How to Design Your Own Car Audio System

Designing your own car audio solution can be a matter of assessing your needs related to your overall budget. In many instances, designing a car audio system involves the upgrade of the head unit and speakers and also the addition of a subwoofer of some kind. By pricing out your options and choosing the best components your money can buy, you can design a car audio system that will dramatically increase the sound quality of music played within your vehicle.
1 Decide which type of head unit you wish to use. This is the heart of the car audio system. You can choose between basic models that play CDs and have radio tuners to models that have built-in hard drives for music and can also play video. Look at your open space and decide what size you wish to use as that may help you narrow down your choices. Also consider all of the features you would like, including satellite radio options and built-in effects such as delay and reverb and equalization options.
2 Consider front speaker placement. You can use the locations where stock speakers are placed by the manufacturer or create your own speaker plates in different locations. You must also decide what size speaker to use and whether or not to use separate tweeters or component speakers with tweeters built-in. If your budget is tight, it will be cheapest to replace your stock speakers with better speakers of the same size in the same location.
3 Choose your back speakers as well. Although your front speakers may seem to the be the most important, adding good, aftermarket speakers from makers such as Alpine or Sony can enhance the sound of your car stereo indirectly. With nice, aftermarket speakers in the back, you will have a full, clear sound. Your car audio will only sound as good as your weakest link. So get some matching speakers for the back area.
4 Assess your subwoofer needs. Most car audio systems are lacking in the bass response area, so adding one or two subs will cover the frequencies below 100HZ. You can add two 10-inch speakers in a subwoofer box for maximum bass response for rap, R&B and techno, or add one 10-inch speaker for just enough to accentuate the low-end.
5 Add amplifiers if your budget allows. You can add amps to power any of the speakers in your system including subwoofers. Most head units have built-in power, but it is sometimes just not enough, so adding more power amps can strengthen the sound of your audio to make it fuller. By using a power amp with more watts than the speaker can handle, you assure you will not run out of headroom and introduce distortion by underpowering your speakers.






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