How to Know What Car Stereo to Buy

How to Know What Car Stereo to Buy

Once you get a car performance with a good performance and the look that suits your taste, you arrange things in the internal part. You will feel comfortable driving with a good air conditioning system, sleek interior designer, and car stereo that sounds nice. 

The latter can be quite confusing as there are other varieties in the market. Misinformation may happen, and you will end up regretting what you have chosen.

 To get the right car stereo, you must know the parts that matter the most in the choice that you are going to make. 

How Should a Car Stereo Work

 A car stereo is the entertainment system in a car. It is responsible for how media is delivered, tone, and volume.

 It can also be considered a portal to your mobile system. Some units can access your audio files, messaging, phone calls, and even navigation.

 Numerous features can be offered by a car stereo. You may ask yourself why you want to upgrade your car stereo. 

 You may wish for an upgrade because of connectivity, music streaming capacity, touchscreen, and even navigation. Some may want to build a complete car stereo system. 

 Once you know what you want and are looking for, you can narrow down the options and face tons of options. So this article will help you decide what to do with a car stereo.

Head Unit Works Like the Brain of your Car Stereo

 Even though you have purchased high-quality components, it won’t matter if you don’t have an excellent head unit. It can circulate terrific sound and video waves to those parts.

The head unit is also called a stereo receiver, deck or base unit. You should be wise in choosing your head unit so you can be sure of having a great listening experience. 

Important Things to Consider in Buying Head Unit

Size Matters 

The opening of the stereo is indicated through Duetch Industri Normen or short for DNI. It was set up by European automobile manufacturers around the mid-’80s.

Aftermarket car stereos are available in two standardized cars that are manufactured after 1988 have either of these types. 

Single DIN – The measurement of the opening is around 7 1/8 inches wide and 2 inches in height.

Double DIN It is usually seen in newer vehicles. The opening has the measurement of width 7 1/8 inches and a height of 4 inches. 

You can have a touch screen for both sizes. Flip out touch screen display is available for single DIN.


You will be surprised at the price range, so it would help if you set the budget for it. You can consume hours and hours for picking the products that should not have bought in the first place. 

Power Output

You can check if you have enough watts per channel below the specifications of the unit as it appears on the package of the head unit. 

If you’re satisfied with the power of the speakers in the head unit, you don’t need to add an amplifier. So it depends on the person’s preference. 

Audio and Video Sources

The days that only AM, FM, and CD music can be played on the car stereo are over. The design of the unit is expanded to play streaming audio as well as video. It can play DVDs and more. 

You can pick a head unit that is capable of playing your preferred source of media. 

Smart Device Connection

The head unit will enable you to open your files from smart devices. It makes playing or opening some files from your phone convenient.

Bluetooth is integrated into this function. Other means of connection can be through wifi, USB, SD card, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and more


Many depend on this device for directions, so it’s like a must-have for every driver. It can guide you on reaching your destination.

Many head units include this feature nowadays as it is handy. 

Kinds of Head Unit

Car Stereo these days is not only about sound. So here are the kinds of car stereos you can avail of.

CD Only Receiver

It is the traditional type, and it is for those who prefer playing CDs. Most of this unit has USB, wireless, or Bluetooth connectivity.

So you can use your smartphone with it.

Both CD and DVD Receiver

It has both the ability to play CDs and DVDs. It is ideal for those who have rear entertainment in their car.

Mech-less Player or Digital Media Player

It can’t play a CD and DVD. It also includes a radio receiver.

It works with the help of a smartphone or a digital media device. It can connect with USB and SD cards.

Navigation Receiver

It’s the kind of stereo with an additional function of GPS. Some models can play CD or DVD, and some are like Mech-less players.

You can navigate things with the help of GPS. It has larger scope compared to smartphones and other similar gadgets.

Types of Car Amplifiers

There’s a lot of information about the various configurations of car amplifiers. The important thing that you need to know is how a certain amplifier matches the speaker you add for your car stereo.

The configuration should be based on the power that it can lend to the speakers. It also included the number of speakers that you can attach to your stereo.

You should identify the number of speakers that you have to add. Then you can start searching for the amplifier of your car. 

A mono-channel amp will power up a single speaker. The six-channel amp can support six different speakers. 

A car audio amplifier will improve your listening experience while you drive.

Mounting of Amplifier


The front panel of most vehicles can’t carry the amplifier nor the multimedia system and the car’s audio. So amps that are installed internally are small, and it boosts the signal just a bit. 

It boosts the audio signal from 10 to 20 watts per channel. It may disappoint people who are hardcore music fanatics.


People who want more sound from their speaker system would get something that they can place anywhere within their car. The amplifier can be placed in the trunk or under a seat. 

It can cost more, but it will no doubt boost your audio signal from the head unit. 

Kinds of Speaker System

Component Speakers

You can integrate different single speakers with the system of component speakers. It usually consists of a woofer, mid-range speakers and tweeter.

Super tweeters and subwoofers can be added if you want ultra-high quality treble and bass. It needs individual drivers for every speaker added in the set up, so they need a larger amplifier. 

It may occupy a lot of mounting room inside your car. 

Coaxial or Full Range Speakers

This system is installed in a car, SUV, and truck, so that’s why it’s popular. It takes up less space, and it costs lower than the others.

The parts of this system are tweeter and a woofer. A tweeter reproduces treble-based sound while a woofer is the reproducer of bass-based sound.

It’s unique on how it can work with a single driver for the available speaker parts. However, you can’t expect to have the sound, which is as good as the speaker system.

Independent Subwoofer

If you desire to have superb, high quality, and bass handling capability with low frequency added in one or more speakers, it is the right speaker system for you. It is a dedicated type.

It can be too loud, and it can make the car vibrate. 

 You can tell if it’s a component system as it sounds better than coaxial speakers. But getting the right amplifier to match your speakers as well as the head unit will give you a fantastic listening ride.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *