So, you just bought a new car audio system and want to know how to get the most out of it to help you figure out how well it works and improve your listening experience.
If you have a cheap speaker that doesn’t sound very good or interesting to you, you might be able to make your car audio system sound better by changing the crossovers.
Setting the crossover frequencies is an even better way to get the most out of it if you already have them in your car and they are good speakers.
I know what you’re thinking, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy like I was a few years ago and don’t even know what the hell the Crossover is.
But don’t worry, because in this guide, we’ll talk about how to set the crossover frequency for car audio systems so that they sound great with as little distortion as possible.
First, we need to go over some basics so that you can understand most things better. This will help you in the future without having to keep coming back to this guide.
What Is a Crossover Car Audio System?
Most audio equipment, whether it’s for cars, studios, homes, or other places, uses something called a crossover. Crossover is built into the most important and widely used systems, like some of the best amplifiers, home systems, and even component speakers.
So, if you’re new to this kind of thing, its use in different audio products might sound strange to you.
If you are in the tenth grade and are taking science, you should know that waves carry sounds through a medium. Sometimes, these waves are used to talk about sound waves, which are measured in hertz, or what we call a frequency.
This is called the frequency response rate in a speaker system, and it can be anywhere from 15Hz to 40,000Hz. This range affects the performance and sound quality of your audio component in a direct and sometimes indirect way.
The bass is better when the frequency is low, and the sound pitch is higher when the frequency is high. But this doesn’t have to be true every time.
Because sometimes these frequencies can burn your speakers, which can lead to an electric fire in the car cabin if the frequency is too high.
Here comes the Crossover, which is mainly used to limit the frequency or response rate that is sent to a certain speaker in a channel system. Don’t confuse the Crossover with the subwoofer, which limits the frequency of the bass.
If your speaker is set to a certain frequency range, it will not work well. What you sometimes call “on-axis” or “off-axis” and how it affects how you hear.
Here, the crossover task isn’t done yet because it also has to do with protection. A crossover is also meant to protect the tweeters, which are the parts of speakers that “play” the higher frequencies.
This is someone on a project who acts like a boss and gives each team member the best and most important job to do so that the job goes well without any problems. Here, the Crossover makes sure that the low, middle, and high frequencies are played well by the subwoofers, midranges, and tweeters, respectively.
What kinds of Crossovers are there?
Typical Types of Crossovers
1: High Pass Filter (HPF): If you know a little bit about technology, you know what this means. But if you don’t know what a high pass crossover is, let me explain.
Your Crossover cuts down on the range of frequencies for a certain field. If an audio signal makes a frequency that is higher than a certain frequency, let’s say 50Hz, then the Crossover “passes” that signal.
2: Low Pass Filter (LPF): So, this is the opposite of a high pass. This means that the subwoofer will play any sound signal with a frequency of less than 75Hz.
3: Band Pass Filter (BPF): In simple terms, this guy is a crossover that can do both high pass crossovers and low pass crossovers.
These are the three main types of crossovers, and for each of them, there are both active and passive crossovers.
4: Crossovers that don’t do anything: A passive crossover is a kind of crossover where the frequency is already set and cannot be changed. Most of the time, these crossovers are used in component speakers, which makes the system safer.
Because if you don’t know about this kind of thing, these crossovers are what protect your system from damage. But this also changes the power of your speaker, which you may not like if you’re an audiophile.
5:Active CrossOvers: The active CrossOver is here to make some changes to these setups. Crossovers are now built into their amplifiers and some head units. This lets you control where the crossover points are.
Here, you don’t lose any (or much) power, so tweeters and speakers, especially those in the middle range, can work well together.
How To Set Crossover Frequency For Car Audio?
If you’re not very tech-savvy, the best and easiest way to set them up is to follow the instructions and other paper stuff that came with them when you bought them. Even if you threw away the instructions right next to the box, they are still useful.
This has everything, from the beginning to the end, and even some diagnoses for a while. But if you don’t have those papers or if you’ve bought used things, let’s talk about the other options.
Depending on whether your system has two-way or three-way speakers, not all of these will work. You can’t find the right level or settings for your car’s audio system because it changes from car to car, speaker to speaker, and person to person.
Setting them up is a must thing if you want them to work well with the amplifier and keep your new setups from getting damaged. Depending on the system, you will need to look more closely at both the high pass and low pass sides of each speaker.
For your high pass filter, it will be called “subsonic,” which is a term that is used only for subwoofers. This filter cuts down the frequencies even more, making them even harder to hear.
The reason is that you don’t want your speakers to play so low that they “bottom out.” This happens when you try to go beyond the limits of low volume for high bass.
Here, you need to set the frequency to the half-octave below the tuning frequency. Say your tuning frequency is 100Hz, which is the full octave to 50Hz. You have to set the frequency to the half octave, which is 50Hz/2 = 25Hz less than the tuning frequency of 100Hz, or 75Hz.
This is likely to keep your speakers from bottoming out and protect your car audio from possible loss. You probably set your low pass crossovers between 80Hz and 100Hz.
Sometimes, these limits are already built into the systems, so you don’t have to set them by hand. Subsonic filters are just a kind of HP filter that only blocks the lowest frequencies that can be heard.
You need to use a screwdriver to turn the subsonic filter down to 10Hz, turn the gain down, and set the Low pass to somewhere around 80Hz (this has already been said). You can also make the speakers in your car louder this way.
You can change it later by just thinking about it. Close all the doors and mirrors, too. Now, play your favorite song or any other song there at your usual volume and keep turning the knob to where you want.
Most sub and speaker amplifiers work best when set to 80Hz. If you go above this frequency, the sound gets louder, but it might not be distorted yet. But if you go below 80Hz, there is likely to be more distortion.
Don’t set your subwoofer’s amplifier so that the subsonic filter is too low or the low pass filter is too high. This could cause a lot of damage, which would be too expensive. If your Subsonic filter is set too low, you might waste a lot of power.
How to set the crossover frequency for a car audio system
This guide is for you if you are a new driver who doesn’t know much about car audio and needs to set crossover frequency for car audio systems.
Crossovers are the most important part of any advanced and best car audio system. They are found in the amplifier or head unit. Even at high levels, these frequencies help make low-level sounds.
This guide is worth reading at least once if you want to learn everything about it so you don’t have to work as hard. You will need to know how these things work in order to figure out how to do them exactly.