Articles & Videos: Factory Radio Improvement

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.

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
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.

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
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?
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
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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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

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
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.

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.

The Kicker VSS Powerstage system upgrade 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.

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