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Budgeting for Car Audio Upgrade

Budgeting for Car Audio Upgrade

Upgrading your car audio system is a great way to enhance your driving experience and add value to your vehicle. However, carrying out these upgrades can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the world of car audio systems.Take a look at some of the factors you need to consider when planning and budgeting for these upgrades.

Car audio system assessment

First, plan your car sound system upgrade to assess your current audio system and determine what changes you would like to make. For example, you may want to add a subwoofer to enhance the bass, or upgrade your speakers to improve the sound quality. You may also want to add a new amplifier or change the head unit to add new features, such as bluetooth connectivity or navigation.

Here are the major components which make up your car audio system:

  • Head unit. The head unit or receiver is the main control display of your car audio system. Current models will have a seamless display combining the audio equaliser, AM/FM radio controls, and GPS interface, plus app connectivity to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • Speakers. The business end of the audio system, so to speak. In many respects, an upgrade will require replacing the vehicle’s stock units with aftermarket parts. You have a choice of full-range or component speakers. Full-range speakers have up to four drivers per unit to handle specific parts of the sound. Component speakers will have separate drivers and their placement is operative on whether the sound is medium or high frequency.
  • Amplifiers. Amplifiers add more power and volume to the audio system’s output, denoted by the number of channels they can link up to, AKA the devices. While head units have their own built-in amplifiers, they may not produce the adequate results, hence the need for a separate amplifier. However, as amplifiers can generate large amounts of heat depending on their wattage, you must consult your contractor on the best location to place it that has ample ventilation. In addition, your contractor will also evaluate the system design on what fuses to install to ensure it can withstand the increased power load from new devices being linked in.
  • Subwoofers. Subwoofers are designed to increase the output of low-frequency sound like the bass and drums. However, they need ample space and cabinets that can withstand changes in air pressure; your contractor may recommend putting them at the boot.

Quality sound

The quality sound may come at the expense of outside noise. To this end, you must replace your floor matting with sound-deadening mats (SDM), vinyl sheets combined with aluminium to aid in suppressing the sound. The versatility of vinyl allows your preferred car audio contractor to install SDMs at locations tagged for generating ambient noise; these include the floor, trunk, and door panels. You can also go for spray-on foam insulation if there’s room in your upgrade budget.  

Another important factor to consider when planning your sound system upgrades is the space available in your vehicle. The amount of space you have will impact the type and size of the components you can add, so measure your vehicle’s interior before making your purchases. You may need to make some modifications to your vehicle, such as cutting holes or relocating components, to make room for your new sound system.

Choose components of superior quality as it’s crucial in ensuring optimal sound quality and performance. Investing in a high-quality amplifier and speakers will ensure that you get the best possible sound quality from your system. You may also want to consider adding a subwoofer or other components that will enhance the bass, as well as any other features that will improve your listening experience.

Determine your budget

Once you have a clear idea of what changes you would like to make, the next step is to determine your budget. Car sound system upgrades can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the components you choose and the level of work required. It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford and set a budget that you’re comfortable with.

When budgeting for your sound system upgrades, there are a number of factors you need to consider, including:

  • Component costs. This includes the cost of the new speakers, subwoofer, amplifier, and any other components you want to add to your system. Prices can vary widely depending on the brand, quality, and features of the components, so it’s important to do your research and compare prices.
  • Installation costs. The cost of installation will depend on the level of work required and the complexity of the components you are installing. Some upgrades, such as adding a subwoofer or upgrading your speakers, may require little or no installation, while others, such as adding an amplifier or changing the head unit, will require professional installation.
  • Tools and materials. You’ll need a variety of tools and materials to install your new components, such as wiring, brackets, and connectors. Make sure you factor in the cost of these items when planning your budget.
  • Shipping and handling. If you’re ordering your components online, you’ll need to factor in the cost of shipping and handling.

After gaining a comprehensive understanding of the expenses entailed, you can initiate the process of exploring methods to cut down on the costs of your upgrades. You may be able to find better deals online or at local audio shops. You may also be able to save money by installing the components yourself, if you’re comfortable with basic wiring and installation work.

Upgrading your car audio system can amplify the comfort for you and your passengers, but it’s important to plan and budget for these upgrades carefully. Consider the costs involved, including the component costs, installation costs, tools and materials, and shipping and handling, and make sure you set a limit for buying your upgrades.

With that said, time to belt out the killer tunes!

UBUDGET, provided by UBOMI, empowers users to manage their finances by setting and monitoring budgets, thus giving them increased control. This is a formidable resource that can assist in accomplishing personal targets.

If you liked our “Budgeting for Car Audio Upgrade” and find it useful, check our blogs regularly for more information to get updates on UBOMI’s budget app and expense tracker.