THE EVOLUTION OF BACKUP CAMERAS

Safety features for cars have evolved exponentially in the past few decades or so. We have smart safety features like forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency brakes to warn us and immediately halt the vehicle when it senses something (or someone!) that it might bump into. However, we have the most basic type of safety feature that all vehicles have nowadays -- and it is the backup camera.

The backup camera’s design is very distinct from other cameras because it shows a mirrored image that is flipped horizontally. This makes the orientation consistent with the vehicle’s mirrors. Backup cameras usually are pointed at a downward angle as opposed to straight back to view obstacles on the ground. It is also typically wired to sense when the vehicle transmission is set to reverse. It also typically shows grid guidelines or lines to aid the driver in parking.

 

The first vehicle that had a backup camera installed was a 1956 Buick Centurion Dream car and was presented at a General Motors Motorama in January 1956. A television camera was mounted at the back of the vehicle and the images it recorded were sent to a screen in the dashboard and replaced its rear-view mirror.

 

The first production vehicle to incorporate a backup camera was a 1991 Toyota Soarer Limited that was only available in Japan. It used a color EMV screen with a rear-spoiler-mounted CCD camera.

 

In April 2000, at the 2000 New York International Auto Show, Nissan’s Infiniti luxury division introduced the RearView Monitor on a 2002 Q45 flagship sedan. They introduced colored onscreen guidelines that transmitted a mirrored image on an in-dash LCD screen. In 2002, the Nissan Primera introduced this backup camera system to territories outside North America and Japan.

 

Here in the United States, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that all vehicles sold in the United States that were built from May 2018 onwards are required to include backup cameras. The NHTSA conducted research and they found out that rearview cameras should be able to prevent around 65 deaths a year once this mandate was implemented. Studies also have shown that backup cameras can reduce the driver’s blind spot by around 90% and it definitely is a big help preventing collisions or crashes.

We have an ongoing promo right now at onlinecarstereo.com where you get a free Boss Elite ELPC40B backup camera when you purchase an in-dash receiver. Isn’t that neat? You get to upgrade your in-dash receiver AND upgrade your backup camera as well! Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on many more of our promotions on Cyber Monday!

WHAT ARE BASS RESTORATION PROCESSORS?

The bass is a really important part of a sound system. The ability to hear the music’s low frequencies will greatly improve your music experience inside your car. Of course, we have the subwoofers that will definitely allow us to hear more of the low frequencies, but sometimes, subwoofers can be costly and can be difficult to install due to the size constraints. 

 

A bass restoration processor (or BRP) is generally, in simple terms, a bass booster. BRPs digitally restore the bass that might still be lacking if you lack the bass powers of a subwoofer on your vehicle. They have a built-in equalizer to adjust the frequency and the ideal amount of bass the car owner wants for their music. Typically, BRPs have three types of adjustments: frequency, width and level.

 

The “frequency” adjustment allows the owner to the specific frequencies they want to be brought out in the music. The “width” adjustment allows the owner to adjust the amount of frequencies that will be affected. You can adjust the BRP to affect a narrow or wide bandwidth of frequencies along a selected frequency. And finally, the “level” adjustment allows the owner to adjust the level of effect, hence giving you a sound made specifically for you, just the way you like it.

BRPs aren’t just used to improve the bass sounds and give you that heart-pounding bass. It improves the low-frequency sound on all kinds of music.  It can modify the way a specific music will sound. It digitally restores the desired frequency and powers up the low-end sound, injecting it again in the audio signal to give it an improved bass impact.


One of the most famous bass restoration processors in the market today is the EPICENTER series from AudioControl but other brands, like Soundstream, have put out their own BRPs as well. And right now they are under the HOT DEALS on onlinecarstereo.com! So, what are you waiting for? Go now and check out our array of BRPs on amazing deals right now and check out the other products while you're at it. Subscribe to our newsletter NOW so you don't miss out and receive promotions and updates as we are having Black Friday and Holiday Deals. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

COAXIAL VS COMPONENT SPEAKERS -- WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Searching for the perfect speakers for your car is already an overwhelming thing to think about, much less think about what type of speaker to get. We always encounter coaxial and component speakers, but really, what’s the difference between these two types of speakers? (Disclaimer: These are just the basic differences between the two types of speakers. It is still advisable to research a bit more on the different types of coaxial and component speakers as they still have different specifications.)

 

Coaxial speakers are the most common (and popular!) type of speakers and are also called full-range speakers. They come in different configurations. The different types of coaxial speakers are also referred to as “drivers”. There is what we call the 2-way, the most common one, which is comprised of a woofer with a tweeter mounted on top of it. There is also the 3-way, also called tri-axial speakers, which is comprised of a woofer, a tweeter and a mid-range. 

 

Coaxial speakers are easy to install and requires minimal customization, and are more affordable than component speakers. This is probably the reason why coaxial speakers are so popular and are the choice of speakers car owners purchase if they just want to replace the factory-installed speakers of their vehicle. However, they lack the bass or the "boom" that component speakers might offer, especially if you enhance your component system with subwoofers.

 

Component speakers, also called “separates”, on the other hand, have a more advanced design than coaxial speakers. They are a speaker system where speakers are mounted separately. They consist of a woofer, tweeter, and crossover. 

Component speakers, unlike coaxial speakers, are more complicated to install than coaxial speakers. They're a bit more time-consuming to install and may require the help or the expertise of a professional to install them. They are also more expensive than coaxials. However, component speakers allow for a lot of customization. If you are planning to do a full system, complete with subwoofers and ultratweeters, getting component speakers is the way to go.

 

Choosing whether to get coaxial speakers or component speakers still depend on the car owner and their preferences. It still depends on the car owner how much they are willing to pay for their car audio, and whether they want customization for it or not. 

 

Either way, we here at onlinecarstereo.com have a wide array of coaxials and component speakers, and we’re currently having up to 15% off to a lot of our Kicker speakers, a lot of which are component and coaxial speakers. We also offer up to 15% off on our Kicker subwoofers and amps as well. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash!

THE COMMON TYPES OF CAR RECEIVERS

Car audio, as previously discussed in last week’s History of Car Audio, have improved significantly during the last decade or so. Turntables and cassettes might be the thing of the past for modern-day car stereos and receivers. These types of receivers can be further subdivided into categories but for today we’re going to discuss the 4 most common types of car receivers in the market.

CD Receivers

CDs might slowly becoming a “thing of the past” now, but you’ve got to admit that there’s something special about playing a CD on your car stereo that makes us all feel nostalgic. CD receivers are what people mostly think of when someone says “car stereo”. CD players come in both single-DIN (2in) and double-DIN (4in) sizes. CD receivers nowadays not only have the CD-player as their sole feature. They also commonly feature a USB and/or AUX input, and some still have the classic radio tuner.

DVD Receivers

Also more commonly known as “in-dash DVD players”, DVD receivers not only play DVDs that makes long car rides so much more entertaining, but also features the functions that a digital media receiver and CD receivers do like playing CDs, USB/AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, car assistant systems (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay). They also come in single-DIN and double-DIN sizes.

Digital Media Receivers

As the name suggests, digital media players ditch the whole CD player feature altogether (mechless receivers). They also come into single-DIN and double-DIN sizes like the CD receivers. These types of receivers are for people who mostly play their music through their digital music players (like the iPod), through music streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, etc) and their smartphones. However, some digital media receivers still retain some of the CD receiver features like the USB/AUX input and Bluetooth connectivity, and some also feature the car assistant systems like the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

Digital Multimedia Receivers 

These type of receivers mostly have touchscreen capabilities, unlike digital media receivers that still have buttons and knobs. Its clear difference with digital media receivers is that it can also play video, hence the word "multimedia". Digital multimedia receivers also have integrated features like apps, car assistant systems among others.

Navigation Receivers

Navigation receivers are perfect for those people who travel a lot and constantly on the road. The built-in GPS navigation makes it more convenient rather than constantly relying on the smartphone’s GPS features. And not only do navigation receivers function as the “modern-day map”, some navigation receivers also retain the rest of the other receivers’ cool features such as the USB/AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, car assistant systems among others.

No matter what type of car receiver you think is best for you and your needs, be sure to check it out at onlinecarstereo.com as we have a wide array of products you can choose from. Also subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash.

 

 

THE HISTORY OF CAR AUDIO

Car audios have come a LONG way since its first inception. It is fascinating how the concept of car audio has evolved from clunky AM radios to ones with operating systems and with multiple functions. For today we’re gonna talk about the evolution of car audio.

1900s - Did you know that the first car audio was presented as early as 1904? Lee De Forest, the “Father of Radio”, performed a demonstration at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis.

1920s - The first factory-installed car radio was installed on a 1922 Chevrolet (the radio brand was Westinghouse) and almost cost as half as the actual cost of the car itself! Talk about pricey!

1930s - Paul and Joseph Galvin, entrepreneurs and brothers, bought the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company. The company made The Battery Eliminator that allowed battery-operated home radios to run on household current, the equivalent to today’s AC adapters. The Galvin brothers utilized the company’s battery eliminator design and used that to manufacture battery eliminators for their radios.

Eventually, the battery eliminators became obsolete as AC-powered radios were becoming the standard. Paul Galvin met with William Lear and Elmer Wavering, two radio engineers, who created a radio with a design that removed the problem with static interference.

(the first commercially released car audio -- The Motorola)

The brothers eventually came up with the first radio which they named The Motorola, which is a portmanteau of the words “automative” and “Victrola” (a brand name of a phonograph, but eventually became a generic term for any kind of phonograph). Motorola eventually became the big telecommunications company it is today (YES, that Motorola).

1952 - Blaupunkt, a German company, created the first FM radio. Prior to this, the only option of frequency for radios was the AM frequency. A year later, Becker Mexico made an AM/FM receiver with a station search or scan function.

1955 onwards (before 1970s) was a period of trial and error for car audio manufacturers. Chrysler Hi-Fi was the first time one’s own records were played in the car, and was also the first and only car phonograph. It used a mini-turntable (located on the dash of the passenger side) to play its records. This only lasted for a few years, however. This is because one of the Hi-Fi’s fatal flaws is that the record skips even on the smallest bump on the road the car runs into. 

(photo by sv1ambo on Flickr)

The Hi-Fi eventually evolved to Earl Muntz’s Stereo-Pak, who was the pioneer of a 4-track system. Tracks did not skip with this kind of car audio (an upgrade to the Hi-Fi). Muntz then developed the AutoStereo in the early 60s, which had drivers the freedom to customize and select their personal listening experience. After that, improvements were made to Muntz’s idea and the 8-track cartridge system was developed.

1970s to 80s - Cassette tapes eventually replaced the 8-track system. And with the invention of the Walkman in 1979, cassette tapes became much more prevalent. It improved 8-track’s technology with longer play times, improved tape quality, Dolby noise reduction and auto reverse.

1980s to 90s - Philips and Sony were the first to develop the model for the CD which was first marketed for home use in 1982. However, it was Pioneer who developed the first ever car CD player in 1984. Named the CDX-1, this player had a significantly improved sound quality unlike everyone else. Aside from that, CDX-1 was much more durable than cassette tape players and had the ability to skip tracks.

(CDX-1 image from Pioneer's website)

2000s - car audio quality even improved significantly after the CD player phase of car audio. There was the digitization of music, and gave rise to MP3 players. These are portable devices that can hold thousands of songs and can play different types of music formats. By the mid-2000s, in-car audio systems developed the capability to connect these players to the car’s audio systems. Features like the USB, AUX and Bluetooth became staples on car audios.

And with the rise of smartphones and the usage of apps like Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM and the use of car assistant systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, playing music in your car has never been easier. 

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4)

So check out onlinecarstereo.com for our wide array of car audio products and subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash!

 

 

 

 

BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY TRIVIA!

Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching and that also means that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is also around the corner. This year in particular will be a very different one from all the previous years we have done the two biggest shopping days of the year because of the pandemic.

But where (and when) exactly did the terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” come from?

(image source: bloomberg.com)

Black Friday dates back to Philadelphia in the 1960s where newspapers in the state used the term to describe the massive frenzy of crowds at stores and the congestion of traffic that happens on the day after Thanksgiving. The crowd frenzy was paralleled after the original “Black Friday”, which was a stock market panic on September 24, 1869, where the price of gold collapsed due to then-President Ulysses Grant’s interference on the scheme of three investors: Jay Gould, James Fisk, and President Grant’s own brother-in-law, Abel Corbin.

(image source: abc7.com)

Cyber Monday, however, is a much newer term that was coined by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and Scott Silverman, and was used as a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. It was created as a digital counterpart to Black Friday to encourage people to do online shopping and has rapidly become the biggest ecommerce event in the US, whereas Black Friday is more of a brick-and-mortar sale event. 

However, with the pandemic happening right now, Black Friday will probably shift to a bigger online event than it was before rather than doing the traditional in-store sales retailers have done in previous years. So definitely watch out in the coming weeks for upcoming deals and bundles for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at onlinecarstereo.com and subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash!

HASSLE-FREE RETURNS AT OCS

We always strive for customer satisfaction when you buy from us here at Online Car Stereo, but sometimes, one might have problems with their purchase and decide to return it. We have one of the best hassle-free return policies out there. If by some reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, unused/uninstalled items can be returned within 60 days.

Making a return is pretty easy!

  • Contact us. To start a return, call 1-310-526-8635 and chat with our helpful and friendly customer service representatives. We can also be reached through email at  [email protected] for any questions.
  • Get an RA (return authorization). If you call us at our contact number, a customer service representative will be able to assist you through your options and help set up a return authorization. You can also request a return authorization online through email at  [email protected].
  • Pack returned items carefully. Returned items should be new and in their original packaging, complete with all the original accessories, manuals and warranty card. We care about the safety of the items so we overbox most of the products to protect them during shipping.
  • Attach the shipping label. You will receive a UPS Authorized Return Service shipping label along with a return authorization number. Remove or mark out the original labels, then securely tape the new return shipping label to the package.
  • Give the package to UPS. Take it to any official UPS drop-off site. To search for drop-off locations nearest you, call 1-800-742-5877 or visit www.ups.com.

Online Car Stereo will send a “return received” notice through email detailing that the returned item has been received. An additional email will also be sent following the completion of the return process.

There are also important details to consider when doing a return.

Refund or exchange. You can either choose an exchange or a refund according to the amount of the item you purchased. Refunds will be issued to the same credit card, debit card, gift certificate, or other form of payment that was used in the original transaction. The refund or exchange process for items usually gets processed within three business days after we receive the returned item, as we normally conduct additional testing and evaluation. Additionally, depending on the financial institution, the refunded amount will take about 3-5 business days to reflect back on your account.

Shipping costs. Return shipping costs are deducted from your refund or exchange.

For most returns, Online Car Stereo can issue you a UPS Authorized Return Shipping (ARS) label for a flat fee.

New condition. All returns for refund will be subject to a 10% restocking fee (and higher if the item is used/abused). Online Car Stereo may refuse a customer return or charge a higher restocking fee when the returned item is not NEW. Conditions that will lead to refused returns or be charged a higher restocking fee include:

  • When the returned item has a different serial number than what Online Car Stereo originally shipped.
  • When there are missing parts or the original packaging has been damaged or tampered with.
  • When there is damage due to the package being improperly packaged for return shipment.
  • When there is physical damage from drops, spilled liquid, or mishandling.
  • When the product has been installed or has attempted to be installed and was removed from the original packaging.
  • When the item has any signs or indication of it being installed, with scratches, or other signs of use such as physical markings, screw holes, etc.

Freight shipping: Items like Boxes and Large subwoofers may require special freight shipping, and they usually cost more to return. An Online Car Stereo representative will be able to help figure out the exact shipping cost of freight items when setting up the return.

**Online Car Stereo does not accept any returns for Rims, Tires and finance orders. Only exchange or store credit will be granted.

International shipping: UPS ARS labels are not valid for international shipping or shipping on US territories. The customer is responsible for any international shipping charges or duties.

We here at Online Car Stereo will always be committed to give you the best customer service we can possibly give. Always visit us at onlinecarstereo.com to check out our wide array of products and subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash.

MASSIVE AUDIO M8C, A HIGH-POWERED MIDRANGE SPEAKER GUARANTEED TO LAST

Massive Audio has been an industry leader in high performance audio products since 1999, and today we are going to talk about one of their super high powered midrange speakers -- the Massive Audio M8C.

Massive Audio M8C is part of the M Series Closed Back Midrange Speakers. They are designed for high SPLs (sound pressure levels, in case anybody’s wondering) without needing an enclosure of any kind. These audio speakers outdo most higher priced midrange speakers in the market today. It is an 8-inch speaker that features an 80 Watts RMS power range with a maximum of 300 Watts, 8 Ohm, 98dB, and a frequency response of 550HZ - 6KHz.

Also, the M8C isn’t limited to being used as a car audio speaker -- it can be used for pro audio and DJ speakers due to its High Grade Ferrite Magnet force for high sensitivity and accurate sound reproduction, thus producing GREAT sound quality.

If you are worried about these speakers crackling and blowing out over time because of cheap quality, FEAR NOT! The M8C is a heavy duty midrange speaker that is guaranteed to last. They use a heavy gauge steel basket, a reinforced paper cone and custom cloth surround.

With a high quality construction, great sound and long-lasting performance, these midrange speakers are a perfect fit for almost any car installation including BMW, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Lincoln, Buick, Fiat, Cadillac and many more.

All in all, the Massive Audio M8C is going to be the best “bang for your buck” midrange speaker with its excellent sound quality at an affordable price. Keep in mind that the M8C is sold individually. Check it out at Onlinecarstereo.com for more information and you can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly promotions and save tons of cash.