We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

How To Upgrade Your Car's Sound System

get the best car sound system

What's a jolly ride without a great sound system? For most drivers, listening to music while driving is an absolute must. Whether you are stuck in traffic or are making a long trip, good music can keep you going and in a great mood while other drivers are bored out of their minds.

Improving the quality of your car’s audio system will take you through a set of steps to scale it up and make it more enjoyable. And if you don’t want to employ the services of a professional audio technician, with a little guidance, you can do it yourself.

From all the elements you want to consider to the tweaks you want to make, we will give you an ultra-summarized version of all you need to know to pull your car’s sound system one step ahead and give you the best listening pleasure on the go.

Let’s dive right in.

Improvement of the Traditional Audio System

Here, we'll look at how to improve your traditional car stereos. A more extensive system requires many modifications in your car. While disassembling your car isn't always the best place to start when looking specifically for better audio quality, it's always worth considering.

There are three ways to improve the sound quality of the existing system. You can replace the speakers, integrate an amplifier, or install a subwoofer.

Replacement of Speakers

The factory-installed speakers are made to meet the manufacturer's requirements in terms of cost, and they're not always the best for sound quality. As the years go by, these speakers begin to pop. Fortunately, their replacement is very simple. You can easily replace coaxial speakers with component speakers. You just have to remove the cover, loosen the screws from the old speaker and unplug its terminals.

These cables are very important. Therefore, you should work with caution. If you are lucky, the brand new speakers will have the same type of plug. If not, soldering on a new plug shouldn't be too much trouble.

And the sound insulation on your car’s doors also plays a major role in the overall performance of the speakers. The direction of the sound will only be right if all the doors are well insulated. Otherwise, even if it is the high-quality speakers, the result will be the opposite: your car door begins to vibrate. A car door that vibrates and makes noise greatly reduces the pleasure of listening to music.

Integration of Amplifiers

An amplifier refines and amplifies the audio signals from your player and delivers them to the speakers, improving the tone and the whole listening experience in the car. Modern audio amplifiers are no longer as big and heavy as they used to be when they could only be placed in the trunk. Now, these devices can be installed behind the radio.

If you have a factory stereo that doesn't come with an amplifier, then it's important to find a unit that comes with speaker-level inputs. The best way to do this kind of upgrade is to install a head unit that has pre-amp outputs, but an amplifier that includes speaker-level inputs is at least a viable alternative.

Installment of Subwoofers

Installing a subwoofer may require an additional amplifier which can be installed directly behind the driver's seat.

The subwoofer pushes the low-frequency portion of the audio and the punch of a solid bass everyone loves. When combined with the other speakers in your car, your stereo is capable of reproducing the entire sound spectrum of an audio file.

There has been a lot of improvement in subwoofers. Large subwoofers that take up a lot of space are a thing of the past. Modern devices are compact and dynamic enough to allow installation inside the trunk or even under the passenger seat.

And as you install new sound devices, take these tips into consideration:

Overload Protection

When it comes to a high-quality audio system installation, the general rule is: each amplifier must have its individual and protected power supply. You must avoid multiple switches at all costs and use only quality copper cables with individual protection. A 1000 Watt amplifier (or one more powerful) requires the installation of an additional battery.

The car battery supplies power to the other electronic components in your vehicle and should not be loaded with an external amp. Since overloading could create problems, there is a need for a separate battery. The separate battery allows an uninterrupted electricity supply for your sound system.

So what if you've already set up your system and you're still not enjoying good sound? Consider playing higher-quality music and audio files. MP3s and satellite radio are notoriously compressed, and are hardly ideal for fine details.

Your Music Source

One of the most overlooked factors often overlooked in car audio systems’ quality is the source of the audio. Physical CDs offer better audio quality than radio signals, and you can get even better quality by switching to digital sound files.

USB and Bluetooth connections allow you to get amazing quality sounds from your phone. Most of these songs are high-resolution audio and can reveal your car's sound system in a new light. If your car stereo does not have a high-quality USB or Bluetooth enabled-function, you can add a new head unit that fulfills this function.

Use Cushioning Materials to Block out External Noise Sources

Consider sound-proofing your car. While your car won’t have the music-enhancing quality of a home theater, with cushioning materials, you can do more. Such sound-dampening materials can be placed on the door panels to reduce noise infiltration. Note that you may have to disassemble each panel and slide a sheet of cushioning material over it, before replacing them.

In Conclusion

You can improve the sound system of your car through upgrades and installations of component speakers to your car stereo. However, you should also focus on the quality of your music files and the improvement of your car environment by eliminating external interference.

If you find any difficulty in carrying out any of these processes, you should invite a car expert for your upgrades and installations.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Related Content
Go to top