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.
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.
Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail
This short video describes some of the common features you should look for when you're shopping for an amplifier for your car audio system. Not every amplifier will have all of these features, so make sure the amp that you get has the ones you need.
This guide will help you choose the right amplifier - number of channels and how many watts per channel - for your sound system.
Today's Dodge Challenger is a muscle car for grown-ups. Sure, this powerful coupe is fun between stoplights, but it's also a comfortable long-distance cruiser with surprising amounts of room for people, stuff, and, of course, aftermarket 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.
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 redesigned 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee was slightly larger than the previous version and had a new interior layout, yet it retained that classic Cherokee look and style. If you want to have great stereo sound when you head for the great outdoors, we'll help you find the gear you need.
The 2003-05 Nissan 350Z offers all the speed and handling qualities you'd expect from a Z-car, plus a refined, comfortable cockpit and plenty of features. It's still a great car to drive, but the stereo probably doesn't sound as sporty as it used to. Upgrading the audio system is a great way to improve your Z-car's performance.
The second-gen Fit improves upon all that was good about the original and adds some cool new stuff to the mix. It's a little bit bigger, a little more refined, and a little more composed, but it still has the practicality and tossability that made the Fit a hit in the first place.
Designed to capitalize on the immense popularity of the original VW Beetle, the New Beetle made its bubble-topped debut in 1998. The vehicle remained largely unchanged throughout its production run, which lasted until 2010. The highlights: replacing the stereo is fairly easy, but the speakers will take a little more work.
The Honda Element is one of those versatile vehicles that can handle just about anything you throw at it or in it. If you're into great sound, the Element offers plenty of room for a seriously impressive stereo system.
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.
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.
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:
Dolly, a Crutchfield advisor, listens to a sound bar demo at Crutchfield, and picks out her favorite one: the Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50.
C.J., a Crutchfield advisor, listens to a sound bar demo at Crutchfield, and picks out his favorite one: the Yamaha YSP-5100 Digital Sound Projector.
J.R. listens to a sound bar demo at Crutchfield and picks out his favorite one the Polk Audio Surroundbar® 3000.
Greg Williams from Bowers & Wilkins came to Crutchfield to talk about their Zeppelin Air, a powered speaker system with Apple AirPlay®.
Wondering what pieces go into a home theater system? In this article, we walk you through each component's role.