A car can be a great place to enjoy music, but many commuters still set up with the marginal sound quality that they’d never endure in your home. Others assemble sophisticated sound systems to their own cars, then make common installation mistakes that keep the machine from reaching its entire potential.
The very best car sound systems rely on decent gear and tiny know-how. I have put together some tips about the best way to improve the sound in your car or truck, with tips for both very simple factory systems and more complex setups. You do not have to live with awful sound in your vehicle. Even the easiest improvements for your automobile sound system installation can yield noticeable results.
Tips for Getting the best sound quality in your car
Replace Your Car Speakers
]Factory sound systems have gotten better over the last couple of decades, but a lot of so-called”premium” systems still use comparatively inexpensive amps and speakers which don’t deliver first-class sound.
You are able to make a difference on your system’s sound quality by installing a nice pair of aftermarket speakers. You’ll hear tighter bass and much more overall clarity, and you’ll probably notice details you have never heard before in tunes you have known for years.
Select higher quality for your music files
It’s true, it is possible to store more music files on your music player if you utilize greater compression, plus they will sound okay once you’re listening through earbuds. However, you lose some high- and – low-frequency information if you compress your music, along with a number of the details which produce your music interesting. And, on a good vehicle audio system, you really can tell that something is missing.
And if you stream music, explore the preferences in your favorite music program to measure up your music quality. You might even utilize a music service that flows in a higher resolution, like TIDAL.
Assessing your music player’s built-in digital-to-analog converter
A digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, has the job of converting electronic data 0’s and 1’s to analog music signals. Typically, your music player is most likely your smartphone. Its built-in DAC usually does an excellent enough job for casual listening using earbuds, but it does not deliver the exact same level of performance it is possible to get from the more advanced DACs found in many of the better car stereos.
Thankfully, if you’re able to connect your iPod or phone into your aftermarket stereo via a USB cable, you could be able to skip your apparatus DAC. It is based on the individual stereo, so make sure you look at the stereo’s data in the”Details” tab to the Crutchfield website for confirmation.
Use sound Deadening material
First off, a door panel isn’t the best location to get a speaker — the thin metal vibrates as your music plays, which impacts the accuracy of the sound. When you attach these items to your door, it deadens those vibrations and generates a more secure platform for your speaker, more like the wooden baffle on a home speaker.
Second, have you ever noticed how your system sounds very great at 25 mph, but gets a little harsh when you hit 60? Road noise will conceal the lower frequencies first, so your system sounds overly bright when you turn this up at highway speeds. Sound-deadening material lowers interior noise levels in your vehicle, which means you don’t need to turn your music up as loud when you’re driving. You will hear more musical detail, along with your amps won’t need to work as hard. And that is all good.
Add a Car Amplifier
My answer is always:”An amplifier.” That’s because no matter how great your speakers are, you’ll get their very best performance by incorporating more power (within their performance specs, naturally ).
You may be saying,”My factory stereo sets out 200 watts, and that’s plenty of electricity ” But there’s a massive difference between 50 watts peak power per channel produced by your car stereo along with 50 watts RMS in an outboard amplifier.
Your system will sound better, whether you hear Mahler in a conversational level or Metallica turned up to 11. An amplifier is essential to getting great sound in your vehicle.
Add a signal processor or an equalizer
The interior of an auto presents some serious problems when it comes to sound quality. Plastic and glass surfaces represent sound like crazy, while carpeting, chair covers, and other absorbent materials soak this up. Add poorly placed speakers into the mixture, and you wind up with significant frequency response peaks in most automobile interiors.
Most car receivers offer you treble, midrange, and bass controls — helpful for global fixes but maybe not for zeroing in on problem areas. You’ll need an equalizer to kill these peaks, whether it’s built to a recipient or in a chip mounted in your dash or close your amplifiers.
An outboard equalizer provides you multiple factors for correcting frequency response, so you are able to iron those out peaks in your system. Sound processors help you remove frequency response peaks and increase bass response, and a few even include a microphone for analyzing your vehicle’s acoustics.
Build a Better Sub Box. Or Buy one
If you are constructing a sealed subwoofer box, then make sure it’s sealed properly. Air leaks can really hurt your sub’s performance. If you’re using a ported box, then be sure to’ve got the right sub in there. You can ruin a sub that is made for sealed box usage by driving it difficult in a ported enclosure. Additionally, it’s important to construct a box with the right interior volume to the sub you have picked out. A mismatch can result in poor performance or a sub fatality.
You might even avoid all of these problems by buying a premade enclosure that will work together with your subwoofer.
Your crossover can Really Improve the Sound of Your System
Many in-dash receivers today include frequency filters that will work with your preamp and speaker outputs. If you have a sub, utilize the high-pass filter to eliminate the very low bass from your car’s full-range speakers. You’ll get more clean volume from them, particularly if you’re forcing them along with the receiver’s built-in electricity. Or perhaps your sub sounds extremely strong, but the bass sounds like it’s coming from you. Experiment with increasing or lowering the crossover point in your own low-pass filter, and you’re going to be able to bring up the bass-forward with the rest of the music.
Don’t max out your tone controls
Just like a guitar, most of the best car sound systems perform better when they are properly tuned.
Boosting your factory radio’s tone controls all of the way up may make your system sound better in your driveway, but it merely generates distortion when you turn it up on the street. A heavy low-frequency increase, specifically, will put a large strain on your factory system. If you want to fatten up your sound, try using a smaller boost in the bass, lower the highs and mids a touch, and then turn up your general level a bit more.
The same rule holds true — avoid excessive tone cuts or boosts if possible. A bad EQ setting may make a good system sound horrible, while a smart tone curve may create a fantastic system sound good.
For a range of very good reasons, it’s never a good idea to fool your EQ on the road. If you can, program a few distinct EQ presets into your receiver, so you can see what works best on your car without needing to adjust settings while you’re driving. Or cycle through your recipient’s preset curves to see if one of these sounds particularly good at highway speed, then customize that placing in your driveway.
Add a Subwoofer and hear what you’ve been missing
I’ve installed a lot of car audio systems, and that I still love to see that”Wow” moment when someone sees a sub in their car for the first time. A good subwoofer will deliver the bottom octave of your music back into proper balance, which means you will hear familiar tunes in an entirely new light. A subwoofer will take a load off your full-range speakers too, as you’ll be enjoying your tunes with the bass set at”0″ rather than”+5″.
Some folks develop a negative view of subwoofers when they sit next to a thumping, vibrating car at a traffic light. However, subs are not just about the boom — you can correct any subwoofer to match your musical tastes and your vehicle. And once you drive with a subwoofer, you can never return to living without one. Or two.
Use high-quality cables for your amplifiers
Electricity is like running water. You wouldn’t run a garden hose from your well to your residence, as not enough water could get through to keep up with demand. That’s why you do not wish to use cheap, undersized power cable to get power for your amplifiers — that the amp is going to be starved for power when you start pushing up the volume controller. A good power cable allows current to flow freely so your amp receives the juice it requires during peak demand.
High-quality patch cables promote better sign flow from the receiver to your amps, so you hear a more focused, sound. And good patch cables will also reject noise caused by your car’s electrical system. Don’t believe it? Ask any guitar player concerning the significance of good cables.