Does a great audio system influence your choice when buying an automobile?

These days, an increasing number of new automobiles are emphasing a custom audio system as a selling feature

Does a great audio system influence your choice when buying an automobile?
Yes, makes a big difference in what I buy
11% (24 votes)
Yes, makes a moderate difference
16% (34 votes)
Yes, makes a small difference
21% (47 votes)
Don't really care
16% (36 votes)
Makes no difference whatsoever
36% (78 votes)
Total votes: 219

Peter Stokes's picture

I just purchased a 2000 Lexus LS 400. It came with their upgraded stereo with the Nav system. I feel that when you are paying good dollars for a nice ride a stereo is a must. Like frosting on the cake.

Michael Chernay's picture

I dont let anything audio effect what car i buy, although a nice Mach Audio or Monssoon system is nice. I buy a car for the car, not for the stereo. Not that i dont like to have something good sounding in the car, but I'm willing to put that in myself

Max L.'s picture

Great audio in a new car is, well, nice, but it's not the make it or break it factor. And if I need to spend more money on a car, specifically, the audion, the aftermarket will help me.

Gerald Neily's picture

My most recent car was a 2001, when Honda was still putting cassette (ugggghhhh) decks into their lower end Civics. I had to buy the top-of-the-line Civic (a slight oxymoron) just to get a CD player. I hope things are different next time, but I'm not going to buy an expensive car just to get decent sound.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

It might mike a difference between two otherwise equally desireable cars. Just don't use the B-word, please.

Colin's picture

Give me a break. That's like picking a college based on how comfortable the dorms are. Buy a car for its car functions first. Besides, even the so called premium sound systems in luxury cars are crappy Bose systems.

Randolph Schein's picture

I would never buy a car with a 5.1 DVD audio system, because the rear seat passengers would only hear the rear surrounds! I also realize that road and engine noise will make an expensive, custom system sound pretty bad. However, the sound of the basic system playing classical music on its radio or on CD is important to me. My brother just bought a 2004 Chrysler 300M, which, despite the motto "premium sound" on its front door-mounted tweeters, yields an awful, tinny, harsh, sound playing any kind of music. Similarly, when my wife test drove her PT Cruiser some years back, I pointed out to her that radio sounded awful and distorted. I have a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville LE with their basic CD system, and the sound is good enough. Unless you are buying such an expensive vehicle that cost is of no concern, it really does not pay to spend big bucks on the audio. While my Bonneville is a modestly priced car, my home stereo sytem cost well over $50K!! You can see where my priorities are! Interestingly, I recently had a ride in a Maybach 57, and the Bose system in it was not very impressive.

Frosty's picture

A bad system makes more difference. I usually buy a lower-line model so I don't get stuck with a Blose.

Mahoney's picture

Doesn't make any difference because those terrible amplifier, the crappy speakers and low quality cables will be replaced. And I'll add a subwoofer. In fact, the cheaper the car stereo system the better -- that way, I won't be spending good money on something that will never be used.

Anonymous's picture

Speaker size and placement is of great importance for me. Would you like to live with 4" speakers in a Toyota Land Cruiser? I sure wouldn' t!

Aron's picture

Yes, a great audio system does influence my choice when buying an automobile. The worst factory installed car stereos are by Bose, which have the same problems as their home stereos; rolled off highs, scooped out midrange, muddy bass, and proprietary technology that prohibits modification. You have to completely remove a Bose factory system to intall an aftermarket system. The best factory installed car stereos are the Subaru Outback H6-3.0 VDC Wagon (McIntosh premium audio system), Aston Martin Vanquish (Linn), various Toyotas (JBL systems), Scion (Pioneer systems), Lotus cars (Alpine), Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege (Kenwood), and the Lexus cars (Mark Levinson car stereos). I wanted the best factory installed car stereo so I drive a Lexus.

SJM's picture

I'm car-free!

Brankin's picture

Anything an auto dealer puts into a car and calls a sound system (okay, most, not all), I will replace. Does that answer clearly enough?

John V.'s picture

It's a car for crying out loud.

Don Bilger's picture

A poor car stereo is a deal-killer for me. Although I don't need or want surround sound, DVD-Audio or SACD, I won't tolerate a car that lacks a good CD-based stereo system. I spend too much time in my car to waste it listening to substandard audio.

Paul Kranz's picture

I spend so little money on cars as possible and I don't give a heck in the car's audio system. I spend my money on my pukka two-channel home audio system. So there!

TGD's picture

I _drive_ cars. An adequate music system is all it needs to cover the engine noise. Critical listening is done at home.

Mike R.'s picture

5.1 DVD-A???? I'm happy with NPR and sports radio.

G.  Smith's picture

The equipment is not "best for the money", but is mid-road at best.

Tony R.  Harrison Sr.'s picture

You have got to be kidding me. Positively not. No way.

brobliss's picture

Could be a deal swinger. When you live in a very "urban" environment you want to minimize the risk of getting your car broken into by sticking with the stock equipment.

Rob Bertrando's picture

It does matter a great deal how well an aftermarket sound system will integrate into the car's interior.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I have been an audiophile for almost 50 years now and everyone continues to be amazed that all I care about is a decent "stanard equipment stereo" factory FM radio and factory speakers. I am not interested in playing CD's in my car and almost never use the cassette player. I just like to listen to the college jazz station as I am driving around town and would rather listen to them play music I do not own rather than listen to my stuff again. I look forward to listening to my music on my home equipment.

Miguel, TX's picture

I wanted a nice stereo in whatever car I bought, but most carmakers are offering some decent systems so it wasn't a big deal. I listen to CDs in my Mini's HK system more than at home. The only deal breaker would have been Bose, I can't stand their sound.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Listening to music in a car is akin to listening to music in a house located next to railroad tracks.

Heshie's picture

Yeah, like 5.1 will make a difference when someone with multiple bazillion-Watt subwoofers pulls up.

Bob Hoshall's picture

A well designed subwoofer with an adjustable low frequency roll off might enhance the rich voices of Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity, and I will take that into consideration when purchasing my next automobile. If there is some good filtering circuitry in the receiver, that will smooth out all the AM noise when I pass those high voltage wires, consider that car sold!

Henk Menke's picture

I have a good sytem at home(stereo} and i listen to it a lot. So i don,t bother a lot for music to be reproduced in my car by expensive components. I think it is crazy to hear the volume level some seem to be happy with while driving. I think it is dangerous, so i won't spend my money on car equipment. I rather spend it on very good home equipment.

Pablito's picture

As car hi-fi is a time/money demanding hobby with an increasing marginal cost it is going more effective & more effective to buy a premium integrated carhifi system.The only downside is that I have to get rid of all the stuff I have accumulated since.

JRG in KY's picture

I make it easy on myself and just buy Toyota's. Thier cheap entry level Delco head units and doped paper drivers have embarressed other car setups I have had in the past. Multichannel imaging in a car is silly. Even the largest Hummer H2 is to small for everything to not just be mono for all intents and purpose. Give me a break. That alone makes it even more important to get notes and timbres and beats right. All things that are forgotted about in the "add another sub" world of car audio.