As golf carts become more popular as a means of short-distance transportation in and around electric-friendly communities and other communities across the United States, it is becoming increasingly important to find parts and accessories to keep them riding well and in style.
Just as stereos are an important part of our commuting experience in full-sized cars, so too they are becoming an important part of our experience as we commute in golf carts and electric vehicles.
Below, we have created a guide to golf cart stereo options to help you sift through the myriad of options and find the best-suited one for you and your needs.
A Guide to Golf Cart Stereos
Stereos come in a wide range of options for golf carts. For starters, they are designed using many different styles and sizes, as well as installation modalities to suit preferred aesthetics and matters of convenience. Additionally, available cart stereos are fitted with modern technological features like Bluetooth, voice, and remote control access.
For this stereo guide, we focus on some of the testier areas that can prove problematic if not decided on using the right information from the point of purchase. Some of these areas include installation methods, the cost, speakers and amplifiers, and power source, among others.
It’s one thing to like the size, design, colors, and even the hi-tech features of a golf cart stereo. It is quite another thing to have one properly installed. This is particularly true if you are opting to install the stereo yourself. So, here is what you need to know about the two main installation styles:
Overhead Stereo Installation
Generally, an overhead stereo installation offers the easiest option for installing a sound system into your vehicle or cart. The key thing to consider when using this option is to measure the width and depth (or head clearance). Self-contained overhead stereo units feature a simple 2-3 wire hookup, wired speakers, and an antenna.
Also known as an in-dash mounting kit, the dashboard installation option is a bit more complicated than the overhead installation option. Thankfully, there are installation “dash kits” with parts and tools to help you do everything properly and to help with further maintenance.
Consider the intricacies of this installation option if the stereo system you are opting to use is a dashboard installation option.
Both of the aforementioned installation options are still relatively easy as long as you follow the instructions that come with your stereo and installation kit. Still, consider which of the two options you are more comfortable with before you select a stereo system for your cart.
Speakers and Amplifiers
Speakers and amplifiers are a key component of the stereo experience as they significantly impact the listening experience of anyone riding in these carts or electric vehicles. Amplifiers are central to the performance and sound of your stereo system. As such, it is important to look for quality in this area. Of course, quality speakers also help to deliver quality sound and so is a good area to pay attention to along with the amplifiers.
As a general rule, the specification to pay attention to where amplifiers are concerned is that of wattage. Higher wattage (i.e. more watts) usually means better sound quality. Importantly, it also means a greater demand for the life of your battery as more watts also means more power required to facilitate the quality sound. So consider the quality of your battery as you go for higher wattage amplifiers.
For speakers, it is important to remember that this part of your stereo system is likely to be exposed to the elements due to the outdoor-indoor design of most golf carts. A such, in addition to looking for good quality sound, it also important to look for durability when looking at speakers. As a rule of thumb, speakers that use sealed components and rustproof hardware, like marine stereos, are the best options.
Also, when installing, be sure to select a location that works for the model of your cart, as speakers tend to have some flexibility in this regard.
Power Source and Battery
It goes without saying that your stereo system would need to be powered by battery or electricity. As you consider the features like Bluetooth, amplifiers, and speakers, it is important to ensure that these features and the system as a whole draw power evenly from your batteries. Even distribution of power is critical as this will ensure your battery will last longer.
Stereos with features that draw on only one or two batteries will force those batteries to quickly run down and other batteries to compensate for the same by working harder, potentially leading to your batteries failing.
Like all the features and components, we have discussed so far in our guide, the cost of any stereo system will vary from one system to the next depending on the variables involved. These variables can impact the final price of a golf cart stereo and so how much it costs you. The average price of a golf cart stereo can run anywhere from a measly US40.00 to upwards of US$300.00.
Bonus: 3 Top Stereos in 2020
#1. Pyle Marine Bluetooth Stereo Radio
If you love hi-tech features and powerful wattage, then this is the stereo system for you and your cart. For starters, the Pyle Marine Bluetooth Stereo Radio comes fitted with hands-free calling, Bluetooth connectivity, a digital front panel, and 300 watts. In addition to the tech-friendly features, this stereo system offers up a dashboard installation option and comes with a 12-volt console receiver system that is an easy to mount in-dash kit. It is great for replacing single din size radios. The Pyle Marine Bluetooth Stereo Radio is the most affordable option on our list, retailing at a steal of about US$40.00.
#2. Boss Audio Systems
Unlike the Pyle Marine Bluetooth Stereo Radio, the boss audio systems stereo is an overhead installation stereo system. However, like the Pyle Marine, Boss Audio offers up Bluetooth connectivity. It also offers a dynamic media playback system featuring both AM and FM radio stations, USB connectivity, and, as stated prior, Bluetooth. This receiver, however, does not have a CD playback option. Still, the system is weatherproof (a key feature for overhead installation) and speaker specifications that augurs well for good quality sound. In terms of affordability, this is a solid option, retailing at an average of US$120.00.
#3. Custom Golf Cart UTV Radio Overhead Stereo Console
Also offering an overhead installation option, the Custom Golf Cart Radio is an Overhead Stereo Console uses ABS plastic material to help ensure the durability of the stereo’s make. Other features offered include Bluetooth connectivity, 300 watts, 3-way full-range speakers of about 6.5 inches in size, as well as MP3 audio output, audio streaming, and USB connectivity.
With all these features, there is no need to not have great sound listening to some of your favorite music played from the device of your choice. Retailing for an average of US$300.00, this option is the most expensive on our list. However, the features and design make it more than worth it, if this is within your price range.
In the final analysis, the cart stereo options you choose will depend heavily on how well the available options and combination of features and variables described in this guide are able to meet your needs and your immediate circumstances. Your budget, for example, will determine your price range, and in turn determine the options available to you and ultimately, your choice. Still, there are so many options available, that you are likely to find something that suits you just fine. Happy accessorizing!