By Alyssa Horvath. Car Audio. Published at Friday, May 18th, 2018 - 06:08:06 AM.
Car stereo manufacturers have begun to adjust, moving away from the traditional stereo and speaker offerings toward developing products that enhance factory systems. Solutions range from adding a simple powered subwoofer, to using a sophisticated sound processor to expand your system, and from adapters that connect your iPhone® or iPod® to your factory stereo, to kits that integrate your smartphone into your factory system. Let's talk about some of your options.
If you own a portable music player or iPod®, look for a receiver with an aux input or two. USB inputs will charge your iPod when it's connected, and offer direct audio connection for faster signal transfer. If you get a receiver with a large monitor, you'll get the added convenience of touchscreen control and easy viewing of songs and playlists, even album art and video. If you don't use CDs anymore, we offer a number of "mechless" digital media receivers that don't even have CD players. If you still enjoy your discs (Which is totally cool!), most new CD receivers will play just about any format that fits on a disc.
Speaker materials. A speaker's material design will determine its durability and sound quality. Woofer materials, to effectively produce the low notes in your music, the woofer of a full-range or component speaker should be made of material that is stiff, yet lightweight. Manufacturers make most car speaker woofer cones out of synthetic films like polypropylene, which serve well. Polypropylene mixed with other materials, like mica, is often stiffer, yielding more accurate bass response. Woven fabrics, or synthetics coated with metals like aluminum or titanium, are also lightweight, strong, and provide excellent response. All of these materials stand up well to heat, cold, and moisture.
Power-handling. Power-handling lets you know how much power (measured in watts) a speaker can handle. If you've got a low-powered system, your speakers don't need to be able to handle lots of power. On the other hand, a system with powerful external amps will require speakers whose power-handling is close to the output of the amps. And remember, the key spec in power-handling is the maximum RMS power-handling, not the peak power handling. RMS ratings realistically measure how much power the speaker can handle on a continuous basis, not just for a short period of time. A system rated at "2-50 watts RMS" will make a better match for your low-powered stereo than another system rated "10-80 watts RMS."
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