Blaupunkt is a well-known brand in the car audio industry, as it’s been around since the 1930s. It’s a German brand car stereo brand that found its way into some of the most luxurious German cars like Mercedes, BMW, and even Porsche back in the 80s and 90s. But how come stereos from this renowned brand are so cheap now?
Blaupunkt is a decent car audio brand, but it’s not as good as it used to be. Third parties, usually from China, manufacture, control, and distribute their products. Blaupunkt has become a brand licensing company. There isn’t much consistency between their products, so the quality varies.
Is Blaupunkt still good if you’re in the market for a new stereo, though?
Read on as I’ll discuss the interesting story behind Blaupunkt’s audio equipment, why they’re so cheap, and their quality and cost.
Why is Blaupunkt so Cheap?
Blaupunkt is cheap because its equipment is made in China. Blaupunkt doesn’t manufacture or control its products, as its licensees have full control and can set prices. They use the Blaupunkt license to stand out among cheaper products.
The prices have more to do with who the licensee is than Blaupunkt itself. Here’s what their official website states:
“Once a product category is assigned to a licensee, that licensee is completely responsible for the design, manufacturing, distribution, and sales of that product.”
So, what does this mean for Blaupunkt quality?
It essentially means their brand doesn’t represent much anymore. They offer a ton of different products manufactured by dozens of different companies, ranging from TVs and audio equipment to lawnmowers and even insect killers. The quality varies wildly, plus the licensees change all the time. Blaupunkt just offers support and the brand name.
However, this doesn’t mean that their products are made in the U.S. or that these brands pay the same attention to their Blaupunkt line as the one under their brand.
But consumers still recognize Blaupunkt as that popular German brand from the previous decades and the early 2000s, so they associate it with quality. And that’s fitting because their name (blau – blue; punkt – dot in German) represents a blue dot that’d be put on their equipment after passing quality control.
As explained above, Blaupunkt’s meaning of its brand solely depends on what the licensees do with it. So, is Blaupunkt good?
In the modern era, Blaupunkt sits right in the middle of car audio equipment. They’re not as bad as some unrecognizable knock-off brands, but they can’t compete with the likes of Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, and JL Audio. If we’re talking about older stuff from the previous decade or the early 2000s, it’s on par with other brands.
Even Rockford Fosgate used Blaupunkt to sell cheaper audio equipment and to dissociate their brand with cheaper stereos and speakers.
However, if we’re talking about older Blaupunkt stuff, it’s another story.
Blaupunkt stereo systems used to be manufactured in Germany, so they were very popular among German car manufacturers. Blaupunkt used the brand name Velocity for high-end gear found in Porsches, Mercedes, and BMWs. But “cheaper” car brands also used Blaupunkt stuff, such as Volkswagen, Fiat, and Vauxhall/Opel.
A true testimony of the olden times is the Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 (Amazon.com), which combines the vintage look of the Blaupunkt Bremen with modern internals. You wouldn’t know by the looks of it, but underneath the disc slot hides a USB slot, a MicroSD reader, and an AUX. This is one of the resto-mod stereos to have!
Did you know that even Blaupunkt invented the first FM radio?
If you’re interested in seeing how Blaupunkt compares against other car audio brands, see my comparison articles:
The cost of Blaupunkt products largely depends on the licensee. But generally speaking, their stereos and speakers cost slightly more than the cheapest options but significantly less than premium brands like Pioneer or sony. They’re a great value brand overall, especially when it comes to car speakers or non-touchscreen stereos.
Their main competitor is Boss car stereos. Boss has similar pricing, but they offer better products on average. My advice is to only get Blaupunkt stuff if it’s cheaper than other brands.
But if you’re buying older stuff on the second-hand stereo market, expect to pay a pretty penny. Their stuff from the 80s and 90s can cost hundreds of dollars. That’s because they’re no longer being made, are hard to find, and, most importantly, sound good. If you don’t have to have the real vintage stuff, opt for the Bremen SQR 46 I mentioned above.
Blaupunkt is a decent value brand, but it’s nowhere near as good as it used to be. They only license their brand name to other companies, which means that the quality varies from product to product.
If you’re looking for a used vintage stereo or a great bang for your buck, go with Blaupunkt. Otherwise, consider checking out other options.