How to Design a Car Stereo System

How to Design a Car Stereo System

The things that you need to do when designing a car stereo system are upgrading speakers and head unit. A subwoofer can also be added. 

Some do it for the sake of their wants like the loudest set up that can almost smash your eardrums. Some may believe that expensive things make the setting better. So allocating a budget for this move is also necessary.

The best choice is relative. So considerations in designing the car stereo system can be based on the essential parts. Of course, your wants have weight too.

Assessment of the Existing Car Stereo System

You won’t struggle to do this step as all you need to do to turn on your car stereo and assess how the sound and music make you feel. When it seems that something is lacking, you need to upgrade and design your car stereo system. 

If ever you hear dull, wimpy, tinny, or even flat sound, it’s time to get started customizing your car stereo.

Finding Out What’s Wrong or What’s Missing

You’ve already come to the point knowing that you don’t have the right car stereo. It doesn’t require the skill of an expert to be able to identify the issues.

You can play music while your car is not on the move. Tune the different controls you have on the stereo. 

Twist and push them to know if they are working well or not. You can also adjust the balance controls and fader of the speaker. 

Check every side like play the front, rear, left or right at a time to know if every speaker works. You can also compare their acoustic performance. 

A slight rattle and buzzing sound are not good signs. This testing will tell you if you have good speakers or a sufficient setup.

Then, you can drive on the highway and play the music that is on its highest notch. You won’t hear any noise from the outside. When assessing the sound, you should be able to identify the one coming from the bass, treble, mid, and the vocals. 

Leaving the highway, you would park your car, but you don’t need to change the volume of the stereo. It’s time for you to assess speakers’ sound. 

Observe if there are distortions. Put the things in the settings like tone, fader controls, and balance at the center.

Assess the clarity of the treble, bass as well as the sound. Check each speaker, so if there are some issues, you have the idea where it’s coming from. 

When you did all those things, you can rate every part using a scale of 1 to 10. The one with the lowest rating should receive some working to do, or it needs replacement.

Options for Designing your Car Stereo System

Knowing and discovering your current stereo system is the only way to upgrade it for better sound quality. The following things are the possible options.

1. Replacement for Head Units

A head unit or receiver is like the brain of the car stereo system. If it’s bad, the sound won’t be good, but if it’s a good one, your stereo performs well.

An excellent head unit emits a stronger and clearer audio signal to amplifier, speakers, and subwoofer. You may have high-end kinds of the mentioned parts, but if your head unit is not reliable, you will eventually receive mediocre sound from your stereo.

Changing your head unit is sometimes the ultimate way to improve the overall sound from the car stereo. There are different kinds of head units.

You have to identify the capabilities of your receiver and its limitations. The conventional car stereo only allows you to play music from a CD player or tuner to AM and FM. 

Modern cars have touchscreen features and even navigation. It can connect with your smartphone and other similar devices.

You can also connect with the station that operates via satellite. There are tons of features like Bluetooth connectivity, iOS and Android platform, MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, and many more. 

There are many things offered in a head unit these days. You only need to pick which one works best for you.

2. To Replace Car Speakers

You can give attention to speakers once you determine that the receiver is alright. You can give more power to them or replace them.

When the sound from your stereo only drowns out every time you drive on the highway, the speakers only need to be powered up. But if the quality of sound is the same whenever your car is at, the replacement of speakers is needed.

You should know that the usual OEM speakers installed in a new car are made of thin, lightweight paper that can be distorted easily. So they may sound very good at first and depreciate as time goes by. 

Aftermarket speakers are more dependable than OEM. It brings improvement to your stereo from distinct trebles to deep bass.

You can also save more money than getting a new receiver. It’s durable and easy to install.

You also have the option by a full-range speaker, which has a tweeter, midrange, and subwoofer. This kind of speaker should exactly fit in the audio location of your car. 

But if you desire to convert your car stereo into a concert stage or a boombox, you need to buy things separately.

3. Have an Amplifier Installed

When you only need to increase the power of your speakers, adding an amplifier is a solution. Amplifiers can strengthen the volume of your car stereo without any unnecessary distortion and interference on sound quality.

Whether your car is closed or not, the perfect tunes will be delivered right through your ears. 

Amplifiers can be placed between the head unit and speakers. Electronic signals are delivered to the amplifier so that their power is strengthened. 

4. Getting a Subwoofer

Aside from the volume, some people prefer to have depth on their music or the sound coming out of the receiver. So this is a job for a subwoofer. 

It is an acoustic device that offers rich as well as deep notes, which are the missing components of the usual sound coming from a head unit. You may feel the vibration that seems to be trapped in your chest when you have a subwoofer.

It can be added on the trunk, but you must have ample space for it. You can find one that is specifically made for your vehicle. 

Some of them can be mounted on the seat, so you don’t have to worry about trunk space. 

5. Sound Eliminating Materials

You’ve already confirmed that those things work well. But the problem is the noise that is from the car.

It may be the rumblings under the car or the noise coming from the exhaust. Road noise can also intervene in your enjoyment of music. 

It is the reason why you need to get sound-eliminating materials. It can minimize the entry of unnecessary noise so you can enjoy the beat while driving.


You should understand your car stereo set up to better know what you need. You would also know what to do to achieve what you want.

Once you identify deficiencies, it would be easy for you to find a solution. You can then design your dream car stereo system.

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