A car can be a great place to enjoy music, but many commuters still put up with marginal sound quality that they'd never tolerate at home. Here are some tips on how to improve your vehicle's sound, whether you're listening on a simple factory system or a multi-channel amplified setup.
The mobile audio/video section of the Crutchfield Labs lets our writers, researchers, and advisors get hands-on experience with the latest car audio products.
We wanted to answer the most basic question about car audio: is it really worth it to upgrade? Using a 2004 Ford F-150 as our test vehicle, we installed some great gear, then documented the system performance and improvements along the way:
Eric G. from Willamsville, NY, wanted to get his 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP's system to sound less harsh and more bass-heavy. After trial and error with different components, he ended up with some JL Audio speakers and a sweet Pioneer AVH-P3400BH DVD receiver, among other pieces of gear.
The original Scion xB was a small, quirky box of a car that quickly found a loyal following in a crowded U.S. marketplace. The second-gen xB is longer, lower and wider, but it's still a practical people-mover with just enough of Scion's trademark Scion-ness to keep things interesting.
Factory stereo systems leave a lot to be desired. This problem now has some solutions that let you keep your factory stereo and get spectacular sound, customized for your specific vehicle. The four upgrade systems we discuss in this article improve the factory sound of different vehicles in different ways.
Throughout the decades, the MINI Cooper has always offered practical utility, oddly dramatic styling ('boxy but cute,' 'powered roller-skate' etc.), and a healthy dose of driving fun. The "new" MINI delivers all of the above in a modern package.