Factory Radio Improvement: Articles & Videos

Charting the Decline of Factory Speakers

Charting the Decline of Factory Speakers

by Matt Freeman

Factory speakers usually sound fine when they're new, but they deteriorate over time. We compared speakers of different ages to see how badly they fared.

 
12 Tips for Getting the Best Sound Quality in Your Car

12 Tips for Getting the Best Sound Quality in Your Car

by Jeff Fay

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.

 
Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 2

Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 2

by Robert Ferency-Viars, Ken Nail

Just because you can't replace your vehicle's factory stereo doesn't mean you have to live with a poor sound system. In this short video, Crutchfield experts take a look at how a fellow employee created a high-performance car audio system.

 
A guide to iPod® and car stereo compatibility

A guide to iPod® and car stereo compatibility

by Robert Ferency-Viars

Whether you're shopping for a new stereo and want to make sure that you'll get the best experience when using your iPod or iPhone in the car, or if you just want to add iPod controls to a stereo you already have, this article will help.

 
Life with a Factory Stereo

Life with a Factory Stereo

by Charlie Pastorfield

Many new vehicles incorporate climate controls and other features into their factory radios, making it difficult to install a new stereo. Car stereo manufacturers have responded with a variety of products for upgrading your factory radio. Don't want to replace your radio? Charlie Pastorfield reviews some of your options.

 
How do I get Bluetooth® in my car?

How do I get Bluetooth® in my car?

by Robert Ferency-Viars

Bluetooth® wireless technology can be a great benefit in the car, where we tend to juggle gadgets plugged into the stereo. Find out what it takes to add hands-free talking and wireless music streaming to your car stereo.

 
Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 3

Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 3

by Robert Ferency-Viars, Ken Nail

You don't need to feel like you're stuck with the few features that happen to be built into your factory stereo. In this short video, Crutchfield experts explain how easy it can be to add the options you want, like iPod control or hands-free calling, to your factory stereo.

 
Video: Factory vs. Aftermarket Car Speakers Listening Test

Video: Factory vs. Aftermarket Car Speakers Listening Test

by Matt Freeman

Factory speakers are not built to last, so over time they'll deteriorate to the point where they sound truly awful. We set up a blind listening test in our Labs and invited some of our most critical listeners to drop by and see if they could tell a difference in the sound.

 
Car amplifier buying guide

Car amplifier buying guide

by Buck Pomerantz

This guide will help you choose the right amplifier - number of channels and how many watts per channel - for your sound system.

 
Car Subwoofer Buying Guide

Car Subwoofer Buying Guide

by Ken Nail

Subwoofers are speakers dedicated solely to reproducing low frequencies. No matter what kind of music you like, or how loud you like it, a quality sub can really improve your overall listening experience.

 
What You Need to Know about HD Radio™

What You Need to Know about HD Radio™

by Robert Ferency-Viars, Ralph Graves

An explanation of iBiquity Digital's HD Radio technology and what it means for AM and FM radio listeners.

 
Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, Part 1

Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, Part 1

by Robert Ferency-Viars, Ken Nail

Replacing your vehicle's factory speakers is usually one of the easiest ways to dramatically improve your car stereo's sound quality. In this short video, Crutchfield experts discuss how and why to change your factory speakers.

 
Portable player + aux jack = unwanted noise?

Portable player + aux jack = unwanted noise?

by Zak Billmeier

I put in a plug-and-play satellite radio recently, connecting it to my Dual XHD-6425 head unit through its aux input. With channel guide in hand, I began flipping stations in earnest, ready to...

 
Video: It Came From Your Door Panel

Video: It Came From Your Door Panel

by Video Guest

Factory speakers are the bane of every music lover's existence. They're just not built to withstand the conditions inside your car over time. Fortunately, we carry all kinds of aftermarket speakers that are built to survive - and thrive - in these harsh conditions.

 
Raise the Soundstage

Raise the Soundstage

by John Pollard

Installing tweeters in your factory tweeter locations, or custom-mounting them on the upper part of your doors, will give you better stereo imaging and raise the soundstage to your ears. You'll hear better placement of instruments in recordings, and you'll enjoy more depth of sound. And they might not be as difficult to install as you may think.

 
Add a great new stereo, keep your SYNC® system

Add a great new stereo, keep your SYNC® system

by Jon Paulette

With iDatalink's Maestro radio replacement package, you can install a powerful Kenwood navigation receiver and keep your familiar SYNC features intact.

 
A 2014 Chevy Silverado gets a Kicker audio upgrade

A 2014 Chevy Silverado gets a Kicker audio upgrade

by Dave Delamere

We upgrade the sound system in a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado by installing a Kicker SoundGate Powerstage system.

 
A 2013 Ford F-150 gets a stealthy upgrade from JL Audio

A 2013 Ford F-150 gets a stealthy upgrade from JL Audio

by Dave Delamere

A Crutchfield employee upgrades the audio in his 2013 Ford F-150 while keeping the factory look.

 
3 ways to 'pick up' the audio in your truck

3 ways to 'pick up' the audio in your truck

by Dave Delamere

We discuss three approaches to upgrading the performance of the factory stereo system in a truck. Specialty products from Kicker and JL Audio make it possible to keep your factory radio and features, but give your audio system a complete overhaul.

 
Video: Kicker Soundgate Powerstage

Video: Kicker Soundgate Powerstage

by Video Guest

The Soundgate Powerstage system upgrade by Kicker will transform your vehicle's stock radio and speakers into a high-fidelity sound system capable of giving you full, accurate, and richly-textured musical pleasure. And it does it without changing the look of your interior or dash.