Equalizers and digital sound processors are two types of devices that allow you to fine-tune the sound in your audio system. car . Car audio is inherently more complex than home audio due to the irregular nature of car and truck interiors, so even great car audio systems can end up sounding bad out of the box. Your car’s interior is filled with materials that absorb or reflect sound, which can cause some frequencies to be muffled while others hit your eardrums like a poppy truck.

Leveling the playing field

Some head units include simple bass, treble, and midrange settings, but EQs take this even further. In a system with amplifier equalizer is located between head unit and amplifier and allows you to boost or cut certain audio frequencies.

There are several different types of equalizers, each with their own benefits:

  • Graphic equalizers have a fixed bandwidth, but they provide sliders that can be fine-tuned.
  • Parametric equalizers provide even more control as they allow you to adjust the width and center point of each frequency band.
  • Equalizer amplifiers work, which means that they are a combination of an equalizer and an amplifier. They are generally not as powerful as most good amps, but one is easier to use than a passive EQ and a standalone amp.
  • Analog equalizers use physical dials or sliders to provide fine control over frequency settings.
  • Digital equalizers are not physically controlled, so they can often save settings for different frequency profiles.

The Cure for OEM head unit blues

DSPs do the same job as equalizers, but many of them also perform functions similar to crossovers. This means they can create frequency issues, but they can also control which frequencies are sent to which speakers.

There are several uses for a digital sound processor, but one of the great ones is to fix problems you may have noticed with OEM head unit . Most factory stereos are designed to compensate poor quality speakers , which is achieved by artificially manipulating the frequency profile. When you are replacing low quality original equipment speakers with high quality aftermarket devices, this manipulation is often very easy to pick up. If you also install an amplifier, the problem will only get worse.

This is where a digital signal processor can come to the rescue. The processor is located between the head unit and the amplifier, and it can literally destroy the business of monkeys. Some DSPs even have custom profiles that can be downloaded from the Internet that will automatically eliminate the pre-processing problem and improve the overall listening experience by fine-tuning the device to the interior of a particular vehicle.

What is involved in setting an equalizer or sound processor?

Since there are so many equalizers and sound processors, the installation process varies depending on the situation. Some EQs are built right into the head units, some standalone units have a single DIN profile, and others are designed to be mounted next to your amplifier. Likewise, most sound processors are designed to be hidden in the same place as your amplifier.

The connection process is usually no more complicated than installing an amplifier or crossover but this more complex operation than simply installing a pair of direct-connect full-size speakers. Equalizers are usually installed between the head unit and amplifier, while sound processors can be installed between the head unit and amplifier, or directly between the head unit and speakers. Some sound processor kits can easily connect to a head unit and existing wiring harness.

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