5 ways you can get a better car audio quality

How to get a better car audio quality?

Posted on 22 May, 2020, by Pioneer India

Friedrich Nietzsche said life without music would be meaningless, and for the people who love music, upgrading the audio equipment is never the destination but a forever ongoing journey. There are many people end up burning a hole in their pocket in order to get the latest, state-of-the-art equipment to enhance their car audio, yet they are always a little bit unsatisfied. The trick isn’t always investing more money, but knowing where to invest and what to upgrade in order to get the most out of your car’s music system .

So there are basically two ways of enhancing your car’s audio: the first one is to actually invest in upgrades and get the newest, best gadgets like head unit receivers ., subwoofers , and speakers , and the second one is to work on the acoustics of the car and alter the environment in such a manner so as to get the maximum output from the devices that you have. Let us take a look at both these methods in detail.

Find a replacement for your factory speakers

Generally speaking, the output and performance of factory speakers isn’t often as good as that of customized aftermarket speakers that are tailored to the cultural and climactic conditions where you’d be driving your vehicle.

For instance, in a country like India, where dust and pollution is a major problem, a factory speaker (regardless of how good it is in terms of audio quality) will stop delivering its best output in a short period of time due to the deterioration of components. To tackle this problem, there are a select few companies that create speakers that can withstand the severe climactic conditions of India, while delivering an unparalleled audio quality that is a result of years of research and innovation. Pioneer’s TS-C601IN and TS-1601IN are two of the best speakers that are suited for Indian roads.

Not only do they offer resistance against deteriorative environmental factors, but they’re also exclusively designed to enhance the music listening experience by focusing on the sound preferences of the Indian listeners. These speakers deliver a punchier bass with a clear reproduction of vocals and instruments. Robustness in these speakers is achieved by including a High Rigid IMPP Cone, and a larger magnet ensures that more power is delivered to the voice coil for a clearer sound.

If you have the budget for it, you can also add an extra subwoofer as well to get that deep bass. Even though it ends up costing you a bit more, it enhances your music listening experience by a great deal.

Upgrade Your Head Unit instead of relying on your mobile phone’s DAC!

People often connect their phones with their car stereos with an auxiliary cable and rely on their phone’s weak digital to analogue converter; unsurprisingly, doing so results in the deterioration of voice quality. Therefore, it’s better to find a head unit that supports a USB connection and has a high quality built-in DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter). These kinds of head units can read the digital data from your device and can easily perform the heavy lifting work of precisely converting that data into audio signals – which can then be sent to the speakers and amplifiers.

An aftermarket head unit can be an excellent upgrade in a number of ways. Not only it significantly improves the audio quality, it also has extra preamp outputs that can be of great utility if you want to install an amplifier later.

For instance, you can go for Pioneer’s DMH-Z5290BT . The head unit has an inspiring new interface design, which is highly responsive and customizable. The flexibility and the ease of access that it brings to the table, makes the whole experience soothing and enjoyable. It also comes with a plethora of features like Apple CarPlay, ANDROID Auto, Youtube via WebLink, and built-in Bluetooth among others.

Adding Amplifiers, Signal Processors, and Band Equalizers,

Factory car audio systems are pretty simple, and even though they get the job done, they lack the nuances that would please the ears of a seasoned music lover. So if you belong to the elite class of music listeners, you need more components for your car’s audio system. Adding amplifiers, signal processors and band equalizers can be a bit costly, but together, these components really have the potential to transform your car’s audio from average to amazing!

Take for example, Pioneer’s GM-DX874 audio amplifier. This extra-efficient, class-D, digital amplifier marks a dramatic improvement in power output capability, and is about 50% smaller in size compared to the other conventional amplifiers in the market. This makes it easy to install as well.

Pioneer also offers a brilliant band equalizer under the alias DEQ-S1000A . This 48-bit sound processor allows the users to optimize the sound quality of their factory fitted audio system. It not only adds clarity to the stock system’s sound, but it also gives various sound tuning options to the user. The best thing is that all the audio settings can be intuitively controlled via a smartphone.

Using HD Audio and High Quality, Low Compression Music Files

People often complain about the sound quality of their audio system, but they often fail to pay attention to the quality of the audio files they’re playing. To get the best in-car audio experience, the source of the audio file is just as important as the components of the car audio system.

The problem with digital music files is that they can often be too heavily compressed, which results in the loss of definition in the audio. Many of us have our old music collections that we either purchased or sourced from someone years ago. Chances are that if those collections are a decade old or more, they’d be heavily compressed. As a result, you wouldn’t get the desirable sound quality.

The best course of action in this regard is to make a switch to a lower level of compression or acquiring audio files that are encoded in a lossless format – also known as high resolution or HD audio. The type of format decides the quality of audio file. While formats like MP3 and AAC offer conventional quality, other formats like ALAC, WAV and FLAC, etc. offer high-resolution, better sound quality. The only problem is that since they take more storage space on the device, you might not be able to bring along your entire connection – and in all fairness, unless you’re planning a really long journey, don’t need to.

Dampening the outside noise

Honking cars, screeching tyres, chattering crowds, yelling vendors, and whatnot – the environemtn outside the car is a kaleidoscope of noises. Luckily however, these noises can be controlled by using sound-deadening materials. Unless you’ve already taken some steps in this regard, you must have noticed that cars don’t have a very efficient mechanism to prevent the road noise from getting in – which can ruin your entire music experience.

One of the quickest and perhaps, the cheapest ways of reducing noise is to install a dampening material into the spaces of your car that are most susceptible to getting breached by the outside noise. For instance, you can put Dynamat sheets inside your door panels and underneath your carpet to absorb the road noise. You can also do the same with your hood and prevent the engine noise from getting inside the car.

You can also install other similar dampening materials in the spaces around your speakers to ensure that the vibrations from speakers do not breach into the metal frame of the car and produce the annoying buzzing and rattling sounds. All that needs to vibrate for a clear, crisp sound quality is the air inside the car. By making sure of this, you can enhance your car’s audio quality drastically.

The bass component of sound is especially notorious for causing undue vibrations in the metal frame of the car. So if you’re a bass head and are installing a subwoofer, always make it a point to line the floor, the wall and the inside of the trunk lid with a dampening material.

Like we said in the beginning, enhancing the car audio isn’t a destination but a journey; you don’t need to do everything at once. You can take your time and work your way up the ladder as per your requirements and the budget – while enjoying at every stage of upgrade, the sweet musical fruit of your labours.