Chances are you’re too young to remember this, but there was a time when car audio was limited to AM radio or even 8-track cassettes. Even today, many new cars ship with a standard entertainment system that doesn’t get much fancier than an in-dash CD player. Fortunately, Best Buy has an entire department dedicated to upgrading your ride with the latest in audio and other high tech gear, including emerging new platforms like Apple’s CarPlay. Whether you want a subwoofer powerful enough to rattle your entire block, Bluetooth handsfree capability, a navigation system, video playback or the ability to use Siri to find a favourite tune, Best Buy has you covered.

Music Makes Driving Better

Music and cars (or trucks) have gone hand in hand for decades. While the audio systems that come standard with most vehicles have improved, they can often be underwhelming unless you spend the money for an upgrade —which may require purchasing an entire option package.

It’s often more economical (and better results) if you upgrade components. For example, the speakers currently in my truck are up to the task, but the entertainment system lacks Bluetooth or even USB input. I can pick up a new receiver from a leading manufacturer like JVC, Pioneer, Sony or Alpine and gain key functionality like iPhone or Android support, MP3 compatibility, GPS capability, satellite radio support or even multimedia playback.

If you already have a deck that does what you want it to, punching it up with a subwoofer or some new speakers can improve sound dramatically over the factory system.

HandFree is Safer (and Often the Law)

Many of us don’t go anywhere without our smartphones. However, taking a call, sending a text message or even finding a new playlist is distracting to the driver —in some provinces, it’s illegal.

Upgrade your car deck to one with for hands-free calls. Optional steering wheel controls available on some give you full control of the music too, without having to ever look away from the road.

CarPlay

One of the most exciting high tech developments to hit the inside of a vehicle has been Apple’s new CarPlay standard. In a nutshell, CarPlay is a platform for seamlessly integrating your iPhone or iPad with your vehicle’s entertainment system. Some CarPlay decks will have touchscreen controls, some will use old school knobs —both will let you use those controls to interact with your iPhone.

Siri will play a big role in CarPlay as well, offering voice control over everything from navigation to music while letting you dictate e-mails and messages. Those touchscreen decks will be able to run apps as well, by the way.

Look for car decks sporting CarPlay compatibility from Pioneer landing soon at Best Buy.

Car Accessories

If you haven’t quite gotten around to taking your spring cleaning to your wheels, now’s the perfect time to think about it. While you’re at it, maybe it’s time to replace those salt-crusted floor mats or treat yourself to a remote car starter so once winter comes back again (sorry but it’s going to happen), you won’t have to do the dreaded run through the snow to get the car warmed up.

I tow a trailer during the summer months and this year I’ll be looking at a high tech video solution for seeing what’s going on behind the rig.

Whatever you need to pump up the audio or boost the high tech capabilities of your ride, you can find it at Best Buy.

 

 

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.