Contact us
Close contact box
Connect ID #
139 271 965 3
Connect ID #
139 271 965 3
All finished with your chat session?

We’ll email you a transcript of this conversation for your records.

All of our representatives are
currently chatting with other customers.

Please enter your name.  
Please enter a valid email address. Why is this required?
Please enter your US phone number.  

For Tech Support, call 1-888-292-2575

Thank you, !
Our conversation will be emailed to

Your Advisor,

More about me
Please enter a question  
Don't wait on hold. We'll call you back when it's your turn to talk with the next available .
Please enter your name  
Please enter your phone number  

Please enter a message  

Calls may be recorded for training and quality control purposes.

We are located in Virginia USA.

My perfect in-dash receiver

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.

Over the years I've had a lot of different car stereos. But each time I'm ready to get a new one, it's harder to choose. There are plenty of good models out there, and they all do a good job on the basics. Where it gets hard is finding a model that has the right combination of "extras" - things like auxiliary inputs, format capabilities, expansion opportunities, and the like.

I sat down one day and thought about what my perfect in-dash receiver would be like. Here's what I came up with:

Formats: My perfect receiver would play CDs, of course, but also CDs I've burned with MP3, WMA, or AAC files. No point in worrying about what type of file you're burning on the disc - it should play them all. As far as the receiver goes, it should cover AM and FM, plus HD Radio - as well. And since I get outdoors a lot, I'd like it to have a Weather Band feature as well.

Inputs: My receiver should have two auxiliary inputs. One connecting to the back, for permanent installs like my plug-and-play satellite radio, and one on the face, so I can connect up other players on the fly (like my wife's and son's iPods). There should be a front-panel USB input for using thumb drives.

I'd like to go wireless as well. My receiver should have Bluetooth® built in - it's a great safety feature for when you're answering a call while driving, and I'm sure that Bluetooth is certain to become very common for audio streaming.

Audio: Since I use external amps to power my system, my dream receiver will have three sets of high-voltage preamp outputs. A good EQ is a must as well, so at least a 3-band parametric EQ is called for. I'd also like digital time-correction, for that perfect stereo "sweet spot."

Looks: I want my receiver to have a sense of style as well. A motorized, fold-down face is a must, and a bright color display with customizable graphics will look nice in my dash. And just to be sure it all ties together nicely, the button colors should be customizable to match my dash.

And there you have it. Are you paying attention, car stereo manufacturers? (Oh, and did I mention it shouldn't be expensive, either?)