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Where Are The Best Places To Buy Car Stereos In 2021?

James Benchman
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by James Benchman

If you’re in the market for a new car stereo, there is more than one place where you can shop for it. Depending on what you want from your sound system, what you are willing to spend, and how easily you want to be able to attain these items, the market is bursting with different ways to shop for whatever it is you desire.

If this is your first dalliance with a system other than what standard factory accessories a car usually comes with, you might want a professional opinion regarding what you should buy.

If you know exactly what you want, you might want to order it online simply. And if you’re looking for specialty items, or to build a whole new system with several working parts, you might want to spread your purchases around.

Whatever you decide, here are the best places to buy car stereos.

The Best Places To Buy Car Stereos & Audio Equipment

1. Online Retailers

Nowadays, we can order anything online. And we mean anything.

Not only is the ease of online shopping apparent, but there’s also tons of ways to price match, and endless options when it comes to the accessories you want or are looking for. If you can’t find it online, you probably can’t find it anywhere.

The giant that is Amazon has the monopoly over most other online retailers, but if you’d prefer a more specialized sound merchandiser, that’s always an option, too. Reviews from users are also helpful in knowing which accessories to avoid, and which ones are the highest rated. Sadly, reviews are all that you can go on when shopping online.

Without a method to answer technical questions, shopping online for a new car stereo might come with its difficulties if you don’t know exactly what you want already.

There is simply no one to ask if you’re having a dilemma over which part to buy. You’ll also have to know your car inside and out, what will fit, and what won’t. While some parts are quite versatile and fit in a range of vehicles, some other specialty parts do not.

Shopping online is nice in that the prices are great and there is a seriously wide-ranging selection, just make sure that you’re buying the right part because returning parts through the mail isn’t as easy.

Do checkout the best selling car stereos on Amazon.com.

2. A Mom and Pop Shop

Wow, how old school, right?

While Mom and Pop type shops, that is small businesses, usually have average prices (sometimes they are higher because you’re supporting a small business and not getting the price adjustments you typically would with a big corporation), they also have some of the best customer services.

You can guarantee that if there is a problem with installation, it will be fixed within a suitable and realistic time-frame.

In contrast to some stores that have quite a variety of speakers and accessories, but no experts to explain which would be best, small shops that specialize in sound specifically for cars or personal sound systems, usually have staff that is dedicated and knowledgeable.

You might even get to spend more time picking the parts that suit you and your car perfectly. For beginners, it’s also a good way to learn about what you want and how to install it.

Some downsides to shopping at a smaller shop are the aforementioned higher prices, more limited selection than you could find at a chain or online, and perhaps stringent and shorter business hours. If you want to get in and get out, a larger store will probably be the place to do so.

Another upside is speedy installation and repairs as opposed to waiting times you may face at a more massive conglomerate. A small business usually specializes in quality over quantity.

If you have the time to wait for exactly what you want and want to learn about sound systems along the way, a small shop is the way to go.

3. The Big Business Retailers

While a lot of these types of places have gone out of business in the last few years, especially due to the rise of e-commerce, there are still larger chains that sell everything you need for a car stereo installation. There is generally a huge selection of products, relative ease in buying immediately, and the turnaround to overhaul your stereo system all within a day instead of having to wait for parts to arrive in the mail.

Stores like Best Buy or other major electronic outlets usually have pretty reasonable prices. If you lack the knowledge of installing the sound system yourself, there’s always the option of a member of the team doing it for you, which could be a weight off your back.

There are some significant cons to shopping at one of these stores, however. In general, the staff at chain stores seem to know less than those who work at smaller repair or sound system shops do. Because there is such a large customer base and range of products as well, it may be more challenging to get your questions answered promptly and comprehensively. There’s also the risk of having an installation go awry.

Most sound system experts would say to do your research before coming into one of these stores because it’s difficult to get correct answers to your questions. With a more expansive selection, there is also the risk that what you want is no longer in stock, which could push the wait time of installation way back.

If you’re going to complete your sound system in a timely manner, this could be an issue.

If you know exactly what you’re looking for and don’t need the help of a professional, a big chain should definitely be an option to consider. And never underestimate the possibility of a sale.

Bonus: Try a Combination

You don’t have to choose just one method, or one place, to buy what you need for an awesome stereo system. If you find the perfect amplifier online and the right speakers at Best Buy, who’s to say they won’t be working together?

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About James Benchman
James Benchman
James is an Automotive Mechanic with over 20 years experience and 300+ car repairs. He is an expert with cars and has worked with different models from the biggest brands. James is a Mechanic , Husband , Father of 3 , and head of content at Caraudiologic. Learn more about us
  1. I have a 94 Tahoe suv and the radio/tape player stopped working when my vehicle was about 10-11 years old…do these radios go caput from old age? My clock on the display still works, can turn the button but no power or sound. I had a car alarm put in & wonder if that shortened the life of my radio & alternator. Any advice?

    1. Hi there, sorry to hear about the radio. Of course, it’s hard to say with just hearing a description of what happened. Couple of things, first, of course electronics often don’t age well and that many years of service may have done the deed. Second, if the alarm install didn’t go well and they nicked cables, caused an electrical short circuit, or other sloppy work, any of those things could’ve caused the radio to stop working. At least you’re at the right place to find a great new stereo for your Tahoe and given the large amount of space inside of that SUV, you can have amazing sound if you upgrade your sound system. Good luck!

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