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2. Automotive Audio Entertainment > 12. Get a Headful About Your Car Audio

Get a Headful About Your Car Audio

The centerpiece of your car’s entertainment system is the car radio. You should know how it interacts with your car’s speakers and other electronics before you yank it out.

Almost every car ships with a radio. Most car radios also include a tape deck or a CD player, and some current vehicles still come equipped with both. Many new car radios are also capable of controlling a multi-disc CD changer or connecting to a satellite radio. Because the car radio is really a master control for all sorts of electronic entertainment devices, it is often called a head unit.

Head Units

General Motors, BMW, Honda, Saab, Ford, and car company you can think of, all manufacture different head units for their vehicles, and they often use different units depending upon the year and vehicle model. Each car company has its own proprietary interface for CD changers, and there are no real standards. Figure 2-1 shows a simple OEM (original equipment manufacturer) head unit.


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