Any car audio system usually consists of the same few elements – speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers, and most importantly, the stereo unit.
The stereo unit, also often called a head unit, is the brain of the whole system. You use the stereo unit to control the audio settings, such as volume, and navigate your favorite tracks and sound sources.
In modern cars, a stereo unit looks like a touchscreen that is placed in the middle of your dashboard. That kind of unit is referred to as double DIN stereo units. In older cars, you will usually find single DIN stereo units, which are two times shorter than the double DIN, and instead of a touchscreen, they just consist of multiple buttons and maybe a cassette or a CD player. If you are upgrading your car audio system and have a car that has a spot to install a double DIN stereo unit, we highly recommend it. Double DIN units are simply superior to single ones in terms of functionality and audio quality. You can find reviews of the best double DIN stereo units here.
Stereo unit importance
If you want to improve your car audio quality you might think that the only thing you need to update is the speakers and maybe some other components like amplifiers. And while it is true that these elements probably do more for the way your audio sounds, a stereo unit also carries importance that should not be overlooked.
The stereo unit is the element that outputs the audio and connects it to the speakers. It literally acts as a sound source. And if the audio output is not powerful enough, it won’t matter that you bought the strongest amplifiers on the market and the audio will still sound weak and distorted. You will need sufficient power output that is compatible with the other elements of your audio system.
Stereo units are equipped with small built-in amplifiers that, depending on your needs, can give you the audio boost you want. To measure that output we use the RMS (root mean square) value – the bigger the better. For zealous audiophiles, the amps from the stereo unit will probably not be enough and they will opt to also invest in some separate ones. However, for a lot of people, the stereo unit can do the job by itself.
If you want to upgrade other audio elements in addition to the stereo unit, take a look at the AnoBit website to see reviews of different audio components.
The latest stereo units come with various other features, not necessarily related to audio. If you want to get the most out of your unit, search for something that has smartphone integration, a good GPS navigation system, and whatever else you might need. The look of the stereo unit is also important – you want something that is enjoyable to look at and has an easy-to-use user interface.