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audio technology

New car stereo!

I have been enjoying playing my iPod in my car ever since I got it. The factory CD player had an auxilery port in it and it allowed me to listen to whatever I wanted. After some early issues, I got the sound quality to as good as it was going to get. It was miles ahead of using an FM transmitter, but there were still a few problems. Factory systems are never any good. Even if you get a decent sounding one, you pay way too much for it. The amplifiers in those things are anemic and lead to irritating and headache inducing distortion when you turn them up. I was also using the headphone output from the iPod which while it worked, was hardly ideal from a sound quality perspective. Going though the iPod’s amp before the main one just added to the noise. The biggest issue was a control one. The only way to really change stuff was to pick up the iPod and fiddle with it while I drove. Hardly a safe situation. Well, all of that has changed…

 

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This thing is awesome. There is no CD player in it. Along with plugging in my iPod, I could use the analog input, or pop in an SD card. It sounds like I could potentially plug a flash drive or portable hard drive into it as well, I’ll have to explore that a little bit more. The sound quality has gone up a ton, tighter bass, louder, cleaner, and more understandable. I can control the iPod with it, so no more fiddling with touch controls while driving. It also has some sound shaping controls, their “sound retriever” really does smooth out some of the rough edges that you get with compressed audio. I’m also looking into getting a microphone they make. Using it, the deck can create a custom EQ for your car. For $20 or so, it is probably worth it.

 

I had considered installing this, along with a pair of speakers, myself… for about 10 seconds. Crutchfield has assured me that it was no problem, but after looking at the instructions I decided that discretion was the better part of valor. I had Best Buy install it instead. Good thing too, they had to do a few things to make stuff fit, I wouldn’t have had the ability to do it. it’s funny, in these days of $300 headphones for iPods, installing a stereo that can control it in your car would seem like a no brainer. All told, the deck, a pair of new speakers, the hardware for installing it, and the install came to a total of $350 or so. If you didn’t get new speakers, it would probably only run a little over $200. Very, very excited about this. Oh, and thanks mom for the great Christmas present!

 

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