Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison – Review 2023

When it comes to car audio, there are two main types of systems: factory head units and aftermarket systems. Both have their pros and cons, which is why it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison

Factory head units are the original equipment that comes in a car when it is manufactured. They are usually made by the car company and include features like radio, navigation, climate control, and more. Upgrading to an aftermarket head unit can provide your car with many new features and enhancements.

We will read both the topics in detail and help you decide which is better. So, without delaying it any further let us begin with all the information that you need to know. 

Let’s Check Factory Head Unit vs Aftermarket Comparison 

When it comes to factory head unit vs aftermarket stereos, there are a lot of factors to consider. Price and sound quality tend to be the biggest considerations for most people, but installation and features should also be taken into account. In the end, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a stereo system and how much money you want to spend.

Factory Head Unit

Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison

Factory head units, sometimes referred to as a “stock” or standard radio, come from the factory with your car. They don’t provide any additional sound quality, but they do allow you to use all of your stock components such as speakers and amps. In other words, your system is tied together with one unit. 

All audio controls are integrated into the head unit which means if something breaks on it, you’ll have to replace the whole thing. Factory radios also typically lack features like Bluetooth connectivity and AUX input jacks for external music sources like iPods and smartphones.

A factory head unit is exactly what it sounds like. It is simply an electronic sound system that has been installed at the factory during the car’s production. In most cases, a factory head unit will have a higher overall power output than aftermarket head units. 

However, even if a factory head unit does not have a higher output, its superior engineering and integration with the vehicle often make up for this perceived shortcoming. Many people prefer to purchase a factory head unit because of its high-quality components and engineering.

Factory head units are also very easy to install for DIYers. Some people worry that it may be difficult or time-consuming to install a factory head unit. This is simply not the case! 

Factory head units are specially designed with vehicles in mind, so they can easily play nice with all other electronics in your vehicle. What’s more, factory head units do not need to be constantly paired with smartphones or paired at all. 

As long as you have an aux cord, you should be good to go! For those who prefer using Bluetooth technology while driving, there are still plenty of options available on the market today. 

If you would like Bluetooth capabilities in your factory head unit but also want to keep the factory look, you should consider an external Bluetooth adapter.


Aftermarket systems may offer more than what a factory radio can provide in terms of sound quality and extra features such as an LCD screen display that displays your song information, but they are separated into two different components. 

The head unit itself receives an audio signal from a source via either Bluetooth or AUX input jacks. That signal then passes through the amplifier which boosts the sound to send it to your speakers. 

This means if something goes wrong with any of these components you’ll have to spend more money on each one rather than just replacing one item. Do you have a car? If so, you know that it’s not cheap to maintain. The cost of gas, repairs, and parking can really add up.

That’s why many people are choosing to buy aftermarket systems for their cars. An aftermarket system can save you money in the long run by reducing your fuel costs and helping you keep your car in good shape. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of aftermarket systems and how they can help improve your driving experience!

Save Money With Aftermarket Systems

Aftermarket systems are great for saving money. Replacing the air filter in your car with an aftermarket system can help you save up to $100 per year on fuel costs! If you keep your car well maintained, buying new parts for it will be easy and relatively cheap. 

For example, if your car is leaking oil, you may need to replace the gasket along with the pan underneath your engine rather than replacing the entire thing (which can cost hundreds of dollars).

When shopping around for new parts, try using third-party websites like Car Part King that offer competitive prices. A general rule of thumb is that OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts will always be more expensive than aftermarket (better known as aftermarket parts).

Improve Your Driving Experience And Car’s Performance

Aftermarket parts can also help improve your car’s performance or the quality of its ride. If your car shakes a lot while you’re driving, there are kits that can help reduce this problem. 

For example, if you have an older model Audi A6 that pounds over bumps, it may be time to replace the shocks in order to provide a smoother drive. Additionally, replacing old headlights with LED headlights can result in better visibility at night. 

Overall, our goal here is to give drivers more options for upgrading their vehicle or customizing it to their liking!

The Main Difference Between Factory Head Unit And Aftermarket 

Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison

The main difference between factory and aftermarket is if you have an issue with anything in your car audio system, you will not be able to fix any component in a factory radio because everything is integrated whereas, in aftermarket systems, they can be fixed individually. 

When it comes down to it it’s all about what you prefer. If you like having several components all in one unit and don’t mind spending more when something malfunctions then stick with the factory. By the end, you should have a better idea of which type of unit is right for you!

But if you prefer to upgrade your system piece by piece and like the idea of not replacing the entire thing when a part goes bad, go with aftermarket. Factory head units are the standard in most cars. 

They are included when you purchase a car or an option, depending on how much you pay for the car itself. They come with many features and have many compatibility options available, but they also can have some downsides. 

Factory head units are made by companies that specialize in making them for different models of cars. This means that every factory head unit is made to fit properly into one specific type of vehicle. 

If you buy a unit for your model of car, it should work flawlessly with all of your systems in that particular vehicle. However, if you decide to go with a different unit or upgrade later on down the road, there will be issues because the new unit wasn’t made specifically for your car.

Aftermarket head units are made by electronics companies that specialize in audio equipment. They have a wider range of compatibility options and can fit into almost any vehicle. 

For example, if you go to Crutchfield, they have a website that will tell you which unit is compatible with your specific car or truck model. Plus, many brands have been making these types of units for decades so there is a wide array of product knowledge at their disposal. 

The downside to this type of unit is the price point. Although prices vary by brand and model, aftermarket units tend to be more expensive than factory units, but it’s possible to find good deals on them online especially during the holiday season! In addition, sometimes features may not be available on some aftermarket units.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that an aftermarket unit has to be hardwired into the car in order to work. This is not true; any unit can be plugged into your lighter or fuse box and powered this way, even factory head units! Most aftermarket units are plug-and-play for this reason. 

However, there are also many models that can be wired like a factory unit (if you choose). Either way, both types of head units will allow you to play music through your car speakers; it’s just about how all the parts will connect together. 

Sometimes products may come with adapters so they’ll fit perfectly into the dash kit opening while others will need an adapter to be installed in order to work properly.

In the end, it’s all up to you! What do you want out of a head unit? The main features we look for when finding a new stereo are Bluetooth connectivity, USB/auxiliary options, and pre-amp outputs. 

But there are other features like touchscreen displays and different display colors (blue/red) that some people prefer while others could care less about those types of things.

So, which is better for you? A factory head unit or an aftermarket one? The answer really depends on your needs and what you’re looking for in a stereo. If you want the simplest option that will give you decent sound quality, then a factory head unit is probably best for you. 

But if you want more features and customization options, then an aftermarket stereo is definitely the way to go. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option is right for your car and your budget.

FAQs: Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison

1. Are Aftermarket Stereos Better Than Factory Head Units?

Ans- The best aftermarket car stereo systems will provide a better sound quality than the factory stereo systems. They will also provide better sound than the average factory stereo system.

2. Will A New Head Unit Make My Speakers Louder?

Ans- New speakers play louder and can handle much more power as they provide less distortion and a smoother frequency response. 

3. Does A Head Unit Make A Difference?

Ans- Head units do not have a significant impact on your sound quality unless you are using a physical medium such as cassettes. In fact, the descriptions for most head units are a waste of time and will not tell you what the unit can do for you.


So, what’s the verdict? If you want a reliable car audio system that will give you great sound quality and lots of features, go for a factory head unit. But if you’re looking for something with more customization options that will make your car stand out from the rest, an aftermarket system is the way to go. 

Whichever option you choose, we hope this article – “Factory Head Unit Vs Aftermarket Comparison” has helped you make an informed decision about which type of stereo is right for you. Thanks for reading!

William R. Keen

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