How to Choose an MP3 Car Stereo
Buying an in-dash MP3 car stereo can seem like a daunting task. Today's players are usually packaged with other audio technologies, including standard radio tuners, CD players or even GPS units. Following these easy steps can make the task more manageable:
- Begin by deciding how much you want to spend: prices start at around $50 for a great buy to between five and six hundred for all the bells and whistles. The average price is between $100 and $200. Narrow your decision by sticking with reputable brands and by reading a variety of consumer reviews.
- After deciding on a price range, decide what you need. An MP3 player with a standard radio? A CD player? Something satellite ready? What you need may be affected by how much time you spend in your car, the size of your vehicle, or whether or not you have children or drive long distances.
- Check the specifications. They'll give you a wealth of necessary information - including the sound output mode (i.e. stereo), whether or not it has an equalizer (and what type), and what kind of digital audio standards are supported (MP3, WMA, etc...).
- When replacing a factory installed radio, Deutsche Industrie Norm (DIN) is the standard width of car radio head units. This can be found in the specs under Form Factor and you may need to purchase an accompanying adapter. You may also want to ensure the faceplate matches the interior of your vehicle.
- The specifications will also tell you the speaker connector type and whether the system has front channel output, rear channel output, subwoofer output, and the number of audio outlines. (This may be more important for the audio system enthusiast or for those who prefer a lot of bass).
While it's possible to install most units yourself in about an hour, professional car stereo installation is recommended to avoid affecting the sound quality or accidentally damaging the system. Although buying an MP3 system for your automobile may seem complicated, following these steps can make the process easier and help you on your way to a killer MP3 car stereo system.