The 10 Best Car Audio Equalizers
This wiki has been updated 6 times since it was first published in January of 2020. When it comes to faithful sound reproduction, a vehicle’s interior can present many issues due to road noise, ambient noise, engine noise, and the acoustics within. The addition of an audio equalizer can correct inconsistencies in the sound characteristics that are associated with the insides of an automobile, while also serving to boost desirable frequencies, such as enhancing the bass response. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 25, 2020:
Factory fitted car stereos are known for having limitations when it comes to enhancing their sound quality, with most tonal adjustments confined to basic bass and treble controls, or preset equalizer settings for various genres of music. A car audio equalizer enables the user to expand the tonal possibilities of their in-car sound system and shape the sound to suit their taste. It also allows them to “tune out” ambient noise associated with engines, wind, and road vibration in the interior of the cabin.
The audio equalizers in this ranking are all made to DIN standard, meaning they conform to international aperture sizes for stereos, navigation consoles, DVD players, etcetera. When choosing an audio equalizer, consider your power requirements. Most console-based systems, including the Sound Storm Labs S4EQ, Massive Audio EQ-7X, and the Earthquake Sound EQ7000Pxi, are passive, meaning that they run from the stereo’s amplifier and do not amplify the signal. Others, such as the Audio Control Three.2 feature a built-in preamp that boosts the signal, giving an impressive thirteen volts of peak power output. A higher output results in a crisper signal being sent to your subwoofer and speakers.
When it comes to equalization configurations, most models, including the Clarion EQS755 and American Bass High End, have seven-band parametric EQs that give the user a wide range of tone-shaping possibilities, ranging from 50hz to 16khz. One exception is the Soundstream MPQ‐90, with its nine-band equalizer that offers even more precise flexibility and control over the source signal.
When installing your car audio equalizer, it’s a good idea to refer to the manual and make adjustments incrementally, as you run the risk of damaging your vehicle’s audio system, if performed incorrectly. Once installed, and you are happy with your settings, it is recommended that you leave the EQ as it is, only making minor tweaks if you are not satisfied with the sound as a whole, as an equalizer is primarily intended to shape the overall sound of your car’s system, not to adjust it from track to track.