How to Buy a Good Quality Stereo | YourMechanic Advice

How to Buy a Good Quality Stereo

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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.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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