If you find your car’s stock audio system sounding too tinny, or if you want to enhance the audio experience for your drive, you need to invest in a subwoofer. However, these boomy audio shakers don’t come in cheap. You have to get ready to shell anything between Rs 8,000 and Rs 25,000 to get the speakers changed, amplifiers replaced and even replace your audio player at times. If you want to stay within a low budget, there are a few choices out there. However, you have to make sure you get a demo before you opt in.
Well, in this review, we cannot give you the experience of how an audio speaker system will sound inside your car as every car has a different shape and size, which matters to how the speakers inside it perform. But we can definitely help you with one product that we can ensure you won’t regret.
While there are many brands in automobile audio systems out there, Blaupunkt is a very well-known and trusted brand. Cheaper Chinese models can probably save your dough, but we are sure they won’t be worth the investment in the long run. Blaupunkt’s GTb 8200 A is a perfect budget active subwoofer for almost any sized car, and is tiny enough to keep away from the space hurdles. The 8200A is a tiny subwoofer system that has a great bass reproduction with a reasonable price tag. The product adds to the bottom end of your audio experience without emptying your wallet.
The woofer has a bass-reflex port enclosure with a class-D amplifier running it from within. It measures just 9.8 x 10.7 x 10.2 inches, weighs 6.9kg, and is shaped like a trapezoid from the rear end. This shape is defined so that it can rest against the rear seat within the boot/trunk without wasting space. The entire speaker is covered with a black, carpet material, which gives it a sombre look and also prevents it from slipping around inside the trunk.
The front sports an 8-inch driver (Spun Paper Cone membrane material) that is open, but protected by two steel grilles. However, if you are handling one of these speakers, do note that you should not lift or handle the speaker by this grille as they are not fixed to the speaker and are easily removable. Handling the speaker with the grille will simply come loose and you would damage the speaker. The grille is basically for protection to the 8-inch driver below it, from other materials and luggage that would be stored inside the trunk. It also adds to the looks.
The speaker driver faces the rear of the car, which is the best position for bass reproduction and audio reflection. The top has a slit for the bass reflex, and should not be covered. The bass reflex also doubles as a heat exhaust for the internal amplifier circuit. The right side holds all the connectivity and controls for the subwoofer. This includes the line in RCA jacks, High input speaker connectors, control knobs for X-Over, Phase and Gain, an input selector switch (RCA / High) and power and remote connector terminals along with a 7.5A fuse.
Going below the hood, the GTb 8200 A is powered by a class-D amplifier with a maximum output of 200 Watts or 75 Watts RMS, and a frequency response of 20Hz to 200Hz, which is perfectly matched with the driver for the best performance. It also features an automatic on/off controller that senses ‘no audio’ signals to turn off the power when the car’s keys are removed. Alternatively, if your audio system has a separate remote signal output, you could use a wire to link the speaker accordingly for power sensing. The amplifier also holds separate controls for lowpass filter, phase and gain, for which the controls are provided outside. The entire speakers system is made from an MDF housing material for the best audio performance.
All you need to do is to ask a technician to get the speaker connected and you can then enjoy some really pleasant, upscaled music when on the move. All the necessary wires, screws and fuses are provided within the speaker packaging itself. Once installed, you can tune your music playback with your car’s internal audio system by tweaking the control knobs for the filter, phase and gain, accordingly. The filter can help you differentiate between bass output, depending on your preference.
You can control the audio filter to produce or amplify the audio frequencies between 70 and 90Hz, which are the main, deepest bass elements in audio. If you find the audio echoing or out of sync, a bit, you can tweak the phase controls to help sync the audio and the bass from zero-degrees all the way to 180-degrees. This is usually required for the best audio experience, especially since bass has no stereo reproduction as it has a single speaker and needs to merge the audio properly from both channels. To get a better explanation, watch the video below that explains the phase requirements for audio speakers. The video can also help you know if you have correctly connected the input polarity for the speaker.
Here’s another video that can help with phase tweaking.
Lastly, the gain can be considered as the volume control for the subwoofer. You can choose to increase or decrease the power, thump or boom of the bass by tweaking the gain control.
The audio performance is remarkable. You will immediately experience the upscaled audio quality inside your car with great bass added to your existing music. The thumps are great, but not too punchy. The boom is excellent too. At high volumes, the speakers don’t rumble or distort — thanks to the matched speaker-amplifier pairing. However, the excess boom from the bass will ruin the audio experience at high gain/volumes. Unless you are a person who enjoys really high bass, we suggest that you take some time off and play some wide range of music genres to tune and tweak your newly-installed subwoofer.
If you're looking for something to round up your car audio system, then this is it. You can't beat the price of this tiny, all-in-one boomer for your car. The Blaupunkt GTb 8200 A will definitely add a little punch to an otherwise lifeless factory speaker/sub setup in your car. The 8200 A has a small footprint, is decent on sound, light on the wallet and very simple to install. The GTb 8200 A is priced at an MRP of Rs 11,490 but the street price is approximately Rs 6,900....