Car Audio 101
Welcome to Car Audio 101 with Sonic Electronix! This series will cover everything you need to know about car audio, from the absolute basics for beginners to the more technical aspects of car audio. From your basic aspects of a car stereo, your amplifiers, speakers, headunits and subwoofers, to digging deep into things like tuning frequencies and battery isolators. Follow our Car Audio 101 videos and you’ll be an expert in no time!
When you’re ready to start upgrading your car audio system, one of your first steps should be upgrading your factory stereo. Upgrading your car stereo can drastically improve the sound quality of your system while also adding a ton of new features (better EQ, extra outputs, Bluetooth etc.). Your stereo is responsible for sending signals to your speakers (or amplifier if you have one), and a low quality stereo is going to send a bad signal to your speakers, resulting in poor sound quality.
After upgrading your factory stereo to an aftermarket unit, your next step is typically upgrading your factory speakers. For starters, factory speakers are made from very cheap, flimsy material and usually don’t come with tweeters. Aftermarket speakers are made from significantly higher quality materials and also come with tweeters (either mounted to the speaker or as a separate unit). A set of aftermarket speakers will handle more power, last a lot longer and sound better than your cheap factory speakers.
Adding a subwoofer to your car can completely transform your sound system. Depending on your listening preferences, you can add a lot of bass or something a little more subtle. Without a subwoofer integrated with your system, you will actually be missing out a big chunk of the sound frequencies recorded into your music. Your basic car audio setup without a subwoofer simply isn’t able to reach those low notes in your music. Adding a subwoofer to your system isn’t as simple as buying a subwoofer and plugging it in, subwoofers also require an enclosure (usually either ported or sealed) and an amplifier.
What does an amplifier do? Well, it basically takes the signal from your car stereo and amplifies it to a much greater signal before it gets to your speakers. An amplifier will bring out the full potential in your speakers. If you’re looking to add a subwoofer you’ll have to add an amplifier because your stereo doesn’t have enough juice to power one. You’ll also need an amplifier installation kit to get your amplifier up and running.