Taking some time to listen to the quality of your current car stereo system before you buy a new one will help you decide the kind of upgrade you want to make, said Lauren Littlefield at My Audio Sports in Kingston, Mass.

Also, personal taste is a big factor. While younger car-stereo enthusiasts are often looking to add a lot of bass to their speaker systems, getting a high-powered subwoofer and amplifier may be unnecessary if you listen to talk radio most of the time.

Learning not-so-obvious lessons from 2002 By Sean Wargo Senior Industry Analyst Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) What a long, strange trip the previous year has been, and after finishing any journey, it's good to stop for a minute and contemplate where you've been. In 2002, we had port closings in September; DVD hardware prices continued to plummet, along with everything else, into the CE deflationary vortex; home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) bundles became the mainstay of the contracting audio sector; big screen and HD TV sets were the saving grace for many retailers; car audio received a boost from aggressive dealer promotions; satellite radio hit all its forecasts;

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