Audio systems nowadays are integrated with a lot more features other than the traditional AM/FM tuning. These features are satellite radio; digital HD Radio from conventional stations; six-disc, in-dash CD changers; built-in hard drives for downloading music and photos; and connections for MP3 players, including iPod docks that power the device and let you control and play it through your car’s audio system. Also, several electronic devices are also included in cars audio system such as GPS navigators and DVD entertainments system.

When choosing an audio system for your car, you have to consider two factors. First, you must decide what brand you’ll buy Factory or Aftermarket. Second, is to consider what type of audio system is more cost-friendly, satellite or HD radio. After you have decide what best suits your preference and needs you can finally purchase what audio system you’ll buy.

Factory or aftermarket? Automaker systems, in general, have improved in quality and now offer an array of audio-system choices, ranging from basic to premium. But expect to pay a premium for a high-end factory system. And many don’t allow you to easily upgrade with new features or technology, or to replace the radio with a more up-to-date one. On the other hand, aftermarket audio system can give you more features for your buck with an aftermarket system. And you may be able to equip your car with advanced features that just weren’t available for the model you bought.

However, buying aftermarket requires more effort to shop for the right system for your needs and for one that fits your car. You can take the time to choose the individual components yourself and then take them to an installer, or consult with an installer for a complete system. But you might find that you can get a better system for the same or even less money by going aftermarket.
Before buying, check your car’s warranty to be sure that nothing you’re planning to do will void it.

Satellite or HD Radio? If you want better audio quality but don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription fee, you might want to give HD Radio a try. You can also explore the diverse subchannels that stations are beginning to broadcast. But you may want to wait before investing in HD-Radio equipment, especially as more and cheaper gear arrives and more stations add HD Radio capability.

On the other hand, if you want a much wider selection of music, news, sports, and other content than you can get through local stations, satellite radio is the way to go. It’s especially appealing if you travel out of your region a lot and don’t want to be limited to the local radio fare.

Tips:

  • If you want to choose your own music on the road but don’t want to tote around a load of CDs, look for a system that includes a USB port, hard drive, or iPod/MP3-player integration
  • if you already have an MP3 player or iPod, adding a hard-drive collection and setting up new play lists could consume lots of time to load.
  • If you buy a system or aftermarket adapter with a built-in dock, you can charge the unit while you drive
  • You can also retrofit an existing system to accept an iPod, albeit in a less elegant way than using an iPod dock.

An inexpensive solution is to have an audio shop install an input cable that plugs into the iPod’s headphone jack. In this way, you don’t have to worry about spending loads of money in buying an audio system which includes the features you want.

For music lovers,choose what’s the best audio system to put in your car, but always be sure that it is cost-friendly.

Source: http://www.consumerreports.org