Best equalizer settings for car audio

The best equalizer settings for car audio ensure that a piece of certain music plays as it should in a specific location with a specific setup. It is a significant component of live music performances, but it has also evolved into an essential component of playing music even in smaller, more private spaces like a car.

Because you can’t relocate the speakers or alter the inside of the car’s design or layout, equalizing is useful. To ensure you obtain the greatest output possible, you must enhance and decrease particular frequencies.

What Is an Equalizer?

An equalizer, commonly known as an “EQ,” is an audio filter that separates specific frequencies and either boosts, reduces, or maintains the original level of those frequencies. A variety of electrical equipment contains equalizers. These consist of:

1. Home stereo equipment

2. Automobile stereo systems

3. Using digital applications on computers, mobile devices, and tablets

4. Musical instrument amplifiers (guitar, bass, keyboard, etc.)

An equalization will change a signal’s color. Increasing the treble frequency range could give vocals more clarity. Increasing bass frequencies might “heavily” alter the sound of music. You can occasionally use it to eliminate certain noises from a recording, such as the loud buzz of a fluorescent bulb.

What does an equalizer do?

The musical signal is divided into discrete sound regions called “bands” by equalizers. A sound frequency range with a central frequency is known as an EQ band. The level of control you have is determined by the number of bands (or adjustment slots, if you prefer) that are accessible. The finer and better the modifications you can make are, the more bands you have.

How does an equalizer work?

The complete spectrum of sound is divided into smaller groups, known as bands, to achieve equalization. The EQ center frequencies are in the center of these. You can adjust the sound by increasing or decreasing this sound portion. The bands are merged again, with the EQ modifications incorporated and output as a complete range.

Each stereo channel’s full range sound (or mono, if it’s a subwoofer crossover, for example) is taken by equalizers and divided into “bands” using filters. Based on the band frequency, each filter sends the sound frequencies in that range to a circuit that amplifies or attenuates that range’s level in response to your modifications.

The sound is then recombined from each of those circuits and transmitted to your amplifier or speaker system. The final sound is the same as the input sound, but with EQ tweaks made to it—not simply a straightforward bass and treble boost!

Types of Equalizers

Here are a few popular equalizer types:

  1. A parametric EQ or parametric equalizer

There are three controls for it. The first identifies the precise frequencies you wish to increase or reduce. You choose a frequency between 20 and 20,000 Hz, which you may change. The second, commonly referred to as the Q, establishes the sharpness of the bandwidth (i.e., “are you targeting a larger bandwidth surrounding that frequency, or are you zeroing in precisely on one frequency?”). The third option is the level control, which determines how much you want to increase or decrease a frequency. Digital software is the most common form that parametric EQs take.

  1. A graphic EQ or equalizer

It may be found on a larger variety of equipment, including home audio systems, portable stereos, amps, pedals, and mixing boards, although it is less accurate than a parametric EQ. The audio spectrum is segmented for you in a visual EQ, and each band is given its fader or knob. After that, you may increase, reduce, or leave each fader or knob alone. Only three bands, typically referred to as “treble,” “mid,” and “bass,” are present in certain graphic EQs. Five-band graphic EQs are common in home stereos, and several exist. There are visual EQs with up to 30 frequency bands.

EQ settings For Car Audio

The five EQ settings help you process the frequencies associated with the types of sounds.

1. Extremely Low (approximately 20 Hz to 60 Hz). 

The lowest audible noises that humans can hear are at these frequencies. It might be audible in club music as bass, sub-bass, or low-pitched drums. These frequencies may be amplified and heard from great distances, shaking a room or an automobile. While that effect might be interesting, over-boosting will muddy and blur your mix.

2. Lower Mids (app. 60 Hz to 250 Hz).

These frequencies resonate with the human ear and are pleased to hear. Many producers increase the lower mids on drums to give them a little extra “pop.” Cello, bassoon, baritone, tenor saxophones, trombone, and the low notes of a guitar are examples of melodic instruments that fall within this range. An amplifier’s bass knob would be employed to regulate these frequencies.

3. Mids (app. 250 Hz to 1500 Hz).

Humans can hear these frequencies the best. Therefore, raising the mids can practically have the same consequence as merely increasing the volume overall. However, remember that too much mid-boosting can wear out the listener’s ear and overwhelm them. These frequencies would be managed by the middle or mid knob on an amplifier.

4. The Upper Mids (app. 1500 Hz to 6600 Hz). 

Because this frequency has the potential to do the most harm to human hearing, it Only should be raised occasionally. Correctly enhanced upper mids will sound bell-like and chime-like. An amplifier’s treble knob would be employed to regulate these frequencies.

5. Super High (app. 6600 Hz to 20,000 Hz). 

These are some of the highest frequencies the human ear can hear. They range from stinging and obnoxious (at the lower end of this range) to ambient and atmospheric, sounding like surf or wind in the distance (on the upper end of this range). An amplifier’s presence knob would be employed to regulate these frequencies.

Setting up an Equalizer Using RTA in Your Car

Your automotive audio speaker system may be measured and tuned in three ways.

1. A calibrated microphone on a dedicated hardware RTA

2. Measurement microphone RTA software

3. A measuring microphone-equipped RTA app for smartphones.

The finest of the three involves utilizing a smartphone app. Many functions offered by far more expensive choices are now available in today’s smartphone apps, like AudioTool.

Using the RTA app on a smartphone, setting up the equalization, you must first have an RTA tool, also known as a real-time analyzer. You can measure sound using an app that you may download on your phone.

Then you need to download a pink noise-generating app. Before downloading a separate app, check to see whether this is included in the RTA app.

A pink noise generator will produce all frequencies that are audible to humans. Test the RTA when noise is present, and observe all the frequencies; their behavior is shown as a curve. There shouldn’t be any gaps between frequencies because you’re utilizing the noise app.

Now, even if a gap exists, it should only be 3 dB wide. The 120-4,000 Hz frequencies should be almost level, the 8,000-16,000 Hz frequencies should be close to a dip in the curve, and the 32 Hz frequencies should be on the higher portions of the curve.

To balance out the reading on the RTA graph, you search for these frequencies on your equalizer and modify them.

With a dual-band EQ, it is quite straightforward. A three-band EQ will require caution because each band can handle a variety of frequencies. It implies that you must begin by giving your amplifier, gain, and subwoofer location a bass boost.

You will still need to adjust things after that. Instead of a dual-band EQ, you may have a multi-band equalizer, which you will need to work on balance.

But because the middle is the sound source, you should always begin your modifications there.

How to Tune Your System for the Best EQ Settings

Before making any changes to the default settings on a stereo that includes complex features like automated EQ, time alignment, and digital sound processing, you should first read the instruction manual. But after you are comfortable with the stereo, do this.

Step 1: Switch the Stereo On

When tuning your sound, ensure the car is parked since it is not like changing the level, which may be done while driving. It might be enjoyable to adjust your audio, but you need to take your time and pay attention.

Step 2: Play a Song You Know Very Well

Choose a piece of music you are familiar with, so you can listen to it repeatedly without growing tired. This song will have listened to several times as you alter the settings while utilizing it as a reference point.

Make sure the song you choose contains some high notes, such as cymbals and flutes. It must have a strong mid-range incorporating the guitar, keyboard, and vocals. Finally, it requires low tones from the bass and percussion.

Step 3: Fix the Fade

Now that the fade control has been adjusted, the front speakers should play music. The balance must then be adjusted so that you can listen to the music. If necessary, write the settings down on a piece of paper.

Reverse the procedure by allowing the speakers at the back to produce sound, then rebalance the system. Observe these parameters as well.

You are fine to go if the balance is the same across all speakers. If not, you must decide which option suits you the most. Finding a sound quality that harmonizes the instruments from the front and rear speakers is ideal.

The output will only come from the front speakers if you return to the original settings. Use the fading control at this point to modify the speakers’ output at the back.

After all this, the output track must sound like it mostly comes from the front speakers and has adequate depth. To do this, ensure the speakers at the front and rear don’t have different treble levels.

Step 4: Balance the Notes

As you listen to the song, check to see if the low, mid, and high notes are all evenly spaced. You must listen to them and change the EQ till you discover that they sound balanced if they don’t.

Stereos typically have EQ presets like bass and sound boosters. Play around with them to discover the tone that enhances your song. It implies that you will fiddle with the treble, bass, and mid-range settings. If your EQ has more settings, you must change those as well.

You must determine the ideal ratio of treble boost, bass boost, and cuts to get the desired output. Listen to it to check sure the bass is full but not simply a loud boom, the mid-range notes are smooth and clear, and the high notes are clear but don’t damage your ears.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Frequency Should I Boost My Bass?

The frequencies typically fall between 20 and 160 Hz. The ideal frequency range to increase bass is between 50 and 80 Hz since it makes the bass feel rich and strong.

Should the bass be heard over the treble?

Treble is on the higher end of the frequency spectrum, while the bass is towards the lower end. Many audio systems provide an “extra bass option,” which essentially amplifies the volume of low-frequency sounds.

What are the best equalizer settings for car audio?

Although the listener’s preferences will determine the optimal equalization settings for automobile audio, some equalizers provide presets that can be used as a starting point. For equalization settings, bass boosters and sound enhancers are often good places to start.


You can find the best equalizer settings for car audio using various techniques. To obtain excellent sound, you need to understand what each of the EQ bands on your device accomplishes.

You now know where to start and how to move forward. There isn’t just one EQ that is the greatest for cars. It all depends on how you want the song to make you feel energetic. Hope you get your answer, for more information related to car audio problems check out related article.

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