Updated: October 14, 2016
Car Equalizer Reviews:For many people, their cars are their mobile oases. A big part of what makes cars such a haven is that we can listen to music - at any level, provided our passengers agree. We can spend morning commutes listening to our favorite music; we can carpool with friends and try out new tunes. We can relax by concentrating on nothing but driving and listening. It's soothing, sometimes, even if your music is anything but! For those who find that they need more than their stock car speakers can provide, there are a range of products designed to enhance sound in your car. A car equalizer can provide a better listening experience, but what exactly do they do? And how can you find the right car equalizers for your needs?
What is a Car Equalizer?- Cars don't always provide the best acoustics. Sometimes the highly reflective glass in your car can emphasize high notes too much; absorbent surfaces like the carpet or seats can cause the sound to lose crispness. Either way, your music is not being heard in its optimal form. An equalizer helps these situations this by letting you adjust the resonant frequency and compensate for road noise. It brings the overemphasized frequencies back down and firms up the muddy frequencies. Tweaking the frequencies can provide a much cleaner sound, which makes music to stock speakers a bit painful and sad. Stand-alone equalizers have decreased in popularity, but that doesn't mean you can't still get the same great benefits in other ways. An equalizer is not a car amp: it doesn't make your system louder. It makes it better. Types of Car Equalizers - If you are shopping for a car equalizer, you will start to notice the words "graphic" and "parametric." These are the two main types of equalizers. What's the difference? Parametric types tend to be more complex, allowing for a greater range of control. You can adjust the frequencies of bands, as well as set the width or center frequency of the band. They allow for much more precise manipulation of your system. Graphic equalizers, which are more commonly used, have 5 to 12 slider controls. These let you increase or cut frequencies and control the quality of your music. Unlike parametric equalizers, you cannot adjust the width of each band, so there is not as much precision here. They do, however, provide great sound and are easier to use than parametric versions. You can check out the most popular car equalizers here.
Which Car Equalizer Should I Get?:First, you should decide which type of equalizer to get. If you are relatively inexperienced with them, a graphic equalizer may be best so you can begin to see how they work. You can choose from an in-dash or under-dash model or those that install in your trunk. You will also have to make sure the model you get works with your stereo. Some are designed to work with any stereo system but others are geared towards a particular brand. One of the best mid-range equalizers is the Kicker KQ9. This equalizer has 8 fixed bands of equalization and a parametric sub-bass equalizer. Each frequency has slide controls. The Kicker also has a variable car subwoofer, high-pass and low-pass crossovers, three sets of RCA outputs, among other features. This is a great dash equalizer that will improve your sound for only $200 (browse the top rated equalizers online here). It was selected by tech experts Crutchfield as the best in the budget category, though there are less expensive models.
The Clarion EQS746 has 7 equalizer bands, 6-channel output, 7V RCA outputs for front, rear, and subwoofer, adjustable subwoofer control as well as adjustable master volume. Along with gold-plated terminals, it has selectable 12dB low-pass crossover (60Hz or 90Hz) as well. It was rated by Epinions.com users as one of the best equalizers for the money. That would seem to be the more budget-friendly choice.
If you're throwing budget to the wind and want a high-end equalizer, try the AudioControl DQXS. This is a serious equalizer. It has 130 bands of adjustment, 6 channels, parametric equalizers for each channel, and an 8-channel crossover. It allows for exceptional control and fine tuning. For audio freaks and those who want the best of the best, AudioControl delivers. It lists for $599.99, certainly not for the casual user. There is an astonishing range of car equalizers that you can browse through on Amazon.com and find a choice for any budget, from under $50 to over $500. The key, though, in choosing your equalizer, is to set your budget and stick to it. An equalizer like the Clarion EQS746 will be able to boost your sound and improve its quality. As you go up in features and complexity, you also go up in price. If you are just starting out, go for a less expensive model to familiarize yourself with control and fine-tuning. Then, you can always upgrade if you discover you're one of those tech freaks! As important as your budget is compatibility, which was mentioned earlier. Make sure the model you get will work with your existing system. Otherwise, you'll either have to get a new equalizer or a new system. Either way, another expense. Take the time to read through the specs of each model and see if it'll work with what you already have. A car equalizer will give your more control over your sound, even if you already have a high-end stereo system. You can customize your sound to suit you and compensate for ambient noise and interference from glass or upholstery. Another benefit is that if you have subwoofers, you can use the equalizer to cut back your frequencies so your amp is working more efficiently and producing better sound. If you've never used an equalizer, you won't believe how much better your music is. It will be hard to go back to a plain stock stereo system. Don't. Pick up an equalizer to fit your budget (see the best selling car equalizers here) and tweak it to your satisfaction. Experiment, and you'll love the results you can achieve.