Crutchfield Writing Team
Crutchfield's car audio experts answer some of the most frequently asked questions about buying and installing car stereo equipment.
Like most high schoolers, Morgan didn't particularly enjoy getting stuck driving the family minivan. And a minivan isn't a vehicle you'd normally think of to put in a rockin' aftermarket sound system. Now, it sounds better than a new car's stereo and she has a place to plug in her iPhone, too.
We headed to our Labs space to see if we could hear differences between various grades of speaker wire. Read what some of our listeners had to say.
What you see when you look at the outside of a top-notch home speaker reveals only a fraction of the design and engineering that goes into it. In this article, we'll identify some of the various elements that go into one of the speakers we carry and explain how they make this speaker sound so good.
Steve Silberman from AudioQuest visited Crutchfield to share some techniques for hooking our computers up to our stereos and getting better sound.
Chris Egner, Ralph Graves
In this short video, Ralph and Chris discuss the top features of Bose's 191 speakers. They install in your wall or ceiling, and include a built-in enclosure.
Suzuki doesn't sell cars here anymore, but their SX4 is still a very nifty car that's a lot of fun to drive. Replacing that tired old factory stereo system with a new receiver and speakers will make your Suzuki an even more enjoyable way to get around town.
Jordan B. from Florence, SC, wasn't happy with the sound in his 2000 Chevrolet Camaro, so he took care of business with a new stereo from Pioneer, plus speakers from Kenwood and Pioneer.
Designed to capitalize on the immense popularity of the original VW Beetle, the New Beetle made its debut in 1998. The vehicle remained largely unchanged throughout its production run, which lasted until 2010. Replacing the Beetle's stereo is fairly easy, but the speakers will take a little more work.
The 2005-11 Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab is a rugged hauler with plenty of room for passengers. Toyota built this tough truck with a basic stereo system and an upgraded JBL stereo option, and you'll find lots of possibilities for upgrading either system, including easy replacement of the stereo and speakers.
With the Wrangler Unlimited, you can get away from it all without leaving great stereo sound behind. There's room for a powerful new receiver, plenty of spaces for speakers, and a variety of interesting options if you want to add a subwoofer.
Ford must have had car audio fans in mind when they built this truck. The roomy interior offers plenty of space for new speakers, a stereo, and much more. The F-150's remarkable popularity ensures that you'll have plenty of options to choose from, and the modular design makes installation surprisingly easy.
Just because you can't replace the radio doesn't mean you can't improve your car's audio. Brent P, who works in Crutchfield's IT department, boosted his 2007 Saab 9-3 wagon's sound and functionality without installing a new receiver.
Properly tweaked, your car or truck can be a fantastic place to listen to music. But in order to achieve that level of enjoyment, you need to compensate for some of its natural limitations. Achieving great imaging is a matter of understanding your components, and how they interact with your vehicle and the people sitting in it.
I was over at Steve’s place the other day and sweet smokin’ sassafras, his system was sounding better than ever! As you may or may not know, Steve is Crutchfield’s long-time TV...
Leslie H replaces her 14-year old factory radio and speakers in her 2001 Nissan Xterra.
From the taut, muscular exterior to the curvy, comfortable interior, the Enclave has everything you'd expect in a Buick, plus acres of space and surprisingly decent handling. And, thanks to luxury car levels of noise suppression, the Enclave's ultra-quiet cabin is a terrific place to enjoy a new stereo system.
The 1987-1993 Mustang was a hugely popular car when new and it's still a big part of the automotive world today. If you're looking for a stereo that you can hear over all the fun you're having, we've got everything you need to make your Mustang sound great.
The Hummer brand went the way of the dodo in 2010, but there are still plenty of these brawny beasts on the road. The H3 isn't for everyone, but if it's the truck for you, you're really going to enjoy it. With a new stereo, you'll enjoy it even more.
The smart fortwo coupe isn't everybody's cup of chai tea, but if it's yours, you're probably going to like it a lot. You'll definitely want to upgrade the audio equipment, though. Just because you're driving a tiny car doesn't mean you have to put up with a tinny stereo.