A car audio system consists of some subsystems such as- the receiver, speakers and subwoofer or amplifiers that are included in a particular system. Below is a discussion on these parts with their functions. This information will help you in buying the components of an ideal car audio system.


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The heart of a car audio system is the audio receiver. It is situated in the dash of the car and allows the operator to interact with different functions which are available for that system. The following list shows different types of car audio receivers.

Receiver Type

  • Car Radio (AM / FM): It receives the radio signal and provides us with the latest news on traffic and weather, popular songs etc. The AM band generally broadcasts sports and religious programs. The FM band is more popular now. It broadcasts mainstream stations such as music and talk radio.


  • CD player: CDs are offering high-quality music system since 1980. Modern music is now released on CD instead of cassettes.


  • Cassette Player: The trend of cassette player is long gone. A cassette includes a magnetic tape for holding the music system. The tape can be stretched or worn over again. Though it is outdated, many people still enjoy this medium.


  • MP 3 Player: MP3 players e.g. iPods allow us to listen to the downloaded music from online sources. Now people are mostly using MP3 player because of its ability to store millions of songs of their choice.


  • Satellite Radio: Satellite radio provides excellent music quality irrespective of the listener’s location. It allows selecting songs of any genre or artist, including talk radio. Satellite radios require a monthly subscription.


After buying the car, you can replace the default audio system with a set of aftermarket speakers. It will provide you the best stereo system by improving the output quality of that system. Below is the list of some available aftermarket speakers.

Speaker Type

  • Two – Way Speakers: Factories generally install two-way speakers. They are called so because of having two drivers or speaker cones in each speaker. One driver controls the reproduction of higher frequencies whereas the other does it for low frequencies.


  • Three – Way Speakers: The aftermarket speakers are three-way speakers. It has three separate drivers for each speaker. Each driver is assigned to handle a narrow band of frequencies ensuring higher quality output.
    Whether you are using a speaker separately from a receiver or using the installed receiver in the car, make sure the speaker match the RMS wattage handling of the receiver’s output. It will save the speaker from damage and reduce distortion of the output. You can take the suggestion from a car audio professional before buying the speaker.


To get a deeper bass sound, subwoofers can be installed in the car audio system. They are used because the best aftermarket speakers are not able to produce such a low sound. Standalone subwoofer requires enclosures for mounting. You can buy them from the car audio retailers or build them yourself. While building, be concerned about the exact dimensions of the subwoofer.



Music lovers can use amplifiers to power up the strength of speakers and subwoofers. It has less power requirement that prevents overloading on the car audio system.

Before buying an amplifier, the shopper needs to make sure that their stereo system can properly power the speakers. Subwoofers generally need a separate power supply or needs to be powered by an amplifier. The shopper should be concerned about the RMS rating between all the components of a car’s audio system before buying the amplifier.


While wiring various components of the car’s audio system, make sure your purchased gauge of wire can meet the requirements. Use an insulated speaker wire to make it safer and long-lasting. If you are confused about the best wiring system, talk to a car audio professional before buying.

Signal Processors

There are different types of signal processors available for a car’s audio system. Some of them are listed below:

  • Bass Enhancer
  • Crossover
  • Equalizer
  • Line Driver
  • Signal Processor

There are other options to consider as well.

Other Car Audio Options

There are some other audio options that come up with a car audio system. Check the stereo’s user manual to know if these functions are available or not.

  • DVD Player
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth Capability
  • Remote Control
  • USB Ports

To get detailed information on the overall audio system, the user’s manual is the best source of all.

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