Car Audio Buying Guide

We at car audio centre pride ourselves with the knowledge we have gained over the last two decades so what we've done here is made a simple buyers guide to help you learn and understand you might want or need. if you still need further advice you can always email us or phone us and we'll be more then happy to help. Click on the links below to take you straight to the section your after

Car Stereos

There is a Massive range of car stereo systems here at the car audio centre, we understand that finding one suitable to your needs can be a minefield if its an area you are new to. With our filters on the site we aim to make finding your new car stereo system as easy as possible. To begin with we advise to narrow down what features you would like your new stereo system to perform, weather it be iPod/iPhone compatible to full Bluetooth handsfree calling to a full AV system with built in European mapping Sat Nav. We can cater for all requirements. If in Doubt give us a call. We have full training sales assitants and technical support only a phone call away.

Car Speakers

Car speakers is a very wide market comprising of to my concepts Coaxial design speakers to 2-way component systems.

Coaxial speakers in are 2- or 3-way loudspeakers in which the tweeter or the tweeter and a mid-range driver, are mounted in front of the woofer, partially obscuring it. The advantage of this design is the ability to use a smaller area.

A component speaker is a speaker matched for optimal sound quality. Typically a pair of tweeters and mid-bass drivers are matched with a crossover to limit the frequency range each speaker must accurately reproduce. Component speakers drivers are physically separated so the tweeter, which is very directional, can be placed in an optimal position, usually on the dash facing the listener, while the larger mid-bass driver can be placed where there is room, often in the lower front of the car doors.


Car Subwoofer speakers come is all shapes and size and power ratings. The design of which is dedicated to the reproduction of Low Pitched audio frequencies known as bass. Most common sizes range for 8" to 15" and can go all the way to 22". Subwoofers perform using either a sealed or ported enclosure, the enclosure will effect the frequency range that a subwoofer can produce. Subwoofer enclosures come in a variety of designs, including bass reflex (with a port or passive radiator in the enclosure), infinite baffle, horn-loaded, and bandpass designs, Passive subwoofers have a subwoofer driver and enclosure and they are powered by an external amplifier. Active subwoofers include a built-in amplifier.


2 Channel Amplifier

A 2 channel amplifier is an amplifier that can operate two channels. This unit is usually intended for operating a left speaker and a right speaker. A channel is the signal/power combination intended for one specific speaker. A 'Stereo' Audio system typically has a left channel and a right channel. More advanced audio systems may have separate channels for different types of speakers. A bridged 2 channel amplifier is constructed in such a way that the amplifiers can be set up to operate inline providing the effect of a more powerful one-channel amplifier.

4 Channel Amplifier

A 4 Channel operation amplifier is identical to a 2 Channel amplifer , with the added RCA Audio Input and two more stereo output terminals, 4 Channel amplifers can be ran in a number of ways, most common wiring configuration is to run 4 speakers in a stereo mode ( 1 speaker running from 1 channel) the other common configuration is to run 2 speakers on 1 and 2 channels in stereo then bridging 3 and 4 channels to run a subwoofer.

Mono Amplifier

A mono amp is an amplifier that puts out only one channel of sound, as opposed to a stereo amp that puts out two channels of sound. A mono amp is generally used for extremely low frequencies (ie bass) that are channeled into a single subwoofer.

In Car AV

In Car Entertainment systems cover a wide range of fields, Each area of in car entertainment has different uses, weather its to entertain passengers in the vehicle to a Full AV system in a Motorhome. There are items and products for every requirement

The main areas of entertainment are:

  • In Dash Entertainment system
  • Roof Mount DVD/Screen system
  • Headrest Mounted screens
  • Portable DVD system
  • Stand Alone Screen
  • TV on the move


In car iPod/iPhone and Android integration is ever growing popular option for car users, mobile MP3 devices offer a massive range of music on the move and the range of items that allows you to integrate this into your car growing from basic FM transmitters to a full speed control car stereo system.

Bluetooth Handsfree

An in car device which enables you to wirelessly connect a compatible Bluetooth device (mobile phone) to accept and decline calls on the move. Some Bluetooth handsfree kits also include full ipod integration and is also used to iPod/iPhone and Android integration to a factory fitted stereo.

Fitting Accessories

Dependent on the vehicle you may require additional parts to install your after market stereo system, Such as a Facia panel, ISO harness or aerial adapter. These parts are manufacture specific and vary from each model of vehicle. To ensure the stereo fits with the contours of the dashboard a facia panel will allow the car stereo to fit true to the contours of the dashboard and ensure a secure mounting from where the stereo can then be installed to.

ISO is a universal aftermarket socket requirement which most new vehicles may not have. The ISo harness will convert the factory installed wiring loom for the original stereo over to the ISO connection that's is need to install any aftermarket stereo.

ISO/Din Aerial Adaptors can be used to convert the female or male aerial connection to what is required on the aftermarket car stereo.

Fixed and Portable Sat Nav systems

A Fixed Sat Nav system is a general term for a device which is a semi permanently installed into a vehicle, these devices will include stereo systems which are aftermarket products fitting in replacement of the original stereo system. These devices are not meant to be removed unless you are wanting to change or sell the vehicle without the system installed.

Portable Sat Nav devices are a fully portable unit when fully charged can be hand held either on foot or to be connected to the vehicles interior power supply and generally come with a suction cup mount to be placed on the windscreen.

Sat Nav Ready
"Sat Nav Ready" is a Term used for a AV car system that do not have The Sat Nav Feature pre installed as a feature into the stereo. This can be added by purchasing the specific manufactures Sat Nat Module for the AV system you have allowing the AV stereo system to be a full functioning Sat Nav car stereo.