Local Car Radio Installer
Trying to perform a car radio install on your own can be daunting. Not only is the installation process itself a hassle, but choosing the correct car radio with your preferred features can also be a hurdle.
If you’ve been looking for an aftermarket radio, let the car radio installers at ProCarSoundSecurity help you along your journey. Below, we’ve compiled a guide detailing features you should look out for in your new car radio.
Types of Car Radios
When looking for your ideal setup, you will stumble upon different categories of radios for cars. While they all aim to deliver audio to your speakers, you may find minor differences.
CD Car Radio
The CD car radio was one of the most popular car audio upgrades until recently. These car radios will come with a CD slot and often a CD changer. These will, of course, still come with the basic radio tuner and available features such as AUX and USB ports.
Since many are moving away from physical media, some aftermarket radios have done away with the CD slot entirely. These car entertainment systems will rely solely on streaming music over the car’s Bluetooth radio or the included USB and AUX ports. With the CD port excluded, these Bluetooth car radios take up much less space.
Digital Media Receivers
DVD Car Radio
Similar to the CD car radio, these radios can play DVDs. Since these car DVD players will have large screens, consult our car radio installer to determine if the radio will fit into your dashboard.
Many new car radios have a standardized feature set. However, the features will still differ, especially at different price points. When looking for a radio for a car, you should note which features are important to you and which you can live without.
Bluetooth will likely be a feature on most new car radios, but its importance can’t be overstated. With its ability to wireless transfer data efficiently, it is crucial in enabling other features.
The most obvious benefit is its ability to allow your car stereo system to interact with your phone. Whether it’s streaming your music, reading your text messages out loud, or enabling hands-free calls, Bluetooth is a handy feature.
Along with Bluetooth, you may also find other connectivity options for specific applications, such as Spotify or Amazon Alexa. These are excellent features as they bring a more streamlined experience while using your car radio.
Lastly, if you are still a fan of listening to traditional radio channels, you may want to ensure that your radio is compatible with satellite radio or HD Radio, as these features require separate modules to be installed.
Bluetooth & Other Connectivity
If you prefer connectivity that isn’t wireless, make sure that your selected car radio has the needed ports. Typically, this will be either an AUX input or a USB port. The USB port should allow you to easily connect your device or a flash drive to your music library.
Yet another form of connectivity that has become more prevalent is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both of these services bring about greater integration with your smartphone.
An Apple CarPlay installation will allow your phone to mirror some of your favorite apps onto your touchscreen car radio, providing an already familiar interface. The most popular feature is undoubtedly its ability to project Google Maps or Apple Maps for more convenient car navigation.
Remember that not all new car radios will allow for wireless integration, and some may require a plugged-in phone to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
The size of your display will dictate a lot of the available functions of your car radio. If your radio comes with a screen, you’ll enjoy features such as navigation, a feed for your backup camera, and movie watching if your car radio supports it.
Depending on which DIN size you choose, you’ll have a different screen experience. With a double-DIN radio, your screen will embed within your dashboard at about seven inches in size. However, single-DIN touchscreen radios also exist. These will jut out from the radio and hover over your dashboard, possibly covering up switches and dials. These screens can be 10-inches or larger. Feel free to speak to your car radio installers to get an opinion about what type of screen size is compatible with your dashboard layout.
Some car radios will have a built-in GPS navigation module. While smartphones with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration have made it easy to use your phone for navigation, there are still situations where some might not want to use their phones for navigation, such as signal issues or data charge concerns.
Do remember that built-in navigation is one of the most expensive features of a new car radio.
As your car radio is the brains of your audio system, it will dictate what kind of sound will transmit to your car’s speakers. If you are the type of person who greatly cares about the ability to fine-tune the sound of your music, you should check out the equalizer capabilities of your prospective car radios.
Not every car radio will allow you to tune the same number of frequency bands, giving you less control of your music. More audiophile-focused systems will come with at least a 13-band equalizer, allowing you to dial in your sound.
Not all car radios come with equivalent built-in car amplifiers. The strength of the amplifier affects how loud your speakers will sound. Your sound will be distorted if your radio outputs more power than your speakers can handle. Knowing the power output of your car radio will let you know whether your speakers will function properly.
Additionally, if you are planning to install a subwoofer, it will be unlikely that you will find a radio that will be powerful enough to drive it. As such, you need to ensure that your radio has the proper pre-amp outputs so that you can install a car amplifier to power the subwoofer.
Install A Car Radio Today
For those looking for car radio installations in the Boston area, you can trust ProCarSound&Security to get the job done. Our experienced staff can not only provide a top-notch installation, but they can also help you decide on the best car radio for your needs.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or want a car radio installation performed.