Hooniverse Asks: Do You have a Factory Radio, Aftermarket Radio or No Radio?

Monsoon
The first car radio was an aftermarket accessory. The Motorola (“Motor” from Motorcar and “ola” from Victrola, the music machines) arrived in the 1930s. It cost about a quarter of what a new Model A cost then so you can imagine that it wasn’t all that popular. It was successful enough however, to start an industry, engendering both factory-designed and add-on radios so motorists could get their fill of FDR’s fire side chats and Fibber McGee and Molly (go look it up) while on the open road.
The growth in car stereos engendered growth in another industry: car stereo thievery! To stymie potential car burglars many car makers went to proprietary designs for their stereos, adding fascias that were model specific and nearly impossible to remove in a timely manner. This made it tough for the after market, but not impossible, and today you can buy both a stereo that replaces your factory job, but also very likely a tidy dashboard mount in which to hold it.
That’s a choice today: factory or aftermarket, but there’s a third choice as well which is to drive without the distraction of talk radio, top forty, or god help you, NPR. Some folks prefer that, and drive commando, meaning in this context, sans stereo.  Is that you? Or, do you still rock the factory box? Or, maybe you’ve gone the Crutchfield route. When it comes to car stereos, what’s your poison?
Image: BenzWorld

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  1. 0A5599 Avatar
    0A5599

    Decades-old aftermarket in the dash, but lately it sometimes decides not to output to the speakers, in which case effectively none.

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    No radios, thanks. I prefer listening for mechanical issues. On those rare occasions when a vehicle is running properly, I don’t want to miss out on those sounds, either.

  3. Manic_King Avatar
    Manic_King

    Benz has factory audio with strange AUX input which gives audio, from the phone’s headphone socket say, only to LF speaker channel i.e it’s Mono.
    Alfa has Bose system with woofer, orig. Navi system by Blaupunkt but something is wrong with the amplifier connections. Provides silence. Needs work.

  4. crank_case Avatar
    crank_case

    Not on my current car, but I’ve often used units bought in one of two cheap supermakets familiar to Europeans called Lidl and Aldi, which are hard to explain, but I believe are coming to the US. They’re pretty small, no way as expansive as a Walmart or Tesco, offer cheap basic, mostly unbranded groceries and seem to operate almost on a communist era principle of you can buy what is in the shop on the day, it’s a constant rolling cast of stuff they will have for a week or till they sell out, then different stuff will appear. It’s often pretty random, you went in there for a litre of milk but emerge with some weird looking spanish potato omlette thing, a pack of wham! sweets you only bought becuse you haven’t seen them since you were ten, a compressor, some cycling gloves and a socket set and can’t figure out how it happened.
    Anyway, they sometimes do a head units for €40-50 that play MP3s and are bluetooth compatible and have decent power outputs. Can’t go wrong on an older car, I’d say half the older cars in the country rock one. http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/9/8/2/2/8/4/webimg/890096747_tp.jpg

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      We have plenty of Aldi stores in the US. Their home base here is in Illinois. My wife buys canned goods and other stuff from them. When Oktoberfest time comes, they have lots of cool German foods, and they have German chocolates at Easter and Christmas time. They do all kinds of things to keep costs down – to get a shopping cart, you put a quarter in a slot, and the cart is undocked. When you re-dock the cart, you get your quarter back.
      Somehow I can’t see buying a car radio in an Aldi.

      1. crank_case Avatar
        crank_case

        You’d think, but those silvercrest units are actually pretty decent compared to any entry level JVC/Sony head unit. SD Card slot, aux in, all the bases covered.

    2. The Real Number_Six Avatar
      The Real Number_Six

      When I visit the homeland (Northern Ireland), I usually overdose on Eastern European black currant jam at 99p a jar bought from Lidl. Same stuff in Canada is 4x the price.

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    All factory. Phillips and badly blowing speakers in the Rover, standard Symphony in the Audi with next to no presence on radio but genuinely excellent, fullsome sound on CD.
    Nic’s Peugeot has an aftermarket JVC CD unit, though bizarrely it had a Rover-branded Phillips when she got it.
    All three cars are set up with Pure DAB recievers. Indispensable.

  6. ptschett Avatar
    ptschett

    Factory stuff in everything. The 2010 Challenger got an upgrade but also stayed OEM (going from a base level RES-code radio to a more-capable REQ, and adding the factory Sirius satellite kit.) Of the current fleet:
    ’96 Thunderbird: standard Ford single-DIN “chicklet button” tape deck
    ’05 Dakota: Mopar RAQ-code radio w/ 6 disc CD/MP3 changer & Sirius, and sound group (better amplifier, Infinity-branded tweeters, etc.)
    ’15 Challenger: factory uConnect 8.4AN w/ navigation, iPod integration, etc. & sound group 1 (similar amplifier/speaker/etc specs to the Dakota’s system, but that was top-tier in ’05 and mid-tier now)

  7. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    I have a roughly 1.8DIN sized hole in the “wood” dash on my Focus. An Alpine 9813 and the factory cd- changer in a closet. Been like that for years, don’t miss listening to music in the car.
    Funny thing about the stock unit was that sometimes when you hit a pothole the in-dash cd changer would jam and not work for ages, then suddenly start playing again weeks later when you hit another pothole big enough to unjam it.

  8. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I haven’t put an aftermarket stereo in any vehicle made past 1990. 1980s and earlier American car sound systems were crap. No cassette or CD players, analog tuning, and horrible speakers. Most of my vehicles are newer now and I’m over 21 so a booming sound system isn’t a priority.

  9. smalleyxb122 Avatar
    smalleyxb122

    Factory Blaupunkt in the GTO. Factory Bose w/Nav in the Trollblazer. The rear channels have been cutting out in the GTO, so I need to do some diagnosis. I’d like to keep it factory, but if the head unit is going bad, I’ll probably go aftermarket rather than buy a used OEM replacement.

  10. GTXcellent Avatar
    GTXcellent

    Factory in everything (well, almost). The GTX has a correct for 1968 am radio, with thumb wheels, but it is a junkyard replacement out of a C harger (I think) as the face plate says Dodge Solid State instead of Solid State By Plymouth – and it’s broken besides.

  11. Ross Ballot Avatar
    Ross Ballot

    A good factory stereo is important to me. I want to retain the factory look, not mess with anything I don’t need to mess with, and I love music enough to pony up the money for a good sounding stereo.

  12. Batshitbox Avatar
    Batshitbox

    Ever since I bought my first Scout 80 in 1991 or so I haven’t bought* a vehicle with a radio. Three Scouts, one F-250 and now my ’91 GMC. I do own a Sony Marine Stereo I was supposed to install on a bicycle, and then maybe in the GMC, but nah.
    Nowadays a smartphone and a Bluetooth speaker are all you need, and you don’t worry about thieves trashing your dashboard.
    *Bought. Someone gave me a Dodge Spirit, but I only owned it for one Boston winter.

  13. JayP Avatar
    JayP

    I’ve not had an aftermarket deck in my car since I was in college. Nigel would con me into buying stuff… like this dandy eq from Sparkomatic.
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/rX8AAOSwnFZXWOGa/s-l1600.jpg

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar
      smalleyxb122

      If that EQ had an internal “200 watt” amplifier, I had the same one back in the day.

      1. Tiller188 Avatar
        Tiller188

        What looks to be a single-DIN-sized EQ, with a 200W amp, named “Sparkomatic”? What could possibly go wrong?

    2. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      I bought my ’78 Audi Fox without a radio, and had a Blaupunkt AM/FM/8-Track and Muntz 169 40-watt seven-channel graphic EQ installed, along with Pioneer 4″ dual cones in the front doors, and Jensen 4×10 Triax speakers in the package shelf. A shop in Dallas installed it (long-gone Auto Sound Specialists on West Mockingbird near Love Field), and they weren’t happy because they quoted $25 to install the package shelf speakers, only to find the package shelf was solid steel under the fuzzy stuff, so they had to cut holes, but they had to do those for $25.
      When they were finishing up, the sales guy comes out and says, “Do you hear that? It sounds amazing!”. And it did. I later added a Clarion under dash auto-reverse cassette, far over on the driver’s side, inside the cubby under the dash. I wired in a Radio Shack switch to switch between the Blaupunkt and the Clarion, into the Muntz.
      The only weird thing is that when listening to the 8-Track, I had to turn the 500Hz slider all the way down, because the drive motor would send a hum through the speakers.
      http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/kL0AAOSwzJ5XYIEN/s-l500.jpg

    3. Scoutdude Avatar
      Scoutdude

      I had, or maybe I still have a Sparkomatic EQ/amp just like that. It was in my 62 Econoline and 75 Nova. Chances are it is in a box of old stereo stuff in the attic where it has resided for since the late 80’s

      1. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        I kept the Muntz when I sold the Fox, then a few years later installed it my ’76 Vega GT. Eventually, someone slim jim’d the driver’s driver’s door and stole the Muntz.

      2. JayP Avatar
        JayP

        The Sparko shorted out. All the buttons warped and fell off.
        Replaced it with the Realistic eq…
        http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/50UAAOSwWKtUuFDv/s-l400.jpg

  14. shane Avatar
    shane

    of my fleet:
    03 rsx-s: factory 6 disc CD/tape/radio (works)
    00 subaru outback: factory CD/tape/radio (works)
    96 volvo 850 turbobrick: bluetooth/CD/aweseome radio (doesn’t work)

  15. Mister Sterling Avatar
    Mister Sterling

    Factory. I’m like Jeff. I need music, especially since I don’t drive an F Type or Shaker Challenger or other beautifully loud car. At auto shows, manufacturers try to impress us with brand name speakers like Rockford Fosgate and JBL, and most of it is just marketing in front of paper cone woofers and tweeters. There are some exceptional factory systems – it just requires research and test drives. A sidenote – my granddad was so ahead of his time. The first thing he did to his 1975 Dart was upgrade the amplifier, speakers, and install an EQ. He did the same thing to his next car, a 1985 Corolla. And his last car, a 1993 Elantra. I don’t have the drive to do that. I just deal with what I have, like most normals.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Most dubious “upgrade” I ever had was in my Triumph, where the factory AM Motorola was replaced with a semi-home brew Saisho FM cassette. It had a digital display but that was controlled via a rotary dial turned by string and a pulley. The amplifier chips were mis-matched, the power switch was broken so the whole thing was controlled by a toggle switch.
      It also had the most violent eject mech I ever came saw and would fire cassettes into the rear seat at the press of a button.
      It caught fire once.

  16. kogashiwa Avatar
    kogashiwa

    Factory, with the six-disc changer, that is jammed, with six discs inside it, and has been for months, because I am profoundly lazy.
    At this point I’m kind of waiting to get an aftermarket unit with Bluetooth.
    Although first I have to get this hail claim out of limbo so I even know if I’m keeping the car.

    1. kogashiwa Avatar
      kogashiwa

      Okay: this is well and truly bizarre. As I said the changer has been jammed for months. Occasionally I would hit the eject button, and invariably it would make a few noises and then pop up an error message.
      Now today, the one day I proclaim on the internet that a Lexus CD changer could do such a vulgar thing as jam, … I stop at the mailbox on my way home, get my mail, cross the street back to my idling car, and, there’s a CD sticking out of the dash. Wat. Keep in mind I haven’t touched the eject button for probably a few weeks now. So, pull the CD out, hit eject again, promptly and correctly ejects the next disc, repeat four more times with the same results.
      I’m sure there’s a moral in this story but I haven’t the foggiest what it might be.
      Question – do I dare reload it?

      1. theskitter Avatar

        Only with your desert island selections that you will happily listen to for the rest of the car’s life. Also that you don’t mind buying again.

  17. ramLlama Avatar
    ramLlama

    Factory radio, but with a aftermarket Bluetooth/AUX kit installed. Combined with a cell phone mount and a USB charger, it’s all I need.

  18. Douche_McGee Avatar
    Douche_McGee

    My FiST has the factory stereo because Ford MyTouch controls way too much shit

  19. engineerd Avatar
    engineerd

    2/3 of the fleet (wife’s Edge and the Bimmer) runs the stock stereo. Sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s, automakers actually started putting decent stereos in their vehicles making replacement unnecessary. The other 1/3 is a 2001 Cherokee with came with the horrid system from DaimlerChrysler. It was one of the first upgrades. Plus I needed Bluetooth to avoid a phone talking ticket from the guys with sirens and lights on their cars.

  20. I_Borgward Avatar
    I_Borgward

    What’s so bad about listening to NPR?
    After eight hours surrounded whining servers, the roar of HVAC and squawking audio monitors, I want to hear nothing more than the purr of an engine on my 7 mile drive home from work. Consequently, the audio system in my daily driver has devolved to a crusty Pioneer in-dash with a broken cassette deck. I purposely made it look even crustier with a Sharpie just to discourage thieves. That and a couple of crappy 4” door speakers are enough to catch All Things Considered when I’m in the mood.
    My other two rides take on road trip duties, so better tunes are required. I’ve become a huge fan of the mighty LePai LP-2020a. $25 gets you an amp the size of a paperback with RCA or 1/8” inputs and an actual volume knob. Easy to conceal and small enough to mount just about anywhere. One gets this amp with two door speakers and a pair of 6x9s in the trunk, wired in series to keep the impedance up. My van gets the amp plus an old pair of Acoustic Research AR6 bookshelf speakers tucked in the back.

  21. Citric Avatar
    Citric

    I have run a stock stereo in everything but my first car, and I can’t see myself getting aftermarket again just because they’re all so ugly. Just tiny buttons and flashy obnoxious displays and garish color schemes.

  22. jeepjeff Avatar
    jeepjeff

    Option 4: DIY replacement. The Jeep’s factory radio was broken when I got it. CD player loved to jam, and the volume knob would do nothing, volume up or volume down on each click at its discretion no matter which direction you turned it. And it never managed to have much output.
    So, I replaced it a couple years ago. Rather than buy an off-the-shelf thing, I thought it would be more fun to cobble something together, because I realized I only wanted bluetooth. So, I got a logitech bluetooth adapter and a Lepai LP2020 stereo amp. I gutted the original stereo and mounted the amp and bluetooth adapter in the original’s frame. I had to solder in a remote switch for the adapter, and run a little bit of clear plastic to bring its LED status indicator out to the front panel. I also had to build a 12V/5V DC-DC converter to power the adapter. I overspecced that circuit, and added a couple USB ports to the dash to use as built in charging ports.
    Pros: the Lepai sounds great. Way better than it has any right to. I can use my phone as a receiver, and as T-mo lets me do unlimited streaming, I get all the Pandora I want while driving. Also, the charger ports are great, as I’m not worried about my phone dieing on the road, and I don’t have to worry about finding a lighter adapter that isn’t just a LM7805 in a PVC pipe (as much as I love LM7805s, they aren’t up for phone charging duty). Super simple controls, quick to adjust when at a stop light.
    Cons: Probably wasn’t cheaper than an off-the-shelf unit. Also, my finishing work sucks, so the front panel looks slapped together.
    Bugs: There’s a big capacitor in the input to the power circuit. It’s fed by the switched 12V wire under the dash. Which also connects to the inductor side of one of the relays. This forms an LRC circuit with a time constant of around 1/3 to 1/2 second. (It needs a diode, I’ve been too lazy to pull the thing and solder a big enough one in). I learned after I put the thing together that the way to signal “charging only” for a USB port is to short the data lines. So, phones don’t charge as quickly as they could off the power ports.
    Overall? I’ve been extremely happy with it. It does one thing and does it well.

    1. jeepjeff Avatar
      jeepjeff

      On my motorcycles, I enjoy the sweet sounds of BRAAAAAAAAP. Sound system on the TW200 is fantastic. Stock sound system on the FZ-07 is super quiet and mostly hides the fact that it’s a 270° twin. That’s on the to-fix list.

    2. I_Borgward Avatar
      I_Borgward

      I like the cut of your jib! And you’re way ahead of me on power supply set up, I’m still adapter and lighter socket-dependent.
      Bluetooth is the next frontier for me, though I suspect that audio quality will vary from one adapter to the next. Are you happy with the Logitech?

      1. jeepjeff Avatar
        jeepjeff

        The Logitech unit has been great. Again, it’s meant for a home audio setup, but feed it 5V and it’s happy anywhere. I would expect most adapters from reputable brands to sound decent. It’s probably more critical to run the signal through a decent amp (I’m a bit of an audiophile, but I have some strong preference for good enough and optimizing on price/performance, hence the Lepai).

      2. jeepjeff Avatar
        jeepjeff

        Oh, and you want to go with an IC that implements a switching power supply. That minimizes power dissipation through the conversion circuit (thus allowing higher amperage out with better reliability). I actually built two circuits, one that was 5V out and the other that was 12V out, so I’d get clean power into the amplifier.

  23. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    Yes

  24. PaulE Avatar
    PaulE

    Mixed bag here:
    The Lexus LS still has the original Nakamichi setup, with all the drivers in the doors having been re-foamed at least once and still sounding quite good. I’d gladly go to a newer head unit with Bluetooth, USB, etc., but the radio-amp wiring for the Nak-equipped Lexii ain’t normal/is a PITA to interface with anything else and modern 2xDIN units have giant touch screens or ‘Tokyo-by-night’ displays. Ugh.
    The Saab 9000 has an old Alpine CD unit with Boston Acoustics 2-ways up front and a two-way setup in back consisting of the original Phillips tweeters and Bose drivers from a W202 Benz I parted years ago.

  25. sporty88 Avatar
    sporty88

    Cheap aftermarket head unit I installed last weekend in my Holden (stock unit was broken when I bought it 2 weeks ago). Stock AM/FM/Cassette in the Falcon ute. Nothing in the garage-ornament Valiant, or on either of my bikes.

  26. CherokeeOwner Avatar
    CherokeeOwner

    Aftermarket radio, for years. Because I want iPod and Bluetooth connectivity in a (Currently) 215k ’00 Cherokee. I initially tried FM transmitters when I got my first iPod shuffle, but decided a USB hookup was a better way. Bluetooth is nice, but it’s not hands-free — still have to dial on the phone itself.
    As much as I like my old Cherokee, I am looking forward to the day I get something that comes with USB ports and Bluetooth from the factory. Not getting Carplay or Android’s system, though.

  27. SlowJoeCrow Avatar
    SlowJoeCrow

    It varies with the car. Anything that had a DIN radio or could easily adapt usually ended with aftermarket. Modern cars often have the radio so tightly integrated it’s factory only. Thus the Mazda5 has the factory CD which I find perfectly adequate. The Saturn SL2 has a Sanyo single DIN CD Cassette combo, because Grandma specced it with the base AM/FM radio. Our late and lamented Ford Escort had the the usual 90s Ford single DIN cassette deck until it died and was replaced with an Aiwa CD unit that was the cheapest thing Crutchfield had with a free adapter kit and some Kenwood speakers to replace a blown factory speaker. The Aiwa also died and was replaced with a Pioneer head unit that is now in the garage after we scrapped the Escort, along with the Kenwood speakers waiting for a new host.

  28. salguod Avatar

    2007 Prius – factory JBL system.
    2005 Mazda3 – factory CD changer with add on “aux mod” so my daughter can use her phone / iPod.
    1998 Escort – New “Boss” head unit from Crutchfield ($60!) with aux input, SD card slot, USB plug and Bluetooth (replaced factory cassette deck)
    1996 BMW 318ti – JVC Bluetooth head unit with its own mic for hands free calling ($80!) replaced factory cassette deck with bad display that would go silent when I hit a bump.
    1960 Thunderbird – non functional factory push button AM radio with separate tube amp. I use a Bluetooth speaker and my phone instead

  29. NCImportamation Avatar
    NCImportamation

    I wish I could go aftermarket! None of my daily drivers has a standard opening. The 2014 Jeep and 2011 LR4 systems are fine. The 2007 S550 refused to do anything recently, so I shipped the suspect component off to Becker in NJ for a rebuild. The tuner/amp in the trunk went bad, but at 170,000 miles I guess one can’t complain too much. For less money I could have had a killer aftermarket head unit, but it’s all concealed in the trunk and fiber optic and yada yada yada. A real mess to try to change over to something else.

  30. Sean McMillan Avatar
    Sean McMillan

    Factory radio in the Volvo, it’s got cd and tapedeck and a decent set of speakers so why mess with it.
    Aftermarket in the Lancer, mounted under dash with factory AM unit still in place, only rear deck speakers until I figure out a good placement for front ones. And no need to be dissin’ on the NPR. When my old work truck only had radio, I loved the morning classical music programs. And Echoes is great too.

  31. Tiller188 Avatar
    Tiller188

    Do I have a factory radio or an aftermarket radio? Er…yes. The original stereo in my WRX was a decent enough unit (in terms of feature set, at least; sound-wise, who cares, I drive a WRX with an SPT catback — I could have an audiophile-grade rig and not know it without the help of the car’s own weight in Dynamat), but it had a 2 line x 12 character dot matrix display that also did not scroll, so the usefulness of the track/artist info it could display was kinda limited. That, and the car completely takes over the interface of the iPod I use for mobile tunes, so that display was a real pain when looking for a particular song/artist. I found a factory stereo (that was offered in Foresters, but never the WRX, for some reason) with a much-nicer, 4″-ish color LCD screen — small by today’s standards, but much-improved, and a direct plug and play fit for my car, right down to the connector pinouts. Everything still works (steering wheel controls, integrated mic and controls for the phone Bluetooth connection, etc.), user interface is much-improved, and the presence of the screen has also allowed me to install a rearview camera. On top of all that, it still looks completely stock, except to the anoraks like myself who know that this stereo was never offered in this car…which I definitely treat as a positive.
    Meanwhile, though, the title of Evile’s “Armoured Assault” used to get cut off in an unfortunate/amusing way on the old 12-character display — haven’t decided whether it’s a pro or con that it no longer does.

  32. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar
    Cool_Cadillac_Cat

    My wife’s ’02 RX300 has the original Nak system, 100% untouched. No need to even re-foam surround, yet.
    The ZJ’s OEM Infiniti system, OTOH…I’m still working on just replacing drivers, as none of the original ones have any foam left…since probably 2007. The CD player doesn’t work, but the tape deck does, so pumping jams through it via a cassette adapter works well and sounds pretty damned good. Plus, the 1998 steering wheel radio controls all work 100%.
    I do miss the stereo in Pearl, my ’05 STS. The only Bose system I could get to sound ‘right’ to my ears, and it could deafen most folks.
    Unfortunately, that car was likely sent to Mexico on a salvage title.
    FWIW, my wife once had an early-80s Kraemer DP 930 or 935 with the pictured Blaupunkt Berlin. She hated that radio. Said the car attracted WAY too much attention, too.
    Her and ex-husband #2 ran a grey market import biz for several years, so she had some interesting rides for months at a time.

  33. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    ’78 Lancia Gamma Coupe: None fitted, I have to hear that engine note, (and perhaps more importantly, hear what is going wrong next).
    ’79 Citroen CX: Aftermarket Pioneer AM/FM Cas.Tape in car at purchase.
    ’86 Espace: Amazing quality factory Phillips AM/FM Cas.Tape.
    ’86 Citroen BX: Pioneer AM/FM CD in car when bought
    ’86 Civic Shuttle: Factory NZ spec Clarion AM/FM Cas.Tape
    ’87 Rover 825 Sterling: Factory Phillips AM/FM Cas.Tape and no engine noise.
    ’89 Rover 820i Fastback: Original Phillips factory replaced by aftermarket Kenwood AM/FM CD Stacker
    ’91 Mercedes Benz 300E:Original Japanese market mega dollar Technics AM/FM Cas.Tape with frequency converter for NZ FM.
    ’92 Mercedes Benz 300CE: Aftermarket Kenwood AM/FM CD/CD stacker
    ’92 ” ” 300E Sportline: Factory NZ new megadollar Technics AM/FM CD stacker and very good (?) aftermarket speakers
    92 Mercedes Benz 300TE: Factory UK spec Blaupunkt Montreal
    No DAB broadcasts in NZ and some very good commercial free radio and a cassette tape adapter plays my digital recordings. Might get other stereos adapted but still have many good CDs with superior sound quality to most digital recordings so not a priority.

  34. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
    dead_elvis, inc.

    Well, the ’87 Volvo 240 DD had the fancypants Volvo factory FM/AM/cassette stereo corpse & some crumbly speakers in the doors upon purchase, so off to Crutchfield it was for an el-cheapo refurb JVC radio w/USB input (FM, probably AM too, no CD player) & whatever was on sale that fit the factory door spot. It’s usually podcasts or NPR on the commute, music for roadtrips or good roads & recreational toodling about. $150 & 8 years in, still good ‘nuf.

  35. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    The FM net is due to be replaced by DAB in Norway next year. So I bought a DAB+ compatible Panasonic when I acquired the Honda. Then I cleansed the air channels and AC with chlorine water. Then I replaced the defunct Panasonic with an 18$ USB reading radio because I can’t have nice things. Also, I don’t listen to the radio. The Camry has a super clunky 2 DIN factory unit that would just be so harsh to displace.

  36. sunbeammadd Avatar

    Trying this again as my original post was blocked by Disqus.
    16 Polo GTI – factory radio
    63 Alpine – the aftermarket radio stopped working. I pulled it out and never got around to replacing it.
    69 Imp Sport – early 90s Phillips cassette player. But I never use it as I can’t hear it over the exhaust.

  37. LeaksOil Avatar
    LeaksOil

    Minivan- pioneer DEH series with Bluetooth, USB input, aux input, and Pandora controls/Siri support. Oem didn’t have any form of AUX input=not good. Sounds way better.
    Forester- oem head unit + speakers currently. Have an aftermarket Bluetooth unit that plugs into the aux input to allow wireless streaming. I mostly did this bc the input was super sensitive and if you moved the cable when it was being used (i.e. It moved from bumps or taking a turn) sound would cut out on one side and it drove me crazy. Least expensive option that works great was Bluetooth adapter. It plugs into the cigarette lighter (right next to the input) and has a cord that goes into the input. Has an extra USB port that I keep a lightning cable in for my phone.

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