Everybody wants to get the best possible sound from their car audio systems. Particularly in a highway town like San Diego, car stereo quality isn't about blasting music the neighborhood can hear, but a daily quality of life matter. When it comes to premium car audio, San Diego drivers should always consider upgrading their car stereo and speakers first. But regardless how you roll, there are ways to avoid mishandling your favorite tunes.
Avoid high compression audio
Digital music files opened up a miraculous new world where tens of thousands of tracks may be kept on a single device, whether it's your phone or a thumb drive. What many people don't realize, is there are myriad compression settings when a music track is encoded to MP3. The higher the compression, the smaller the file, meaning more albums fit in your pocket. That's great for your pocket, but not great for listening. Smaller files mean less information, which means when you pump up the jams in your car, gaps in the music data make it sound thin, and distort much quicker. A good rule of thumb is to encode MP3s at a minimum of 320kbps, which has 2.5 times more data than the standard 128kpbs!
Don't play music through Bluetooth
Here's the issue: if you're streaming audio from your phone wirelessly, as with Bluetooth, not only are you experiencing the compression of the digital music file, you're suffering the added compression — and decompression — required to do so. As we already know, more compression equals worse audio. Car Stereo's in San Diego simply can't afford that sort of loss.
In fact, don't play through your phone at all
If you think plugging an auxiliary line into your phone's headphone jack can solve your phone's compression issues, think again. Although better than wireless, that headphone jack is subject to the quality of your phone's digital-to-analog converter — the thing that turns digital files into sound waves. Your phone's converter is designed to be good enough for tiny ear buds — but still relies on way too much compression to sound remotely good on car audio systems.
Go easy on the equalizer
When you're driving, you probably want more bass — especially on the freeway, as increased road noise at higher speeds is hardest on lower frequencies. Whether your car stereo offers basic bass, mid, and treble range controls, or a multi-band graphic equalizer, instinct says you can boost your bass levels to solve the problem. Not true! Such boosts only expose any flaws in your analog signal or speakers. It's much better to leave the bass knob alone, marginally reduce your mid and treble levels, and turn up the volume knob instead.
Add sound dampening materials
That road noise is a killer. Unfortunately, our city's roads are some of the nation's worst, so car stereos in San Diego have their work cut out for them. Installing sound dampening materials — insulation sheets or spray foams — into hollow spaces such as inside car doors, can cut out a lot of road noise, which means you'll hear your music better.
Upgrade your car audio at Car Audio City
While these tips for getting the best sound quality in your car can help, the best solution is always upgrading your car audio system. Stock car stereos simply cannot compare to the quality of third party brands like Memphis Car Audio. When properly installed, new speakers, a new amplifier, and the addition of a dedicated subwoofer have the power to change your music from tiny to robust. For car stereos in San Diego, contact Car Audio City.