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The Best Car Electronics for Calls, Music and More While Driving

The Best Car Electronics for Calls, Music and More While Driving

New In-Dash Receivers for Upgrading Your Sound

If you're looking to improve the audio experience in your car, upgrading to a new in-dash receiver is one of the best upgrades you can make. Modern receivers come packed with features that factory stereos lack, like touchscreens, smartphone integration, and enhanced audio tuning. Here's an overview of some of the latest in-dash receivers to consider for a serious sound upgrade.

Touchscreen Receivers with Smartphone Integration

Many new in-dash receivers come with large touchscreens (6.2" - 7" being common nowadays) that make them easier to control and view than old factory head units. Touchscreens allow you to swipe through menus, change settings, and select music just like you would on your smartphone.

Speaking of smartphones, receivers today typically include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This allows you to access music, maps, messages, and other apps right on the receiver's display. It's a much safer and more seamless experience than constantly looking at your phone.

  • Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX - $699
  • Kenwood DMX7706S - $449
  • Alpine iLX-407 - $369

Many factory radios lack built-in navigation or satellite radio capabilities. But modern receivers often have one or both features built-in, allowing you to easily navigate to destinations or enjoy endless music, sports, talk, and more.

Built-in navigation means you don't need a separate GPS puck stuck to your windshield. Features like traffic avoidance can save you time and frustration. Meanwhile satellite radio gives you access to hundreds of premium stations with near CD-quality sound, no ads, and nationwide coverage.

ReceiverNavigationSatellite Radio
Kenwood DDX9907XRYesYes
Pioneer AVIC-W8600NEXYesNo
Sony XAV-AX8000NoYes

Enhanced Audio Features and Tuning

Beyond offering the latest tech features, upgraded receivers can also simply sound better than factory units. Brands like Alpine, Pioneer, and JBL put extra effort into audio quality.

Look for features like high-voltage pre-amp outputs, digital signal processing, HD Radio compatibility, custom EQ settings, and more. These all help provide cleaner power, less distortion, and more control over sound profiles.

Plus, head units that include multichannel pre-amp outputs allow you to retain your car's factory amp while still benefiting from an improved source unit. This way you can separately tune your system's front, rear, and subwoofer channels.

While factory stereos have improved over the years, nothing beats upgrading to a new receiver designed for audio enthusiasts. Just be sure to match it with equally capable speakers and amps to extract the full benefits.

Touchscreen Receivers with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Factory car stereos are catching up with smartphone tech, but an aftermarket touchscreen receiver remains the best way to integrate your iPhone or Android device on the road. Touchscreen head units with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give you safe, seamless access to music, maps, messages, and more.

Benefits of Smartphone Integration

  • Access your smartphone's apps and features on a large, easy to use touchscreen
  • Get turn-by-turn directions, route traffic, and find destinations
  • Play music, podcasts, audiobooks from streaming apps
  • Make calls and send texts hands-free using voice commands
  • Minimize distracted driving by keeping your eyes on the road

Top Touchscreen Receivers

Here are some of the best touchscreen receivers offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto:

ReceiverScreen SizePrice
Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX7" capacitive$700
Alpine iLX-4077" capacitive$370
Kenwood Excelon DMX706S6.8" capacitive$500

Key Features to Look For

  • Responsive capacitive touchscreen - avoids lag and frustrations of resistive screens
  • Customizable interface - edit and arrange icons and widgets
  • Voice control - use Siri or Google Assistant to interact hands-free
  • Navigation and traffic - avoid delays and direct you anywhere
  • Media playback - access all your music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more
  • Call and messaging - stay connected safely while driving
  • Smart home controls - use CarPlay or Android Auto to control smart devices

Upgrading to an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled touchscreen receiver gives you the best of both worlds - smartphone connectivity and integration along with a top-notch aftermarket stereo. It's the ultimate upgrade for any music and tech loving driver.

GPS Navigation Receivers for Finding Your Way

Trying to navigate unfamiliar areas with your phone's tiny map can be frustrating and dangerous. Dedicated GPS navigation receivers for your car provide a much better experience, helping you stay oriented and get where you're going safely and efficiently.

Benefits of GPS Navigation Receivers

  • Large, high-resolution touchscreen displays
  • Clear turn-by-turn voice guidance
  • Traffic avoidance to steer clear of delays
  • Points of interest to locate gas, food, lodging
  • Driver alerts for speed limits, railroad crossings, etc.
  • Lane assist to prepare for exits and junctions
  • Lifetime map updates on some models

Top GPS Navigation Receivers

ModelScreen SizePrice
Pioneer AVIC-W8600NEX7" capacitive$800
Kenwood DNX997XR6.8" capacitive$1,200
Alpine Halo9 iLX-F3099" capacitive$1,100

What to Look for in a Navigation Receiver

  • Responsive touchscreen interface - intuitive controls like a smartphone
  • Lifetime map updates - avoid out-of-date maps
  • Traffic avoidance - reroutes around congestion
  • Points of interest - find gas, food, hotels, etc.
  • Driver alerts - be aware of speed limits, railroad crossings, and more
  • Bluetooth integration - hands-free calling and audio streaming

Investing in a dedicated GPS navigation receiver takes the stress out of driving in unfamiliar areas. With their many enhancements over smartphone mapping apps, navigation receivers can get you where you need to go safely and efficiently.

Satellite Radio Ready Receivers for Unlimited Music

With their wide coverage areas and unique programming, satellite radio services like SiriusXM offer an unmatched variety of commercial-free music, talk, sports, news, and entertainment. Satellite radio ready receivers make accessing all this content seamless and enjoyable in your vehicle.

Benefits of Satellite Radio

  • Over 300 channels, covering every genre
  • Commercial-free music
  • Exclusive talk, sports, comedy, news channels
  • Clear, uninterrupted signal coast-to-coast
  • Streaming options to listen anywhere

Choosing a Satellite Radio Ready Receiver

Many automakers now include satellite radio capability from the factory. But an aftermarket receiver adds convenience and control. Here are some top receivers ready for SiriusXM:

Receiver HighlightsPrice
Pioneer AVH-2550NEX7" touchscreen, CarPlay/Android Auto$400
Alpine CDE-172BTBluetooth, HD Radio tuner$180
Kenwood KDC-BT372ULarge buttons, audio customization$130

Key Features

  • Integrated SiriusXM tuner - no need for separate accessory tuner
  • On-screen information - channel, song, artist, sports scores, etc.
  • Preset memory - easily save and access your favorite channels
  • Replay function - pause, rewind, and replay live radio
  • Weather band tuner - access continuous weather reports

Satellite radio opens up a world of entertainment options in your car. Choosing a receiver ready for SiriusXM lets you enjoy everything this service offers with seamless control right from your dash.

Stay Connected on the Road with Bluetooth

It's easy to stay connected in your car with the magic of Bluetooth wireless technology. Bluetooth allows you to make calls, stream music, and more while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Bluetooth Car Kits for Calls and Music

Bluetooth car kits clip to your visor and sync with your phone. Most feature:

  • Built-in mic and speaker for hands-free calling
  • Controls for music (play/pause, skip track, etc.)
  • Voice commands access like Siri or Google Assistant
  • Long battery life - up to 25 hours of talk time

Popular models like the Anker Roav and Jabra Freeway provide clear call quality thanks to noise cancellation. Some even have multiple mics for better voice pickup.

Bluetooth FM Transmitters

Don't have an aux input or Bluetooth built into your car stereo? A Bluetooth FM transmitter like the iClever BTH20 or Nulaxy KM18 can save the day. These gadgets:

  • Play music from your phone over unused FM frequency
  • Offer USB charging ports for your devices
  • Provide crystal clear reception up to 65 feet away

The auto scan function finds and sets an unused frequency. Some models even double as car locators in parking lots.

Wireless Receivers for Total Freedom

Want a wire-free connection? Wireless Bluetooth receivers connect to your car stereo, allowing music streaming from your phone from up to 30+ feet away. Options like the Mpow BH129A feature:

  • Aux input or unused FM transmitter
  • Built-in battery for 3+ hours of playtime
  • Voice prompts and button controls
  • Dual pairing to connect two phones simultaneously

With Bluetooth devices like these, staying connected in your car is a breeze. Drive safely while enjoying calls, music, and smartphone access.

Hands-free Car Kits for Phone Calls and Music

Trying to take calls or access your phone's music library while driving can be downright dangerous. Hands-free Bluetooth car kits allow you to go hands-free, making calling and audio streaming safe and easy.

Top Hands-Free Car Kits

Some top rated Bluetooth hands-free car kits include:

Roav Viva by Anker2 mics, Alexa built-in, phone charger$50
Jabra FreewayVirtual surround sound, voice control$100
Plantronics M165DeepSleep mode, 21 hour talk time$60

What To Look For

Key features to look for in a hands-free car kit:

  • Great voice pickup - multiple mics and noise cancellation
  • Clear audio - speakers with enhanced bass and volume
  • Long battery life - up to 25 hour talk times on a charge
  • Voice commands - use Siri or Google Assistant
  • Multipoint pairing - connect two phones at once
  • Music controls - play, pause, skip tracks

Benefits of Going Hands-Free

  • Make and receive calls safely
  • Stream music and podcasts from your phone
  • Use voice commands to send texts or set reminders
  • Never take eyes off the road or hands off the wheel
  • Avoid fines and tickets in hands-free law states

Hands-free Bluetooth car kits greatly increase convenience and safety. Find one that delivers exceptional call clarity, easy music control, long battery life, and intuitive commands.

Portable Bluetooth FM Transmitters

Want to stream audio from your phone through your car's stereo without costly new head unit installation? Portable Bluetooth FM transmitters provide a quick, inexpensive way to play and control your phone's music library over your car speakers.

How Bluetooth FM Transmitters Work

  • Transmit your phone's audio over an empty FM radio frequency
  • Tune your car's radio to the transmitter's set frequency
  • Stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, and navigation apps
  • Make calls using the built-in microphone

Benefits of Portable FM Transmitters

  • No installation required, just plug and play
  • Works with any factory car stereo
  • Charges your devices with USB ports
  • Hands-free calling
  • Automatically finds empty FM frequencies

Top Rated Models

Some top portable Bluetooth FM transmitters include:

Nulaxy KM18Large display, 5V/2.4A USB$20
JETech JTBTFM2Bluetooth 5.0, car battery voltage monitor$18
Anker Roav SmartChargeDual USB ports, auto frequency scanning$30

What to Look For

  • Fast Bluetooth pairing and streaming
  • Long transmitter range - up to 65 feet
  • Multiple USB charging ports
  • Clear FM transmission signal
  • Voice prompts and intuitive controls
  • Battery level indicators

Portable Bluetooth FM transmitters provide an easy and affordable way to wirelessly stream audio from your smartphone. Choose one with great sound quality, USB charging, and intuitive controls.

How To Install Vehicle Wrap Templates In Illustrator??

To install vehicle wrap templates in Illustrator, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Begin with an accurate template: Using a template is the best way to ensure that the wrap you design will fit the vehicle you are planning to use it on. There are many different places to find templates for cars of all makes and models. After you get a template, however, it is smart to measure the dimensions of the vehicle to make sure they match with the template.
  2. Open the template in Illustrator: Once you have downloaded the template, open it in Illustrator. You can then begin to design your wrap on top of the template.
  3. Use layers: Working on a vehicle wrap with Illustrator is a great way to get a feel for the entire composition. Using layers can help you keep your design organized and make it easier to edit later on.
  4. Design your wrap: Once you have your template open in Illustrator, you can begin designing your wrap. You can use the pen tool to trace the outline of the vehicle and then add your design elements on top of it.
  5. Be careful of corners: When you’re finally ready to print your wrap, it will be printed onto multiple sheets that all fit together with a method known as tiling. The method has come a long way from when it was first used but can still lead to problems around the corners of each section.
  6. Use high-resolution images: When you have completed your vehicle wrap design, the first thing to do is