Adding an amplifier into your car audio setup is one of the best ways to have louder, distortion-free music. The amp, as its name suggests, amplifies the power signal before sending it to the speaker which results in a louder sound.
But the good thing about car audio is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
There are many areas where you can tweak a thing or two and get louder sound – even if you currently don’t have the budget for a good-quality amplifier.
Below we’ll talk about 7 tips that can make your car speakers louder without you using an amp.
1. Play High bitrate Music
You can have the best car audio components money can buy, but they’ll produce weaker sound if you’re playing low-bitrate music.
People use compressed sound files as they occupy less memory space.
But important data is removed from compressed files which results in a slightly flatter sound. These files come with different bitrates such as 320 kbps, 192 kbps, and 128 kbps. Lower bitrate means an audio file will occupy less space but will have poor sound quality.
Music streaming services also set a lower bitrate to transfer data faster. So you should adjust those settings as well.
For more info, check out my audio files organization guide.
2. Use Sound dampening material
Unless you own a high-end vehicle, you’ll get outside noise while driving around the road. And this noise can make your speakers’ sound dull.
Fortunately, you can use sound dampening materials to reduce this noise.
The most important areas you need to take care of are the doors, engine, floor, and boot – as these areas produce vibrations and/or bring outside noise into your car.
3. Add a Subwoofer
A subwoofer is a speaker dedicated to producing bass and sub-bass frequencies. If you listen to music genres like hip hop, you should have a sub in your car.
They are further divided into two types: Passive and Active subwoofers.
Since passive subwoofers themselves need an external amplifier to work in the first place, what you need here is an active subwoofer – as it would already have a built-in amp.
Before moving over to the next tip, make sure to adjust the phase of the subwoofer with the rest of your system. Otherwise, its frequency will compete with those of your regular car speakers.
4. Add a Tweeter
Just as subs are specialized speakers for producing low-end frequencies, tweeters are speakers for dedicated upper-end frequency production.
By having a tweeter working alongside them, your speakers can focus solely on midrange frequency giving you a louder and distortion-free sound.
5. Add a Capacitor
When playing a bass-heavy song, a good amount of energy is dispersed in the form of vibrations that can affect the overall sound quality.
On top of this, high-power amps take up a lot of power from your car. So, when you’re playing a bass-heavy song, and if your car’s electric system can’t supply the power fast enough, it makes the voltage drop. This is the reason why the headlights get dim whenever you play such songs.
Both of these issues can be mitigated by using a car capacitor, which stores electric power and quickly provides that power to your amp when required.
Unlike what most people believe, the capacitor doesn’t continuously provide high power to your Subs. Instead, it stores the energy and supplies only when it’s required.
6. Replace Older Wires
Oftentimes, we drive the vehicle on bumpy roads. Besides making the journey unpleasant, these bumps can cause audio connections inside your car to get loose. But even if you’re not having this issue, the wires can get worn out with continuous usage over time.
Ageing wires can diminish the signal strength, which causes the speakers to produce weaker and low-volume sound. If you’ve tried everything else, and have got no improvement, maybe it’s the wires that are needed to be updated.
7. Adjust Settings Through Equalizer
Due to the build materials of a car, it’s difficult to get high-quality sound even if you have everything in order. A typical car consists of some metal surfaces that reflect the sound waves and some soft surfaces (such as your seat covers) that absorb sound.
Not to forget about the poor placement of your speakers. All these factors result in sound misalignment that just doesn’t feel right. It also causes some frequencies to shoot up, causing you fatigue in the long run.
To solve those issues, you’ll need an equalizer to fine-tune frequencies your speakers are producing, as well as try different EQ curves according to your preference.
Many 3rd-party head units have extensive EQ options these days. But if you have a factory head unit, your only option left is getting a separate equalizer. For more info, you can read this post about equalizers and crossovers.