If you are someone that cares about high-end car audio then you know that a component system is the only way to go. It will be time-consuming, expensive and require you to know what you are doing but the end result is absolutely worth it. Component speakers ensure that the drivers for the tweeter and woofer are separate and also introduces a crossover to help the speakers do their job optimally. This means that the tweeter and the woofers are only handling frequencies that they were designed to do so thus limiting distortion and extracting every last bit of performance from these speakers.
A component speaker system breaks down the frequencies and then channels them to dedicated drivers for the tweeter and the woofers. This is the complete opposite of most factory installed systems that try and do entire job with a shared driver.
A component speaker system could consist of just one tweeter and a woofer or a higher-end setup could include a midrange speaker as well. One of the most important parts of a component speaker system is the crossover or DPS.
A crossover is nothing but a traffic cop for the frequencies coming through from the radio or the amplifier. It makes sure that frequencies above a certain range are directed towards the tweeter while frequencies below a certain range are directed towards the woofer. This results in a sound stage that is super realistic, tonal clarity like the musician intended and a more accurate imaging experience than any other kind of speaker system you can install in the car.
Having a number of separate components means that there will be some additional work that will be required during installation. Also, the expertise required to install these component speakers is much greater than for other systems.
There are three cardinal rules that you should adhere to when buying and installing a high-quality audio system for your car. The first is to buy a high-quality aftermarket product because even the best cars come with some terrible kits fitted in them from the factory.
The speakers that come with the car are always the co-axial kinds where all the drivers, tweeter and woofer are rolled into one package so that the system takes the least amount of space and is easy to install. No amount of fancy branding and promises can bring it close to a component speaker system.
The second rule is to have your component speaker system installed. Making sure that the tweeter, the speaker, and the crossover are in the optimum position is something of an art form. It is much easier to mess up this part and end up with distortion, noise or sound that arrives at different times to the listener.
We recommend making the use of the services of a professional for this part and why this will add to your expense in the short term, it will ensure that you get optimum performance out of your car audio system in the long term.
The third rule for making sure that you have a component system that is truly high end and working to the best of its capacities is to ensure it includes a crossover or a digital sound processor. A crossover will help direct the right frequencies to the speaker and woofer respectively while the digital sound processor will help transform the source signal and undo any equalizations or filters that may be applied to it.
This is particularly useful if you are working with a factory installed unit that is often designed to compress sound and make the tiny included speakers sound better.
Tweeters are the tiny speakers that will deal with high frequencies, the likes of which are often beyond the capabilities of coaxial speakers. They are an absolute necessity to develop a proper soundstage and ensure that the sound being heard is balanced on all fronts.
Since tweeters are designed to handle high frequencies, they depend on a crossover to help direct only the correct frequencies to them and keep them functioning without any distortion.
There are a couple of rules that need to be kept in mind when installing the tweeters. It is highly recommended to keep the tweeter above the levels of the woofers and preferably close to the driver so that a stereo soundstage can be set up.
Tweeters can be installed with an angled mount, flush mounting or a surface mount depending upon the car and the space available. The easiest is probably the surface mount since it does not need any alteration to the car’s interior but it will leave you with a visible speaker. If that does not bother you then it is an excellent option.
The most common places where tweeters are installed include the sail panel, dashboard edges, the A-pillar and the upper part of the door. As you can note, all of these places are deliberately chosen to be high up.
Going with any one of these locations is a good option but care should be taken to ensure that the tweeters are kept within 12 inches of the speaker otherwise there is a risk of the sound arriving at slightly different times to the listener and thus causing distortion.
The basic procedure involved in installing tweeters goes something like this. The first part is to gain access to the installed audio system. All the wires connecting the head unit to the old speakers need to be removed (in some cases the head unit may be replaced as well). Be sure to cut off the power source of your car so that there is no chance of a short circuit.
Once the old stuff is out, add in the crossover by soldering its cable input to the main power source. The high-frequency wire has to go to the tweeter while the low-frequency wire will go to the woofer.
The tweeters have to be installed in their mounted location and depending on the exact location as well as the mounting method, some panels may need to be removed, holes need to be drilled or mounts need to be secured.
Midrange speakers are not always a part of a component speaker setup but if truly want the best audio system in your car then they must be. Think of the music you listen to and a large majority of that will lie in the midrange frequency. Adding a midrange speaker to the conventional tweeter and woofer setup also helps create a much deeper soundstage and a better imaging experience.
Since the most critical audio information lies in the midrange, we cannot recommend including a dedicated midrange speaker as a part of your setup highly enough.
The most critical part about the placement of your midrange speaker is its distance from the tweeter. Ideally, the tweeter and the midrange speaker must be placed as close together as possible with a maximum of 2 feet between them being acceptable.
Both the tweeter and the midrange speaker should have a direct path to the listener for maximum effect. Also, wherever possible the midrange speaker and the tweeter should ideally be placed in a vertical line to each other as this will help increase the imaging capability of the audio system.
There may be certain situations where it is not possible to place the midrange speaker and the tweeter within 2 feet of each other. Here, we recommend increasing the distance to 7 feet or more. It is not ideal but it will prevent any distortion from occurring that is often seen within the 2-7 feet placement range.
The most common and the best locations for the placement of the midrange speakers include the sail or kick panels, the dash or the doors. These speakers should be placed high up next to the tweeters.
The process for installing them is a little more complicated than just installing the tweeters alone. More amount of space will be required so you have to think about surface mounting the tweeter to try and conserve as much space as possible.
The first step is to again remove the old speakers from the car, disconnecting the wiring and soldering in the crossover correctly. You may also need to remove the side panels from the door in case that is the position you have decided on. This also involves removal of the window crank or the armrest. Once you have access to the underlying space measure twice before cutting once because it can be difficult to recover from serious mistakes at this point.
A subwoofer is a specialized speaker that produces low-frequency sounds. It is extremely popular because of the rich, high-quality bass it adds to a system. Adding a subwoofer also helps improve the functioning of the audio system as a whole because it takes care of the low-frequency sounds that speakers generally struggle to produce.
There are a number of types of subwoofers which also come in various sizes. Choose the right size of subwoofer that you can put in your car depending upon the amount of space that you have available.
The most common type of subwoofer is one that is unpowered and so requires to be hooked up to an external amplifier to draw power. Deciding on the best place to position the subwoofer in the car can be quite tricky since it usually requires a lot of space.
The best options include the trunk of the car, underneath the rear seat or underneath the front seat. A lot of people have started to prefer the placement of the subwoofer underneath the seats so that they do not have to compromise on any boot space that they may have.
The first part of the installation process is to mount the subwoofer into an enclosure. This is pretty straightforward and can be done in a couple of minutes. A lot of subwoofers also come installed in enclosures as well which is something that will add to your cost but save you some installation headache.
An unpowered subwoofer now has to be wired to the amplifier from where it will draw the power needed to pump out that bass. Wiring can be done in parallel for maximum output or in a series for higher impedance.
Depending on how handy you are with your tools you may even want to build your own subwoofer enclosure to customize the size to your needs and match the aesthetics of your car. For the large majority of the population though subwoofers which come in prefabricated enclosures are the way to go.
You may have to cut out some space for them in the trunk. Make sure that you do not block access to your spare tire during this process otherwise it will end up being a long-term hassle. Also, if you end up having to drill holes for the mounting brackets make sure that you away from any brake lines, fuel tanks or other essential lines running through that area.
A Digital Signal Processor is designed to do one thing and one thing only: to enhance the source signal so that it can be transformed into the highest quality audio possible. Think about it. If the source signal itself does not have the necessary information or has the information masked because of the presence of equalization filters then no amount of money spent on component speakers, amplifiers or subwoofers will end up doing any good.
Even people that just want to give their factory installed system a boost or are finding that their aftermarket system does not have the zing they are looking for should install a DSP in their car.
A DSP also allows you to have tremendous control over the music setting, going far beyond just the bass, treble and mid-range adjustment. You can even boost certain frequencies or cut out others allowing you to fine-tune the car audio setup in intricate detail and to absolute perfection.
A lot of people often mistake equalizers and digital signal processors as being the same thing. They do have certain overlapping functions but it is only the DSP which will be able to improve the quality of the source signal.
The best location to place a DSP is usually between the head unit and the amplifier. The reason for that is that this position allows the DSP to undo any external modifications or equalizations that the factory unit does to the source signal. Why would a factory unit do such a thing you may ask? The answer is to compensate for the terrible speakers these cars have installed in them.
The process of installation of a digital signal processor is not too complicated. A lot of people just end up placing it in the same location as the amplifier. There are certain sound processor units that can be added to compatible existing head units without much fuss at all.
Make sure that you check if that option is available for your car. The wiring involved in installing the DSP is not too dissimilar from that required to wire the amp. Use certain common-sense precautions like unplugging the battery terminal of your car before starting these electrical modifications since the risk of a short circuit occurring is always present.
If you are unsure about the electrical circuits in your car then we recommend taking the help of professionals because improperly wired component audio systems are the most common reason for a high-quality aftermarket system underperforming.
There are certain common mistakes that we have noticed people tend to make while attempting to install their own component speaker system. Here are some that you should try and avoid.
Running the wires to the various parts of the car audio system located in different parts of the car can be quite challenging. It is also by far the least ‘fun’ part of the job and one which people tend to gloss over. Simple mistakes like wiring the speakers in the wrong polarity are most commonly encountered.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a polarity test tool during the installation process.
If the quality of the sound coming through from your source is compressed or has undergone equalization then it will affect the performance of the entire speaker system. Adding a DSP will help take care of this problem once and for all. Another problem could be that the bass sounds weaker on one side of the car than the other. This can throw the bass speakers out of phase with each other.
The problem can be corrected most commonly by reversing the terminal attachments on the weak speaker.
The amount of power being supplied by the amplifier and the speaker system should be in sync otherwise it can result in distortion. You need to check the RMS rating of the amplifier and the speakers to make sure they are close to each other. If the power supplied from the amp is beyond what the speakers can handle then there will be distortion. In some cases, extremely powerful speakers may not be getting the necessary power from the amp and underperforming.
If you find an incompatibility issue then you have to change out the components to bring them in sync.
This is something that may sound trivial but do your research and read trusted reviews before buying your aftermarket system. We recommend speaking to your car audio shop and getting some recommendations to start with after which you can narrow down the search according to your needs and budget. There are too many people that spend way too much money on poor quality speakers.
Setting up a component speaker system so that it works to its optimum level requires some know-how otherwise it is very easy to mess things up. That being said, once you have done the proper groundwork and know the mistakes to steer clear of, it is definitely something that you can do on your own as well. For someone who is an audiophile and truly appreciates music, a component speaker system is the only way to truly scratch that itch. Learning how to install it and actually accomplishing that yourself is an added way to make the system truly unique to you.
Chances are that you are someone who has just bought a new car with an expensive audio system built-in or have just had an aftermarket premium audio system installed in your car but are still not satisfied with the sound quality you are getting. The likely solution to your problem is a sound processor.
A digital sound processor is a microprocessor that is dedicated to receiving the signal from the source and then routing it to your amplifier. This device plays a very important role in removing any equalization or enhancements that the vehicle manufacturers have built into their systems to try and make up for their deficiencies.
A digital sound processor is an absolute must if you want to listen to music as the musicians intended for it to be heard. For a true fan of music or just someone who appreciated high-end audio, this is often non-negotiable.
There are different kinds of digital sound processors each of which performs different functions. They consist of the following:
Equalizer - These help in fine-tuning the music of your car to your specific taste as well as the acoustics profile of your car. The purpose of equalizers is to remove any distortion that can hamper the listening experience and smoothen out the frequency response of the audio system.
Crossover - The job of a crossover is to divide the different frequencies into high, medium and low. These frequencies are then channeled into the correct speakers to get the best out of the system. Electronic crossovers allow a greater degree of control over the sound quality and help in the elevating the entire experience.
Line Output Converter - A line output converter is excellent to enhance the sound coming from any factory unit receiver or an aftermarket one for that matter. The volume output is increased without straining the amplifier and this also helps reduce the level of noise from the audio system.
Bass restoration processors expanders - These are installed in cars that have at least one sub-woofer installed as a part of the audio system. They help increase the level of bass that is produced while making it more accurate at the same time. Bass restoration processors expanders are perfect for someone who listens to low-frequency music or wants to increase the bass output.
This is a question that we often get and the answer to that is simple. Music is often heard through equalization filters and optimized for average speakers at best because that is what the majority of people are going to listen to. A DSP helps to strip away all of these filters which affect the quality of the sound and make it worthy of the premium audio setup that you have got going in your car.
Time lag is something that can be a big problem is not accounted for during the setup. Since sound travels at the same speed from speakers placed at different distances from the driver, they will end up reaching at different times and appear to make the sound skewed. A DSP can ensure that each speaker is calibrated such that their sound reaches the driver position at the same time.
The end result is a sound stage that just has to be heard to be believed. People who thought they were listening to a high-end audio system before installing a DSP and making the appropriate changes were absolutely blown away by the realistic nature of the sound stage. It honestly feels like the bad is playing inside your car!
The crossover can also be tweaked to control which kind of frequency gets sent the subwoofer, which gets sent to the tweeter and so on. This way there is almost no chance of a blowout even as you keep on increasing the volume.
Once the DSP has converted the source signal into a high-resolution signal representative of the original track, there is an almost endless amount of fine tuning that can be done. Every speaker in your car can be given a dedicated amplifier channel and fine-tuned individually.
This means that speakers of different sizes, different outputs and from different locations will be able to serve up music within their optimum range. Depending upon the kind of crossover that has been installed, appropriate tweaks can be made through the DSP to ensure that there is lag from any speaker and that the sound reaches your ears at perfectly the right time.
There is also something called as the ‘beaming phenomenon’ which has to be avoided when you are dealing with music at higher frequencies. In this situation, music coming from different directions actually starts to interfere with each other and can cause an increased amount of distortion and noise.
With a DSP, there is enough individual control over every speaker that the frequency output can be controlled from every speaker and this phenomenon can be prevented.
All of this may sound technical and it can be overwhelming but if your goal is just to listen to incredibly realistic music at the highest quality possible then it is essential to install a DSP to go with your system.
This question can be difficult to answer because it involves knowing what you want from your high-end car audio system. Here are some questions that you should answer that will help you. Do you have a high-end car audio system? If the answer is yes then you are someone who wants to get the max out of your investment and a DSP will certainly go a long way in helping you out there.
Of course, ‘high-end’ can mean different things to different people so let's break that down a little further. Are you someone who has had a component speaker system installed in your car? Go for the DSP. It will give it a boost that you can barely imagine.
If your car audio setup is one where there are more than one amplifier systems in place then you absolutely must install a DSP. It can be tricky controlling a complex audio setup and a DSP will help you do that with relative ease.
Another important thing to consider is your budget. Not all of us are born with limitless resources so ask yourself if you have the money to invest in a DSP for your car audio system? If the answer is a no, then we recommend holding off till you can save enough money otherwise you are not getting the best out of all the money you have put in it until now as well. The last question may actually the most important one of all. How much do you care about sound quality? Not everyone needs to get the best possible music from their speakers, not even everyone who splurges on a high-end car audio system. If you are one of these people then give the DSP a miss.
If you are, however, someone who cares deeply about music and believes that a good tune can uplift your mood then you owe it to yourself to hear music the right way. It's something you are never going to go back from.
As someone who does not have much knowledge of what goes into making a high-end car audio system tick, the various number of components you need can seem excessive and that’s understandable. Once you dive down this rabbit hole, however, there is no point in going half-hearted because the end result is not going to be as good as it should be. A DSP may just be the final piece of the puzzle that your car audio system needs.
A common query that we receive after the installation of a high-end aftermarket car audio system is about a lack of power affecting performance. People may find that their headlights are dimming or that their audio system is not performing as it should. Ideally, this is something that would have been discussed and anticipated when the car audio system was being planned but that is often not the case. The answer to this problem lies in choosing either a capacitor or an additional battery for your car, with both options having some pros and cons that need to be understood.
For people that are not too familiar with demanding car audio systems, it can seem counter-intuitive to them that their car battery is not powerful enough to provide the necessary juice to their system. There are a couple of factors to be considered here.
The first and foremost is the fact that factory installed car batteries have only enough power to the basic functions of the car with a little bit of leeway left over. It is simply not in the car maker’s benefit to sell cars with high-performance batteries that will be left unutilized by a large percentage of their customers.
Now, in general, close to 40-50% of the amperage of your battery goes towards powering the electronic systems in your car and making sure that there is enough juice to start the engines at all times. The remaining 50% of the factory installed battery is just not enough to power a high-end aftermarket car audio system.
The amplifier is particularly power hungry and will demand an extra source of power to function at its optimum performance.
So how do you know that you don’t have enough power? The car will start to experience some electrical issues where the windows may not get rolled up at the same speed they used to or the headlights of the car start to dim when the car-audio system is booming.
Most often, though, it will lead to a reduction in the performance of the car audio system. This is the worst case scenario because it does not matter how much you spent on getting the best quality audio components installed in your car if they just don’t have enough juice to be able to do their job to the best level.
So, yes, if you are adding a high-end car audio system, be prepared to add another power source as well.
At the most basic level, a capacitor and a battery are not that dissimilar because both of them are used to store energy. The difference, though, is that capacitors have the ability to discharge this stored battery very quickly if the need arises. In a car where a high-end audio system has been installed, this ability of the capacitor is very useful since the sudden burst of energy can used to feed the power-hungry amplifier. This helps reduce the problem of dimming headlights when the bass really hits but may not actually solve it completely.
A second battery to double the amount of power that you have stored can help solve the problem of headlights dimming or the car audio system not performing to its optimum. The reasoning is pretty simple here. Adding a second battery provides plenty of reserve amperage to the system and can also be placed very close to the amplifier. It is slightly more complicated than just replacing your factory installed battery for something that is powerful enough for your needs but it is definitely the less expensive option in this case.
There are plenty of differences between the manner in which batteries and capacitors in the manner that they are designed and function. Both of them are designed to store electric energy, yes, but the differences in how they perform this task are very important.
The potential energy or charge inside a capacitor is stored in an electric field whereas the potential energy in a battery is stored in a chemical form. This chemical form of storage allows much greater densities and thus batteries capable of holding the same amount of electrical energy as a capacitor will be much smaller in size.
This storage method also dictates the speed with which the electric energy can be released. In the case of capacitors, this is much more rapid than batteries and can be a big advantage when it comes to powering car audio.
The cost is also a major consideration in this case. People may want to save money since they would have already spent quite a lot on the high-end car audio system as well. An additional battery is going to be much more reasonable than a capacitor even with the installation costs being taken into consideration.
Buying the right capacitor or additional battery for your car means knowing a bit about the battery you have installed and the amount of power your car audio demands. The first thing to do is to find out the amperage of your factory installed battery. As mentioned earlier, deduct about 50% of that for the running of your car electronics and cranking the engine up. The remaining is what you have available to you for the car audio.
Choose capacitor is your electrical problems are minor but your amplifier is not getting enough power at all times. A capacitor is perfectly suited to solve this problem because it can be installed close to the amp and supply with a boost of power when it needs it most.
Since the amp can function at an optimum level for most of the time, it helps improve the quality of sound that you have been getting from the system. Generally, 1 farad of capacitance is added for every 1000 watts RMS of system power, but people may choose to up this to 2 or even 3 farads as per their liking.
If you are struggling with electronic problems, dimming of headlights and other issues then choose a secondary car battery that adds significant electrical storage unit and allows everything to run smoothly. This option sets you back a lesser amount of money but does bring with it the headache of battery replacements and maintenance, depending upon the kind of battery you install.
A secondary battery requires lesser space and also come in different shapes and sizes so that affords you a bit more flexibility.
Deciding what kind of secondary power unit you want to install in your car may seem like a complicated decision at first but assessing the pros and cons of each option will help you make that decision. It is, however, something that is a must-do if you want to get the most out of your expensive, high-end, car audio system.
The love of driving is intrinsically linked to having access to great music and this is why upgrading your car audio system is probably the easiest way to upgrade your entire driving experience. Without exception, factory installed speakers are low quality, tend to blow out and aimed to serve a basic minimum function. Of course, choosing the right audio gear for your car is not the easiest task. Car audio systems can range from a few hundred dollars to basically as much money as you can afford. Here are some of the things that you need to know and keep in mind before you part with your hard earned cash.
Impedance: The term impedance refers to the opposition electric current faces while passing through a conductive object. Car speakers function in low voltage-high ampere environments making 4ohm speakers perfectly suited while home speakers may be closer to 8 ohms.
Design: Home speakers are completely encased in a single cabinet or box while car speakers are sold separately as drivers, woofers, and tweeters.
Size: There is a much stricter size constraint on car speakers and thus every component is smaller than home speakers.
Optimization: Car speakers are optimized for small spaces with what is typically called as ‘near-field’ design while home speakers can function in much larger rooms.
There are certain fundamental qualities that every good quality car speaker will definitely have and ones you should never compromise on. The first is to be able to pump out music without any distortion within a reasonable volume range. You want to listen to the music as the people who made it wanted you to hear it, so this is not too much to ask in our opinion.
The speakers should be able to play a wide range of music making it versatile and allowing you to hear any kind of music that you prefer.
The last feature that we are looking for is the ability to pump out some bass because that is how most of the music nowadays is being geared. Bass makes you feel good!
The types of car speakers include: Component speakers, Coaxial speakers and full range speakers. There is also a common misconception that full range speakers and co-axial speakers are always the same, however, that may not be true.
Full range speakers are those that try and reproduce the entire gamut of audio frequencies but frequently fall short in the bass reproduction.
How does it work?
A full range speaker will usually include a woofer and a tweeter placed over it. This set up will attempt to handle the low-mid frequency sounds through the woofer and route the mid-high frequencies through the tweeter.
One driver is handling this entire setup and thus every sound of every frequency ultimately originated from the same place.
A coaxial speaker is one that has multiple drivers on a common central axis with the tweeter mounted in front of the woofer.
How Does it Work?
The speaker system works by employing individual driver units radiate sound from the same axis. For the purposes of car audio systems, two or three speaker drivers are the ones that are generally preferred while professional audio systems utilize a two-way design.
The most common types of co-axial systems that are used in cars in high-quality systems are the 3-way set up that has three drivers for the woofer, midrange driver, and the tweeter. A 2-way speaker will have two drivers for the woofer and the tweeter but will compromise on the sound quality somewhat. It will help you save some money though.
These are the best kind of speakers that you can get for your car. These speakers separate their drivers and thus allow a great amount of versatility in the setting up of the sound stage.
How do they work?
Component speakers separate the woofer and the tweeter and have dedicated speakers for each that means that the sound produced is of the highest quality. Normally, the tweeters are placed higher than the woofers so that delicacies of extreme sound frequencies at both the ranges remain undistorted.
There is also a crossover that is introduced into the mix which basically ensures that right frequencies are being channeled to the right drivers. Experts, in fact, believe it is the addition of this dedicated crossover that provides the massive jump in sound quality and experience along with the other high-quality components, of course.
How many different kinds of component speakers are there?
There really is no limit to the number of speakers that you can have installed in your car, however, typically a high-end car audio system will include a sub-woofer, a woofer, a mid range speaker, a tweeter and a super tweeter to be able to reproduce the complete range of audio frequencies.
There is one simple reason why people want to upgrade their car audio system: The ones included from the factory suck.
Most of the cars come with full range speakers that do a terrible job of reproducing music and audio in general while even the high-end cars come with co-axial speakers at best. For people that enjoy driving and consider listening to music a large part of that experience, upgrading their car audio system is a no-brainer.
Even people that may not consider themselves experts on the technicalities behind sound production or transmission are able to notice the lack of bass in factory installed speakers and thus want to rip them out and replace them with something better.
This is something that you need to be very sure about before making your purchase. A lot of the speaker systems will come with guidance as to the cars in which they can be installed or the amount of space that will be required.
The simplest way to is to measure the size of your factory installed speakers and the space that you have available before looking for aftermarket speakers. Our suggestion is to involve a professional at this point in time because there are a lot of small things that can go wrong during the installation of these speakers.
Choose someone with experience and be sure that the speakers you order are compatible with your car and can be installed in it without any problem.
Different people have different needs and this is why it is important to identify what kind of a system you want. Start with identifying your favorite kind of music and then tailor your search according to that. If you listen to bass heavy music then the low-end range become very important in your system, something that single driver full range car audio systems will not be able to fulfill.
A high quality co-axial system or a component speakers car audio system will be good for your need. A point to be noted here should be that just a large amount of bass does not equate to a great music system. A lot of the speakers, particularly those that fall in the mid-range, have started to amplify the bass much beyond what was originally intended by the speakers because that is what is being dictated by the market.
If that is something you want then go for it, otherwise do your research before investing a considerable amount of money.
Similarly, if you are someone who listens to pop music, classical music or orchestras then you want to invest in a component speaker system that allows you to hear the individual instruments clearly and set a high quality sound stage. The sound imaging that is possible with this kind of system is simply unmatched.
If you are someone who listens to a bit of everything and not really limited to a particular general then we recommend a high quality co-axial system which will cover most needs and easy to install as well. If you are someone that listens to podcasts and the occasional bit of music then stick to something simple like a full range car audio system.
Of course, the amount of money that you can spend on a car audio system is a very important consideration as well. If you are an audiophile with no restrictions on budget then we recommend you build the dream component speaker car audio system, however, if you do have a tighter budget than a co-axial or a full range speaker system may be more suited for you.
Even those people that do not want to spend too much on their car audio system can just have a subwoofer system installed in addition the audio system that cam installed from the factory and notice a huge quality bump immediately.
If you are an audiophile but does not have the budget to be able to splurge on a top of the line car audio system right now then we recommend you save some money and wait. Do not go for the best that you can afford right now because that will not satisfy your needs and end up being a waste of money. It will also push your eventual goal away because you would have spent the money you had right now instead of saving for what you actually want.
We have seen too often people with the nest intentions make some of the silliest mistakes. They end up buying the best speakers that they can afford and then skimp on the installation cost which negates a lot of what they intended in the first place: Great sound quality.
Excellent sound is just not about the kind of speakers but also where they are placed. There are a lot of technical considerations that go into the placement of the tweeters, the subwoofers, the woofers and the crossover. It is not just about hooking them up to the power and switching them on. Done incorrectly, you may notice a lot of interference and noise that will ruin the experience you should be getting from top notch speakers.
Make sure that you get an experienced professional to install your speakers for you so that the job is done right without too much fuss. It is also a smart thing to take advice from a professional about the size of the speakers you are ordering before you actually do so to avoid any incidental costs of returning them or creating more space than you have easily available.
Getting speakers installed professionally is much cheaper than having incorrect speakers and wiring ripped out and then replaced correctly!
The most convenient position to place your new speakers are in place of the factory installed ones but to get the best experience some amount of custom work may need to be done.
Added Subwoofer: The enclosure for the added subwoofer can be a little bulky and take up a lot of space so the best placement position for it is in the trunk. Not all cars have trunks or enough place in them or you just may not want to compromise that sort of space in your trunk.
In such situations, the area under the rear seat works perfectly as well.
Coaxial speaker: These speakers come with a tweeter and/or a mid-range driver partially obscuring the speaker and thus the tweeter direction should always be kept upwards. The best place for them is under the car’s dashboard directed towards the driver.
Component Speaker: The ideal placement position for the tweeter is a high up level as close to ear of the driver as possible but not too far away from the woofer otherwise the sound will reach at different times. The woofer should be kept low in the car while the crossover is hidden in the middle.
Tweeters should ideally be placed on the dashboard with a slant spacer or on the A Pilller of the car.
No sound comes from your speakers
Having a complicated and intricate set of speakers in the car means that it can be slightly harder for you to figure out what the problem is when something goes wrong. The most common problem that people face is when the sound stops coming from the speakers.
The first thing that you should do is to check all the connections in the car and see if everything is connected. If everything is still connected then have the amplifier checked out because that is generally where the problem lies.
Car speakers suddenly stop working
If your car speakers suddenly stop working then check out the head unit or the amplifier for the root of the problem. Occasionally, the wiring itself may be the problem and may need to be changed out.
Unwanted noise comes from speaker
Unwanted noise or interference from the speakers does not mean that there is something wrong with the speakers but it almost certainly indicated that the speakers are not installed correctly. The problem could be with their placement or with their wiring or may be even both. This would require you to go back to the professional who fit the speakers in or to get the problems rectified that may have been created when you attempted the installation yourself.
The best way to maintain your car speakers is to take care of them like you would anything else that is precious to you. Use them for listening to music but avoid blaring out music at the top of the volume because that will just blow them out.
Make sure the power connections to your speakers are secure and that they provide consistent and reliable energy to them. Also, avoid any physical damage to the speakers of a car, something that can happen quite often.
There is not too much else that you need to do but if you do end up with some trouble then always go back to a trusted professional to rectify the problem rather than trying to tinker yourself and end up worsening it.
Type of speaker
The type of speaker you buy will be determined by the kind of music you listen to. A person that really does not care about music and just wants something better than the factory fitted speakers that came in the car will be benefited by a simple full range speaker system or even just the addition of a subwoofer.
On the other hand, if you are a true audiophile then spend time on buying and having a high quality component speaker system installed in your car because the result will be worth every penny.
The sound quality will be dictated by the kind of speakers that you buy as well as their placement in the car. Money always does not equate to sound quality in this case and so we recommend that you take the advice of a professional to help narrow down the choices for your needs.
The speakers that you buy should be made with high quality materials, come with a warranty and preferably be manufactured by a brand that has a rich history in audio. Too many fly by night operators that do not do original research or even in-house design have started to fill up store shelves. Most of these car audio systems are mass manufactured without adequate quality controls and so should be avoided.
The sensitivity of a speaker must be taken into account when making your choice. Most factory installed car stereos are low powered (15 watts per channel or lesser) and thus you will need speakers with a high sensitivity rating (more than 90dB) to be able to get the best out of them.
Head Unit and Amplifier Compatibility
Upgrading the stock amplifier with a high quality external unit will do wonders for the sound quality but system compatibility with the head unit needs to be kept in mind. The ideal situation would be to have a head unit with preamp outputs and an amplifier with line level inputs.
Upgrading the car audio system from a factory installed one to a custom one that fits your needs can be a hugely rewarding and satisfying experience. It is also something that helps makes the car unique to you without doing any structural changes or modifications to it.
If you are someone who enjoys music, enjoys driving or is in the car for a long time then take the plunge to upgrade your car audio system right now. Once you upgrade, you will wonder how you ever listened to music in your car any other way.
You decided to upgrade your car audio system because you want to get a feel of a high-quality sound system? Our number one tip for saving money while doing this is to ensure you get it right the first time.
We can't stress this enough as most of us seem to make the mistake of buying the wrong audio system. In this article, we have put together some useful tips that will help you make the wise decision when you want to upgrade your car audio system.
A car audio system is made up of different components which work together as a unit. A simple car audio system includes three main components while a more advanced car audio system will have additional components working with these three. The three most important components of the system are the following:
While this name is not common, a lot of people know this component as the car radio. The primary function of this component is to provide an audio signal. It consists of digital music, satellite radio, CD players, internet music, and more.
This component often goes unnoticed since a lot of OEM car audio systems have the head unit and amplifier as a single component as a means to conserve space. The function of the amplifier is to boost the audio signal created by the head unit, so it is powerful enough to cause movements in the speakers.
Audio signals are usually formed as electrical signals in the head unit, boosted by the amplifier, and then converted to mechanical energy to cause vibrations in the speaker. These vibrations display air to produce sound. Car speakers are often full-range speakers. They can also be coaxial, woofers, subwoofers, etc.
Other components which are added in an advanced car audio system include:
#1 Your car audio system is built around the head unit. It is the core component of the system.
#2 The OEM audio system is not installed as a permanent audio system, and it is easy to replace them with aftermarket parts. All you need to do is ensure that they are of the same size so you can install the new one into the space occupied by the OEM system in your car.
#3 It’s not in all cases that you will have an OEM system with poor sound quality. Some OEM systems which offer some great quality sound include Bose systems, Bowers & Wilkins, Revel systems, Fender, etc.
#4 Amplifiers are often built into the OEM head units for some cars while they are absent in others. This difference is indicated by the names they are called. When the amplifier is built in, it is referred to as a receiver while in a case where it is not, it is called a turner.
#5 Money may not always solve the problem of your sound quality. 50% of how great the quality of the sound you can get often depends on how the speakers are arranged and the location in the car.
#6 There is a range of audio frequency available and using a full range speaker lets you capture frequencies throughout this range. This is why full range speakers are used in lots of OEM speakers.
The only problem which makes them ineffective is that they lose sound strength because they are placed relatively close to one another, and the size of the speakers also causes interference between them.
#7 By installing a subwoofer, you can achieve the perfect car audio system which you desire.
There are lots of reasons why you will need to upgrade your car audio system. Here are some of the common reasons why people do it;
To begin the upgrade of your car audio system, you need to have certain areas taken care of if you wish to achieve your objectives. Below we have given some areas which you have to address to get the best out of an upgrade.
If you know how much you are willing to spend upgrading your car audio system, you can get the most out of your money. Having a limit to what you pay will stop you from spending on components which are not necessary for your current upgrade.
Depending on the kind of music you listen to and the depth to which you wish to hear the details, the configuration of your car audio system will have to change. Speakers, head units, and amplifiers for different styles of music will be different, and by carrying out extensive research, you can purchase components that align with your needs.
By doing this, you can learn about all the features which you have available, features you lack, and the extent to which they will be able to satisfy you. This is a good way to determine the parts that will need to be changed.
In some OEM systems, features like built-in Bluetooth, GPS navigation, internet connectivity, and mobile hotspots are made available while in others you may get one or none of these functions. You may also have a built-in subwoofer and an amplifier in the system.
Speakers play a significant role in the sound quality of the audio system. There are also different speakers which will work better for different types of music. You need to understand yourself better to get the right choice of speakers. Define your kind of music, and this will help to narrow down your options of speakers.
Installing a car audio system can be done easily and safely if you have the right tools for the job. If you wish to install it on your own, the following tools are essential to do the work:
The tools listed above are some of the essential tools you will need for the job. In some cases, you may also need additional tools like screwdrivers, saws, etc. in case you want to install your speakers in a different location. In such situations, you may need to open the panels and also pass wires through areas that you can't easily get access into.
Getting overexcited by the idea of upgrading your car audio system may cost you money that you can invest in other areas. This may happen if you don’t carry out proper research and learn more about your car audio system before you decide it needs an upgrade. Here are some areas you should consider before diving into this project:
Below are some important factors you want to consider before upgrading your car’s head unit.
Before choosing the right head unit for your car, you want to figure out the cost of the unit and also the cost of installation. Do keep in mind that there are different types of unit, which may vary in price, depending on the type of model you want to buy.
If you decide to do the installation yourself, then you might be spending from $70-$300 for the single DIN head unit compared to a double DIN head unit with touch screen, which happens to be a bit pricier. But if you choose to get the installation done on an Audio shop, then you might spend more than that price for a brand new head unit and installation.
Make sure you measure the installed OEM Factory installed unit before picking an aftermarket one. Based on their dimension standards, they are divided into two parts:
We have the Single Din Car Radios, which is 2-inch high and 7-inch long and the double din car radio that is 7 inches long and 4 inches high. You can replace a double DIN OEM head unit with a single DIN head unit and Double DIN aftermarket.
While looking for the right head unit, you may want to go for preamp output. The reason why this head unit seems to get the cake is that they come with a separate analog circuit for both positive to negative connections from the XLR input to its output.
Their differential socket provides a significant advantage by reducing noise and distortion.
The needed tools include:
● A Socket
● A screw driver set
● Wiring harness adapter
●. Electric Tape
● Dashboard installation kit
● And any additional tools to remove the factory head unit.
Step 1: Make sure all your tools like a faceplate or mounting sleeve are in place.
Step 2: The negative terminal wire should be disconnected from the battery.
Step 3: Next, detach the old unit from your vehicle's dashboard
Step 4: Ensure the surrounding trim is removed in order to access it.
Step 5: Right from the back of the head unit, ensure you disconnect the wiring harness by pressing down the tab.
Step 7: Make sure you are using the right harness adapter.
Step 8: Next step is to disconnect and loosen the antenna while pulling out the connector.
Step 9: Then prepare the head unit to fit in, based on how the original unit was positioned.
Step 10: You can use the factory brackets or the one that come with the new dash kit plug.
Step11: The next step to plug in the wiring adapter into your factory plug.
Step 12: Insert the new head unit plug to both the black and brown connector on the adapter.
Step 13: Fix in the new head unit into your vehicle's dashboard location.
Step 14: After that, connect the wiring harness and plug in the athena.
Step 15: Reconnect the negative battery terminal and reassemble the dashboard.
Step 16: Turn on the unit, and find out if all functions such as USB, Radio, and rear speakers are in good conditions.
One of the mistakes people make installing a head unit is the failure of getting all the wires of equal length. When you do that, it makes it a little bit easier and quicker when you do the install.
The way you can get a perfect sound is if decide go for an upgrade. And that is what we are going to help you do.
Below are some few tips you have to keep in mind when choosing an amplifier.
Before choosing an amplifier, you want to find the average cost of the Amplifier. You also want to find out if the price range falls within your budget. The average cost of high-quality Amps range from $50 to $200 currently on Amazon.
You also want to figure out if the manufacturer offers a free installation service alongside the product. If they don't provide such services, then you may end up spending an extra buck of $30-$60 for a single installation.
Before buying an aftermarket car amplifier, you need figure out the number of speakers you want to install on your vehicle. Are you going to be needing a pair of speakers or two pairs of speakers?
Knowing this will help you make an informed decision on the type of amp to buy based on the output channels and the power of the amp.
Currently on the market, mono amplifier uses one output channel known for powering subwoofers. And two channels Amp delivers more versatility which you can use to power a pair of speakers.
3 and 4 channel Amps is known to have the most options. You can easily use them to power a couple of pairs of speakers. Apart from those, 5 to 6 Amps channels allow you to power your system using a single amplifier.
Below is what it takes to install a car amplifier in your vehicle.
Step 1: Ensure you purchase a wiring kit that has ground and power wire, speaker wires and fuses for installation.
Step 2: Ensure you mount the amplifier in a good spot for proper ventilation without being too difficult to access.
Step 3: While installing the unit, make sure you disconnect the negative terminal.
Step 4: Pass the wire cable from the battery to the amplifier and strip the insulation of both the battery and amplifier.
Step 5:Connect the fuse holder to the wiring kit and terminal ring after gripping them together.
Step 6: Attach the terminal ring to the positive battery terminal, and securely melt the dude holder.
Step 7: Since the dud and the lead between the terminal is unprotected, ensure the fuse is close securely to the battery.
Step 8: Run the power cable to the cabin tuck in a convenient place in your vehicle to reach your amplifier location.
Step 9: Run the signal cables and turn on wire behind the your stereo.
Step 10:The ground wire should be connected to the vehicle chassis and fasten the ground cable with a bolt.
Step 11: Connect the vehicle's bare metal with the ground wire for best connection.
Step 12: Now, you want to mount your Amp and carry out the necessary connections.
Step 13: Ensure you turn the amp's gains down before you fire up an empty test.
Step 14: After that, you want to reconnect negative battery terminal of your vehicle.
Step 15: Ensure the the Amps is on when you start the car.
Step 16 : Finally, play some good music and see how it goes.
Improving your vehicle’s speaker system will not only revolutionize it, but also gives you the best-desired quality sound. Unlike factory speakers, most aftermarket speaker systems offer high-quality material that is strong enough to withstand any warping and can play louder as well as deliver smooth sounds.
There are basically three main types of speakers based on their cost. We have the full range speakers, coaxial and the component speakers.
A full range speaker system offers an all-in one parts that are easy to install and the cheapest on the market. Regarding sound, they can produce a different range of sounds. The only limitation is that they aren't customizable like component speakers, which are higher priced than full range speakers.
Unlike full range speakers, the coaxial speaker, on the other hand has two drivers that use the same coil voice. Most OEM system does come with either a full range or coaxial speakers.
So, the point here is to go for what suits you. If you are looking for an advanced set of speakers, then you can as well want to choose from either coaxial or component speakers.
Before making a buying decision make sure you find the type of speaker that fits your needs. Ensure you buy a speaker that will fit your favorite music.
An aftermarket speaker offers better quality material. Find out if it has an MRC Cone, Mica Reinforced Cone. Ensure the speaker has a tweeter and much larger voice cone, which will allow the speaker to hold way more power. That means you are going to get higher sound quality and frequency.
For easy installation, you are going to need the following tools:
● Socket Wrench
● Standard Philips Screwdriver
● TI5 Torx screwdriver
● Panel Tool
● Flush cut pliers
● Until Knife Razor Blade
Step 1: Disassemble the speaker by removing the panel. Take note of all screw locations.
Step 2: Using the approximate tools, remove each tool
Step 3: Using the plastic panel and popping tool loosen the panel.
Step 4: Make sure you disconnect the wire harness before finally removing the panel.
Step 5: Next, eliminate the screws holding in the factory installed the speaker.
Step 6: Remove the speaker from the door and disconnect the factory speaker harness from the system.
Step 7: Make sure the kits speaker harness fits the factory connector before connecting the speaker harness,
Step 8: To ensure that the power window doesn't accidentally lock or hook the wires when installed, secure the wire zip ties.
Step 9: After that, plug the speaker into the battery connector.
Step 10: Insert the speaker into the cavity lineup and screw it.
Step 11: Reattached the wire harness and lineup the panel.
Step 12: Push the door in until it clips back into place.
Step 13: Reattach all other panel screws and covers on the door.
Step 14: Make sure you reconnect the lock switch before you are done.
Step 15: Repeat this process for other doors you wish to install speakers into.
One mistake most of us make while installing a speaker in our car is the wiring issue. Make sure you double-check to see if the speakers have the same polarity. The same goes for subwoofers.
If you have multiple subwoofers, you want to make sure they are also wired in correct polarity. The reason for this is that if you have one speaker while it is going out and the other one is coming in, then the speakers will be working against each other. The best way to check the polarity of those wires is through a polarity checker.
Having a great car audio system can make the ride home to and from work or an outing a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case if you are stuck with a low-quality OEM system. In such a situation, making a few adjustments and replacing a few components can solve your problem.
We have given you our ideas on what we know based on our experiences and research. By applying the tips and learning some of the information in this article, you will be able to get improvements on your car audio system.