Not Your Father’s Cassette Player – The New Car Entertainment Center

Back growing up I remember my first car music player, the good ole 8 track tape player. I bought it at the local department store with money I earned by pumping gas on weekends for $1.00 per hour (I know I’m dating myself here). The player was a nondescript box with a couple of lights on the front of it and a button to switch tracks. It mounted underneath the dash on supports mounted by drilling holes in the underside of the dash. Two big speakers mounting on the rear surface of the back seat completed the installation. The music was loaded onto magnetic tape that played noisily, and the sound quality was not that good, but we didn’t care – it was our music. My how things have changed.
The car entertainment center being sold today offers a myriad of audio/digital functions. Sure, there is the standard AM/FM receiver that has always been common, as well as a CD player and/or cassette deck. But that is where the similarity stops. Today’s digital wonders play music from a plethora of sources – mp3 players such as the iPod, satellite music, smartphones, and USB thumb drives just to name a few.
How would you like to see “Transformers” from the front seat of your car? Today’s receivers offer a DVD player along with the assorted music options so you can watch your favorite movie while the spouse is in the store shopping. It turns being a designated driver into an enjoyable experience.
Are you one of those who hates to ask for directions (I confess, I am)? Just switch to GPS mode and be given directions to your favorite coffee shop in no time. Have trouble parallel parking? Some receivers come with a rear facing camera that makes getting into that crowded parking space a snap.
In some states it is against the law to talk on a cellphone while you are driving. Have no fear – some receivers offer hands free Bluetooth communication while you are driving, enabling you to pay attention to the road. When you receive a call, answer the phone, and you hear the caller through the speakers in your car. This is a much safer way to discuss business or evening plans with your spouse.
With all of these features, it is worth mentioning that the receivers these days do a much better job of what their ancestors were designed to do – play music. the sound quality of these modern players rival that of home theater systems. Features such as equalizers make the music being played in different interiors sound like you are in a concert hall.
The best thing about all of these new players is that you don’t have to rob a bank to buy one. You can get a pretty full featured unit for about the same price as a higher quality car stereo back 10 years ago. If you haven’t taken a look at the new generation of car entertainment devices, you may want to try, especially since Christmas gives a good opportunity to upgrade. You never can tell when 8 track tape players may go out of style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 + 17 =