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Review: 'Car Audio For Dummies'

We review Car Audio for Dummies (one in a long line of "...For Dummies" books) to see how helpful it can be to novice and expert car audio enthusiasts.

The world of car audio can be a tricky place for beginners. With so much information to absorb and so many different products available, the novice (and sometimes even the seasoned) car audio enthusiast could find himself quickly overwhelmed--or worse, misinformed. With this in mind, we looked at Car Audio for Dummies (one in a long line of "...For Dummies" books) to see how helpful the book could be.

Car Audio for Dummies, cover image
Wiley Publishing

As it turns out, author Doug Newcomb has just stuffed this book full of good advice and thorough explanations. Divided into 5 major sections and 25 chapters, the book guides the reader through all of the major steps to creating an audio installation that is satisfactory, from deciding what sort of car audio system to get to installing, tuning, and securing the system.

The range of information contained in Car Audio for Dummies covers nearly the entire gamut of enthusiasts. There's advice for building every level of system, from mild installs that maintain stock components to wild overhauls that completely transform the vehicle. There's very basic information for novices and very detailed facts for users with more experience.

Car Audio for Dummies organizes its information in a way that's easy to navigate. Chapters are ordered so that a dummy could start at the front and use the book as a step-by-step guide for setting up their first system. Each of the major components of a car stereo system (head unit, amplifiers, speakers, and subwoofers) gets a chapter dedicated to choosing the right component and an additional chapter with pointers on installation.

Sections are clearly defined and located where we logically expected them to be, which also makes this a pretty good reference book. Pictures, charts, and icons designating reminders, warnings, and tips help the reader find relevant information at a glance.

While an experienced enthusiast can still learn a thing or two while reading Car Audio for Dummies, the book is primarily targeted at the novice user. Consequently, most of the information is of a pretty basic to intermediate level. Most advanced and vehicle specific information is found for free on the many car audio forums on the Internet. With the relatively low amount of advanced information between the covers, this is hardly a justifiable purchase for the seasoned vet.

We definitely recommend Car Audio for Dummies to someone with little to no prior knowledge of car audio. This book is a great guide for a car audio newbie and will serve as an excellent reference as their interest grows.