Have you been wondering why your old car stereo is not satisfying your needs?
You might have selected the right head unit, installed great aftermarket speakers and even coupled them with an amplifier. There are particular sound factors that even the best speakers and amps cannot handle, the reason you are still receiving mediocre sound from your car audio system. Audio delivery may be affected by the absorbent nature of your car seats, glass reflectivity, the engine, noises from your car’s interior, and so on. These factors can affect sound frequencies such that some frequencies sound sharper and others muffled.
The ultimate solution for smoothing out frequencies is installing an equalizer, or EQ. An EQ balances audio frequencies between and within electronic signals. In other words, an equalizer enhances frequencies that need to be boosted and cuts those that the car or its sound system is exaggerating. Also, it compensates for the frequencies that a car’s interior distracts so that you get the best sound quality possible.
No. of bands
Clarion EQS755 [Overall best]
50Hz to 16kHz
BOSS Audio Systems AVA1210
50Hz to 16kHz
Sound Storm Labs S4EQ
25Hz to 16kHz
Massive Audio EQ-7X
50Hz to 16kHz
How we selected the best car equalizers
Digging deep into the forest of car audio equipment is what we do on a day-to-day basis. And we do all this knowing that our well-researched reviews will save you time and money when you go out to select the best audio equipment for your car audio system. We endeavor to be your most trusted research partner, bringing you detailed and unbiased reviews of top performing audio equipment for your convenience and listening pleasure.
For this project, we set out on a hunting spree for the best car equalizer on the market. We selected five among tens of EQs that compete for leading position. As expected, big names in the car audio industry made it to this exclusive list. We have the best of Clarion, BOSS Audio, Rockville, Sound Storm, and Massive Audio. Our team of sound engineers and technicians combined efforts with experienced researchers to conduct user interviews as well as tests for each of the EQs in this list. Here is the result of their dedicated effort:
1. Clarion EQS755 Overall Best in 2020
The EQS755 is a fully-featured, 1/2-Din Chassis, 7-band graphic EQ. It excels at giving you superior control over the sound your car audio system delivers. The EQ allows you to adjust frequencies over a range of 50Hz to 16kHz. In addition, the equalizer has input and output features that get the best out of your audio system.
Unique features of Clarion EQS755
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Our verdict- The EQS755 keeps all sound controls within easy reach. Its premium features makes it the number one choice for many car owners. We think that this EQ is well worth its price.
2. BOSS Audio Systems AVA1210
BOSS Audio Systems AVA1210 is a 7-band pre-amp car EQ. With its gold-plated front, rear, and sub outputs, the equalizer provides you with everything you need to adjust sound output according to your musical tastes. It is among the best car EQs for distortion-free sound. See below more features of the AVA1210.
Key features of Boss Audio Systems AVA1210
Our verdict- This car equalizer marks Boss Audio Systems’ commitment to quality offerings. Its broad selection of features and ability to produce sound with minimum distortion makes it a great option for any car audio enthusiast.
3. Sound Storm Labs S4EQ
Here’s another big name in the car equalizers market. Sound Storm Labs S4EQ is a 4-band pre-amp graphic equalizer. It is a reliable EQ for anyone wishing to give their car’s audio quality a boost. Unlike other EQs, the S4EQ features band center frequencies and a unique combination of sound control capabilities. It’s also fair to note that the EQ has an extraordinary construction that fits well in a wide variety of vehicles.
Why choose Sound Storm Labs S4EQ?
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Our Verdict- The S4EQ is a high-quality car EQ offered at a very pocket-friendly price. It will boost your car audio quality if you are lucky to find that it fits your vehicle.
4. Rockville REQ215
Rockville REQ215 rocks at number four with a dual-channel 30-band (15 bands per channel) configuration. Add this EQ to your car audio system to enhance its performance over frequencies ranging from 25Hz to 16kHz. The equalizer has an acceptable SNR and harmonic distortion level. Thus, you cannot miss major sound quality improvement with this EQ.
Features of Rockville REQ215
Our verdict- Rockville REQ215 is one of the best performing car EQs on the market. It’s a great choice especially if your audio system has amplifiers in the signal path. Besides, it is available at a very favorable price.
5. Massive Audio EQ-7X
Have you been wondering how you can get your car audio from average to jaw-dropping quality at a fair cost?
Massive Audio EQ-7X is a 7-band graphic equalizer with various high-level abilities to fine-tune the quality of sound your tweeters, mid-range and subs give. Among its main features are 6 channels and 7V RCA outputs, adjustable master volume and subwoofer level controls.
What to expect from the EQ-7X
What we liked
Our Verdict- Massive Audio EQ-7X performs exemplarily in many aspects including the effective band equalization range, subwoofer output, and build quality. Check it out if you are searching for a compact EQ that powerfully and efficiently improves sound across a wide frequency range.
How to Choose the Best Car Equalizer
You want a car equalizer that gives you the best value for its price. The value of an EQ is reflected in the overall improvement it causes in your audio system. There are several vital features one should evaluate, as well as factors to consider so that the EQ achieves the required improvement in audio performance.
Before we look at factors to consider, it is important to understand the function of a car equalizer. A car EQ does not make car audio louder. Nor does it amplify speakers’ power. Rather, it smoothens out the frequencies of the sound system you have already installed in your car.
When it comes to the actual selection of equalizers, there are key considerations to make. These are explained briefly below:
i. Type of car equalizer
Car equalizers are of two main types: parametric equalizers and graphic equalizers.
A parametric EQ gives you higher sound control. They are designed to allow you control over the boost, bandwidth, and center frequencies.
On the other hand, graphic equalizers have graphic displays of different frequency bands for precise tuning. They have audio filters for specific frequency bandwidths of the audio spectrum. Most graphic EQs come with sliders which you can move up or down to adjust sound accordingly.
The type of equalizer you prefer depends on your experience with equalizers. It’s noteworthy that graphic equalizers are generally easier to use than parametric EQs.
ii. Number of bands
The number of bands implies how many sliders an EQ has. A 4-band EQ has 4 sliders. Correspondingly, a 7-band EQ has 7 sliders. The more the sliders the more control you have over the audio frequencies.
iii. Mounting location
There are different places you can place your car EQ. It’s inherent that you choose an EQ that’s suitable for installation in the spaces available in your car. Some dash-mounted EQs can be installed above or below the receiver. Others can fit below the dash using a special kit or a bracket. Truck-mounted EQs work with remote controls so that you can make sound adjustments from the driver’s seat.
Filters located on the front and rear channels are useful when using sub output. These filters allow certain frequencies to pass through them. The filter allows high frequencies to go to small speakers and low frequencies to subwoofers. The use of filters makes sure that the speakers and the sub are not forced to recreate sounds that they weren’t created to reproduce. Consider EQs with filters as they enable the system to produce higher quality sound.
v. Audio controls
Different EQs come with different controls for master volume, fader, sub volume, main or AUX inputs, etc. Inspect these controls, aiming to take home an EQ that gives you as much control over the sound as possible.
We have added a few additional useful tips to help you get the best out of the car equalizer you choose.
With an understanding of the critical factors to consider when choosing a car EQ, you can go ahead and evaluate each of the EQs we have included in this best car equalizers review.
Our Pick for the Best Car Equalizer is Clarion EQS755
Clarion EQS755 equalizer has a wide effective frequency equalization range (50Hz to 16kHz). It can reliably smoothen out frequencies before they reach your tweeters, mid-range speakers, and subwoofers.
This EQ is equipped with RCA and high-level speaker inputs that allow it to work with a vast variety of audio sources including CD players and common mobile devices. In addition, the EQ boasts of superior sound control features such as RCA AUX inputs and selectable low-pass filter with fader control. Besides, the EQS755 uses 8V outputs for the front, rear, and subwoofer outputs, which means your amps get enough power for maximum sound performance.
Most of the customer reviews we analyzed showed that this EQ drives major improvements in sound crispness and clarity. Also, many users found it easy to install.
While the price of Clarion EQS755 is considerably higher compared to other EQs in this selection, it delivers superior value. Therefore, the premium price should reassure you of great value rather than put you off.