Tag: Sonic Electronix

What are Bass Restoration Processors?

When it comes to your car audio system, bass is an extremely important factor. In order for you to truly enjoy the music in your vehicle, you will need to be able to hear your music’s low frequencies! Although adding a subwoofer to your car audio system will definitely allow you to hear more of those low frequencies, a bass restoration processor digitally restores that heart-pounding bass that is still missing from your music. Bass restoration processors are the perfect add-on for those who want the lowest hitting bass possible. You can read this Knowledge Base Article if you’d like to learn about all the different types of sound processors.

1How a Bass Restoration Processor Works

A bass restoration processor, also called a bass booster or bass restoration processor, such as AudioControl’s Epicenter, has multiple adjustments which allow the user to bring out the ideal amount of bass for their music. Most of the time, they have three types ofAudioControl Epicenter adjustments: frequency, width, and level. The frequency adjustment allows you to choose the specific frequencies you would like brought out in your music. This allows you to have complete control over the bass in your system. Width adjustments on bass restoration processors allow you to choose the amount of frequencies that are affected. You can adjust the processor to affect a wide or narrow bandwidth of frequencies around the selected frequency. For example, if you have set the processor to affect 30 Hz, a narrow setting would only mainly affect that frequency, while a wide setting would affect a large range of frequencies around 30 Hz. Lastly, you can adjust the amount of manipulation for that selected frequency at the selected width, with the level adjustment. If you would like to get the most bass possible, you can crank the level knob up. In addition, you can also turn it all the way down if you would like to. For convenient adjusting of this setting, this knob is usually located on an included bass remote.

2Types of Bass Restoration Processors

Most bass restoration processors are the same, with some varying features such as different types of bass adjustments. Most of them include a bass remote, however there are a couple that do not have this accessory included. In addition, these sound processors have a variety of maximum output voltages. Lastly, most bass restoration processors have an auxiliary input, although there are a couple models that don’t come with this input.

2How to Wire a Bass Restoration Processor

Most bass processors are connected the same way. There are Ground, 12V power, and remote inputs on the processor that will all be hooked up to your aftermarket car stereo. The ground wire from your car stereos is going to go straight to the processor, the yellow 12V wire will also go straight from the car stereo to the processor, as well as the blue and white remote wire which will go from your car stereo – right to the bass processor. This will allow you to tie in power for the processor right from your car stereo. To get signal to the processor, you’re going to hook up an RCA from your car stereo’s subwoofer pre-out to the input of your monoblock amplifier. Then, you will use a jumper RCA connected from the output of your bass processor and into the input on your monoblock amplifier. And that’s all it takes to wire your bass processor up, so you can start restoring the bass in your car audio sound system.

Bass Restoration Processors

Shop all of our bass restoration processors and find the best one for your car audio sound system!

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Apple CarPlay Car Stereos

Apple CarPlay Installed by Sonic Electronix

Apple CarPlay is the latest in iPhone integration and offers a powerful way to interface your iPhone device with your car stereo. No more trying to fumble around with controlling your iPhone on an confusing interface. Apple CarPlay is designed for the car to make your life easier, create a safer driving experience, basically just be awesome.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. It allows your iPhone (iPhone 5 or later) to completely integrate with your compatible car stereo and bring your iOS experience into the car with ease. CarPlay features Siri Eyes Free mode which allows you to navigate through your phone and apps by voice command, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. With CarPlay, you can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to your favorite music without ever reaching for your phone.

How does Apple CarPlay work?

CarPlay works by plugging your iPhone in to your car stereo via USB. It is important to note that CarPlay is on your iOS device and not your stereo. Once connected, a customized version of iOS, designed by Apple, will display on your stereo complete with icons and Siri support. Once connected and running, you’ll be able to control your iPhone through the touchscreen controls of your stereo or through voice commands.

  1. Connect Your iPhone to the Stereo Through USB
  2. Open Your Favorite Apps
  3. Control Via Voice Control or Touchscreen
  4. Keep Your Eyes on the Road and off Your Phone

Apple CarPlay is all about being safe while driving. Controlling your phone through voice commands and your stereo stops you from having to reach for your phone to answer a call, check your directions or see what song is playing and leaves your hands and eyes free to concentrate on the road.


Car Stereos with Apple CarPlay

View our current selection of car stereos that support Apple CarPlay

 

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Android Auto Car Stereos

62518-android-auto-google-maps-005

Android Auto is the latest in Android integration and offers a powerful way to interface your Android device with your car stereo. No more trying to fumble around with controlling your Android smartphone on an confusing interface. Android Auto is designed for the car to make your life easier, create a safer driving experience, basically just be awesome.

What is Android Auto?

To put it simply, Android Auto is Android in your car. Android Auto was created by Google to bring the Android operating system into your car. An Android Auto compatible car stereo allows you to completely integrate your Android device (running the Android Lollipop or newer OS) with your vehicle’s sound system. It is optimized for voice commands for both apps like Google Maps and Google Play Music and convenience features like phone calls and messaging so that you never have to take your hands off the wheel. Android Auto also works with many third party apps like Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and MLB At Bat.

How does Android Auto work?

Android Auto is on your phone, not built-in to the stereo. It projects a customized version of your compatible Android device onto the screen of the stereo (devices need to be connected via USB).The interface projected is very simple and intuitive and can be controlled from the touchscreen display or by voice commands.

  1. Connect Your Android Device Through USB
  2. Open Your Favorite App
  3. Control Via Voice Control or Touchscreen
  4. Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Not Your Phone

When you drill it down to its core, Android Auto is really about driver safety. The ability to control your phone through voice commands and touch screen controls on your stereo means you won’t be reaching for your phone to answer a call, check your GPS or skip to the next song. Concentrate on what’s important, the road, with Android Auto.


 

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Car Audio 101: Car Speakers

After upgrading to an aftermarket car stereo, your next move is to upgrade your factory speakers. Factory speakers are made from cheap, flimsy materials and are not designed for quality sound reproduction. Because of their low quality construction, factory speakers don’t tend to last very long. Factory speakers also do not always have a tweeter. Without a tweeter, your factory speakers will struggle to reproduce the highs in your music which results in mediocre (at best) sound quality. Aftermarket speakers on the other hand are built from much higher quality materials and feature a much more efficient design. These allow aftermarket speakers to offer greater power handling capabilities, overall sound quality as well as a greatly improved lifespan over your old factory speakers.

To go along with their better overall design and construction, aftermarket speakers also include a tweeter. Aftermarket speakers are most commonly available in either component or coaxial design. A coaxial speaker has the tweeter built into the frame of the speaker whereas with a component speaker the tweeter is a separate unit. Component speakers also include an external crossover network. Because component speakers have the tweeter as a separate unit, you can install the tweeter in a separate location from the speaker which allows for better overall sound quality.

Before you buy a set of aftermarket speakers, it is important to look in your car to see what kind of setup your car is configured for. Different cars come with different sound systems, different speakers types and even different speaker sizes.

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Car Audio 101: Car Subwoofers

Adding an aftermarket stereo and speaker set to your vehicle’s sound system will have you on your way to the perfect setup, but speakers alone won’t be able to reach the deep lows in your music. Without this bass, you will never truly experience your music. Adding a car subwoofer to your system is the perfect remedy to this problem because they are designed specifically to reproduce the low frequencies recorded in your music. When looking for a subwoofer, its important to know that you don’t have to have a subwoofer that makes your entire car shake, you can get subwoofers intended for more subtle bass.

Unlike aftermarket speakers and headunits, a car subwoofer requires a bit more than simply plugging it in and going. Car subwoofers also require an amplifier, an amplifier wiring kit and a subwoofer enclosure that matches up with the subwoofer. With enclosures, you need to know how much space you have available in your car as they can be fairly large and take up quite a bit of space. Subwoofers are traditionally available in sizes from 6″ up to 18″ to fit a variety of needs and preferences. However, 10″, 12″, and 15″ subwoofers are the most popular sizes.

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Car Audio 101: Car Stereos

The first step to upgrading your car audio system is generally installing an aftermarket stereo. Your stereo is the center point of your sound system and a low quality receiver will leave the rest of your system lacking, no matter how great it is. The stereo’s job in your sound system is to send signal to your speakers (or amplifier if you have one). A low quality factory receiver will send dirty, distorted signals to your speakers which will result in poor sound quality. A new stereo by itself can make even basic factory setups sound significantly better.

A huge improvement in sound quality won’t be the only upgrade you’ll get from an aftermarket stereo. You will also be able to add a ton of new and improved features over your old factory stereo like an improved equalizer, smartphone integration, built-in GPS navigation and more. While your factory radio may support features like this, they are often much more limited than what an aftermarket radio is capable of. For newer vehicles that come with factory steering wheel controls and backup cameras, you will be able to find an adapter to integrate them into an aftermarket stereo.

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Digital Audio Lossless/Lossy Codec Demonstration

sound-waves

The topic of CDs versus MP3s is indeed an old topic that started around when MP3s first started gaining popularity in the mid-to-late 90s. The debate was probably at its hottest point around when the Napster controversy started up in the year 2000. However, anyone who remembers that controversy will know that it was about copyright infringment, not quality loss. What I intend to do with this article is give you audible examples of the quality loss inherent in the codec compression process.

What I’ve done here is I’ve taken a lossless audio file (WAV, specifically), put it into my digital audio workstation (Pro Tools 8), and I’ve meticulously lined up the waveforms of some lossy, compressed versions (MP3 and AAC) of the same audio file so that they’re exactly accurate with each other. Let me explain the last part of that a little better: I zoomed in to the waveforms down to the level of individual samples and lined them up perfectly, or at least as perfectly as the human eye, ear and the Pro Tools digital audio workstation technology can manage. When I say “samples,” I’m referring to the same samples as the Sample Rate of CDs (which is 44.1 kHz). For anyone who doesn’t yet know, the Sample Rate refers to how many times in a single second that the audio source is sampled. You can think of it like many, many snapshots taken in a row.

Anyway, when you line up audio files perfectly and play them together, what you’ll hear is an increase in volume due to what’s known as constructive interference. In the case of the inverse, destructive interference, you would hear a decrease or a total cancellation of volume due to the waveforms being precisely opposite. The topic of constructive/destructive interference is indeed an interesting one. Anyone who’s taken a Physics class in school has probably covered it at some point, but I won’t delve into it too deep in this article.

Moving on, once I lined up the audio files (one lossless, one lossy), I inverted one of them so that when the two files were played together, all that was audible was the audio data that was thrown away during the codec compression process. I’ve often explained it as being completely convinced that there’s jelly on your peanut butter & jelly sandwich, but without any jelly actually being there. Also, I should mention that I encoded these lossy files through iTunes. The MP3 is 320kbps CBR, the highest quality MP3 available, and the AAC (m4a) is “High Quality” 128kbps, the iTunes standard quality (which I consider to be cassette quality at best). For your convenience, I’ve also included links to the files in case your browser doesn’t allow flash or isn’t up-to-date. Anyway, without any further ado, enjoy the demonstration!

PT Grimm – Crummy (wav) by psivertsen

PT Grimm – Crummy (mp3) by psivertsen

PT Grimm – Crummy (m4a) by psivertsen

PT Grimm – Crummy (inv mp3) by psivertsen

PT Grimm – Crummy (inv m4a) by psivertsen

http://soundcloud.com/psivertsen/pt-grimm-crummy-wav/download

http://soundcloud.com/psivertsen/pt-grimm-crummy-mp3/download

http://soundcloud.com/psivertsen/pt-grimm-crummy-m4a/download

http://soundcloud.com/psivertsen/pt-grimm-crummy-inv-mp3/download

http://soundcloud.com/psivertsen/pt-grimm-crummy-inv-m4a/download

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