Browsing Archive August, 2011

How to Listen to Pandora in your Car

Pandora internet radio is becoming more popular in vehicles on the road today. There are many ways to listen to Pandora while taking a drive and it isn’t too difficult to figure out which method is best for you. With the convenience of such simple controls, Pandora is also much safer then fiddling around with an iPod or other portable device looking for your favorite song or artist. Simply choose your desired station and you may play, pause, or skip to the next song.

Listen Through Your Car Stereo

Pandora StereoArguably the most visually appealing method of listening to internet radio in your car is through a Pandora integrated car stereo. Manufacturers such as Alpine and Pioneer are now creating stereos that will connect to your mobile device through USB and play music without having to control it through your device. Pandora Link offers the ability to view song information directly on your stereo and gives you the option to “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down” each song, depending on your taste in music. Vehicle manufacturers such as Ford and BMW have systems that are already built into the car that will link to your Pandora account as well, eliminating the need for an aftermarket stereo. If your stereo doesn’t have Pandora integrated but is equipped with an auxiliary input, you may use a 3.5mm auxiliary cable to connect your portable device for playback.

Listen by Streaming Through Bluetooth

A2DP Bluetooth StreamingA very popular way to play Pandora is through A2DP Bluetooth streaming. Any vehicle that comes with a Bluetooth connection and allows audio to stream through the stereo will support playback of Pandora internet radio. Although you have to control your music through your device, it is still a convenient feature having the ability to drive down the road with your iPhone in your pocket and your music wirelessly tied to your stereo.

Listen With an FM Transmitter

FM TransmitterLast but certainly not least, an FM transmitter will work great for getting music to your speakers. If your car lacks expensive stereos and integrated systems there is no need to worry, these transmitters are very budget friendly. FM Transmitters plug directly into your cigarette lighter and typically create a 3.5mm auxiliary input that can be utilized to connect your portable. FM Modulators serve for a slightly better quality solution, but there is a bit of installation necessary. FM Modulators cut off the signal of your AM/FM antenna and feed an input signal directly into the stereo.

Pandora internet radio is an overnight sensation that is becoming very popular. It offers very limited advertising, and high quality audio that streams directly from your cell phone’s signal. With an inexpensive premium account, there is no advertising and the quality of audio is even higher. Pandora helps you discover new music that may interest you by fine tuning each station to your liking based on your Like and Dislike selections. Give Pandora a try, and you won’t be disappointed.

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AWG Rated Power & Ground Cable

There are many different brands, colors, lengths, and gauge sizes when it comes to power & ground cable, but they all serve the same purpose; to transfer electrical current from the vehicles battery or alternator to any installed audio amplifiers. When choosing power & ground cable to use in your vehicle, you should always go with the American Wire Gauge (AWG) rated cables. AWG cables are true-to-gauge, which means the gauge size is determined by the diameter of the copper wiring only. It is easy to tell the difference between AWG cable and non AWG cable, take a look at the ratio between the protective jacket and the copper wiring, non AWG cable will have very thick jackets and less of the copper, which means in most cases it is not the actual gauge size that’s advertised. Below I will provide information on 3 AWG power & ground cables you should think about using for your sound system.

Xscorpion Flat Power & Ground Cable

Rockford Fosgate VAST Technology

The Xscorpion Power & Ground Cable has a unique flat design and smooth jacket that allows simple installation in tight areas; this makes it great for custom installations. This cable is available in 1/0 AWG, 2 AWG, 4 AWG, 8 AWG and comes in various different lengths (5-foot, 20-foot, 50-foot). The Xscorpion flat power cable is also available in red, platinum, black, and blue color options. As with all Xscorpion products, you can be assured that this power/ground cable is manufactured for flawless, immaculate performance and innovative technology.

Kicker Power & Ground Cable

Rockford Fosgate VAST Technology

Kicker’s AWG power & ground cable is available in 1/0 AWG, 4 AWG, 8 AWG and comes in either cobalt blue or gunmetal gray color options. Its PVC hyper-flex insulation & multi-strand construction allows you to bend, twist, and contort the cable for easy installation. The silver tinned oxygen free copper cable construction provides superior signal transfer for the cleanest audio signal possible. This Kicker power cable is built with the same great quality as their famous subwoofers, amplifiers, and speakers.

Tsunami Power & Ground Cable

Rockford Fosgate VAST Technology

Tsunami’s true-to-gauge power cable is a precision wound cable that pumps out excellent power transfer. Its pure OFC fine stranded copper wire provides ultimate signal transfer and makes this cable perfect for high end car audio sound systems. This Tsunami power & ground cable comes in blue, silver, red, and black color options and features a superflex protective outer jacket for easy installation in hard to reach areas.

Don’t settle for non AWG power & ground cable anymore, equip your vehicle with some true-to-gauge cable and enhance the overall quality of your sound system.

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Upgrade the Audio in your 2010 Ford Focus

Upgrade the Audio 2010 Ford Focus

The Ford Focus ranks in at number 5 of the most popular cars for Generation Y. It is proudly the only domestic car on the top 10 cars list in our previous blog. With a great new look, excellent price tag, and domestic pride, it is easy to see why this car is among the best selling vehicles for Generation Y. One of the best things about the Ford Focus is the exciting and colorful interior. In this blog, we discuss some of the more popular audio upgrades that can be installed in the 2010 Ford Focus.

Upgrade the Stereo

The 2010 Ford Focus comes standard with a factory Double DIN Radio. To replace your factory stereo with an aftermarket one, use one of the following dash kits and wiring harnesses.

Manufacturer Dash Kit Wiring Harness
Metra Electronics Metra 99-5816 Axxess XSVI-5520-NAV
Scosche Scosche FD1437B

Both of the dash kit listed above will allow for the installation of a single or double DIN stereo. With freedom to choose a single or double DIN, Focus owners are free to choose just about any Car Stereo they like.

Don’t forget the Antenna Adapter! Use the Metra 40-CR10 or the Scosche CRAB to connect your new stereo to your factory radio antenna.

Upgrade your Speakers

While those stock Ford speakers might sound good, installing some aftermarket speakers will make your Ford Focus sound great! The following speaker information from the Metra Online Vehicle Fitment Guide can be used to find the right pair of speakers for your Focus.

Location Size Depth
Front Speakers 6″ x 8″ 4″
Rear Speakers 6″ x 8″ 6″
Subwoofer 10″ 4″

Speakers and subwoofers that fit the Ford Focus:

Retain your Steering Wheel Controls

Upgrading the audio system does not mean losing any features. That means that the steering wheel controls will need to be retained and connected to the new stereo. Axxess has made it easy with an automatically programming interface. Use the Axxess ASWC to keep the convenience of these steering wheel controls and enable them to work with your new stereo.

Note: The Metra VFG was used to determine the vehicle speaker sizes in this blog. Due to different trims on cars, i recommend calling a Sonic Electronix rep to confirm that the speakers sizes and DIN sizes are compatible with your trim.

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ION Piano Apprentice: Piano Lessons Made Easy


Piano Apprentice

ION is introducing a revolutionary new approach to learning a musical instrument. With the Piano Apprentice your teacher becomes your instrument. If you own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you can now learn to play piano in a completely new way.
The Piano Apprentice incorporates a 25 key keyboard that lights up red indicating where your fingers are should go, while video playback from your iPad demonstrates the proper way to play the song.

Lessons just for You

Piano Apprentice
Personal lessons from acclaimed piano instructor Scott Houston will have you playing piano right out of the box with the instilled confidence of master teacher.
The entire system is lightweight, compact, and portable with the ability to operate off of four AA batteries the Piano Apprentice can go anywhere your iPad can go. With the addition of a set of headphones you can continue your practice sessions on a plane, or while traveling for business.
Although the Piano Apprentice is compact the it incorporates velocity sensitive keys allowing the system to know just how hard or soft you are playing giving you a realistic piano sound and response.
This wonderful teaching tool is not only limited to the iPad. The Piano Apprentice App is available for iPhone and iPod touch as well.

Learn to Read Music Notation

Piano Apprentice
The Piano Apprentice is the perfect way to learn to read music notation as well. The on-screen karaoke style play along features will have you reading and recognizing musical notes in a flash giving you not only the ability to read and understand music for your piano but other instruments as well.

The Perfect Gift for All Occasions

Piano Apprentice Birthday Song
The Piano Apprentice makes a great gift for the music lover in your family and can bring to life the inner musician in all of us. It is also great for some back to school fun as the entire keyboard can easily fit into a backpack.

iPad, iPod, iPhone and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries

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Car Audio Installation Accessories to Complete your Install

Here at Sonic Electronix, we are mostly known for carrying head units, subwoofers, speakers, and amplifiers from some of the top of the line manufacturers like Kicker, JL Audio, Rockford Fosgate, MTX, Alpine, and many more. What many of you may not know is that we also carry all the installation accessories that are necessary to install and power the above mentioned car audio equipment.

Car Stereo Installation Accessories

Dash Kit

If you are installing a head unit, you will want to take a look at our Car Stereo Installation & Accessories category. This category contains everything you need to successfully install an aftermarket head unit into your vehicle. When installing a head unit, the 2 main accessories needed are dash kits and wiring harnesses. The dash kits are made for almost every make and model of vehicle and install seamlessly into your dash to fit any aftermarket head unit. The wiring harnesses are also made for most makes and models of vehicles and connect the aftermarket stereo harness to the vehicles factory harness to provide power.

Subwoofer Installation Accessories

Sub enclosure

Subwoofers are everyone’s favorite aftermarket add-on when it comes to car audio. When installing a subwoofer into your vehicle, there are a couple main installation accessories needed, a subwoofer enclosure and speaker wire. In our Car Subwoofer Installation & Accessories section, we have sub enclosures for every size, shape, and model subwoofer in today’s market. To provide power to the woofer, you will need some thick speaker wire which we carry in various gauge sizes and lengths. We also have other accessories like polyfil, subwoofer grilles, box terminals, recone kits and much more located in this category.

Car Speaker Installation Accessories

Speaker Wire

The Car Speaker Installation & Accessories category contains all of the necessary tools and accessories needed to make your speakers easier to install. There isn’t much that goes into installing car speakers, but you will need one important thing for sure, speaker wire. When installing aftermarket speakers, you may also need a speaker harness which connects aftermarket speakers to the factory speaker harness, most of these plug directly into the vehicles harness for a quick and easy installation. We carry these speaker harnesses for most makes and models of vehicles.

Amplifier Installation Accessories

Amp Kit

Last but not least is the foundation of any car audio sound system, the amplifier. The Car Amplifier Installation & Accessories section is loaded with products that will help you successfully install a car amplifier and get that system bumpin. When installing an amplifier, the first thing you need is an Amplifier Wiring Kit. We have these amp kits in various different gauge sizes and power ratings and they come with everything you need to power the amplifier. This section also contains capacitors, A/V cables, bass remotes, cooling fans, distribution blocks, fuses & fuse holders, battery terminals and much more.

So if you’re installing a new car audio sound system in your vehicle, make sure you take a gander through our Car Audio/Video Installation & Accessories category and get everything you need for a successful and easy install.

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