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FAQ about car stereos

FAQ about car stereos

Common inquiries regarding selecting and installing a new vehicle stereo

Do you have any questions regarding updating your vehicle stereo? We have the solutions! (Image courtesy of Crutchfield Research)Here are some of the most often asked questions regarding selecting and installing a new vehicle audio. If you have any more questions or require additional information, please contact us by phone or chat. And if you want to check which stereos will suit your car, simply enter your vehicle information into our vehicle picker.

Why should I replace my car stereo?

There are several sorts; which one is ideal for me?How can I know what will fit my vehicle?Can I still use my steering wheel controls if I install a new stereo?Will a new stereo work with the factory choices I already have?Can I have a radio that matches the lighting in my dash?Will my new car radio be compatible with my smartphone?Can my factory speakers support a powerful vehicle stereo?How much power do I need to get the best out of my car's sound system?Will a new vehicle radio improve my bass?

How difficult is it to replace a radio?Is an installation kit required?What's the best method to connect the Crutchfield wire harness to the harness on my new CD receiver?Will I require any more, specialized adapters?Q: Why should I replace my car stereo?A: The best reasons for purchasing a new vehicle radio are the sound and features. Aftermarket automobile stereos are often more powerful than factory stereos and offer greater sound-shaping controls. Depending on the type and brand of vehicle stereo you choose, you'll also discover Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, USB and aux inputs, touchscreen controls, navigation, satellite radio compatibility, and much more.

Car audio receivers

Car stereos come in a variety of styles, ranging from touchscreen devices to CD receivers.Q: There are several varieties; which is best for me?A: When you start looking for car stereos, you'll notice four primary types: CD receivers, digital media receivers, DVD receivers, and navigation receivers. CD receivers are what most people envision when they hear the phrase "car stereo." CD receivers, of course, play CDs, but most versions will also include an aux and USB input, as well as a radio tuner. CD receivers are available in single-DIN (2-inch tall) and double-DIN (4-inch tall) configurations.

Car stereos with digital media receivers do away with the CD player. If you solely listen to music through digital audio players, cellphones, or streaming music services, this is a terrific alternative. Retrosound vehicle stereos are an interesting version of these receivers, designed to fit into old automobiles that don't have dash apertures wide enough to accommodate a CD receiver. DVD receivers - These receivers not only play DVDs and CDs, but also include touchscreen displays on which you may watch video material while parked. You'll also get album art display, touchscreen audio settings, and smartphone connection, with certain versions incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation receivers - If you travel frequently, a navigation receiver might be ideal for you. You'll discover DVD receiver functions as well as built-in GPS navigation that doesn't rely on your smartphone.  

Q: How can I know what will fit my vehicle?

A: Don't worry, we've done the hard work! Our automotive research team has examined hundreds of automobiles and trucks to determine what will (and will not) function in certain vehicles.There's also the issue of DIN size: do you need a single-DIN or a double-DIN stereo? Which is superior? To discover out, read our "Single-DIN vs. double-DIN" page, but the simplest answer is to use our vehicle selection to tell us what you drive, and we'll let you know. Or, if you want to bypass the middleman, give us a call and we'll tell you the truth.Audio controls are located on the steering wheel.You may keep using your steering wheel controls with the proper adaptor.

Q: Can I keep my steering wheel controls?

A: Sure, but you'll need to install a specific adaptor in most circumstances. In addition, when you purchase any radio from us, you will receive a substantial discount on the steering wheel control adapter for your vehicle. For further details, see our page on Steering Wheel Audio Control Adapters.

Q: Will a new stereo work with the factory choices I already have?

A: Your vehicle may have had factory-installed accessories such as satellite radio, GPS, or Bluetooth. Most of these functions are either incorporated into the original factory radio or employ proprietary protocols that are incompatible with new aftermarket car stereos, thus they will not operate with a new stereo. This can be a complicated issue though, so call or chat with us and we can check out your specific vehicle and features.

Q: Can I get a stereo that will match my dash illumination?

A: We appreciate it when a new vehicle radio appears like it belongs in your dash, and complementing the existing dash illumination scheme is an important element of that. To fine-tune the color match, search for versions that allow you to change the color of different elements of the receiver, such as white for the display and red for the buttons. There are additional variants that allow you to modify individual RGB color levels for a precise match. To view your possibilities, look for stereos with changing hues.

Q: Will my new car audio be compatible with my smartphone?

A: One of the most fascinating aspects of modern car stereos is their ability to interact with your smartphone. Almost all versions include a USB port for connecting to your phone, allowing you to view your music or other stored material from both iOS and Android smartphones. You'll also be able to access your music or streaming services if your new radio includes Bluetooth. One of the most exciting recent developments has been the increased availability of receivers that support the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces, allowing totally integrated touchscreen management of numerous smartphone functionalities.

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  • Qiang Ling
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