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What's The Best Factory In-Car Sound System Of All Time?

Illustration for article titled Whats The Best Factory In-Car Sound System Of All Time?

Cars aren't just transportation devices - they're our own personal concert halls, rock concerts, and radio booths. What company has done car audio best?

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There are all kinds of bizarre aftermarket systems, but what about the best audio you can get from the factory?

I'm not a big audio nerd, but I'd have to guess that the optional $4,450 Meridian 3D system in the new Range Rover would have to be up there. It has 29 speakers. How do you top that?

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What do you think is the best (or just the coolest or weirdest) factory in-car sound system ever made?

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of the Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

Photo Credit: Land Rover

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DISCUSSION

Car audio doesn't impress me at all. It's all crap — even the multi-thousand dollar aftermarket systems I've listened to sound bad.

I used to be into car audio — heavily. It was more important to have a good stereo than a good engine (blasphemy, I know.) THEN, after I got out of college and could afford a real home audio system, I learned how truly bad all car audio was.

A car is the worst imaginable place to try to reproduce the sound from a performance. It's small. It's cramped. Its full of odd reflective surfaces and absorptive surfaces. It forces the speakers to be located in strange places. It forces the listener to be in the worst possible place — right next to a speaker.

A car makes noise. There's wind noise, engine noise, tire noise, and traffic noise. As it ages there are squeaks and rattles. It you like bass-heavy music and you turn the volume up, you get rattles from that too.

And yet, folks still dump thousands of dollars into factory and aftermarket sound systems who's ROI is minimal, at best.

Take those same thousands of dollars and invest in a good home audio system, and put t in a good room for listening. Your money will be MUCH better spent.

Or better yet, buy a good MP3 player, a modern headphone amplifier, and a GOOD set of headphones for the best portable audio system ever (just don't use it while driving!)

Listening to good music in the car is about as practical as having a fine dining experience in your car.