How to tune the best amplifier for car for mids and highs
At carsaudio, we are world-leading experts in providing top-notch information in the car audio industry. Today we are going to cover in leaps and bounds how to tune your car amplifier for mids and highs. All you need to work with is your best amplifier for car and some simple and easy steps that we are going to explain in a short moment.
You have just purchased your new best amplifier for car and got it installed by a team of professionals to be part of your car stereo system setup. Everything went to plan and the excitement for the new amplifier performance in boosting your car audio for a great experience is awaiting. Then when you just switch on your car stereo while in the drive the unexpected happens. Your new amplifier seems not to be performing right or something feels wrong all of a sudden, the mids and highs seem all wrongly set up. The music lacks essence and feels flat and terrible. Do not despair nor give up yet! We will guide you through the basic steps required in tuning your car amplifier for mids and highs right.
Being enthusiastic about getting the best car audio quality is part of being a car owner hence the tuning will make your investment in a new best amplifier for car worthwhile. If the best amplifier for car is not well set up for the highs, mids and low-range frequencies it may be damaged. The truth is that you might never realise your best amplifier for car’s full potential until you strike the right balance between the highs, mids and low-range audio frequencies. The process of knowing how to tune the best amplifier for car for mids and highs can be confusing at some point.
Here is some information that can help you find the sweet spot of sound quality you are looking for in your car stereo system. Fortunately, learning how to tune the best amplifier for car for mids and highs for a car stereo system for newbies should not be as difficult as it seems.
How the best amplifier for car works
Car stereo systems process audio signals from the input source, that is the head unit which receives audio data for processing via either Bluetooth devices, RCA inputs, CDs, USB drivers or radio and conveys the output to the best amplifier for car. This gadget has several settings, which include the gain, sub-gain, bass controls, treble, high mids and lows-frequency settings. These are the basic or standard operations settings of all car audio subwoofers manufactured in the market today. To get top-quality music reproduction from your car stereo system, you need to ensure that each frequency goes to its rightful driver. This comes after passing the audio signal through different sets of filters contained in the best amplifier for car.
Basic terms of best amplifier for car settings
First question, how do I adjust my amp for mids and highs? Important to note is that the best amplifiers for car come with different design setups and an array of control functionalities. A successful adjustment depends on many variables such as the music selection that you play, the car speakers installed, and the car stereo system in general. Car audio amplifiers also have many settings at the back of the amp, which might confuse you. Do not despair because we are going to cover the most crucial controls that you need to know about when tuning your best amplifier for car for mids and highs.
Gain refers to the best amplifier for car output/input magnitude ratio which is simply the amplifier sensitivity. The output signal of an amplifier may be voltage controlled or current controlled, so the gain is also measured with current or voltage. Where you will find the ratio of output current to the input current of an amplifier is called the Current Gain of that amplifier.
This setting plays an essential role in ensuring that your car stereo system is clear from audio distortion. Adjusting the gain would imply getting a higher or lower loudness in the best amplifier for car input, unlike volume, which affects the output heard through the speakers. The higher the gain setting, the closer you are to getting distorted sounds from your speakers. You should ensure that you set the gain at the right value to ensure that the speakers do not have to handle too much power input which leads to audio distortion and can even damage the speakers.
Frequency response, also known as a filter, shows how the gain of the output responds to input signals at different frequencies. This is therefore the pitch at which your car speakers and subwoofer emit sound. The frequency range of your car speakers needs to be identified in order to come up with the right setting in order to have a properly tuned best amplifier for car.
In audio engineering, frequency refers to the number of vibrations per second. It is measured in Hertz (HZ). One hertz is equal to one cycle per second. Therefore, frequency response is one of the most important properties of the best amplifier for cars. In the frequency range that amplifiers have been designed for, they must deliver a constant and acceptable level of gain. The frequency response depends directly on the components and the architecture chosen in the design of the best amplifier for car.
At high and low frequencies, audio signals produce high-pitched and low-pitched sounds respectively. Frequency can also help explain the highs, mids and lows in music. For instance, low frequencies are more about the bass audio output, highs for tweeter speakers and mids for midrange speakers.
The best amplifier for car job is to separate these audio channels where the lows are played by the subwoofers only without interfering with other speakers such as the tweeters. On the other hand, high frequencies are produced by high-pitched musical instruments hence the best amplifier for car should allow separation of these frequencies while playing your music.
Human ears are limited to a certain audio frequency range of between 20Hz to 20kHz. Therefore, you will find some of the best amplifiers for car manufacturers label the frequency setting differently where they use Hz (Hertz) or dB (Decibels) while others will use terms such as Low-Pass Filters (LPF), High-Pass Filters (HPF) or super bass. All these labels represent the best amplifier for car frequency hence should not lead to confusion.
(iii) Maximum Peak Power (PMPO) vs RMS Power
These two terms bring in great confusion in the audio industry where car audio systems buyers cannot accurately tell the difference. The difference between “Peak Power” and “RMS Power” is just simple, hence no confusion should be made. Peak Power (PMPO) can best be described as the “peak” amount of power that the best amplifier for car can generate or handle in a very short amount of time, sometimes some milliseconds. It is not the amount of power the amplifier emits on a continuous basis, but more of a quick burst. Therefore, to our advice, this figure should never be used to judge the power output of the best amplifier for car at any cost. In fact, just ignore it! If you see audio equipment being marketed by the use of Peak Power, stay away from it.
The best and most accurate measure for car audio equipment is the RMS Power. This is the most significant and legit value to consider while shopping for any car or home audio entertainment system. RMS Power is the measure of the best amplifier for continuous power. This is the most realistic amount of power output that the best amplifier for car is rated to reproduce. We can describe it as more of an average of the power wattage output over a set amount of time.
Even though the Peak Power ratings are marketed by speaker and amplifier manufacturers to catch the eyes of consumers, it is not the Peak Power, but the RMS Power that you want to use as a tool to match the right car speakers with the right best amplifier for car.
(iv) Low-Pass and High-Pass filters
Low-Pass (LPF) and High-Pass Filters (HPF) are filters that pass signals with a frequency lower or higher than a certain maximum or minimum frequency. If you opt to choose the high-pass filter on your best amplifier for car, the corresponding frequency dial will set the minimum frequency that the best amplifier for car will send to the connected car speakers or subwoofers. Therefore, HPF is typically used for smaller sized car speakers.
For the Low-Pass Filter, the opposite happens where the frequency dial will set the maximum frequency that your best amplifier for car will send to its connected car speakers or subwoofers. Therefore, LPF is typically used for larger car speakers and subwoofers. To create an optimal setup there should be car speakers that cover the high range frequencies, while subwoofers cover the low range frequencies, without any gap in between the frequency coverage.
In addition to low-pass and high-pass filters, there is also a “Full selection” option, that does not filter the frequencies and sends a full range of frequencies to the connected car speakers and subwoofers. If you have a system that does not have subwoofers, and the amplifier is being used to power 6.5-inch, 5-inch by 7-inch/6-inch or 8-inch or 6-inch by 9-inch speakers, you can use this “Full selection” option to get a full range of sound.
When setting up the subwoofer amplifier, set the control to about 20 Hz, to cut off the infrasound which wastes energy. For mid-range speakers HPF is set in the region of 80 Hz where the cut off range is between 1400 Hz to 1600 Hz., to remove the low-frequency range, because these speakers are not designed to handle low frequencies hence, they will not be able to play them.
If you have separate channels or even separate best amplifier for car for tweeters, HPF can be set in an area of 3000 Hz to 5000 Hz or limited to just 20000 Hz, depending on the model. This will prevent the damaging or burning of the speakers. For car subwoofers, LPF is set in the area of 50 Hz to 80 Hz depending on the subwoofer type and design in order to cut off unnecessary frequencies for which the subwoofer is not intended to handle.
Every car stereo installation needs to have crossovers installed. A crossover ensures that the right signal gets to its rightful driver. Therefore, a crossover is an electronic component embedded in your car’s audio circuitry to act as an electronic filter or splitter of audio into different frequency ranges so that each range can be channelled to its rightful speaker.
Crossovers can either be active or passive and often described as two-way or three-way which signifies that the crossover unit splits the audio frequencies either into two or three frequency ranges respectively. Tweeters receive the highest frequency, woofers receive mid-range frequencies, while subs receive the lowest frequency. This allows the car stereo to reproduce accurately the audio played through a wide audio spectrum.
(vi) Bass Boost
Although we did not intend to major in the bass boost adjustments, this is a feature designed to boost the low range frequencies. Bass boost increases the bass volume at a certain frequency, usually at around 40Hz to 45 Hz. When using bass-boost, there is a high chance to burn subwoofer rises as clipping occurs much earlier. It is typically used for car audio subwoofers, however, can be very touchy and dangerous to use.
Therefore, be cautious while adjusting the bass boost especially if you are a beginner when it comes to car audio systems and if possible, we recommend not using bass boost unless it is very necessary. It can be used by experienced people, especially car audio technicians who want to increase the frequency response shelf to pull dips at certain frequencies, but it is a deep setting, and the effect does not always justify the risk.
Subsonic is the same as High-Pass Filter (HPF) on the specifically manufactured subwoofer amplifiers and it is often found in monoblocks where it cuts off infrasound. Set the subsonic level to about 20 Hz.
The X-over filters switch is present in the case where the best amplifier for car does not provide adjustment for each filter separately where there are the High-Pass Filters (HPF) that cut from the bottom, the Low-Pass Filter (LPF) that cuts from the top and Full or Flat filters are disabled.
(ix) Phase controller (Phase)
The phase controller available on the best amplifier for car is part of the advanced tuning control features where it is used to make changes to the phase of the speaker. It is controlled by a fixed switch of 00 or 1800 and a regulator 00 to 1800 option.
The master or slave switch is used in a bridged monoblock connection. Master is set on the best amplifier for car, to which RCA from the radio is connected to, while the slave is set on the connected monoblock.
Tuning your best amplifier for car for mids and highs
What are mids, highs, and low frequencies?
Understanding the highs, mids and lows is key to tuning your car audio subwoofer into the best car stereo setup that you can ever imagine. These terms are used to describe audio frequency ranges of the audio spectrum.
The high-range frequencies start at above 2000 Hz, and they usually have high note sounds in the audio spectrum. The high frequencies can also bring vocals to the forefront. Mid-range audio frequency is basically described as the human voice that you hear. The musician’s vocals are usually within this range which falls between 250 Hz and 2000 Hz. The low-frequency audio usually refers to the bass sounds. The lows are usually at 500 Hz frequency or lower. They produce that deep bass audio that most music lovers love to hear in their car audio systems. These bass notes are caused by air vibration from the subwoofer cone.
It is very important to have your car audio system set up in such a way that the best amplifier for car is professionally adjusted for accurate production of highs, mids and lows frequency production. Tuning should be done with regard to the car owner’s personal taste and preference because you will find that some people would prefer more or less of the audio frequency ranges. The adjustments are recommended to remove audio distortion hence providing a car environment with a pleasing listening atmosphere.
Therefore, there is no wrong way of tuning the best amplifier for car provided there is a level of audio distortion.
How to tune the best amplifier for car for mids and highs?
Tuning the Mids and Highs
Getting the right HPF and LPF settings for your best amplifier for car in order for it to reproduce the best mids and highs requires the right gain settings. Distortion is a problem that most car audio enthusiasts have had to put up with, but the good news is that it can be minimised or completely eliminated.
It remains one of the worst problems that could bring permanent damage to your car speakers and subwoofers. It arises when you set the gain control too high. At this point, your amp sends clipped signals to the speakers. Things get worse when you play loud music with distortion since the speakers get overworked.
We are going to discuss the various methods of tuning your car amplifier in order to produce the perfect mids and highs.
(a) Tuning the highs
The High-Pass Filter (HPF) is the right setting to adjust to your best amplifier for car if you want only high frequencies reproduced from your speakers. These High-Pass Filters block out any lower frequencies that cannot be played well by your car door speakers and tweeters. It also helps prevent low frequencies which normally are high-powered from burning your speakers.
If your amp has an HPF switch, you need to flip it on to activate this setting. Best amplifiers for cars come with the switch but will always depend on the OEM. An HPF performs well when handling frequencies from about 80 Hz to 200 Hz. Anything lower than 80 Hz should be channelled to the subwoofer or much larger bass speakers. For the best experience, turn the HPF to 80 Hz and then set the Low-Pass Filter (LPF) to capture frequencies below 80 Hz. Doing this ensures that there are no gaps when playing music and that no frequency is completely left out, hence playing music within a wide frequency range.
(b) Tuning the mids
You have probably asked yourself this question, what frequency should I set for my mids? First of all, mid-range frequencies range from about 50 Hz to 60 Hz for the car’s mid-range speakers. Some audiophiles prefer using equalisers to get the most accurate settings out of their mid-range frequencies. The equaliser settings do an important job removing the sharp peaks and dips which produce harsh sounds from your car audio system. They also divide the signal into high mid and low frequencies, allowing you to tune them to your taste and preference.
Other modern car music audiophiles prefer using the best amplifier for car tuning app. The bottom line is that the end goal is to have the mid-range frequencies set accurately for a better sound experience. When tuning your best amplifier for car, remember to do so in a manner that suits your needs and those of your car frequenters. People have different tastes, so what sounds good to you may sound bad to another person. Therefore, while fine-tuning your car audio system is good to strike a balance between the audio frequency ranges to enhance ear comfort.
Procedure for tuning your best amplifier for car
Step 1: Setting gain control
Method 1: By ear
This method will solely rely on your ears as a litmus test of the sound quality. If your car stereo is equipped with a good best amplifier for car such as a 4-channel one, then there is no need for an equaliser or various bass improver features. Ensure the bass boost is turned off completely and forget about it because it needs expert hands to tweak.
The first step is to set the best amplifier for car gain control regulator to the minimum followed by playing some music that you often listen to using your car stereo system. Then adjust the volume on the head unit to 75% of the maximum. Are you still hearing audio distortion in the subwoofer as before? Stop and turn down the volume by a couple of divisions and listen if it is still there. Get to the amplifier and slowly add the gain control until the emergence of new distortions. Once you start hearing the distortion again, stop the rotation and turn it down by 10% till it stops.
Method 2: By ear
Some car owners might be having hearing difficulties or they might not be trusting their ears because they are afraid that they might not be sensitive enough to hear the small audio distortional changes. A more precise way will help you with the right settings for the best amplifier for car gain control.
If you are configuring a subwoofer for gain, use 40 Hz for a ported subwoofer box or 50Hz if you are using a sealed subwoofer enclosure box. In order to set the gain for the mid-bass amplifier, take 315 Hz as the gain control frequency. The tone or sinus of a specific frequency changes the sound which you can easily hear.
The next step is to set the gain to a minimum, turn on your sinus, and adjust the volume of the car head unit. When the sound of the tone signal changes, stop and turn down the gain control by a couple of divisions. Set the maximum volume limit to this value, if your car head unit has such a feature. As you did in Method 1 above, get to the amplifier and add gain until you hear a sound change. Stop the gain control tweaking and turn it down by 10%. This will be your setting for your best amplifier for car gain control.
Method 3: With a multimeter or oscilloscope
The gain adjustment control on the best amplifier for car is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the car audio world. The purpose of the gain control is to level match the car stereo head unit’s output voltage to the gain structure of the amplifier so that the input is not overdriven which would introduce clipping. Setting the gain level with the help of a multimeter or oscilloscope is more accurate and reduces ear strain.
Note that when you set up the best amplifier for car using a multimeter, you should be confident in the power declared by the manufacturer of the amplifier. Using that value, calculate the required AC voltage output of the amplifier. Few steps are required to set the gain control. Set the multimeter to measure in ohms and then measure the speakers’ resistivity to be connected to the best amplifier for car. This is done by placing the probes on the positive and negative terminals simultaneously.
Ensure the speakers are disconnected from the amplifier but the amplifier is plugged into a power source. Set the car stereo volume to 80% or 90% of the maximum volume. Insert the multimeter probes into the output terminals of the amplifier and check on the polarity. Insert a test audio disc into your car stereo system and play a 60Hz test note.
Now adjust the best amplifier for car gain knob while watching the multimeter readings. Once the multimeter reads the desired calculated AC output voltage, stop adjusting the gain because you have achieved the required gain control for your best amplifier for car.
Why should you start with the gain control setting?
The first thing you need to do if you want to get high-quality car stereo sound is by adjusting the gain control. Gain is not the same thing as volume, and many people assume it is. The easiest way to remember what gain is by thinking of it as tone.
Volume controls the loudness of the output, and gain controls the tone. Having your amp set to the wrong gain can cause all sorts of distortion, and that is not our desired result. So, you need to tweak your gain first before you do anything else such as setting the volume control. Let us now go and discuss how to set your best amplifier for car volume control.
Step 2: Setting volume control
This is an easy step. Start by turning off your car stereo and then disconnect the RCA cables that run to your best amplifier for car. Turn your system back on and turn the volume on your car stereo head unit all the way up to the maximum level with no music playing on it. If your speakers are connected to your head unit directly, disconnect them to prevent damaging them. Do this if you are tuning your best amplifier for car for an additional subwoofer unit.
Having found the maximum volume of your car head unit wherein most car audio systems it is denoted with a number, turn back the volume to around 80% of the maximum volume and set your car stereo equaliser to ‘Flat’. The next step is to turn your best amplifier for car’s gain and bass boost to zero and turn the crossover filters off or full.
The final step to setting your volume control is by plugging back the RCA cables into the amplifier channel for which you would like to tune. Make sure if you are separating speakers by channels and have separate RCA cables for each, choose one that you would like to tune.
Testing the new setting is the remaining agenda. Use a test disc for tuning or one of your favourite music files, if it sounds good to your ears, let it stay that way but if not, slowly turn the gain up until you begin to hear distortion in your car stereo speakers. Once your car stereo speakers start to distort, turn down the gain until you no longer hear distortion. This is the base gain that you will use now to tune frequencies.
Step 3: Tuning the frequencies
The best amplifier for car comes equipped with inbuilt crossovers and filters which can be used to isolate the various audio frequencies in order to have an accurate sounding car stereo. The two main filters are the High-Pass Filters (HPF) and Low-Pass Filters (LPF).
For car subwoofers’ tuning, select the Low-Pass Filter (LPF) and for speakers. If your car stereo system has a separate subwoofer to cover the low-range audio frequencies, select the High-Pass Filter. For mid-sized speakers that are meant to cover a full range of frequencies, select the full or off position and disregard this while tuning the best amplifier for car.
When it comes to tuning a subwoofer, select the LPF option by aligning the frequency dial with the highest frequency as rated by the subwoofer manufacturer. For car speakers’ tuning, select the HPF option and align the frequency dial with the lowest frequency the speakers are designed to handle.
Step 4: Bass Boost
As we had explained earlier, the bass boost option in the best amplifier for car should be a no-go zone but if you feel like taking the risk, go ahead! The loudness that you intend to get out of your car stereo system will affect the longevity of its components, especially the speakers.
This feature allows you to increase the bass output but it is difficult to achieve the right setting properly. Subwoofers are manufactured using various designs which lead to performance differences. Once you have tuned your car amp for mids and highs, and low frequencies, you can go back to tinker bass gain adjustment. Turn on a song again, and then set the volume to about 80%. Next, turn the gain up until you start to hear distortion. Reduce the gain once you hear the slightest bit of distortion. You will have adjusted the bass boost correctly.
Therefore, finding the right combination of the bass boost is up to your own taste and preference and also requires patience and resilience, but bottom line is to have the highest bass output without audio distortion.
Step 5: Back to Gains
Now that you have already adjusted the best amplifier for car to reproduce the set frequency ranges and bass boost, turn back to your amplifier again while your radio is at 80% to the maximum volume with music playing. Tune the gain up again until you hear the distortion and then tune it back once you hear it.
Confirming if I made the right best amplifier for car settings
Having tuned your best amplifier for car to suit your best hearing needs, now the task remaining is to counter check every step that you had carried out before. This will lead to more fine-tuning hence making your best amplifier for car reproducing the best and wide ranges of the audio spectrum.
This can be conducted by turning your car stereo volume all the way down to zero. Then turn your car stereo head unit’s volume all the way up to 80% maximum volume or until you hear any audio distortion.
If no audio distortion is heard at 80% volume level, the car stereo is perfectly tuned hence no further adjustments to the best amplifier for car should be made. If distortion appears at this volume level, do not despair since a little adjustment is required. You need to lower the gain level down until the distortion is eliminated. That is all required for the fine-tuning adjustments.
The best amplifier for car is a key car stereo component. This unit should never be omitted while installing a new car stereo system. It plays a big role in making sure that the audio frequency ranges are well isolated to allow a wider frequency spectrum.
This article has provided you with the best thoroughly researched information required to fine-tune your best amplifier for car for mids and highs. Finding the right settings might be difficult but you can use various techniques to find the right settings. Techniques such as the bare ear method or by use of equipment such as the multimeter or oscilloscope can be used to come up with the best frequency settings.
The point of getting the right HPF and LPF settings on the best amplifier for car and the head unit is to ensure that the speakers are channelled with the intended frequency ranges by their manufacturer so as to avoid damaging or overworking them through the excess power supply. It will also help you get the best out of your car speakers and subwoofers.
Your car audio system will always sound fantastic as you play your favourite tunes. You will always feel confident and proud of your new car audio system. Try these tips and methods above to find the best amplifier for car and see how they work for you. You will be amazed by how much quality audio your car stereo system can produce filling your car with ambience for a smooth, relaxed drive.