3 Things To Look for In a Car Stereo System

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When it comes to road trips, few things are as essential as music. Make sure your car stereo is up to the task by ensuring it has these three things.

USB Port

You might still have a few old (and embarrassing) CDs stashed away in the glovebox, but the chances are that these days you’re more likely to listen to music on your smartphone or device. Selecting a car stereo with a USB port or audio jack will ensure that it’s compatible with your phone, meaning that with an audio cable you’ll have access to your full library of songs for that big road trip. Make a playlist, shuffle through your favourites or turn on your data to listen to a music streaming service, all with the added power of your car stereo.

If you fancy getting more out of your next journey, load your phone up with audiobooks and podcasts before you go. The ride might go just a bit more quickly than expected. Many stereos will display a badge to communicate this functionality, making them easy to find as you scroll.

Satellite And Local Radio

Pretty much every vehicle you can buy will have a basic AM/FM function, but who wants to dig through static while trying to drive? Take your car journey to the next level by selecting a stereo that features built-in HD radio decoding. This will give you a clearer, stronger signal and improve the overall sound quality from those radio stations that now make their broadcasts in a digital format. No more trying to sing over white noise, and even if you forget your phone, you’ll always have something to listen to.

Satellite radio capabilities will mean that wherever you are in the country, you’ll still be able to listen to your favourite radio station. Now all you need is a powerful speaker or vehicle amplifier to really crank up the volume. Driving has never felt so good.

3. GPS

Nowadays, car stereos are for so much more than just listening to music. Always know where you’re going by looking for a model that offers GPS navigation from your dashboard. This works by using memory maps, which are flash-based and can be uploaded from an SD card. These are regularly updated by GPS providers to ensure you always have access to the most up-to-date routes and road closures. You’ll also find that stereos with HD radio tuning offer real-time traffic reporting, which is invaluable for those nights when you really want to get home as quickly as possible.

While mobile phone apps do offer good quality directions, this method is not ideal for driving. Audio instructions will improve the safety of your journey and mean you can get on with driving rather than trying to figure out a map.