Before deciding on a car stereo system, you need to set a budget and determine which options are compatible for you to upgrade a car stereo easily.
Upgrade a car stereo easily: 5 upgrades to consider.
- Standard DIN Car Stereo Systems
Most cars have a standard single-DIN slot in the dashboard for compatibility with most major units. The size of a standard DIN unit is 180 x 50 mm, although the actual depth of the system is not standardized. Standard car radios like these can usually be customized by the owner.
Standard DIN systems typically have a radio and CD player, although newer models often offer satellite radio support and a USB port for connecting a stand-alone MP3 player or USB key to music.
- Double DIN car stereo systems
As the name implies, double DIN units are twice the size of standard models, but not every vehicle has a large enough dashboard slot to carry them. The larger size means that dual-DIN devices can also offer a host of additional features such as touchscreens and integrated navigation. As with single-DIN systems, most dual-DIN devices offer simple plug-and-play connectivity, so you do not have to install or cut cables.
- Car DVD player
Double-DIN is sometimes available with DVD players and screens. DVD players are also backwards compatible with CDs so you can watch movies and listen to audio CDs. Most of the newer models also include a USB port.
If you are thinking of buying a car DVD player, additional screens for rear seat passengers should be installed. These screens are typically mounted to the headrests, although other designs and formats are available.
- Improved car speakers
If you are already investing in an upgraded main unit, you should also consider your standard problem for a higher quality sound system. The most important consideration when buying car speaker systems is whether you choose a complete or component-based system. The former offers an all-in-one design for easier installation, though they are not so customizable.
Component-based systems usually have a drop-in design, so you can install them in the existing slots in the car. However, since every car is different they probably require a professional installation. By comparison, subwoofers are often installed either in the parcel shelf or free in the boot.
- Portable car audio systems
Portable systems do not require installation because they are powered by either the battery and / or cigarette lighter. In addition, you can use some models outside of the vehicle because you can connect them to the mains with a standard A/C adapter.
If you do not want to worry about compatibility issues and rewiring, a portable system is ideal. However, to use the built-in speakers in the car, you must be able to connect to the main unit with either a standard auxiliary or USB input.