Browsing Archive July, 2012

Looking to Get a Kick Out of Your Speakers?

Being a big fan of music I’ve definitely come to learn a lot about the differences between different brands of audio, how car audio is built, and what to truly look out for when purchasing any sort of audio system. Kicker has been widely known for providing great quality and sounding car audio products. Recently I was able to review the Kicker QS Speakers Series which are actually quite impressive. The Kicker QS Series Matched Component Systems have reached an entirely new level of optimal audio using the newest and most advanced parts to give listeners the next thing to live sound.

The QS Series midrange speakers come in two different sizes, the QS65.2 System that is 6.5 inches and the QS60.2 System that fits a 5.25 inch location. With a 3 layer TriTech composite cone woofer, the speakers provides a straight efficient cone that consists of a woven carbon-poly facing, rigid Rohacell foam core, and another carbon-poly backing put together for extreme internal damping and incomparable sound.

5.25-6 Inch QS Series 2 Way Convertible Component Speaker System

5.25-6 Inch QS Series 2 Way Convertible Component Speaker System

The midrange motor has a voice coil made of lightweight copper-clad aluminum ribbon wire that is tightly coiled for maximum power handling and great efficiency. It is wrapped around a T-cut pole piece and copper shorting ring that provides smooth frequency response and reduces harmonic distortion. The motor is also stored in a cast-aluminum basket which combines a unique groove-locking system to hold the TriTech cone in place.

With loud and clear 30 millimeter tweeter with DuPont Tetoron domes the speakers recreate luxurious highs from an angled, flush, or coaxial mount. This allows the installer to remove aluminum phase plugs from the midrange speakers’ centers and screw in special adapters and tweeters.

6.5 Inch QS Series 2 Way Convertible Component Speaker System

6.5 Inch QS Series 2 Way Convertible Component Speaker System

With great structure and superior sound quality you will definitely be boosting your listening experience while on the road. Make sure you check out this series and other speaker systems we have available here at SonicElectronix.com.

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Biggest and Baddest Amplifiers

If you’re the type of person who wants to fill your ear drums with gratuitous amounts of bass, then you’re going to need epic amounts of power to make it happen.  Here at Sonic we love power and carry a wide range of high wattage amplifiers that will give you enough power to destroy all that oppose you.  Just make sure that you use 0 gauge wire for all of these amps or you won’t get the full potential.

Precision Power PDX-10K

Precision Power PDX-10K

Precision Power PDX-10K

How does 10,000 watts of power sound to you? That’s exactly how much the PDX-10K puts out at .5 ohms.  This 2 foot long amplifier is accompanied by a variable subsonic and lowpass filter and comes with plexiglass and metal bottoms.  Additionally, its has dual speaker terminals that will simplify the connection of multiple subwoofers and a wired bass level control knob which can be placed strategically in your vehicle.  This amplifier is no laughing matter.

Lanzar OPTI7001D

Lanzar OPTI7001D

Lanzar OPTI7001D

Looking for gargantuan power on a budget?  Then Lanzar might be your calling card.  The new revamped Optidrive 7001D can achieve 7000 watts at .5 ohms which is ideal for two high powered dual 2 ohm subwoofers.  It features a heavy duty powder coated heatsink for maximum heat dissipation as well as a subsonic filter and 180 degree phase control.  With all of the versitility of this amp,  you have an amplifier that is ready to take on any challenge.

RE Audio MT10K

RE Audio MT10K

RE Audio MT10K

This beast of an amp will give you monstrous amounts of power.  To put it into perspective for you, it is able to achieve 7500 watts RMS at 1 ohm and requires not one but two 0 gauge power inputs in order to run properly.  You can power two RE Audio 15″ XXX15D4‘s without this amplifier breaking a sweat!  What more could you ask for?!  It is fully equipped with 180 degree phase, +18 dB bass boost, wired bass knob, and pre-amp outputs to daisy chain multiple amplifiers.  All of this makes the MT10K  the ultimate solution for car obliterating bass.

Keep in mind that all of these amplifiers are geared towards a more competition-based system.  Adding any of these amplifiers to your vehicle will require you to upgrade your battery and alternator as well.  However, if you’re up to the challenge, then pick up one of these amps and let your neighborhood know you mean business! You can’t have too much power!

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Jambox Vs iClarityHD

We take two of the most competitive and popular Bluetooth speakers-and pit them against each other in an effort to determine which is the better option. Today’s match features the Aliph Jawbone Jambox against the Monster iClarityHD. Each device will be evaluated in 3 key categories including Hardware & Software, Construction & Interface, and Sound & Style. Each contender will be given a score from 1 to 5 in each category. The winner will be the device with the highest average score.

Round 1: Hardware & Software

In terms of hardware, both the Aliph Jabone Jambox and iClarity HD are fitted with 3.5mm inputs. The auxiliary 3.5mm allows users to connect virtually any device directly to either device. Moreover, both Bluetooth speakers are properly loaded with an accessible USB charging port for simple charging.

Yet one very clear difference between these Bluetooth speakers arises when we observe

the time of continuous play they can perform. On the one hand, the Jambox boasts of up to 10 hours of music while the iClarityHD is expected to bump for only 5 hours. Yet another hardware distinction comes to the fore when the iClarityHD noise cancelling microphone is compared to that of the Jambox. Of course, being one of the top Bluetooth headset manufacturers the Jambox mic is of superior quality and transmits your voice clearly.

One area in which the Jambox is clearly superior is in software.  Being fully compatible with the MyTalk platform, the Jambox can be loaded with various apps, upgrades, and features. Among its many benefits, the platform allows users to select different voices and offers the LiveAudio app which essentially calibrates the Jambox to deliver more “lifelike” performance.

Winner: For the most part, the Jambox and iClarityHD are equally matched. But the distinctive software features, extended battery life, and superior Bluetooth microphone give the Jambox a slight lead in this category.

Scores:

Jambox: 4

iClarityHD: 3

Round 2: Construction & Interface

Build quality is generally a good indicator of overall durability. If this is true, you can expect the Jambox to be around for a long time. Compared to the iClarityHD’s completely plastic construction, the Jambox features thick rubber caps on the top and bottom and a tough metallic body. The rubberized bottom of the Jambox prevent it from sliding around and keep it stable on uneven surfaces.

Pairing either devices with a Bluetooth compatible device is remarkably easy. Both speakers pair quickly and reliably with the push of a single button. Nonetheless, the Jambox wields a secret weapon–it can be paired with up to two Bluetooth enabled devices simultaneously, a feature enabled by the MyTalk platform.

In terms of navigation, both devices are simple to use and have clearly labeled controls. In another well fought category, the Jambox’s advantage is again very slight. The ability to pair to multiple devices is an impressive novelty that alone might not warrant a wind, but its the solid construction of the Jambox that really pushes it ahead of the iClarity HD. In this category, the iClarityHD delivers only the bare minimum.

Scores:

Jambox: 4

iClarity: 2

Round 3: Sound & Style

This category has a clear victor. Its virtually impossible to deny the superior styling of the Jambox. With its modernistic design approach, the Jambox’s simple lines and solid colors make it immediately attractive. Because its function is not immediately betrayed by its design, I have found that this immediately gets people asking about its function.

On the other hand, the Monster iClarityHD looks decent but does not have the same allure of the Jambox. Its function is straight forward and it looks a lot like an alarm clock (never a good association).

In terms of sound, the Jambox knocks the iClarityHD out again. While the iClarity is definitely a good option, with loud and clear reproduction, it does not match the or surpass that of the Jambox. One of the reasons for the superiority of the Jambox in the sound category is that it is fitted with a proprietary passive bass radiator which enhances the bass response of the Jambox and gives the sound greater depth and detail. Like in the preceding categories, the iClarityHD only delivers the bare minimum and while its sound certainly of acceptable quality it is not immediately impressive.

Scores:

Jambox: 4

iClarityHD: 2

Winner and Closing Comments

The Jambox consistently delivers excellent quality in every category we rated, making it the clear winner over the Monster iClarityHD. Of course, we do not rate these contenders on cost efficiency because the price tag of a device can often convince buyers to give up certain features in order to save a buck. While there is certainly nothing wrong with frugality, I feel it can be the source of bias. But in the interest of a balanced and fair evaluation, it must be said that the Moster iClarityHD is certainly a great value for the price point and while it may not stack-up against the Jambox spec-for-spec, it certainly makes it a much more viable option for a greater population.

However, if you are willing and able to spend the cash necessary to get your hands on a Jambox it will certainly be worth it.

Today’s winner by total average score:

Aliph Jawbone Jambox= 4

Monster iClarityHD= 2.33

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How To Add a Video Game Console To Your Vehicle

 

Please don't do this

Get Your Game On

So you figure music is not enough entertainment for your daily driving rituals? Well then why don’t we take it to the next level by adding a video game console? This has become a common practice in the car audio world with the likes of Xbox 360 and Ps3.   Just imagine the possibility of your passengers playing Forza or Gran Turismo while you drive.  For all you parents out there, just imagine the golden silence you can achieve by keeping your kids occupied on long road trips. Contrary to what you might think, it is fairly easy to add a game console to your vehicle and there are several ways that it can be accomplished.

Audiovox AVXMTGHR1M

Audiovox Headrest Monitor

The first thing you’re going to need is some sort of video monitor to interface with the gaming console.  Headrest monitors are an excellent option for adding a gaming console.  They come in all sorts of colors to match the interior of your vehicle and will provide a steady way for your passengers to play awesome games.  If you’re looking for a singular, larger screen then you might want to consider an overhead monitor.  They come in sizes all the way up to 15 inches so you can witness detailed depictions of Master Chief destroying grunts in Halo.  Alternatively,  if you own a double DIN stereo with video in capabilities, then you can connect the game console to that as well.  However, we don’t suggest that you play games while you drive.  Not only will you look ridiculous but you might undo all the work that you did by totaling your car.

Whister Power Inverter

Whister Power Inverter

Another vital component to adding a gaming console is a power inverter.  This is how you will be able to give your gaming console the power that it requires.  A rule of thumb is that you want a power inverter that will provide at least the wattage of the gaming console.  For example,  the Xbox 360 is roughly 160 watts so you will want an inverter of 160 watts or more.  It is best to mount the inverter somewhere hidden like under the passenger seat.  To add further convenience you can pick up the Stinger SGP that will connect to the inverter and add a convenient RCA input and power plug.  Do yourself a favor and avoid choosing the Wii to add to your vehicle.  You’ll just end up explaining to a cop that your broken window was the result of an intense round of Wii boxing.

 

 

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Must have items to install a Double DIN Stereo into 2006-2008 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles

Kenwood DNX7190HD Double DIN Head Unit

People love double DIN stereos. They have great features such as DVD, playback, navigation, reverse camera integration and touchscreen capabilities, among others. Some of the most popular brands of vehicles that we get questions about installing a double DIN stereo into are 2006-2008 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles without navigation.

 

The standard radio opening  in these vehicles is a DIN 1/2 which leaves the consumer with one aftermarket option, a single DIN stereos. Not that they are bad, but the don’t look as good. At least to me anyway. I’m going to give you a short and easy way to accommodate an awesome double DIN into your vehicle without any custom dash modification.

 

Aftermarket Wiring Harness

  1. Example of Dodge Aftermarket Wiring Harness (Your Application May Vary)

    First you will need an aftermarket stereo wiring harness from either Metra or Scosche. They vary depending if the vehicle has a stock non-amplified or amplified system (Give us a call directly and one of our knowledgeable Customer Commitment Team members can help you chose the correct one for your application).  We do offer these for free or at a discount with the purchase of a stereo, depending on your vehicle. These wiring kits make it a lot easier to install an aftermarket stereo into your car without guessing which wire from your stock harness needs to go where. This is a plug and play installation that doesn’t require any modification to the vehicles stock wiring harness. All these require are butt connectors to attach the wiring harness from Metra or Scosche to the aftermarket stereo wiring harness. You then plug it into your vehicles wiring harness.

     

Stereo Mounting Kit

  1. Single DIN / Double DIN Installation Kit for Select 2006-2008 Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Vehicles

    Currently there is no dash kit with a bezel to accommodate an aftermarket double DIN stereo for 2006-2008 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Metra however does make a stereo mounting kit for it, the Metra 99-6510. Some people buy this thinking it will solve the problem of installing a double DIN stereo. It does not. We carry this kit on our website for a great price and will be a key piece that you will need to complete the installation.

     

 

Stock Navigation Bezel

  1. Dodge Charger Stock NAV Bezel

    This piece is very important. You will need to purchase a stock navigation bezel that comes with the navigation equipped models of your vehicle. This looks a lot cleaner than hacking-up the stock bezel that’s a DIN ½. You can purchase this directly from a dealer, but they tend to be expensive. You can also try a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep forum to see if anyone is selling one. Another great option (the one that I recommend) is to check out an auction website such as eBay or a local Pick Your Part. They are usually a lot cheaper.

 

 

 

These are all the items you will need to accommodate a double DIN stereo into those vehicles. Now, as with all installations we recommend that you have it professionally installed. We know that some people are a little more mechanically inclined than others and might be able to do this on their own as it’s a pretty straight-forward install. For those customers who do try it on their own, we have a very knowledgeable Tech Support Team that can help guide you through any trouble you might have.

There you go. Simple enough, isn’t it? I hope this was a help to you in accomplishing your goal of making an aftermarket double DIN stereo work in your 2006-2008 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. And if you are in the market for that perfect double DIN stereo, check us out at www.soniclectronix.com. We can help you choose the correct harness and best head unit for your needs. Good luck!

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