How To Set Crossover Frequency For A Automobile Audio System

If you’re something like most individuals, you take pleasure in enjoying the stereo in your automotive when you drive. Whether or not it’s listening to a podcast throughout your morning commute or cranking up the amount in your favourite songs, our automotive audio techniques are a vital a part of the general driving expertise.

A automotive audio system sounds finest when the whole lot is about appropriately and in optimum working order. Unbeknownst to many, integrating a crossover frequency in your car could make your sound system even higher. So what are crossover frequencies? How do they work? And the way would you set a crossover frequency to your automotive audio system?

Whereas this may increasingly all appear a bit complicated on the floor, an in depth clarification of those phrases will make it a lot simpler to grasp why crossovers make such a notable distinction in our automotive audio techniques.

What Is A Frequency?

In physics, frequency is outlined because the variety of waves that move a hard and fast level in unit time. It is also outlined because the variety of cycles or vibrations undergone throughout one unit of time by a physique in periodic movement. 

A “fastened place” will be any variety of areas, together with your headphones, audio system, amplifiers, or any sort of acoustic element. The frequency response exhibits how nicely a selected audio producer can reproduce the entire tones we will hear. 

Frequency is measured within the hertz (Hz) unit, and the listening to vary of people is from 20 Hz to twenty kHz. Frequency response is split into three main segments: bass, mid-frequency, and treble.

What Is A Crossover Frequency?

Within the easiest phrases, a crossover is a frequency at which sound transitions from one audio supply to a different, usually a speaker. In a passive speaker, the digital crossover parts decide the sound transitions from the speaker channels to a subwoofer. 

Every speaker in your automotive audio system has a crossover frequency that’s usually set within the AV receiver by a processor. This processor filters low-frequencies away from the speaker channels and redirects them to the subwoofer channel. This course of is known as digital bass administration, and it creates a seamless mix of sound between the subwoofer and the speaker channels. 

In lots of circumstances, crossover frequencies are set for every channel by the AV processor throughout auto-calibration. Nevertheless, the crossover frequency can be set manually when additional optimization is important.

Why Do The Audio system In Our Automobiles Want Crossovers?

Whereas our automotive audio system can blast our favourite tunes on the flip of a dial, they aren’t with out their shortcomings. 

The most typical speaker sizes put in on the manufacturing facility are 3.5”, 4”, or 5.25”. These smaller speaker sizes permit for minimal bass reference, making it troublesome to listen to (or really feel) your bass tones when enjoying audio. Even worse, they will distort the sound once you try to rectify the difficulty via handbook EQ changes. Crossovers assist as a result of they block terrible-sounding audio frequencies that solely trigger issues. 

Crossovers are an digital element circuit designed to react to particular frequencies. In laymen’s phrases, each crossover will be set to the specified spectrum of sound the place solely frequencies inside that exact vary move via. 

Varieties Of Crossover Frequencies For In-Automobile Audio 

There are three kinds of crossovers: 

  • Energetic (digital) crossovers use solid-state parts and are sometimes constructed into amplifiers (however can be bought individually). The time period “energetic” signifies that they should be powered to operate. 
  • Passive (speaker) crossovers don’t require an influence supply to operate as energetic crossovers do. As a substitute, they sit between the amp and the audio system, the place they filter out undesirable frequencies. Passive crossovers usually come within the type of built-in audio system. 
  • Digital (software program) crossovers work within the digital music area. This sort of crossover is applied within the software program code of automotive stereo head models. 

Needless to say there’s not an ideal set of crossover frequencies that work for each speaker in each automotive. In practically all conditions, crossovers would require some type of adjusting to optimize their effectiveness. 

Really useful Crossover Frequencies

Relying on the precise kind of speaker system in your automotive, these frequencies can fluctuate barely. However we’ve created a listing of frequency ranges that may work nicely in most conditions:

  • Subwoofers: 70-80 Hz (low move), essentially the most important function of a subwoofer crossover is to dam midrange sounds
  • Automobile major audio system: 50-60 Hz, essentially the most vital component in major speaker crossovers is to dam low-end bass (frequencies 80 Hz and under)
  • 2-way audio system: 3-3.5 kHz (excessive move)
  • Midrange: 1-3.5 kHz
  • 3-way system: 300 Hz and three.5 kHz

Setting The Crossover Frequency

In case your automotive has a contemporary AV receiver that options an auto EQ program, think about your self fortunate. Autos which have this program will assign the right crossover frequency robotically, so it’s finest to go away these settings the best way they’re, as they’re already particularly tailor-made to your automotive audio system. 

For autos with out a fashionable AV receiver, setting a crossover frequency by yourself takes a bit time and endurance. It’s a course of that requires lots of listening and tweaking till you dial in the very best sounding outcomes. 

Listed below are the steps for setting a crossover frequency: 

  • Decide your audio system’ frequency vary. Play some music or audio with a dynamic frequency vary (one thing with bass, mid-range, and excessive vary sound). Hearken to it play for a bit, and decide in what vary at present sounds the very best. 
  • Set the crossover level round 10 Hz under the bottom frequency your audio system can produce with out difficulty. (remember that the most typical advice for crossover frequency is 80 Hz).
  • As soon as once more, play some music. However this time, slowly flip up your receiver’s quantity till you hear it start to distort. Simply as you attain the amount degree the place the distortion begins, flip the amount down till the music sounds clear once more and observe the receiver’s quantity at that time. This worth represents the amount threshold of your receiver.
  • Now set the acquire of your subwoofer amp to its lowest potential worth (a full counterclockwise place). From there, swap the low-pass filter on and set it as excessive (clockwise) as it’s going to go. 
  • Play some audio. Pay attention and await a clean transition between audio system and subwoofer. In a great case, you’ll not independently distinguish the bass sign; it ought to sound as if the whole lot performs in unison. 
  • For those who hear a bass bump once you set a crossover frequency, attempt adjusting the amount management till it matches your major audio system’ output. To take action, flip up the receiver’s quantity to its most, distortion-free place (the edge). From this level, slowly flip up the acquire on the subwoofer amp till the bass sounds balanced with the remainder of the audio spectrum. 

Do You Want A Skilled?

Although it could sound mildly advanced, putting in crossovers isn’t too difficult for those who’re armed with the right data. Passive crossovers are comparatively easy, as you’ll solely have to wire a crossover between your amp and your audio system. Then again, energetic crossover set up requires a number of extra steps and should require a sure degree of experience. Energetic crossovers require energy, so that you’ll need to run energy and floor wires to every unit. If you’re going the DIY route, the very best factor to do is floor your crossover in the identical place you grounded your amplifier. 

The reply to the query of whether or not you want knowledgeable or not lies in your data and expertise working with automotive audio techniques. Suppose you have got little to no sensible expertise with putting in automotive audio techniques. In that case, we recommend you use a automotive audio specialist’s providers and have your crossovers set by professionals.


Understanding how you can correctly set a crossover frequency to your automotive audio system begins with a complete data of how your audio system is configured. The kind of receiver and audio system you have got can have a direct affect in your crossover frequency. Although we have now outlined the fundamental steps, have in mind there could also be different suggestions that fluctuate from these talked about above. On the finish of the day, fine-tuning is an important component of a profitable crossover. Let these suggestions be a common guideline, however observe that the ultimate settings are dependent upon your fine-tuning and the standard of sound you discover most ideally suited.

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