So your buddy has a new system and it sounds nice, but you know you can do better. Here’s how to build a system that is louder and ultimately make your car audio system sound better than your friend’s.
1. Do it right from the start. It all starts with the head unit. That’s where your sound comes from, and it should start by purchasing the best aftermarket option you can afford. Even the fanciest OEM head unit options can’t hold a candle to a $300 Alpine or Kenwood aftermarket unit with dedicated pre-amp outputs, built-in crossovers, multiple equalization options, time alignment and numerous other ways to adjust your sound.
Factory units don’t have any of that, and they are simply not designed with aftermarket components in mind. All of the adapters, converters, and signal processors in the world won’t fix the terrible things those OEM systems do to your music.
If you want to sound better than your buddy, you need a better head unit! You want to be the best, don’t you? We can place a solid bet that he or she has already made the replacement. What will you do?
2. POWER! After the head unit, nothing beats power. The more you have, the better your system will sound. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to use all your power—you’ll want to have plenty to spare for those necessary moments.
When I say power, I mean you need amplification. Again, do it right the first time and don’t settle for “enough” power. Even if the speakers say 150 watts max power. That is the max, but remember: with great power comes great responsibility. And with a bit of self-control on your volume knob and proper amplifier gain settings, your speakers will play louder and more clearly than you ever thought possible. When it comes to sound quality at high volume, power is everything.
3. The details, are in the details. Hushmat, foam baffles, F.A.S.T. rings, and custom built enclosures can all have an effect on how much music you can actually hear coming from your speakers. Speaker angle adjustments can make a huge difference on where your sound seems to originate from and what you hear coming from your speakers. It’s far more important to have two speakers mounted and aimed properly than half a dozen speakers slapped anywhere they fit. Proper amp gain adjustments can mean the difference between loud and crystal clear sound and speakers blown from distortion.
Saving up for higher quality equipment the first time around will go a long way towards building a better car audio system. You’ll be happier with the results and spend less by doing it right the first time. It’ll be cheaper than buying a smaller, more budget minded system now and upgrading it later because it’s not loud enough or doesn’t sound as good as you hoped it would. With a little planning and attention to detail, you’ll have the best sounding system on the block!