If you’re hearing a lot of crackling noises or want better sounds coming from the car sound system, it might be time for an upgrade.
Whether it’s a project you take on for your classic car, or you’re looking for better sounds in your basic vehicle, adding more sound and better quality to your audio system is something you can do at home. It takes a little bit of patience, the right equipment, and some technical know-how. We’ve got five steps you should follow to make sure your sound system gives you the musical pleasures you’re after.
Do You Need to Follow the Steps in Order?
It might sound strange, but no, you don’t. Normally, when you perform a task, there are specific steps, and following them in order is the best way to ensure you do things right. When it comes to upgrading the audio system in your car, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. You might be happy with the factory radio and simply want to add a few speakers, or you might want to tear it all out and start over. It’s up to you.
1. Replacing the Factory Radio Is the Biggest Step
Have you bought a classic car that has nothing but an AM radio? Do you have a vehicle made before touchscreens, and you want to put a modern infotainment system into your vehicle? Changing the factor radio is one of the first and most important steps in upgrading your car sound system. The sound systems before touchscreens don’t offer the functionality you’ll find when you add a touchscreen to the mix.
What Features Should Your Radio Include
If you’re adding a new touchscreen to your car, you’ll want to ensure the system is compatible with your vehicle and will work well with the speakers you’ll use. Some of the features you want to look for include connectivity items such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. If you want to add a subscription radio service such as SiriusXM, make sure it’s included in the system. Most likely, if the stereo has connectivity features, it should also have hands-free calling, which makes it much easier for you to feel like you’ve got a modern system.
Do You Want to Add a Rearview Camera
While you might not be able to add a full roster of advanced safety items to your vehicle, you can add a rearview camera when you upgrade the factory radio to a touchscreen unit. Many of these modern systems include functionality for a rearview camera, which you’ll need to install in your bumper or on the rear hatch of your car. If you add this feature, ensure you wire it to your reverse gear to allow the camera to activate whenever you place the vehicle in reverse.
2. Upgrade Your Speakers for Better Sound
If you upgraded the factory radio to one of the new touchscreen units, you’re adding more power to the system and will likely hear a huge difference in your car sound system right away. If you still want to upgrade the speakers, the best way to do this is to begin up front and work your way to the rear. You sit in the driver’s seat; let the sounds you hear become the sounds you love. Work your way from the front to the rear. It’s best to order your speakers from a company that offers a large variety of sizes and shapes to give your vehicle the sounds you want to hear.
How Should You Progressively Upgrade the Speakers?
When your budget only allows for an upgraded set of front speakers, make sure these are full-range models. These speakers will move to the rear when you buy the next set of speakers for the front doors. The front is where you’ll eventually want some small speakers and specialty models, while the rear is where you should keep the full-range speakers.
3. More Power is Where Your Sound System Shines
If you’re car still isn’t thumping down the road like you want, it’s time to give your car sound system more power for the amazing sounds you want to hear. This means it’s time to add an amplifier to the mix. This item gives you more power and brings your audio system to its true potential. A 4-channel amp adds the power you want to your front and rear speakers. If you add a subwoofer, you can power it from the rear channel until you buy a separate subwoofer amp.
4. Its Subwoofer Time
We did mention that you can do these steps in any order you want. That said, if your car doesn’t have an amplifier, it’s going to be extremely difficult to add a subwoofer and receive the sounds and power desired. Of course, if you’re happy with the sound system but simply want to add a subwoofer, this step and the next one will make perfect sense for you. When you want to hear a lot of bass from your car, adding a subwoofer to the back is the best way to do this. Those large boxes you see some people add to their trunk areas are the subs, and they can become part of a great show for your car.
5. Give that Subwoofer the Right Power
Typically, a trunk-mounted subwoofer is the largest speaker in your car. Some people will put a couple of speakers in this space. The size of these speakers requires more power, which means it’s time to add a dedicated amplifier to the subwoofer. This is one of the most popular ways to improve your car sound system for more bass and big sounds. Of course, if you want to have clear sounds from the subs, you’ll need to line your trunk lid with insulation to reduce the vibrations that make your car sound like it is shaking.
Use these tips to upgrade your car sound system and enjoy the big sounds you’ve always wanted while driving down the road. This can be one of the most fun car upgrades you complete, giving you the musical pleasure you want to enjoy every time you take a drive.
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