Technology feels like it’s constantly changing. Computers have evolved from taking up an entire room to fitting in the palm of your hand. Car audio is no different. What started out as a simple AM receiver is now more versatile than most of us ever imagined.
These days, there are not only a number of different ways to play music through a car audio receiver, but a nice selection of accessories you can get for your stereo.
Bluetooth Streaming and SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Depending on your age, you might remember a time when cassette tapes, and later CDs, were the only options for listening to music in your car, aside from AM/FM radio.
While AM/FM radios and CD players are still common functions of car stereo systems, stereos today commonly have built-in Bluetooth, which allows you to connect your smartphone wirelessly and stream music from apps such as iTunes, Spotify or Pandora directly to the stereo. All aftermarket stereos will offer an auxiliary input with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, to plug in sound from any device. Most also offer USB inputs to allow charging devices, as well asl playing music from a phone or USB flashdrive.
With the right equipment, you can gain access to over 150 radio stations with SiriusXM satellite radio, many commercial free. These channels cover every genre of music, sports, news, traffic, weather, and talk radio. Even better, your stereo can receive signal anywhere as long as it has access to the satellites, and with terrestrial repeaters it will be extremely rare to lose signal, even thru tunnels and overpasses.
Apps, Maps and More
In addition to these fantastic new ways to listen to music through your stereo, technology has brought us great safety features to help you get where you’re going without incident. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect your smartphone to the car stereo and allow you to access features from your device like maps, texts and other apps, directly through your stereo’s touchscreen or voice control. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road, and driving safer, not digging for your phone to get the info you need.
Another great feature available in many stereos is the ability to add a backup camera that feeds directly to the screen, giving you a better view while backing out of your driveway or any other spot.
Many car manufactures are adding stereo controls into the steering wheel, providing quick access to volume, play/paus, and skip controls without taking your hands off the wheel. Even better, if you want to replace the factory stereo, you can keep your steering wheel controls working with the addition of a Steering Wheel Control Interface available with the install.
Come out to one of our many Audio Express locations and chat with one our Car Audio Professionals to learn more and find the right stereo for you.