What You Thought You Knew
If you are on the fence as to whether you want to upgrade your car audio system, let us dispel a few common myths to see if it sways you.
I listen to jazz, so I do not need a subwoofer
Actually, it does not matter what you listen to. Subwoofers are not just for the high-impact heavy rock or rap, cranked up. A well-made subwoofer actually adds a rich, deep quality that will enhance any and all kinds of music you choose to listen to. When you turn your bass control down, the speakers can do a better job, too.
I don’t need an outboard amplifier for my new speakers.
Yes, you do. By installing an outboard amplifier, you’ll enjoy a new dynamic to your sound quality. The extra power actually translates the louder volume more accurately instead of having to struggle to reach the increased levels. The result is literally music to your ears—but unlike what you’ve heard before. This finer attention to detail in musicality is a result of the less-taxed amplifier delivering better information to your speakers.
Four-way speakers always sound better.
Interestingly enough, this is not always the case. A well-made two-way speaker with a high-quality woofer, tweeter, and crossover network will be superior to a basic four-way speaker. Aftermarket speakers will sound better than factory speakers because they use better components.
I’ll install the subwoofer elsewhere
Not always a good idea. The performance will decrease, and you can actually damage your new subwoofer, if you feed it too much power in the wrong box. Subwoofers and enclosures are designed to fit like a hand in glove. So, if you intend to use the sub elsewhere, measure the air space parameters first.
If I replace the factory system, I will lose other functions
This may be true—that if you replace your factory radio, you’ll lose climate controls, navigation, or other features—however it doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your audio system with the factory system intact. Many manufacturers offer expanders to the factory system that enable you to incorporate Bluetooth adapters, iPod adapters, CD chargers, satellite radio, etc. Others offer the ability for you to connect your factory radio to speaker outputs to add amplifiers and subwoofers to your system.
I will lose my security system and other safety features if I make changes
In some cases, yes, the factory radio is tied into safety features such as GM vehicles that incorporate OnStar technology. However, did you know you can purchase an adapter that works with your newly installed, upgraded stereo?
Always buy car audio systems from a reputable dealer who knows whether you need an adapter ahead of time. This will eliminate any surprises later.