Some vehicles have good stock speakers with quality sound, but they’re often too quiet. There are ways you can fix this problem, but you must first identify what’s causing it.
If new car speakers are too quiet, it could be due to faulty wiring in the system or an insufficient power supply. Poor installation, low-quality speakers, and even poor music quality can also result in quiet speakers. Installing an amplifier is a great way to fix car speakers that are too quiet.
In this article, I’ll explain the reasons why the output of your new car speakers is too quiet and detail common possible fixes to these issues.
5 Reasons Why New Car Speakers are Too Quiet
There are a number of reasons your car speakers are too quiet. Some of the more common and easily fixed problems include:
- Faulty sound system wiring
- Insufficient power to the speakers
- Poor music quality
- Poor installation
- Low-quality speakers
Let’s take a closer look at each of these in detail.
1. Faulty Sound System Wiring
Faulty wiring is a common reason behind unusually quiet car speakers.
You do not need specialist knowledge to diagnose faulty wiring. Start by following the wires of your sound system to check for corrosion or loose connections.
Corrosion reduces effectiveness and can explain why your new car speakers aren’t loud enough. You need to have such wires replaced.
Loose connections affect the transmission of power, reducing sound quality.
A common issue with newly installed car speakers is reversed polarity. All wiring in your sound system needs to connect to the right terminal – positive to positive and negative to negative.
If one of the wires connects to the wrong terminal, your speakers lose cohesion and play against each other. Instead of both speakers pushing air, one pushes, and the other pulls, causing distorted or quieter sound.
This problem is easy to diagnose: follow the wires and ensure they’re in the right place.
You can confirm a speaker’s polarity using dry batteries. Touch the speaker’s positive cable to the positive terminal and the negative wire to the negative terminal.
If the cone moves inside, the polarity is flipped and needs correction. If the cone moves outwards, the connection is alright.
If there’s no obvious wiring problem, you’ll need to use a voltmeter to confirm if the wires are working correctly.
The power cable should send 12V from the battery to the amplifier. Any different reading from the voltmeter can point to a faulty wire.
Another potential indicator of faulty wiring is excess heat. Sound systems get warm while in use, but they shouldn’t get too hot.
Heat can destroy stereo components or, worse, cause a fire. Excessive heat usually indicates a fault in your wiring system.
2. Insufficient Power to the Speakers
When sound is low, there’s a high chance your new speakers aren’t receiving enough power to work properly.
The stock radio produces enough power for the stock car speakers but will struggle to support aftermarket speakers demanding more juice.
Speakers getting insufficient power can’t run efficiently, leading to unsatisfactory sound quality.
Most car audio installers should inform you of the higher power demands of new speakers and advise the installation of an amplifier. This helps to feed the new speakers with enough power to support efficient sound production.
However, power problems can still arise even when using an amplifier.
For instance, an issue with the alternator or battery can affect the amplifier’s performance. Or, an amplifier can go into ‘protection mode‘ if it detects too much power from the alternator. Furthermore, insufficient or inconsistent power from the battery can’t support an amplifier at full capacity.
You might need professional help to diagnose a power issue with your car. If your voltmeter shows the battery is sending 12 volts to the amplifier, then you have a faulty amplifier.
A blown fuse might also be the cause of your power deficit. Locate the fuse box and check the fuses’ condition.
Signs of damage include cracks and discoloration. You can also utilize a multimeter to check whether the fuse is working.
Set the multimeter to ohms and touch its leads onto the fuse’s metal caps. If the multimeter displays a reading, the fuse is OK; if not, you’re holding a blown fuse.
3. Poor Music Quality
Yes. The problem might be your music.
Modern car stereos allow us to listen to music from various sources. Highly compressed files have a poor quality that becomes more evident as the sound system’s quality improves.
You might be tempted to purchase bass boosted music for your car stereo. Bass boosted music isn’t bad, but it won’t work with your new car speakers.
Bass boosted music overwhelms the amplifier, causing frequent distortion, which reduces speaker strength. It wears down your speakers quickly, leading to poor sound output.
The best car stereo music comes from original CDs, but nobody uses CDs anymore. Online downloads and streams have taken over the market.
Try switching to high-quality music to see if it alters the output from your speakers.
Additionally, use the head unit to adjust the bass and treble from the speakers. Check other settings such as balance and fader: they might be the simple reason why the speakers are so quiet.
4. Poor Installation
Poor sound system installation can be the reason behind your underperforming speakers.
Some installation shops rush the job, making minor errors that ruin the sound quality. Similarly, home installation, no matter how methodical, can result in mistakes.
You might be tempted to install your car’s radio system at home: there are many tutorial videos to guide you. However, I advise you to let the professionals handle it.
A common installation error involves poor grounding. The installer must pick the right spot to ground the stereo.
The mounting spot should be clean, and the cable must sit tightly on the chosen area.
By increasing volume, you force the amp to pull more current. A poorly grounded amplifier will struggle to pull current, leading to low sound quality.
Poor installation also relates to speaker placement. Speakers placed on door mounts transfer sound to the metal frame, affecting sound quality.
Additionally, poor speaker placement increases the effects of external noises. External noises interfere with the sound quality inside the car, affecting the noise created by the speakers.
5. Low-Quality Speakers
Low-quality speakers produce low-quality sound.
Though you can find cheap speakers, purchasing them is a huge gamble.
The reason behind your underwhelming speaker performance might be the speakers you purchased.
How To Fix Low Sound on New Car Speakers
It’s understandably frustrating to deal with quiet car speakers, especially when they’re brand new. You may have expected them to produce a loud quality sound, yet obtaining quality sound from car speakers isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Here are various ways you can fix low sound on new car speakers:
- Purchasing or fixing your amplifier
- Fixing electrical issues
- Installing an equalizer
- Sound dampening car doors
- Installing tweeters on door panels
- Purchasing high-quality music
- Purchasing new speakers
Read on to understand how the above will solve your new speaker problems.
1. Purchasing or Fixing Your Amplifier
Purchasing an amplifier will do wonders to the quality of sound you get from your new speakers.
Stock radio heads have built-in amplifiers to support stock speakers. However, stock radio heads rarely have enough power to support new aftermarket car speakers.
An amplifier delivers enough power to the speakers, improving sound quality and volume. Furthermore, it boosts volume, reducing interference from external noises.
The amplifier you get depends on how many speakers you have on your car. Preferably, purchase a single amplifier to support the number of new speakers you have or intend to get.
For instance, a four-channel amplifier is ideal for four new speakers. It centralizes the controls and reduces the power wires needed to connect to your battery.
If you plan to deck out your car with speakers, you’ll definitely need an amplifier. Your stock system simply can’t manage the power demands of a mega system.
Before purchasing a new amplifier, have a technician check out your malfunctioning amplifier. You might find the repair job only involves replacing a blown fuse.
Purchase an amplifier that meets the power demands of your speakers and the sound demands of your ears.
2. Fixing Electrical Issues
Electrical issues may be the reason why you can’t get loud sounds out of your car speakers.
A seemingly meaningless wrong connection might cause poor sound output. For instance, reversed polarity causes speakers to pull inwards rather than outwards, resulting in distorted or low sound.
Follow the speakers’ wiring meticulously, looking for any issue that may affect performance. Replace corroded cables and strengthen all connections.
Crucially, ensure that you secure the earth on a clean surface.
If the problem persists after a wiring check, your car’s probably not producing enough power for the amplifier. Your car battery should produce above twelve volts; anything less, and you have an electrical issue to deal with.
3. Installing an Equalizer
The equalizer forms the final part of the jigsaw in your sound system. Fine-tuning the sound can help improve the quality coming out of the speakers.
An equalizer gives you control over the music. By managing aspects such as bass, treble, and midrange, you can gloss over any deficiencies in your sound system.
Poor equalizer settings might cause underperformance of your speakers. Similarly, loud unequalized music irritates the ears, leading to an uncomfortable and, ultimately, quiet ride.
Invest in an outboard equalizer that gives you more sound options. Equalizers get the best out of aftermarket car speakers.
4. Sound Dampening Car Doors
Car doors aren’t designed to hold powerful speakers. Speakers transfer vibrations to the door, leading to sound distortion and low-quality output.
Furthermore, car doors let in external sounds, including road noise, making it seem like your speakers are underperforming.
Sound dampening car doors helps reduce the effects of external noise and speaker vibration. It involves placing a thin layer of dampening material on the door panel.
It improves car acoustics and cuts external noise coming in through the door panels. Dampening can save you the cost of purchasing an amplifier.
You can go a step further and seal the car door speakers. Sealing the speakers cuts air movement from the back of the speaker, reducing sound distortion.
5. Installing Tweeters on Door Panels
Tweeters offer another cost-effective solution to dealing with quiet car speakers. They produce high-frequency sounds that improve sound quality.
Tweeters need minimal power to run; the power from the stock car radio is sufficient to run them. Therefore, you can install tweeters as a temporary solution before purchasing an amplifier.
The downside of tweeters is that they offer poor damping. Furthermore, they struggle to reproduce quality sounds.
Nonetheless, they’re a handy alternative to installing an amplifier.
You won’t need to dispose of the tweeters after buying an amp. In fact, they’ll help improve the overall sound quality.
6. Purchase High-Quality Music
Low-quality music doesn’t change because you’ve hooked it to an excellent car system. All it does is expose the flaws in the music.
Bass boosted music is cheap, but it sounds distorted at high and low volumes. It gets worse when you pair bass boosted music with an amplifier.
CDs were the best option, but the music industry has phased them out in favor of downloads or streaming. Download or stream the highest quality music when using your phone as a music source.
7. Purchasing New Speakers
If all else fails, the problem might be your new car speakers. Low-quality speakers often struggle to produce the sound you crave.
Most people switch to aftermarket car speakers because they want something a little louder. Aftermarket car speakers are an excellent option for the music enthusiast or the grand tourer.
Getting new speakers so soon after purchasing new ones will hurt, but traveling around with damaged new speakers will hurt even more.
This time, go for reputable brands and shops that offer warranties. Furthermore, consult a licensed technician to advise on the best speakers for your car.
The most likely reasons behind the low volume coming from your speakers are faulty wiring and insufficient power to the speakers.
Faulty wiring frequently arises during installation and might explain why your speakers struggle to produce noise. New speakers often require more power than the stock radio system makes, leading to low sound output.
Both problems are easy to diagnose and fix. A voltmeter will show you the source of any electrical issue, which you can then address.
If you’ve installed new speakers with higher power demand, the chances are good you’ll need an amplifier.