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Mini Guide to LED Lightbars and Headlights – Creating a Safer Driving Experience

  • Posted by agency-it
  • On October 11, 2017
  • 0 Comments
  • Audio Express, bright, diode, headlights, LED, light, lightbar, lights, off-rad, offroad, truck
Automotive audio companies specialize in adding technology to your vehicle, so it may come as no surprise that we at Audio Express can add other features to your car as well. After reading tips for safe driving, our customers often approach us about LED car headlights, LED driving lights or adding an LED light bar. Benefits of LED Lighting LED lighting is an attractive option because it is safer, less expensive and more reliable than traditional bulbs. Without the filaments and other harmful components of traditional bulbs, LED lights can last longer without malfunctioning, and they don’t emit any potentially harmful chemicals. Their boosted efficiency means they can create more light while generating less heat. This is better for the environment and wastes less energy from the car. The performance of the new lighting technology is unparalleled. While old-fashioned bulbs can only cast beams straight forward, LED lights may provide any number of various patterns. The luminosity is brighter and more penetrating, allowing drivers to see further and increasing visibility in poor conditions. The more brilliant light pierces rain and snow. LED Car Headlights The stock headlights in your vehicle can be converted to LED lights at very little cost. The small cost of conversion is recuperated in no time because LED lights are so much less likely to malfunction and need replacement. Because these replace the manufacturer’s headlights, there are really no added parts to maintain on the vehicle. LED Light Bar There are two primary kinds of light patterns to select when choosing a bar: spot or flood. Spot lighting is perfect for illuminating a road far into the distance. Flood lighting is great for an off-road LED light bar. Flood pattern light bars light up a wide field of view, allowing vision on all sides. It is possible to find light bars that offer both spot and flood lighting, and there are even curved models. All of these come with the advantages of LED lighting over traditional bulbs. LED Driving Lights Driving lights are an ideal solution for some customers. These round clusters of LED lights can be clamped onto the exterior of a vehicle, making for a minimally invasive installation. The effect is that of affixing a spotlight to your ride for a more penetrating glow. Audio Express There is no doubt that LED lights are a large technological step forward. Despite being more functional than old bulbs, they are also more cost-effective. They use less energy, last longer and, most importantly, they create a safer driving experience. There are many options for upgrading your vehicle to LED lighting. Talk to a certified technician at Audio Express to find the right one for you.
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Categories

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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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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