If you’re among people who love to live and feel music , numerous times, you’ll have missed some thing, or even a lot… as you listen to it in your car . It happens to a lot of us. It’s not something new… is because for a long time, there has been a desire to make the car a place in which we can enjoy the pleasure of listening to our favourite songs with better quality, realism or emotion. That’s why the technology we call today ” car audio ” appeared.

Car audio can be described as a set of methods that aim to improve the audio equipment in the vehicle, in order to live up to our expectations in music .

If we’re looking to move forward and enhance the quality of our car we must first be aware of the fundamental concepts, which will help us plan and understand improvements we could do on our own or with the assistance from an installation. professional.

Audio components inside the car

The source of sound

It is the source of sound that controls the audio equipment. The one we are familiar with is “radio” is actually Radio CD or multimedia player. It’s responsible for playing digitally recorded music onto any media (CD, USB, SD cards, Bluetooth from mobile phones Radio, iPod and so on. ) and transforms it into electricity. The electrical signal is the first step in the audio chain inside the audio equipment.

Based on the quality of the source performs the transformation (from recording data into an an electrical signal) the sound that is generated will be of a different quality. Therefore the sound level of quality is among the main factors in the sound system .

A few of the technical specifications that can help us identify which source could aid us in improving the initial audio quality are:

  • It is the S/N (signal to noise) ratio The higher the ratio higher, the better quality of the sound.
  • The parts of digital-to-analog conversion 24 bit DAC is recommended for sound quality.
  • The output voltage of the preamp is helpful if we plan to make use of the external amp. The recommended range is between 2 and 5 V.
  • The options it provides to filter and equalize sound are excellent. It is recommended to provide, at the very least, equalization as well as time alignment in order to later adjust and adjust the audio to the acoustics within our cabin.

It’s important to keep in mind that every manufacturer has their own unique “color” to its sound which is why it’s always be beneficial to try different sources before choosing either one or another, because we are entering into the realm of subtle pleasures. In the event that we don’t, we can always be guided by an expert installer or knowledgeable amateur.


The amplifier amplifies the volume of audio signals that had previously been produced from the source. The majority of the time the sources for series used in our cars and also some Radio CDs that we can purchase from the market already come with a small internal amplifier. This is why they are directly connected to the speakers of the equipment used in the series.

It is true that, in the end If what we are looking for is a top-quality equipment using an external amplifier is vital to attempt to achieve the level of real-ness, depth, and dynamics that live music experience offers like an orchestral concert or performance by the pop group or a classical performance or the soundtrack for the soundtrack to a film.

The most crucial factor to consider to consider when selecting an amplifier is its power. You must pay close particular attention to the amount listed in the form of “RMS power” , and do not believe any other measurement that is not stated in this manner.

Because power that is not controlled is ineffective (as Carl Lewis told us in the Pirelli ad from the 90s) There is no reason why more power is better than none but we also need to examine other parameters, which will determine the quality of sound . provide us with an amplifier.

  • S/N ratio : the greater it is higher, the better sound quality.
  • Total harmonic distortion, also known as THD is a factor that affects the sound quality The better, the sound quality, the lower the value.
  • It is the “Class” of amplification: From the highest to the lowest sound quality Class A > Class B/C (most commonly used) > Class D.
  • It is the Damping Effect: The greater that it gets, the more it will regulate the motion of the speaker’s bass frequencies. Most importantly, it is important in the subwoofer’s amplifiers.

For amplifiers, it’s crucial to trust the quality of brands with a proven track record in the field of car audio. their “honest” manufacturing quality, as well as the internal electronic components they’ve chosen are the key to ensuring that you have ability to achieve a superior sound system that will provide us with an experience that’s as great as.

The Speakers

The loudspeaker is responsible for converting the electrical signal through the amp, to the sound that our ears hear.

In order to achieve this it first converts the electrical signal into a mechanical motion of the cone. the movement of the cone in the air gets converted into changes in acoustic pressure, consequently, into audible sound.

The most important aspects to be considered when selecting a speaker are:
  • The power (always at RMS value, so let’s not forget).
  • Sensitivity – The more sensitive the speaker’s sensitivity, the lower power it will require to produce the same volume as a speaker that is less sensitive. This feature does not impact the quality of the sound.
  • The number of routes: the standard and acceptable number is two, or three. We should stay clear of coaxial cables that advertise five, four or even six ways to connect! The number of routes doesn’t guarantee better quality, and typically, it is the opposite for low-end equipment.
  • The frequency range capable of being reproduced: it is suggested that it should be as broad as is possible. But you’ll be restricted by the kind that you choose to use (tweeter, woofer, subwoofer).
  • Impedance is typically 4 Ohms in the car audio.

One thing to consider when selecting a speaker is the materials from which the cone is constructed, as according to the material the sound will possess its own unique “color” .

Materials like polypropylene and papers can provide us with a smooth and natural sound but there is some distortion when listening to high volume.

However the more robust materials, like Kevlar or fiberglass, aluminum or carbon will give us the sound that is less distorted when they are played at high volume in the range of frequencies they use, but they will require a more extensive sound processing, such as the filter, provided by the manufacturer because the distortion that occurs outside of the frequency range that is used will usually be much more severe.

Multi way speakers

A single speaker would not be able to reproduce all frequencies that music has, while maintaining minimal quality and realistic. The ideal solution is to have multiple “vias”, that is different types of loudspeakers that are specifically designed for every frequency range , so that each performs its part.

  • Tweeter : small speakers designed to reproduce high-pitched sound.
  • Woofer: loudspeaker with a larger diameter, specifically designed to reproduce bass and medium sound.
  • Subwoofer : loudspeaker that has a large diameter, designed to reproduce sub-bass sound.
When we purchase a set of speakers, we’ll usually find ourselves at the store with the option of picking among two kinds of speakers :
  • Coaxial loudspeakers have at least two ways situated concentrically within an identical physical sound system. Most often, there is a woofer and tweeter is used when it comes to coaxials that are two-way.
  • Separate pathways , in which the tweeter and woofer are separated speakers. They are designed to provide better audio quality since they allow us to put the tweeter that is closest to the level of the ears for better hearing of high-pitched sounds as well as the representation of the scene and the sound in depth. Furthermore, usually each channel comes with filters that help to improve and separate the particularization of the speakers, which allows them to operate more precisely and solely within the frequency range of its respective speakers.

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