How to Adjust Car Stereo for Best Sound? [Pro Tips]

Getting into the car and turning up your favorite song is one of life’s greatest pleasures. A good tune can instantly change your mood from bad to better, but only if you hear it.

How to Adjust Car Stereo For Best Sound

If you found yourself with a sound system that doesn’t seem to be playing music notes as well as it used to, there are a few tweaks you can make to get the most out of your speakers. 

Whether you’re in an older model with a factory stereo or a newer car with an aftermarket system, we’ve put together a list of things to try if your audio sounds muffled.

How to Adjust Car Stereo for Best Sound

There are many ways by which you can adjust the stereo for the best possible sound quality-

Adjust Speaker Position and Volume

First and foremost, be sure to turn up your system’s volume. The easiest way to do this is by turning the knob on the stereo up. This will make it easier to hear where the sound is coming from if you’re having trouble hearing it.

Make sure that your speakers are positioned correctly. When they’re installed, you’ll want to make sure that the front of each speaker has about an inch of space on either side of it. This will ensure that your music isn’t playing too loud or with extreme bass.

For newer cars, aftermarket systems can have speakers positioned in various places, so you’ll need to consult the manual or your car dealer for information on the best placement.

If you have factory speakers installed, make sure that those are properly tuned up.

Adjust EQ Settings

Test out different EQ settings if your system is equipped with one. If your car stereo can play pre-set equalization modes, choose a setting for rock, hip hop, or jazz music and then adjust the tone from there.

Keep in mind that this does not guarantee excellent sound quality but can help you get a sense of what kind of adjustments need to be made based on the genre you’re listening to at the moment.

For example, classical music might sound best when played through a flat EQ setting, while jazz sounds excellent on “Jazz” or “Bass-Boost.” Test out different audio modes.

If your car stereo has audio settings like night, clear, loudness, and soft, be sure to test each one with your music by hitting the appropriate button on your dashboard.

This will give you a better idea of which model will play your songs best so that you don’t have to mess around with the volume knob every time you get in your vehicle. Turn off any enhancement.

Make sure you’re not playing songs through an equalization mode, as these can make the sound from your speakers seem worse than they are.

Several adjustments can improve sound quality if you have an older model with a factory stereo.

Things you can try in digital equalizers are adjusting gain, treble boost, mid frequencies, center frequency, the lowest frequency, fade control, etc.

Adjust Bass Level

Turn down any subwoofer frequencies and high-range frequencies until they reach a balance with the other sounds playing; this will also help balance out any distortion caused by low or high bass frequencies.

Adjusting bass response levels can also help boost midrange sounds and increase clarity in general; lower frequencies tend to muddy up audio signals.

Finally, if your car has speakers on either side of it, try repositioning them slightly closer together for better stereo sound separation from one side of the listener to another.

Replace the Stock Speakers with Best Sounding Speakers

For a maximum boost in sound quality and overall audio might, your car speakers may require replacement. 

In case you are confused, picking up a new system for your vehicle and installing it isn’t that difficult. We have a whole category dedicated to car speakers. You can definitely get help from that.

Here are some of the top recommendations that we feel are great for enhancing audio quality-

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Best Car Speakers to Buy

The best speakers to buy for your car is the one that sounds good to you. If you like it, you will enjoy music more and thus want to play your favorite tunes even more often. The sound quality of most factory-installed speakers is subpar, so most people are not satisfied with them anyway.

So buying new speakers is almost always a good idea if your vehicle didn’t come with an aftermarket system already installed. The following are the best speakers for your car:

1. The JBL GTO939 speakers 

The JBL GTO939 speakers have a set of 9-inch subwoofers, 1.75-inch tweeters, and 4-inch mid-range speakers ideal for any speaker system.

With a wide power handling range from 150 watts to a peak of 350 watts, these JBL subwoofers offer plenty of power for any sound system that you happen to install in your vehicle. 

Its rugged speaker cones made from dust and water-resistant paper ensure these different drivers will endure even the most inclement driving conditions due to the coverage this type of material offers. 

The injection-molded polypropylene cone helps manage heat, while another component known as the high-frequency transducer helps this component maintain its durability even after years and years of use. 

Finally, JBL includes grilles with all GTO939 speakers, so you’ll never have to worry about stray wires or theft by crooks, thanks to their fire-retardant properties.


2. Kicker KMT84 8″ coaxial marine

Kicker KMT84 8″ coaxial marine speakers are water-resistant, impact-resistant, and come with optional remote control. The enclosures feature a bulkhead screw design with built-in rubber seals, while the woofer mounting employs recessed hex sockets and waterproof Nylon boots to protect against corrosion. 

Kicker uses computer modeling to flatten its speaker’s performance curve, which extends the usable frequency range of the marine speakers, so you get great sound at high volume levels. These speakers have 150 watts RMS handling, making it adequate for average consumers in terms of power handling. 

Keeping your speaker cool is not a problem with these since they come with an aluminum heat sink plus a vented motor structure that freely dissipates its heat as it seeks air. 

Overall, Kicker KMT84 is very flexible in terms of installation surroundings. They offer crisp detail reproduction, making them ideal for boating systems with smooth responses on frequencies including mids and highs.


3. The Polk Audio DB651s

The Polk Audio DB651s is specially designed for premium sound quality. These 6.5-inch ported speakers produce a rich sound stage, and you can hear an improvement in mids and highs as well. 

The system even produces an upright bass and delicate sound perfect with any music genre. The model is also compact, which means it’ll fit in the most space-constraints compartments. 

The 2-way component system lets these drivers grab every bit of polished transducers possible. The 12dB/octave crossover network guarantees that these Polk Audio DB651s can produce significant results when contacting other drivers or amplifiers during playback.

4. The JBL GTO839

The JBL GTO839 speakers exceed the original equipment speakers in all aspects, from design to high-performance levels. These 9-inch subwoofers feature 150 watts RMS, and these 6×9 speakers produce clear and detailed music to streamline your musical experience.

The 1.75-inch tweeters, coupled with the 4-inch mid-range drivers, all do their bit to enhance the listening experience, and you’ll notice an improvement in your car audio system once they’re misdialed. 

The built-in pole mount hardware makes it simple to place these speakers wherever you desire within your vehicle too.

5. Pioneer TS-A1685R 6×8

Pioneer TS-A1685R 6×8 speakers offer a flat frequency response curve over a wide audio spectrum range from low to high. The road-going TS-A1685R is a great replacement speaker that uses a Responsive Class “D” Amplifier. 

These speakers also have a shallow mounting that let’s add a fader without worrying about hardware hitting the tweeter; this significantly extends your mounting options in your car because you are not limited with its space between the back seat and front driver’s side door since they extend downward (not much downward on average) 

TS-A1685 RFs are generally located behind a license plate holder or, in some cases, on top of rear door panels. 

Finally, there’s also limited space between the seat cushion and seat backrest. With its specs, you might find these speakers too, which results in lessened usage compared to previous 6×9 models than any IMP Series’ before it.

Best Cables to Use

If you’ve tried adjusting the bass and treble levels on your stereo and still can’t seem to get the right sound, it might be a problem with your cables.

You should always use the best quality cables that you can afford. Anything with an oxygen-free copper core will give you the best sound quality.

Check the connections in your car stereo system to ensure they’re tight before doing anything else. A loose connection could create some interference with your audio signal. If that doesn’t help, try replacing worn-out cables with higher-quality ones.

Tips for Getting the Best Sound

1. One of the first things you can do is adjust your speakers. You may want to try moving them closer to the front seats or placing them near an open window.

2. If you’ve got a factory stereo, be sure to turn off any bass enhancement features.

3. For an aftermarket sound system, try adjusting your amp’s high and low pass filters for better sound quality.

4. Clean your car’s speakers with a damp cloth to remove dust and grime buildup. This will help eliminate any interference that might be preventing the crispest sound possible.

5. Remember that some speakers need to be adjusted individually to get optimal sound.

6. Look at the amplifier settings (if applicable) to see if they are set on “mute” or “auto.” Once again, this is more common among factory stereos, but it can also happen if you have an amplifier hooked up with your system.

7. Try to eliminate road noises, ensure all the sound outputs are working properly, and the head unit is capable of producing the music according to your preferences.

Best Equalizer Settings for Car Audio Bass Mid Treble

First, try adjusting the sound settings on your stereo. The bass and treble may be set too high if you have a factory stereo. This can lead to distortion in music and may make it difficult to hear other sounds. 

You want to keep the bass at or below 50 percent volume and the treble between 50-75 percent volume. 

You don’t want either one of them to be too loud, or you might blow out your speakers.

If you are trying an aftermarket system, many parts could be affecting how it sounds. Installations of car stereos vary depending on what part of the country you live in and what car you drive, so it will take some experimenting with these methods to see which one works best for your specific situation:

  • Tweak your sound settings. Most amplifiers and Sirius radio satellites come with preset equalizer settings that are best left alone. See if you can set the treble, mids, and bass so the ranges overlap naturally and easily. Once there’s some balance in over-lapping frequencies, see if it helps with the overall sound of your speakers.
  • If you are using a sub/surround system in your car, play with its settings to figure out which ones work best for achieving a boost in bass without interrupting the balance of mid-range and high frequencies.

Tip: Power equals performance. In other words, amping up your power to take advantage of the giant subwoofer that you installed will improve the low tones more than boosting any frequencies on your equalizer.

Best Bass and Treble Settings for Speakers

The bass and treble setting on your speaker is what determines the quality of sound. Too much of either, and you’ll lose clarity, but not enough of both means a lack of depth to your music.

Start by adjusting your bass and treble levels, which are usually found on the front of your stereo’s control panel. Turning up the bass will give you more punch in the low tones for a richer sound while increasing the treble will do the same for high frequencies.

You can also adjust these levels by turning them down altogether to save some power or turn them up to create more clarity.


So, you’re thinking about upgrading your car sound system to get the best sound. It’s a great idea and one that will make your commute more enjoyable.

But before you spend your hard-earned money on that new set of speakers and a new amp, it’s essential to understand the basics of how to adjust your car stereo for the perfect sound output.

And know that high-end speakers won’t do any good if the type of music doesn’t suit the speaker system, or there are anomalies in the balance settings, eq adjustments, and different sound frequencies.

Only with everything worked out together, you can have an audio experience that can be referred as the best.

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