More about Anthony
- Favorite holiday movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Vinyl or digital? Vinyl!
- Favorite holiday treat: Egg nog & pies
- Favorite holiday song: "The Christmas Song"
- How do you stream music? SoundCloud
- My first car: ’96 Chevy Blazer
I've always loved cars. And having an awesome car stereo in my dash is a big part of what I enjoy about driving. So, as soon as Alpine's Halo9 receiver became available, I installed it in my Toyota. I knew I'd love the giant 9" touchscreen, Apple CarPlay®, and the sound enhancement tools, but what I didn't expect is how fast it would be, loading, tuning, and switching sources. So cool!
My Alpine Halo9 has everything I've ever wanted in a car stereo, but everyone's needs are different. That's why I put together this list of some of my favorite stereos and what makes them superb.
Digital multimedia receiver
“When it comes to an oversized, tablet-like experience, Alpine's Halo9 is the one to beat. But here's the thing... it fits a 2" dash opening, and it's all kinds of adjustable so that essential knobs and vents don't get blocked. A game-changer.”
“This is one of my all-time favorite stereos to recommend because it's feature-packed. You get Bluetooth®, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto™, an HD Radio® tuner, and DVD capability. Plus, built-in Garmin navigation is the real value and it's my favorite choice for nav. Oh, and if you're into SiriusXM,® you can add the option of a satellite radio tuner for tons of talk and music.”
“I recommend this JVC CD receiver when customers are looking for a radio replacement that blends in with their vehicle's interior. Some people just love big buttons and a big volume knob, and this one delivers. Plus, variable-color illumination lets you match your stereo to your car's dash and button lights... which is awesome.”
Digital media receiver (does not play CDs)
“This 2" digital media receiver has a nice, clean look and precise tuning capabilities. And if you're not installing an amp, it's got some solid power to give your music a boost. Also, I love the little red LED Kenwood added to make it easy to tell when you're paired via Bluetooth.”
Spend some time around me, and you'll discover that music is the driving force of my life. It's why I fell in love with my local concert scene early on — there's something magical about the energy of a live show!
When I started working at Crutchfield, I knew I wanted to re-create that vibrant emotional experience at home. So I chose speakers that let my family feel like we're at our own concert. Here are some of my favorite speakers for doing the same at your house.
“I chose Monitor Audio for my system because of their rich, expansive sound. If you have the space, I recommend going with floor-standing speakers in your home because they're so much fun to listen to.”
Bookshelf speaker (Black Cherrywood)
“Not everyone has space for big speakers. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy exceptional sound quality. The Motion LX16s are perfect for music lovers who want emotionally moving sound without taking up a whole bunch of space. They also look really nice!”
Floor-standing speaker (Cherry)
“I love the energy of live music. These giant Klipsch towers are startlingly good at making music feel...well, real. They use Klipsch's horn-loaded tweeters to help create a “front row” listening experience. Plus the bass on these floor-standers is legit.”
I like artists who play with sound and music that's well-recorded. And I love having speakers in my car that play textured sound that reveals all the subtle details and transitions between notes. When I talk to customers, I try to share how exciting it is to put together a great system. I really just try to be as passionate as possible.
To find out what customers need, I ask lots of questions. Some really like thunderous bass, and others like things to be as clean as possible. With that in mind, here are some speakers I like to recommend.
DB+ Series 6-1/2" 2-way car speakers — also fit 6-3/4" openings
“The first speakers I ever installed were Polk Audio DB Series, and I was really impressed how much better they were than stock speakers. I mean, I loved those speakers. And to this day, I still love Polk DBs.”
6-1/2" 2-way car speakers
“Morel Maximos are well-balanced speakers. They've got warm midrange and soft highs, but they're still very detailed. I call these best for easy listening — they have a very good response to them.”
6-1/2" component speaker system
“If you want it loud, I would probably go with Infinity Kappa components. They have a lower-impedance design that gets the most out of the power you have. They're dynamic with a really snappy bass response.”
Expert Series 6-1/2" component speaker system
“I like the Focal Performance Series 165F with their flax and glass fiber woofers. They have that textured response that really reveals the little subtle details in music. To get the most out of the speakers you've really got to run an amplifier — you don't want to run these speakers off stock power.”
I like things loud. Very loud. I love going to movies, live shows, and festivals, so I'm all for anything that can help create a similar experience at home. And sound bars are getting better and better at that. I especially like ones that come with a sub, or the option to add one, because let's face it — almost everything is better with some rumble. Check out my top picks for any room in the house.
Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and true wireless surround speakers
“If you want 5.1 surround sound without all the wires, this unique bar is the one to put on your list. Charge the rear speakers by attaching them to the sound bar, then pop them out and place them in the back of your room for up to 10 hours of 100% wire-free rear effects.”
Powered sound bar with 4K/HDR video passthrough and DTS Virtual:X®
“My budget sound bar pick is this Yamaha model, which offers more than you'd expect for the price. It has Clear Voice mode for intelligible dialogue and DTS Virtual:X® processing for impressive simulated surround effects and a large soundstage.”
Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth®
“I love this Klipsch sound bar and sub combo for the powerful, room-filling sound it delivers. Klipsch is so good at bringing a concert-like experience to home audio. And this budget-friendly bar's built-in Bluetooth® makes it easy to play your favorite tunes from your phone wirelessly.”
TV sound bar/wireless music system
“The Playbar is an obvious choice if you already have (or want) Sonos in your home. It's easy to use and delivers great sound for both TV and music. Add the optional Sonos Sub for more bass and expand to full 5.1 surround sound with other Sonos speakers.”
I like to feel the bass — I like it when my quarter panels vibrate. I have a Rockford Fosgate Punch 12-inch subwoofer powered by a 350-watt amplifier. When I first got it, I took it to my mother-in-law's house to let her hear it. And when I turned it up, her neighbors actually called the cops on us. I'm not kidding.
Sometimes I listen to Spotify. I put it on my SoMo channel — it's sort of a pop/semi-rap kind of thing — and just get into the bass groove (even when it's not blowing the doors off). Here are some of the subs I recommend to customers who like bass as much as I do.
Solo-Baric L7S Series 10" subwoofer with dual 2-ohm voice coils
“Probably the coolest sub we sell is the Kicker L7. A dude here has one and every day I hear it when he leaves work. It rocks.”
Punch P2 10" subwoofer with dual 4-ohm voice coils
“I once did a setup for a guy in an 18-wheeler. He bought two of the dual Rockford P2s in boxes — which means he has four 12s. He put them on some custom shelving around his cab's bunkbeds, and just booms down the highway. That makes him very, very happy. ”
CX Series mono subwoofer amplifier — 1200 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
“You see on the sides of some amps huge peak wattage numbers when the true RMS power is often about a quarter of that. An amp like the Kicker CXA1200.1 puts out a true 1200 watts RMS — that's kind of a big thing.”
5-channel car amplifier — 45 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
“Sometimes I have to explain to a customer how important power is — even what seems like just a little bit. An amp like the JBL Club 5-channel puts out 45 watts RMS to each speaker — twice as much as an aftermarket radio. Plus there's 500 watts RMS for a sub.”
Growing up in a small town, I didn't have many chances to hear high-quality audio. Working at Crutchfield has broadened my knowledge. One thing I've learned — you don't have to spend much to get more from your music. That's what I love about Bluetooth® speakers — they are a budget-friendly way for anyone to enjoy better sound. Plus their portability allows me to share music I love with my friends and family (including my pup Mara!) wherever I happen to be.
Waterproof portable Bluetooth® speaker (Ocean Blue)
“I got to check out the JBL Xtreme 2 recently. It's a large speaker with dual passive radiators that deliver lots of bass. I'm definitely a fan of the sound. Plus, the battery life is long, and you can charge your phone with the built-in USB port. The shoulder strap has a bottle opener, because sometimes you need a recharge, too.”
Portable Bluetooth® speaker (Walnut)
“When I heard Klipsch's The One speaker, I fell instantly in love. It delivers the superb audio quality that I expected from a Klipsch, and it looks good doing it. Plus it has an aux input for connecting pretty much anything with a headphone jack. And while it's not quite as portable as the other picks, its super-cool retro styling is always an attention-getter.”
Waterproof portable speaker with Google Assistant, Chromecast built-in, and Bluetooth® (White)
“I just bought my partner's mom the JBL Link 20 as a wedding gift. It's waterproof, which is great because she likes being able to jam pretty much everywhere. This pint-sized speaker has Chromecast built in for streaming music from the cloud over Wi-Fi®, so she can save her phone's battery. And the Google Assistant is built right in, so whether she wants to get the forecast or hear her favorite song, all she has to do is ask.”
“My family has always been obsessed with Bose, mostly because it was the first brand we heard that really sounded great. So it's no surprise that the Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth® speaker II is my go-to recommendation. It's water-resistant with a compact, rugged design that's perfect to grab and go.”