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OEM stereo upgrades at Audio Express

OEM Stereo Integration

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On September 25, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, factory, OEM, Original Equipment Manufacturer, sound quality, stereo, upgrades
If you’re interested in improving your car’s sound system but don’t necessarily want the look of an aftermarket system, you should consider the available car audio OEM integration. OEM Integration allows you to keep your car’s original factory stereo while producing much improved sound quality and volume. What Is An OEM Upgrade? Now, you might be asking what exactly OEM integration is, and that’s a fair question. OEM integration is a selection of upgrades for your car stereo that either work with your factory stereo, or replace your factory stereo with an aftermarket stereo. Some aftermarket stereos should have that look very similar to the factory unit, but provides more features and power. Or OEM integration could consist of sound processors that allow for the ability to install a subwoofer, or a JL stealthbox that fits perfectly into your vehicle while using the smallest amount of space possible. OEM Options OEM audio integration allows you to add a subwoofer to your vehicle without losing valuable trunk space. These subwoofers are custom designed to give you the bump and thump you want out of your sound system while fitting into a precise section of your vehicle. With an addition to your system like a Kicker VSS (vehicle specific system) or JL Stealthbox, you can improve your sound without a huge box to hold your subwoofers taking up trunk space. OEM signal processors are a car audio interface adapter that allows you to keep your factory stereo, while providing quality sound signal output to your amplifiers above and beyond what the factory or even aftermarket stereos provide, improving the sound of your speakers, or allowing you to add additional subwoofers to get the best bass out of your system. OEM keyfobs can also control an aftermarket remote start system, allowing you to start your car to heat it up or cool it down, all from your factory key fob. Many of today’s vehicles have the fob built right into the key, so this allows you the convenience of an autostart system without having to carry a second remote. Many of today’s newer vehicles also come with a screen, but no back up camera for safety installed. Adding the factory camera usually require you to upgrade the whole vehicle trim package, potentially costing you thousands of dollars for features you may not want or need, like leather seats or chrome trim. We can add an aftermarket back up cameras to many if not most factory screens in vehicles, with OEM interfaces from leading manufacturers like NavTV, AXXESS, and Echomaster. If you want to upgrade your factory stereo while keeping the factory look, there are a variety of options available. OEM video upgrades like the JVC El Kameleon KWV830BT use the same space as your factory system and appear like a factory unit, but add new technology like Apple Carplay or watching a DVD (which you should only do when your car is parked, by the way). Restyles Also available are “restyles”, from one of the leading manufacturers, Alpine, that replace your factory unit with an updated, vehicle specific, OEM looking system with a large, easy to see and use screen, that includes navigation, Bluetooth music streaming and hands-free calling, and aftermarket iPhone or Android car integration. These restyle options give your vehicle a beautiful, “better than factory” OEM look, while adding additional features to improve upon your car audio experience, all controlled thru a 9” or larger touchscreen. You can add amplifiers or an aftermarket backup camera to assist not only with quality sound but safety in your ride. The hottest Restyles fit perfect in newer Jeep Wranglers, GM trucks like the Silverado or Sierra, best-selling SUV’s like the Yukon and Tahoe, plus other trucks like the Dodge Ram or Toyota Tundra. So stop into one of our convenient Audio Express / Quality Auto Sound locations today to discuss what OEM upgrades are available for your car. If you don’t have time to stop in, feel free to contact us online for more information. And remember: We offer the lowest rates in town for aftermarket radio installation.
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Audio Express 5 Ways to Test Your stereo

Five of the Best Ways to Test Your Car Audio System

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 29, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, audio, Audio Express, equalizer, sound system, speakers, stereo, wattage
A good sound system can put a spring in your step; a great system will have the driver in a car several blocks away joining the chorus. If you are tired of tolerating mediocre melodies in your car, you have to test your system for the weak links that need to be addressed. 1. Check and Compare Wattage One of the most common reasons for poor sound quality is a discrepancy between the amplifier output and the maximum power of the speaker and subwoofers. This can create a distorted sound and can cause the speaker to blow out. For the best audio clarity and sound, make sure the max power of the speaker is matched to the power output of the amplifier. 2. Adjust the Equalizer Start with the treble as it conveys the finer details of the music. Once the treble is tuned in just right, adjust the bass levels to give the thumps and bangs the oomph that gets the blood pumping. As you balance your equalizer, it is also a good idea to take note of the best settings for the various types of music you enjoy. This will make it easy to set everything before you take your next trip down the road. 3. Choose Your Test Tunes Carefully It is always a good idea to pick out a handful of test songs that represent the artists and songs you listen to most frequently. Using them as your test tracks will help you dial in the sound for the types of music you enjoy the most. Also, much of today’s digitally downloaded music varies in sound quality and volume, so tune your stereo with the best audio recording available, or use a Store bought CD if you have one available for best tuning. 4. Listen for the Dynamics You should always test your speakers at the highest and lowest volumes. Different systems will create a different sound at these extreme ranges and it is important to know how your system performs when the beat is blasting on a jam or when the chorus cools off and softens up for a love song. 5. Create a Quiet Space You should never test your audio out on the street or within a noisy garage. Create a quiet place where you can roll up the windows and test your system in peace and quiet. This will help ensure that outside noises don’t distract from the true sound quality coming from your speakers as you calibrate the receiver and the other components in your car audio system. Audio Express Audio Express car audio stores are just a stone’s throw away. Our audio technicians would be delighted to help you test and select the best components for your sound system and music preference. We will be happy to answer your questions and give you our recommendations for creating the best listening experience as you travel down the road.
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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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Audio Express Tips for Buying an Amplifier

The 8 Best Insider Tips for Buying Car Amplifiers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 13, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • amplifier, car, quality, sound system, speakers, stereo, subwoofer, truck
The process of shopping for car audio amplifiers can be one of confusion and frustration. The uninformed will hear lots of big numbers and strange terms; even the informed can find themselves occasionally bewildered by the range of options available.   To help both types of consumers, we humbly offer some helpful hints. Go Big It’s not necessarily wrong to look for big numbers with regards to output for a car audio amplifier. However, many brands try to hide the real power of the amplifier behind big claims, so you’ll always want to look for the RMS power rating. This is the continuous power rating, showing what you can really expect wattage wise from the amp. Know Your Power You can take the specs for an amplifier and check to make sure it really does put out what it claims it does with a simple formula: P=vce, where P is the total power output, v is the voltage of your car battery, c is the current draw for the amp, and e is the efficiency constant. If you plug in those numbers and the result is 5 percent less than what’s advertised or greater, pass on it. Count Your Channels Each speaker is a channel, and that includes the subwoofer.  If you’ve got four speakers and a sub, don’t get a monoblock (one-channel) amp. Amplifiers for cars should, ideally, have the same number of channels as there are speakers. You can run multiple subwoofers off a mono block amp, since they run on the same frequency setting, but if looking for one amplifier to drive multiple size speakers, either a four or five channel amp is needed, or multiple amplifiers. Make Sure You’ve Got Spare Power Amps create a power budget for the speakers. Make sure that each speaker has a surplus. Underpowered speakers are far more susceptible to damage than overpowered speakers, due to the heat created by working a speaker at less wattage than needed. Mount It Right When having a car amplifier installation professionally done, think about where you want the amplifier placed. Ideally, you want to keep it as close to the battery as possible, to shorten the amount of wiring needed to power it. Installing an amp under a seat is normally ok, but can cause an amp to run hotter than normal, so sometimes the trunk is the only option. Just remember, the farther the amp from the battery, the bigger gauge wire you should use for best current conduction. Many of today’s newer vehicles place the battery in the back, making the connection a shorter distance and allowing better power flow. Add Extra Power Sources Car stereo amplifiers, along with other components, can be a major drain on a car’s battery. If you’re driving down the road with thumping bass going and the headlights are flickering in time with the beats, there’s too much power going out. Consider a secondary battery or capacitor, and also upgrading your existing wiring with the “Big three” upgrade. The Right Wires The best car amplifier should have the best wiring possible to ensure the highest possible performance. Look for Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) wires as opposed to Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA). OFC types conduct electricity far better, giving you the wattage you bought, and also doesn’t heat up the wire as much. Also, upgrading the Big-3 (The wire from the alternator to the battery, from the battery to the body ground, and the engine grounding wire to the battery.) will give your charging system much better performance. Guaranteed Products It should go without saying, but always check the manufacturer’s warranty and make sure that the shop doing the installation is an authorized dealer for the amplifier and any other components you might be using. There are many “grey market” products out there, resulting in voided warranties thru the manufacturer when bought from a non-authorized dealer. Audio Express These are just the basics to keep in mind for when you go to buy a car audio amplifier. Get in touch with the staff at Audio Express and become a more educated consumer today.
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Audio Express Subwoofer Myths

Myths Busted: 5 Common Misconceptions about Subwoofers

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 8, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • audio, Audio Express, boat, car, electronics, entertainment, speaker, stereo, subwoofer, truck, video
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. Audio Express It’s understandable to have questions, and Audio Express is happy to provide answers that kill the myths and bring car audio to life.
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Audio Express Upgrade Your car Truck Stereo

Expert Tips for Enhancing Your Car Stereo’s Sound Quality

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On June 7, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • acoustic, amp, amplifier, audio, car, sound quality, sound system, speakers, stereo, sub, subwoofer, truck
For some folks, a stock sound system in their car is something they can live with. For others, it’s barely a starting point. When you want to squeeze the maximum performance out of your car’s sound the same way another person might soup up the engine or suspension, there’s a number of ways to go about it. Overhaul the Speakers Unless you paid for a high-end options package and verified that the speakers that went into it really were the best car audio speakers the manufacturer had to offer, replacing the factory-installed speakers is a big step with big payoffs in sound performance. This goes for both regular speakers and subwoofers. Also, factory speakers tend to be made of poor quality materials, even the high end ones. Aftermarket products hold up to our harsh environment much better, since they tend to be made from better materials. Acoustic Insulation Even in modern cars, engine and road noise can impact the ultimate output of your sound system. Installing insulating, sound deadening material in the doors, floorboards and engine compartment can help manage these noise sources and add to your acoustic experience. Add an Amplifier Stock amps might have impressive-sounding numbers, but they may not be the best amps out there. Raw power is only part of the equation, and replacing the stock amp with one that has better control of its power, and more adjustment, is a good idea. Set Your Amp Correctly This is a corollary to the previous tip. Cranking everything to 11 on an aftermarket amp and calling it good is not what you want to do. Tuning the amp’s output may take some time, but it’s a step that will be well worth taking the time to do right. Bypass the DAC Smartphones have Digital-to-Analog Converters, which aren’t as good as dedicated high-end stereo components. Connecting wirelessly makes the phone do the work instead of your stereo, impacting car stereo sound quality. Instead, try running a USB cable from your mobile device to your stereo and hear the difference. Use Higher-Quality Media Files Media files have to balance file size and sound quality. If you want really good sound quality, the files will be bigger. Instead of MP3s or streaming services like Spotify, try FLAC or other lossless compression formats. Properly Enclose the Subwoofer Unless you like having all of your music sound like Hans Zimmer recorded it, putting your subwoofer into a box that is the right size and shape is important. Incorrectly sized or tuned enclosures adversely affects sound and longevity. Upgrade the Wiring If you’re going to the trouble of doing a total car speaker installation, it’s always worth it to replace the wires connecting the speakers as well. Good insulated lines help minimize signal loss. Combined with a capacitor or power cell to keep power flowing to the amplifiers, it can make for performance gains across the board. Audio Express If all else fails or you just want to leave the work to professionals, drop by Audio Express and let them give you some ideas about how to make your vehicle truly sing.
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