For 20 years we have been known as the place to go to buy a car stereo. We do a lot more than just car radios, but Mobile Edge and shops like ours are still known as “car radio shops.” Truth is, in-dash car radios are a small part of our business. Depending on your vehicle and your needs, we often recommend that you keep your factory radio and upgrade from there.
“WHAT! I thought factory radios were junk,” you ask? Well, they have come a long way. Factory in dash technology has improved greatly in the past 10 years. Here is the short list of reasons why you might want to keep your factory radio:
- The factory deck does everything that you need it to do (but sounds bad!)
- You want to maintain the stock appearance
- Concern for theft
- Your vehicle has an integrated dash panel that is difficult to modify
- Your vehicle requires an expensive interface to replace the factory deck
In these cases, we like to take a different and much better approach to improving your sound. Let us explain.
Your Needs Are Most Important
When you come to us looking for an audio upgrade, we look more at what your needs are. Do you want iPod integration, bluetooth hands free or satellite radio? How about navigation? If your factory radio meets all of these needs, we will likely recommend that you leave it in and invest in upgrading the rest of the system. In most cases, we can add the functionality that you are missing to the factory deck. We often tell customers that the only good reason to upgrade their factory deck is if it does not provide the functionality that they need.
You can achieve excellent sound quality (and quantity if that is what you want!) by adding amplifiers and upgrading your speakers. While in-dash technology has come a long way, vehicle speaker technology has not. Upgrading the speakers and putting some power to them can make an AMAZING difference in sound quality. Adding a subwoofer is another great way to improve your sound. We offer some of the best amps and speakers on the planet and they are on display for you to hear.
When connecting your factory radio to our aftermarket equipment, we use high-end interface devices. The devices allow your vehicle’s audio system to “talk” to the aftermarket system. They do their job while keeping the signal clean in addition to a host of over functions. We refer to these types of installations as “OEM integration.”
Professional installation is critical with OEM Integration. Special tools like real-time analyzers (RTAs), tone generators and oscilloscopes are required to do these installs safely and effectively. At Mobile Edge we have these tools. More importantly, we know how to use them.
Using the right interface is very important. We will cover these devices in a future post, but it is crucial to understand that they are not all created equally. Some are better than others and some do much more than their counterparts. We have interface devices that offer everything from digital equalization and time alignment to signal summing and variable crossover settings. Not every install requires this extreme technology (but it is super cool!) and we have high-end solutions to cover those needs as well.
When you come to Mobile Edge, we are not automatically just going to sell you a replacement deck. We will look over your vehicle and discuss your needs. In many cases, we can achieve the best results by leaving the factory radio in it’s place and upgrading the rest of the system. It’s something that we specialize in! If you are in the market for an upgrade or just want to hear some really great speakers and amps, we’d love for you to stop in.