Here is a question many car owners ask: what exactly are the best car audio brands?
So yeah, you’re not alone in wanting to get your hands on the number 1 car audio system name when updating your car’s audio system.
After all, there are hundreds of car sound system brands out there, all claiming to be the very best car audio brands…
Our mission is simple in this article: to help you know where to start your search when the time comes to upgrade.
As such, we’ve put together a guide to all the best car audio brands— renowned and newcomers.
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Meet them below:
Best Car Audio Brands – the names and why you can trust them
Here are the brands you can bet on when shopping for a new car audio system..
You should note the list below is not in order of quality—we tackle the features and overall quality of the products from every great brand in our best car audio brands reviews and roundups (check our reviews section).
Alpine has been a household name in the car audio systems space for over four decades (and counting).
The premium sound quality and a wide range of eye-catching innovations in Alpine’s in-car audio equipment makes the brand a brilliant choice for those searching for high-quality, competitively-priced audio systems.
Accurate, highly dynamic sound reproduction is the hallmark of Morel car audio systems.
Plus, they use unique technologies to overcome acoustic limitations that can mess your on-the-road entertainment in their units.
They have a vast range of audio systems.
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This top-rated brand uses their Patented Dynamic Balance design, best-in-class materials, and innovative construction techniques to manufacture vehicle sound systems capable of producing bigger sound even with less amplifier power.
Polk has options for everyone including the budget-conscious.
Also impressing is Infinity’s car audio systems.
Most of their systems (Infinity has its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut) are particularly ‘wow’ at mid-bass and the highs, even when you’ve turned up the volume.
Infinity systems are mostly installed on Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler vehicles (as an option).
JL Audio is a leading American manufacturer and pioneered some of the earliest car audio products.
They made the famous PowerWedges, one of the very first enclosed full-range audio systems to be built for cars.
Their wide-range of automotive systems could be the ideal upgrade for your car.
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Superior clarity, sound, and craftsmanship make Rockford potentially the perfect audio solution for your truck.
All of Rockford Fosgate ‘s newer systems have been attracting raving reviews thanks to their fine-tuned audio quality and higher power output.
Again, there’s no shortage of fantastic models for all budgets from this brand.
Overall, Pioneer offers some of the best audio systems and perhaps has the best car stereo brand sound quality in the market today, in our opinion.
From the amazing sound, exceptional engineering, and smart design architecture, Pioneer has everything it takes to makes your time behind the wheel relaxing and satisfying.
Because of the advanced components along with the first-rate audio technologies, Kicker has successfully won a place in the heart of many car owners.
In fact, Kicker has been credited with reshaping the world of car audio systems with their ever-widening range of high-powered products.
In JBL’s car audio systems, you have outstanding sound quality and magnificent power handling in a single package.
Two innovations particularly have made JBL a force to reckon with: the Plus One woofer-cone technology (gives better bass response) and UniPivot tweeter positioning (leads to more natural sound).
If you want to get high end sound quality but at an extremely affordable price, go for A/D/S (Pre-ADST) car audio systems!
This is not a new company like some seem to think- they have actually been in the car audios industry since 1974 and have awesome reviews out there.
American Bass manufactures high-end car audio systems and accessories including subwoofers, amps, etc.
So good is American bass that their products hold several noteworthy records including the prestigious dB drag racing (after hitting a stunning 179.7 dB sound pressure level mark).
Ample Audio (Amplifiers)
The indomitable name when it comes to the best car amplifiers is Ample Audio with their extremely robustly built, raucous amps.
Incredibly, the company keeps pushing things up further by adding extra-brainy sound enhancers with every new release.
ARC Audio’s car audio systems have received a couple of the industry’s highest-ranking recognitions and an avalanche of positive reviews on the market.
It’s pretty young – having been started in 1998- but this USA-based specialist car sound systems maker has dozens of highly-acclaimed audio products to choose from.
Ascendant Audio operates out of Las Vegas and focuses on the best car audio subwoofers.
Their best subwoofer models include the Assassin, Arsenal, Havoc, Signature, and more.
And oh, their products look good too.
Audax concentrates exclusively on car audio systems and offer good quality as well.
Their selection is among the lowest-priced in the market these days.
Audio control promises to make your good sound great and it’s hard not to believe them if you look at the superb tech used in their units.
On the whole, AudioControl’s products are super solid and will transform your music listening experience while in your car.
Audison’s breakthrough technologies have made it the car sound brand of choice for many car enthusiasts.
The latest discovery from Audison is the Hi-Res Audio technology, an invention that has given their car audio systems lifelike immersive sound.
Bose is the name behind some of the most technically efficient car sound equipment in the World.
As a result, Bose sound systems are immensely popular among automakers including Chevrolet, Mazda, Nissan, etc.
Admittedly, the brand is a bit expensive but take it from us: it’s worth every penny.
Brax/Helix line of high-end automotive speakers and amplifiers is owned by Germany’s Audiotec Fischer but has a strong foothold in the North America market, mainly due to its extraordinary acoustical experience.
Brax is usually promoted as a pure luxury brand while Helix is marketed as its equally-good but lower-priced sibling.
Butler Audio is also worth looking at if you’re after the ultimate car audio experience on the planet.
And not only do they build products that last but units that also generate unparalleled smooth and clean sound quality.
Like with its rivals, Butler Audio has a whole range of elegant sounding products.
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Buying Guide (What to look out for when buying car sound systems)
Okay, the brand name is important but buying the best car audio systems requires that you take an in-depth look into several other considerations…
Here are 5 most important things to consider before you buy an in-car entertainment system.
Decide on the type
When it comes to aftermarket car speakers, the choice is between:
- Full-range speakers
As the name suggests, here you have all the speakers packaged in a single multi-capable system (The tweeter is typically placed over the woofer).
There is no sound range these cannot produce and they’re the least costly.
Plus, full-range speakers install easily and quickly.
- Component speaker
These audio systems feature separate speakers – tweeter, woofer, super tweeter, mid-range, and subwoofer- working in tandem with one other.
Subsequently, you can move the woofers and tweeters to anywhere you want in the car effortlessly.
To give you an idea, people install the tweeters in the dash, the woofers (sometimes together with the mid-range speakers) in the doors while keeping the subwoofer in the trunk.
Though more expensive and difficult to install, the component speaker arrangement can produce a more detailed sound quality.
How powerful is the amp?
Go for a brand whose amp is extra powerful.
That’s the only way you can be guaranteed clearer, full-bodied sound even when you have turned down the volume.
Check the sound quality
It’s important that you check the stereo system’s frequency range too.
This will give you an idea about the quality of audio you can expect from your system.
In general, the lowest this goes is 10 hertz with 20,000 Hertz regarded as the normal peak frequency.
Here is the rule: The wider the frequency range, the crisper the sound quality.
A word on the sensitivity ratings
Sensitivity specifications simply measure how effectively a speaker system converts the power that has been fed into it into volume.
We recommend that you pick high sensitivity speakers (90db and above) if your car’s factory-installed audio system is low-powered (not more than 15 watts RMS/channel) for a better listening experience.
The question of build materials
The materials used together with the design determine the durability and audio quality.
Use the following suggestions as a guide here.
- Tweeters– soft materials (think of silk, polyurethane, and textile blends) are the best for more refined sound. On the other hand, hard materials such as metal, graphite, and ceramics are great if you prefer the highs bright.
- Woofer– the best bet for an out-of-this-world bass is polypropylene although some find woven fabrics satisfactory.
- Woofer surround– for the encasing around the woofer, rubber outperforms (the surround magnifies the bass) and outlives everyone else. The alternative is foam and some fabrics (they tend to be cheaper).
Wrapping up things
Maybe you’re thinking of replacing your factory-installed car audio system.
Or maybe you have already upgraded but you’re unhappy about your choice.
Either way, you want to pick any of the car audio brands covered here.
It’s the perfect way to remain entertained whether heading to work, sitting in traffic, or on a road trip.