A Comprehensive Guide On How You Can Buy The Best Car Audio System

Apart from being a great stress buster, music can give you company while you embark on long drives. In fact, there are several seasoned drivers who claim that they would be unable to drive without the sound of music teasing their ears. In order to enjoy your ride with your favourite music, you need to have a good car audio system.

There are several car audio system brands in the market that offer trustworthy products. But how do you choose the one that fulfills your requirements of great quality and reasonable pricing?

Here, we familiarise you with the different types of car audio systems and some of the leading brands in India, so that you can choose the best one out there.

How To Pick The Right Music System For Your Car?

The first step in the search for the ideal car audio system includes research on the important jargons used to describe the quality of such systems. Magnet structure, range, frequency response, etc. are some terms that you may come across during the research. Read about the technicalities of music systems on the internet and educate yourself on the basics to make an informed decision.

  • You should keep in mind that stereo cables can be expensive; so you should account for these expenses when deciding on a budget for the music system. You should know that using good quality cables will improve the clarity of the sound output.
  • You should also familiarise yourself with the following technical specifics:
    • Sensitivity - This is a measure of the amount of sound a speaker yields from the input power it receives.
    • Power-handling - This is a measure of the amount of power a speaker can handle.
    • Range - Decide whether you require a full or a compact speaker.
  • You can consider the addition of an amplifier to the music system for extra clarity and superior sound.
  • In case you want to install a DVD player in the car, you will have to get a new head unit so that the player can be affixed to the dashboard.
  • You may require a high quality auxiliary cable to connect the flash drive or MP3 player to the system.
  • It is not wise to get the loudest audio system, as excessive vibrations could result in the panels of your car becoming loose. You should refer to the user manual of your car to understand the type of audio system that is suitable for it.
  • Check the warranty that is offered with the audio system. You should ensure that you select one with extensive warranty, particularly when it is expensive.
  • You should be aware of the service norms of the company and stay away from duplicates. Also, buy the audio system from a recognised dealer. This is crucial, as the dealer will be able to help you to repair or replace the system within the warranty period.

Components Of Car Audio System:

Some of the main components of a car audio system are as follows:

  1. Head unit (HU) - The audio system control unit seen on the dashboard of the car is the head unit. Most of the HUs can play CDs, and the cost of these units start from Rs.5,000. It is recommended to buy a unit that is compatible with a USB.
  2. Amplifiers - Amplifiers improve the performance of the audio unit by relaying power to the speakers. This takes the load off the head unit and improves its performance. The price for an amplifier starts at Rs.5,000 (four channels) and Rs.3,000 (two channels).
  3. Wires - Poor wiring may be a bane for even the most expensive audio systems. Power wires are responsible for connecting the battery to the HU and the amplifiers. The wiring also grounds the entire system to avoid short circuits. Cheap power wires can result in disturbances like flickering of lights at high volumes. Similarly, if the wiring connecting the HUs and amplifiers are not proper, disturbances will be seen.
  4. Speakers - There are two types of speakers in car audio systems, i.e., component and coaxial. Coaxial speakers have low and high frequency units moulded on a single frame. Low frequency units are usually referred to as woofers and the high frequency units are called tweeters. Although coaxial speakers are cheap, the sound quality is not the best on offer. In component speakers there are separate low and high frequency units. Some of these speakers also have another part, referred to as the crossover. Component speakers are more expensive than coaxial speakers, but these offer better sound quality.
  5. Equalizers - Other features that can manage the audio are signal processors or equalizers. These audio controls enable you to change several frequency bands in the music system. You can select the frequencies that need tuning up or down as per your choice.

Best Car Audio Systems Available In India:

Listed below are some of the best car audio systems that you can buy in India in 2018:

  1. Sony - Sony is well-known for its high quality products that incorporate cutting-edge technology. The durability and quality of its offerings and user-friendly features are noteworthy. The car audio system from Sony has Bluetooth connectivity that streams music without wires and enables you to enjoy hands-free calling. You can connect to the system to watch videos and use smartphone apps. The system supports DVD, CD, and USB drives. Rear-view camera connectivity is also available.
  2. Pioneer - Some of the smart features offered by the music system from Pioneer are the built-in navigation facility and smartphone connectivity. Apps like Google Maps and Whatsapp are supported. Hands-free operation is enabled through bluetooth connectivity. One of the key features of the system is the auto time alignment feature that makes all the speakers seem equidistant from the driver. The hybrid positioning system that is in-built in the setup provides a 3D view of the roads ahead.
  3. JBL - JBL amplifiers offer high performance playback that is free of distortions. The QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology provides superb listening experience. The mp3 players from the company also support DVD, CD, and USB drives.
  4. Kenwood - The car stereos from Kenwood are of supreme quality and are available at reasonable prices. Bluetooth connectivity for calling and hands-free operation, near field communication (NFC), digital time alignment, iPhone and Android music playback facility, and radio data system support are key features of the unit.
  5. Clarion - The Clarion stereo products are some of the hot sellers in the Indian market. The parent company of Clarion is Hitachi, and it provides car audio systems with great sound clarity and build. Some of the attractive features of the stereo system from Clarion are iPod and iPhone compatibility, audio streaming feature, bluetooth connection, and CD/MP3/USB/WMA receiver. Products from Clarion can be seen in Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, and Peugeot cars.

Other popular car audio systems are those from Alpine, Blaupunkt, Bose, Infinity, and JVC.

GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

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