We want to deliver as much value to our buyers and readers as we possibly can. Here we will walk you through how to optimize your vehicle's sound system!
Stock audio components do not always produce quality sound. Fortunately, there are options and several products that can help upgrade that stock stereo for all vehicles. These include upgrading speakers, head units, adding amplifiers, sub-woofers, and a bit of equalizer fine tuning.
1. Replacing the speakers. This is the first step to maximizing the quality of your vehicle’s
audio. Aftermarket speakers will make a significant difference in sound as they are
designed to be more clear and crisp. Speakers and tweeters in the front doors as well as
the speakers in the back of the vehicle should be replaced. Should you wish to not replace
your speakers there are other things you can do to enhance your system.
2. Add an amplifier. Amplifiers drive more power to the speakers, thus producing more
sound. This is an essential, night and day key to getting better quality sound.
3. Subwoofers and boxes. Subwoofers provide the bass that speakers cannot provide alone. You often hear a car near you vibrating and thumping from their subs being turned high, but like the equalizer of your speakers this is adjustable and can be tailored to your liking.
They’re easily found in premade boxes that are designed for the specific subwoofer,
although some like to build their own boxes. Take heed when doing so, the boxes need to
be the correct size for the interior volume of that sub and they need to be sealed properly
because air leaks will hinder the performance. If you are setting a sub into a box yourself,
ensure you know if the sub needs to be set into a sealed box or a ported box.
These are the basics. To enhance your new system, here are some tips and additional parts to make your sound even better.
1. Install sound deadening material. What is this? Think of these as insulation for your
speakers and doors. This material reduces vibration and noises from tires and the road
to help you hear the sound better. Its easily installed between the paneling and the
actual doors on your car.
2. Use higher quality music files. If you aren’t streaming from a music source and are
using music that is downloaded to your phone, audio player, or a CD there is no need
to worry about this. But if you are using downloaded or burned music, make sure you
are using files that are not compressed. Compressed music eliminates frequencies that
would be heard on a high quality file.
3. Install an outboard equalizer. Factory head units have equalizer settings (treble, bass,
midrange) but they take into consideration the whole car rather than individual
speakers. Using an outboard equalizer you can adjust the frequency peaks throughout
the car. For example, if the rear of your car is loud due to your muffler, you can
change the settings for the speakers in the rear without blowing eardrums in the front.
Sometimes amplifiers have these features built into them.
4. Don’t turn your amplifier’s gain control all the way up. This is not your volume, this
is the input signal that the amp is receiving. If it is up too high, distortion comes from
the speakers. The manual of your amplifier will tell you how to correctly set the amp
5. Setting the tone. Some up all of the equalizer numbers thinking it enhances their
music. This is not the correct way to tune your system! If you are using a factory head
unit, the best way to make your audio sound fuller is to lower the mids, highs, and
bass some and turn up the overall volume. If you replaced the stock head unit with an
aftermarket one the chance of it having custom EQ settings are high and you won’t
have to mess with your sound. Overall, a general rule of thumb is to avoid excessive
boosts or cuts in the equalizer settings. Equalizer settings are subjective, and will
have to be adjusted to your liking.
6. If you really want the BOOM from your subwoofers, use a capacitor. Capacitors live
on the power source between your amplifier and the car battery and serves as a power
buffer to meet the needs the amplifier demands to produce big bass hits by storing
power from the alternator. Capacitors help avoid a power deficiency to any of your
car’s other functions, such as dimming headlights when the bass hits hard- providing
7. Use high quality cables for your amplifier. The better the cable, the more power gets
from the battery to the amplifier, the better your sound will be. Using lesser quality
cables starve your receiver and amp of the needed power that is needed to meet highvolume