Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison

Buying a car comes with a lot of difficulties. You need to consider a lot of things before you buy one since the car needs to be suitable for your needs. 

A stereo system is definitely something you need to think hard about. This is important, especially if you are the type who needs to listen to audio tracks when you are driving. For some people, listening to podcasts helps relax them as they drive. Others need it as entertainment during long driving hours.

Between two popular options: factory head unit vs aftermarket, what do you think would suit you and your car better? While the main difference between factory head unit and aftermarket head unit is in their effectiveness and functionaliy, let’s take a detailed look at both so that you can make the right choice without any regrets.

Features of Factory Headunit

First, let us know a bit about the factory head unit features of your car’s stereo or audio system. Some features of the stock unit are given below:

Features of Factory Head Unit

1. Default System

In general, the factory head unit or system is the original audio system that comes built-in in advance in your car from the manufacturer. The basic requirements needed for an audio system in any private vehicle are pretty much the same from most companies.

2. Different Uses

The basic things you will get from a factory head unit are a CD player and a radio system. Anything extra that technology has given on your personal devices like your smartphone or computer will not be available on this stock unit system.

You would have to add modifications or upgrades if you wanted anything extra. Or you might have to buy a car that is very modern in general.

3. Speakers

Factory speakers are very weak. If you tried turning the volume up too high, you would notice that the sound from the radio or your CD that is playing will begin to sound distorted or broken.

This is because there is not enough power in the speakers in general, so when you do turn the volume up, it will increase the amount of energy being sent to the speakers and eventually destroy them.

You will always have to keep it in a standard volume to avoid these distortions, because a smooth flow of energy sent to the speakers will keep it functional. This way, the factory speakers will last longer as well.

Another issue with factory head speakers is that despite being careful about the volume and energy put into the speakers, you still will not get great sound. The sound quality will be average or mediocre at best.

You can notice the quality in how accurate and clear the sound is compared to your smartphone playing the same track or radio.

4. Analog Radio

For the system integration of the factory radio, you will need to determine which method will be best. In general, just connecting the speaker wires from behind the stock radio and connecting them to a new amplifier should be good enough. This is when the factory stereo also has an amplifier for your radio.

You might need a line-level converter to help with the reduction of voltage while changing the connection to the amplifier.

Features of Aftermarket Head Unit

The aftermarket head unit audio or stereo system is way more advanced than the stock head unit. Below some of its features are given:

After Market Head Unit Features

1. Setting Up

The aftermarket unit is a stereo or audio system that is not installed into a vehicle from the moment of dealership or manufacturing. Instead, it has to be fit into your car so that it can give you more features.

2. Different Uses

The aftermarket radio does include a CD player and a radio, but it also has other features.

There is a Bluetooth system as well as other ways to connect your phone with a USB cable or even log into the internet to play audio tracks if you have a Wi-Fi connection in your car. Places to insert an SD card are also available.

Besides a CD player for audio, you can also get a DVD player to watch videos if you want. You also need to install a monitor so that you can see these videos. With the radio, you will get both AM or FM tuning systems.

3. Speaker Sound Quality

The quality of the speakers in an aftermarket audio system is very high quality compared to the audio system in a factory head unit. The sound quality is pristine or clear.

There are extra features in an audio track that has fluctuating tone changes with different fading features or imbalance. These kinds of audio tracks are also very clear, and nothing about the audio changes due to the speaker system.

You can also increase the volume without any fear of damaging the speakers or facing sound that is distorted. With an aftermarket sound system, you can experience surround sound features or even sound that is like a live concert, depending on the audio type.

The amplifier is also very powerful, so the bass and treble parts of the audio will be accurately tuned too. No high voltage energy going to the amplifier of the speakers will cause damage to it.

4. Additional Features

The aftermarket head unit includes a GPS navigation system as well, which will help you find a certain location with the navigator speaking out the distance and directions for you while you drive.

You will obviously have a monitor to see where you are going, but there will also be a navigating speaker which will speak out the directions.

This feature is helpful so that you do not always have to look back and forth to the monitor and the road. All you need to do is listen to the directions and instructions and keep your eyes on the road ahead of you and all other angles.

5. Accessibility

With modern technology, aftermarket head units also have advanced when it comes to user-friendliness.

Nowadays, you can find touch screen monitors for your stereo system. This makes it much easier to use the stereo system since buttons take time to press and could also get damaged. But with the tip of your finger, you can access any option much quicker and easier.

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Factory Head Unit Vs. Aftermarket – What To Choose

Between the factory unit and the aftermarket head unit audio or stereo system of a car, I would suggest that you get an aftermarket system.

The factory headunit system might be useful and basic, and cost-friendly. But when it comes to being able to use the audio system in various ways, the aftermarket system is way more effective and functional.

Not only is the aftermarket head unit useful, but it is also very attractive in terms of looks. You will naturally be pleased with how aesthetically pleasing and modern looking the aftermarket stereo system is.

It will cost a bit extra to upgrade or modify your car’s audio system, but according to the many advanced features you get along with the cost, it will be worth it.

There are many types of aftermarket head units, so you will need to carefully choose the one that is suitable for your car and satisfies your needs from a stereo or audio system.

Post Links of Our Aftermarket Head Unit Reviews:

Final Verdict

Which is the winner in the factory head unit vs aftermarket battle? You know the answer now.

Once you have purchased the vehicle or car that you want, you will have to expect the stereo system to be the factory default one. Make sure to keep a budget for the extra cost that will go into upgrading the stereo system into an aftermarket head unit.

After that, you need to choose the type of equipment and features you want from your chosen aftermarket system. And then you need to find the right dealer who you trust so that you know you will not get ripped off of a fake product or a damaged one.

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