The history of car audio systems

Can you imagine driving without listening to music? Whether you listen to a CD, the radio or music through your MP3 player or Ipod, car stereos have come a long way. Let’s look back at some of the advancements in car radios.

First commercial in-car radio

The first commercially successful car radio was introduced in 1930 by the Galvin brothers and retailed for $130, which translates to $1,800 with inflation. This was also the first product to bare the Motorola name.

First radio with FM

FM, joined the airwaves with AM, and in 1952, the first in-car FM radio was introduced by Blaupunkt. One year later, the first premium in-car radio with AM/FM and the first fully automatic station-search button was introduced in 1953.

Car stereos

In the early 1960s, car stereos were introduced with speakers in the front and back that could be adjusted separately.

Eight track tape player

The eight track tape player was the predecessor to the cassette player, and was first introduced in 1965.

Cassette tape player

The 1970s saw the introduction of the cassette tape player and the unforgettable mixed tape.

CD player

The first factory installed in-dash CD player was introduced in the early 1980s. Instead of replacing the cassette player, the two formats coexisted for more than two decades.

Internet radio

2011 marked the first year where car manufactures stopped offering cassette players. After 30 years in car audio, the cassette player is now dead. Today, HDD-based music players and Internet radio are king.