Whether you’re new to the auto audio industry or a seasoned expert, there’s nothing like installing brand new audio equipment in your car. But your selected system’s audio could not live up to your high standards.
You shouldn’t just toss everything out and start afresh. In your car, perhaps the bass needs to be turned up or the system adjusted. To help you do the latter, we’ve compiled some pointers for optimizing your in-car media experience.
The Four Essentials for Optimizing Your Car Stereo
If your brand-new car radio isn’t living up to expectations, consider adjusting these things first. You can probably get by with just these for your system.
1. Verify the Phase of the Speaker
To achieve correct firing, the speaker cones should be both projecting and sinking. The lack of this will result in less dynamic bass and a lifeless sound system. Check the speakers even if you had a professional set up your system.
One technique to test if the speakers are in phase is to play bass-heavy music while the balance control is set to one side. If the bass doesn’t sound right, try adjusting the level so it’s just a hair above or below the midway mark. In such case, your speakers are in phase; otherwise, you may need to rearrange their locations.
Modify the polarity of the positive and negative leads on one speaker and try again. Once the bass has been increased, no more adjustments should be made. You have the option of handling the front and rear speakers separately.
It’s time to activate the bass reflex system. Attempt reversing the sub’s connectors and listening for a change in bass response. If the bass has been turned up, don’t touch it. Also, check that the bass from each subwoofer is in time with the others.
2. Make the Appropriate Subwoofer and Equalizer Settings
If you’ve just added a subwoofer to your home theater setup, you might be tempted to crank up the bass on your receiver. Nonetheless, some alterations to the system settings are obligatory. Pay special attention to the frequencies that will have the most noticeable change when adjusting the equalizer.
The equalizer’s tone settings should be set to zero, and the EQ curve should be turned off, to begin with. Play some well-known tunes at a manageable volume, minus the subwoofer. As a further step, progressively increase the bass effect until you reach the desired volume. At this point, the bass is adequately present without overpowering the rest of the music.
Bass that seems to be coming from behind someone is annoying. If this happens, decreasing the sub-crossover amplifier’s point will spread out the bass more. You can try moving the subwoofer if you can’t change the crossover point.
For example, if the subwoofer is facing behind you, you should turn it so that the front or side is facing you. The phase should be checked once more once the submarine has arrived at its destination.
3. Make a Stage Across the Dashboard for the Music
Use your gear to create a “soundstage” for optimal results. By closing your eyes, you may imagine the instruments playing in front of you, from right to left. That means the lead vocals should be in the middle, with the bass guitar and kick drum on either side. A well-engineered soundstage will make you feel like you’re sitting in your automobile while the band plays for you.
4. Find the Sweet Spot for Bass Volume
A truly great bass line should go well with everything from metal to reggae to rap and beyond.
You may be pleasantly surprised by the subwoofer’s powers if you listen to jazz or classical music. The instrument can surprise with its power and depth even when played softly.
Listen to some music with a strong bass line and try if you can isolate it at a lower volume. If they are too soft or too loud, adjust the phase and try out several crossover points until you find the ideal setting. Once you’ve got the sub woofer dialed in, you can use the receiver’s equalizer to fine-tune the sound.
Turning up the bass is a popular fallacy that has the opposite effect and reduces the system’s efficiency. You can bring it up a little bit if you wish, but you should turn down the mids and the highs first in order to have the best possible sound quality. If you want to play it safe, you should apply as little equalization as possible. This means the bass is strong and well-balanced.
To plan ahead
Following the above steps will help you determine if your chosen system is the best one for you. Try to make purchases thinking about what might happen in the next few months. Expanding your system without starting from scratch is preferable when possible.