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What feature do you find most important in a car stereo syst

by wcunning CNET staff / July 25, 2007 8:44 AM PDT

In my recent column, The perfect car stereo, I cobbled together the best stereo features from different cars. What car entertainment feature is most important to you?

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hmm
by bevillan / July 26, 2007 12:23 AM PDT

Well if we are talking about what is the most important part of a car audio system then it has to be the quality of the speakers. The bass should kick when you want it to and the mids and tweeters should be crisp and clear.

But if we are talking about features of a car system I would say in modern times having an easy accessible auxiliary input is very important. It can be used for iPods and satellite radios so you don't have to use a FM transmitter. Also, it is nice if the receiver in your car can display the song information that it receives from an iPod on the screen.

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For those whom want it all.
by grndhog3rd / July 26, 2007 2:19 PM PDT

Ease of use
- On/Off/Mute Volume/tone Source
Sound Quality
- Noise cancellation Standard EQ setting and Multiple Programmable EQ settings based on Audio Source
iPod connectivity
- Full integration Video Music and Talk(podcast)
- The menu structure should be laid out as the iPod is.
- The ability to listen to Podcast and watch movies.
Bluetooth
- On/Off CallerID (hey show the picture of whom is calling just like on your phone) Mute/Volume/Tone
HD-Radio
- Why listen to analog radio when death is coming. Other wise you will be face with the situation that On Star has.
RDS
- There should not be a radio sold without it.
WX Weather Band with auto Interrupt when the Emergency Alert System is activated
- Storms, Amber Alert etc...
Navigation
Traffic alert with interrupt and optional auto reroute
Voice Command
Aux input
- For those day's where you want to plug in your scanner Happy

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I'm amused
by Andy77e / August 2, 2007 9:10 AM PDT

I have to admit having a smile on my face after reading this post. In one thread over we have a hundred people calling for phones to be banned from cars, and here we have a guy asking that people calling should be displayed on his car stereo as standard equipment.

The irony.

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those whom are amused
by nickrusso / August 3, 2007 6:49 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm amused

Yeah, and he never learned the objective and nominative cases...

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What about the 2007 S80?
by kyler / July 28, 2007 4:24 PM PDT

I think the 2007 S80 deserves to be part of this frankstein car. The audio system, which was poorly reviewed on Cnet, is one of the best ive ever heard. You can crank it up to full volume, and there is literally no distortion of any kind, the dynaudio/prologic speakers are better than THX, and the entire interface is remarkably easy to use - no giant tacky LCD to fumble with or control knob of any kind - its just a stereo. Any stereo from volvo is very good - they're known for their stereos as much as their known for safety & comfort. The new C30 has the same essential S80 speakers but in a smaller area, so the sound is just as good if not better. I wish Cnet did a more comprehensive review of the S80

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Bose
by Ahernandez04 / August 7, 2007 6:05 AM PDT

I have an Infiniti, and I've been in many cars. My brother has an S80 T6 from Volvo, and I've heard that prologic system, or whoever makes it. I have to admit, it sounds great. But for some reason, as far as quality of sound, I've never heard anything better than the music that comes out of a Bose system. In my car, I can crank my music up however much I want, and I never hear any distortion whatsoever, I think Bose has the best quality speakers I've heard so far. And the best system in my opinion is in the Infiniti M. From what I read when that car came out, Bose made a system specifically for that car with about 13 speakers, including 2 subwoofers in the back. I thought to myself, if Bose made it, and mine sounds good with 6 speakers and a sub, that one has to the be the best ever made.

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What feature do you find most important in a car stereo syst
by r_brehm / July 30, 2007 3:19 AM PDT

The "OFF" function.

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Off function
by nickrusso / August 2, 2007 4:28 AM PDT

LOL!

The best answer here!

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Random play
by mflavin / July 30, 2007 6:28 AM PDT

If the car is going to have a CD player, I want the ability to play all discs randomly and also to play a single disc randomly. This feature should also apply to MP3 CDs as well

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The speakers (and consequently, the sound) first

Most important for me is the quality of the speaker setup, both in the components and in their placement. Soundstage and imaging is as important to me as how the actual speakers sound in recreating the source material. A close second is the amplification. You can't skimp on the power amp(s) if you expect great sonic reproduction; I certainly don't know of any system relying solely on deck power that performs worth a damn.

As for the source units...the reality is that if you have a great speaker/amp setup, you can pretty much make any decently made source unit sound great.

As for features...I like the quip about the 'off' button above...especially appropriate when I'm in my Porsche. But if the system's going to be used, I'd say the design of the user interface is absolutely the most important point of any system's design. Big buttons and knobs, no half-baked menu designs, no stupid screen savers...the gear that we use to make our adjustments and tweaks and song/channel changes needs to be clear in its operation and simple to use to minimize distraction. Frankly, I think if would be perfect if the interface were available in a HUD display, rather on some puny LED/LCD screen on the h/u, or on some other display (like the GPS) that's off-center from a driver's most important line-of-sight.

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Input capability
by Taurus15 / July 31, 2007 3:46 AM PDT

I want my car system to accept input from satelite radio, zune, my pocket mp3 player, mp3 cd's, ect. (front panel input jack) The music systems today are essentially amplifiers for high tech storage systems. I really like computer music systems (pc) because of the highly customizable output to a 300 watt pc speaker set. (5.1, 7.1 sound) My car stereo takes whatever is on the air or on cd or tape or from satelite radio fm input and amplifies it, with just really basic ability to adjust the sound. I think the ability to produce customizable 7.1 audio in my car at car sound levels would just be totally awesome!

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Most important
by nickrusso / August 2, 2007 4:55 AM PDT

After the speakers, I need an Aux input in front to even consider it. WMA support is a must. MP3 is unimportant to me. With an easy way to navigate tracks.

It would be nice to find one that looks like it wasn't designed in Las Vegas. All the flashing lights are useless, ugly, and distracting.

I would like to see a return to real EQ instead of presets like "Vocal," "Heavy," etc. Either graphic EQ (5-band AT LEAST), or parametric EQ that allows Q adjustment AND (dare I dream?) bandwidth adjustment. Three bands is good. The bottom and top band settings could be linked to the basic Bass/Treble control (see below).

It would be nice to have a couple of knobs (remember them?) that only do one or two things instead of 17 zillion. Give me Volume/Fader, Tuning/Seek and Bass/Treble. The MOST a knob should have is front/back rings and a SINGLE "press" function (like OFF, as mentioned in a previous post!)

Please don't let it change into something else because it took me 5 seconds...I'm DRIVING!

Oh, and buttons you can press without needing to use a pencil point. They used to be designed for fingers of people over the age of 3.

There are so many useless features on head units, it's incredible. Give me something reasonably simple, with good sound and the basic features easy to use. Extras, OK, but don't let them get in the way of basic operation. Again, I'm driving...

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Another angle
by nickrusso / August 2, 2007 5:00 AM PDT

Thinking about it from another angle, I would have to say the most important feature is the driver.

He/she should know enough not to blast the volume past clipping; especially after 10 PM in residential areas. Your taste is really not that good...

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car stereo features
by xarophti / August 2, 2007 1:22 PM PDT

definately mp3 connectivity is mandatory these days, and easy access to it. Also, depending on the type of hook-up, a source switch may be necessary. The mp3 connection should be pretty general, however, on the order of a 1/8" jack. Not everyone is the world is enamored of the ipod, you know...

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