The Components of Car Stereo System: Breaking Down a Car’s Anatomy

Before doing the necessary upgrades, it’s imperative to know the different car parts. This is vital to understand the necessary key points in tinkering the system.

Ever since car production broke out in the global market, manufacturers have been constantly upgrading their components in order to provide a quality sound over long drives. In recent years, manufacturers have found a way to let car audio systems jive along with recent technology. The iPod mounts, CD players and Bluetooth speakers are only some of the recent improvements in the audio of cars and automobiles.

Despite recent changes, there are the primary components where the upgrades thrive upon. Listed below are the three basic components of any car audio system available in every model.

The Head Unit

From the name itself, the head unit is basically the head controller of everything audible inside the car. Since space is a limit behind the wheels, manufacturers have compromised to create a compact solution to the problem. The head unit is a multi-task freak despite its size. It works as a controller of the system volume and all other sources of audio in the system.

The head unit is where one can find the AM/FM control and tuner. It is also the site where other media devices can be controlled. CDs, USB drives and iPod players can be plugged in thru ports and receivers found in the head unit. It also controls the more specific areas of audio technicalities. Bass and treble can be adjusted using the head unit depending on the listener’s taste.

Other specifications of the unit can include geo-location and movement signal processors that can adjust the quality of the sound coming from the car, depending on its movement and location. Some manufacturers can also include subwoofers and adjusters all at the same time.

The head unit is basically where all ear-flattering things happen and can be controlled from.



The Amplifier

The system must have an amplifier to increase audio signals and make the speakers move and create sound. There are two stages in the process of making a quality sound and these are handled by the preamp and power amplifiers.

The preamp is encased inside the head unit, where it receives signals from the media devices plugged in the head unit. CDs, flash drives and other devices send audio data to the preamp and are prepared to be received by the amplifiers. Boosting the audio signal that reaches a compatibility rate with the amplifiers make the phase a basic unit. Most of the work on the quality of the music is adjusted by other metrics such as bass and treble.

The power amplifier receives the audio signals from the preamp and converts it to sound by moving the speakers and vibration. It boosts the minimal signal sent to it by the preamp enough to create the vibrations.

The amplifier can come in many forms. Some head units have built-in amplifiers that can power up small amplifiers. This makes the entire system more compact and accessible. However, in order to achieve a powerful audio system, the bigger must be the audio system. Amplifiers can be mounted separate from the head unit in order to achieve optimum volume and clarity of sounds.



The Speakers

The end stage of any audio systems, the speaker is the organ that basically creates sounds. It vibrates depending on the audio signals sent to it via the amplifiers and creates melodies and harmonies.

The most common commercial speaker units being installed in the car’s audio system are designed to cover “full range” capacities to go full out in making sounds. However, as a result of this design, bass and low notes are technically non-existent, since speakers only highlight the clarity of sounds including vocals, main instruments and the like.

In order to achieve the maximum potential of any speaker, from highest to lowest tones, manufacturers sell separate parts called subwoofers. They can come installed with the factory speakers or can be bought and installed separately. These devices are designed to reproduce only low-bass sounds. The subwoofers make the uncanny thumping noises when beats get loose.

Other speaker accessories include tweeters, that reproduce upper treble frequencies and specialized mid-bass drivers that cover anything between low to mid-bass frequencies.

In more eccentric systems, all of these accessories are combined with the main speakers in order to create a more audible sound without putting too much here and there. As a result, sound is more audible to the ear even up to its smallest frequency.

Car audio systems have come a very long way. Starting from basic AM frequencies captured through antennas and receptors, the capability to listen sounds inside a car has vastly upgraded even up to wireless handsets. Either way, the audio system works one and the same; to make one part of living less off-key.