Audio Installations & Repairs
Car audio has been around for almost as long as the automobile itself, and there have been a lot of changes throughout the years.
At the heart of each car audio system is a component that is typically referred to as a head unit. Most people refer to this component as a radio or a stereo, which are both accurate terms that don’t tell the whole story. Most of these components do include radio tuners, and stereo has been around since the 1960s, but the more generalized purpose of a head unit is to provide some type of audio signal.
In the past, head units provided audio signals from 8 tracks, compact cassettes, and even a proprietary type of record player. Most head units now include a CD player, but satellite radio, digital music, and even Internet radio are also popular audio sources.
An amplifier is the second major component that every car audio system needs. While the purpose of a head unit is to provide an audio signal, the purpose of an amplifier is to increase the power of that signal. Without a power amplifier, the audio signal will be too weak to physically move the speakers and create sound.
Speakers make up the final pieces of the basic car audio puzzle. Most car audio systems have at least four, but there are a lot of different viable configurations. When a speaker receives an audio signal from an amplifier, the electrical energy of the signal is converted into mechanical energy that causes a cone to move back and forth. That vibration displaces air, which creates the sound waves that we hear.