Power of Audio

The History of Car Radios

Motor vehicle, Technology, Vehicle audio, Steering part, Electronics, Machine, Steering wheel, Classic, Classic car, Center console,
The designer stereos available in today’s cars—be they luxury sedans or cheap sporty coupes—have 80 years of development behind them. Here’s a look at the landmark advancements in car radios that evolved into today’s iPod hookups and satellite radio.

1930: First Commercial In-Car Radio

The Galvin brothers’ expensive $130 unit (a Model A Deluxe coupe cost $540) was the first commercially successful car radio, and the first product to wear the Motorola name.

Technology, Electronic device, Rectangle, Electronics, Gadget, Machine, Video game accessory,

1952: First Radio With FM

AM was the undisputed king of the airwaves in 1952, but that didn’t stop Blaupunkt from introducing the first in-car FM radio.

1953: Becker Mexico Introduced

Becker’s iconic Mexico radio launched this year, arguably the first premium in-car radio. It had AM/FM and the first fully automatic station-search button.

1955: First “Music On Demand”

Starting in 1955, Chrysler offered a small turntable in its high-end cars, playing proprietary seven-inch records with about 45 minutes of music. It was a bust.

1963: First All-Transistor Radio

A number of manufacturers introduced transistors to their aftermarket car radios in the early 1960s, but Becker’s Monte Carlo was the first to be fully “solid state”—no vacuum tubes.

1965: First Eight-Track Tape Player

Predecessor to the cassette, the eight-track was a loser from the start and was dead by the early ’80s. Ford and Motorola jointly introduced in-car eight-track players this year.

1969: First Stereo

Becker’s Europa was the first in-car stereo setup, with the tuner amplifying two channels instead of one.

1970–1977: Cassette-Tape Players

The rollout of cassettes allowed for one of mankind’s greatest achievements: the mix tape. This development also heralded the creation of branded aftermarket cassette-tape players from Alpine and Pioneer, among others.

1982: Bose Becomes First Premium Stereo System

Bose and GM’s Delco teamed up to offer the first “designer” stereo system. Bose sank money into car-specific development; rather than just producing an expensive head unit, it was marketing the entire system to Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac shoppers.

1985: First Factory-Installed In-Dash CD Player

While Sony had introduced an in-dash player the previous year, Becker’s Mexico Compact Disc was the first to be factory installed (in Benzes, of course).

SAPRO International

About the author

genieneadmin

Geniene Preston has been a radio personality on various main stream radio stations for over 20 years. Now its time to own a streaming radio station and use all the information and marketing stored from years of learning.

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