2012-07-27

Car Audio Sucks

Seriously. Why do car audio systems look like they were made by and for teenage boys? A million useless, crappy features, but none of the ones that would actually be useful. And a design that clearly ignores a decade of Apple's work on making interfaces that are clean and efficient in favor of TOTALLY AWESOME DOOD designs. Features you say? A tuner so I can listen to radio would be ok. I want at least two aux inputs. One on the back (that I can plug my ham radio into) and one on the front (for my buddy's iPod / whatever). I want bluetooth with all the bells and whistles so that my phone can stream audio using A2DP as well as not sucking too much for phone calls. You want to really impress me? Implement the bluetooth protocols for sim offloading and then _be_ an android device. I step into my car and my handset greets the car-mount, and hands over it's responsibilities. I want mixer functionality so I can have more than one channel playing at once. Want to really impress me? Throw in the ability to auto-mute one or more channels when there's sound on another. (phone call => mute the entertainment) I do _NOT_ want a CD player. Stuck in the 90's much? I'm not going to burn a CD. I don't think I even own a functional CD burner anymore. Yeah, maybe a data-cd full of MP3s would be nice, but even that is crap when compared to any of the cloud services. Watch a DVD? This isn't my living room. Sirius radio? Are you kidding me? I can have more variety with better music from any of a dozen cloud based services. Like the rest of the auto industry, these guys feel like they're in a coma. Wake the fuck up, car audio makers.

2 comments:

OmegaGREEN said...

I searched 'car audio why its so bad' to see if anyone agreeed wiith me and I found your post and read it. I thought maybe you were a true audiophile (not car audio, Then I read your post and looks like youre on the other side of the pleb spectrum just as lost as the car subwoofer thumping guys. Mp3, really, why low bit rate compressed garbage from itunes? Apple? Yea theyve made overpriced garbage speakers for the ipod too.
Car audio is bad design, plus flashy colors to apeall to kiddies, their speakers are always out of range of listed specs, and watt ratings as portrayed is a scam. So insteaad of bad audio equipment thats aestethically apealing to bro-dudes, you want bad audio equipment that appeal to yuppy hipsters.

Andrew Hammond said...

I agree that there's a lot of junk out there, but I have heard car audio that's at least competent at amplification in the kind of ranges I'd want in a car, with speakers that are decent and subs that actually fill out the bass rather than stomping all over everything.

Cars have road noise, and there's also traffic and all kinds of other stuff going on. The idea that audio fidelity is the only thing that matters in a car stereo is, well, kinda laughable. Sure I want something decent in terms of sound quality, but that's not that hard to find. What I haven't seen and what I want is convenient access to an enormous library of music. I want a user interface that makes it easy for me to find and listen to music while I drive. I want it to co-operate with my navigation and phone. Because I have friends, of course I want to be able to plug their music playing gizmo in so we can listen to that one track they just have to share with me. No, it doesn't have to be top quality audio to make that a positive experience. Digital streaming music makes a whole bunch of other amazing stuff possible, too.

I imagine that sort of thing would appeal to a pretty wide market.