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

Joe Evans's picture

What happened to driving a car because you liked the sound the engine/exhaust made? I suppose I'm just a motor head. All the automobiles I have ever owned have been a pleasure to listen to. From the Alfa Romeo with Abarth exhaust of years ago to my current 90 911, I like listening to the sound of the engines. My old Honda Interceptor sounds good too. My Porsche does have a modest two-channel audio system that I rarely use.

norman b's picture

I've been fortunate with my vehicles. The Dodge truck has an Infinity system, and the BMW has a Harman Kardon system. They sound great, but it had no bearing on my purchase decision. It's the engine that matters! The Dodge got a HEMI, and the BMW is the ultimate driving machine.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

High-fidelity in an automobile is an oxymoron. Especially in my noisy French car. I know of people buying tube amps for their ICE, but it don't think it really makes any sense.

Norm Johnson's picture

I've never meet the automoblile quiet enough to justify really fine audio.

Stephen's picture

I do not particularly care. The car is naturally a loud and inferior place to achieve lifelike sound. Home and at the philharmonic is where the truly good sound is.

Mike's picture

No way. I wouldn't buy a house just because I liked the appliances it came with, so why would I be influenced by a car with a decent stereo? A much better sounding stereo can almost aways be had for the price of adding the "premuim" sound package. It will suit my tastes precisely and I can chose whatever vehicle I want to put it in.

Craig's picture

I do my serious listening at home. Just about any audio system that comes with any car will suffice for providing music on the road. If I am buying a car, performance and confort, in that order, are what I look for, not some kind of special sound system.

Dan Landen's picture

I just install my own stuff or make some modifications to the factory stuff. Aftermarket stuff is still cheaper and still better than most factory stuff by a wide margin.

Jeff's picture

Yes! Bose is ubiquitous (yuck) and car makers don't perceive that options in sound make a difference.

W.  Cunningham , Toronto's picture

I generally upgrade the equipment that the manufacturer has in place, however, it's nice when the speakers cutouts and locations are in the best possible locations provided by the manufacturer so you can leave te car in it's original state for resale.

audio-sleuth's picture

I wonder how many answered that a great car stereo is an oxymoron. Loud sure, but great?

Jerry Platt's picture

I just bought a car last week. I didn't even listen to the audio system—so I guess the answer in no.

Richard Horan's picture

While it makes a small difference, and a good system is worth the option for me, it doesn't make or break the deal because so many other aspects of a car are critical. When I'm sitting in my car for lunch (parked) I use a good portable headphone system.

BTB's picture


G-Man's picture

It helps me decide if I am going with the manufacturer's system or do I go after-market. Bose seems to have fooled a lot of automobile manufacturers into believing they have a Supreme Product. So far, Lexus has it right with the Levinson system. I hope other automobiles follow suit. Even a Sony system would be better than Bose

Mullard EL34's picture

While my primary criterion for selecting an automobile is the integration of the driver into the feedback loop of vehicle dynamics, a truly awful audio system could easily become the deciding factor between my automotive alternatives. The astoundingly dreadful BMW iDrive user-interface, combined with the hideous Bangle-ized styling of current BMW's has driven this long-time owner of Bimmers away from the product line (despite the fact that BMW's are still an absolute blast to drive in a spirited fahsion).

Keith Y's picture

No, I have always installed a highe-end after market system in my cars.

Philip's picture

I like nice sound in my car. But I don't trust any manufacturer to build a decent system into a car. I would save my money and install one myself if I cared enough.

Mark Gdovin's picture

I think driving is so important a function that music HAS to take a second seat. I think those that mazimize "car sound" are really among our overpriveleged true idiots. Just give me a radio where I can get news and maybe a BASIC sound system I can play when on a road trip in the desert. But I just HATE those silly-assed booming cars where their drivers are apparently FAR more concerned about distorted bass notes than the INCREDIBLE and IMPORTANT "mission" of being a good and aware driver. As an airplane pilot, there is this thing called "situational awareness". Uh, you can't do this when you can't hear a siren coming, can't hear brakes sqealing, just can't because you've forgotten your mission as a driver and somehow thing "car audio" is worth a damn. I just HATE ANY attention to "car audio". A sham that ONLY makes a point today because we can't have Chevy 327 or Chrysler 352 Hemi hotrods. So, what else to do but but stupid-ass neon lights on our car? Yup, have as really dumbass over-distorted "auto sound system". Uh, my money is investing in hearing aids. These silly, misguided souls are going to be deaf before the age of forty. And, they will never, uh, NEVER begin to approach "audiophile sound" in a silly-assed car.

Brian Larsen's picture

It is getting harder and harder to install aftermarket audio systems into cars. Newer cars are being made so that the factory system is an integral part of the vehicle. You can't remove the factory system without disabling some feature of the car. Yes, it pays to do some homework first. Can I replace the factory system and if I can't, will I be happy with it?

David Schwartz's picture

My audio system at home can take me places that my can can't. The car is just physical transportation. An AM/FM CD player is fine.

vance's picture

A quality audio system was definitely not one of the reasons I bought my Subaru WRX. I knew the audio system was lackluster (very thin and sometimes fatiguing), but I wanted everything else the car offers—turbo, AWD, excitement, that wonderful boxer exhaust sound, etc. Perhaps I will one day upgrde my car's audio system. Until then, I am able to better appreciate my home audio system.

Tom's picture

What car buying?

Reed O.  Hardy's picture

At first, I didn't think it would matter, but I found myself making the audi system one of my considerations when picking out my new truck. When the dealer and I figured up my required options, the premium audio package was there.

T.  Hobart's picture

Almost bought a new Benz, but it only came with a Bose system (and it sounded pretty mediocre). So I passed and got the Lexus.

Richard Diamond (SF, CA)'s picture

I reserve listening to serious music at home with the lights off, glasses off, and my eyes closed. I have found this to be a rather risky way to drive. I usually listen to news or talk radio in the car.

Geno's picture

Turn down the music, turn off the cell, just drive. There are WAY too many people running into other people because they are not paying attention!

Anonymous's picture

a car is one the the worst environments to listen to music with engine noise, car noise,wind noise and the poor placement of speakers in relation to the listener

Ned's picture

I have the a new Accord with this system.It is anything but "great". Good sound and automobiles are a contradiction in terms.

TIRED DAD's picture