Image Gallery: Audio Tech
Image Gallery: Audio Tech

Image Gallery: Audio Tech Car audio competitions pit vehicles' stereos and speakers against one another to determine whose setup produces the best sound of all. See more pictures of audio technology.

©iStockphoto.com/Carmen Martínez Banús

When you picture cars duking it out to prove their superiority, pitted against each other by hardcore auto enthusiasts, what do you see in your mind's eye? High speed races between Ferraris and Lamborghinis? Drifting contests and insanely fast Indy car races? Rough-and-tumble NASCAR? While we often associate car competitions with pure speed, the engines aren't the only parts of cars enthusiasts push to the limits. There are classic car shows that highlight pristine restorations of decades-old cars and celebrate the glamour of design. And there are car audio competitions -- contests that pit the might of various vehicles' stereos and speakers against one another to determine whose setup produces the best sound of all.

What is a car audio competition? Several organizations in the United States hold competitive gatherings that encourage participants to show just how loud their systems can be. These competitions are often broken down into at least two categories: sound pressure and sound quality. The first focuses on pure, supreme volume, while the other puts more emphasis on the accurate projection of sound waves.

But here's the real question: Is your car audio system up to the task? If you're interested in breaking into the competitive audio scene, preparation won't come easy; a stock stereo system from a dealer sure isn't going to cut it. Unless you have a powerful amp, booming subwoofer and high-performance speaker system in your car, you've got a long way to go before you can compete in a car audio competition. Read on to find out how to get there.