If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get an immediate increase in your sound quality, one of the first things you should consider is an Aftermarket stereo. Here are 5 fast facts about car stereos that can help you find right one for your vehicle.

  1. Technology in Aftermarket Stereos is Constantly Improving

One of the most distinguishing differences between a $40 stereo and a $2,000 one is the technology that is inside of the stereo itself. $40 stereos do exist, but their capabilities are extremely limiting. Although, both may include USB and Bluetooth connectivity, the usability may not be the same. The cheaper option will typically include outdated technology that makes the connection process slower and at times frustrating. A higher quality stereo will include a newer version of Bluetooth and other options such as Apple Car Play and Android Auto. This makes connecting to your device almost instantaneous. The higher quality radios will also include massive touchscreens which make visibility much better and they often include many hands-free options that allows you to stay focused on the road ahead of you.

  1. Your Music Streaming App Could be Killing your Audio Quality

Music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music are continually growing. People often times don’t realize that they are losing audio quality due to compression. In most cases, like listening to music on basic pair of headphones, the difference is rather unnoticeable; however, once translated to a car stereo, you can lose low and high-frequency information. This causes you to miss out on minor details in the music that will be noticeable on a higher quality audio system. Ensure you use as little compression as possible by downloading the full-size audio files and by utilizing stereos with higher bit rates to ensure the best sound quality possible.

  1. Understand the Difference: Single DIN vs. Double DIN

One thing you must consider before purchasing a new head unit is the size of the head unit itself.  Most cars manufactured within the last 15-20 years have Double DIN stereos straight from the factory. Vehicles from the 80s and 90s typically have the smaller Single DIN stereo size. If your vehicle can fit a Double DIN stereo, you actually have the ability to install either size. If you chose the smaller option, you simply have to get the correct cages and brackets to make sure the fitment will be flush with the dash. The biggest advantage to a Double DIN however, is the increase in functionality. You now have access some of the touchscreen features and smart connectivity that I discussed earlier.

  1. Aftermarket Stereos can Increase the Sound Quality of your Factory Sound System

Cheap factory stereos can send weak and even, at times, distorted signals to your sound system. This will result in poor sound quality. An aftermarket receiver can make the most of your factory sound system. They send a stronger signal and a slightly amplified power output.

  1. Don’t Lose Features like Steering Wheel Controls, Use an Adapter 

It’s a common misconception that if you buy an aftermarket radio you will lose many of your car’s features such as steering wheel controls or back-up cameras; however, all you simply have to do is install an adapter to seamlessly integrate those features into your new aftermarket receiver.


If you followed these 5 facts you should have a better understanding of what technology is currently available to consumers. Now utilize this knowledge to purchase the product that will best fit your needs. If you have any further questions, make sure to check out CAR AUDIO 101: CAR STEREOS or take a look at any of our other articles in our Learning Center.