Why Do My Car Speakers Sound Distorted?

There’s nothing worse than having to listen to music through distorted car speakers. Every car owner and audio enthusiast wants to experience accurate sound reproduction of their favorite songs and radio stations. That’s why many motorists choose to install after-market stereo systems in their vehicles. 

But, some errors during the installation of stereo systems or damaged speakers can affect your car stereo’s performance, cause sound distortions, and reduce the audio experience for most car owners.

One of the most common reasons your car speakers can sound distorted is using audio produced from poor-quality sources like your phone. However, there are still a few other reasons you experience distorted car speakers. For example, increasing bass and volume to significantly high levels can also result in distorted car speakers.

This post will address all the potential causes of distorted car speakers and their solutions. So, let’s get right into it!

Potential Causes Of Distorted Car Speakers

Absence Of An Amplifier In The Stereo System

Sound systems can function without an amplifier, but don’t expect to experience the same high-quality audio as you would when it’s present. 

These devices are designed to produce clear sound output without audio distortions of any kind, and not having one in your stereo setup could be one of the potential causes of distorted car speakers, especially at high volumes.

Damaged Speakers

Sometimes, distorted audio can result from faulty subwoofers or speakers. However, once a driver becomes defective, it cannot correctly process the required sound quality, leading to audio distortion. 

Distortion due to damaged speakers may be unobservable at low volumes, but it usually becomes more noticeable as you turn up the music. 

Too Powerful Input For Speakers

Sometimes, pairing a relatively powerful amplifier with a weaker or incompatible speaker can distort the audio, especially at high volumes. 

This is because overloading a cheap speaker with strong signals from a power amplifier can damage the speaker’s voice coils and result in distorted car speakers.

Keeping Amplifier Gain Controls At Incorrect Levels

Boost and gain control in amplifiers are designed to improve and enhance input signals. However, if you set these parameters to levels too high or low for your speaker set up to handle, it can distort audio or even internal damage to your speakers.

What Can You Do To Fix Sound Distortion?

After establishing some of the potential reasons for audio distortion, you might be wondering how you can fix this issue. For example, should you pull out your car’s entire stereo system and buy a new one? Or can you tinker with your present setup and successfully remove distortions?

Well, it turns out that there are many ways you can combat audio distortion. Here are some things you can try to help prevent audio distortion. 

Purchase An Amplifier

If your current setup doesn’t already incorporate an amplifier, it might be something worth investing in if you want to prevent sound distortion at high volumes. Sometimes, weak amplifiers can also cause audio distortion, and hence, an upgrade might be necessary. 

If it’s your first time working with amplifiers, it is always worth asking for professional help in the installation process.

Get New Speakers

As mentioned previously, distorted audio can be due to faulty or damaged speakers. Luckily, this can be remedied quite easily by simply buying higher-quality and newer speakers.

Set Appropriate Amplifier Gains Levels

If you’re not afraid of experimenting, you could try removing distortion from your drivers by setting appropriate gain control levels. Setting gain controls near the maximum levels in the hopes of experiencing louder music is never recommended as this can promote distortion.

As a general rule of thumb, achieve the best quality audio output. Most experts suggest setting your stereo volume levels only up to 75% of the maximum level. They then fine-tune their amplifier’s gain controls using trial and error till distortion is eliminated or at least reduced as much as possible.

Never Listen To Bass-Boosted Audio 

It’s no secret that many of us like listening to bass-heavy audio tracks, especially when driving on an excellent road. This is why bass boosted songs are so popular. 

Unfortunately, most bass-boosted music is poorly produced and low-quality. This is why listening to bass-boosted music can cause distortions at high volumes. However, the listening experience worsens when such audio passes through decent-quality amplifiers to pick up the tiniest of details.

To ensure you get the best audio experience possible, only use original audio files and CDs in your car stereo setup. Chances are, if you have a high-quality amplifier, you won’t even feel the need to listen to bass-boosted music to enjoy deep fruity audio!

Make Use Of High Pass Filters

When installing a stereo system in your vehicle, high pass filters on both the rear and front speakers are recommended. This is because the inside of most vehicle doors is not designed to handle bass and can cause distortion.

These high pass filters regulate the amount of bass that goes to door speakers by preventing volume and bass frequencies over 80Hz from being processed. This reduces distortion and produces clearer audio.

Install Equalizers or Signal Processors

The interior of most vehicles isn’t designed for experiencing perfect audio unless you choose to customize it. 

The interior’s large glass and plastic components reflect sound waves while floor carpets and seat covers absorb sound. Throw in cheap quality and poorly fitted speakers into the mix, resulting in terrible audio quality when listening to music.

To help correct this issue, you can install equalizers that can ensure accurate sound reproduction and minimize distortion. Good balances offer abundant bass, treble, and mid-range controls that can help produce clearer audio.

Many equalizers are small enough to easily mountable on your receiver or dashboard. If you want to take it a step further, you can even install a sound processor which can help lower frequency response peaks to produce excellent quality audio.

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