If you own a car, the stereo system and speakers can be a topic of interest, especially if you want to make improvements to the sound quality of your vehicle’s stereo system and speakers. You may ask yourself if you need an amplifier, what stereo brand is best for your vehicle, sizing the stereo system, and lots of other questions.
The average car stereo amplifier costs $300 for the amplifier and an additional $150 to install the amplifier; and not everyone has an extensive budget with money to spare on upgrading your vehicle’s stereo system and speakers with an amplifier.
Yet most vehicles’ sound system is not always up to the personal standards of volume and sound distribution that we would like to have from our speakers and stereo system.
In order to save money and create a unique sound system within your vehicle that caters to your individual needs, you can make your car speakers louder without an amp. We will discuss several basic tips to get you on your way to a do-it-yourself speaker system that will make your car speakers louder without the assistance of an amp.
All the suggestions are easy to complete regardless of skill level or knowledge base of vehicle electronics. These hacks require minimal (and in some cases zero) financial investment and without the tedious hassles of major electrical work on your vehicle’s stereo system and speakers.
The Damping Technique
Sound damping is reducing the outside noise caused by the car’s natural vibrations when driving the vehicle. Damping is the most effective method to boost the sound coming from your car’s speakers.
Due to the way most cars are designed, the speakers are installed within a hollow enclosure that doesn’t have insulation or oftentimes “soundproofing” products between the speakers and the body of the car. The vibrations of both the car and the speakers distort and diminish the sound coming from the speakers.
To implement the damping technique, you will need to add insulating material to reduce the rattling and increase the car’s speakers’ sound. Sound damping materials work in three ways; stop outside noise from coming into the car, stop inside sounds from leaving the car, and reduce rattling and vibrations both inside and outside of the vehicle.
The materials most commonly used to dampen a car are self-adhesive rubber-based products with an aluminum base for a stable attachment. Sound damping materials absorb the rattling and vibration noises, therefore increasing the sound quality from your car speakers.
One example is a Boom Mat Speaker Performance Kit that you can find at any automotive store or store that sells automotive products. For $20 you can install this budget-friendly sound improving method in under an hour.
Add a Subwoofer
Subwoofers are essentially loudspeakers that take a low audio frequency output from the car’s stereo system and amplify that sound to a comfortable bass level, improving the sound quality.
Subwoofers come in two types; passive and active. Passive subwoofers require an external amplifier to power them, therefore you need an ACTIVE Subwoofer. An active subwoofer has a built-in amplifier within the unit.
Where you place the subwoofer in your vehicle plays a major role in the subwoofer’s performance and sound quality. In cars, you want to place an active subwoofer where there is enough space on all sides of the subwoofer to avoid vibration. The sound will not distort and therefore flow throughout the car without any interruptions.
Subwoofers are great alternatives to amplifiers; they are cheaper (costing around $100), easy to install on your own and provide an improved desired sound output than an amp.
Add a Tweeter
A similar speaker tool to the subwoofer is the tweeter. A tweeter is a loudspeaker that takes a high audio frequency output from the car’s stereo system and amplifies that sound to a comfortable treble level, improving the sound quality.
The combination of a tweeter and a subwoofer will take your car’s sound experience to a whole new level of sound quality. In most cases, the audio quality of the speaker is determined by the type of tweeter featured in it;
The good news is that tweeters are inexpensive (costing an average of $18 for a package of six tweeters). With the low price tag, it is easy on your wallet to increase your car speakers’ quality.
The placement of the tweeters depends on the location of your existing speakers and your preference for maximum sound quality. Using your car’s manual, locate the speakers you want to add and/or replace the tweeters.
You will need a screwdriver to remove (and replace) the small speaker panels. Adding tweeters can be completed in under an hour on your own.
Consider a Capacitor
A capacitor works with a subwoofer to increase the power (and therefore the sound quality) of the subwoofer.
Sometimes subwoofers lose some of their power when a car is in motion for long periods of time. This can cause the sound level and quality to diminish as well.
If you notice the subwoofer is losing power or is not as powerful on longer car trips, that is when a capacitor might come in handy to boost the subwoofer’s operating power to remain consistent throughout the car trip.
For an average of $50, you can purchase and easily install on your own, a capacitor that will ensure maximum energy is stored and then supplied consistently to the subwoofer that will provide peak performance of sound quality and levels throughout the vehicle.
Check Your Wiring
Your car stereo and speakers can wear over time and the most common wear occurs with the wiring and connectors to your speakers. Your speakers can produce less sound and lower quality than normally when your stereo and speaker wiring is wearing out.
The wiring to your car stereo and speakers are covered with a protective coating of plastic but the wiring is metal (most commonly copper wiring) and like any metal, they start to lose their quality and integrity, which leads to low output of volume.
It is a good idea to check on the wiring and connectors frequently to ensure the car’s wiring is still well connected and in proper working order. If the wiring or connectors are not in the best of shape, it is time to replace the wiring.
Wiring kits cost $10 or less and come with instructions on how to replace and successfully install the new wiring yourself with little hassle and minimal time.
If you are still having trouble in figuring out how to make car speakers louder without an amp, here are some additional (and non-invasive) suggestions that you can try.