How to build a car audio system powerful enough to blow your hair back
Your stock care speakers don't do your tunes justice—it's time for an upgrade.
An aggressively powerful car stereo can literally blow your hair back if you feed it a tune with enough thumping bass. But cranking the volume on a cheap set of Craigslist subwoofers risks eardrum-assaulting distortion. A custom setup based on these components will shake the ground under your tires while preserving the essence of the new Post Malone (or the old Public Enemy).
To push out bone-rattling bass, the cone on the front of the 12-inch Alpine X-W12D4 subwoofer moves as much as 2 inches back and forth, displacing enough air to blow out a candle.
Audio from MP3s will never sound incredible because compression sacrifices some data to keep files small. The Kenwood DNX695S receiver supports high-res formats such as DSD.
Apply some thin Dynamat Xtreme matting in key places in your ride, like under the door panels. Its aluminum-alloy skin and rubber base will reduce noises from the road and tamp down vibrations.
Handmade in France, the Focal Utopia M 6.5-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters handle the mids and highs. Weighted rings around each speaker hold edges firmly in place and fight buzzing distortion.
Subwoofers need more oomph than the receiver can produce solo, so install an amp. The Rockford Fosgate Power T2500 unit can pump thousands of watts to a pair of synchronized subs.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 Transportation issue of Popular Science.