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Audio Express Subwoofer Buying Guide

Subwoofer Buying Guide

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 29, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, buyers guide, buying guide, component, loaded enclosure, powered enclosure, sub box, subwoofer
Is your car audio system not giving you the bass your music deserves? Maybe it’s time to add a subwoofer or two in order to get the thump you desire! With a professionally installed subwoofer, your stereo will be able to produce sound with quality and depth beyond what your door speakers alone are capable of. So Many Choices! There are a variety of subwoofers available these days, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out what you need for your system. This guide, along with assistance from our car audio professionals at Audio Express, will help you pick the perfect subwoofer for your car and musical tastes. You will want to consider what type of subwoofer you want, and then you’ll need to decide what size, power and other features you want. Subwoofer types Component subwoofers are the most popular type of subwoofer for audiophiles because they allow you to build a system to your specifications. Component subwoofers are sold as just the speaker and will require an enclosure and amplifier for power, which can add to the cost. The advantage to this is that you get to choose the enclosure and amplifier that are right for you. Enclosures can be purchased to hold one or more speakers. The right powered amplifier can improve the quality of your subwoofer’s sound. Loaded subwoofer enclosures, also known as enclosed subwoofers, come pre-installed in an enclosure, saving time and money on installation, and will still require a separate amplifier to power. The advantage to enclosed subwoofers is that they are quick and easy to install; however, if you want to add more subs, they will take up more space in your vehicle. They are most commonly sold in sealed enclosures that produce a crisp, powerful bass, or ported enclosures that give you extra output and volume, and play lower than a typical sealed enclosure. Another major advantage is you know the air space of the box is exactly correct for the best performance from your new woofer. Amplified subwoofer enclosures, or powered subwoofers, are the all in one of the subwoofer world. Sealed in an enclosure with its own built-in amplifier, they are simple to install, and often smaller than component or enclosed subwoofers, allowing for under-the-seat and other space-saving installation. These also tend to be perfectly matched in power and air space, as it is an all in one solution right form the manufacturer. Size Most subs are available in 8-, 10-, 12- and 15-inch diameters. While larger speakers can produce louder and lower sounds, they also usually take up more space. Additionally, smaller speakers with the right power and enclosure can push out tighter, cleaner sound, but will never play as low as the larger speakers. If you drive a pickup with limited space, you’ll want to go for a subwoofer that makes the most sense, but if you’ve got a nice big trunk, or SUV, that the larger speakers will fit in, then you can enjoy the extra volume of the larger subs. Many of today’s leading manufacturers like JL Audio and Kicker off great solutions for trucks with woofers as large as 12 inches, so you can get the sound you want, no matter what you drive! Power To get the best sound you need quality power. So pay attention to RMS power ratings as you shop for your subwoofers. The RMS 500-watt power of the Kicker 43CWR122 sub will play much louder than the RMS 150-watt power of Kicker’s 11HS8 Compact Amp and Sub Enclosure, due to the extra cone space and air movement of a 12” woofer versus 8”, and the additional power pushing the speaker. That’s not to say that the 11HS8 won’t give you the sound you’re looking for; it is a compact powered sub that will fit in many places other won’t, like under a seat, and still produce amazing low frequency sounds. Great sound in your subwoofer doesn’t only rely on its power rating; it also needs an amplifier that can push the power from the receiver to the speaker. If you want to run a pair of Kicker 43CWR122’s then you’ll want to find an amplifier that can match the RMS power, like the Kicker 43CXA1200.1 Mono Amplifier, which can push 1,200 watts at 2 ohms, matching the impedance and power rating of the subwoofers. Other Considerations Other things to consider when shopping for subwoofers are sensitivity, impedance, frequency range and number of voice coils. Sensitivity is just as important as power to the sub. The higher the decibel (dB) frequency, the less power is required to produce sound, meaning it’s a more efficient woofer. Impedance, measured in ohms, affects how much signal can run from your amplifier to your subwoofer. Matching your amplifier and subwoofer in impedance can lead to a massive improvement in sound quality. Frequency tells you how low of a frequency the sub can play. The lower the minimum hertz (Hz) the lower the sound the sub is capable of producing. The typical subwoofer only has one voice coil; however, dual voice coil (DVC) subs are becoming more popular and more widely available, and DVC subwoofers allow for a variety of wiring options for optimization of sound, and give you more flexibility on amplifier choices. Audio Express If you have questions about your car or a specific product, Ask Lui online and while you’re there, don’t forget to check out our regular specials. At Audio Express, we want you to drive home happy with the car audio system you want, so if you don’t have the cash and don’t want to wait, we offer special financing. For more information, stop by one of our convenient Audio Express or Quality Auto Sound locations, where one of our trained car audio professionals will help you pick out the perfect subwoofer set up for your car and schedule an installation with the lowest installation rates available.
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Understanding electrical resistance is vital to properly coordinating a quality sound system and Audio Express breaks it down for you here! Call us today!

Understanding Ohms and Why They Matter in Your Car Audio System

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 28, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amp, amplifier, electrical, ohms, resistance, subwoofers, wires, wiring
We’ve all seen the word ohm, or the symbol Ω, when shopping for speakers and amplifiers. But what exactly does it mean, and why does it matter? Ohms represent impedance on the audio signal from your amplifier to your speakers. So the lower the impedance, the more signal can travel from the amp to the speaker. To give a visual explanation, think of the speaker as a pipe, the audio signal as water and the amplifier as the pump. The wider the pipe, the less impedance there is for the water to move through it. Balance of Power The reason this is important for your car audio system is because you want to make sure that speakers and amplifier can handle each other’s power, and the ohm load matches correctly. If your amplifier is more powerful than your speakers, you can burn out your speakers. Conversely, if your speakers have a lower impedance than the rating your amplifier, the amplifier will end up working too hard, and either burn out or shut down in protection mode, to avoid burning out. Many lower quality amplifiers do not have protection circuitry, and could potentially cause a fire in the event of too low of an ohm load, so always make sure you purchase a quality, name brand product. Either way, it hurts your audio system, and could potentially be dangerous. If you want to run two Alpine SWR-12D2 subwoofers in your car, then you will want to find an amplifier that meets its overall 2-ohm rating, since these woofers are dual 2 ohm voicecoils. The JL Audio RD1000/1d Mono Amplifier would be a perfect match, or if you want to run just one Alpine SWR12D4 woofer, the Alpine MRV-M500 Mono Amplifier would be a great choice, as it will put out a solid 500 watts of RMS at 2 ohm. Wiring While this is pretty straight forward, it does get complicated when dealing with a multiple speaker system and the variety of different wiring options. Wiring speakers in series, which means one speaker is wired from its negative to the other speaker’s positive, the impedance is doubled – so two 2-ohm speakers wired in series have a total impedance of 4 ohms. However, if the speakers are wired in parallel, meaning they are wired positive to positive and negative to negative, then the total impedance becomes the impedance of one speaker divided by the number of speakers. Two 2-ohm speakers wired in parallel end up with a total impedance of 1 ohm. Because of these variables, it is important to have an experienced professional install your new amplifier and speaker system. Our professional installation technicians will install your system to optimize sound quality and prolong the life of your equipment. Many times, ohm’s law gets confusing for people, and 1 ohm is very close to a potential dead short, which could always cause electrical issues, so it’s best to keep the overall ohm load at 2 ohms or above. Audio Express For more information, stop by one of our convenient Audio Express locations, and talk to one of our trained car audio professionals. If you want to know more without leaving the house, you can always Ask Liu. And remember: We offer the lowest install prices available.
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Audio Express 5 Things to Know About Speakers

5 Things You Should Know about Car Speaker Installation

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On July 4, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, Audio Express, coaxial, component, sound, speakers
Are you not getting the sound out of your car stereo that you had hoped? Bass not thumping the way you’d like? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your speakers. Here are some important things to consider before installing new speakers. Power If you’re keeping your factory stereo, you may want to consider an external amplifier in addition to new speakers. Most factory stereos don’t offer much power; without an external amplifier, upgrading speakers will give you a little better sound. But for more volume and clarity, more power is necessary and an amplifier will get the job done. If you’ve already upgraded your stereo, look at the user manual that came with it to discover its output. Depending on the receiver, it is likely to have enough power for your new speakers, but higher end speakers an component sets will always perform better with more power than what an aftermarket stereo provides. Sound Range Which sound range is most important to you? If you want more low-end bass, then it might be a good idea to add a subwoofer to your speaker system. The right subwoofer will provide a great amount of low range sound as you listen to your favorite songs. It’s not all about the “thump;” even high end home audio systems always have a subwoofer to give the complete range of sound. If you’re looking for more of the high level, consider a pair of imaging tweeters to increase the high range quality and sound stage. Then again, a great speaker system utilizes a perfect combination of high-, mid- and low-range capabilities, so adding or upgrading your tweeters and subwoofer at the same time as upgrading your mid-range speakers will help you achieve the best sound possible. Speaker System Most speakers fall into two types of systems: component and coaxial. Component is a combination of high-, mid- and/or low-range specific speakers as mentioned above. Coaxial speakers are designed to handle the full spectrum of sound ranges. They are cheaper and easier to install, but pale in comparison to the sound staging and imaging of a component speaker system. Speaker Size Every vehicle is designed with preset speaker sizes, as speakers typically are hidden in your door’s kick panel or other areas to provide the best sound in the safest location. Our Car Audio Professionals can help you determine which speakers will fit your car. Just because a speaker is 6 inches x 9 inches doesn’t mean it will fit your car’s 6” x 9” location. Other factors like speaker depth, basket size or tweeter height can change the fit. Best option is to consult a professional to make sure you get the best fit for your vehicle. Get the Job Done Right at Audio Express Installing new speakers, especially component speakers, can be a tricky job. There are many things to consider, from wiring, to tweeter placement and the best acoustic for your specific vehicle. At Audio Express, our experienced Car Audio Professionals offer installation at the lowest rates available, so stop by one of our locations to talk about upgrading your speakers.
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Audio Express Tips for Buying a Subwoofer

Six Essential Factors to Consider Before Buying a Subwoofer

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 15, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, box, enclosure, installation, noise reduction, power handling, sound system, stereo, sub, subwoofer, wiring
Some consumers, when shopping for car audio components, will agonize over the best car subwoofer brands, comparing obscure points of construction and output for a speaker that many consider to be the key component of any good sound system. We’d like to help make that process a little less painful. Size Matters There are many different size options in picking a subwoofer. The most common used are 8”, 10”, or 12”. The size that you choose will directly correspond to what type of sound you are trying to produce. A smaller subwoofer will produce a tighter, richer sounding bass, while a larger one will be deeper and louder. This is also directly related to the type of vehicle it is being placed in. For instance, if it is in a trunk, you will need to use a larger woofer to create more bass to fill the entire car. However, if it is a hatchback vehicle or pickup truck, it will be easier to fill the vehicle with sound and may not be necessary to go as large. This also can be decided by the type of music the consumer prefers. Hip hop and dance music sound better on a larger woofer, whereas heavy metal music may sound cleaner on a little smaller one. The Price Tag Price can be a tricky subject when discussing subwoofers. There is a lot that goes into building a bass system. Looking for pre-packaged deals is almost always a winner here. Finding the right package for you at your budget is easily accomplished at Audio Express. Power Handling Power handling is very key in getting the most out of a subwoofer system. Every speaker has an optimal amount of power that it can receive. If this is matched up correctly with the amplifier being used, then the subwoofer will be able to perform at its peak. This means the system will not only have a more crisp sound, but it will also improve the life of the subwoofer. Enclosure In the majority of systems, the subwoofer will be placed into an enclosure. These are generally made of wood, and come in two different builds. The first is a sealed enclosure. This type of system is built for tighter sounding bass for things like rock music. The more popular system is a vented enclosure. This type of system is built to get the maximum output of a subwoofer. This is generally used in music with more bass, or in vehicles with a trunk to help produce deeper bass. Wiring When installing a subwoofer system, the wiring is crucial. A power kit for the amplifier running the speaker, and the speaker wire going from the amplifier to the speaker are both necessary. It is always recommended to use the best wiring to improve the life of the system and get optimal performance. It is recommended to use 100% pure oxygen free copper wire. The size of wire needed will be determined by how much power is needed to properly run the system. Noise Reduction It is also a great benefit to use a sound dampening material for the installation. This can be placed inside of a trunk, a hatch, a door, or even along the roof and the floor of a vehicle. With this type of material, two main goals can be achieved. The first is securing the sound inside of the vehicle. Most cars have a skin made from thin sheet metal. It is very easy for the sound waves to escape, therefore reducing the amount of bass in the vehicle. With sound dampening installed, it will reflect the sound waves back into the vehicle, therefore increasing the amount you will hear. The next is to reduce rattle. Those same sound waves running through the vehicle can cause that metal to vibrate. If lined with dampening material, it will increase the durability of the panel, and reduce the chances of a rattling vehicle. Audio Express Audio Express can help consumers make the best possible choices for their car audio installation without making it feel like a high-pressure sales pitch. Give us a call or come by today to check out what we’ve got.
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Avoid Blowing Your Speakers

Not Too Loud! How to Avoid Blowing Out Your Car Speakers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 14, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • audio, Audio Express, car, speaker, tips, tricks, truck
It’s a constant concern for those who invest in high-quality car speakers that, at some point, the speakers might blow out. Sometimes, especially if the speakers are old and dry-rotted, the passage of time can do that. Other times, it’s far more avoidable. In Your Grill While there are some speakers that have a cone-like cover sitting over the actual speaker cone, the most common covering for speakers is a grill cover. If this cover comes loose or falls off, particularly on door-mounted speakers, there’s a chance an errant foot could come in at the wrong angle and damage the speaker. It may technically be “kicked in” rather than “blown out,” but it’s non-functional either way. Gains And Losses It should firmly be fixed in the mind of anybody with an aftermarket car speaker installation that there is a difference between the gain on an amplifier and the volume control on the head unit. The latter turns up the sound coming through the speakers; the former turns up power going into the speakers. Too much power to the speakers causes audio clipping and distortion, which causes the speaker cones to stop suddenly then start back up. Much like sudden stops and starts will ruin a car’s brakes, audio clipping will quickly ruin speakers, resulting in a melted voice coil. Soft Music Keeping the gain down doesn’t mean the volume can be cranked all the way up and kept there without harmful effects. Volume should always be kept at a moderate level that lets you hear the music, but doesn’t necessarily cause the windows to rattle. We’re not saying that cranking it up for a favorite song once in a while is going to wreck the speakers, but moderation is key to getting maximum use and longevity out of them. Hey, you don’t drive at red line RPM’s all the time right? Sound Off What does a person do when they start up their morning drive mix and find their car speakers not working? It’s important to first figure out how they’re not working. If there’s no sound at all, turn up the volume for a few moments and listen to see if there’s truly nothing (indicating no power), or if there’s at least a little hum (indicating no signal). If there’s sound coming through, does it sound muted or distorted? Have any settings been changed on the amp or head unit? Does the head unit say anything like “check wiring” or “protect”? Audio Express Audio Express can certainly help out with these and other potential scenarios for speaker blowout, as well as educating consumers on how to avoid it in the future. Give us a call today and help preserve your speakers for tomorrow.
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Subwoofer Break-In Tips

Fact or Fiction: Do Car Subwoofers Have a Break-in Period?

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 9, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, break in, low frequency, speaker, subwoofer
It may seem counter-intuitive, but there really is something to the idea of “breaking in” a car subwoofer package right after it’s been installed. If you’re wondering exactly how best to go about that process, we’re here to give some tips. Limbering Up It helps to think of the breaking-in (or “running in,” as it’s sometimes known) process much like an athlete stretching before an event. By putting the speakers under a moderate load for extended periods for a few days, the initial stiffness of certain components, including the spider sitting under the diaphragm, can stretch out and be loosened up.  This allows the speakers to be able to deliver a clearer and more accurate sound reproduction, and helps them last longer. Just like a car engine, it’s best to break in a speaker slowly, playing at lower initial volumes, before working it up to its full potential after some time. High to Low There are CDs that have been designed by and for professionals to help break in subwoofers and other speakers. Obtaining these CDs might not be overly difficult, but properly utilizing them is another matter. It’s better to use some music that is already on hand and that covers a broad range of frequencies from the low end to the high end. Plus listening to a solid test tone for hours is no fun. Ask around, or consult your car audio specialist, for the best pieces that have that degree of range. Clean Break To go into the mechanics a little more, the spider is the one component that benefits most from subwoofer break-in efforts. It’s a disc of what looks like concentric rings, formed from cloth that has been dipped in epoxy and formed to shape, then subjected to high heat to set the shape in place. By subjecting the spider to a breaking-in process, microscopic cracks are introduced into the spider, allowing it to more easily resonate and flex with your music. Doing It Yourself A completely legitimate question that comes to mind is, “If the shop has car subwoofers for sale, why don’t they break them in as part of the installation process? Or even before installation?” Properly breaking in a woofer requires hours of play time, as well as exposing it to the different types of music you will be listening to. Everyone has a unique ear, so breaking in the woofer yourself typically gives the best results. Plus, who wants to pay a shop to listen to your stereo for hours, when you can do it for free? Audio Express The best car subwoofers may be built to exacting standards and tolerances, but once they’re put into a vehicle, they need to be worked up to their full potential. Talk to the specialists at Audio Express to find out the best way to ease your new subwoofers into the job.
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What is a two way speaker system

What is a two way speaker system?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 21, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a two way speaker system? In automotive parlance a two way speaker system usually refers to a component package consisting of a woofer, a separate tweeter, and a set of crossovers. These components are designed to provide greater flexibility in locating each of the elements and more accurate sound reproduction. By separating the tweeters from the woofers serious audiophiles can create what is known as imaging, which causes different elements of the music to seem to come from different locations. Typically vehicle owners want to the vocalist “front and center” with the instruments lower and in the background. Although the more common coaxial speakers have a woofer and a tweeter, their one-piece design means it is difficult or impossible to create the “soundstage” effect that is the attraction of two way systems. The buyer of two way components is looking for the extra level of quality sound in their car speakers. There are three components at work to produce the sound: Woofers handle low to mid-range frequencies. These come in a variety of sizes but 6-1/2 inch is common. They are often mounted in factory locations in the doors, in the opening left when the factory coaxial speakers were removed. The much smaller tweeters produce the high range frequencies, such as female vocalists. Buyers often want tweeters in specific locations, which may require custom installation. The third essential part of a two way system is crossovers. The job of the crossovers is to send higher-pitched sound to the tweeters and lower tones to the woofers. This assures that neither speaker is wasting energy or creating distortion by trying to reproduce sounds for which it is not built. Many component two way systems are built to handle much more power than factory systems. This invites the use of an amplifier to boost the signal from the source unit and take full advantage of the available volume. Using the crossovers, it is also possible to limit the low range sound going to the component woofer and add a subwoofer for fuller bass. Come in to Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound and join our professionals to explore all the possibilities of a two way speaker system in your vehicle.
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What is a full range speaker

What is a full range speaker?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 21, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a full range speaker? In general, the term full range speaker refers to a single unit that is designed to produce a range of sounds from very high to quite low. In car speakers this is most often accomplished by using two separate speakers, a large woofer for low tones and a small tweeter for high tones, mounted in the same frame. The most common design is what is known as coaxial speakers. That means the small tweeter is mounted in front of the larger woofer, with magnets centered on the same axis, which gives the name coaxial. Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound is a great place to see various sizes designed to fit your vehicle. We stock top name brand products in a wide variety of price ranges. Full range speakers are widely used by automobile manufacturers because they are relatively inexpensive to produce and provide the most music using the least space. It is very likely the speakers that came from the factory in your vehicle are coaxial unless you paid for a high-end factory sound system. Designs using two speakers are the most common, but there are models that feature three or four separate speakers in a single housing. These provide more accurate sound since each speaker is selecting only the range it reproduces best. Since available sizes and shapes range from 5.25 inch round units to 6×9 inch or larger models to match certain factory openings, it is a simple matter to find high-quality replacements for failing factory car speakers. Each speaker in the pair will include a tweeter that is less than an inch in diameter. The sound quality and durability of the speakers is determined by the materials manufacturers use in the cones and magnets. The professional staff at Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound will be happy to demonstrate the improvement that is possible by installing full range speakers.  
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What is a coaxial speaker

What is a coaxial speaker?

  • Posted by Audio Express
  • On December 16, 2016
  • 0 Comments
What is a coaxial speaker? A Coaxial speaker is actually two separate speakers combined within a single basket. The larger of the two speakers, called the woofer, is designed to handle the low sounds of the music. A smaller tweeter produces the high sounds. The tweeter is usually mounted in the center of the woofer, which is the source of the term, coaxial. With a wide range of sizes and price ranges provided by the top names in the industry, Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound is a great place to learn all the details. These speakers have become common in the automobile industry because they produce the most music using the least space. They also have the advantage of being less expensive to produce compared to other designs. Unless you paid for a high-end factory sound system, it is very likely the car speakers that came from the factory in your vehicle are coaxial. Although systems with two speakers are the most common, there are speaker designs that comprise three or even four separate speakers in one housing. These provide more detailed sound since each speaker is selecting only the range it reproduces best. Sizes and shapes of coaxial speakers range from 5.25 inch round units to much larger designs such as 6×9 speakers. Tweeters may be less than an inch in diameter. The quality of the sound and durability of the speakers is determined to a large extent by the materials used in the cones by different manufacturers. Experts on car audio are in general agreement that replacing factory car speakers with higher-grade aftermarket speakers is the quickest and cheapest way to improve the sound in any vehicle. The professional staff at Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound will be happy to introduce you to the possibilities provided by coaxial speakers.
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