I would like to share some important information when you want to upgrade your car audio system especially in Malaysia. The audio system is a too subjective issue. It depends on what your target is whether for your own satisfaction or more to extreme level for autoshow etc. But I am sure many of us want to have it for own satisfaction. The budget depends on what brand and material quality that you want.
Beware of so many fake audio component like speakers and amplifier. Do the sound test to make sure it pays for the price you buy. But some of the well known brand which is cheap are coming from China and taiwan which is acceptable.
The basic stuff to upgrade for your car audio system should be the speaker + amplifier + subwoofer + head unit cd player.
I will describe generally about those stuff so that you will easily understand about it.
What is Head Unit CD Player?
Head Unit CD Player is the common stuff in audio system that you must have. Why CD player? because it provide the maximum clarity of sound not like cassette or fm modulator. Normally the best good brand is Pioneer, Kenwood and Sony. This branded head unit provide clearer sound and more sound setting for your satisfaction. The price range for satisfaction level is between RM200-RM300. You also can buy the double Din player which has the touch screen LCD and the price range is between RM600-RM1000. If you want a cheap LCD CD player just buy the CD player sun visor for RM250 or the cheap LCD display RM230. Some of standard player did not have the plug for amplifier so you must buy a connector or just replace the head unit. They will take the standard player for trade in new player.
The speaker is the most important stuff after head unit. If you have a good speaker already integrated in your car like clarion from Proton, then it should be ok not to change it. But it is even better if you can upgrade to 3 way speaker which have the mid bass and tweeter in one set. The price range for the component speaker is from RM150 to RM300 for satisfaction level. More than that is already in extreme level which have more than 300 watts power.
With the head unit and component speaker, you now have a good audio system already. Then to get the maximum bass effect, you can add amplifier and subwoofer. The specification of amplifier generally is like below:
Amplifier specification definition
“250watts RMS X 2 channels continuously into 4 ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz”
The “250watts” part is the one we notice first and everything else qualifies how that “250watts” was measured. Having enough power is what most people look for in an amp. The output maximum power must match the input power of the speaker and subwoofer. Be careful there are two statement which is 250watt x 2 and 300 watt. The 250 watt x 2 is equal to total 500 watt. Higher watt is better.
The “X2” implies that the amp has 2 output channels to supply power to 2 different component speaker or subwoofer. The “RMS” stands for “root mean square” and is a method of measuring an AC waveform. More importantly here it implies that the power rating is not just a peak rating but continuous. Usually there are two power rating which is Peak Power (Maximum) and Continuous power (normal power range). RMS value shows the continuous power value. The higher the better.
A power rating into 2 ohms is better (low resistance = higher current) then you know that the amp is built strongly enough that it can deliver enough current to drive a 2 ohm load. Normally car audio system is 4 ohm resistance.
“from 20Hz to 20kHz” tells us the frequency range into which this amp can produce its rated power. The wider range is the better.
The trusted brand for amplifier is the Bumper USA, Sony Xplode, Pioneer, BOSCHMANN, Mohawk, SOUNDSTREAM, MB Quart, Night Kids, Kenwood & Alpine.
The subwoofer is the most important stuff to express bass output in your car audio system. There are many brand available but it is adviseable for you to test each of the sound quality. Some brand is famous but the spec is low. The good specification of a car audio system should be higher power handling, higher quality of cone material, solid woofer box, dual voice coil and double magnet if possible for your satisfaction level to provide clearer bass. the more wide the diameter of your woofer is the better. normally between 8″-12″ for your satisfaction level. The price range of subwoofer only is from RM150 to RM300. The woofer box is from RM50 to RM150.
Normally, the installation charges plus the wire and fuse is around RM100-RM200. That is all the basic stuff you can do for your car audio system. Hope this helps and if you have any experience handling the audio system, please share with us and the readers here.