Let’s face it, buying car audio gear is not as easy as it used to be. The good news is that Audio Designs and Custom Graphics is here to help. As the information superhighway we call the Internet has exploded with information – whether it be articles, web forums, YouTube videos or online reviews – so has the amount of misinformation about the products that our industry sells and installs. It is our goal in this article to help you make some sense out of upgrading the car stereo system in your vehicle. We present:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Car Audio System
Seek Out A Specialist
Right out of the gate, you have probably noticed that a modern vehicle has a car audio system that is integrated into the vehicle. The stereo system in your dash may have a color display that is also used to display vehicle information, monitor your ventilation system and show the image for your backup camera. You probably aren’t going to change it, and there most likely is no need to do so.
If your vehicle is less than 10 years old, it has an electrical network called a CAN-BUS system that allows your computer to “see” what is going on in the vehicle. Years ago, if you had a buddy install your car stereo system and he made a mistake, you might have blown a fuse, or possibly an inexpensive module. Nowadays, a mistake can cause thousands of dollars in damage and might make your vehicle inoperable.
What does all of this mean to you? Seek out a specialist: someone who knows modern electrical systems and understands how to integrate properly with them.
Don’t Let Online Reviews Make Your Final Decision
Sometimes we like to call the Internet the “misinformation superhighway.” We have clients who come into our store pre-disposed to get a particular product for their vehicle, yet they have never heard it or operated it. They tell us, “This product got incredible reviews, so it must be good.” Well, we disagree.
Years and years ago, Consumer Reports tested 6×9” speakers and rated Roadmaster as the “best value” selection. Roadmaster is not in business anymore, but they were the brand that used to be sold at stores like Kmart, claimed they took millions of watts of power, had extra-large magnets, only cost $29 … and their products sounded like complete garbage. We think that, if those speakers had been hooked up for the world to hear and people had listened to them, no one would ever have bought any. But they weren’t hooked up – they sat on a shelf with great marketing claims on their packaging and a stellar review from a consumer magazine.
Why do we mention this? Because in the world of car audio, many smaller companies sell their products through specialists, and not by online retailers. The “masses” may not have used this product and don’t know what they are missing.
The good news is that you can walk into a store like Audio Designs & Custom Graphics in Jacksonville and hear the products we are suggesting. You will be able to operate the new stereo system that will go in your dash. Why anyone would ever want to buy speakers, which are designed to play sound, without ever hearing them, completely escapes us. We sell many different speakers, and they all sound different. Some sound very different from the others. Our team has done lots of research to bring you the best-valued products on the market.
Consider The Source When Buying Car Audio
You wouldn’t want to pay for a college course unless you knew the instructor was qualified to teach it and to make educated opinions. Nowadays, anyone with a smartphone can be an online critic and, if they are entertaining (and some surely are), people trust them. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to drop good money on anything, I want to get information from a trustworthy source. That is all we are saying here: Consider the source.
Always Buy From Someone You Trust
When it comes time to make the purchase, do it with someone you can trust. Does the shop look like it will be around in a year or two should you have an issue or a question? Is it clean and well-organized? Ask to see their installation department – would you want your vehicle in that environment?
Buy Your Product From The Same Place You Want It Installed
In the long run, you are likely to save time and money by buying car audio product from the same place that installs it. It is very common to get labor discounts when the product is installed at the place of purchase. Once the product is installed, you probably will want to be shown how to use it. You also want to know you can come back in the future, should you have questions. That gets a little challenging for you if two or more companies are involved. In the event that something breaks, you will definitely like the fact you chose one place, since they will take care of all the warranty and processing of the equipment at no cost to you. If you only paid for labor, you will have a removal fee, return shipping on the defective part and a reinstall fee on the repaired item.
We hope this information helps you in your decision-making process and encourages you to visit a specialist like Audio Designs & Custom Graphics here in Jacksonville, Florida, for your car audio purchases and installations. Our team of highly skilled and expertly trained staff are ready and waiting to help you build the car audio system you have always wanted. Let us show you why Mobile Electronics magazine consistently names us one of the Top Retailers in the Nation year after year.
Feel free to contact us here for more information about any of our products and services.