Technology Spending Limits and the Auto Sound System We live in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. We see it every time we buy a new car, a new television, or a new computer. We see it every other month when the iPod is putting out a new an improved model that offers more features, more disk space, and more everything, in a smaller package (well not since they added video but until then, the gadgets were getting smaller while the features were growing exponentially). The truth of the matter is that technology seems to be advancing at a rate that is nearly impossible to keep up with. That being said, you can quite literally drive yourself insane by trying to keep up with the pace of modern technology. What you need to do in order to maintain proper sanity is decide on a level of technology that you are comfortable and confident with and go with it until it is time (by either necessity or desire) to upgrade. You do not have to be the first to purchase the latest and greatest in software and gadgetry (this has become my mantra: I do not have to be the first to own the great big bad new toy, I will survive gadget deprivation-it isn't working yet but I'm ever the optimist). The point is that you do not need to be the first to try every new thing and you will not only wear yourself out by trying but also you bank account, credit cards, and second mortgage. Technology is expensive, especially the newest and latest. If there was any doubt stroll on over to Ebay and see how much Play Station 3's are selling for at the moment-madness and lunacy do not even begin to subscribe the amount of money people are offering to pay for these devices. Technology is a wonderful thing. It makes life easier for some and a lot more entertaining for others. The same holds true with auto sound systems. The technology exists to make them much more beneficial to car and driver than they have been in the past while offering many more features than ever before. Today you aren't even limited to AM and FM. You now have the option of CDs, audio books, MP3s, XML, and digital FM radio, which offers a few bonus features over traditional radio. It really doesn't matter if you have the absolute latest. Most of us can enjoy a great deal of the wonderful technology that is available if we are willing to wait long enough for the prices to go down. I recall, and it wasn't all that long ago, when DVD players sold for no less than $100. You can get them now (about 5 years later) on a regular basis for less than $30. This is only one example of many. PS2s were around $400 when they first hit the market and now can be bought at the whopping price of $120. All around us technology evolves and grows and then prices fall. The point is spend your money where you want to spend it rather than where you think it should be spent. If you want an auto sound system then get the best one that you feel meets your budget requirements. You do not have to have the top system in the technology food chain in order to have a great sound system that will provide you with years worth of enjoyment. You are the only one that is responsible for the decisions you make. It is up to you to decide where you want the bulk of your money invested when it comes to technological gadgets and goodies. Believe me, I'm a gadget geek. I love playing with new toys and gizmos and seeing how they work-really, for me it's a thrill. At the same time I realize I can't always be the first to get the new toys I so desperately want to try out so I limit myself and decide which ones are the most important. You must do this for yourself when it comes to auto sound systems. Speakers Play the Sound but Auto Sound Systems Make It When you look at auto sound systems it is important to pay close attention to the speakers on the system you are considering. You will find that there are all kinds of components, pieces, and parts that go along with a proper sound system in the world of today's music systems. You need to pay special attention to every single detail along the way of choosing the system that will meet your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle with the most bells and whistles to spare. Some things that are important to remember about selecting proper speakers is that bigger isn't always better. As a matter of fact, bigger speakers are often quite inferior no matter how that might have been different in the past. As technology improves, better things are coming in much smaller packages. You do not have to have a huge set of amplifiers in order to receive not only good quality but also really big sound. I hope I can honestly say that the days of having to remove the backseat of your car in order to install speakers is long gone. I also hope that the days of having speakers occupy more than half of the available trunk space in a car are also long gone. While I am not a big fan of loud thumping bass music, I do realize that it is very popular and has been for the last twenty or so years. The good news for fans of this type of sound is that you don't have to have all the extraneous space taking equipment that was once required in order to achieve a far superior sound in the auto sound systems of today. You can still achieve the very same bone jarring bass thumping music without sacrificing every inch of real estate within your car to speakers and amplifiers. Good speakers can be purchased separately from your auto sound system though I highly recommend against doing so. I am ordinarily all about saving money whenever and wherever possible. The truth is that with a sound system for your vehicle if you don't hear all the components together you really won't have a realistic clue as to the overall sound you will be buying. Your best bet is to buy the speakers that are sold as part of the sound system rather than hoping you will be getting a good deal on speakers that are not quite up to the standards of the sound system you have invested in for your car, truck, or SUV. Of course the best speakers for your car will largely depend on what you plan to do with the speakers. There are some who plan to enter their cars into competitions to see which car has the best thumping bass sound around. If that is your goal for your auto sound system, then by all means add all the speakers you need. Keep in mind that the less space you have inside your car, the less people you fit inside. This can be a somewhat disheartening thing on occasion but it is your car and your sound after all. You should get what you want for your money. You are, after all the one paying for the sound you are getting. Speakers aren't the most important component when it comes to big sound but they are vitally important when it comes to sound in general. Just remember it makes no sense to go big and bulky on the speakers and amplifiers if you are going to skimp when it comes to the overall quality of the sound system you are buying for your vehicle or skimping on installation. The best equipment on the market is only as good as its weakest part. It doesn't matter how wonderful your speakers are if your system is substandard or even only average. Try to keep even quality throughout your auto sound system whenever possible for the best possible overall sound. Self Installation of Auto Sound System can Save Serious Cash If you are seriously hoping to save a significant chunk of change when it comes to your auto sound system, you should consider saving on installation. Under ordinary circumstances I urge people to be very, if not overly cautious when it comes to installing your own auto sound systems. The thing is, that some people really are talented when it comes to activities such as this. Beyond talent, some people have frightening skills with electronics and if you are one of those, then by all means consider the money you could save yourself (or the extra money you'd have to invest in your system?). We all know that money doesn't grow on trees and when you've been saving up for quite a while to get the sound system you really want it's a serious joy killer to have to wait another month or two in order to save up enough money to cover the cost of the installation of your sound system. If you or someone you know and trust (trust being the operative word in this instance) can do the work, it makes no sense from a fiscal point of view to pay someone else to do it. That being said, if there are any doubts about your skill or experience you might want to at the very least get a second opinion or price installations in your area to see if it might actually be worth saving a little more. Time is another important issue when it comes to the installation of an auto sound system. It doesn't matter how capable you are of making the installation if you simply lack the time to do it. In cases such as this it would have been just as wise to go ahead and pay someone to make the installation. It makes much more sense to me than having the system sitting in a box for months on end while you wait for the time to get it taken care of. I am one of those people who firmly believes that time is money. Time lost from work is expensive. This is especially true when the times of 10 or more people are lost. It adds up quickly no matter if you have a small or a large company. Time is also (unfortunately) the one commodity in life that you can never recover. No matter how hard you try you cannot recapture time that has been lost. If you have children you know exactly what I'm talking about (particularly if your children are either teens or grown and gone). You cannot recover lost time so make sure you aren't wasting your time by trying to install an auto sound system that is beyond your abilities. Don't fret though. Most of us find that at some point in our lives we are limited by either time or money if not both. If everything was quick and easy we wouldn't really have anything worth working for would we? Consider all your limitations when planning and purchasing your auto sound system and make sure that the system you select falls squarely within your ability to install, your time limit for installation, or your price range for affording to pay for the installation. Whether you decide to do your own installation or have a professional installation of your auto sound system the prize is the superior sound quality you will be able to enjoy. Professional Installation of Auto Sound Systems Imperative One of the biggest decisions that people need to make when deciding on an auto sound system is the decision of whether or not have the system professionally installed. On the one hand, it will add a pretty hefty fee to the bottom line but you just might find that the fee is well worth the expense you'd have to pay to fix any mistakes you might make along the way. The truth of the matter is that installing an auto sound system is not an easy task and requires no small degree of skill and concentration. I'm not sure about you but I'm in short supply of both when it comes to technical matters such as this and would much rather not risk my car, which will cost a lot more to repair if I make a mistake than the couple of hundred dollars that professional installation might require. When it comes down to it there are many benefits to having your sound system installed by professionals. Below you will find a few of these benefits. 1) Sound systems are huge investments. Most automobiles come equipped with a marginal sound system at best. Many people will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on upgraded materials for sound systems but then skimp on installation. The result is a sound system that is very unlikely to provide the actual quality you paid for. Professionals train for months, even years, in order to learn how to properly place and install each component in order to achieve the best possible sound inside your automobile. If you do not have the training you cannot possibly expect the same results. Protect your investment by making the extra investment of a professional installation. 2) Saving money in costly repairs. This is especially important when installing in dash auto sound systems. You will be pulling out pieces and parts and may even need to make adjustments to the available space in order to get a new sound system to fit in the space allotted for a sound system in your automobile. Professionals not only have the skills to handle these types of adjustments without damaging your dash or automobile but also the tools that might make the difference between making a tiny adjustment and a huge mess. Don't risk the need to pay for factory repairs from your carmaker to fix the mess you've made of your automobile. 3) Sound systems aren't cheap. For this reason alone you need to make sure you aren't putting your brand new sound system at risk by foolishly attempting the installation for yourself. Even if you purchase the extended warranty on your system you may find that the warranty is void if you did not have a professional installation performed. If you have a professional installation the warranty is generally in tact if problems are found with your equipment during the installation process. In other words, having a professional installation is another layer of security for your investment. 4) Someone else is responsible for goof ups. This is probably the best reason on earth to spend the extra money on a professional installation. If something goes wrong during the process, it is someone else's fault and you do not have yourself to blame. Even better than that, someone else is responsible for fixing the mistake and covering the cost of any damage that may have occurred. This reason is enough for me to add another hundred or so dollars to my investment and take the time to have a professional installation. If something goes wrong on a thousand dollar piece of equipment or a thirty plus thousand dollar automobile, I want someone other than myself to yell at. But hey, that's just me. Sound systems greatly affect how much we enjoy our time in our cars, trucks, and SUVs it only makes sense to get the best sound system we can afford to improve the quality of the time we spend in our automobiles. Don't ruin the investment by skimping on the installation, it could cost more in the long run than you realize at the time of the purchase. Modifying your Auto Sound System If you are one of the many people around the world who happens to be into cars and the new pastime called 'modding' I'm sure you have considered the implications of modding your auto sound system. For many the idea of modifying an automobile is very exciting. It's a way to take the standard canvas purchased from the dealer and turn it into a work of art that you drive to work and play each and every day. The same theory holds for your sound system as well. You can take the basic pieces and parts and turn them into something so much more than they were to begin with. If that isn't enough you can purchase all kinds of LED lights and other nifty gadgets that glow and go along with your car while dancing to the beat. If you want to make a splash driving down any boulevard, this is definitely one way to not only be seen but also leave a lasting impression. Your creative genius with your auto sound system will cause quite a stir and give plenty of people much to discuss the next morning and plenty of people a great deal of inspiration to try to mimic or at the very least incorporate into their units somehow. There are all kinds of sound systems for automobiles. Many of these systems are sold as part of a package and readily available to multiple consumers. You have the option as a creative modding genius, to take the plane Jane package and turn it into something so much better than it is or to even go off on a tangent and invent a total package of your own by mixing and matching pieces and parts from several different packages or pieces of packages. It doesn't matter where your creativity ends and begins there is never a challenge too great for a true modder at heart. From cars, trucks, boats, and computers to car stereos there is no task too demanding or too complicated for a true modding mind to tackle and transform. Perhaps it's the blinking lights or all the wonderful possibilities that abound but auto sound system mods are among my favorite to see in action. It's amazing the things that can be thought up by a wicked imagination and accomplished with a little time and a lot of effort. Seriously though, if you are going to go to all the trouble of dressing up your vehicle shouldn't you also take the time to dress up your auto sound system? There are all kinds of gadgets and gizmos you can buy that will work with the music your speakers are pumping in order to create a fabulous overall affect of music and light that is sure to get some great reactions from those you cruise on by. These are perfect accessories for summer time beach driving if you know what I mean. Growing up on the coast, I found a great section of people who were constantly modifying their cars and sound systems. I think it is incredibly amazing what can be done with metal, glass, color, light, and sound and really enjoy seeing all of the amazing creations that are made. Even if you haven't really given much thought to modifying your auto sound system before, I hope that you will consider it now if you are a serious modder. I honestly believe you might amaze yourself at some of the fabulous tricks of sound and light that you can come up with when properly challenged and inspired. Take the time to check out the interesting things that have been done, and then formulate a hypothesis on what can be done. It is truly amazing the wonderful things that have been created as the result of a glove being thrown so to speak. Jump in and create a fabulously modified sound system that will be the absolute envy of everyone you pass along the way. Is Bigger Better in Auto Sound Systems? When it comes to auto sound systems, one question seems to be repeated often-is bigger better? The honest answer to that is not by a long shot. There are many excellent quality sound systems that will not require the backseat and your first-born in order to enjoy wonderful quality of sound and music as you drive along on your daily commute. One thing that is important to remember is that dynamite does in fact come in small packages. The same can be true of a good quality sound system for your car, truck, or SUV. You can elect to have the full range sound package. This package, if not custom installed by the dealer can take up a great deal of real estate within your car, truck, or SUV. If you own a compact car, these types of speakers and this particular type of sound system is definitely not recommended. The first reason it is unattractive is that it will most likely require either the vast majority of your trunk or take out your back seat. I for one like being able to cart around friends, relatives, and/or children-my back seat isn't up for grabs. I also prefer the continuity of a factory-installed system that takes up none of the premium living space within the interior of my SUV. I am personally biased towards the wonderful sound quality of the Bose sound system and speakers. The quality of sound with this particular system is excellent and any true music lover will tell you that good quality of sound is better by far than a louder sound. This is not to say that the Bose sound system will be the perfect choice for everyone to use as his or her auto sound system only that it is my first choice as a music lover. I prefer a softer sound that has good quality to a louder sound of the substandard or even average quality on any day. The problem with most 'big' sound systems and speakers is that they often sound hollow or tinny rather than full and robust. A good auto sound system will provide the best possible sound within the confines of the least possible space. You will probably find that you don't need to sacrifice your backseat in order to hold the speakers and while the Bose sound system for automobiles does cost more than some sound systems, it won't require a second mortgage on your home in order to afford. There are actually times in life when you get what you pay for. The important thing to remember is that you do not have to have the most expensive, the best known, or even the biggest sound system in order to have a wonderful quality sound system in your automobile. You will not even have to have a Bose sound system in order to have a sound system that is not only excellent quality but also excellent sound. You do not need to pay an arm and a leg or any other appendages in order to have a good sound on your daily commute to work. Music is all around us, at work, at home, on television shows. Music sets moods, sets tones, and kills moods on occasion. It only makes sense that you have good quality equipment upon which to play the music that so greatly enhances and enriches your life. If you are in the market for an auto sound system it only makes sense to listen to several before deciding on the one that will work best with your musical tastes and your desire for your vehicle sound system. Don't be misled by commission minded sales associated that think you need the latest, greatest, and most expensive toy on the market. Find a system that sounds good to you and go with that system. You do not have to go for a better sound if you find a sound you like that should be enough. Great Brands for Good Prices on Auto Sound Systems If you are one of the many people across the country considering a new auto sound system, there is a great deal of good news. First of all, it is very possible to find a good bargain on a nice sound system for your car, truck, or SUV if you are willing to shop online and install the system yourself. The problem often lies not in the cost of the system but the price of the installation. However, the cost of installation is well worth the dollar amount for many of us who really have no clue what to do as far as a project of that scope goes. I for one am among the electronically challenged and not really willing to risk my dash board for an experiment in frustration and failed electronics. That being said, there are many who are either perfectly and wonderfully capable of installing a nice auto sound system or are fortunate enough to know someone or someone who knows someone who is. For you, finding a great bargain online is probably the best way to go-provided you've actually been in the shop and heard the sound quality of the particular system you are considering. I would never recommend buying a system you've never heard in action no matter how great of a bargain you think you are getting. I've found that some of these systems are not even as good as the minimal factory installed systems that come standard in most cars, trucks, or SUVs on the road today. You do not want to pay money and spend time and effort for the installation of a sound system that isn't at least better than the one you currently have. There are times when you do not have to go with top of the line or well known brands in order to have a great sound or auto sound system. But there are some well-known, good quality makers of sound systems that do not cost a fortune. You can find some very nice sound systems that are not exactly top of the line but also offer great quality sound and excellent features (particularly when compared to factory installed sound systems). If you're looking for a very nice auto sound system you can find some good ones by popular brands for well under $300. They have some that are even less expensive but those in the $300 range generally offer a little boost in quality from those that can be found at lower prices. Of course, this isn't always the case and you will occasionally find some excellent systems at even lower prices than this. You and you alone can tell if the system you choose is one that you will be happy with. The thing to remember is to listen to the sounds of the systems then make your decision and compare prices. Alpine, Kenwood, and JVC all have excellent auto sound systems in a wide variety of price ranges. There are times with these systems that paying a little extra is worth it. If you are satisfied with the quality of a less expensive sound system however, there is no real reason why you should purchase a more expensive system. You are the one who will be riding in your car, truck, or SUV and it is only important what you think of the system you select. Evolving Technology and Auto Sound Systems Finding auto sound systems that can keep up with the constantly evolving technology of today is a real challenge for many car and sound enthusiasts not only around the nation but also around the world. There was a time in the not so distant past when car stereos that had CD players or CD disc changers where the cutting edge of technology. New technology however has nearly rendered the CD players in cars as obsolete as long forgotten 8-track players. The sad news is that many carmakers are clinging to the old days and only offer something as modern as cassette players as standard equipment for auto sound systems. I think those days will soon be forgotten, as cassettes are no longer even in mainstream production. You should also find that as CDs are rapidly becoming replaced by MP3s that take up very little space in our cars and homes, one day very soon we may see that music companies have decided it is no longer cost effective to produce CDs and render all music to digital formats. So, what does this mean for auto sound systems? It's actually good news for savvy manufacturers are well as savvy consumers who have their eyes on the future and the growing role technology is playing in our lives and as well as our commute to work. We've seen a recent introduction of satellite radio to our selection of auto sound systems. These stations offer the allure of no commercial interruptions to your music play in exchange for the price of a monthly subscription. At the moment there are two major companies that offer this service to consumers and each have rather proprietary equipment for their use and installation into your car. They are actually offering some rather tempting offers in order to encourage subscribers. Among those wonderful offers are auto sound systems for your vehicle at less than $100 with a prepaid year of subscription services. For the satellite radio companies this indicates a constantly growing pool of prospective subscribers and the cost of the equipment is a drop in the bucket when compared to customer loyalty and being on the cutting edge of sound technology. The drawback is that you must decide which service you wish to go with before making the purchase. Also while they offer a very nice auto sound system (bare bones kind of kit that only allows for the radio reception in most cases) at a very sweet price, if you want upgrades such as MP3 compatibility, CD players, CD changers, DVD players, GPS, or any number of other new and advanced technology you will still have to purchase those for your sound system at an upgraded price. There are a few packages that come with these things, but the price is a little on the hefty side. Oh the sacrifices we will make for a more enjoyable daily commute. Know what your expectations are before you decide to purchase the auto sound system of your dream or you could find that it is more the stuff that nightmares are made of than sweet dreams. Do not live in constant fear that if you buy today you will find something you like better 6 months from now, that is a reality. Technology is growing and evolving at a frightening pace. Find the auto sound system that you like best today and make that your purchase. This is a much better option than waiting around indefinitely and purchasing one just as your warranty expires on your car and it's time for a trade in and another auto sound system. Today's Auto Sound Systems are more than meets the Eye The auto sound systems of today are much more involved and complicated than the simple car stereo and speakers of years long past. Today's sound systems have all kinds of bells and whistles that many us could have only imagined during our younger years. In fact, it is quite possible that many of us did imagine these and those imaginings are how they came to be. One thing you need to do before you even begin to put the auto sound system of your dreams together is learn what kinds of components exist, how they work together, and which ones you really think you need as part of your auto sound system and which components you honestly feel you can live without. Life is about compromise and most of us will readily admit that we are quite unlikely to ever use all the bells, whistles, and upgrades that are made available to us within our lifetimes. I don't know about you, but my cell phone has features I've never even gotten around to learning how to use. I know I can use them and I have a subscription to do so, but have never managed to actually get around to watching the news, I find that if I am on my phone the news would be an interruption and if I am in the mood to watch the news, I'll generally find a television and watch on a larger screen. Our auto sound systems are a lot like this. If you don't do an extensive amount of travel with little ones in your car, it is unlikely that you will need a sound system that allows wireless speakers for the back seat. However if you are putting a good sound system in your family car, this may be a good idea, as we don't always enjoy the same music as our children. I don't know about you, but I can only handle "The Wheels on the Bus" so many times in one car trip. For that reason alone I think the individual headphones are a wonderful idea. One thing that I have found I can't live without in my auto sound system is an MP3 player. I'm literally addicted to audio books and have found that I can subscribe to an online service that allows me to download entire books to my computer and either burn them to a CD or put them on a memory stick to play on my next road trip. It makes the trip seem to go so much more quickly when I have something to occupy my mind rather than switching radio stations on a regular basis in search of a song I enjoy that hasn't been overplayed. Some people can't live without at least a 6-disc CD changer as part of their auto sound system and others find that XML is the only way to go. Whatever your choice, the thing to remember is that it is your choice. Only you can choose the auto sound system that works best with your tastes and requirements. Only you can decide whether or not you enjoy the sound your sound system provides, and only you can decide which bells and whistles are important and essential and which ones you can live without. It is your money that will pay for the upgrades you desire and your tastes they should please. Take the time to study not only the music, but also the sound and the components that are available for the sound system you choose. Also pay close attention to what is included in the price you think you are paying. More often than not each component is sold as either an add on or an upgrade so be careful that you aren't getting less than you think you are or paying more than you think you will be paying for the auto sound system you choose. The Risks of Self-Installation of your Auto Sound System The risks of installing your own auto sound system may be greater than you realize. The fact is that there are people that are professionally trained in the installation and proper handling of these delicate sound systems for a reason. If it weren't a difficult task they wouldn't be able to demand the rather hefty price tag that most installation centers charge. The problem is that mistakes can actually cost more than the installation. If you aren't one hundred percent certain that you can handle the installation process alone it is best to leave it up to the experts. To prove my point, I will give you my very own personal story of how auto sound system installations can go horribly (well, perhaps hilariously would be the better choice of words in my particular situation) of course. You see I wanted a CD player in my mini van about 13 years ago. This was back in the dark ages when these types of sound systems were still relatively new and on the 'cutting edge' when it came to technology. These types of auto sound systems were definitely not the norm as they are in today's cars. I was commuting 3 hours (round trip) each day at the time and some of the time was spent among the corn fields where there were no towers broadcasting radio signals anywhere nearby. I'm sure you can see why I felt I needed a CD player. At any rate, my wonderful dear old dad installed my brand new car (well mini van) stereo for me and all seemed to be going well until we realized that the horn no longer worked and that in order to actually use the stereo, the headlights must be on (this was also before daytime running lights were the norm as well). Now that you've finished laughing I'm sure you can understand why I am a huge advocate for having professional handle issues of installation when it comes to auto sound systems. It isn't that my dad, whom I love dearly for the effort, was incompetent when it comes to technical matters, in fact, he is highly skilled in these sorts of things ordinarily, it is simply that car stereos are so terrible complicated that it takes more than merely reading a set of instructions in order to get the maximum effect from your installation endeavors. I have heard horror stories, particularly related to in dash installations that have resulted in some people having to make serious and costly repairs to their cars in order to fix the damage inflicted by installations by those who either lacked the proper tools, proper training, or a little bit of both for installing auto sound systems. While some drivers don't spend all that much time in their vehicles on any given day there are many commuters who put many miles on their cars, trucks, or SUVs during the course of a week. For these drivers it is often very important that they have the best possible sound systems for their vehicles. They will rely on their stereos to find out about weather conditions, traffic tie-ups, news, and possibly even entertainment during their long drives. If sound and music plays an important role in your life, don't you deserve the best auto sound system possible? The Reasons Why you should add a DVD Player to your Auto Sound System When you are in the process of selecting your next auto sound system you might want to check out the systems that include other entertainment features such as games and DVD players. This may sound a little simplistic to some but if you've ever driven cross-country with children, you know what I mean when I say it is worth the investment to have one installed and have it installed correctly. Many people will debate the wisdom of these devices and I will tell you quite frankly that I feel 100% that this is much safer than trying to deal with disgruntled children in the back that are literally fighting for your attention. If you want to talk about a distraction, I can think of few distractions that will top that while driving in holiday packed roads and less than favorable weather conditions. The truth of the matter is that anything that keeps the kiddies quiet for two hours at a pop has my vote for gadget or gizmo of the year. I seriously recommend having a system installed however as this will limit not only the distraction to the driver but also the exposure of the lights and sounds to the driver as well. If you have a game system in stalled along with a DVD player and headphones to go with both I am sure you will find that you are driving along listening blissfully to your mom music as the kids in the back take turns playing games and watching DVDs. In fact, the most serious refereeing you are likely to need is over whose turn it is and how long that will last. Now, I feel that it is very important to point out that this is not the only benefit to having an entertainment system installed for children that are traveling with you. Another very real benefit is the fact that you will also find that you are hearing less and less of the usual "are we there yet" and other generally disgruntled forms of questions from the backset. I also love the fact that the kids can often fall asleep to a DVD that they have seen a few dozen times which will bring a few more minutes of blissful silence as they snooze. Another unexpected benefit I have found with my children and a DVD incorporated into an auto sound system is that my children are asking less often to stop for potty breaks. I always assumed that some of the frequent bathroom stops were boredom related and now I'm fairly certain that my assumptions were correct. Another great thing that mommy does in order to keep things going smoothly is purchase a new DVD immediately prior to taking a long road trip. In addition to a new DVD that the little ones will not yet be tired of, I pull out some DVDs that might have been forgotten recently and not watched quite as often. This keeps the children very happy and quiet while mommy is able to concentrate on the road ahead and keeping everyone happy and safe while traveling. Just remember that you should never rely on the scenery or the thrill of traveling in order to keep little ones happy and occupied on long trips. Endless questions and chatter are to be expected in order to alleviate boredom. In order to avoid these types of situations you'll need more than happy music playing on the radio and really, how many times can you listen to "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" during a 12 hour road trip? Do yourself a favor when selection a really great auto sound system and make the necessary investment to add a really nice DVD player into the mix. Believe me I am the queen of cheap when it comes to trying to save money and will swear up and down that if you have children, this is one investment that is worth its weight in gold. The New Technology of Auto Sound Systems So what kind of auto sound system really seems to float your boat? Are you the type of person who wants the simplest sound system on the market today? Will you be content with talk radio and a few FM radio stations? Do you need an 8-track? How about a cassette player? I hate to say it, but if you are still living in the past, you will have a rather difficult time finding an audio system for your car that can accommodate your desire to hold technology behind the current trends. These things simply do not sell. You may find an occasional auto sound system that still has a cassette player but for the most part you will find that the market for this device is almost as limited as the quality of the device itself. Today's auto sound systems are more sophisticated than they have ever been before. Gone are the days when you had to turn a dial to find a radio station. Today you can set your car to scan the stations until you find one you like. You can even set them to scan radio stations by type. For me, that was a great invention as I find country music rather sad and always end up finding the one song that will bring uninvited torrents of tears while flipping through the stations mindlessly as I drive. Being someone that hates to cry on any given day it is bad enough to cry. Add to that the fact that I'm probably driving at about 75 or so miles an hour and you can probably see where this is problematic. I do best whenever I can avoid country music stations all together. Another great technological advance when it comes to the auto sound system is individual volume control. No longer do you have to listen to your mothers, brothers, sisters, or Aunt Sally's music blaring, you can slide on your headphones and mute out the noise of the rest of the world. If your vehicle has a truly sophisticated sound system, you can even change the radio station in order to find music that is much more suitable for your musical tastes. You should also be aware that today's auto sound systems are much more user friendly than those of days past. Most displays are digital and easy to read. You might even notice that many can read the local radio stations codes and formats and will list the songs that are playing for you. You'll never have to wonder about the name of that great song you just heard or even who sang it again. It's right before your eyes as you are driving along and listening to awesome tunes. The best auto sound systems offer not only CD options to drivers and passengers alike but also the ability and capability of reading and interpreting MP3 data as well. More and more people are turning to MP3s for their primary source of music. It takes up far less space than your average CD holder and holds a lot more music. You can download only the songs you like without purchasing an entire CD full of songs only to find that you only liked one song on the entire CD. You can put your favorite songs on a memory stick and bring them along for the ride. It's a great way to enjoy music in this day and age. I'm quite literally surprised that I haven't seen an iPod auto sound system pop up on the radar yet and am seriously expecting to see one any day now, literally. Regardless of whether or not you wish to enter the modern era of music and music listening it's upon us. However, if you are truly opposed we could always find you a nice supply of Sinatra in MP3 format in order to make the transition a little more comfortable for you. XM Satellite Radio Vs. Sirius for your Auto Sound System Selection If you're in the market for a new auto sound system you might want to seriously take a moment and consider whether or not you would be benefited by subscribing to either Sirius or XM Satellite Radio. Both of these subscription-based services have something wonderful to offer their subscribers and both of them require specialized equipment in order to operate. This means if you are going to wish to use either service, you will need to have decided which service before you have your auto sound system installed. It really doesn't matter which of these you choose they each have different features that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences. You will find some wonderful competition among the two not only by way of music radio but also talk radio. If you really love talk radio you really need to subscribe to one of these in order to find a treasure chest of talk radio gems. You will find everything from the mundane to the controversial. From Oprah to Howard Stern exist in the realm of satellite radio, which seems to not only be catching on but also here to stay. It has been commented on many times that XM Satellite Radio has a strong lead when it comes to subscriptions. This is very true but you should also keep in mind that the new subscribers seem to be leaning more towards Sirius for their satellite radio rather than going with the traditional favorite. I've checked out the line up and can't see that one has much of a clearly defined lead over the other so I can't give a definitive reason for the massive new subscribers to Sirius or even the phenomenal lead that XM Satellite radio is currently enjoying. Regardless if this is something that might interest you, you really should check out each website and decide for yourself which, if either, is more appealing to you as well as whether that appeal is worth the investment and the monthly subscription fee. I will say this however: XM Satellite Radio for the moment seems to have much better toys to offer consumers. That being said, I'm actually quite surprised that the vast number of new subscribers are going with Sirius rather than XM. Of course, being the gadget geek that I am, I am basing that surprise solely on the fact that XM seems to have much better toys. At the moment XM is offering some really cool gadgets that double not only as XM Satellite Radio receivers but also offer GPS functionality and navigation assistance and controls. Some of these devices even go one step further and play DVDs, CDs, MP3s, among other things. Believe me, Sirius has a lot to offer its customers as well, I'm simply thrilled over select items that can be found at XM that I really haven't seen adequate competition for elsewhere. On the level of music, both seem to carry similar genres, lineups, etc. The same holds true for the Talk radio line up. The only major difference I am finding between the two are the gadgets. Even the prices are rather competitive with one another. I see only one other major difference and that is the fact that Sirius offers a lifetime membership that cost about the same as the five-year plan from XM Satellite Radio. The thing to remember however is that the lifetime membership is for the lifetime of the device not the subscriber. I should also point out that opting for satellite radio more than likely will not eliminate your need for a new auto sound system it may however pose certain requirements for the type of sound system you will be able to choose. One thing I have noticed with both companies is that there are plenty of devices from which to choose. You will have your hands full selecting the right equipment for your auto sound system upon which to enjoy the wonderful sounds that satellite radio will bring to your ears each and every day.
With Auto Sound Systems Newest Technology isn't Necessarily Greatest Technology We live in a world where music is our constant companion. We take it with us to the beach, to work, to exercise, even while riding bikes or talking on our cell phones. It only makes sense that in our cars we would like to have the best possible auto sound systems our hard earned dollars can buy. The problem is that new technology is being introduced to the market each and every day and many of us feel as though if we hold our breath just a little bit longer something even better and more spectacular will come along. We know that we will absolutely want to kick ourselves if we buy in to "this or that" company's auto sound system that was phenomenal yesterday, just before the next great thing hits the market. The truth is that superior auto sound system technology exists already and the question isn't if it will hit the market but rather when. And when seems to be a pretty big question when it comes to emerging technologies. There are always so many things that control when the actual product will hit the shelves in stores or even how much supply will be available at that point in time. The really good news for consumers is that if you wait until that point, chances are the prices on the system you like now will probably lower significantly almost overnight. While the geek in me would love to have the latest and greatest of gadgets at all times, the mom in me knows that the kids will need braces, new shoes for soccer, and (eventually) college tuition. For those reasons, I will continue typing on my sadly outdated eMachine and secretly long for the brand new Dell notebook while listening to the latest tunes on my iPod Shuffle while secretly longing for one of the new iPods, which is capable of playing video. I will live however, and will enjoy watching others play with their new gadget goodies while I learn about them and wait for the prices to drop (just like DVD players a few years back). I am at least intelligent enough to realize that most of the time it is best not to be the first to buy a new product or an emerging technology. Let someone else take the risks associated with buying an essentially untried product while I sit back and listen to what they have to say. This way I can make an informed decision without bearing the scars associated with testing an untried product. There are many things I'm willing to sacrifice and many more things I give to my children as guinea pigs. The thing I have noticed quite often with them is that if it can survive a few weeks in their care, it is a pretty safe bet and might even be worth purchasing stock in the company. We all have some things that are more important to us than others and while I love technology there are other things I love more. Music, however, is a very important part of my life and I do try to keep current with the latest and greatest when it comes to auto sound systems. My favorite at the moment is the Bose. Every piece of this equipment is designed with the idea of making music sound, as it should. You can get the biggest and greatest sound quality from this system without giving up half your trunk or your entire back seat. Bose is one of the more expensive products on the market when it comes to auto sound systems but it is well worth every penny. When checking out your options for an auto sound system be sure to keep in mind that the most expensive product is not necessarily the best product-no matter what the salesman tells you. By learning as much as possible about all choices you may find that one of the less expensive systems is actually better suited for your auto sound system needs. Top 5 Reasons for a New Auto Sound System If you are a fan of David Letterman, I'm sure you've seen and heard his nutty and often hilarious top 10 lists. He has become famous for them and they have been often imitated but never quite aptly duplicated by many around the world. I have no intentions of trying to claim or ever hope to be as funny as Letterman but I would love to create a top 5 list of why you need a new auto sound system. The sad part is that some of this may ring true for many, if not, I bet it will at least make you smile. 5) You really hate your neighbors and secretly hope that enough loud, late night thumping from your car will convince them to move. Admittedly not the kindest reason for the need of a new auto sound system but if you've had some of my previous neighbors I am fairly certain that it isn't too bad of an idea. Just be careful not to shake too much or they may be leaving part of their automobiles behind. 4) Because you saw it on Ebay and like Weird Al Yankovich you just can't seem to refuse when it comes to last minute bargains in the world's largest garage sale. The truth of the matter is that Ebay can be an excellent resource as far as auto sound systems go. It is important however, to remember that you really need to hear the system before you spend your hard earned money buying it and a lot of time and/or money on the installation of the sound system you select. For that reason Ebay may not be the best choice for your particular needs. 3) Because you're tired of crummy speakers that seem to play static more than music and make more popping and snapping sounds than your old fashioned popcorn popper. Speakers are often only a small part of how your sound system runs. Chances are if you are currently having speaker problems an entirely new auto sound system is going to be in order to insure that all the problems are fixed and solved to your complete satisfaction. 2) Because your Aunt Ethel who has cataracts has a better auto sound system than you. Believe me I know this one stings a little, especially when it hits home. We all hate to think that someone that is older has a more technologically hip and sound product than we do. We often like to kid ourselves into thinking that we live on the cutting edge of technology when that is probably far from the case. Aunt Ethel probably has the kicking sound system she does so that it can be heard without the assistance of miracle ear so keep that in mind before you pull all of your hair out. And the number 1 reason you should get a new auto sound system is that the 8-trac went out of fashion long before your first child was born. Even though you've clung to the past, it has finally met its limitations of usefulness and it is time to move along and embrace the wonderful world of modern technology and what it can mean to you and the time you and your family spend riding in your vehicle. Hope you had a great smile for the day! Auto Sound Systems are Becoming Entertainment Systems If you've been shopping lately for an auto sound system then I am fairly certain that you've come across several full entertainment systems among those in the running for your audio and entertainment dollars. Vehicles today offer everything from DVD players, individual speakers, headphones (also individually adjustable), and even dual players that will allow one different audio to be played in one section of the vehicle than another. In addition to all of these wonderful and nifty devices are many more devices that are meant to tempt, sway, and convince you to spend even more money on the auto sound system of your dreams. Some of these even offer MP3 players that connect directly to the audio system of your car, truck, or SUV. The jury is still out for many people about the safety and sense of having a DVD player in your automobile. While this is the case, people will continue purchasing DVD players are part and parcel of their sound and entertainment systems and manufacturers will continue putting together attractive packages that offer these devices to consumers while offering incredible bargains on installation. I know that many feel that this is an unnecessary distraction to drivers. I'm one of the rare people that feels that in a day of laptops, cell phones, talk radio, fast food, Starbucks coffee, and multitasking, a DVD in the back might be one of the best features that can be added to the car in an effort to minimize distractions coming from the direction of disgruntled passengers in the rear. I will confess that many people wonder what this has to do with an auto sound system and I can understand that question so please bare with me. One of the features that sound system manufacturers are offering is a feature that allows individual headphones for passengers in the back along with LCD monitors that rest in the back of the head rests so that passengers in the back can both see and hear the DVDs being played without causing a distraction for the driver (either by noise or by means of flashing lights). The truth of the matter is that having the noise from a DVD player in the back is no worse of a distraction than having disgruntled children competing for your attention from the backseat or listening to audio books as you drive along. I must admit that audio books are one of my current and readily admitted addictions. The problem with those is that on occasion some of the books simply aren't meant for young ears. I try to keep my books limited to popular stories that are suitable for children whenever my children are riding along and save the sometimes steamy and often hilarious tales of Stephanie Plum for when I'm riding alone. Another great reason to make sure you have an auto sound system that at the very least reads and understands MP3s. The technology exists for this and I expect to see even more innovations technologically speaking in the way of auto sound systems and entertainment systems in the near and not so near future. We live in a world where technology is constantly evolving and we should see many new and wonderful features that will make our lives much more enjoyable for our daily commute. Whether you are new to the technology of today, fighting it mightily, or happily embracing it-it isn't showing any signs of stopping or slowing down. This means that you will eventually have to face the fact that the old ways of buying an auto sound system will soon be obsolete. I often joke that we are rapidly becoming a society that is catching up with the "Jetson's" vision for the future. I also loudly lament my lack of a Rosie. At any rate, I am glad to see that the new technologies in auto sound systems are offering less of a one size fits all image and offering much more individual systems, even for passengers within a vehicle. Auto Sound Systems Should be Superior Quality I for one can't imagine entering into my daily commute without the sound assistance of a good auto sound system. Music in the morning is as necessary for me as oxygen and caffeine. If I live without any of those above my day is already up and running with wrong foot first. Music is a very important part of any given day for someone like me. My wake up call in the morning comes in the form of my favorite radio station and from that point on I have music as my companion for the vast majority of my morning routine. That is of course with the exception of children and husband and some of their more insistent demands for food, money, and last minute homework crisis. I will gladly take my music and tea most mornings and skip the drama. The point of all this is that I am not alone in my morning preference. If I were there wouldn't be so many variations of the music driven alarm clock. Today you can even have CD player alarm clocks in order to get you up and running to your favorite tunes. Of course this brings me to an important point. A good auto sound system will sound much better than your morning music wake up call. Most alarm clocks will not have the best quality of sound. They are designed for minimal space, minimal intrusion, and to be annoying enough that you will get up (eventually) and turn them off. If the music is good and the quality even better, most of us, can manage to incorporate the music into our dreams and go right back to sleep. While you do not want your auto sound system to necessarily put you to sleep you do want it to be enjoyable to listen to. You are after all most likely shelling out a good portion of a month's salary in order to pay for it. Some may say this is extravagant but many people spend more time each week in their cars than they do in front of their televisions and are much more inclined to spend a great deal more on big screen or LCD televisions for their homes. I like being surrounded by nice things and music is one of those things. A great auto sound system is one way that I can bring music into my life day in and day out. I am quite certain that there are others out there just like me. Just like the alarm clock radios, there are many wonderful auto sound systems on the market today competing with one another for a slice of the music lover's pie. That would not be the case if there were only a select few of us who enjoyed great music. The trick is always going to be finding the sound you like at a price that is just as delightful as the sound they provide. A good auto sound system is not an impulse buy. This is something you consider carefully, shop around, and compare prices on before you make the decision to purchase. Also consider things such as free installation and how they will affect the overall price when the time comes. It could very well be that the same sound system will cost a different amount at several different stores, if one of those stores offers free installation (depending on the cost of installation) it may be a much better deal even if the cost of the system is slightly greater than those at the other competing stores. There are many things to consider when purchasing an auto sound system for your vehicle. The most important of those things is how well you like the system you are purchasing. This is your money after all and you should spend on the systems that sounds best and offers the most features that you desire. Auto Sound Systems are an Investment in your Car Make it Great For those who love tunes and the ability to take them along wherever you may roam, there are some great auto sound systems that allow you to basically plug in your favorite tunes to play as you go. It doesn't really matter which style of MP3 player you use, most of the newer auto sound systems at least have the ability to read and translate the material from these players into great music for you to enjoy on your ride by simply plugging your MP3 player into the car stereo. Many of us find that lugging around an MP3 player with all of our favorite tunes (or at least most of them-with up to 40 gigs of hard drive space it might take a while to fill completely) is much easier and more practical than attempting to lug around a huge case of CDs. It is also great for those of us who find ourselves disappointed when we purchase CDs only to find that we really only like one or two songs. Now we can simply download the songs we know and love while avoiding those we are uncertain about or at least waiting until more songs come out before deciding whether or not to purchase the entire collection of songs. Having an auto sound system that allows you to enjoy the convenience of simply plugging in either your MP3 player or a memory card or stick in order to have your favorite songs at your finger tips at all times is fantastic. I don't know about you, but I am absolutely hooked on audio books. I love to read and find so little free time in which to get my feel of the latest and greatest best seller. Audio books allow me to hear the stories I've been eagerly awaiting at my convenience and in my SUV as I'm making my daily commute or running errands. These books are also a great way to enjoy long car trips. You can even check your local library in order to find an excellent selection. I typically try to find stories that might interest the children on long car rides as well (such as the Harry Potter books or The Polar Express). This instills a love of reading in them and I don't have to worry about the stray 'grown up' word that some audio books contain. Good auto sound systems not only play great music but also sound wonderful when it comes to the spoken word as well. This is not only true when it comes to books on tape, CD, or MP3 but also talk radio and national news stations as well. When you begin your search for your next auto sound system make sure you consider all the possible features you may wish to include. You can find sound systems today that include GPS, DVD players, navigational tools, CD players, MP3 players, satellite radio receivers and countless other nifty features. Choose the auto sound system that will suit your needs and interests best and enjoy it for as long as you can. A good sound system is something that will stay with your car, truck, or SUV so it is best to make that particular investment long before you plan to trade your vehicle in on another. At the same time a good auto sound system can be an excellent incentive to hold onto your vehicle a little while longer. Auto Sound Systems for the Budget Minded Despite popular belief, it is quite possible to get a great quality auto sound system even if you are operating on a limited budget. I completely understand your skeptical glances and the comments and grumbles that being on a budget means different things to different people. I can tell you without a doubt that you can get a really nice sound system for your car, truck, or SUV even if your budget is less then $300. There are several things you can do as a savvy consumer that will help drive the price of the wonderful sound you seek to a bare minimum if you use a few tips, tricks, and techniques, in order to do so. First of all, the competition in this market is fairly fierce. As a result of that you will find that prices tend to be pretty competitive from one shop to another and that your best bargains are usually going to be found online. Search around online and find the absolute best bargain you can find on the auto sound system of your dreams. Once you've found the lowest online price, get on the phone with local retailers. Many local stores understand the need to compete on a much larger scale. As a result they are often willing to match prices and even through in perks such as installation or freebie upgrades in order to sweeten the deal. Once you've gotten a few upgrades from local markets, continue calling around and let them compete with one another for your business. Take into account the value of the freebies and upgrades to you. If you really have no use for the bobble head hula girl then skip that offer and go for the one that offers an upgrade on speakers or an extended warranty thrown in for free. Make sure that the upgrades are really worth something to you. Also consider the value of the upgrade verses the price and go with the best bargain. Another truth when it comes to purchasing an auto sound system is that you do not have to buy the 'best known' or biggest name brand in order to get a great sound and excellent quality. Spend your money where it matters most to you. Sometimes you are paying for nothing more than the name attached to a product. I'm a huge fan of Bose. I love the sound and have yet to find a product that can offer the quality of sound at a lower price. That does not mean I would not jump at the chance to buy an untried brand if the sound in the display equaled the quality of sound I can get with a Bose sound system. In fact, I have held onto an SUV for 10 years because I'm not ready to give up my sound system and my truck still runs. A Bose system is not a budget investment, but you can find bargains that are similar and sound wonderful. In other words, don't become a name brand snob if you don't have to. In reality, there are many discount dealers you can find both online and off that will be more than happy to hook you up with a great set of sound for your car, truck, or SUV at a really great price. It simply takes a little leg and phone work on occasion to find them. The iPod and the Auto Sound System The iPod story seems to be that of a charmed life. If you haven't taken a look around there are all kinds of devices and accessories that are created in order to use right along with the wildly popular and successful iPod product offered by Apple. In fact, I can't think of a better coup for Apple to have pulled off against the giant PC industry, even Microsoft's new product the Zune is having a great deal of difficulty even catching up to the sales that iPod seems to have no trouble garnering. The success is something that may define explanation but could have a great deal to do with the equally popular accessories and adornments that are made for each and every iPod product. You might be wondering exactly what this has to do with auto sound systems but those are just another of the many great iPod accessories that can be found in the market place of today. Seriously! Even some car manufacturers are having upgrades that include iPod adapters that allow drivers to play music from their iPods through the tuning device on their auto sound systems. It almost seems too good to be true when you consider that you will not have to risk life and limb by fiddling with your iPod device when looking for that one obscure song somewhere on your list. There are other car stereo makers that have devices and adapters that read and play music from the iPod but you must use the actual iPod to make your selections and any changes. At any rate, when carmakers and stereo manufacturers such as Pioneer and Alpine are creating stereos that have the iPod in mind you can rest assured that it is a cultural phenomenon and not some fluke to be taken lightly. In addition to auto sound systems you will find iDogs, iPets, iPod covers, iPod players (speakers and docking stations that you plug your iPod into in order to play without the headphones), iPod alarm clocks, and my personal favorite iBaby (this is a stroller made by Kolcraft that has an iPod, speakers, and adapter built in so that baby can hear his or her favorite tunes while being strolled about the town), or the iCrib (another nifty iPod device designed to keep baby pacified-hopefully this nifty gadgets are drool proof). Needless to say there are times in life when it's all about the accessories and I have yet seen another maker of MP3 type devices hold a torch to iPod when it comes to offering options for buyers to personalize their music makers. If you are in the market for an auto sound system, chances are that you either already have an iPod or are seriously not opposed to the idea of owning one. If you either or both are in your near future I highly recommend you consider purchasing an auto sound system that will be completely compatible with your iPod system or any other MP3 type player you choose to use. I do believe however, that you will find better options designed with the iPod in mind as none of the other brands (thus far) have nearly the buyer base and purchasing power of iPod owners. No matter how you feel about it, all indications are that iPods are here to stay and you may as well jump on board when it comes to your auto sound system as well. The Importance of a Good Auto Sound System If you spend a good deal of time in you car, and yes, the morning commute to work and the evening commute home each and every day definitely counts, you are probably more than slightly aware of the benefits of having a good auto sound system. Your sound system is your companion in your travels most of the time. Even those who have children often spend a great deal of time driving alone. For those long and sometimes lonely miles your auto sound system is the voice of reason, the energetic beat, and the information that keeps you up on current events, weather forecasts, and what is going on in the world of the rich and famous. Even if you aren't all that into music there is the wide and wonderful world of talk radio that keeps many of us informed and inflamed about issues that are important to us and causes which we feel passionately about. The proper auto sound system affects the way we hear everything that comes through our radios. It doesn't really matter if you have the latest and greatest of subscription programs, XML programming, or even digital radio if your sound system is poor the quality of your programming will never reach your ears. Your sound system is the difference in standard sounds coming through your speakers and excellence making its way to your ears. Contrary to popular belief however, you do not have to have the loudest sound system in order to have the best sound system. The truth of the matter is that once the music is so loud it ceases to sound like music and comes across to those inside and outside of your automobile more as noise than the wonderful music it may be in other circumstances. While there are many who enjoy the throbbing and jumping sounds that come from over emphasized bass, there is something to be said for an auto sound system that is well rounded and balanced. A good sound system will make all aspects of the music sound better and not just a certain few. The important thing about sound systems aren't the price that they command, the bass that they flaunt, or even the most minute details of the making and manufacturing of the sound system. The true beauty of a sound system lies in the fact that it should be music to your ears. You and you alone can choose the sound system that you like best as every person has different things they will listen for and enjoy in not only their music but also their sound systems. I love many different types of music and as a result will tend to listen to several different music genres as well as a stint of talk radio on several different systems and elect the one that sounds the best on the most of the music platforms and genres I prefer. I recommend a course of action similar to this to all who are interested in purchasing an auto sound system for their vehicle. One thing that often gets overlooked is how much time we really spend in our vehicles in the course of a week. Most people pay very little time, money, or attention the particular stereos we put into our vehicles when in reality we spend nearly as much time each week listening to our auto sound systems as we do watching the televisions in our home. Music is all around us and it deeply affects and enhances our joys, our sorrows, even our romance. For those reasons, shouldn't we invest as much, if not more, time and energy in a great auto sound system as we do in a television for our homes? By taking the time to get the perfect sound system for our vehicles when we first purchase our automobiles we will enjoy the maximum benefit our sound systems can provide. By enjoying our sound system, more people are willing to hang on to their vehicles longer which actually saves a great deal of money in the long run while also increasing your overall enjoyment of your time spent commuting to and from work each and every day. A Good Auto Sound System is a Requirement not a Luxury How do you decide which auto sound system is best for you? This is a question that many consumers ask in the U. S. each and every day. The truth is that only you can decide what kind of sound you find enjoyable and what you are seeking in the sound system you will ultimately purchase. A good sound system will greatly improve how you feel about not only the vehicle you drive but also your disposition after your daily commute. It may seem like such a small thing, the changing of a sound system, but it does seem to have such a profound impact on how we start our days. Of course we all know that getting your day off to a good start sets the tone for the entire day and if that day is Monday it sets the tone for not only the day ahead but also the week to come. Music affects almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us do not realize the impact that music has on our day-to-day lives and it is quite difficult because our world seems to be filled with it. It is much easier however, to explain the difference a good sound system makes. It's funny, I find myself in a hurry to get out of stores that have lousy sound systems and speakers that dribble out little more than static while I can shop for hours in a store that has tasteful music playing in the background over a good sound system. I prefer the volume lower and the music playing in the background rather than being the center of my attention. Most of us find that soft music playing in the background is rather unobtrusive and allows us to get along with our thoughts and the mission at hand while loud music blaring over antiquated speakers does a great deal to disrupt our thought processes which will only serve to send us along to the next errand on our list. If you'll notice it seems that clerks in the stores where the loud music blares along are often not as even tempered as those in stores that play music at respectful volumes and have very well kept sound systems. I think I would be cranky too after listening to music in a manner that music wasn't meant to be heard. I'm not a music snob by any means; I simply enjoy listening to music for the sake of actually hearing the music. Loud music is good sometimes but not when I have other things on my mind. I prefer that music remain in the background when I'm running about taking care of errands, even in the car. The hallmark of a good auto sound system is that it sounds good even at low volumes. This means you can enjoy music in the background, hum along, or simply ignore the music in favor of the action taking place on the road. The point I'm trying to make is that even though you may not realize the impact that a good auto sound system has on music immediately, you will definitely feel the difference it makes over time. The better the sound system, the better the sound and music is after all, sound. If you are a true lover of music and spend a great deal of your week or even any given day in your vehicle, doesn't it make sense to invest heavily in your auto sound system? I know for me that particular decision is a no brainer. I love music and it is an important part of not only my life but also the lives of my children. As a result we spend a lot of time listening to the radio in our SUV and singing along. Even when we aren't listening to music, I enjoy listening talk radio and the news on NPR. These things are an important part of my day and I really enjoy all that each and every one adds to my life. Because of that, I find my investment in a good auto sound system to be a requirement rather than a luxury. Ebay has Surprising Bargains on Auto Sound Systems Anyone that is familiar with Ebay knows that it is a literal one stop shop when it comes to hundreds of thousands of unique and common new and used items. It should then, come as no shock that Ebay is also a great place to find excellent bargains when it comes to auto sound systems. Yes, you heard that correctly. While you can't exactly test out your tunes over an Internet connection you can generally check out the exact same brands you'll find at Ebay in your local automotive stereo and entertainment dealerships. The difference is that you can generally get your hands on the merchandise from Ebay at a fraction of the cost you would pay retail. Many people often find better deals when going through Ebay than they would even be able to find at many retailers online. I am constantly amazed at the wonderful bargains that can be found on Ebay not only when it comes to auto sound systems but full entertainment packages for your vehicle. Not only can you find great bargains on sound systems for your vehicle you also can find some thrifty deals on amplifiers, subwoofers, speakers, speaker systems, and tools, tips, and tricks when it comes to installation. While there is the fact that you can't hear the system for yourself if you purchase it on Ebay that can be easily overlooked by going to local retail stores in search of the same system. That should give you a very real indication of what the system you are considering on Ebay will sound like. You should look at local stores and online before making the bid on Ebay in order to compare prices and bid with confidence that you are in fact getting a bargain. Also be sure you pay attention to shipping and handling fees that might be involved in your package delivery. I've found that with a select few Ebay retailers, they kill you on the 'handling' expenses. Another drawback with Ebay is the lack of customer service after the sale. Be sure to pay close attention to the ad details concerning customer satisfaction and recourse should something go wrong with your package. You should also be sure that you always purchase the insurance on your package should you win the bid. Even at discounted priced, auto sound systems are a pretty hefty investment and you should take care that you protect that investment. The only serious drawback I have found to buying from Ebay when it comes to auto sound systems is the fact that you have to have your system installed. Installation simply doesn't come with these car stereos and not all installers are willing to do the installation if you didn't purchase the product from them. Installing an auto sound system isn't the simplest of tasks and you need to have a plan in place to get the system in your car before you commit to the purchase. Whether you have serious plans to purchase an auto sound system in the near future or you are simply entertaining the notion, it is definitely worth checking out the wonderful options that Ebay has for your automotive listening pleasure. We live in a world where every penny seems to count, see how many you can save by shopping Ebay. Choosing the Right Amplifier for your Auto Sound System Finding the best amplifier for your auto sound system can be a lot easier if you take the time ahead of time to learn what you need and what will work best with the sound system you've selected for your car, truck, or SUV. It helps to understand what an amplifier does in order to purchase the one that will best suit your needs. An amplifier takes a small sound, adds a little boost of its own, and then turns it into a big sound. The more power your amplifier has, the better quality of sound it will provide. An underpowered amplifier will have a thin, tinny sound that is rather unattractive in an auto sound system, or any other sound system for that matter. You should also take care to remember that the power rating of an amplifier is the maximum power it is capable of expending not the amount that it will regularly use. The RMS rating of an amplifier is a good indication of its power output. One thing that is important to remember is that you should never buy an amplifier based on the maximum output or RMS rating. This number is more often than not incredibly misleading. If a driving, thumping bass beat is important to you then you should make sure that your amplifier has a bass boost button. This button will or switch will give a little bit of a boost to your bass. It's something I can pass on by many bass lovers cannot live without. Not all amplifiers have this so choose wisely and according to your preferences. When it comes to amplifiers there are essentially four major classes (there are other classes but they are not all that common so I will not dwell on defining them) that represent the quality of sound you should expect from the system. 1) A. This class has a great output of quality sound but wastes huge amounts of energy in the process of creating that wonderful sound. 2) B. This class is slightly better than A as far as it wastes less energy and slightly worse as it produces a somewhat inferior quality of sound. 3) A/B. This resembles either A or B as far as sound and energy waste goes depending on the volume. Lower volumes will utilize the class A qualities of the amplifier while louder volumes are more in keeping with class B. 4) D. This class is primarily decent for producing a good bass sound and little else. The quality of sound and amount of energy wasted are both only moderate and neither are very impressive. Of course this is the bare bones run through of the very basic amplifier basics. Another thing to note is that many people simply refer to amplifiers as amps rather than saying the entire word. It's slang but it's so common that no one will blink if you do it. In fact you are far more likely to get funny looks for calling it an amplifier. Regardless of the small talk an amplifier isn't the end all be all of an auto sound system. It is only important if you feel it is important and many sound systems work splendidly without an extra amplifier to confuse the process and raise the price. Whenever you decide to buy a new auto sound system for your car, truck, or SUV there is a moment of exhilaration and excitement as this is often a decision you've mulled over for quite a while rather than a spur of the moment decision. This exhilaration is promptly followed by a moment of complete and utter fear, as most of us have no clue what we really need. Hopefully, this has helped you decide whether or not you will need an amplifier and if you will, perhaps you can make a more educated and informed decision as to the type of amp you need. Auto Sound Systems One Piece at a Time Those who are in the market for auto sound systems are probably well aware of the many decisions that need to be made throughout the process. Gone are the days when you went in, pointed to a box and walked out with all the pieces, parts, and components you would ever need for a really kickin' sound. The truth of the matter is that there are many pieces and parts that work together in order to create the ultimate sound system and everyone seems to have different requirements, styles, tastes, and budgets to work with. Because of this, many manufacturers of auto sound systems have wised up to the fact that some people will buy the components they need to create the sound system of their dreams piece by piece as budgets allow. This is actually a very intelligent way for customers on a budget to buy the sound system they are hoping to some day have. As a result you will find that speakers, amplifiers, sub woofers, and the actual stereo are often sold separately and at very reasonable prices. Most of us hate living within limited budgets but understand that often in life it is a necessary evil. Living on a budget is not such a terrible thing really. If we had everything we wanted, what on earth would there be to look forward to? At least that is what I keep telling myself. I, however, seem to be the queen of budget living and bargain hunting. I love little more in life than finding a great deal on an item I've had my eye on for quite a while and hate little more than finding it cheaper once I've purchased it. As such, I tend to invest a great deal of time researching any major purchase before taking the plunge. A good auto sound system by this I mean good quality, minimal features is going to run (total package and installation) at least $1,000 with many costing a good deal more than that. That doesn't mean you need to have a thousand bucks lying around the house in order to begin building your auto sound system. You can buy a decent set of speakers for around $200-$260 if you desire. You can find sets at lower prices, but this is the price for a fairly decent set of speakers that should serve you well. Keep in mind that you could very easily spend a lot more than this on speakers if you aren't careful. Living on a budget means you have to make some sacrifices along the way in order to have the things you want in life. Buy the speakers and have them installed (if you can do it or your know someone who can, this will save a lot of time and money). Once you have the first component, whichever one that may be (that choice is entirely up to you and largely dependent on your personal tastes and which need replacing worse in the vehicle you own) you can begin saving towards the next. You should also consider asking friends and family (who would like to know what to get you for the holidays) to help you reach your smaller goals along the way. Most people are glad to help with specific items if they know what those items are. The point is that this isn't an all or nothing proposition. Take small steps towards your prize and you will find that you are constantly getting one step closer. Auto Sound Systems that Offer More Technology is advancing at an alarming pace. Many of us in the market for auto sound systems have been more than surprised at many of the choices on the market today. Sound systems have gone far beyond the simple tuners of days past and are incorporating other features into the sound system as well. Today you can find all kinds of bells and whistles with price tags to match. It would be very easy to spend two or three thousand dollars in the purchase and installation of a very nice auto sound system in your car, truck, or SUV. Most of us, however, would do just as well with a simple three hundred dollar sound system and would be unlikely to use many of the features that the higher price sound systems offer. That being said, if you plan to be in the market for an auto sound system, a DVD players/entertainment system, an MP3 player, a CD player, and/or a navigation system for your vehicle, then you might want to select one of the more feature rich auto systems that are available on the market today. You just might find that you get more bang for your buck with these sorts of systems. These systems offer a great many features and can be found in all kinds of price ranges. Once you find the system you like I highly recommend comparing prices all around and going with the best deal you can find. Remember to include things such as shipping and/or installation in the prices as most of the more inclusive, feature rich systems are in dash systems and will more than likely require professional installation. If you can find a local retail center that is willing to install free, I highly recommend consider that as a huge perk, especially if they are close or willing to match your lowest price elsewhere. Some of the more popular feature rich auto sound systems you can find on the market today are listed below with a very wide array of prices that I have found for them. 1) Pioneer AVIC-N2 DVD/GPS Navigation System. The price range on this system is between $750 and $1,200 without installation. This unit has DVD, CD, MP3, and navigation capabilities. 2) Alpine IVA-W200 DVD/CD/MP3 Player. These can also be found between the prices of $760 and just over $1,000. This system consists of a DVD player, CD player, and an MP3 player but doesn't have the navigational assistance and GPS. 3) Jensen VM9311TS AM/FM/CD/DVD with a 7" LCD screen. This device is priced significantly lower and has all kinds of amazing capabilities. CD/DVD/MP3/WMA/iPod and XM capable though it too doesn't have GPS or navigational assistance. The price on this system however is between $330 and $500, which makes it a pretty good bargain. I hope you find something here that strikes your fancy and remember it's never too early to begin lobbying for next Christmas. You can tell everyone what you want and hope that friends and family will pitch in and add gift certificates to your savings for the auto sound system you've been dreaming of (you might also want to plan to have a vehicle you intend to keep a while should you decide to make this sort of investment).
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