The car audio system has gone through a lot of changes and improvements over the few years. The old standard AM/FM radio/Tape Deck combo is being replaced with satellite radios. The modern audio system includes DVD players, television, and a navigation system with local hotspot news. The only thing that has always mattered is the sound quality.



The sound quality of a car audio system depends on the on-the type and quality of the media player system, the type of speakers used, the acoustics of the vehicle and interference from other devices.

Type and Quality of Media Player System

Before judging different types of in-vehicle media players, you should have some basic knowledge on an audio system. To select the best audio system to install and comparing it with other similar models, you have to consider two primary specifications-

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) – This is a comparison between the signal strength to the background noise in that signal or equipment. It is measured in decibels. Higher decibel indicates better quality. A car CD player has SNR of 90-100db.

Frequency response (FR) – This indicates the amount of audio spectrum, from bass to treble that gets reproduced. It is measured in hertz. The wider the range, the better the quality. Generally a CD player has an FR range of 10-20 hertz.

All equipment such as- FM radio, cassette player, and CD players have individual values of SNR and FR. The following example is given for better understanding of these specifications.

Let’s compare between a car tape cassette player and a CD player. Cassette player has an SNR of 50-70 dB. This is a much lower range comparing to the CD player. So, the sound quality degrades at each end of the spectrum. On the other hand, the FR range is30-18k for a cassette player which also does not contribute to the sound quality improvement as the SNR.

As a CD player has much higher value both SNR and FR, it provides way better sound quality than a cassette player.

The trend of cassette tape player is depreciated. Now car audio system uses radio tuner, CD/DVD players or digital audio players.

What to choose between cassette player and CD/DVD?

You should consider four things- sound, source, power and bass while buying a good audio system. These are the basic specifications that should be kept in mind before investing money on it. You can choose between a cassette tape player and CD/DVD player depending on your budget and expectation level of sound quality. Car owners prefer CD/DVD players nowadays as it provides a lot of digital features with a far better audio output.

If you a music lover, install high-tech car audio system that comes with speakers, subwoofers and powerful amplifiers. When all these equipment works together, they generate an excellent sound system that will blow your mind! But, you have to ensure sufficient power supply to them to get thumping and crystal clear sound. It is suggested to figure out your preferred features and select the system that is equipped with those features.

What to look for in a car audio?

The perfect audio system comes with large and well-spaced controls that ensure easy and comfortable usage. The main object of a neat display panel with large buttons and controls are ensuring least disturbance of the driver while searching for audio controls. It helps him keep concentration on driving rather than on the display box. A good display system shows clock, radio station, and other important data which makes it more effective. Now, car audio system is equipped with in-dash CD changers that are useful and affordable. So, you can easily grab this facility. Check out separate tweeters to find out greater sounds. It is also applicable for subwoofers as it creates a rich base and thumping sounds that improve sound quality.

A Reminder

Choose the best audio system within your budget limit to experience real music while driving. It will make the journey enjoyable and please your mind. Avoid gray markets while buying the audio system and do not buy those with small controls, faux equipment that make the system complicated. Prefer well-known brands and original products that offer a guarantee. So, while buying a car audio system try to find out the best one that satisfy your expectation within a reasonable price range.

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