Browsing Archive September, 2011

The All New iRoc for iPhone

iRoc - The Ultimate Smart Phone Accessory

The iRoc, new from Jackson Electronics, is a revolutionary head-unit that integrates your smart phone into a mobile entertainment system. This single DIN stereo is universal and will fit into almost any vehicle on the market today. To use the iRoc, simply place your iPhone or iTouch in the cradle, and use it just as you would with your standard head-unit. But this is not your standard head-unit. The iRoc is loaded with features that will make driving your car a whole new experience.

Understanding The Difference

What separates this in-dash stereo from others are the style, design, and the simplicity in which you control aspects of your music and videos. Instead of learning all new stereo controls and sequences of buttons to push, take advantage of the controls you already know with your iPhone. All of the information you need is displayed directly on your phones screen, and with a free download of the iRocEQ app from the iTunes App Store you can adjust the equalization and other aspects of your music. If you have a cell data plan, you can access internet streaming apps such as Netflix, YouTube, or Pandora.

Features and Benefits

Don’t worry about removing your protective phone case, the iRoc dock is designed to cradle your phone while the case is still attached. There is a built-in microphone on the front of the stereo, which allows you to make and receive phone calls without ever picking up your phone. If you already have amplifiers or are looking to expand your audio system in the future, you may utilize the 3 sets of RCA outputs for connecting the Front, Rear and Subwoofer channels to a car amplifier or two, or three. When your iPhone is docked on the iRoc, it will receive a constant charge to ensure your phone does not die when you are using it later.

Something To Consider

There are many more features to this stereo than what has been explained here, and you may check them all out by visiting the product page of the Jackson Electronics iRoc. If you own an iPhone and are looking into upgrading your stereo, take the iRoc into consideration. It will make your life much simpler, and allow you to entertain yourself and your passengers without the need for a top of the line receiver. Check out some product videos on YouTube, and maybe you will find yourself wanting one too!


Car Audio Installation Tools: Wire Strippers

Clarion NZ500 (NZ-500) DVD Receiver with Bluetooth

When it comes to car audio installations, there are many different types of installation tools needed to complete the job at hand such as pliers, screwdrivers, wire pullers, soldering guns and more. But there is one tool that no installation could be complete without, wire strippers. Wire strippers are a plier like tool that are used to strip the protective insulation from wires so an electrical connection can be made. There are two main types of wire strippers, manual and automatic. Manual wire strippers are a pair of opposing blades with a center notch; the center notch makes it possible to cut the insulation without cutting the wire. It is used by rotating it around the insulation while squeezing the handle to make a cut. An automatic wire stripper grips the wire from one side and cuts and removes the insulation from the other automatically.

Xscorpion is a manufacturer we carry at Sonic Electronix that are known for producing some high quality wire strippers. The Xscorpion AWS-106 is their automatic model; these heavy duty wire strippers will work for 10-18 gauge wires and are extremely durable. They are also very easy to use, just place the wire inside the jaws and squeeze the handle; the wire will be stripped in one motion. The AWS-106 features a built-in SK5 knife for clean and accurate strip lengths.

The QWS-108 from Xscorpion is another one of their top model wire strippers. This versatile tool is not only a stripper, but also cuts and crimps wires as well. It will strip and cut 10-24 gauge wire, crimp 10-22 gauge wire, crimp 7-8 millimeter ignition terminals, and crimp non-insulated terminals. It’s micro adjusting swivel knob and removable stripping length stop will provide accurate cuts & strips every time.

Every car audio sound system installation requires wires, and all wires must be stripped of its protective jacket for connection. So before you start that install, make sure you have a pair of durable wire strippers to make the installation that much easier.


Upgrade the Audio in your 2010 Subaru Impreza

Upgrade the Audio 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX

The Subaru Impreza ranks in at number 8 of the most popular cars for the younger generation. With the widely popular SUBARU BOXER engine, a long history of sport performance racing, and the infamous all-wheel drive, it is easy to see why this car is among the best selling vehicles for Generation Y. One of the best things about the Subaru Impreza is the ability to turn a casual drive into a exhilarating race. In this blog, we discuss some of the more popular audio upgrades that can be installed in the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX.

Upgrade the Stereo

The 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX comes standard with a factory large, double-DIN Radio. To replace your factory stereo with an aftermarket one, use one of the following dash kits and wiring harnesses.

Manufacturer Single DIN Dash Kit Double DIN Dash Kit Standard Wiring Harness
Metra Electronics Metra 99-8902 Metra 95-8902 Metra 70-8901
Scosche Scosche SU2027B Scosche SU2027B Scosche NN04BCB

Multiple dash kits are listed above to allow for the installation of a single or double DIN stereo. With freedom to choose a single or double DIN, Impreza WRX owners are free to choose just about any Car Stereo they would like.

Don’t forget the Antenna Adapter! Use the Metra 40-SB10 to connect your new stereo to your factory radio antenna.

Upgrade your Speakers

While those stock Subaru speakers might sound good, installing some aftermarket speakers will make your Subaru Impreza 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 Impreza.

Location Size Depth
Front Speakers 6-1/2″ 2″
Front Tweeters 1″ 1″
Rear Speakers 6-1/2″ 2″

Speakers and subwoofers that fit the Subaru Impreza:

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 highly recommend calling a Sonic Electronix rep to confirm that the speaker sizes and DIN sizes are compatible with your trim.


Signal Processing 101: An Introduction to Dynamic Effects

Dynamic Effects

Also Known as serial effects for the way in which they are placed in series in the signal chain dynamic effects deal with amplitude across the whole, or a just a portion of the frequency spectrum of an audio signal. Dynamic effects include: compression, limiters, multiband compression, gates, duckers, and equalizers.



Compressors are devices designed to wrangle in the dynamic range of an audio signal to smooth them out and make them more consistent. This is done by setting a threshold for the device to turn on, meaning that once the audio signal reaches a certain level (threshold) the device engages and will only allow a ratio of that signal above the threshold. A typical ratio I go for when tracking vocals is about 3:1. That means that the compressor will only allow 1db of signal for every 3db that surpasses the threshold. If I set my threshold at -12db and a singers vocal levels are consistently hitting between -3db and -6db the result will be a more consistent level hovering around -10db. Attack and Release are settings for most compressor dealing with the amount of time, usually in milliseconds, a compressor will engage or disengage. The contour of transients can be easily manipulated using these functions. The final process of the compressor is the make up gain. Because the compressor significantly reduces the audio signal it must be boosted again to a normal level. So by using adequate make up gain you can compress an audio signal but make it seem much louder than if you had not compressed the signal.


Alesis 3630
Limiters are compressors that have much higher ratios. Typically 10:1 or 20:1 meaning that once an audio signal reaches a threshold it is barely allowed past. Limiters with rations up to 20:1 are often referred to as “Brick Wall” limiters and their sole intent is to prevent clipping to tape or overloading amps and loudspeakers. The functions of both compressors and limiters are the same for outboard rackmounted devices as well as plugin devices in your digital audio workstation (DAW).


Samson S Com
Gates as well as expanders can be thought of as the opposite of compressors and limiters. Instead of narrowing the dynamic range of a signal they expand it by amplifying what reaches a threshold and attenuating the signal that does not. Gates are great for eliminating unwanted noise in an audio signal and are particularly handy for eliminating the hum of a guitar amp.

Graphic EQ

Technical Pro EQb7151
Graphic EQs are most likely going to be the most familiar to someone new to pro audio processing equipment as EQs can be found on most home and car stereos. Graphic EQs simply boost or cut audio signals with in fixed frequency bands.

Parametric EQ

Parametric EQ

Semi-parametric EQs have the ability to select variable frequencies to boost or cut, in the case of a fully-paramentric EQs the additional element of “Q” is added. Q represents the bandwidth of the frequency selected. A lower Q will result in a narrower band. A high Q will result in a wider band. Fully-parametric EQ’s are the prefered device for a “seek and destroy” EQ method.


Sonic Electronix joins the Bizrate Circle of Excellence

Upgrade the Audio 2010 Volkswagen GLI

Every year Bizrate awards the top rated retailers with a Circle of Excellence award. Recently they announced the 2011 winners and Sonic Electronix were named a winner of this prestigious award. What makes this so special is the amount of effort and customer service that goes into each and every order that a customer makes. Sonic has worked hard to ensure top notch customer service and plan to continue this tradition of quality help.

How does a company earn the Circle of Excellence award?

Top Notch Service: Retailers must go above and beyond the average amount of customer service. That means that every single phone call, email, facebook post, and other form of contact with Sonic is closely monitored and addressed.

Real Customer Feedback: Each rating on Bizrate comes straight from the customer. When using real world customers, the satisfactory rating of the company becomes real. The results are trustworthy ratings that provide an accurate customer service rating.

Only the Best Ratings: Bizrate only awards those with the highest ratings the Circle of Excellence award. That means the customer can be confident and comfortable in shopping with Sonic Electronix.

A Year of Perfection: Bizrate monitors online e-tailers from August to July. The 2011 Circle of Excellence award period lasted from August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. This provides the most accurate measure of a company’s customer service because it takes into account the previous year’s holiday season.

As joins the 2011 Bizrate Circle of Excellence, it becomes another reason why they are the online solution for car audio, pro audio, headphones, and more!