Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Buy a Good Quality Stereo

How to Buy a Good Quality Stereo

Stereo

The term “car stereo” actually refers to the receiver – also known as the head unit or the deck – the receiver is the central processor for your vehicle audio system. Once you’ve chosen the receiver, you need to know that you’ve also locked in how upgradeable the system is and the general features at the same time, so it’s important to make all of these decisions upfront – including how much you will want to upgrade your system in the future.

Consider where your audio will be coming from: do you have a CD player? DVD player? MP3 input? Depending on which direction you want to go, you’ll need to choose an audio receiver that will handle all the various inputs that you want to utilize. You may want to go with a color A/V screen, or with a very basic receiver that only gives you the bare basics – which would include at least one USB port for MP3 files or a 3.5mm analog auxiliary input which will allow your connectivity to be universal.

Here are some useful tips regarding the purchase of a stereo:

  • Satellite radio: Keep in mind that you will need specialized options if you decide to go with satellite radio – not all base radios come with that functionality. This may require a Sirius Connect module as well, so be prepared for that additional purchase if you want to go the satellite route.

  • HD audio quality: A receiver with built-in HD Radio decoding dramatically improves overall audio quality, and is likely a good purchase.

  • Built in navigation: In-dash navigation is also a great option to consider, but you may want to remember that the GPS in your smartphone likely provides all the free navigation you will ever need – and most in-dash navigation units require some sort of (paid) ongoing subscription to get map updates.

  • Available space: While it may not seem like the most important or sexiest consideration, your interface must physically fit in the area that you have available for it in your dash. Don’t get carried away on a 6” color touchscreen when you only have room for a small interface and no screen.

  • Peak power: Power is another important consideration. The peak power, in terms of RMS, is what you want to pay attention to. In general, more RMS is better – meaning you’ll get more output which is important if you’re listening to the radio loud at high speeds.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: What extra features are available on the radio?

Once upon a time, car radios were pretty basic. Today, that’s not the case at all. The radio in your Fusion offers a lot of functionality off the bat, and there are plenty of different extra features offered as well....

Q: How do I adjust the fader and balance?

Adjusting the fader and balance in your infotainment system is easy: Press the Tone button on the system. Turn the Menu or Menu/Sel knob to highlight Fader or Balance, and then press the knob to select that submenu. Turn...

Q: Car stereo not working

Have a mechanic, such as one of our YourMechanic experts, check the audio system's electrical connections and fuses. The mechanic should check the operation of the radio head unit as well as look for any internal faults.