Much to the delight of motorists everywhere, summer is fast approaching.
For many of us, summer means long road trips across the country in the sunshine. With this in mind, it could be time to ditch that outdated car sound system and treat yourself to a newer model.
While newer cars tend to come with decent sound systems, those of us with older vehicles (myself included) have to look elsewhere for a solution to our audio needs.
Luckily, PetrolPrices.com has filtered down the array of options on the market and put together a list of our top five favourite car sound systems.
This stereo is one of the best on the market. It represents spectacular value for money compared with similar stereos.
It has USB and AUX outputs, which means you can simultaneously charge and play music from your phone (so no more dodgy old CDs skipping while you drive).
In addition, it also features an SD card slot, while its sleek, modern design includes a colour LCD that will look at home in any vehicle.
- Great value for money
- Fits in a wide number of cars
- Has both USB and AUX slots
- Small screen
- No CD player
Although this is one of the more expensive stereo systems on the market, there’s good reason for the cost. This particular model comes packed with features, such as its ability to play video through its 4.1-inch display (obviously not while you’re driving).
It supports Bluetooth hands-free calling and music, as well as having rear parking camera functionality, with the display showing you what’s behind you when parking. This feature can come in really handy in packed car parks.
- Large display
- Reverse parking capability
- Plays video
- No CD player
- Not many customer testimonials
For those of you with a larger stereo spot on the dash, this product from Lacaca could be a winner.
This product features a large touchscreen display and can play DVDs, which is great for in-car entertainment.
Further to this, it has SD card and USB slots, in addition to an AUX cable output.
- DVD and video playback capability
- Large screen size
- Only fits a minority of cars
- Time-consuming installation and setup
- Extra functionality comes at a cost
If you’re in the market for a simple, good value, quality product, this could be the one for you.
It is easy to use and comes at a great price without sacrificing modern necessities such as AUX and USB slots.
It is also the only product in our top five to feature a CD player.
- CD player
- Suitable for the majority of vehicles
- Competitive price
- Very small display
- No Bluetooth
This Sony model is significantly more expensive than the other stereos on this list. Its saving grace, however, is the longevity and the quality for which the brand is known.
It has a clean, minimal design and high quality contrast screen. This is definitely helpful, as some stereo displays can be difficult to see in certain lighting.
This product also comes with a fairly comprehensive backing of customer reviews and testimonials, which some others on the list lack.
- NFC and Bluetooth capability
- High quality
- Clear, high contrast display
- No CD player
- Costlier than many similar models
How to fit a stereo
There are a number of ways to fit a stereo in your car. The cost can vary greatly depending on how you do it.
- Do it yourself – This is by far the best option if you think you’re capable of it. The obvious benefit is that you swerve the fitting costs you will likely incur elsewhere. However, make sure you thoroughly read up on the correct installation process before you jump in and risk harming any costly equipment!
- High street – If you want a quick and easy fitting at a relatively low cost, look towards the high street for a solution. Prices to fit a new stereo at Halfords, for instance, range from £30-£50, depending on whether the system is Bluetooth or just audio. Most of the time going somewhere like Halfords is a safe bet. However, it’s worth noting the occasional horror stories you hear about high street fittings.
- Auto electrician – If you want the job done to the highest possible standard, seek out an auto-electrician. Bear in mind, though, that you will pay a premium for this level of service.
- Scout social media – If none of these options is for you, check out car enthusiast forums on social media sites. Many include members who are just as skilled as specialists and willing to do the job for half the price.
We hope you enjoyed reading this feature. Which stereo will you opt for this summer? If there are other features that you would like to see PetrolPrices.com write in the future, simply let us know in the comments.