Good aftermarket car audio brands available today

I was trying to upgrade and replace some parts, and the lack of choice was sad.

BHPian greenhorn recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Compared to the vibrant ICE scene we had 10-15 years ago, it appears the ubiquity and improved performance and non fungibility of stock stereo systems have decimated the landscape today. When I had to choose my first stereo system, for my head unit, I had to choose between Sony, Kenwood, JVC, pioneer, alpine. And for speakers even more - Hertz, illusion, Rockford fosgate, kicker, auditor, rainbow, bull, focal, all in the 10k range.

I was trying to upgrade and replace some parts, and the lack of choice was sad. I had to get my Alpine Hu from the US, and for speakers, JBL was not even available. Every shop had only Sony and Pioneer, and even ecom marketplaces had similar stuff.

So a question to those who have been in the scene for a while. What's left these days?

Here's what BHPian a4anurag had to say on the matter:

Issue I see here in terms of HU is that the major sales still happen from Pioneer and Sony in terms of HUs. Kenwood is a rarity, Alpine is even lesser seen in markets. All shop owners push either for Pioneer or Sony since commission may be higher here for every sale that happens.

In terms of speakers, subwoofers - many options still available from Alpine, Infinity, JBL, Focal, Sony etc. Niche brands like JL Audio, Steg, DS18, Rainbow, DD Audio, Audiofrog, Eton and Audible Physics are seen in the market. Niche ones are marketed and sold mainly through inquiry arising from posts on FB and Instagram.

Amplifiers - similar scene as above, lots of new options available but not many reach the physical store. Everything is marketed online through FB & Instagram. Niche brands like DD Audio, Stetsom, Soundigital, Steg, Eton, Sinfoni, Tru Technology are available.

Here's what BHPian SPARKled had to say on the matter:

Yes, I agree that its rare to see a high end after market install in recent cars but I got a decent setup on my 2.8 GX Crysta. I got a Pioneer HU that has Android Auto, Apple Car play, Focal 165 KR2 components, Morel Tempo coaxials in the rear doors, Focal Bomba active sub and Focal 4.350 amp. Very decent system IMO and enjoying it immensely.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

So true that OEM audio systems have improved to a level where after-market tinkering is no longer required. Even budget cars like the Tiago have reasonably good ICE, while almost all cars above 15-lakh come with excellent sound systems.

That being said, the best audio is always on the top variant only. Hence IMHO, demand for after-market ICE will stay strong from the guys buying low & mid variants. Of course, I don't expect high-end car installs (those customers would buy the top-end variant or expensive models anyway), nor too many head-unit upgrades, but speakers + damping + subwoofer sales should be alright in the near future. At least until even lower variants come with good OEM ICE.

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