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6 Tips for Getting the Best Sound Quality in Your Car

by Dave Dobson

One of the best places to enjoy your music is in the car, but many drivers tolerate subpar sound quality that they would never put up with at home, especially the audiophiles among us. Those audiophiles that decide to try and make a change, often make common installation mistakes that bottleneck your systems ability to produce amazing results. Therefore, I am going to give you my top 6 tips for getting better sound quality out of your car.

Replace Your Car’s Speakers

Often, the speakers that come with the car is usually an afterthought for car manufacturers. While default car speakers have improved as of late, they still do not hold a candle to speakers that have been designed to output better quality. Replacing speakers will also give you the most bang for your buck and the difference is stark if you find the right speakers. Often though, this is only in cars that aren’t from ‘premium’ brands as such. For example, in most premium brands like Audi, Mercedes and BMW, you can opt for a more premium sound system, from the likes of Bose and Bang and Olufsen.

Pick Higher Quality Audio Files

Audio files played through your earbuds might sound fine, but they will often come with a higher level of compression. This compression will often lose some of the high and low-frequency information in those audio tracks. This will probably not be as noticeable with worse speakers but if have great car speakers then you will be able to hear the difference between audio files.

Bypass your Audio Player’s Built-in Digital-to-Analog Converter

A digital-to-analogue converter, or DAC, has the role of converting digital data from 1’s and 0’s into an analogue audio signal. Often, your audio player is probably your iPhone or Android phone. Its built-in DAC usually does a decent job for casual listening with earbuds, but it does not deliver the same level of performance you can get out of the more advanced DACs found in high-quality car stereos. You will hear the difference when you make the switch.

Use Sound Deadening Material

Road noise and vibrations affect the quality of your sound. These external sounds can overpower frequencies your speakers are putting out that adds to the clarity of high- and low-end frequencies. This is a bigger issue when the speakers are in a car door that has a plastic casing around it that can easily rattle. Adding some sound-deadening material can reduce that rattle and keep the sounds that you do not want to interrupt your audio out of your ears.

Add a Car Amplifier

Many friends have asked me how they get more power in their bass for their speakers. I usually tell them to get a car amplifier. If you do not have the juice to push through your new speakers, you are leaving performance on the table. A separate amplifier will provide more clean power than any car stereo, and that will make a night-and-day difference to your sound quality. Your sound system will sound so much better.

Add a Signal Processor or an Equalizer

The interior of a car presents some serious problems when it comes to sound quality. They are not exactly built for perfect acoustics. Glass and plastic surfaces reflect sound which will muddy what you are hearing. Both carpet and seat covers thankfully have the opposite effect, but it still is not ideal for us audiophiles. Therefore, an equalizer (EQ) is a great addition for your car. With an EQ, you can filter out the reflects you are getting in your car to improve the sound quality.

To conclude, there is a wide range of things you can do to improve your cars audio quality. But the best approach is to do is assess the acoustics in your car? Do you get a bunch of reflects that distract you when you are listening to music? Understanding your needs will go a long way to help you make the right decision with car audio upgrades.

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