This year has been a roller-coaster. From the country being on fire, then flooding, the toilet paper wars, then a violent shift in our way of life for the majority of the year. We wouldn’t be surprised if 2020 has it’s own chapter in the history books of the future. What could make it better? Well, since you asked, the Bankstown Sound & Marine Awesome 2020 Christmas Buying Guide; that’s what!
We’ve brought together the best buys that you can grab this festive season for both yourself and your loved ones. Remember, modern cars have awesome upgrades in terms of safety, performance and environmental stuff, but they seem to always leave behind Audio. Follow our buying guide and get the best sounding audio for your car, today and say NO to #crappyaudiosound.
Christmas Buying Guide – Audio Visual
Unless you’ve time-travelled here from the early-2000’s, chances are you’re running an Apple iPhone or some type of Google Android phone. This choice gives you amazing power in your car! In most (if not all) states in Australia, it’s illegal to use your phone whilst driving. Not only does that include texting and phone calls, but it’s also changing the Artist on Spotify, or adding a petrol station stop to your GPS route.
This is where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled devices swoop in to save the day. By connecting your phone to your A/V unit, you’re giving your car all the power of your phone. This is an easy way to upgrade your car to always up-to-date GPS through Apple Maps, Google Maps and even Waze!
Something to keep in mind though when upgrading your A/V. Each car is different. Each manufacturer builds their dashboards differently. You’ll need to go to Aerpro.com to find out what installation kits and adaptors you’ll need for your car. Some can be as cheap as $20-$40, but some are a bit more expensive at $1,200+. Have a look first and educate yourself!
We’ve been very lucky to get these deals for you to round out a terrible year! Each unit is equipped with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, USB and radio. The best deals this year are coming from Sony with their XAV-AX range of units. They’re solid, feature-rich, reliable and at amazing prices!
Following on from the remarkable 2019 unit, the Kenwood DMX8020s fits the bill perfectly. A truly impressive feature-list including built-in Time Alignment, USB Mirroring, triple camera inputs, 5-channel 5V pre-outs and of course the wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto combination.
No Car Audio Christmas Buying Guide would be complete without a Pioneer unit! What a year 2020 was for Pioneer, their new units shot straight to the top and set-up camp! This drive was no-doubt lead by the Pioneer DMH-Z5350BT, with its solid feature list, flawless design and sound performance.
Christmas Buying Guide – Speakers
More often than not, speakers are the forgotten aspect of a Car’s audio upgrades. No matter how good your source unit is, it’s not going to sound better if it’s using the same speakers to make the sound! Simply upgrading your speakers on a factory source unit can and will improve the sound in your car remarkably.
That’s why this year, we’re running a 40% off promotion on all of our JBL Audio stock. Being real for a moment, the performance and quality of JBL Audio shocked us. We weren’t expecting such full, rich sound from anything other than Kicker or JL Audio. But, they’ve smashed their way into our hearts and into 2020’s Christmas Buying Guide!
Christmas Buying Guide – Amplifiers
Not unlike speakers, amplifiers are often forgotten or considered ‘too difficult’ to manage in an audio upgrade. However, a good amplifier is key to a great sounding system. As audio is electricity, the more power, the more sound. Couple more sound with a good set of speakers and you get amazing-sounding music.
When shopping for amplifiers, speakers or subwoofers, it’s important to note that you must match up the number of channels you have and the power you require. For instance, if you have the front left and right speakers, with rear left and right speakers, you’ll need a 4-channel amplifier. If you want a subwoofer as well, that’s a 5-channel.
At the risk of getting nerdy here, we really need to explain the difference between peak power and RMS (Root-Mean-Square) Power. With all subs, speakers and amps you’ll need a big number referring to the power of the product. This isn’t always a number that matters.
Think of peak power as the top-speed on your car’s speedo. It’s a number that represents a theoretical maximum that cannot be sustained without causing some serious damage. On the other hand, RMS is the power output that the product can handle 24/7/365 without breaking a sweat.
As with the speakers and subs this year, JBL Audio is on a 40% off sale that’s pretty hard to beat! With the JBL Audio Stage 9004 4-channel amplifier with 90WRMS per channel for $239, it’s hard to find a better solution for your upgrades!
Christmas Buying Guide – Dash Cameras
Capturing the funny, stupid and down-right dangerous things that happen on our daily drives is something that’s become common-place over the last 5-or-so years. Dash Cams are a massive part of that. They give us the ability to record what’s happening whilst we’re driving and then when we’re out of the car, keeping an eye one of your biggest investments.
Throughout the years, we’ve supplied, sold and supported almost all the brands that are out there. In keeping with our commitment of providing you with the very best service and products, we’ve narrowed it down to two brands that we think are worth your money and time – Blackvue and Thinkware.
I’m not going to go into detail here on Blackvue vs. Thinkware, but instead, I’ll just say that they compliment each other well in the marketplace and both deliver amazing picture quality and user experience.
The reason they appear in the 2020 Christmas Buying Guide is that we’re offering free professional OEM installation on all Blackvue and Thinkware dash cameras sold! Simply buy your dashcam online and call us up with your Order ID and we’ll book your free installation for a time that suits you!
Christmas Buying Guide – Different, Strange and Odd
The market keeps evolving. With each new car, new model and face-lift, the challenges for aftermarket solutions grows. This sometimes leads to different, strange and odd products that provide amazing solutions. So here are a few you may not know about!
Kicker Key 200.4 Smart Amplifier
This… this is cool. The team at Kicker have always been known to do crazy, awesome, outside the box things. The Key Smart Amplifier is exactly that. Designed to be installed in your car between your factory source unit (radio) and your factory speakers. Once installed, we tune it to ‘listen to itself’ and make adjustments and improvements where needed. Because it’s an amplifier, if more power is needed to make it sound A+, that’s exactly what happens.
Not only does it provide more power, but it also does some true magic as well in the form of DSP (Digital Sound Processing) and Time-Alignment. Through the tuning process, where it simply squeals and squarks at itself, it actually lifts the sound from your knees to in-front of your face, making it sound like the music is coming from in front of the car instead of your feet.
The difference this one unit makes to 100% stock sound systems is equivalent to a $1,500+ stereo upgrade.
JBL Audio BassPRO Micro Compact Sub
You jump into your new hatchback or small SUV, switch on Spotify and start listening to your favourite banger. You’re deflated, disappointed and not at all down to grove. There’s just no bass in your system and the thumping beats fall as flat as your mood.
Bam! JBL Audio’s BassPRO Micro enters your life and everything is great again! Built specifically for hatchbacks and small SUV’s in mind, the powered 8″ sub with the passive radiator packs 180RMS to hit those much-needed bass notes but convenient enough to simply take in and out of your car when you need the space.
Coming in two parts, the base-plate and the sub box, the BassPRO Micro is made to fit your busy lifestyle. When you need your cargo area for shopping, bags, furniture, prams or surfboards, simply pick up the sub box and take it out. When you’re done hauling stuff and you want your tunes back, slip it back on top of the base plate as easily as wirelessly charging your phone.
With speaker level line-in, you can pop this into any factory audio system for a bass upgrade! If one’s not enough, you can daisy-chain more BassPRO’s together to get some serious thumping bass on a budget!
For all things audio this Christmas, the team at Bankstown Sound & Marine are here to help you get the best. We love to hear from you about what you want to do, what you need and we love giving you advice and steering you in the right direction.
I hope the 2020 Christmas Buying Guide has helped you a little and given you some ideas on what do to on your time off these holidays!
Come into the store, send us an email, hit us up on Facebook or give us a call – we’re here to help you say NO to #crappyfactorysound!