Originally Posted by MyThIc3LiTe
Music, unless its DTS 5.1 encoded, doesn't have a center. Even your lossless rips are left and right.
Movies and HD tv are encoded with center mainly for vocals, so unless radio stations start doing that the center speaker in a car is a bit of a waste.
You are partially right in that unless music is DTS 5.1 encoded it only has L and R. But most, if not all, music uses spatial panning with vocals and some instruments panned to center. In order to properly mix sound (I have a DAW) you need a pair of good neutral studio monitors properly placed at ear height and pointed towards a focussed listening position. In my studio the focussed point is about 2 metres out from my monitors. The problem in car is that unless the speakers are placed out by the front bumper they are so close they are literally on opposite sides of the driver or passenger. They are also not symmetric. Those who grew up with ear buds implanted in their ears tend to believe that sound should have clearly defined L and R fields as opposed to being spatially panned to create a wall of sound with a strong centre.
Try listening to the audio system in your living room with speakers 8 to 10 feet apart sitting one foot in front of the plane the speakers are in and a great system will sound like sh- (rhymes with pit).