Poor Man's Car Audio Upgrade - PowerAmp - Android

Not open for further replies.


Platinum Member
Apr 13, 2004
djnsmith7... I will keep this civil and tell you to not post things such as this on this forum...

AT Moderator

Folks, I finally have some time to share my poor man's car audio upgrade solution. It took me a while to find the least expensive, best-sounding solution & I couldn't be happier.

I've tried to find a comparable package for my iPhone 6 friends, but have been unsuccessful (3 different solutions from the Apple Store, including iTunes Player), but nothing tops PowerAmp. The one option we haven't tried yet, but has great reviews, is the Onkyo HF player. Will update the thread later with the results.

The configuration itself is straight forward:

Note 3 + FLAC files (this is key! - >1400 kbps) + PowerAmp + bone stock car audio system = Newfound musical bliss!

About PowerAmp (full version):


*Cheap - $4
*Very high quality player (amazing sound on a Note Series phone)
*Easy to use, navigate & customize
*Solid EQ options
*Cool folder cover options (easy to change often - press & hold cover img - PowerAmp's system will search for additional cover options for you - See Metallica example below - Img 5)
*Sounds great on my cheap Sony headphones
*Sounds like a custom system in my friends' Acura RLX - that car has a very nice stock system
*Friends' comments - "Damn, I thought this system sucked. Never knew it could sound like this. Had the car for 2 years & never liked the system. Always wanted to install a custom system. Now I don't need to." (She actually considered ditching her iPhone 6S for a Note Series phone).


*Occasional audio dropouts (I believe this to be related to my car's system, not the app)
(no audio dropouts when I use my headphones - only when using my car's Bluetooth - but it's rare)

FLAC File Extraction Solution:

I use dBpoweramp CD Ripper (excellent & fast - highly recommend). It's pretty decent with folder image association, but wherever it lacks, PowerAmp picks up the slack. I had at least 7 CD covers I wasn't excited about that dBP found online, but easily replaced them with much better options in PowerAmp.

dBpoweramp CD Ripper

Additional Comments / Sidebar Notes:

I bet most of you that are currently using bone stock systems with a CD player, iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, etc., would be blown away (like my friend, brother & I were) if you try this solution. The better your stock system, the greater the improvement. I have a rinky dink '15 Ford Escape stock system, which sounds like crap with my iPod...my Note 3 destroys my iPod, hands-down, no argument.

Funny sidebar note: When I first tested my iPod in the Escape, I thought it sounded pretty darn good (not as good as in my '12 MKX w/ THX ). It took less than a minute to permanently retire my beloved iPod in favor of my Note 3 + PowerAmp. The difference is crazy.

Reference Tracks: Mariah Carey's "My All" & The Eagles' "Hotel California" are what I would call Reference Tracks to test. They just sound ridiculously amazing with this setup.

Even if you aren't a fan of Mariah or that song, play it anyway. In true, uncompressed FLAC format, it will sound amazing (you'll probably get a huge grin from your SO if she's with you when you test it).

If you don't want to rip your CD's, or don't have CD's to rip, there are sites out there where you can purchase FLAC files. First site that comes to mind is AllFLAC. For some reason though, I've never found any of their files to match mine in kbps (mine are all >1400). I've never tested any of their files, but they have a large collection to choose from, so it may be worth checking out. Would like to read feedback from anyone that gives them a shot.

That's everything I can think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps. Hope a couple folks try it out.


Last edited by a moderator:
Not open for further replies.