Car Audio in Toronto?
November 2, 2006 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Where should I go in Toronto for car audio purchase/installation?

I'm not looking for a high end place that will sell me a zillion dollars in new speakers for perfectly balanced audio. I'm so deaf from attending rock concerts that I can't hear the difference between a CD and an MP3 anyway. To this point, I've just had the stock stereo in my 2001 Honda Civic and I've been perfectly happy with that.

The only reason I want to change is that I've bought an iPod, and I'd like something with an audio in so I can plug my iPod in. I'd like it to be relatively cheap, and for the stereo to be installed for me, and for the salespeople not to try to oversell me, or rip me off. Can I just go to BestBuy or Canadian Tire? Or is there a better local choice?
posted by jacquilynne to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't speak for local choices, but my husband and I put an mp3 stereo into our 1994 minivan at Future Shop in Scarborough (the Scarborough Southwest location) almost 3 years ago. It has worked for us without problems. We bought it and got it installed the same night, and it was a few days before Christmas to boot, so service was pretty quick.

Customer service in the store itself (versus the installation part) was okay - we got some help choosing what we wanted, but they weren't completely all over us either (probably cuz of the holiday season).

Your experience may be different of course, given the passage of time and the difference in product, but they may be an option for you.
posted by melissa at 1:23 PM on November 2, 2006

I've heard reasonable things about Kromer Radio

Depending on where in the city you usually drive around in, you might be able to get away using an iTrip. I've used the older model, and while its much, much better out of the city, its not completely horrible.

If that works for you, the iTrip'll be much cheaper than getting a new head unit, or ice:Link+ like adapter
posted by jsoh at 6:31 PM on November 2, 2006

I thought about the iTrip, but I basically can't find a single clean frequency on my radio whilst sitting in my driveway. I'd rather spend a bit more money and just get something I know will work.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:54 PM on November 2, 2006

I'd rather spend a bit more money and just get something I know will work.
Certainly understandable. That being said, you shouldnt need a brand new head-unit to get what you want. There are a bunch of products that integrate with the stock stereo (usually via the CD changer input).

Something like this. Or this (it says its discontinued in the US, but has it on its website). The ice:Link+ retails for $99 at BB, but it claims compatibility with only 2004/5 Civics. Not sure how reliable that is.

BestBuy (or Future Shop) will be more than happy to sell you that, and install it for you. Personally, I'd be more inclined to go to a place that specializes in car audio (ie, Kromers) rather than let BB/FS do it.
posted by jsoh at 8:51 PM on November 2, 2006

My father recently got a new head unit with an aux port for less than the cost of that ice:Link+, so I wouldn't necessarily discount the new stereo idea because of cost. The deck he bought was on sale, but even at $119.99 it's not a horrible price to pay.

As for who to go to, I'm not sure it matters all that much for a simple job like this. You're not getting new speakers or anything, so it's basically remove the old radio and put the new one in. If you were technically inclined and didn't mind the prospect of potentially taking all the plastic stuff off your dash, you could probably do it yourself with the proper documentation.

Finally, if you want to research this further, is a good place to go. Here's their review section on car kits.
posted by chrominance at 11:05 PM on November 2, 2006

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