But with a difference in the price of percent of commercials by fifty differences in sound, there may not be at all. Why?
Everything is very simple: for head units, as for any goods, there is a set of more or less important criteria by which they are evaluated. The manufacturer, of course, tries to diversify its model range as much as possible and therefore “plays” with these criteria. In some devices - the maximum bias in the direction of sound, in others - an emphasis on impeccable ergonomics, in the third - a set of all kinds of useful functions, and in the fourth - an affordable price.
Today, the range of CD-receivers from most manufacturers starts at around $ 100. For this money, as a rule, they offer a simple appearance with a set of basic options (tuner with RDS decoder, playback of CD-RW disks, one pair of line outputs, a removable panel, etc.). From the "older brothers" such a "head" is distinguished by a cheaper amplifier, the lack of the now popular encoder (rotary knob) and a simple one-color segment display. This is an appropriate option for the case when it is required that the car “just played” or when it is very difficult with finances. But if you want more, you have to pay extra …
Having added $ 50, and sometimes even less, you can already search for the “head” with the ability to play MP3 / WMA discs, better ergonomics, a variety of sound settings, decent sound, two pairs of line outputs, and even an output to the subwoofer. Some devices combine all of these advantages. There are cheaper ones - they have fewer talents. Which of these advantages are “percussion” - the manufacturer’s business.
We pass to the mark of 200-300 dollars. Many options - such as controlling a changer, two or more pairs of line outputs, a remote control - are already standard here. There are devices with a clear emphasis on sound: they can have an expensive DAC (digital-to-analog converter) - the same as in the most advanced ones. Graphic displays, “serious” sound adjustments, and more appear. This category is intended for relatively expensive systems equipped with at least an external amplifier.
Below the $ 300 line, manufacturers are trying to attract customers with innovative solutions - in my opinion, not always successful. Often, sophisticated devices have very inconvenient controls - a kind of reckoning for fashion. There is simply a “unique” design. But you can easily find receivers in which all the attention is paid to the sound. In their arsenal - all kinds of sound settings and even turning off the display when playing (for the connoisseur, the display is a source of interference!).
Of course, speaking of price categories, we rely on the functions inherent in the bulk of the head units. But there are also “informals”. A striking example is the Nakamichi receivers. For about $ 1, 000 you can buy a receiver that cannot read MP3 discs, has a “unfashionable” segment display, but is famous for its sound. It is unlikely that devices of this type will ever become leaders in mass sales - there are too many “buts” here - however, such “giants of musical thought” invariably attract such developments.