Most vehicle manufacturers today tend to put low performing audio equipment into their vehicles in order to save a few dollars. What does that mean to you? It may be in your best interest to spend a little time and money on a few simple upgrades that will drastically improve the performance of your car audio system.

The head unit is the brain of your car audio system and it is most often the first thing to be replaced. You will probably notice the biggest improvement in your vehicle’s audio when you replace your stereo with a good quality aftermarket receiver. When replaced, your speakers will receive higher wattage than before, resulting in less distortion at higher volumes. In addition, you will have much more control over your equalizer curve so you can fine tune everything to your liking.

Replacing your factory door speakers will really bring your music to life. If you are running your speakers off the head unit, pick out some low wattage speakers that fit your vehicle, throw them in and you’ll immediately notice a major improvement in your cars sound quality. Aftermarket speakers are built with much better materials than cheap factory speakers, resulting in a much more accurate reproduction of music the way the artist had intended.

Sound dampening material is important in every installation for stopping squeaks and rattles that occur during playback. Sound dampening is typically made with a heavy rubber material that is backed by aluminum. The rubber adds weight to interior panels, reducing the resonance and eliminating rattles. In addition, sound dampening material will increase the volume of your audio system by reducing unwanted outside noises. So, if road noise and rattles are a concern of yours, pick up some sound dampening material and generously apply it wherever needed.

It’s not as tricky as most people think to upgrade your sound system to something suitable for your ears. Take a weekend off and work on it a little at a time. By doing these projects yourself you will save yourself money that can be used toward other upgrades. With these three simple audio modifications, you will get the ball rolling with your factory audio system and you’ll be rocking out in no time.

Written by Harry Donihue, Sonic Electronix Inc.