The average consumer, when looking at car audio equipment, likely will come across some bad information. It will be dressed up in authoritative tones with lots of technical terms and acronyms that they don’t understand, and a great number of them will not be happy with their purchases.
At Audio Express, we’d like to take this opportunity to help consumers by killing some common myths.
Myth: “I don’t need a subwoofer”
If you want to get the best possible sound quality from your music, you really do need a subwoofer, and it should be a good one. This myth usually has an additional excuse related to a musical genre the person “doesn’t listen to.”
Good subwoofers aren’t just for metal and rap. They bring out the deep tones of a slap bass in jazz, the low-octave woodwinds and brass of classical and chamber music, and even the harmonies of pop music vocal groups.
Subwoofers make every genre of music sound better. Hey, doesn’t every band have a drummer?
Myth: I don’t have any room in my car”
You’d be amazed at the inventive ways a subwoofer can be incorporated into a car audio installation without taking up a lot of space. For example, shallow-mounted subwoofers can be placed under seats or many manufacturers offer vehicle specific solutions designed to blend right into your vehicle’s interior and take up minimal space.
Another option is to use a compact powered subwoofer, where you don’t need a separate amplifier. Small enough to be mounted under a seat but powerful enough to make your sound system considerably better, self-amplified subs are very popular. Don’t let the traditional image of big cones in bulky boxes be the only thing that comes to mind.
Myth: “Subwoofers will go anywhere if they’ve got a box”
While a subwoofer can be shallow-mounted or cleverly hidden under a seat, there’s a little more work to it than that. If the enclosure isn’t the right size, the best case scenario is that the subwoofer doesn’t work at top efficiency.
The worst case is that the subwoofer ends up damaged or destroyed. Mounting and enclosing a subwoofer should be like fitting a high-end suit or dress: carefully measured and tastefully done.
Myth: “I have an X-watt sound system already”
The amount of wattage that a sound system is rated for may be an easily conveyed selling point, but there’s a lot more going on. When a factory installation has, for example, a 200-watt sound system, that doesn’t mean every speaker is being powered by 200 watts. That’s 200 watts for the entire sound system, for all speakers, including the stock subwoofer.
If you’re upgrading your factory installation, you’re likely getting an amplifier, and that means you should be getting a good subwoofer to go with it.
Myth: “I can’t upgrade my factory installation”
Most people probably can’t perform the sort of work a custom installation demands. That’s why there are car audio specialists. Modern “infotainment” systems are more complicated than swapping out tape decks, but reputable car audio shops will have access to information necessary to allow them to swap out the speakers and other hardware, but keep things like the touchscreen and other functionality.
The best shops will make sure that the equipment purchased can go into the car with a minimal amount of effort.
It’s understandable to have questions, and Audio Express is happy to provide answers that kill the myths and bring car audio to life.