Building Your First Audio System


It takes a lot of thought when building your first audio system. If you don’t put in the time to think things through, you will build a system that will be less than satisfactory. Your ideal system should not be defined by price. And a great system is much more than a louder one. So before thinking about price and components, first think about what you want the system to do for you.

Identify Exactly What You Want

The following four questions will help you brainstorm exactly what you want in your ideal audio system.

1. What type of audio system do I have now?

2. What parts are creating a problem? If you’re not sure, listen while your car is parked in the driveway then while you’re driving around in traffic. Make a list of what components you find problematic.

3. What are my options? If the range of sound is unclear, you’ll need new speakers. If the power is low, you’ll need an amplifier. If your car is noisy, you’ll need materials that dampen the vibration. If there isn’t enough depth, you’ll need a subwoofer.

4. What kind of music do I like? If you like loud, heavy music, you’ll need outboard amplifiers and a subwoofer. If you like soft, mellow music, you’ll need a new receiver, and possibly a subwoofer.

Now that you have a clearer idea of what you want, let’s take a closer look at the stereo, amplifier, and subwoofer components and how to connect everything up. By breaking your project into manageable chunks of information, it will be easier to build your best system. Consequently, start with the stereo and then work things out from there.

Choosing Your Stereo

Your choice of stereo will determine what speakers you decide on. Take your time and make the best decision. Once you’ve figured out your head unit, you can figure out the best kind of speakers to go with it.

Choosing Your Amplifier

Now that you’ve decided on your speakers, you have to work out how to amplify them. Although this is not a necessary step, a good amplifier will enhance the sound quality of your audio system.

Choosing Your Subwoofer

The next thing to think about is your subwoofer. This is the part that most people impetuously want to consider first, but by following the logical process of first deciding on your stereo and then on your speakers, you’ll be able to pick the perfect subwoofer. Now that you’re ready for an awesome bass, you have to choose between an active subwoofer or a separate subwoofer and amplifier. Although an active subwoofer is less costly, a separate subwoofer and amplifier will provide the best sound quality. Since this may not be an easy decision to make, it’s advisable to get some expert opinions if possible.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have all the right components, here are 2 important tips on how to put it all together to get the best performance.

1. Upgrade your battery to power up your audio system suitably.

2. Select the best wiring. The higher the copper content, the better.

Building Your First Audio Is a Rewarding Experience

Those who love listening to music, especially when they’re driving, often look back on the time when they built their first audio with nostalgia; and some even going so far as to associate it to the thrill of their first date. So remember to enjoy the experience, taking your time to think things through.

While researching the various components to find the most suitable ones, seek advice from experts. While you can build your first audio system simply by reading instructional booklets, you’ll get even better results if you can get some experienced guidance as you go along.

When contemplating this project, you have to avoid getting too enthusiastic and throwing caution to the wind. Think only about what you need, rather than paying for features that you will never use. Alternatively, if you want to have more features than you can currently afford, consider building your audio system gradually to improve your cash flow so you can buy all the right components.

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