Can I Add An Amplifier to My Factory Stereo?
So, you just got yourself a brand-new-top-of-the-line-best-2027 car or truck and you’ve made one huge realization- the factory sound system sucks. Well, the sound system sucks but you actually really like the factory radio that comes with it (Apple CarPlay and back-up cameras are awesome).
Tons of people call into the shop to ask us this question about their vehicles- can I add a sound system to my car/truck without changing the radio? The answer is absolutely! We can install sound systems into most car or trucks without having to install an aftermarket radio because of adapters called Line Output Converters (LOC for short).
Adding an Amplifier to Your Factory System
A line output converter is a device that allows us to get an audio signal from your original stereo system and send that signal to a monobloc amplifier if you just want to add bass, or a 4-channel amplifier if you want to do a full sound system. Amplifiers are the core of any audio system because they are what actually power your speakers and subwoofers to deliver better sound quality and will give you an overall better listening experience.
Now keep in mind that not all line output converters are made equal. There’s a ton of options out there when it comes to line output converters that will fit all sorts of budgets, but keep in mind that line output converters are the foundation of your sound system- having a good quality audio signal from your factory car stereo can make or break your sound system.
We always recommend using high quality line output converters from trusted brands like AudioControl, PAC Audio and JL Audio. These companies have decades of experience building high-quality car audio components so you can rest assured that you’re installing one of the best line output converters in the industry into your sound system.
No matter what line output converter you choose, just make sure you follow the installation instructions carefully and double check your connections to assure everything is wired up correctly. Doing this will help you get the most out of your sound system.
Adding a Subwoofer to Your Factory Radio
If you’re only looking to install an amplifier and subwoofer to your vehicle’s factory sound system you’ll only need a line output converter that has 2 RCA speaker outputs for your bass amp. Some 2-channel LOCs like the LC2i from audio control will even allow you to adjust output levels and give you bass boosting capabilities via their Accubass Optimization which will give you a rock solid bass. The only downside to using a 2-channel LOC is that if you’re looking to replace the entire factory sound system with an aftermarket one, you’ll need a line output converter that has more than 2 RCA outputs.
Adding a Voice Amp AND a Subwoofer to Your Factory Radio
Sometimes just adding a subwoofer to your factory system isn’t enough to get the powerful sound you’re looking for. If you want your audio system to really sound great, you may also want to upgrade your door speaker setup by adding a 4-channel amplifier. If you are installing a 4 channel amp to your vehicle, a single 2-channel LOC will not give you the correct amount of RCA outputs you will need to power your amplifiers. This is where you need to take into account both your budget and the quality of sound you are looking to get.
For a budget-friendly option, you could buy two more 2-channel LOCs and install those to give you the extra RCA outputs you need. This means that you will have a total of 3 line output converters installed into your factory system- 1 for bass, and two for your voice amp. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this sort of setup we definitely suggest considering using high quality LOCs for your voice amp to avoid introducing any sort of distortion in your system.
If you want to achieve a truly high-end sound in your vehicle, you may want to invest in a 6-channel LOC like AudioControl’s LC6i. This LOC comes with a total of 6 RCA outputs- 2 dedicated for bass, and 4 dedicated for voice.-and gives you a wide range of adjustments options for all 6 channels. With this setup you’ll be able to adjust the signal from your stereo and divide it equally amongst both of your amps which will minimize distortion. This will ensure that all channels of each of your amps are working optimally, resulting in a powerful and clear sound.
Making The Right Choice
Choosing the right products to build your sound system can feel overwhelming at times. Factors like budget, brand preferences, and audio quality goals can all make it difficult to make a decision on what kind of converter you will need to install an amplifier. Visiting your local audio shop and getting input from knowledgable staff can make installing an upgraded sound system a breeze. If you’re near the Houston, Tx area looking to get a sound system installed into your car or simply would like a quote, I would highly recommend visiting us at High Tech AutoSound Warehouse. We offer a wide selection of audio components from top brands like Rockford Fosgate, Kicker, Kenwood and more. On top of that, our team of experts can provide you with invaluable advice on how to install the best sound system for your vehicle. With our help, you’re sure to get the perfect sound system in no time.