Car audio for sedans, coupes, suvs, and trucks. Lifted or lowered. Rockford Fosgate audio ensures the experience is performance driven - just like your ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

Aftermarket Car Audio versus Factory Installed Car Audio

Most factory-installed speakers and sound systems (those that came in the car when you bought it) do not sound as good or play as loud as an aftermarket car audio system like those Rockford Fosgate offers.

Why? Car manufacturers are trying to control the overall price of the car, truck, or SUV. As a result, manufacturer-installed systems typically use speakers and audio components that are just good enough in order to control the vehicle's price. They figure most people won’t notice the difference. But those people aren’t you. Replacing your factory system with a Rockford Fosgate system will dramatically increase the clarity of your car audio system.

You’ll hear this when you turn up the stereo that your car originally came with. Even "premium" factory-installed systems won't stack up to high-quality aftermarket systems. Often you’ll hear the speakers start to distort or break up. If you find yourself having to turn up the high frequencies or the bass sounds hollow, you’ll know there is room for dramatic audio improvement.

If you decide it’s time to upgrade to a new aftermarket car stereo, you’ll have a lot of things to consider such as price, size, features, what type of music you prefer, and whether you want to rattle the windows when you drive down the street. Our experts can guide you in the decision process.

What is a Car Stereo? What are the parts of a car stereo?

There are three main parts to a car stereo system.

Source Unit

Sometimes this is called a receiver, a radio, or a head unit. The source lets you decide what medium you want to listen to. From AM radio to FM radio, wireless Bluetooth audio streaming from your smartphone, AUX cord or USB port connected to your phone, satellite radio, etc.

The preamp is also part of the source unit. This isn’t the main amplifier that powers your speakers. Rather, it’s the device in your car stereo that controls the equalization, volume, balance left to right, fade front to back, and some other advanced features. Think of it as the control room for what ultimately gets sent to the amplifier.


The amplifier is what makes the sound coming out of the preamp louder. The signal coming out of the preamp is a low-voltage signal. The amplifier turns this into a high voltage signal to power the speakers, causing them to vibrate to produce sound. It’s important your amplifier matches the specs of your speakers so you do not underpower or overpower them.


Your car’s audio system is only as good as its speakers. You can have a pristine signal from your amplifier, but if you hook them up to soda cans, things are going to sound bad. Many factory-installed systems lack clarity because the speakers are used to try to cover the entire frequency range. But this doesn't offer the best sound as the bass is generally nonexistent, and higher frequencies are not sharp.

More accurate (better) sound is achieved by using an assortment of speakers dedicated to reproducing a smaller segment of the sound. Tweeters push the high frequencies, mid-range speakers push middle frequencies, and subwoofers push the low frequencies or bass.

Upgrade Your Car Audio System With Rockford Fosgate Components

Sound Improvement

We call our customers fanatics, because they truly are fanatical about sound quality. By selecting the right source unit and matching the right power amp to high-quality speakers, tweeters, and sub-woofers, your system will have the technical balance that allows every component to perform at its optimal design . This proper match is how you achieve that legendary Rockford Fosgate sound.

Improved Appearance

We know that aesthetics matter, and each of our car audio components is stylishly designed to complement the look of your car’s interior.

Can I install a car audio system myself?

Yes, DIY stereo installation is possible especially if the task of taking things apart and putting them back together again isn’t daunting to you. On the other hand, if you’ve found yourself frustrated putting together a simple bookcase or other furniture, you might want to have a professional certified-dealer install your audio system. Rockford Fosgate is here to help you dedicated DIY-ers with videos and customer service to guide you to ensure your new stereo looks great and sounds fantastic in your car.

How Car Audio Got Started

A Car Audio Timeline

First Car Radio 1930

Galvin Manufacturing introduced the first car radio called the Motorola. The radio cost the equivalent of $1,500 in today’s dollars. You could buy a Model T for about twice the cost of the Motorola radio.

First Car FM Radio 1952

Blaupunkt created the first FM radio for car audio.

First AM/FM Car Radio 1953

A company in Mexico called Becker’s introduced the First AM/FM radio that became the industry standard for years to come.

Car Phonograph 1956

An ill-fated attempt by Chrysler to put a record player in a car. Lots of skipping from road vibration ended the experiment quickly.

8-Track Car Audio 1965

Ford offered 8-track players were introduced and became a huge hit in the car audio world.

Cassette Players in Car 1968

Philips launched the dashboard card cassette players. Cassettes were wildly popular for a long period of time, but by 2011, no car models had cassette players integrated at their launch.

First Stereo 1969

For the first time, the tuner amplified two separate channels, a left channel and a right channel. This invention by Becker's Europa significantly changed vehicle audio.

First Fosgate Car Amplifier 1973

Jim Fosgate invented the first RF car amplifier as a pioneer in the field.  Rockford Fosgate continues to release car amplifiers based on Jim's goal of creating high performance audio systems.

CD Players in Vehicles 1984

In 1984 the CDX-1 was created. The first production car to feature a CD player was the Lincoln Town car in 1987.

Rockford Fosgate – Continuing the Legacy of the Best Car Audio

Car audio has come a long way. Rockford Fosgate strives to continue its advance.

With a broad selection of stereos for car audio, including amplifiers, speakers, signal processors, subwoofers, amplified sub enclosures, installation accessories, and knowledgeable tech support people, we are the go-to source for all your car audio solutions.

Shop here on our site for great sound! Be sure to check out Rockford Fosgate's reviews and enjoy the process as you create your dream car audio system.