Video: Inside Crutchfield's Product Research Team
I've been a camera nut all my life, so it makes sense I'd end up being a video producer. Of course, it has been a roundabout journey for me, as I started at Crutchfield in 2007 writing about car audio gear. Over the years I've learned about all the electronic items we sell, and it is my job to make sure we are making videos that you will find useful, whether you're shopping for something specific or trying to install some new gear yourself. My job is a lot of fun because I get to play around with all the cool stuff you see on our website while I'm making videos about it. Getting hands-on with the gear helps me see what I should show you about a product, though the flip side is my personal wish list is a mile long...
More from Zak Billmeier
Our Product Research team examines one of every car and home audio/video product that we have in our warehouse. Check out the steps involved in databasing a product, and where to find the info the team gathers when you're shopping at crutchfield.com.
For car audio products, this product data combines with the data we collect from vehicles to create our vehicle-fit database (as seen in our video about the Crutchfield MasterSheet™). And that's how we know whether or not a product fits your car.
Today I'm going to be researching this Kenwood CD receiver, the KDC-BT948HD. What we'll do first is we'll actually take the unit out of the box and document everything that comes with the unit, so the customer knows exactly what should be in the box when they receive it in the mail. After that, I'll actually open up the owner's manual, and I'll read it front to back to make sure I know everything I need to about the unit before I start writing about it on the web. Once I'm done with the manual, I'll actually hook the unit up to a speaker, put a CD in it, hook it up to an iPod as far as to test iPod compatibility and then look and see what other accessories that we could add to this unit, whether it be Bluetooth, HD radio.
Once I've done playing with that stuff, we'll actually measure the unit to make sure that it fits your vehicle. We'll measure the width, the height, and we'll measure the depth, including cables, so we know there's enough clearance in your dash for it to fit. And additionally, I'll actually document it in our database wiring codes for the head unit as far as knowing what color wires are what whether it's a speaker lead, or a power lead, or ground lead.
Once that's all complete, we put it out there on the web for our customers and internally for our sales advisors and tech people to help assist our customers. We do this for every car stereo that we sell and every product that comes into Crutchfield. We take the time to sit down and make sure that it does everything that it should do, and that you know what you're getting before you're buying.