Vehicle audio is equipment installed in a car or other vehicle to provide in-car entertainment and information for the vehicle passengers. Until the 1950s it was just a simple AM radio. Additions since then include FM radio (1952), 8-Track tape players, Cassette Players, CD players (1984), DVD players, Blu-ray players, navigation systems, Bluetooth telephone integration, and smartphone controllers like Car Play and an Android Auto. Once controlled from the dashboard with a few buttons, they can now be controlled through steering wheel controls and voice commands.
Mainly implemented for listening to music and radio, vehicle audio is now part of functions like car telematics, telecommunication, in-vehicle security, hands free calling, navigation, and remote diagnostics systems. It is also used to create fake engine noise. For the 2015 Ford Mustang Eco- Boost, an “Active Noise Control” system was developed that amplifies the engine sound across the car speakers. A similar system is also used in the F-150 pickup truck. Volkswagen uses a Soundaktor, which is a special speaker used to play sounds in cars such as the Golf GTI and Beetle Turbo. BMW plays a recorded sample of its motors through its car speakers, using different samples according to the engine’s load and power.
Stock system is the OEM application that the vehicle’s manufacturer specifically recommended to be installed when the car was built.
Aftermarket components can be used too.
- Head unit: Head unit products consists of screen and buttons and are manufactured mainly in DIN form factor, which refers to ISO 7736. Head units come as single DIN or also as double DIN.
- Connectors for car audio, in which ISO 10487 Harness Adapter is used.
- Mobile audio power amplifiers
Amplifiers help to increase the power level of audio signals. Some head units have built-in stereo amplifiers too while other car audio systems use a separate stand-alone amplifier. Every amplifier has a rated power level sometimes noted on the head unit with the help of a built in amplifier, or on label of a stand-alone unit.
- Car speakers and subwoofers.
- Damping: sound deadening material is usually used in the door cavities and boot/trunk area to damp the excess vibration of the panels in the car to respond to loud subwoofer bass tones, especially the boot/trunk.
Different types of Audio and Video Devices are as follows-