How to go about Upgrading Your Car’s Entertainment System

Most often, the entertainment systems that are installed in older vehicles cannot compare with features found in newer vehicles. What once was considered to be a ‘good’ system now pales in comparison with the new technology that includes crisp and clear sound, internet connectivity, voice command options, live media streaming from multiple sources and on-board navigation in one tidy media unit. The good news, however, is that upgrading your car’s entertainment system is not as difficult as it may sound.

Determine what type of upgrade you want to make

car-audio-system-sound-4Before you make the investment in a new entertainment system, be sure that your selection will satisfy you and your family’s entertainment needs. It’s better to ensure that the system you purchase will meet all of your expectations with regard to function, affordability, and available space in the vehicle. With so many different options available, it’s a good idea to preview your options to be sure

Taking advantage of the newest technology

The new technology includes touch screen features that allow you to easily connect to the type of media you want to access, and hands free controls that make using your new system safe while driving.

Range of options

Whether you are looking to add rear seat entertainment options, upgrade to an installed DVD player, or more Smart technology, there is a broad range available. Smaller versions of Smart technology allow for downloading apps, Bluetooth for hands free calling, music and a small screen that occupies just a bit over 3 inches of space.

More advanced systems, such as the installation of a tablet, gives a wider range of entertainment options including turn by turn navigation features and a slightly larger screen. If you have the space for a little over 6 inches in your vehicle and prefer the maximum in smart technology features, you could opt for the most advanced in smart media systems that will provide a wide range of entertainment options. The type of equipment that is best depends upon what you want to accomplish in your upgrade.

What to watch out for

Since you will most likely be swapping out your OEM system for an aftermarket one, there are some important factors to be considered when making the switch. Make certain that the system you choose has plenty of power to produce a high quality of sound. Make sure that the system is compatible with your current speakers. If not, replace them also. The unit should also include auxiliary input jack (s) to allow for the use of iPods and other devices. For Smart technology, USB ports are recommended for smart phone use and connectivity.

Display positioning is also important to ensure that it is either easy to read and reach, or includes voice command activation for increased safety while driving. Bluetooth audio in more advanced systems can transfer calls to the audio system as well as wireless streaming of music for added convenience and safety features. Installing steering wheel controls is also recommended as it allows for easier access to controls and cuts down on distractions while driving.

When in doubt, seek professional advice

Consult with the manufacturers or installation professionals from the business you purchase your entertainment system upgrade equipment. They can give you some pointers on how well the new system will integrate into the system that you currently have installed, and inform you about which components must be upgraded and which will be compatible.

Upgrading your car’s existing entertainment system can be as simple as installing a few new devices to add more features, replacing your current speaker system or fully upgrading to the newest smart technology for all of the bells and whistles. An example of systems that perform all of the functions listed above is the Parrot Asteroid Smart. Whatever upgrades are required may be made easier by consulting with product retailers or manufacturers for advice on compatibility with your current system.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.