Easy methods to set the crossover frequency for a automotive audio system

For those who’re like most individuals, you get pleasure from taking part in the stereo in your automotive whilst you drive. Whether or not it is listening to podcasts throughout your morning commute or turning up the amount in your favourite songs, our automotive audio programs are a vital a part of the general driving expertise.

A automotive audio system sounds greatest when all the things is ready up accurately and in optimum working order. Unbeknownst to many, integrating crossover frequencies into your automobile could make your sound system even higher. So what are crossover frequencies? how do they work? And the way would you set the crossover frequency in your automotive audio system?

Whereas this will likely all appear a bit complicated on the floor, an in depth rationalization of those phrases will make it a lot simpler to know why crossovers make such a exceptional distinction to our automotive audio programs.

What’s a Frequency?

In physics, frequency is outlined because the variety of waves that cross by means of a hard and fast level in unit time. It’s also outlined because the variety of cycles or vibrations made by a physique in periodic movement throughout a unit time.

A “fastened location” may be a number of places, together with your headphones, audio system, amplifier, or any sort of acoustic part. Frequency response exhibits how effectively a selected audio producer can reproduce all of the tones we will hear.

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

What’s a crossover frequency?

In easy phrases, a crossover is the frequency at which sound transitions from one audio supply to a different, typically a speaker. In a passive speaker, the digital crossover elements decide the sound transition from the speaker channels to a subwoofer.

Every speaker in your automotive’s audio system has a crossover frequency that’s often set by a processor within the AV receiver. This processor filters the 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 mixing of sound between the subwoofer and speaker channels.

In lots of circumstances, the crossover frequencies for every channel are set by the AV processor throughout auto-calibration. Nonetheless, the crossover frequency may also be set manually if additional optimization is critical.

Why do audio system in our vehicles want a crossover?

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

The commonest factory-installed speaker sizes are 3.5″, 4″ or 5.25″. These smaller speaker sizes enable for minimal bass reference, making it tough to listen to (or really feel) your bass tone whereas taking part in audio. Worse, they will distort the sound if you attempt to repair the issue by means of handbook EQ changes. Crossovers assist as a result of they block out horrible-sounding audio frequencies that solely trigger issues.

A crossover is an digital part circuit designed to reply to particular frequencies. In layman’s phrases, every crossover may be set to a desired spectrum of sound, the place solely frequencies inside that individual vary cross.

Kinds of Crossover Frequencies for In-Automobile Audio

There are three kinds of crossovers:

  • Lively (Digital) Crossover Use solid-state elements and are sometimes constructed into amplifiers (however may also be bought individually). The phrase “energetic” implies that they should function to be able to perform.
  • Passive (Speaker) Crossover An influence supply will not be required to perform as an energetic crossover. As a substitute, they sit between the amp and the speaker, the place they filter out undesirable frequencies. Passive crossovers typically come within the type of built-in audio system.
  • Digital (Software program) Crossover Work within the digital music area. The sort of crossover is applied within the software program code of the automotive stereo head unit.

Needless to say there is not an ideal set of crossover frequencies that work for each speaker in each automotive. In virtually all conditions, the crossover will want some form of adjustment to optimize its effectiveness.

Beneficial Crossover Frequency

Relying on the precise sort of speaker system in your automotive, these frequencies could fluctuate barely. However we’ve put collectively a listing of frequency ranges that can work effectively in most conditions:

  • Subwoofers: 70-80 Hz (Low Move), probably the most important goal of subwoofer crossovers is to dam midrange sounds
  • Automobile Primary Audio system: 50-60Hz, an important aspect in the primary speaker crossover is to dam low-end bass (frequency 80Hz and beneath).
  • 2-way speaker: 3-3.5 kHz (excessive cross)
  • Midrange: 1-3.5 kHz
  • 3-way system: 300Hz and three.5KHz

setting the crossover frequency

In case your automotive has a contemporary AV receiver that has an Auto EQ program, take into account your self fortunate. Automobiles which have this program will routinely assign the suitable crossover frequency, so it is best to go away these settings as they’re, as they’re already particularly tailor-made to your automotive audio system.

For autos with out trendy AV receivers, setting the crossover frequency by yourself takes a bit time and endurance. It is a course of that requires lots of listening and improvising till you dial in one of the best sound outcomes.

Listed here are the steps to arrange the crossover frequency:

  • Decide the frequency vary of your speaker. Play some music or audio with a dynamic frequency vary (some with bass, mid-range and excessive vary sound). Hearken to it for some time, and decide which class at present sounds greatest.
  • Set the crossover level to about 10 Hz beneath the minimal frequency that your audio system can produce with out concern. (Needless to say the commonest suggestion for crossover frequency is 80 Hz).
  • As soon as once more, play some music. However this time, slowly enhance the amount of your receiver till you hear it begin to distort. As you attain the amount stage the place distortion begins, decrease the amount till the music clears once more and word 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, activate the low-pass filter and set it as excessive (clockwise) as it would go.
  • play some audio. Hear and look forward to the sleek transition between the speaker and the subwoofer. In a great case, you wouldn’t independently differentiate the bass sign; It ought to sound like all the things rings collectively.
  • For those who hear a bass bump if you set the crossover frequency, attempt adjusting the amount management till it matches your principal speaker’s output. To do that, enhance the receiver’s quantity to its most, distortion-free state (threshold). From this level, regularly enhance the acquire on the subwoofer amp till the bass is balanced with the remainder of the audio spectrum.

Do you want knowledgeable?

Whereas it might sound a bit sophisticated, establishing a crossover is not too sophisticated for those who’re armed with the right information. Passive crossovers are comparatively easy, as you’ll solely must wire a crossover between your amp and your audio system. Lively crossover set up, alternatively, requires some extra steps and should require a sure stage of experience. Lively crossovers require energy, so you will must run energy and floor wires to every unit. For those who’re going the DIY route, one of the best factor to do is to put your crossover in the identical place you positioned your amplifier.

The reply to the query of whether or not you want knowledgeable or not lies in your information and expertise of working with automotive audio programs. As an example you don’t have any sensible expertise establishing a automotive audio system. In that case, we recommend that you simply make use of the providers of a automotive audio specialist and have your crossovers arrange by professionals.


Understanding the way to correctly set the crossover frequency in your automotive audio system begins with a complete information of how your audio system is configured. The kind of receiver and speaker you’ve gotten could have a direct impression in your crossover frequency. Whereas we have outlined the fundamental steps, remember that there could also be different suggestions that differ from these above. On the finish of the day, fine-tuning is an important aspect of a profitable crossover. Let these suggestions be a common guideline, however word that the ultimate settings will rely in your fine-tuning and the sound high quality you discover most supreme.

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