Want to give your car stereo a boost? It’s easier – and cheaper – than you might think. There are a few ways you can eke out a much higher quality performance for a tighter, cleaner sound. Read on for our six-step guide to make the most of your in-car sounds…
Get New Speakers
You might think that this will cost you a fortune, but even a slight upgrade will bring about a huge difference to your car stereo’s output. Most motor manufacturers pay no attention at all to the quality of speakers they install, and the result is that your sound quality will be severely lacking. Check your local trade publication to see if you can snap up any bargains. Many auto dealers will have end-of-line stock, or you could even try the second-hand market. Just make sure you try before you buy. It’s one of many upgrades you can make, but perhaps the most effective to spend your money on.
Change The Levels
Are you still driving around with factory settings on your stereo? Car audio can be improved greatly by having a fiddle with the graphic equalizers. The settings you choose will be different depending on what format you are listening to. For example, mp3 files will sound different to CDs, and both will sound different to the radio. If you can save your settings into different banks, do so. This will save you time when you want to change formats.
Use Better Audio File Formats
If you are listening to a lot of downloaded music, are you aware of what format it is in? A lot of music is compressed to within an inch of its life these days, and although it sounds OK on a pair of earbuds, it sounds tinny on a bigger system. The general rule is to use a higher bitrate. It will give you larger files, but you will gain so much more in high and low-end frequencies.
Buy Some Dynamats
Dynamats are perfect for improving the acoustics of your car. They will minimize rattling and reduce the change in frequency range that occurs when you speed up on the highway. Get them fitted into your door, and you will notice an immediate – and dramatic – improvement to your car stereo’s sound quality. Take a look at what’s available on the Dynamite website.
Build Your Own Sub Box
However good your in-door speakers are, a sub will make them better. They give a more rounded sound with a much tighter bottom end and will really draw out those frequencies you have been missing. Although subs can be expensive, you can reduce the cost dramatically by building your own box. There’s a great article on how to do it here, but the main thrust of what you need to do is to seal it completely.
Change Your Cables
Power cables are very important for car stereos. The likelihood is that unless you have a high-end, top-of-the-range vehicle, the cables used to run your stereo will be of poor quality. When you are pumping your music out loud, the amp can struggle if it isn’t getting enough juice. Better cables can help them feed off the power whenever they need it. Think about getting better patch cables, too. They will improve the sound quality by shutting out any hums or pops that are caused by your car’s electrical system.