Car Stereo Systems – Blasting the Beat of the Best

The invention of the car stereo system happened back in the 1930’s although they were very costly additions or add-ons that one might elect to purchase. The history of the best car sound systems and best car speakers has been a fascinating journey filled with many changes and alternatives in a relatively short timeframe. An example of the vast changes that have taken place in the car audio spectrum is as follows.

  • 1952 we are brought the AM radio
  • ​1953 we began to have the ability to “seek”
  • ​1956 an odd 45 rpm in dash turntable was offered
  • ​1964 we began to see the first auto cassette tape players
  • ​1965 the addition of the 8-track car sound systems
  • ​1970’s was the beginning of the first aftermarket options

Aftermarket Leaders

The leaders in aftermarket production were Pioneer, Blaupunkt, Kenwood, and Alpine. They began to bring us a selection of product offerings for the very first time in regards to sound systems as well as speakers and thus the true beginning of actual options in the type of audio receivers began and one was able to select the best car speakers for the first time.

Vintage Cadillac Car Radio

Prior to the 1970’s the only sounds one could have come from their vehicle. was given to them at the mercy of the car brand and maker.

The 1980’s

Starting in the 1980’s the offering of pull-out receivers hit the market as a means to help lower the numbers of car audio thefts that began occurring. It was also around this time that the car sound system began to become more like the home sound systems in regards to sound the quality and overall sophistication. During the late 80’s we begin to see the first in the following examples.

  • rear vehicle sounds by adding additional speakers
  • ​speaker configurations utilizing multiple speakers
  • the onset of car competitions in the audio category
  • the first CD’s began to be played in autos
Old Car Player with CD Player

The 1990’s

The 1990’s brings us into the era of the compact discs also known as the CD and with dramatically improved and increased sound qualities, as the CD did not begin to degrade with multiple plays like the cassettes. Many other great options began to be offered thanks to the onset of the CD a few of which are to follow, thus improving the car sound system in ways that had never before been thought possible.

  • music that could be played thousands of times
  • ​the ability to stop and instantly replay a song
  • the ability to fast move from song 1 to song 5
  • multiple CD changers become commonplace

2000’s to 2010’s

It wasn’t until the 2000’s that car sound systems began to have some actual depth of use. Car sound systems began to be so much more than just radio receivers and music players thanks to the onset of the digital music age.

Todays Car Radios with Access to Internet Tunein Radio

The new abilities that are now commonplace began to include the following examples in car audio player options.

  • the ability to play internet radio
  • ​the ability to play satellite radio
  • adaptor based personal player sounds
  • digital music playing abilities

Bluetooth Car Stereo

The concept and addition of the Bluetooth car stereo options are one that created the ability for one to literally have the option of playing their favorite music by whatever means they enjoyed it within the car.

However, one will find that often car audio lags greatly with the options in new cars varying greatly by makers. For example, one could still find new cars coming with the following old technology as late as 2008, 2010 or later.

  • ​new cars complete with cassette decks
  • ​new cars complete with CD decks
  • systems to still have plugs for adaptor based options

Today’s Car Stereos

Even with all the advances that one has seen in regards to the car stereo systems we remain in an area that has many stuck in regards to options. Bluetooth streaming, USB jacks, or SD card sideloading is as far as the audio systems have progressed in most cases.

JVC KDR660 Car Stereo Frontside Remote and Cabels

The 2012’s was the earliest timeframe that one began to be guaranteed at least one auxiliary jack option in their automobile audio systems although more options tend to be the case today.


Car stereo conclusions are an entirely different type of conclusion as they are all based on personal lifestyle and opinion rather than on need or overall function. The need of one person is often very different than the need of the next nine people that they are standing near as one could enjoy a system that is based on overall clarity, the next on the bass levels, whereas the next could only have the requirement of not driving in silence.