The 5 Best & Worst Factory Car Audio Systems

If you are an audiophile there certainly is a plethora of ultra premium sound systems available in today’s cars. For the most part, gone are the days of the 1980’s GM Delco audio system whose speakers sounded more like a piece of cardboard disguised as a speaker than a true speaker itself. Now everyone from Fender, Bose, Harmon Kardon, and Rockford Fosgate make car stereo systems that will blow someone away farther than Michael J. Fox plugging in to his guitar amplifier in Back to the Future.

You may have found this article because you’re looking for a new ride and the sound system plays a big enough role for you, or you may have found it because you’ve got a busted sound system and need to know if it’s worth taking it to a audio repair shop like and getting it fixed, either way we know you love your music, and that’s enough to read on!

Below is a Top 5 list for audiophiles looking for the best and worst factory car audio systems being produced today.

Harmon Kardon > Chrysler 300 Sedan

As mentioned, super premium sound system designer Harmon Kardon certainly enters the Top 5 best, as its offered in the Chrysler 300 sedan boasts a 12 channel amplifier producing 900 watts and 19 speakers, including a whopping five subwoofers, seven tweeters and seven midrange units.

Rockford Fosgate Punch > Mitsubishi Outlander

Looking for more of that rock and roll sound? Then look no further than the Rockford Fosgate Punch offered in the Mitsubishi Outlander. This stereo comes with a mind-blowing 710 watts of power, a blistering 10-inch subwoofer and plenty of window and eardrum shattering potential.

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound > Mercedes CLS 550

In looking at the Top 5 best one must also be sure to include the outlandish Bang & Olufsen BeoSound offered in the Mercedes CLS 550. This piece of acoustic art comes with 1200 watts, a 450 watt digital signal processing unit, a 750 watt ICE Power primary unit, and all converted into 7.1 channel surround sound.

Bang & Olufsen > Audi A8

Likewise, Bang & Olufsen also supplies an equally killer system in the Audi A8, offering a pulsating 1400 watts and 19 speakers, guaranteeing people at the light across the street can hear the Audi driver’s taste in music.

Burmester System > Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Finally, no Top 5 list would be complete without knowing what Porsche offers. Their optional Burmester system provides over 1000 watts and 16 speakers, including a 9.8-inch subwoofer, giving the $150,000 Porsche Panamera Turbo S driver loads of listening pleasure.

While these are fine examples of audio excellence, there always has to be a Top 5 worst list to counter the best.

Alpine Stereo > Scion Xb

The Scion Xb ranks high on this list. While it features an Alpine stereo and looks good, it features lousy bass, tin-like high frequency sound, and an overall unimpressive output.

Dynaudio System > VW Models

Likewise, the Dynaudio system in the VW models is frequently mentioned by owners as one of the worst. With sounds compared to a transistor radio, the Dynaudio is hardly the system of choice for the upper and even lower end VW models.

Unknown Crap Audio System > Kia Rio5

The Kia Rio5 also is a vital edition to this list, as the uninspiring four speaker system it offers is slightly above an AM radio from the 1970’s strapped in the passenger seat.

Subaru Stock Crappy Audio > Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback comes with an equally flat audio system. Buyers not opting for the Harmon Kardon upgrade are treated with Subaru’s stock version containing 4 speakers and all of the disappointment one might expect including bad bass, weak highs, and virtually no midrange output.

Sparkomatic > Yugo

And while it is not in production anymore, what Top 5 would be proper without mentioning the 1986 Yugo factory radio by Sparkomatic, featuring the almighty MONO AM tuner for one’s listening pleasure.