Cost cuts sound or­di­nary

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car Accessories -

AT HOME we en­joy sur­round sound, flat-screen TVs, DVD play­ers and all man­ner of elec­tronic en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems. So why should we leave all that be­hind when we hit the road?

The great thing is we don’t have to. We can take them along with us — a whole range of elec­tronic en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems cre­ated specif­i­cally for use in our cars.

Car­mak­ers are quick to pick up on new trends in in-car en­ter­tain­ment and fit the latest and groovi­est sys­tems to their new mod­els.

But the need to make a profit means they aren’t fit­ted to all mod­els, and the sys­tems fit­ted aren’t al­ways the best qual­ity avail­able.

Base-model cars usu­ally get poverty-pack sound sys­tems with few fea­tures and a cou­ple of tinny speak­ers.

The more pres­ti­gious mod­els may get bet­ter-qual­ity sys­tems with more power and more speak­ers for a bet­ter sound.

But what­ever the model, be it base or pres­tige, the sound sys­tem fit­ted is a com­pro­mise based on the what the car­maker be­lieves the av­er­age buyer of that model will ac­cept, and the need to make a profit.

The sound equip­ment usu­ally fit­ted by car­mak­ers are mid­dle-of-the-road sys­tems they know will ap­peal to a broad cross-sec­tion of car buy­ers, be they young or old, well-heeled or cash-strapped, tone deaf or tuned in.

But other buy­ers who want a sys­tem with more bass, or a more so­phis­ti­cated, fully rounded sound, find the fac­tory-sup­plied sys­tems sim­ply don’t do the job.

The sound they seek is close at hand. All it takes is a leisurely Satur­day cruise around the sound-sys­tem spe­cial­ists.

They can pro­vide ex­pert ad­vice on prod­ucts and in­stal­la­tion to achieve the de­sired sound qual­ity.

What may be needed is a bet­ter-qual­ity head unit, a pre-amp, am­pli­fier or mon­ster set of sub­woofers with some awe­some mid-range speak­ers and tweet­ers ca­pa­ble of fill­ing the in­te­rior with full-bod­ied sound. Most spe­cial­ists can not only sup­ply the sys­tem com­po­nents, they can in­stall them to en­sure you get the best value for money.

DVDs are be­com­ing pop­u­lar with par­ents who want to keep their kids amused on long trips, and there is a wide choice of equip­ment avail­able that can meet their needs.

Screens can be in­stalled in the dash or backs of head­rests, or swung down from the roof.

Chil­dren can be kept quiet and con­tented watch­ing movies and car­toons or play­ing video games while the hours pass and the kilo­me­tres are cov­ered.

The same goes for satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, which are be­com­ing a must-have ac­ces­sory for the nav­i­ga­tion­ally chal­lenged on our roads.

Sat-nav sys­tems are a rel­a­tively new mo­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy and not many new cars have been fit­ted with them yet.

Many op­tions are avail­able, and there are plenty of ex­perts to of­fer ad­vice on the sys­tem most suit­able for your needs and bud­get.

For only a few hun­dred dol­lars, you can dis­pense with the street di­rec­tory and safely find your des­ti­na­tion with­out hav­ing to pull over to con­sult a map.

Ba­sic: many cars have cost-cut­ting sys­tems.

Way to go: DVD play­ers keep kids amused.

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