Do you love your car but wish it had more features and infotainment? Maybe you’re planning a family road trip and want to keep the kids entertained for the duration?
Whatever you need, upgrading your in-car entertainment options is a great way to enhance its functionality and feel like you’re driving a brand-new car.
- Upgrading Your Car’s Speakers and Audio System
- Infotainment, Driver Aids and HUDs
- Front and Rear-Seat Passenger Entertainment Options
When it comes to upgrading in-car entertainment, audio is the first port of call for many drivers. That’s because enhanced audio can work wonders for improving the overall driving experience, with the power to enjoy your favourite music as it should be heard.
That said, upgrading your car’s audio system does have one major downside – cost. Replacing the speakers and radio and adding amps and tweeters can add up, so be prepared to spend a fair whack if you’re looking for top-of-the-range sound on the move.
For anyone looking to upgrade their car’s speakers and audio system, here are some essential tips on where to start and what to consider:
- Replace the radio – if you drive an older car with a basic radio, replacing it with a modern radio will not only give you more power (potentially making your existing speakers sound better), but will also provide a range of new features, including Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- Invest in new speakers – if you’re serious about upgrading your car’s audio setup, new speakers are a must. Aftermarket speakers typically guarantee beefier sound, as well as a more detailed audio experience that’s great on faster roads where wind noise is a problem. Make sure you buy speakers that are compatible with your car’s existing inputs; a specialist vendor should be able to advise on the right units for your needs.
- Add an amplifier – installing an amp is the best way to take your in-car audio up a gear and will unlock the true potential of your shiny new speakers. A decent car amplifier will dramatically improve the clarity and detail of your audio system, whether you’re playing thumping techno or listening to your favourite podcast. Not sure where to start when it comes to installing an amplifier? We’d recommend this detailed step-by-step guide from Crutchfield.
- Decide what you need – if you’re not looking to spend a lot on upgrading your car’s audio system, it can help to decide exactly what you need from an upgrade. To figure this out, you’ll need to test your existing audio performance. Listen to some music at a higher volume than you normally would and gauge what’s missing. For example, is there a lack of treble or a lack of bass? Maybe it sounds distorted at high volume? Diagnosing your existing system can help you decide on what needs replacing, so you can budget accordingly.
Modern cars offer a variety of infotainment systems, driver aids and other clever tech to help drivers get from A to B. If your car is somewhat lacking in this area, the good news is there are lots of aftermarket options that can boost the level of features available.
Here’s our pick of the top three aftermarket infotainment and HUD systems that you can easily install on your car.
- Powcan T600 Auto Car HUD – this intuitive HUD system does more than simply display important information in your eyeline. With an over-speed alarm and intelligent gear change indicators, it can help improve your daily drive, as well as make navigation simpler with upcoming turn markers and compass functionality.
- JVC KW-M74DBT Digital Media Receiver – if you’re looking to dramatically improve your car’s features and functionality, look no further than this JVC digital media receiver. Designed to replace your existing car stereo, this feature-packed unit has a 6.8” touchscreen display and an array of useful features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and full DAB radio. Plus, you can download a wide range of apps to the device, including Google Maps and Spotify, making it the perfect do-everything infotainment upgrade.
- Pioneer SPH-10BT – like the JVC unit, the Pioneer SPH-10BT is designed to replace your existing radio, affording greater functionality and better audio connectivity. But where the JVC has an in-built touchscreen, the Pioneer has a smartphone cradle, so you can access all your usual apps hands-free. It’s also £200 less than the JVC unit, so it could be worth a look if you’re upgrading your car on a budget.
These are just some of the options available when it comes to upgrading your car’s infotainment system. As touched on earlier, a dedicated car parts vendor should be able to advise on the best systems for your needs and budget.
Do you often travel with kids in tow? Then you’ll know just how important it is to keep them entertained (and quiet) on long journeys. Happily, there are lots of aftermarket gadgets and devices you can add to your car to appease restless rear-seat passengers – from integrated headrest TV screens to games consoles and in-car Wi-Fi.
Here’s some of our tips:
- Pumpkin Clamshell Headrest Player – recognised as one of the best aftermarket media players for rear-seat passengers, the Pumpkin Clamshell features dual HD screens, in-built head-rest brackets and full USB input, making it perfect for keeping the little ones entertained on longer trips.
- Huawei Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot – nothing is more certain to frustrate your teenage passengers like a spotty internet connection. So, to avoid any mid-journey tantrums, do yourself a favour and invest in a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. This inexpensive Huawei unit plugs straight into a standard 12V power supply, providing super-fast connections wherever you are.
- TFY Universal Tablet Mount – why spend a fortune on in-car entertainment when your home tablet can do the same job? Invest in the TFY Universal Tablet Mount, and your kids can access all their favourite apps on the move.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look at in-car customisation options. Whatever your budget and requirements, there are lots of ways to upgrade your car’s audio and infotainment options.
Looking for more clever ways to enhance and upgrade your car? Head to the Simoniz blog for more how-to guides and motoring features. If you’d like to learn about our range of car care and detailing products, visit the homepage.