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Published on November 17th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Guest post: Steps to amazing car audio sound

[Because I’ve been overseas for the last week, I’ve fobbed off some writing to a few guests posters. Here’s one on car audio from Lauren Bricks. – AC]

When buying a car, we always hope that it comes with an excellent audio system. However, most people wouldn’t bet on it since car manufacturers these days don’t seem too concerned about giving their products one.

That’s why people who buy new cars that don’t have a top-notch audio system simply take its absence as an opportunity to work on achieving an amazing car audio sound by themselves. They eventually end up with a much better car audio system for their new car by replacing the built-in speakers, installing a good amplifier, and adding a sub-woofer.

The road to amazing car sound, however, doesn’t end there. There are more things you can do to satisfy the audiophile in you. Here are some tips to make the stereo in your car sound even more remarkable.

Go for high-quality music files

The speakers, amplifier, and subwoofer you have installed may be the best in the industry, but they won’t matter one bit in your bid to achieve amazing car audio sound if the music files you’re playing are highly-compressed ones.

Music files with greater compression sound alright if you’re listening to them through earphones, but all that compression makes them lose some of their oomph, particularly if they’re playing through a good car audio system like the one you have installed. Compressed music files lose some details, including high- and low-frequency information, that would have otherwise made the listening experience more compelling.

When you create your music files, don’t just settle for the default setting. Try to use as little compression as possible if you’re using your MP3 player, iPod, or smartphone to play music in your car. Everything will sound so much better on your car audio system if your music files have a higher bit rate.

If your preferred music source is a streaming service, then you should tinker with the settings of your music app if you want audio quality that suits your standards. There are also music services out there that stream their music in a much higher resolution than the one you’ve subscribed to, so do some exploring and make the switch if you want.

Reduce vibration and noise

For cars, vibrations and road noise are an everyday fact. It’s also true that they impact the quality of sound in your vehicle. It’s a good thing you can do something about both. All you have to do is use sound-dampening products, and the sound of your car audio system will improve.

You can use products from companies like Hushmat and Dynamat on your car’s door panel, where your speakers are typically installed. These products can deaden the vibrations that the thin metal of the door panel produces when you play music. With those vibrations dampened, the sound of your music becomes more accurate, thanks to the stability that these sound-dampening products provide.

Sound-deadening products can also reduce interior noise levels in your car, so even if you speed up, there would be no need for you to turn up the volume when you’re driving.

Subwoofer box matters

Your subwoofer allows you to get full, rich-sounding bass out of your car audio system. Typically, you have two enclosure options: sealed and ported.

If you’re going for a ported or vented box because you want your bass to be booming, then you have to make sure that you’ve got the right subwoofer for it. Putting a subwoofer designed for a sealed enclosure in a ported one can damage it.

If you prefer a tighter-sounding bass, then your subwoofer should be in a sealed box. You have to take the “sealed” part seriously though because if there’s so much as a tiny air leak, the performance of your sub will be severely affected.

These are just some of the things you need to do to get that full, rich, and amazing car audio sound you deserve.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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