So you love music and want to buy a top notch car audio system. That might seem like a pretty simple undertaking but it turns out that it is not exactly that simple. If you want high quality sound and a full musical experience, it helps to know a bit about the basics of car audio before you start looking for the right system for you.
Car audio systems are a bit more complicated than they might seem on the outset, but that doesn’t mean it has to be rocket science either.
There are a number of different components that comprise a standard car audio system. Which parts you need and what models will work best for you will be dependent on the car you drive, the music you listen to, and, of course, the budget you have to work with. These systems can range very widely in price from affordable to pretty prohibitively expensive.
As a musician, chances are you are a more discerning consumer of music than the average listener. You want to hear the intricacies and layers that compose each song. You want clear vocals, solid bass, and crisp guitar licks. This means you likely have slightly higher standards when it comes to what a quality music system entails.
There are three main components of a car audio system: . Each of these elements is crucial to the overall sound quality of the system. They all provide a different element of sound and there is a whole range of different options within these subcategories. If, for example, you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, you might want to invest in a higher quality woofer. Whereas, if you like classical string music, a top of the line tweeter is the better place to put any extra money.
A woofer is a car audio speaker that is designed to produce low frequency sounds. This means that woofers are where you get the deep, bass notes of the music from. These come in a wide range of output options, depending on the type of music you like and your budget. Often, they range from 20-5,000 hertz.
As the name implies, midranges are speakers that emit sounds from the, well, middle of the sound range spectrum. Sometimes called squawker, these speakers are cone based like a woofer but reproduce sounds in the frequency range of 250-2,000 hertz.
This is the bulk of the sound spectrum that most music is played on so this is an important component to your car audio system. It is recommended that you place your biggest emphasis on the midrange speakers as they will be responsible for reproducing the vast amount of the sound spectrum.
A tweeter is a speaker that is best suited for reproducing high frequency sounds such as stringed instruments and voices. Tweeters are also used to help create a surround sound effect and allowing depth and layers of music to be easily heard within the car.
There are a host of different types of woofer, midrange speakers, and tweeters available that have a range of different levels of functionality, wattage, and output options. What specific model will work best for you is dependent on a range of things, but these are the three main parts of any car audio system.
Having a basic understanding of the parts in a car audio system will make it a little easier to choose the best options for you. As a musician, you have higher standards for music quality than the average listener and this understanding will make it easier for you to create the most dynamic, full-sounding car audio experience possible.