Car speakers are prone to distortion. However, the problem can be fixed with or without professional expertise. Learn how to fix car speaker distortion.
Nothing ruins a perfect experience like car speaker distortion. Bumping up the volume while listening to your favorite music is the first thought that comes to mind. However, the amp may overpower or underpower the speakers, leading to gradual damage or worse. Speaker distortion is only one of the possible issues that arise from overreliance on cheap, low-quality speakers and malfunctioning amps. Fortunately, you can learn how to fix car speaker distortion using basic skills to bring back decent quality sound to your car stereo.
What Causes Car Speaker Distortion?
Some speakers sound great at lower volumes but then distort at higher volumes. There might be a loose component (a tiny screw, bolt, or electrical component) that makes a buzz that sounds like a distortion. The next culprit could be the amp. Turning up the volume requests more power from the amp, but what if your amp doesn’t have that kind of power? If the amplifier underpowers the speaker, it could result in speaker distortion.
Car speaker distortion at low volume may not be noticeable at first. However, it may turn from bad to worse when the speakers are of low quality. Blasting your speakers at high volumes makes the speaker drivers move faster and harder. These movements cause a heat buildup which causes distortion or permanent heat damage.
Last but not least, one could mistake unwanted noises for speaker distortion. The problem could have something to do with the head unit or amp settings. Getting the wrong settings could degrade the music quality and lead to further damage. Read on to learn how to fix car speaker distortion.
Fixing Car Speaker Distortion
There are several ways to fix speaker distortion at low volume and high volume. First of all, it would be advisable to avoid pushing the amp too far. Setting the volume to a maximum of 75% works great for most speakers. Remember, pushing the amp beyond its capacity may lead to distortion and clipping.
Get a New Amp
How do you reduce speaker distortion tremendously? Getting a new, high-quality amp is an excellent solution for those who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks. On many occasions, car speaker distortion problems occur within the amplifier.
Car amps are designed to filter, amplify, and deliver powerful signals to the speakers. However, they’re limited by issues such as overheating. However, with a top-quality amplifier from a trustworthy brand, the system will get a cleaner signal free from distortion. Remember to check for the amp’s specifications since you don’t want to buy something that delivers too much or too little power to the speakers.
Install a Sub For Bass
Are your car speakers experiencing speaker distortion at low volume or high volume? Sometimes, the bass settings can be blamed for the distortion problem. When playing music in a noisy environment, most drivers will turn up the bass since that’s the first sound that gets drained by the noise.
Unfortunately, most speakers are not designed specifically for low frequencies. For that, you’ll need a separate subwoofer. Forcing the speakers to produce low frequencies they’re not intended for causes heating inside the speakers, leading to distortion. To overcome the speaker distortion with bass, buy a separate subwoofer and keep the bass settings for the speakers at zero. Then, use the sub for bass.
Check Your Equipment For Any Faults
Sometimes, faulty equipment can be blamed for the distortion problem. For instance, a signal processor could be damaged or defective. A clean signal goes in, but what comes out can be considered a distorted sound. This step may require professional help to diagnose the problem, assess, and fix it once and for all.
If you’re new to car audio, having the system professionally checked is the right way to go. The car audio expert/engineer may have to replace the faulty components with new ones or fix them at an extra cost.
Replace The Car Speakers
Factory speakers often fall victim to gradual wear. Using them for a long time affects the overall performance. For this reason, buying aftermarket speakers is a viable solution to the distortion problem.
Aftermarket speakers are often made of better quality materials built to last. When buying the new replacements, ensure that they have a power range that matches the old speakers. This way, there will be no issues during the installation process. However, with so many options in the market, it can be difficult to find the right ones. Ask an expert about the different types of speakers.
Set the Correct Amp Gain
Speaker distortion fix can also be aided by more settings in the amp or head unit. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a tech guru to set the correct gain. But remember, there is a big difference between gain and volume. Volume refers to the loudness of the sound. Gain, on the other hand, refers to the relationship between the input volume and output volume. Gain matches the voltage that comes down to the RCA cables to the amp input. For optimum performance, you need to calculate the correct gain for your stereo.
Set the receiver volume halfway or three-quarter way, and then adjust the amplifier manually until you hear no distortion. You can also try different gain settings while listening for any evident distortion. Try playing a music file while adjusting the amp gain until the distortion problem goes away.
Use High-Quality Music Quality Sources
Sometimes, low-quality music could be behind car speaker distortion with bass. That’s because it’s not professionally edited. Besides, some editors may use low-quality software to edit the music files, which may lead to distortion regardless of the volume and amp or head unit settings. Even worse, it may trick you into buying new speakers, only to find out that the problem was the audio file’s quality.
The best solution, in this case, is to buy or download music from trusted sources. If you prefer editing your own music, ensure that you do it professionally since audio systems can easily detect low-quality music files and play them as they are.
Distortion Detector Tool
A distortion detector tool is also an excellent way to find and fix distortion. When buying one, always pick the best quality since distortion detector tools are designed to serve for a long time. You might also need some basic knowledge of how to use it.
Using High Pass Filters
The rear and front door speakers are not designed for bass. Therefore, you need a separate sub for bass applications. Trying different bass combinations may not solve the problem. Instead, you want to try including high pass filter settings during the car’s sound system installation. High pass filters work with different high and low volume levels by controlling the bass output delivered to the door speakers. They can block off any bass and volume signals beyond a given threshold frequency, therefore, minimizing the sound distortion.
Can you fix a distorted speaker? Absolutely! With the knowledge, skills, and tools, anyone can learn how to fix car speaker distortion and keep the issue away for a long time. But, remember, there’s no shame in asking for professional help if the problem gets too complicated for you to fix on your own.