Is the audio performance of your car's system important to you? Have you done anything to improve it?

Is the audio performance of your car's system important to you? Have you done anything to improve it?
Very important
28% (80 votes)
Somewhat important
23% (66 votes)
Slightly important
26% (74 votes)
Don't care
19% (53 votes)
Don't have a car
3% (9 votes)
Total votes: 282

No question that most audiophiles who read <I>Stereophile</I> are concerned about the performance of their home systems, but what about their car systems?

John Blutarski's picture

We grown-ups sit on our spreading-out behinds and listen at home, like it was intended. No reason to blow a couple of grand on a rolling frathouse, backseat love-machine! We don't have to sneak around anymore.

James's picture

My listening room is my music refuge. My car is my motoring enthusiast refuge. I prefer concentrating on my driving and concentrating on quality sound when I'm home.

Douglas Henning's picture

Not that important listen mostly to radio. The important things in audio is simply not possible in a car. Fitted a front loader the spin the occasional CD, mostly on the one home after a new purchase, to play on the real thing.

Steve Williams's picture

I trashed the OEM deck in my Honda and installed an Alpine head unit and Alpine five-channel amp. I used Boston Acoustics speakers all around (including sub). While I don't "bump" as much as the kids, and the quality is nothing near my home stereo, I still get much better sound for the drive to work. As a bonus I get to hear the wife tell me to "turn it down" every time we get in the car. :-)

Al Marcy's picture

I like CDs on trips thru New Mexico.

Sliminz's picture

In an environment with a noise floor as high as a running automobile, why bother pushing the point too far?

Yair Tammam's picture

No Car Audio for me !

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

While I cannot hope to re-create the listening room high-end audio experience in my car, I do spend much more time behind the wheel than at home in the sweet spot . . .

Roger Rahal's picture

Forget music in your car! Listen to the engine reving!

Ralph Pantuso's picture

Since being an audiophile usually means being relatively well-off (upper middle class and above) and being well-off (in the USA at least) means owning a fairly late model vehicle, it would not be out of line to say that plenty of audiophiles have pretty nice vehicles. And the audio systems in newer vehicles sound great right from the factory. So now when I get a new car (I still buy cars - not SUV's) I just get the best stereo available from the manufacturer and then I never worry about it again.

Walter Mazuryk's picture

I'm driving not listening or talking on the phone.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

The ugly truth comes out - I don't have a car. I did have one in the past, though, and probably will again, and I'm tempted to say that good sound quality in the car is not that important. First of all, doing any sort of critical listening while driving strikes me as a very dangerous thing. The driver should be concentrating on the road and the traffic, not the music. I suppose your passengers might appreciate good sound... In addition, I don't think getting reference-quality sound, or even anything resembling it, out of a car system is really possible, so even if I answered "yes, it's important," would difference would it make?

Joe Hartmann's picture

Fifteen years ago I tried to purchase a quality audio system for my car. The task was impossible and the system I purchased was never more than OK. I have listened to friends systems and never judged them worth the effort I expended on that system so long ago. My last car came with a factory installated system that was on a par with acceptable sound(meaning you don't turn it off or switch to all sport talk in 10 minutes). Although I have not heard a highend sound surround system yet I have wondered if my reaction may be first to the surround aspect of auto sound.

Phil's picture

I'll have to have a whole lot of money before I start spending it on car sound. Size of interior and ambient noise level make this an exercise in futility.

Dave's picture

I spend almost as much time listening in my car as I do at home.

Erin Rice's picture

I spend a lot of time traveling and I don't wish to listen to dull sound from a cheap car stereo system.

Willis Greenstreet's picture

Trying to get a home system to sound good is a difficult, but possible task. Trying to get a car or truck to do the same is beyond my ability, patience and purse. Adequate is good enough (that means factory installed).

GUD2BDP in DC's picture

I have an all McIntosh car audio system with 100W/channel. I use NBS "Stinger" interconnects and Kimber cable 4TC speaker wire. Additionally, I use a "deep-cycle" battery. Sounds great! (Quality over quantity).

Erik Ortstad's picture

I spent my money on my system rather than a car at all. I live in downtown Amsterdam, so driving is close to impossible anyway!

Chris S.'s picture

I commute at least two hours a day. This is more time than I spend in front of my home system doing any serious listening. If I didn't have a decent car system I would have to move closer to work.

Rick S.'s picture

Use Dynamat sound panels whereever possible and the best speakers possible for available openings. A CD portable wired direct to the electronic crossover sounds better than any in-dash player.

Brankin's picture

...but only slightly less than my Home Theater setup...Both of which I could live without!

Anonymous's picture

A good system is nice, but who wants to build a car around a system?

Tian Liu's picture

Premier head unit Eclipse amp and speakers JL Audio sub

R.  Biggs's picture

The noise from the road, the engine and other traffic make it difficult to appreciate good quality sound while driving.

Mark Mayes's picture

Go to a Lexus dealer and listen to the Mark Levinson system in the LS430. You will be amazed.

Arron Perth, West Australia's picture

I'm lucky - two of the six household vehicles have an excellent sound system. I have an acoustic instrument recording business, so a reasonably good car system is essential. I would add that most car systems (even expensive ones) are little more than loud boom boxes.

Stephen Curling's picture

over the years i've always replaced the stock speakers with Infinity units. my first car had 2 Infinity subs powered by a pair of Infinity DPA amps in a bandpass box (very bad). my next car had a single Infinity sub powered by a different amp, and currently i have no sub in my car. long live Class D!

Ren's picture

I installed an after market CD receiver, an external power amp, and a speaker system with external crossovers. The sound system is worth more than the car.

Clive Camm's picture

The choice was a reasonable home system or a used car. I ride the bus alot.