know the true bliss of having high-quality audio while you drive.
Get Better Speakers
The first and most obvious step is to throw out your car’s factory speakers. To put it bluntly, they aren’t cut out for playing and streaming high-resolution audio. Even a modestly priced upgrade will make a world of difference, especially if you get some extra upgrades.
A 2 or 3-way system will cost more but will give you unparalleled control of your car’s audio quality. It will open up the world of directional audio and sound all the sweeter for it.
All about the Bass
If you love bass, then you need a subwoofer. As far as audiophiles go, it’s non-negotiable. American Bass at Big Jeff has some superb options available.
Whatever, you don’t rely on an equalizer to boost your bass or adjust the quality. The fact is an equalizer only plays with the levels. It won’t fix anything if the sound is muddy, to begin with. Getting a designated subwoofer with its own line will ensure high-quality bass.
Improve Your Receiver and DAC
In all honesty, stock receivers won’t cut it. If you upgrade your speakers, your standard receiver’s power won’t be good enough. If you want to get the most out of your new speakers, you’ll need a better receiver.
The DAC is another major factor. DAC stands for digital to analog converter. This is what takes the info from your audio origin and turns it into sound.
The reasons for wanting a better DAC are obvious. When you put in a CD or hook up your aux cord, you expect crisp quality. A substandard DAC won’t translate all the details, giving you lower quality even with better speakers.
Amplifiers Are the Way to Go
You can upgrade your car’s audio system all you want, but it won’t matter if you don’t get an amplifier. The fact is your receiver’s amp is insufficient to get the most out of your speakers and receiver. You need a new one, preferably with two channels.
One channel is for the subwoofer, which is power-hungry but yields amazing results. If you don’t get a two-channel amplifier, your speakers nor woofers will get the power they need to deliver high-quality results.
In many ways, the key to unlocking higher quality is through a car audio amplifier
Shut Out the Noise
There’s nothing more annoying than road noise while trying to enjoy some tunes. If you want the best results for your car audio, you need to use noise dampening materials. This will quiet all the background noise, allowing you to appreciate the details.
A New Head Unit
This one goes along with the DAC. Your car’s standard head unit won’t provide the best quality DAC or audio capabilities. This is especially true if your car is older. While jumping straight to a new head unit isn’t the first thing you should do, it can make a huge difference.
The biggest boost for your auto audio is if you get a head unit that has a USB connection. Most people play digital music on their car audio system through an aux cord. While convenient, this uses the build-in DAC on your phone.
Your phone compresses audio files a ton. It works for small earbuds, but a high-quality speaker system will expose its flaws. For those insisting on playing through their phones, get a head unit with a USB and a top-tier DAC.
Upgrade Your Wires
Here’s something to consider – your upgraded car audio speakers need extra juice, but how does it get it? This is possible through wires that connect them to the amplifier. If you stick to stock wires, you won’t get enough power transferred, and the audio quality will suffer.
Invest in higher-quality wires with lower resistance, and you’ll appreciate the higher-quality sound.
Consider Your Alternator
It’s a running theme, but upgraded audio parts come with a power cost. Chance are if you’re an audiophile, you’ll kit your car out with some demanding hardware. These include amplifiers with thousands of watts of energy.
A stock alternator runs the risk of underpowering that amplifier and could be a major bottleneck. You even run the risk of blowing or damaging your amplifier if the power needs aren’t met.
Invest in a Signal Processor
A Digital Signal Processor can help boost the quality of your audio. It takes the signal from between your head unit and amplifier and improves it. One way it does this is with time alignment, which tries to give you a true stereo experience.
A DSP does this by positioning the audio to make sounds from the left and right speakers sound realistic. Although you need all the other upgrades to allow a DSP to shine, it’s worth investing in.
The Ultimate Auto Audio is a Few Upgrades Away
When it comes to auto audio, there’s no beating around the bush. Your car’s stock parts aren’t good enough, and you’ll likely need a major overhaul. Building a new system takes work from new speakers, woofers, amplifiers, and even down to the wires.
You got to know which quality parts to get and how they all interact and boost each other. Upgrading some things while skimping on others will result in poor performance. If extra advice or options is what you’re after, then check out our site for plenty more info.