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Factory fitted in-car entertainment systems have become more and more advanced over the last few years, with many motorists now seeking to install the latest in audio technology in their vehicles.

Car audio has expanded from a market that originally consisted of simple radio-cassette and CD players to one which now includes MP3 players, iPods, DAB Digital Radio, DVD players, speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers and more.

Car Audio Equipment

Car Stereos

Traditional stereo systems consist of a main head unit fixed in the dashboard of the car, with speakers attached. A standard head unit generally includes a radio and cassette player/CD player.

However, the latest generation of in-car head units now come with a whole host of features including CD players/changers that can handle CDs 'burned' on a home PC, including playback of MP3 files, sleek LCD displays, built-in Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB digital radio turner, USB ports and an SD/MMC card reader.

Most stereo systems are also compatible with MP3 and iPod players, while the most expensive high-end units even come with a fold-out DVD player with touchscreen display and built-in satellite navigation.

In terms of sound, many car stereos now include a sophisticated equaliser, an active crossover, surround sound processor and other digital tricks, in addition to simple tone controls, to provide excellent audio quality.

Top Brands

The most popular brands for in-car head units include Alpine, Clarion, JVC, Kenwood, Panasonic, Pioneer and Sony.