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You vehicle’s audio system is the primary means for your entertainment while driving. High quality sound and mobile device integration are the most common features that stock car audio systems lack. Toy Motorsports specializes in car audio and mobile device integration, and can upgrade the sound quality and usability features of your vehicle’s sound system through the various products and technologies we offer. There are many different components in your car’s audio system which can affect the sound quality and usability of your audio system. The three main components are the head unit, speakers, and amplifier:
A head unit is the main audio system device which is the source for the sound in the vehicle. While most modern day head units feature radio and cd playing features, many now feature iPod connections, GPS navigation, and bluetooth streaming features. If your vehicle’s stock headunit is missing any features which you’d like to add (such as bluetooth, gps navigation, rearview camera, ipod & pandora control), replacing your headunit may be an inexpensive way to gain the latest and greatest features in your vehicle, without having to purchase a newer vehicle altogether. Not only do aftermarket headunits typically offer better sound quality than stock headunits, but they typically offer far more features, and at a significantly less expensive price than through the factory (GPS navigation systems especially).There are two types of head unit, Single DIN and Double DIN. These sizes have been set as standards by the ISO (International Organization of Standardization), and therefore allow for universal fitment in a wide variety of vehicles through dash kits. DIN stands for the Deutsches Institut fur Normung.
Single DIN Headunits
A Single DIN Headunit measures 180 x 50 mm, and is typically installed for better sound quality and integration. Common features on single DIN headunits include front & rear USB ports (for iPods, thumbdrives, and more), bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, satellite radio, pandora control, and more. Due to its small size, a Single DIN headunit can be installed in a wide variety of vehicles, from modern day vehicles to antiques and hot rods.
Double DIN Headunits
A Double DIN Headunit measures 180 x 100 mm (double the height of a Single DIN headunit), and is therefore able to accommodate a larger screen and/or control panel than a single DIN headunit. The most common applications of Double DIN Headunits include lcd screens, used for GPS Navigation, or a touch-sensitive user interface; however, non-lcd double DIN headunits are also available. Double-DIN headunits typically feature all of the same great technologies and features that are available with Single DIN headunits; however their larger size allows for multimedia features such as DVD playback, GPS navigation, rearview cameras, and more! These headunits are packed with features and become the highlight of your dash, at a cost that’s significantly less than factory-installed options when purchasing the vehicle new.
Car speakers come in many sizes, primarily: 6.5″, 5.25″, 5″x7″, and 6″x9″, and they’re usually located in the doors, dash, or trunk lid of the vehicle. There are two main types of speakers:
Component speakers, also known as separate speakers, use components of different speakers which work together. Component speakers are better in sound quality than coaxial speakers, as their separate tweeter and woofers (not attached like with coaxial speakers) allow for maximum travel for the woofer, and allow for perfect placement and positioning of each component in the vehicle to achieve an optimal sound stage. Crossovers are used in component speaker sets which filter the signals to send high frequencies to the tweeters only, and low and mid frequencies to the woofers only.
Coaxial speakers are speakers whose tweeters are mounted over the woofer.Like with component speakers, the tweeter deals with the high frequency sound while the woofer controls the mid to low frequency sounds, though the two are mounted together as one speaker. Coaxial speakers fit in almost any vehicle and are the least expensive speaker option available in most cases.
Subwoofers are speakers that are dedicated to producing low frequency audio, known as bass. The typical frequency range which subwoofers produce is between 20-200hz, which is outside the primary range for component and coaxial speakers. The most common subwoofer sizes are 8″, 10″, 12″ and 15″, and the airspace required for their enclosures differs greatly depending on the type of enclosure that’s desired and the tuning specifications for each specific subwoofer model and size.
Just like in any home audio system, the best sound comes from amplified systems. Sending an amplified signal to your speakers allows them to play audio at louder volumes and with less distortion than without an amplifier. Amplifiers can be used for a wide range of speakers, and come in many configurations such as 1 channel (mono), 2 channels, 4 channels, 5 channels. Mono amplifiers (1 channel) are typically used to power one or more subwoofers. 2 channel amps are typically used to either power 1 pair of component or coaxial speakers, or 2 subwoofers. 4 channel amplifiers are typically used to power 2 pairs (front and rear) of component or coaxial speakers. 5 Channel amplifiers are typically used to power an entire sound system in a vehicle – with 2 pairs of component or coaxial speakers (for the doors) and 1 subwoofer on the 5th channel. There are many different types of amplifiers available; however, the most common amplifier type used in car audio applications is a class D amplifier, due to its high efficiency and low heat output.