top of page

How to Achieve Great Car Audio Sound

Updated: Apr 4

Elevating Volume and Quality from Good to Great in San Diego

It’s no big secret that swapping out that no-name factory amp for a top-shelf one from Rockford Fosgate, Boss, or Pioneer is going to instantly improve your sound system. It will certainly make it louder, but the real question is, “Will it be better?” Getting loud with sound is actually the easy part with car audio installation in San Diego. Elevating the overall quality is the real challenge, and one that we gladly accept here at Stereo Depot.

Top Challenges to Achieving Great Car Audio

Unlike the controlled environment of a home theater, the interior of moving cars is littered with obstacles that can make car audio sound rough, buzzy, or otherwise distorted. It also doesn’t help that most manufacturers view car audio as a lower priority, so you basically start at square one when you buy a vehicle. You’ll definitely need to upgrade everything, but even with the right equipment, you still have to be mindful of the following:

Speaker Positioning: Default speaker positioning isn’t necessarily the best placement for your specific vehicle. It usually can be improved once you have a car audio expert evaluate the interior and make some adjustments.

Reflective Surfaces: Glass windows, thick seats, and even passengers can block and bounce sound. Since you can physically see sound, this may be a difficult problem for most to diagnose. Yet again, this is another example where it pays off to have a true audio expert evaluate the interior to optimize the sound quality.

Road Noise: No vehicle is exempt from tire hum, engine whine, wind, exhaust, and assorted body rattles. All of these things can make even the best equipment sound poor.

Car Material: Fiberglass, metal, and plastic don’t combine to make the best quality sound experience. This is one of the main reasons that aftermarket audio is so popular. With the right set-up installed, you can work around these problems.

Fix 1: High-Quality Premium Speakers

So, you want to upgrade your sound and have no clue where to start. There’s a lot of directions you can go, but if you want to work from the top-down in terms of high-priority items, start with the speakers. You can never go wrong with a great pair of high-quality premium speakers. So, what separates high-quality speakers from the standard set the manufacturer installs? There are three key differentiating factors.


Truth be told, most manufacturer speakers are made from less-than-stellar materials. In fact, some of them use cardboard cones, which can easily blow out if you crank the volume too high. When shopping for high-quality speakers, look for materials like ex-beryllium, Kevlar, polypropylene, carbon fiber, and multi-laminate for smoother frequency response. You want material that can withstand consistent hard punches of sound for years and years.


XMax is the amount of distance a subwoofer voice coil can move without leaving its magnetic zone. The higher the XMax, the lower the distortion. If quality is important to you, keep XMax in mind during your shopping process.


How a speaker is constructed is a pretty big indicator of how well it’ll perform. Ideally, you want bigger voice coils, stronger magnets, and wider rubber surrounds for sustained high output.

We’re not going to lie — the science behind speaker engineering is difficult to wrap your head around for the layman. The best way to get up to speed is by having an audio expert here in San Diego show you the best constructed speakers in their class. Just like with anything in the aftermarket car audio game, you’ll know good quality when you hear it.

Fix 2: Sound Damping

Want to make $100 discount speakers sound like $500 premiums? Want to boost the bass and enrich mid-tones WITHOUT turning up the volume?

Sound damping reduces external road noise, muffles rattling car parts, and improves overall audio fidelity by reducing the vibration in the metal and other parts of the vehicle that can infringe upon your stereo’s tracks.

Fix 3: System Design, Equalizers, & DSPs

System Design

Every vehicle layout is unique, which means the speaker placement and angling of sound is critical. Poor design leads to a bad mix of highs, lows, and variations in volume where it can be dead in some spots and way too much in others.


Add-on equalizers provide multiple points for adjusting frequency response and varying widths of each EQ band, so you can really zero in on precise sound. This is far beyond what you can do with bass and treble control alone.

Digital Sound Processors (DSP)

Digital sound processors (DSP) help eliminate frequency response peaks and increase bass response, and some even include a microphone for analyzing your car’s acoustics. Add a DSP to your system, and treat yourself to the ultimate sound upgrade!

Contact the Team at Stereo Depot in San Diego Today!

Installing and perfecting car stereos and sound systems is what we do here at Stereo Depot. If you’re looking to upgrade to a high-quality aftermarket system or simply correct the sound of your current system, feel free to swing by our storefront here in sunny San Diego. Once we evaluate your ride, we can provide recommendations on how to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to sound.

66 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page