When looking to buy a double DIN car stereo we are offered such a range of options, it can get a bit confusing. We all start out in the same boat when it comes time to purchase, so where do we start in narrowing down the selection? Here are a few areas worth considering when setting out:
The basic function of a car stereo, even when it can do one thousand and one other things, is to provide a source of listening enjoyment. But what is it that you will be listening to when cruising the strip?
Do you listen to FM radio frequently? For better results in tuning into radio stations, it is best to look for a radio with a low FM sensitivity of around 8 to 12 dbf. Digital processing can also be used to clear up the analog signal, removing the static common in radio broadcasts. Look for these details in the specifications if it’s important to you.
What about HD radio? With the possibility of broadcasting using digital signals, HD radio is becoming more common and provides static free reception and a higher quality sound than the standard radios of the past. To receive HD radio, the car stereo must have a HD radio tuner, which can either be built in or can come as an add-on accessory. Both are freely available and give similar results, so it’s down to personal choice which one to go for.
Have a CD or DVD music collection? Seems that the playback of CDs and DVDs should be standard in today’s car stereos, and to a degree they are. But the quality of their playback and their ability to play your own burnt CD/DVD vary greatly. Always check the player’s signal-to-noise ratio when comparing units, look for higher decibel (dB) ratings that will give a cleaner sound to the playback. Also check reviews from trusted sources to see if there issues with playback of homemade R and RW CD/DVDs.
What if the CD/DVD has MP3 or other format music on it? Three of the more common music format files are MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio) and AAC. Any of these formats will allow you to put hours of music onto a single CD. As an example, if your format of choice is MP3, and with an average song file size of 4MB, you can fit more than 150 songs on a basic 650MB CD. But what matters is whether or not the unit of choice is able to play the format you prefer. Even though a majority of players will have the functionality to play them you should still always check the specification sheet to confirm that. Also see the point above about playing CD/DVDs.
These are just a few of the basics relating to listening to music on your double DIN car stereo.