Browsing Archive April, 2010

What Gauge Wire is needed for my Amplifier?

Amplifier Wiring Gauge

By Seth Wilde – Product Specialist

Installing a subwoofer and amplifier for the first time can be a fun project, but can also be somewhat challenging for those that have never done it before.  I remember the first time that I installed a car amplifier many years ago.  After I had selected what subwoofer I wanted and which amplifier I wanted to power that sub, I then asked myself the question, “What type of wire am I going to need to install this?”  I was fortunate enough to have friends that had installed before and they were able to help be determine the proper power and ground cables that I needed for my installation.  Ever since then, I always wanted a simple way to know what size of cable I needed to install my car audio components.  Luckily, Sonic Electronix has provided a way for everyone to easily figure this out.

The Sonic Electronix Knowledge Base offers a wealth of knowledge that helps installers, both beginner and experience, understand how to install the items they need.  One of the pages in this database talked about selecting the proper gauge size.  They have a basic chart that tells what gauge is recommended for most installations.  This is developed more for those that are just entering the world of car audio and might be installing their first system.  They also offer the steps and formula that can help accurately determine the recommended wire gauge in relation to the amount of power (amps), as well as the distance the cable is run.  This information is available to everyone and can help make every installation faster, easier, and simpler.  There is even an easy to read chart that makes it very easy to conclude the wire needed for your next install.

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Pandora: The Perfect Addition to your Car Audio System

Alpine iDA-X305s

By Chelsey P. – Product Specialist

iPods and MP3 Players have become essential to everyday life because they allow you to listen to all your favorite music in one spot. This may be great for most of us, but what if you don’t know the name of a song you are listening to? Have you have wished you could just listen to a variety of music in a genre that interests you? Well, the car audio business has introduced Pandora in their new 2010 car receivers. This has been a music streaming service that would allow you to create your own stations with the type of music you love listening to the most. In the beginning, this service was introduced mainly to stream music from the internet to listen to on your home or work computer. New innovations in consumer electronics these days have led to the ability of Pandora streaming through your car stereo.

At Sonic Electronix, we were on the lookout for a company to include Pandora in their new multi-media receivers. A company that has done just that is Alpine with the world’s first head unit with Pandora control. The iDA-X305s is a single-DIN stereo with a 2.2” screen for displaying song, album and artist information. The main focus of this particular receiver is that it features Pandora as its main headline. For you all of you that have used Pandora in the past know the great advantages to having in it. In order to experience all Pandora has to offer, you will need to be an iPhone user. The iPhone, with the downloaded Pandora app, will be connected via the USB input. The stereo controls work just like the Pandora command center. It even allows you to give a song you like a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” This unique head unit will let you pause current song selections and even tag it to purchase later on iTunes. By utilizing the iPhone’s 3G connection, you will have in-car internet radio wherever you go. This will make your vehicle different from all the rest since not everyone will be able to join in the Pandora party.

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Top GPS Navigation Units of 2010

Eco Graph

By Chelsey P. – Product Specialist

Deciding on a in-dash GPS navigation unit can be difficult since there are many different factors you have to account for which choosing the right one. Road trips and business trip are becoming more difficult each year due to the amount of new street and businesses across the country.  Many of these new roads may not yet be available on the internet map databases yet, which makes it harder to create travel plans to these new locations. Navigation receivers, however, have a large amount of points-of-interest that will surely include the destination you are looking for. This is why a navigation head unit is necessary if you travel to different cities or states, or if you are directionally challenged when visiting new areas. A few head units to look out for in 2010 are the following:

1. JVC KW-NT3HDT

The much anticipated JVC KW-NT3HDT is a Double DIN 6.1” Touchscreen CD/DVD Player.  The Navteq database features full map-coverage of the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Puerto Rico. So no matter where you may travel to, you will always find your way around. This unit has text-to-speech that will audible playback street names, driving directions, etc. It has built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling with the ability to transfer your phonebook and stream audio wirelessly through the head unit. And along with Bluetooth is the built-in HD Radio tuner for clean and clear radio reception.

2. Kenwood eXcelon DNX9960

The Kenwood eXcelon DNX9960 is 6.95” Touchscreen receiver with a color LCD Display. The navigation database in this unit is slightly different than the one above. It has a Garmin navigation system with the NAVTEQ Traffic receiver. Navigation by Garmin offers a basic way to get you to your destination.  The interface is simple to use, easy to read, and extremely efficient. The navigation has voice guidance, lane assist, as well as text-to-speech abilities.  The built-in Parrot Bluetooth allows for hands-free conversations and supports wireless music streaming. As for customizable options, there are three display skins to choose from to match your vehicle’s interior.

3. Pioneer AVIC-X920BT

Pioneer also has a brand-new head unit out this yea. The AVIC-X920BT features the TeleAtlas map database with over 12 millions points-of-interest to choose from. Map coverage includes the United States and Canada. Although this unit does not have the wide map coverage as some of the other units, it does have more POI’s than the aforementioned navigations systems. It also features advanced Eco Graph technology that help get to your destination quickly, while leaving as little impact on the environment as possible.  As for expandability, it has built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free conversation and audio streaming. This unit has a 6.1” LCD Color display with a menu that can be customized to your preference.

As you can see from above that there are many different GPS navigation units on the market. They all feature different map databases including NAVTEQ, Garmin and TeleAtlas. Each of these databases will provide different navigation options, and will even determine the speed system boot up. Not only should you take into account the navigation options, but also look at what the system has a whole has to offer you, including the expandability options such as Bluetooth.

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Eco-Friendly Navigation

Eco Graph

By Seth Wilde – Product Specialist

2010 Introduced many new technologies that have enhanced the mobile electronics industry.  One such technology is the environmentally friendly navigation systems that Kenwood and Pioneer have developed.  The ECO Graph from Pioneer and Eco Route guidance from Kenwood both offer a new solution for those that want to monitor their environmental footprint.  Both of these features are found in the newest built-in navigation units, as well as some of the add-on navigation modules.  Stereos such as the Pioneer AVIC-X920BT and the Kenwood DNX6160 have the Eco navigation features built-in.  If you are looking to add on the GPS navigation to your unit, modules such as the KNA-G610 will add the Eco-Route feature to stereos that otherwise do not have this feature.

The Eco-Graph and the Eco-Route offer the user a perfect way to monitor the environmental influence that your car has.  The navigation system can help you save money, while reducing the estimate emissions and fuel usage.  In conjunction with AVIC Feeds, the Pioneer units will report on the drivers impact on the environment, CO2 emissions, estimated fuel costs, reports on how to improve the fuel efficiency, a drive score that rates how green the current drive route is, and many other features.  One of the most interesting features on the Pioneer is the fuel consumption algorithm, which allows the system to log and archive data and analyze driving habits in order to provide solutions to driving more efficiently.  Similar to the Pioneer navigation units, the Kenwood Eco-route provides the same basic information in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the driver.  The goal of this Eco navigation technology is to help the user get to their destination fast, while reducing the overall emissions of the vehicle.  Each unit has a simple and easy to use interface that allows the user to easily navigate and view their reports.  Both the navigation interfaces are available in a 2D and 3D visual representation of their navigation, as well as their environmental impact.  For going green, check out the new environmental navigation devices from Pioneer and Kenwood.

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Introducing the Sonic Electronix Forums

Sonic Electronix Forum

By Kyle Duffy  – Product Specialist

Humans are naturally curious creatures, we tend to ask a lot of questions and some of us are Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY), we take matters into our own hands. Some of us will leave the dirty work to others, but still need to know the right stuff to get for the job. Thank technology for the creation of the internet (or you wouldn’t be reading this) and forums! An Internet forum is an online discussion site where you can submit questions or information for other to see and discuss. Sonic Electronix just rolled out forums of their very own, where you can go get your questions answered, answer questions to help others, or just keep up on what’s what in the car audio world. Some of you may be new to the idea of “forums”, but don’t fret, let’s see why you should join the ever growing Sonic Electronix community.

With the Sonic Electronix forum, you can ask the car audio community any questions you may have about speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers or the like. In the middle of an install you’re trying to pull off yourself, and you have no idea how to proceed? Ask on the forums! Let the community help you out, it’s best not to blow fuses, mentally or physically when you’re stuck on wiring. You may be ready to buy a big system, but want some advice on the parts you chose to make sure they are quality, compatible parts. No problem, ask on the forums! Now, I know some of you have some pretty sweet rides with bumping systems installed, and I know you want to show it off. On the Sonic Electronix forums, post some pictures and show off your ride to your fellow audiophiles. Confident you know all about car audio, maybe even installed a bunch of systems? Help out those less fortunate and answer their questions, they only wan’t some friendly advice after all.

Don’t be afraid, forums are the now, and the future. Don’t you think it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and keep up with the world population and communication?

Sonic Electronix Forums:
Car Audio Forum
Home Electronics Forum
Marine Audio Forum

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