Most people believe that getting more bass out of a car’s subwoofer is a matter of throwing money at it and upgrading, but that’s not entirely true. In fact, a little fine-tuning can go a long way. The best part? You don’t have to spend anything at all.
If your car already has an amplifier and subwoofer set-up, then you’re already good to go.
As long as you’re willing to put in the necessary amount of time and effort, you’ll find yourself satisfied with how much better your subwoofer system will sound.
Subwoofers are excellent at getting your body to feel and move to the tune of the music. However, as with anything else, too much of a good thing is bad.
Ask any “basshead” and they’ll tell you, less is usually more when it comes to bass.
The “less” that we are talking about here is your subwoofer’s volume your volume levels, and believe it or not, adjusting will take no more than five minutes.
Here are the steps that you can take to get your subwoofer’s bass volume to optimal levels:
Step #1: Work on the crossover first
If you don’t know what this is, it’s the frequency where your subwoofer pretty much starts kicking in.
Generally speaking, the ideal set-up is to have the crossover set just as your speakers start tapering off. For example, if your speakers can only go as low as 80Hz, it’s usually a good idea to set the crossover of your subwoofer at right around that frequency.
The main reason why you’re doing this is to prevent your subwoofer and speaker from playing the same notes, leading to that garbled and buzzy sound that we all hate.
Step #2: Adjust the volume
Adjusting the volume or gains is arguably the most important part. It’s also the most time-consuming, but at the same time, it’s also the easiest. This is because you’re doing it by ear, so it’s more personal and allows you to fine-tune the subwoofer according to your own personal tastes.
The trick here is to play any kind of song that you want (preferably something bass heavy) and slowly dial the subwoofer down until you can’t hear it anymore. Then, once you’ve reached that level, slowly turn the volume up. Do it slowly up until you reach a point where it starts making up for the bass, or at the very least, the lack thereof.
You can stop once you’ve reached that point.
This isn’t necessary, but if your set-up has a phase switch, try switching it between 0 and 180 degrees. Check if there’s a difference between the two. Stick with what you feel is better since it’s more of a personal preference anyway.
Do You Need to Upgrade Your Sub or Amplifier To Get Powerful Bass?
As mentioned earlier, as long as you have a subwoofer and amplifier set-up in your car, then you’re good to go. If you follow our tips, you’re sure to get more bass out of your subwoofer and enjoy better-quality sound.
Now, if we’re talking about getting even more powerful bass, that’s where things get interesting.
Subwoofers, in particular, need far more power compared to the other components that make up your car’s audio system. But while it’s possible to set everything up using a multichannel amp, having a dedicated mono (1-channel) subwoofer amplifier is the best way to get really powerful bass
Are Subwoofer Enclosures and Subwoofer Location Important?
In addition to doing some fine-tuning and using a dedicated subwoofer amplifier, other factors that may affect the bass sound quality of your car’s audio system is the placement of your car’s subwoofers and if whether or not you’re using subwoofer enclosures.
For optimal subwoofer performance, you need a proper enclosure for your subwoofer. It needs to be particularly strong and tight. Otherwise, bass performance suffers.
The main reason why subwoofer enclosures are important is because it essentially prevents the low frequency sound from leaking out of your subwoofer and messing with the sound coming from your speakers.
In addition to having an enclosure, where you place your subwoofer is also important.
Moving a subwoofer around inside your vehicle, or even changing its direction, can have a drastic effect on the bass performance of your car. In fact, something as simple as reversing the position of the wires connecting the amplifier to the sub can lead to a huge difference, for better or for worse.
If, however, after doing all of this, you’re still not satisfied with your car’s bass performance, the only thing left for you to do is to upgrade the system, or consult a professional.
We recommend doing the latter first.
Even though it is possible to fine-tune your car’s audio system on your own to some degree, professionals can still do a much better job tuning your car’s audio system than you. This is because they’re experts at their jobs. They’re trained to do it in the best way possible. Not to mention, they have the tools necessary to do it properly.
What’s the Cheapest Way to Improve Car Bass Performance?
So far, we’ve established how much better your car’s audio performance can be, specifically, the bass, if you already had an amplifier and subwoofer installed.
But what happens if you can’t afford neither of those things? Do you have no choice?
Well, not exactly.
Built-in car stereo amplifiers and speakers may not have enough power to produce satisfactory bass performance, but a simple upgrade to your car’s stock speakers can lead to some notable results. Aftermarket speakers typically come with better quality materials, resulting in an marked improvement in bass response, as well as sound quality.
Just remember to keep your expectations realistic.
The main problem with aftermarket speakers is that they simply just cannot compete with the power of a standalone subwoofer, especially if it comes with its own amplifier.
5 Things That Negatively Affect Bass Performance
- A good way to kill the bass performance of your subwoofer is not buying a proper enclosure for your subwoofer. It should be tight, well-constructed, and properly designed. You’ll also want to install the subwoofer properly, using hooks and other supports if necessary, so it’s fixed and doesn’t move around whenever you hit a slight bump on the road.
- Use a subwoofer that’s just the right size and shape for your car. A big subwoofer in a compact space will be just as bad as a compact subwoofer in a big space.
- Improper frequency response can have a huge impact on your car’s audio system. Ensure that it’s properly adjusted at all times.
- Whether you’re using a dedicated amplifier for your subwoofer, or a multichannel amplifier, it’s important that the amplifier have enough power to match the subwoofer draw.
- Loose and improper wire connections can also affect bass performance. In worse cases, it might even cause short circuits and electrical problems.
Get More Bass Out of Your Subwoofer Starting Today
Put your car’s subwoofer system to good use by following our tips.
If you do it right, you’ll enjoy the kind of low frequency beats that will have your body moving and dancing along with the right in no time.