Finding a Car Audio Head Unit That Rocks

If you’re considering upgrading your automobile’s sound system, chances are your first step will be to replace the factory head unit with an aftermarket product. Provided you already have working speakers, this move can instantly improve the sound. There are several names for this component of the system, and one is “head unit,” which applies to any dash-mounted interface that controls car audio.

Varieties of Head Units

Tuner – A unit that lacks built-in power amplification. Tuners require an additional amplifier to power the speakers.

Receiver – One that contains an onboard amp. A receiver can be used to power an existing set of speakers without other equipment.

Controller – An interface that has no radio function, although it may include any combination of CD, DVD, cassette, auxiliary and/or USB inputs.

Mechless – A receiver or tuner without CD, DVD, or cassette capabilities. “Mechless” refers to the absence of mechanical (moving) components, as these devices instead feature solid state construction. These pieces of gear can have auxiliary, USB, and Bluetooth® compatibility as well.

Some of these categories overlap. For example, controllers and mechless heads can exist with or without built-in amps. You’ll have to read the specs of any equipment that interests you to make sure it meets your requirements.

What Do You Need?

Now that you know the basic distinctions, you’ve got to consider the factors that may influence your decision on what car audio equipment to install. If you just want to replace what’s in the dash first, you’ll need something with its own power to get sound out of your factory speakers. However, if you plan on upgrading your speakers and adding subwoofers and tweeters for an all-out overhaul of your car audio system, you will likely need an external amplifier to supply sufficient juice. In this situation, you may want to buy a receiver with preamp outputs. These outs will bypass the onboard power, causing less distortion so you can bump louder music without sacrificing sound quality. If sound quality is your focus and loudness is not important, you can save money by foregoing the amp and subs, using a unit with sufficient power and buying better quality door speakers.

Now think about getting into your car and being in the mood to blast your favorite songs. What would you reach for? Do you have a vast collection of CDs you’d like to slip in and listen to all the way through? If so, you definitely need a model with a disc player. Maybe you’ve ditched the hard copies, and your music is stored digitally on your smartphone or dedicated audio player. In this case, you may elect to go fully mechless and play your library through a USB connection for the best audio. If streaming services on your phone are your preferred method of music retrieval, an interface with dedicated Bluetooth is handy, or, at the very least, an auxiliary jack should be present.

With what you now know about the brain of your car audio system, you can prioritize the features most important to you and search for a product that offers them all within your budget.

Is There a Solution for Distracted Driving?

Paying attention while driving is the number one way to avoid distracted driving accidents. Not using a mobile device while behind the wheel can make all the difference. Using such a device while driving can have deadly results. Even though texting while driving is against the law in many states and localities, it hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference. According to the National Safety Council, in 2013 there were 1.1 million distracted driving accidents nationwide. The United States Department of Transportation cited over 3,000 fatalities and more than 400,000 injuries caused by some form of distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving can involve a variety of actions. From using a cell phone to texting to eating while driving, all of these things can be considered to cause a distraction. Even just talking while behind the wheel to dealing with noisy kids in the backseat can take your attention off of the road. Using a hands free device does not offer much of a difference, although the perception is that it is a good solution. When your attention is elsewhere, there are studies that show you look, but do not actually see. In a study conducted by an insurance firm. even voice controlled systems take your attention away from the road. Just hearing the notification of an incoming text or email can divert attention at a critical time.

Is Driving Mode the Answer?

Driving mode disables the ability of the phone to receive calls,texts and other functions such as Facebook and gaming, but retaining the ability to use a navigation system and emergency communications as well. Unfortunately, most phones do not offer a true Driving Mode. Some phones do have a driving mode, but it is simply a feature which reads aloud a text or email. This can be a distraction as well.

A simple idea to motivate drivers to use such a system would be if the insurance companies would offer a discount to a driver who purchases a Driving Mode feature for their phone. A financial incentive may help this simple solution gain popularity and acceptance. Anything to curb the incidences of distracted driving accidents. It could save a life, maybe yours.

Contact The Law of Jeffrey S. Dawson today at 949/861-2191 for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury case. Jeff Dawson is a uniquely qualified personal injury lawyer. He has worked on the other side, as well – for the insurance firms, and knows how they think. If you have been involved in an accident where you have suffered injuries, contact the law offices of Jeffrey S. Dawson to discuss your potential lawsuit settlement.

Why an iPhone and Car Mount Is Better Than Your In-Car Infotainment System

Today, if you’re going to go out and buy a high end car, you’ll be amazed by the range and variety of in-car entertainment systems. From the introduction of the radio, our cars have since evolved satellite navigation systems, dual mode screens for watching films and even the ability to answer questions you have on the road. However, these systems can often be pretty dumb. Slow, unintuitive and rarely updated, they can be much less useful than the computer you’ve got in your pocket – your iPhone.

Unlike your car, your iPhone is always with you, learning what you’re interested in and figuring out where your likely destinations are going to be. It also knows what kind of music you like to hear, the sound of your voice and exactly where it is at all times. Those are things which your car simply can’t do, and with the help of an iPhone car mount, you can turn any older car into an ultra-modern smart ride. Here are our three favourite iPhones features to use in a car:

1) Navigation

In-car navigation services can be pretty awful at times. You’re either stuck using the one which came built in to your car, which might never have been updated to the latest maps or dedicated GPS units which can be costly and clumsy to install. With an in car iPhone mount, you can use the GPS you’ve always got on you – your phone. You’ll always have the latest maps, as well as access to things like traffic updates, something many in-car navigation systems don’t offer. Perhaps best of all though, because the many docks support charging, your phone’s battery won’t drain whilst it gets you from location to location.

2) Hey, Siri!

Since iOS 9, iPhones have had the capability of listening out for the command ‘Hey, Siri’. At home, that means you can ask it things like how long you’re meant to boil an egg for, or to set an alarm. If you’ve got your iPhone mounted in your car though, it can mean doing things like asking it to find restaurants in your destination before you arrive, telling it to play an album that you love or even redirect you to another location.

3) Unlimited music choice

Remember the days of filling your cars storage compartments with CD’s in order to keep your music choices fresh? Say goodbye to them, because with an iPhone and mount combination, you can stream as much music as you like. Many cars from the last decade have Bluetooth connectivity, and many more have 3.5mm connection, making connection to your iPhone easy. With an in-car iPhone mount, album arts, information and controls are all at your fingertips; so all you really need to do is choose between Spotify, Google Play Music or Apple Music.