I still remember that day, crystal clear in my head. It was a breezy day; the sun wasn’t really shining all bright and a couple of us decided to head on a road trip. The destination really wasn’t what we were looking forward to, but the drive was something that excited all of us.
Don’t you just love those long drives with no traffic, empty roads with your window rolled down, the weather not extremely windy, but just the right amount of breeze hitting your face. And then comes the best part when you are singing along to your favorite song and you just feel all warm and fuzzy from the inside, you just feel like nothing can stop you.
If music is something than can put you in a completely different zone for all the right reasons, then you must know how disturbing it gets when nothing sounds the way it should. Be it because of the low base or if there is distortion in the output, if something is off, it just is!
Let me tell you a few things that can take the way your music sounds in your car to another dimension. These are simple things you need to understand to get started. The very essential principal one needs to follow is to use the right speakers to go with the right subwoofers (if you want them for that added bass) again to go with the right amplifier.
First things first, you need to know if your car has factory speakers or does it have After-market speakers installed. Ideally after-market speakers are better in terms of quality of the music as well as the equipment. After market speakers, again are of two sorts, Co-axal (Everything packaged nice and tight) and Component, where all the components like tweeters (produce high frequencies) come separately so you can place it were ever you think is best to give you the experience you want.
Sensitivity of the speaker is measured by number of decibels (dB) (measure of loudness) of sound pressure level (SPL) per watt of amplifier power measured at one meter from the speaker. A little too much to take it? To make this simple, manufacturers usually drop the SPL/W/M and just use dB to describe the sensitivity. Most speaker sensitivities are in the 85 to 91 dB range, so anything less than 85dB would not make a good choice of speakers.
What comes next is the subwoofer. It reproduces low frequencies (What is usually known as the bass). Depending on how you like your music, if you prefer more bass then you should probably get subwoofers installed in your car. They come in different sizes and casings to suit your expectations.
Last but not the least, let’s talk about amplifiers. We all know that amplifiers give the system the power that it needs to get a louder and cleaner output with the least distortion. Was it easy to keep up this far? Now let’s get the most crucial part of the process. How does one match the amplifier with the subwoofers or the speakers, or both?
It is always advised to get an amplifier that is 50% more powerful than your speakers. So, a 50W speaker would need a 75W amplifier. Now why would someone advise a thing like that? To understand this one needs to understand the concept of RMS (Root Mean Square). RMS is the average power at which a speaker will play smoothly. Usually manufactures would sell a speaker by showing of its peak power which is not what you want to consider, because playing music with the peak power of the speaker will lead to a short- term life of it. Whereas RMS enables maximum quality of sound and long-lasting equipment.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the impedance, i.e. the resistance of the speaker and amplifier are in sync. The ohms of the speaker should ideally match the ohms of the amplifier because if the ohms of the speaker is too low, you will blow out your speaker and fry your amps completely, if it’s too high, it messes with the sound quality.
An ideal RMS power of the speaker for your car stereo should be between 10W-50W, 10 W being the basic sound quality and 50W being extremely good sound quality. With all the required knowledge to invest wisely on a good quality music system, you will now be able to enjoy singing out loud to your favorite song in your car to the fullest!