A History of Raising Car Audio Performance


The automobile industry has advanced significantly in terms of car audio. The car radio was introduced into the vehicles in the early 1900s. Since then, the industry has migrated from 8-track tape players to MP3 players. Audio is digital now, and drivers have more selection in terms of their audio in their vehicles. A brief history of car audio advancements is outlined below.

Introduction of Car Audio

Motorola was a pioneer of car audio. Though radio was introduced in the early 1900s, it did not make history in vehicles until the 1920s. Transitone TH-1 was the first of the car radios produced. Paul and Joseph Galvin introduced the first Motorola car radio, the model 5T71 in 1930 through Galvin Manufacturing. Since this time, designers have sought ways to improve the radio industry.

By the 1950s, numerous ideas for audio had made it into the vehicle. For instance, AM radio was introduced, in addition to FM radio. Later, designers made attempts to integrate a turntable into Chrysler’s Imperial. However, this idea never quite came to fruition. The transistor radio enabled individuals to listen to the radio in a vehicle.

Introduction of 8-Track Players

In the 1960s, Ford introduced the 8-track players. These tapes were more stable than a turntable in the vehicle and gave the listener more control of their audio experience. Listeners could select from the eight tracks available on the 8-track cassette.

Introduction of Cassettes

Cassettes became popular in the vehicle by 1970. They were smaller than 8-tracks and more portable. Drivers could store the cassettes easier in the vehicle and in the home. This was preferred method of recording audio during this time period.

Introduction of CD Players

AM radio began to introduce more radio stations that were dedicated talk, news and sports channels. This expanded the range of choices that listeners had on radio stations. In the 1980s, Philips and Sony introduced the first car CD players in 1984. Automatic CD changers were introduced shortly after the car CD player was introduced.

In the 1990s, both the cassette and the CD players were featured in vehicles. However, most drivers preferred the CD player. Cassettes were still available in vehicles because CD burners were not main-stream for the public to make their own CD compilations in the way that cassettes had allowed drivers to record their own music. When personal computers became more popular in the 1990s, CD compilations became more viable for the common public.

Introduction of MP3 Players and the iPod

In 2001, the iPod was introduced. This innovative, small portable digital device could hold more than 1,000 songs on a small player. As popularity grew, the iPod and MP3 players became popular in the vehicles along with Sirius XM satellite radio. Now, iPod offers four different types of iPods: iPod Shuffle, iPod Classic, iPod Touch and iPod Nano. Each of these may be integrated into the vehicle with an adapter. Additionally, MP3 players may now be built into the vehicle.

Some manufacturers offer MP3 players standard in vehicles. Other drivers select to have them installed by a third party, if the vehicle did not possess the option at the time of purchase. Individuals may store their entire musical library on their vehicle’s MP3 or iPod system without the hassle of transporting CDs.

Introduction of Sirius XM Satellite Radio

Sirius XM satellite radio allows individuals access to over 100 channels from all over the world. This feature is available through a monthly subscription. Some vehicle manufacturers offer the service free for six months and give the owner the option of renewing if they like the service. This is a phenomenal service that is also gaining popularity among drivers.

Speaker Upgrades

As the musical formats became more advanced, so did the speakers to accompany the music. Drivers wanted a rich full-bodied sound. This required additional bass and tweeter speakers added beyond standard factory speakers. Drivers were able to hear the full potential of what these digital formats offered.

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