How to set Crossover Frequency for Car Audio System?

There is an inner joy that comes with driving a car and listening to great sounds coming from the stereo. Having a crossover in your car will give you greater listening experience as it helps the vehicle sound system to produce crystal clear audios.

Here we will explain how to set crossover frequency for the car audio system. Make sure you have a good car audio system.

How to set crossover frequency for car audio system
Photo Credit: Mike, Pexels.com

Knowing how to set crossover frequency for car audio system can help you get the best out of the stereo but before setting up a crossover, it is very important to know how it works. Crossover functions as a filter that blocks unwanted frequencies in a loudspeaker or a group of loudspeakers. 

Some people find it very difficult to set the crossover frequencies in their car sound system.

This article will help you understand how crossover functions, crossover frequencies and how you will set the crossover frequency in your vehicle sound system.  

How Does Crossover Frequency Function?

The way the crossover frequency functions is always explained in the speaker’s manual. Whenever you purchase a new speaker, consult the manual for a better understanding of how crossover functions.

Crossover functions through splitting of the audios into various parts frequencies. Every crossover frequency will be distributed to a speaker controller in order for the speakers to function perfectly.

Audios are made up of various frequencies, each speaker is made in such a way that it generates a specific frequency in a higher class.

For example, tweeters generate big frequencies, mid-range speakers generate mid-range frequencies and finally, woofers are known to generate very small frequencies.

When crossovers are passive, they extract undesired sound frequencies in the middle of the amps and the speakers. This means that passive speakers put in between amps and speakers.

Most speakers are made with passive crossovers which are not difficult to operate and can work without extraneous energy.

Passive crossovers are energized by currents that go in between them. Information from the tweeter goes along the capacitors and makes it possible for information for the woofer to go along an inductor.

Active crossovers are very difficult to operate when you compare it with passive crossovers. Active crossovers need their personal energy originator. Active crossovers help to separate various frequencies ahead of the amplifiers.

Active crossovers are put in the middle of the audio originator and the amps. The amps will now be linked to the speakers. This means that active crossovers need an amplifier that comes with many outputs.

You require more money to purchase active crossovers and when you want to place frequency, use a low-pass or high-pass filter with a crossover slope.

Low-pass filters in the subwoofer filter high frequencies and high-pass filters work with midrange speakers and tweeters in order to filter low frequencies.

The crossover slope will help to ascertain the steepness in the crossover.

LP and HP filters are symbolized as Hertz (Hz) and slope as Decibels (dB). 12dB or 24 dB slope is more appropriate for the car sound system.     

Buy this Clarion EQS755 7-Band Car Audio on Amazon

How to Set Crossover Frequency for Car Audio Systems

There are different audio systems for each car, so it is pertinent to find out how to set crossover frequency in some of them. Some of these will be explained to you in this part of the article.

Front Component Speakers, Rear Coaxial Speakers, and a Sub

Speakers in the car sound system are made up of component speakers and rear coaxial speakers.

The entire system is made up of subwoofers. From this arrangement, you will know that the front component speaker and the subwoofer are crossovers.

The back coaxial speaker sometimes has active crossovers. However, almost all coaxial speakers do not have passive crossover which means you have to attach a passive crossover to the audio system.

This includes a high-filter that will pass through low frequencies and a low –pass filter that will pass through high frequencies.

Crossover frequencies in these sound systems can be done in the following ways:

In the subwoofers, you must put a low-pass filter to 80Hz in slope at 12/24dB, in the rear coaxial drivers, you have to put the high-pass filter to 80Hz in slope at 12/24dB.

The front components drivers have put a high-pass filter to 80 Hz in slope at 12/24dB.

This process works perfectly for speakers in the range of 5.25 inches but if you have smaller speakers, the frequency should be above 80 Hz.

The frequency will be put at 300Hz and lower it gradually if you notice distortion in the system. If the distortion persists after decreasing the frequency, you must tune it till the distortion disappears entirely.

Video: How to Set Crossover Frequency for Car Audio System?

This video explains how you can set your car audio frequency to produce the best sound.

Front Component Speakers and a Subwoofer

This system demands that you put passive crossovers that will split the frequencies in order to control midrange and tweeters.

This is achieved through a high-pass filter because it passes low frequencies that will be too much for midrange drivers. Passive crossover divides frequencies among mid and high-frequency speakers if the component speakers have a triple-way output.

It means that crossover divides the frequencies into high, mid and low frequencies and ensure that they get enough frequencies. Furthermore, you must put the low-pass filter in subs so that it will pass high frequencies to subs in order for it to generate low frequencies.

This is how you will crossover frequencies in the sound system:

In the sub, you have to place the low-pass filter to 80Hz at a slope of 12/24dB while in the front component’s drivers, you have to place the high-pass filter to 80Hz at a slope of 12/24dB.

You can use this arrangement in speakers that are more than 5.25 inches. But in smaller speakers, you have to start from 300 Hz tune till there is no distortion.

2-way Front Component Speakers and a Subwoofer

Whenever you are using 2-way front speakers and a subwoofer, you have to use high-pass filters with the tweeter, band-pass filters. If you are using midrange speakers and low-pass filter with sub, it will be easier for you to carry out the crossover frequency in the sound system.

You will place the low-pass filter to 80Hz at a slope of 12/24dB, at the midrange speaker.

You have to place the band-pass filter to 80Hz with 5 KHz of low pass filter at a slope of 12/24dB while the tweeter’s high pass filter has to be placed at 5 KHz at slope of 12/24 dB.

3-way Front Component Speakers and Subwoofer

If your car is made of 3-way front component speakers and subwoofer you have to acquire a high-pass filter that will connect to high-frequency drivers.

Band-pass filter that connects to midrange drive, the woofer will get band-pass filter while the low-pass filter goes with sub.

In this car audio system, the sub is placed at the low-pass filter of 80Hz at the slope of 12/24 dB, woofers are placed with a band-pass filter of 80Hz high pass-filter and 500Hz low pass filter at the slope of 12/24 dB.

Midranges are placed at the band-pass filter of 500Hz high-pass filter with a 5 kHz of low pass filter at slope of 12/24 dB while the tweeters are placed at high-pass filter of 5 kHz at slope of 12/24dB.

2-way Front Speakers, Rear Speakers, and a Subwoofer

When you are using this kind of audio system in your car, you can crossover frequency in the following ways:

In the rear drivers, you have to place the high-pass filter at 80Hz, its slope will be at 12/24 dB, the band-pass filter of front midrange speakers are placed at 80Hz high-pass filter and 5 kHz low-pass filter and the slope at 12/24dB.

In the front tweeters, you have to place the high-pass filter at 5 kHz and the slope at 12/24dB.

3-way Front Component Speakers, Rear Speakers, and a Subwoofer

In this kind of vehicle audio arrangement, the frequency crossover at the sub should be placed at low-pass filter of 80Hz at slope of 12/24 dB.

The front woofers should be placed at the band-pass filter of 80Hz high-pass filter and 500 low pass filter at the slope of 12/24 dB.

Front midrange drivers should be placed at the band-pass filter of 500 Hz high-pass filter and 5 kHz low pass filter at the slope of 12/24 dB while the front tweeters are placed at the high-pass filter of 5 kHz at the slope of 12/24dB.

How to Set Crossover Frequency for Car Audio System?
Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.com

Why Do You Need a Crossover for Your Car Audio System?

Crossover in the car audio system helps to produce a good sound that you will enjoy while driving. To ensure maximum efficiency, you need to get a good sound system.

New stereos and coaxial speakers have crossovers. However, it important for you to include a separate car crossover in order to increase your crossover frequency performance.

When your vehicle has coaxial speakers, it means that there is no need for a crossover in your car audio system.

Well-equipped coaxial speakers are made with crossovers which makes it possible for it to sifter frequencies perfectly.

You should add crossover to the car audio system when you want to attach subwoofer, components speakers and amplifier.

If you want separate amps to energize speakers, it means that you have to attach more crossovers.

This means that you need one amp to energize the subwoofer and separate amp to charge speakers and tweeters, it shows that you have to get more than one crossover.

To achieve this, you can buy vehicle amps that have a crossover.

It will help you to control tweeters because of the high pass filters and the subwoofers will be controlled with a low-pass filter and this makes it possible for you not to buy a standalone crossover.

Settings that Influence how Crossover Generate Results

If you want to crossover frequency in your car audio setup, there are three important settings that will influence crossover final output, they are:

Frequency: it is the position where the filter will kick off its duty in the audio system. This is measured in Hertz (Hz).

High-pass, Low-pass, or Band-pass: this setting helps to ascertain if some ranges should be blocked or allowed to go across the filter.

Slope: it ascertains the measure of the audio system’s volume that can be reduced when frequency goes beyond the normal crossover level.

You can calculate it in decibels (dB) per octave. The frequent slope put to use in a car audio system goes from 12dB per octave to 24 dB per octave.     

Having read through the article, knowing how to adjust crossover frequency in your car audio should be a stroll in the park. We also recommend that you get good car audio like the Clarion EQS755-7 car audio which enables easy setting of crossover frequency.

You can also check here to see how to install input in car audio.