Car audio is a mixed proposition at best. We sit in an off-center position, in a corner of an irregularly shaped closet, with the upper half walled in glass, with random plastics, carpeting and odd cubicles for the remainder. If this is not bad enough, we then start the engine and and add yet more tire and wind noise as we drive off.
It is not an acoustical environment I can take seriously.
I agree uncompressed digital sounds the best. Satellite radio is particularly dreadful, which is only slightly bested by hybrid digital radio. Both are awful. Low and mid bit-rate MP3s give up too much to compression artifacts.
However, once moving, the artifacts and limitations of better quality high bit-rate MP3s are typically masked by the noises of the engine and moving car. Similarly, the advantageous of uncompressed audio are similarly masked.
As a result, I listen to little music in any car. It simply is too annoying between the awful environment and the noise.
I appreciate the interest in good sound. One of my gigs in the real world is recording symphony orchestras and chamber groups in concert halls and other performance spaces. I just finished mastering a recording of an orchestra performing Pictures at an Exhibition. Playing this recording in a moving automobile is a waste; the majority of the timbrel cues, as well as low level instruments, are wholly lost.
I suspect I would be more tolerant of car audio if I listened to pop/rock/rap.
Good luck with upgrading your system!
Last edited by Elk; 11-22-2012 at 07:50 AM.