By Madalynn Ely. Car Audio. Published at Sunday, January 21st, 2018 - 08:16:22 AM.
So, if you already have aftermarket speakers, find out their top RMS rating. Pairs should be the same, but if your front and rear pairs are slightly different, it's okay — use the lower rating. Multiply that number by 75% (0.75) — this is the minimum RMS wattage the amp you're looking for should have per channel. Now, multiply that rating number by 150% (1.5) — this is the maximum output power per channel you'll want for your amp. Don't worry if you can't find an amp small enough to match speakers with low power ratings. You can always set your amplifier's gain low enough that it won't ever attain its full power, so your speakers will be safe.
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.
Do you rely on your phone for music and more? If you use your phone for just about everything, including music, look for a receiver that features a USB port and Bluetooth®. You can play digital music files stored on your phone, and, if you have Bluetooth, stream internet radio. You can also play tunes stored on a thumb drive or plug in an MP3 player with a USB connection.
Finally, find a place to park the car. But don't turn down the music just yet. Keeping the volume at "highway level" (but without the road noise to confuse your ear), do you hear a lot of distortion? Set the balance, fader, and tone controls right smack in the middle. How's the overall sound of the speakers? What's lacking? Bass? Treble? Clarity?
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