How To Improve Your Car Stereo's Sound Quality & Subs Bass

We've all heard a car coming along long before we ever see it. It might be that they are packing 15's in the boot but once you do eventually see them the sound becomes more like the car is trying to pull itself apart. You will lose instant creditability. Cars that suffer from distortion the most are convertibles and cars with a trunk. Hatchback cars have better acoustics to handle bass but that's not to say they don't suffer from tin rattle too. So how can you improve the sound quality of your sound system? The are some very easy cheap things you can do to instantly improve the sound quality and depth of your BASS! You don't need 27 15" subs in the boot to make a rumble. A 10" sub packs enough punch but a 12" sub is perfect if you are just starting out. You Sub doesn't have to have thousands of watts output, you'll be surprised how well a 200w sub can perform. I run a 12" JL Audio Sub which I have owned for 10 years and never needed to change it!

The first thing you can do to help you acoustics is create a false floor using MDF Wood.This will give better acoustic and a thump to your bass. This Is a very cheap and effective way to improve the sound. A little trick I do is take the factory carpet out and use this as your stencil to cut your MDF, do this twice. One piece is to go straight on the boot floor, I then screw a few pieces of 2x4 wood to the bottom piece of MDF and the put the second piece on top. This creates a gap bewtween the floor and the false floor letting you have your amps hidden underneath the false floor stopping them from being stolen and also keeping your boot space!

A professional install. Behind the fibre glass molds and lights is sound deadening to get the the SQ.
A professional install. Behind the fibre glass molds and lights is sound deadening to get the the SQ.

So what if we want to go a little further. Well this depends on what type of sound you want. 10" sub woofers will give you thud type bass. Which is great for Rock Music. 12" subs give you the best of both worlds a thud and give deep bass. Then you have 15" subs these are for people that want their hair to go curly a 15 will hit some dirty dirty bass. Now depending on which sub woofer size you go for you need to make sure that is house in the correct size sub box. The sub box plays a big part in the quality of you bass. Sub push large amounts of air, if they're housed in the incorrect size box what they're capable of will never be reached. Then there's whether you want you box ported or enlcoles but I feel that's personal preference.

So you've got false floor made from MDF wood and your sub is enclosed in the correct size box what is the next step you can take to make your system sound like a professional install? Sound Deadening , sound deadening is the ultimate step you can take to having a crisp sounding sound system in your car. When this stuff is installed you can really notice the difference. This stuff stops as much sound escaping as possible. You car comes with this from the factory but it not very good quality and used sparcely. New cars have better sound deading from the factory these days but they can still be improved. If you was to only to sound deaden your boot floor rear struts, the back of your seats and any parts possible on the boot lid you would have a dramatic difference in sound. Take this a step further and do the entire car, floor, doors,roof! And you could take part in sound offs. This will also reduce outside road noise too making an older car feel like a new one.

So to re cap, your first step can be a :

MDF False Floor

Next Correct Box

Then for the ultimate sound is sound deadening.

All this can be done by someone with basic auto mechanics and done in a weekend. When you start to do stuff like this and start taking it seriously you will start to be approached by people to do theres too. So if your young tinkerng with cars, great. I did and it was always a great way to earn a little extra cash.

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Comments 5 comments

th1981 profile image

th1981 6 years ago from North Carolina

Good article but there is a few things that i think you may have forgotten. The sub is a crucial part of a system but the mids and highs in my opinion are more important than the subs. In fact if done properly most people can use a quality set of components and achieve their desired bass level. In my old competition truck i had 2 8", 2 6 1/2", 2 4" and 2 tweets in each door, all MB quart (mid 90's when quart was awesome) each door had 2 Orion HCCA 225s and 1 HCCA 2100 for the 4 8"s. That is a bit extreme but my subs cut out during a competition once and the DB meter went from the mid 50's down to 143 with just mids and highs...lol.

Anyway mids and highs important, yea that was the point. Great article!


JP993 profile image

JP993 6 years ago from England Author

Thanks for your comment th1981. I hadn't for forgotten about component speakers. This article is aimed at people that have just fitted a stereo to a car. The usuall first additions are a CD Player and a Sub and pretty much stays that way for a while when your just starting out in I.C.E. In newer cars the component speakers are pretty good as standard and tweeters are a standard features in newer cars these days. Giving your better accoustics will improve the whole of your cars stereo system its amazing what difference sound deadening does. If you do decide to take your car's to the next level like th1981 had done then you'd of already done a very important job.


th1981 profile image

th1981 6 years ago from North Carolina

Very good point it seems everything comes stock with bose or hk stuff now.

With my old comp truck we took the sound deadening to the extreme, 1.5 inches of mdf layered on doors, 1 inche of birch that was steamed and laid in thin layers to follow the contour of roof, floor pans were filled with asphalt up to the door sills almost, windshield replaced with 2 piece 1 inch lexan, a pillars were welded solid with pieces of plate steel, and to finish it off a series of 1 inch steel rods attached to linear actuators that held the doors closed (like a bank vault). The cab still flexed some but I was not blowing the doors open or the windshield out of its seal anymore.

I did use traditional sound deading inside the sub enclosure, I spent nearly 2 days sitting inside of the box rolling dynamat layers.


JP993 profile image

JP993 6 years ago from England Author

Blimey, that's not messing about. I've seen people also use expansion foam to fill every crevis of a cars panels. You can go extreme on stereo's for sure.


fresh 4 years ago

very good thanks for that

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