What you need to know about car audio and amplifiers

Oct 24, 2019 | Same topic: Technical car terms to know
Everything you need to know about car audio and amplifiers and determining the best possible in-car sound equipment for your vehicle.

Whether you’re an audiophile or you’re just a sucker for good music, you’ll undoubtedly love the concept of car stereos. They’re not only a great in-car accessory to have. They also make the most boring trips more tolerable.

The quality of your in-car stereo elements usually depends on the make and model of your car. Even though classic cars are equipped with head units that can deliver tolerable sound quality, some audiophiles find it hard to endure it.

How to Choose a Car Amplifier

 

That’s why there are people who actually invest in better-quality in-car sound equipment. These components can differ in shapes, sizes, and prices. So if you’re one of the unsatisfied audiophiles, you can always buy better equipment for your car.

In some cases, you will most likely be paying for the audio components and labor fee for having someone install it in your ride if you can’t DIY.

Car stereo

The quality of your in-car stereo elements usually depends on the make and model of your car.

But should you really spend on an upgrade? Will it be worth it, or will it be a waste of money? What should you keep in mind when deciding on an in-car stereo element? Read Philkotse.com's advice before getting that audio component:

1. In-car audio components

If you’re not a very meticulous person, you probably won’t notice if your car audio component is emitting low-quality audio. However, you don’t have to be any kind of expert to know which the stereo component in your car is.

Though not everyone is familiar with the “amplifiers” and what they are all about. This is because amplifiers are usually associated with high-end and more luxurious types of vehicles. Not a lot of people know (and care), but car stereos can actually sound better with amplifiers.

car amplifier

Amplifiers are usually associated with high-end and more luxurious types of vehicles

A lot of the car audio systems do not typically include an amplifier. In fact, even the easiest audio upgrades also tend to be missing the amplifier. However, the fact is that all car audio systems come with an amplifier.

Even if it’s a peculiarly weak and small built-in amp, your car stereo cannot work without one. But even with a built-in amp, the sound quality is still hardly tolerable.

>>> Check out: 5 ways you might not know when upgrading car audio system.

2. What does an audio amplifier do?

Regardless of what type of amplifier it is, your home or in-car amplifier is designed to do one thing: to get the weak audio signal and then amplify it. The audio signals that go into the amp are so weak that it can’t drive the speakers. But with the help of the amplifiers, the signals that come out get the job done.

This process is never-ending. It is also highly important in every in-car or home stereo system. The power of your unit’s amplifier determines how loud, clear, and distortion-free sound is. Every stereo system has at least one amplifier installed in it.

amplifier

An in-car amplifier is designed to do one thing: to get the weak audio signal and then amplify it

Some are fitted to the head unit itself, while others may be equipped with more than one amp unit. An example is what you commonly see in the latest car models nowadays. They include a car stereo amplifier so it can drive the subwoofer.

>>> Also check: What you need to know before replacing your classic car radio.

3. Is an in-car audio amplifier a real necessity for you?

A lot of the head units that are used in cars have built-in amplifiers already. The only problem is that they’re not powerful enough to give satisfactory results. If you’re planning to get yourself a new set of amps, note that new unit heads with powerful amps tend to be more expensive. If you were already considering that, take our suggestions into account.

If you are planning to spend on an expensive amplifier, go for a head unit with preamp outputs. This should also feature a dedicated amplifier, so you get the most out of your money.

There are a few reasons as to why you should purchase an extra amplifier component for your in-car audio system. If you want the listed features below for your car stereo, then you should start saving up for the extra amps.

car with amplifier

If you are planning to spend on an expensive amplifier, go for a head unit with preamp outputs

If you want louder sound with less or no distortions at all. One of the main reasons that audiophiles buy extra amplifiers is because of this. A good-quality amplifier allows the user to increase the volume of the audio while holding the distortion. If you’re currently experiencing distortion whenever you turn up the volume, you may be missing an amp.

Whenever you decide to add a subwoofer unit to your car audio equipment, there’s a 9 out of 10 chance that you’ll need an additional amplifier. If your in-car stereo doesn’t come with connections for a sub, you can go ahead and consider a subwoofer amplifier.

audio system

Whenever you want to add a subwoofer unit to car audio system, you’ll need an additional amplifier

If you want to get the best experience out of your newly-bought speakers. If you want to boost the sound quality of your car, you can opt to buy a new set of speakers. Though this will surely give you a more satisfying sound quality, you can complement your new speakers to get the best sound quality possible. This is where choosing an amplifier of your choice comes in.

4. If you don't want amplifiers

If the distortion is okay with you or you don’t like turning up the volume in your car anyway, you can skip the concept of buying a new amplifier. Instead, you can focus your attention to the speakers and head unit instead.

There are extremely capable head units that can emit amazing distortion-free sound without any additional equipment. If you think the audio could be clearer, you can use a typical high-pass crossover to clear it up.

Another factor you should consider is whether your head unit comes with preamp outputs or not. These outputs work by bypassing the built-in amplifier. It sends a clear signal to the external amplifier. If your head unit doesn’t come with preamp outputs, you will need to get yourself an amplifier with speaker-level inputs.

>>> You might concern: Must-know tips to choose the best aftermarket car head units.

car stereo

You can focus your attention to the speakers and head unit instead

Your other option is to use a speaker to line the level converter instead. Both of these options can effectively reduce distortion. If you’re still not convinced, you can go ahead and buy a new head unit.

Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez