Do You Need More Bass In Your Car? Here Is How To Increase Bass In A Car

By Brian Casey

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Bass is the key element of any music system. When a music audiophile boards your car, the way he is going to rate your audio system will be based on the way the bass kicks. A flat system will lack bass but will be rich with midrange sounds.

There are very many ways that you can use to make your stereo sound top notch and let others respect you while you are driving. Here are some ways on how to increase bass in a car.

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#1- Upgrade Your Sound System

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If you are still running on the factory speakers, you really need to upgrade your car speakers to get speakers with more bass. Most factory speakers only comprise of midrange drivers and tweeters.  This means that you will not hear most of the low frequencies. The first step on how to get more bass in a car is by upgrading.

You will, however, need to throw more cash for a new system that has most of the components that will enhance more bass for your car. For instance, you will need a system with a subwoofer and midrange drivers that will cover more of the lower frequencies. A larger subwoofer will add more booming bass that will likely shake your trunk.

#2- Add An Amplifier And Subwoofer

Sometimes upgrading only does not solve the bass crisis. You will need to add more components. Most of the upgraded systems lack subwoofers as most of them come with woofers that are integrated with mid drivers. They will therefore not produce enough bass that will make you shake your body a little.

One of the ways to crank up your bass is to add a subwoofer. A subwoofer is a sound driver that is made to cover low frequencies as low as 30Hz and up to 100 Hz. These are frequencies responsible for the ‘sub’ bass.  Adding an amplifier, on the other hand, will drive the bass higher without distortion so that you can increase the bass gain.

#3- Check The Bass And The Treble Settings

Even with the best subwoofer and bass drivers and without the correct settings, your bass will still sound terrible and normal. Before you spend any money, try to find out that there is nothing wrong with your car radio settings. It is possible sometimes that someone changed the tonal settings of your car stereo without your knowledge.

The first step to increasing your stereo bass is to check the treble tonal settings and the bass settings. The treble or the bass setting controls may look like knobs or sliders on your stereo depending on the model you own. Sometimes you may need to find a menu to find them. If you hit a rock in finding them, break out your stereo manual and get some assistance.

#4- Install A Powered Subwoofer

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Are you trying to look for the cheapest way to increase your speaker bass?  The best way to do this is to install a powered subwoofer with speaker-level inputs. What this does is that you will require no external amplifier for output gains since the signal has already been amplified by the subs internal circuitry.

In contrary to line-level subwoofers, the signal of this kind of speakers will not get distorted at normal gain levels. Buying this kind of head unit will not cost much and will cost less as compared to purchasing a separate sub and amp.

The cost comes in when wiring. The wires have to be connected to your electrical system which sometimes may pose a threat of short-circuiting.  The biggest hurdle here is succeeding to install a powered sub and failing to run a hot wire lead that may not potentially short the electrical system.

The benefit of installing a powered subwoofer that uses speaker-level inputs is that you will have more bass, and also you will not need to upgrade your head unit.  The quality, however, will not beat that of a dedicated subwoofer amp, but still, you will be on the winning end money wise.

#5- Use A Dedicated Subwoofer Amp

Powered amplifiers might be the best option budget wise, but if you really want to take your bass quality to the next level, you might need to pair your sub with a great amp. The challenge will be that you will still need to go with a subwoofer amp with speaker-line levels. This applies if you are not planning to upgrade your head unit.

An option that you may use to beat this challenge to the ground is applying a speaker to the line-level converter or otherwise upgrade to a head unit that uses line-level outputs. What is good with dedicated amplifiers is that they have a mono channel that is just meant for subwoofers. This feature makes the subwoofer boom with more bass.

Tips On How To Find The Best Amplifier For Your Subwoofer For Better Bass

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Consider the whole system. The importance of this is so that you don’t overpower your system. Fit the amplifier to the general range defined by the RMS (Root Mean Square) of the system you have in your car. Some of the guidelines for matching an amplifier to the radio system include;

  • 50 to 200 Watts RMS applies to factory head units.
  • 200 to 300 watts RMS applies to aftermarket head units.
  • 5 to 10x the watts RMS per channel applies to head units or systems with amplifiers already installed.

Research on your amplifier; try to find more about the amplifier you are going to buy before you make any purchase. It might look that all subwoofer amplifiers are made to work with all subwoofers, but that is not the case.

In general, you will need to find an amplifier that slightly exceeds your subwoofer ratings. The ratings include the RMS and the impedance. This means that if you have a 4-ohm subwoofer, then you might need to choose an amplifier that handles a 4-ohm load.

It is as simple as that if you are adding a single sub. It might get tricky if you are wiring several amplifiers to a single amplifier.

#1- Tune Your Car System For More Bass

Yes, you have everything installed. Both the amp and the subwoofer, but still, you are not getting enough bass as you expected. You may need to tweak things up so that the system sound fatter and better. The essence of tuning is that if you only install a sub and an amp without tuning, you are likely to have a distorted or muddy sound.

Tuning basically involves separating the frequency bands into their respective drivers. To boost the bass, however, you will need to focus on the subwoofer amplifier. Here are quick steps that will help you boost the bass;

  • Turn the subwoofer amplifier gain down to zero, the low-pass filter high and the bass boost off.
  • Turn the head unit on, set all the tone controls to their default or middle position.
  • Play a soundtrack that entails low, midrange and high frequencies.
  • Turn the volume up to 75 percent of the maximum volume.
  • Slowly and carefully turn up the gain on the amplifier until clipping is heard.
  • Then reduce the gain until there is no more distortion.
  • Next is starting filtering out the high frequencies of the guitar, piano, leads and vocals by lowering low-pass filter. Make sure that the only thing you can hear is bass sound.
  • If you are not satisfied with the bass level, try using the bass boost function. You will, however, need to restart the whole process.

#2- Use Proper Subwoofer Enclosures And Location

You may have the best subwoofer, but if you fail to have the proper enclosure and install it in the best location, you may get disappointed with its performance. Large subwoofer enclosures tend to amplify the bass out of the subwoofer. Try installing your subwoofer in the trunk facing forward or upward for more bass.

#3- Match The Receiver Volume And The Subwoofer Amplifier Level

Sometimes tuning the subwoofer amplifier controls might not yield enough bass. Instead, you will need to match the receiver volume to the sub’s amplifier gain level. This is done by turning the volume up to just the point where distortion starts. Then lower the amp’s gain level to a point where the bass and the other frequencies are balanced. Try adjusting the bass boost controls to find the satisfactory level of bass.

Conclusion

These are the ways of how to increase bass in a car. There are some others ways that you can use that will act as a great car bass booster. Having a sound system that plays music with good bass and the high bass is entertaining and boosts confidence when driving. We hope that this post has been of help in ensuring that you increase the bass in your car.


About the Author

Here at Car Speaker Land we have only one goal: to bring you the best speakers around. Well, actually we have two goals: we also want to make sure that you’re able to get things going without having to pay the steep fees which are often charged for even the most basic procedures in auto shops.

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