We love our cars. We take meticulous care of our engines and interiors. We wax and buff our investment to a showroom shine. But how many of us really have great music in the vehicles we spend so much time in?
In most cases, the factory speakers that your car was equipped with when you purchased it were more of an “afterthought” than a focal point. Yes, some new vehicles come with “premium” sound systems which are better than the typical affair, but even those can be outdone with modest aftermarket equipment. The checkmark by “stereo” on the dealership’s list of features really just means that you do have something in the car that plays music. The single biggest difference you can make in your system’s sound quality comes from installing high quality aftermarket speakers. Even if that’s all you do, you will have greater clarity, tighter bass and enhanced detail in your music. Of course, we recommend going beyond just your speakers, but it’s a great first step, and one that will get you thinking once you realize just how much better your music sounds!
Moving on from speakers, we arrive at the device that powers your speakers – the amplifier. Although your factory system may say it puts out 50 watts per channel, there is an enormous difference between a 50 watts (peak) per channel rating out of a tiny microchip in your head unit, and a dedicated 50 watts (continuous) per channel rating coming from a 25 pound amplifier in the trunk. Think of it as a 4-cyclinder lawn mower engine vs. a high performance, 355 horsepower, 4-cylinder turbo in a Mercedes-Benz.
The interior of a car presents some serious hurdles to overcome when it comes to sound quality. Glass and plastic surfaces reflect sound, while carpet and upholstery materials soak it up. And unlike your home stereo, speakers can sometimes be found in the strangest locations. Imagine having some of your home theater speakers right where your feet are! An outboard equalizer provides many points of adjustment beyond the simple bass, treble and balance controls built into your deck. Depending on how much manipulation of your music you wish to exercise, some even include a microphone that analyzes your vehicle’s interior acoustics and adjust things automatically to optimize every frequency.
Finally, Communications Center can’t say enough about subwoofers! They bring a certain “wow” element to your car audio performance that is impossible without them. Aside from incredible and detailed bass, your midrange and high frequencies sound better as well, as the subwoofer handles all of the heavy-lifting and lets the other speakers do their job more efficiently. Stop in today and audition the car audio you’ve been missing.
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