There’s a reason why car makers are working around the clock to evolve the newest infotainment systems; car stereos are the centrepiece of any interior. Think about it. A stereo reveals how old the car really is and also entertains you when stuck in traffic. However, most stock stereos are not that great. They come with a beautiful interface but usually fall short in the power department.

Here’s everything you need to know when upgrading your car stereo.

Get the Audio Sources Right

Choosing your sources is probably one of the most important things to do when shopping for a car stereo. It is the part when you decide if you want an AM/FM tuner, CD player, satellite radio, digital media and smartphone integration. Newer cars will have decent setups in place, but you might have to upgrade systems that are older than two years.

GPS and Navigation

Car stereos have evolved a lot in the past few years. They are not just entertainment units, but they can now help motorists get to their destinations through turn-by-turn GPS navigation. Most in-dash systems come complete with traffic reporting from the RDS-TMC band or HD Radio tuner, which does the job just fine.

However, you might want to go with an Android-based infotainment stereo. These systems come with richer navigation apps such as Google Maps and Scout, which are way better than most in-dash GPS receivers.

Is it Powerful Enough?

This is where most stock stereos fall short. Unless you buy a luxury car, chances are you are looking at an underpowered infotainment system. To give it a boost, you’ll need an aftermarket preamp, amplifier, and speakers. The preamp is how you can control the balance, fade, tone, time correction and other sophisticated sound aspects. It sends this refined sound in low voltage, which is processed into high-voltage in the amplifier. That’s how you get enough bass to rattle the car.

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