Wild West” days of car audio

A decade ago was when car audio was something that many people needed to have. This was when a lot of people were changing from cassettes and AM/FM radio to CDs. CDs offered an improvement of audio clarity that was not available on tape or radio formats.

Amplifiers were large and lacked rating standards.

Amplifiers had no acceptance standard of performance measurements. This allowed manufacturers to greatly overstate and market the peak power of an amplifier. The peak power could last for a fraction of a second before the amp fried. Most installers would judge an amp by the fuse rating times six. This would account for the amplifier efficiency, fuse capacity, and the voltage of the vehicle.

Some amps were powerful while other amplifiers were very weak, and both powerful and weak amplifiers could be rated at the same power. Some brands would understate amplifier performance to provide competitors an edge at car audio meets with power classes.

Amplifiers were large and got hot. The Class A, Class AB, and other analog designs required car amplifiers to take up a large footprint and generate a lot of heat. Half of an amplifier’s input power was converted to heat. Touching an amplifier would get your attention and installations needed to be aware of the environment around an amplifier. Some amplifiers were as large as snowboards.

Car audio speakers were beginning to rapidly advance.

Manufacturers offered decent sound quality speakers with premium packages on cars. Some cars required a $3,000+ upgrade to get speakers that were equal to most aftermarket brands’ entry level speakers. Most cars of those days still featured whizzer woofers and lacked a tweeter.

Car audio subwoofers made early progressions in performance, build quality and power handling. Some of the most powerful subwoofers handled a couple thousand watts and used paper woofers. Other subs were very efficient and used aluminum and titanium woofers. Consumers had a lot of choice when it came to subs, as long as you did not want a shallow mounting car subwoofer with good performance.

Much has changed.

Current car audio has benefited from better design, refined components, streamlined manufacturing and from the desires of consumers. Modern car audio performs a lot better than older car audio equipment performs.

Streaming audio, control and video. 

CD players evolved into complete media solutions. The current car audio media centers can play CD’s, will connect to your phone, have apps for control, and play satellite radio. The phone connection allows for streaming of music from Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, iTunes, and many other services. GPS has become a standard feature for many car audio head units. Voice Control, touch screens and mobile video has controlling your car audio system a very easy process.

Amplifiers are digital and efficient.

Car Audio amplifiers have made great strides in the digital amplification and hybrid-amplification classes. Digital amplifiers are now small, sound good, and waste very little power. The small footprint allow for discrete professional car audio installations. Amplifiers commonly have more control, filtration and crossover settings when compared to amplifiers from a decade ago.

An installer can take pride in installing a superbly performing car system that remains hidden and is not noticed from the stock car system. Subwoofers are often the exception to this rule if multiple subs or large subs are installed.

Speakers sound great

Speakers have improved in the last decade. Entry level speakers sound a lot better than they once did. Medium grade speakers sound as good as many of the older top-level speakers. High end component speakers will rival some of the finest speakers available in home audio.

Crossovers have made noticeable progressions in reducing size while maintaining a high level of performance. Crossovers are now easy to install and easy to hide.

Subs are impressive 

Subwoofers have improved and allow for maximum excursion, power handling, sound quality and ease of installation. The most noticeable improvement in car subwoofers are the low profile subs that sound GOOD! You will also find many subs that can handle 2000 watts of RMS power and deliver deep, accurate and satisfying bass.


Many car audio systems now are focused around integrating high performing aftermarket equipment with the factory cd player. Audio processors and devices can be used to greatly improve the sound quality, allow for the use of amplifiers, and allow for use with Smart Phones. A good integrated system will maintain the stock cd player and not draw attention from people walking past your car.

Much has changed to justify an upgrade

All of the advancements in car audio technology has many consumers returning to Mobile Install to update their car system. Replacing an aging CD player for a new media solution is commonly the first step in upgrading a car audio system in Brooklyn Park.

Contact Us today if you want to update your car audio system and benefit from the new experience of car audio.

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