Why are car stereos so U-G-L-Y?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dontwalkhand, May 20, 2009.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    Why are car stereos so UGLY? Every type of after market car stereo I see is just a bunch of flashing lights, and 5,000lbs of chrome..designed for teenie boppers thumping down their neighborhood street until their mom yells at them to come inside!

    Now, look at something like an iMac, a BlackBerry Bold, or an iPhone, and you see these are elegantly designed.

    Now look at an after market car stereo...plastic piles of junk! I have yet to find ONE good looking after market car stereo at a Best Buy, or any local audio installation place.

    The touchscreen ones aren't any better, as they may have removed SOME of the flashing lights the UI is gaudy and designed for those same teenie boppers.

    Using these stupid things with its tiny hard to read display that uses segmented LCDs is also ultimate crap.

    If anyone needs a new design team, it would be the ENTIRE CAR AUDIO INDUSTRY!

    No offense to any PC gamers in here, but all car stereos remind me of those ugly PC Gaming cases! (I use a Mac )

    APPLE, WE NEED YOU IN CAR STEREOS!
     
  2. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    >9,000
  3. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #3
    I couldn't agree more.

    After market stereos are the worst looking things in the world. I wish my car's factory model would have come with an aux-in port for my iPhone, but alas it did not. So as an alternative, I'm looking to get an FM modulator, wire it up to my factory radio, and hook the iPhone up that way.

    I do not want an ugly, flashing light radio faceplate. Yuck.
     
  4. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #4
    Pioneer did a nice one a few years back. I can't remember the model though.:eek:
     
  5. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    Yeah they're pretty gaudy to say the least. But alas, all stereo manufacturers aim their products toward one demographic in particular...
     

    Attached Files:

  6. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    Seems like all the car manufacturers gave up on the standard stereo size anyway - they're all doing their own thing in integrating the stereo into the dash. The days of easily dropping an aftermarket head unit into a car appear to be over.
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #7
    Exactly. Most people who just want a stereo have it built in to their own cars. Those who don't fall into two categories - the aftermarket, or those with really old cars. The latter won't pay much, and the former care more about specs and the number of flashing buttons it has.
     
  8. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #8
    my kenwood sounds great, isn't very flashy, and has a usb port to read my mp3s off of a jump drive.
     
  9. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #9
    It's not just the flashing lights and gaudy UI's. We were looking for a stereo for my wife's car. The buttons and knobs are small, not conducive to finding by touch, and too close together.

    And why the heck do you need a remote control for a car stereo?
     
  10. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #10
    So that somebody sitting in the back can control the music and annoy the hell out of the driver, obviously.

    My aftermarket ipod-compatible stereo came with a remote, it just sits in the glovebox. And as has been mentioned already in this thread, the stereo is damn fiddly, and hardly intuitive.

    But then it does let me control my ipod from the glovebox, and was under £100 so you get what you pay for.


    The disadvantage I find with these newer cars with stereo's integrated into the dash is the ability to connect an mp3 player or an ipod to them. I've been looking into buying a new car, but the lack of ability to connect my ipod to the stereo's is disappointing to say the least.
     
  11. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    Your comparison hit it dead on! Most companies just do not know how to design well.

    Form and function should compliment each other.
     
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #12
    That rules Apple out for starters.
     
  13. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    I like Alpines. Currently have this one, CDA-9886
    [​IMG]

    Looks fine to me, just in a 2000 Jeep Cherokee.
     
  14. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #14
    I had an Alpine back in the 90's that was standard size and pretty simple as far as looks and interface. Unfortunately, it's just not a market that seeks for its design to be elegant and simple. But don't worry, the traditional idea of a car stereo is on it's way out as automobiles become more computer/GPS/media/network driven. My hope is that this change will promote an emphasis on ease of use and interface simplicity. After all, the goal is to be able to operate the technology safely in your car while actually driving.
     
  15. Andrew K. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #15
    I make sure those people who drive those cars see me laughing right at there face when they pull up to next to my dodge ram sport w/ SRT 10 rims, and rev their engines like I'm gonna race them. That's partly the reason why I still haven't tinted my windows hahahahaha :D
     
  16. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #16
    That thing looks like it would bottom out on a railroad track it is so low.

    Let me think maybe RV's
     
  17. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    #17
    McIntosh and Nakamichi are nice, but expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #18
    That particular Alpine seems to come recommended in a lot of places. Is it really all that great?
     
  19. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #19
    Been looking at some with Bluetooth A2DP and Aux in. Any you guys know are good?
     
  20. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #20
    No kidding. After much agonizing I finally decided on getting the missus a new stereo for her car last Christmas. Agonizing in that I feel a gift has to be meaningful and not just any old thing; the year before I got her a drafting table (she's an interior designer and it was perfect for her), but I digress. She's got a Honda Civic, not the most uncommon of cars, yet in addition to the head unit and a new pair of front speakers, I also had to buy a custom harness for it to fit. It was just a little bit of plastic but it was somewhere around $40. Insane.

    What I'd like to see Apple do is come out with a head unit that has a slot you just plug your iPod into directly. No cables or custom wiring job needed, just something clean, elegant, and simple.
     
  21. dontwalkhand thread starter macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Coincidentally the nicest looking product has a name that sounds similar (or depending on how you pronounce it, the same as) to a certain Apple product (HINT: Leopard) ;)
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #22
    I honestly hate how they are doing this because the stock head units are crap in sound quality compared to a decent after market (decent being 200-300).

    My last car I put in about $400 in replacing stock sound system. All it was was 4 new speakers and 1 new head unit. It sounded so much better.
     
  23. madoka macrumors 6502

    madoka

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #23
    Frankly, I could not live without my remote on my aftermarket Pioneer. I don't have to fumble with tiny buttons on the receiver. I don't have to take my eyes off the road as I have memorized the button placement on the remote. It's really, really efficient. I wish my Lexus had that in addition to the steering wheel controls.
     
  24. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #24
    The Pioneer DEH-P880PRS is a very nice, simple, classy looking unit with a ton of useful tuning features. I have one in my Kenworth and love it. I have my iPhone plugged into it with this cable and a Pro-Clips pass through holder.

    It comes with a remote that I keep in the sleeper, I also have an old remote(from an 11 year old DEH-P4000 I still have, that works) that I keep up front and use while driving. I use the remote because it is much easier than having to reach over to the unit to make changes, most changes I make are done without taking my eyes off the road. It is small enough that I can hold onto it in my right hand while shifting.

    I'll be home in a couple days, I'll take some pictures of my setup and post them. I'll be adding a couple amps and some new speakers soon.
     
  25. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816

    Rapmastac1

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Location:
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    #25
    Great topic! I do agree most stereos are very ugly.

    I wish they looked as good as some OEM stereos, like mine;

    [​IMG]

    But my new radio is pretty ugly;

    [​IMG]

    But at least now I get full iPod connectivity without using a cassette tape.
     

Share This Page