Aftermarket RadiosLet face it, the stock stereos of today…. Leave something to be desired. Car manufactures have been on the slow track of producing quality radios with great sound. Most of the improvements made by them were new radio designs to match the interior and amplifiers that are from known car audio manufactures (Alpine, Fujitsu Ten, Infinity, Harmon/Kardon). They did manage to improve the sound quality but at moderate volume settings that are not ideal for driving with the windows down or at high volumes for a long period of time. Some manufactures don’t even supply an amplifier. The radios tiny built in amplifier is what they offer. Preset frequencies are matched to the speakers so they won’t over or under power them.  Let’s look at Infotainment units that are being offered in today’s newer cars. Ford has Sync, which recently was too complicated for most owners to operate. So Ford has redesigned their radios to be more user friendly. The Sync system was ahead of its time and these Infotainments units have all the “basic” bells and little whistles; AUX, Bluetooth, USB port, XM/Sirius, Hands free caller I.D. and so on.

They still lack the sound quality that most drivers want to experience. You can remove the OEM radios and replace them with Double-Din touch screens, or Single-Din units. To keep the basic OEM system functioning correctly, the owner will need to purchase a wiring harness with an interface module inline between the new radio and the OEM system. These modules have the protocols to communicate with the factory system and your new radio.

Single-DIN
There aren’t many manufactures today that supply their new vehicles with single-din radios to do a direct swap. Most of the aftermarket single-din radios offered today have all the options except video input, unless it’s a motorized flip touch screen monitor. They offer Bluetooth, USB, Android/iPod compatibility, Pandora, SD card slots, front/ rear AUX input, Sub-woofer output, built in band pass filters, cross-overs, sound settings, variable color illumination, hands free calling with external microphone. Detachable face plate, rotary volume knob or touch screen control. XM/Sirius ready, App ready, and DVD player, steering wheel control ready, and high output amplification on some models.

Double-DIN
There has been a huge increase of production and integration for aftermarket double-din touch screens. The majority of them play DVD movies, have a rear camera input, built in navigation or at least have a separate input for it. They will usually offer video output for external monitors (over-head, head rest). The double-din will offer Bluetooth, USB, Android/iPod compatibility, Pandora, SD card slots, front/ rear AUX input, Sub-woofer output, built in band pass filters, cross-overs, sound settings, variable color illumination, hands free calling with external microphone. Detachable face plate, rotary volume knob or touch screen control. XM/Sirius ready, App ready, and DVD player, steering wheel control ready, and high output amplification.  These options will vary from different manufactures on various models.