Components for a DIY Sound System Installation
Ah, car music. Where would we be without it? When we’re stuck in traffic or on a long road trip, enjoying good beats is a godsend.
It all started with the humble car radio in the 1930s. Today, car audio systems deliver sounds that are several notches higher in quality than early radios.
You might think that only audiophiles care about sound system upgrades. But have you really listened to your car stereo? Try this: crank up the volume (but not to ear-shattering levels) and listen carefully.
Did you pick up any sound element that seems wrong, like screeching at high volumes or hollow-sounding tunes or rattling speakers?
Even if you're a newbie to stereo modifications, you'll hear bits that you don't like. Fortunately, you can solve these issues with a few upgrades. Here are the components that you'll need to improve the quality of your sound system.
Sound System Installation Staple: Speakers
If you can only afford one thing to upgrade, your best bet is aftermarket speakers. Speakers are the meat of your car audio system. Everything else is just gravy.
Factory-installed speakers are generally made from cheap materials like lightweight paper. Aftermarket speakers are made of high-quality material. The result is better sounds and higher durability.
There are two types of car speakers: coaxial (full-range) speakers and component speakers. The difference between the two is that coaxial speakers have the tweeter placed over the woofer while component speakers have separate tweeters and woofers.
All About the Bass
The subwoofer is technically a speaker, but it deserves special mention. A subwoofer is specialized to produce low-frequency sounds (the bass).
But why should we prioritize the bass over the other frequencies? Because bass carries the most crucial information for setting the rhythm. When you add subwoofers to your setup, the music becomes richer, deeper and more vivid.
Subwoofers have three main parts: the speaker itself, an amplifier and the enclosure. You can choose a package that contains all three or you could go for component subs. Component subs are more flexible, but a preloaded package is easier to install.
The type you choose depends on your preference. Full-range speakers are less expensive and easier to install. While the quality of some coaxial speakers can be really good, you can get better audio experience from component speakers.
Juice It Up
If you're not satisfied with the volume and want to turn it up to eleven, you'll need amplifiers. Amplifiers deliver more power to your speakers, so they can be as loud as you want without the distortion.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. You have to make sure that your car's electrical system can handle it. You may need to upgrade the battery and alternator or add a quality capacitor to your setup.
Bring the Noise (Down)
So, after a lot of tinkering, you finally have a stereo with loud speakers, but now your car is rattling and vibrating like a broken cymbal.
Sound damping is the solution. It adds mass to thin panels to reduce vibrations. With sound dampers installed, there is no need to overpower the noise by turning up the volume.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you start your journey to pure sound.
What’s your experience with DIY sound system installation? Tell us in the comments!