Robert B. White/ November 14, 2018/ General/ 0 comments

Car audio systems can get very confusing for the non-expert indeed. Beyond the point of ‘Car CD Mp3 player’ most people tune out, finding it difficult to comprehend all the specifications and what they actually mean! If you’re not a scientifically minded person, it can be hard enough to understand, never mind seem interested. However, if you buy electronic products, specifically car audio, you will probably need some grounded knowledge of basic terminology, which will help you make the best decision when it comes to buying the product.


Of all, it’s important to understand the importance of the measurement of power in an electronic product. It will not only help you understand how much power is needed to power it, but sometimes what accessories are compatible.

V stands for Volts, which is a measurement of electronic potential.

Watts is shortened down to a simple ‘W’, which is a measurement of electrical power. It can translated in joules as one joule per second.

DC stands for direct circuit, where the current flows one way. Most cars work on a DC circuit, hence it’s very important to connect the positive lead and the negative or ground lead of the battery in the correct place.

AC is the acronym for alternating current. The voltage in this circuit fluctuates enabling the current to travel either way. In direct opposition to the DC circuit, it’s not always vital that you connect the cable in a distinct place. You still may need to know which one is the positive and the negative cable with certain AC circuits. A popular use for the AC circuit in cars is the attached speakers.


HZ is for Hertz, which is a measurement of frequency. It can be used to measure both electronic devices and sound waves. Frequency is often described as the cycles per second where there is a pattern, between for instance sound waves. A human’s hearing understands the sound waves frequency as pitch, hence a note reflects a frequency that can be measured in hertz. Since humans have a limited range of 20Hz to 20,000 Hz, we can hear frequencies of sound waves within these regions.

SPL stands for sound level pressure, which is defined as a sound wave pressure level that is deviant from equilibrium.

THD, or total harmonic distortion, measures to what extent an electronic device may distort a signal, creating what we know as distortion. THD is measured in percentages. For instance, a THD of around 0.2% is likely to be inaudible to the human ear. To overcome the problem of distortion, many car audio buyers purchase a stereo that eradicates or dampens distortion problems, or buy subwoofers, amplifiers an equalizers in order to least improve the problem of distortion. Find out more on

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