By Luz Hauser. Car Audio. Published at Monday, December 18th, 2017 - 13:30:58 PM.
More entertainment options for your factory radio. In the past, car manufacturers have avoided giving you any way to plug an auxiliary device into the factory stereo, figuring correctly that they'd make more money by selling you the factory option at the dealership. But the overwhelming popularity of the iPod® forced this issue, and most carmakers now equip their new vehicles with USB ports. But what are your options if you're not one of the lucky ones with a car like this?
I want my aftermarket speakers to really sing. All aftermarket speakers, especially component sets, benefit from being fed more power than what a factory or even an aftermarket receiver can put out. Among a speaker's published specifications you will find its RMS (or "continuous") power rating, usually as a range — "5-60 watts RMS power range" for example. The higher number represents the approximate driving power at which the speaker will play at its fullest and best according to the manufacturer. Actually, most speakers get rated very conservatively and can take a lot more power than their rating (as much as 150% of the rating is usually safe). But they really won't sound good unless they're able to get at least 3-quarters (75%) of that power rating.
Because bandpass boxes are super efficient within that range, they tend to boom. Their aggressive sound is great for rap, reggae, and hard rock. Not all subwoofers work well in bandpass boxes, though; consult our product information or call one of our Advisors to be sure.
A more economical way to upgrade your sound system without changing the factory receiver or speakers is to get a compact 4-channel amp to boost the power for your front and rear speakers. The Alpine KTP-445U Power Pack and the Clarion XC1410 4-channel amp are two examples of amplifiers that are small enough that they can be installed behind many dashboards and powerful enough to dramatically increase the quality and clarity of your sound. Both of these amps, as well as many others available at Crutchfield, feature inputs that can handle the high-level signal from the vehicle's factory speaker wiring. Look for an amplifier with "speaker-level inputs" as one of its features if you want to add it to a factory system.
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