Things to Consider When Choosing Your Car’s Stereo

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Car's Stereo

When you think about your car’s stereo system, the image of a receiver pops into your mind. 

Also known as the head unit, a stereo works as the brain and heart of the audio system of your car. It allows you to interact with your car and enjoy a better driving experience.

When you choose/upgrade your stereo system, you lock in various features for your car including the availability of audio sources, expandability of your car audio system, etc. 

So what should you look for when choosing a stereo system? Here are a few that we recommend.

1. Audio Sources

The first thing that you should consider when getting a car stereo system is the number of playback formats that it supports. Audio formats are encoded in different formats these days and these formats decide the quality of the audio file. 


Formats like AAC, and MP3 offer conventional quality, while FLAC, ALAC and WAV offer better sound quality. So, make sure the car stereo you are considering supports all. Along with this, also make sure that it supports different types of audio sources like AUX, radio, USB, SD card, smartphone, etc.

2. Local Satellite and Radio

Listening to the radio is still a thing, especially for the old souls. 

Along with interesting talk shows and music, radio is also a great source of getting quick news bites. In the present times, conventional radios have been replaced with digital ones which offer crispier sound quality and advanced features like being able to play songs from your Spotify digital library. 


If you are a radio person, pick a stereo that has built-in HD Radio decoding as it will improve the audio quality of local stations broadcasting. 

3. App and Smartphone Integration

Another important feature that you should consider when getting a car stereo system is its ability to integrate with your smartphone. 


This feature allows you to connect your smartphone and manage it via the head unit which means a safer and seamless driving experience. You can receive calls, connect to bluetooth, make phone calls, etc. through the car LCD screen. 

4. Physical Dimensions and Controls

The dimensions of the head unit is also an important feature to take into consideration. You can choose between a single and a double DIN head unit. A single DIN unit usually has a simplistic look but it can still be packed with multiple features. A double DIN, on the other hand, usually has a touchscreen which comes with features like DVD playback, GPS, etc. 


If you are planning to replace your old stereo system with a new one, you may be able to find a direct replacement. Whereas, in some cases you may need a specific dash kit for a seamless installation. 

Instead of the above-mentioned head units, some people prefer the detachable Android tablets. These can be used inside the car as head units for a seamless driving experience, as well as outside of the car as a regular smart tablet. 

5. GPS Navigation

Car stereo systems do a lot more than just playing music – they help you explore a new place without the fear of getting lost. 


Many stereo systems come with an in-built GPS system but if you do not have one, there is no need to spend extra money on it. You can also make use of the smartphone integration feature here and use the GPS system via your smartphone.

6. Power

Along with accepting your audio sources, the head unit of your car is also responsible to output the received audio to your car’s speakers through its internal amplifier. The power of the amplifier is mentioned in two ways – peak power and RMS.

Measured in watts, peak power is the maximum power the amplifier is capable of producing. Unless you are someone who always loves to listen to music at the maximum volume, you would like to focus more on RMS. 


RMS power is a better option as it gives you more room in terms of volume without touching the amplifier’s limit which may lead to distortion. Remember that wattage is not the only factor that determines the quality of the audio source. There are various other factors like digital signal processing, digital-analog converter, equalization, car’s speakers, etc. 

Along with the power, also make sure that the head unit that you are choosing has the option for upgradability. This will help you add extra subwoofers, amplifiers or any other accessories that you may want to. 

7. Budget

Since everything comes at a price, you need to have a balance between what you want and what you can get. There are various affordable car stereo options available that have decent features and won’t burn a hole in your pocket as well.


There are various options available at OLX Pakistan as well. You can visit our website, if you are interested in buying a car stereo.

We hope this guide will help you. Do let us know if you have any questions. 

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