The best way to being your OEM upgrade is to start with your car stereo (aka in-dash receiver or head unit). There are two sizes, double din and single din which are determined by the size of your dash stereo opening. Within the last decade or so, Double Din units have become the norm. It’s been a necessity since 2018 when back-up cameras became legally required in vehicles.
The first step is to assess what features you’d like to add or keep in your stereo. Initially specifications like the display interface or touchscreen functions will lead you to determine if you want smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Do you need built-in Bluetooth or just an Aux or USB input?
With your new head-unit, shift into looking at replacing the car speakers so you can enjoy the full potential of your sound system.
Factory speakers can be cheap and wont last for the life of your vehicle. Aftermarket speakers are made with higher quality materials and produce higher fidelity sound.
Replacing your factory speakers with some aftermarket coaxial speakers can make a noticeable difference in sound quality. Coaxial includes multiple drivers in one unit to provide a fuller range of sound without having to install multiple speakers – usually at a lower price point.
Component speakers allow for more customization of your soundstage design and investing in range specific speakers. Wiring these systems take a bit more work and require an amplifier to ensure all the proper signals are being channeled to and from the stereo.
Like with head units, each vehicle will come with a set speaker opening. Sonic Electronix offers 3.5” to 8” sizes. Via our My Garage function on the home page or fitment guide, you can shop with pre-filled results for products that will work with your ride.
Amplifiers function just like the namesake implies – they amplifier the power of your speakers to produce more sound.
Head units can only produce a limited amount of power, with a more intense system set up an amp is needed to keep sound clear without shorting out your audio.
When considering an amplifier, you need to make to get the correct number of channels. A monoblock amp can only be used to power a subwoofer while a 2 or 4-channel amp. A 5-channel can power 4 speakers and a subwoofer all at once. Also, make sure to pay attention to the class of the amp, class D for example, are extremely efficient and high-powered.
When installing an amp, it is important to consider the strength of your alternator so that you won’t experience power issues like dimming headlights or even dead batteries.