Electronic speakers for various devices can often run into problems that impact sound clarity and the overall listening experience. Sound muffling is a common issue faced by many devices, and vehicle speakers are particularly vulnerable to this issue.
If you’re reading this article, you are probably experiencing issues with your car’s sound clarity but do not worry, this is often an easy fix!
In general, like in any hardware problem, the cause can be one of many, but the most typical solutions are:
- a simple swap of speakers
- adjusting settings on your car’s stereo system (changing the bass, treble, et cetera)
- cleaning the speakers
Tip: When you decide to replace speakers with new ones, you may need to look for models with adjustable tweeters which will allow you to make high tones stronger. This is especially important if they are installed in the bottom part of the doors.
My favorite coaxial speakers with adjustable tweeters are 6.5″ JBL Stadium GTO620, or oval 6×9″ JBL Stadium GTO 930. Want something powerful with amazing highs? Click the above links and check their latest price on Amazon.
For a more in-depth guide to diagnosing a guide and list of solutions, check out rest of the article.
Why Car Speakers Sound Muffled?
“Why are my car speakers muffled?” Before you start searching for a solution, this should be the first question to answer.
There are multiple causes for muffled speakers, and zeroing in on the issue can help you deduce if the problem is an easy fix or if it requires a more complex or professional approach.
There are some simple tests you can run to get a better idea of the issue. Although unpleasant to the ear, it is recommended you turn up the volume on your speakers in some cases even to the maximum. If this, in addition to muffled sound, yields distortion in the audio output, then it could be an issue with the amplifier or, more likely, a blown speaker.
If the audio is significantly dampened, whether it be from the stereo or any other source, it can be a sign of poor power supply.
You should gauge the issue on individual volume levels; whether or not the quality of sound changes with the volume, either adversely or positively, you can gain a lot of information from this experiment.
Adjusting the bass levels can also be informative; you generally want to play around with various audio options as the problem can be caused by one specific component, and amplifying the afflicted component makes for much easier identification.
How To Fix Muffled Sound From Car Speakers?
To potentially save a lot of money, you’ll want to try a few simple fixes first to see if they remedy the issue.
Adjusting the amplifier settings can be one of the easiest answers to the issue of muffled sound. You may have simply accidentally changed a setting on your bass, treble, or something else, and that is the root cause of the distortion.
Inspect All Wires and Connections in the Vehicle.
A loose connection to the power supply or a stripped speaker wire can be the culprit for your poor sound quality. Additionally, a grounding issue could be the root cause of poor speaker performance.
A digital multimeter like AstroAi TRMS6000 may be required to isolate grounding issues, poor connection, or inadequate voltage flow (link to Amazon opens in the new window).
Check the Speakers for Any Obstructions With Foreign Material.
Although rare, an accumulated buildup of dust, dirt, and debris on a singular or multiple speakers can significantly impact sound clarity. If this is the issue, use a can of compressed air or a small, low-power vacuum to clear out this material.
Do not use a high powered device to attempt to clean the area; in addition to the risk of dislodging critical components of the speaker, the static generated by such tools can cause shorts and give you a whole new problem to deal with.
Replacing the amplifier, receiver, or any other afflicted component can fix the issue, but it’s crucial that you are confident in diagnosing the cause of the problem. You don’t want to invest in a new amplifier only to realize later that it was a speaker issue that was causing your problems all along.
A blown speaker is typically the most common cause for muffled sound, and the tell for this problem is relatively easy to identify.
Once again, if the sound is quiet or muffled on lower volumes and becomes distorted at upper levels, you will likely have a blown speaker on your hands. However, for some, identifying distortion can be difficult, especially if they are accustomed to lower sound levels that don’t necessarily pick up the smaller nuances in audio.
Playing audio that you are familiar with and listening carefully for anything that sounds “off” is one way you can get an idea if you’re dealing with distortion or not. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this issue is to invest in some new speakers.
Blown speakers are a common problem that can be seen in many car sound systems, so I wrote an article about dealing with blown speakers. If you would like to know more, check it out.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Speakers?
You may be wondering how to get the most of the sound from car speakers – a crucial thing to remember is that if just one car speaker is blown, you’re typically going to have to replace all the speakers, even the ones that are healthy, in order to secure the best audio output available.
Factory car speakers are usually not the best quality, and if you replace just one blown speaker with an upper-grade speaker, you risk having that speaker dominating and drowning out the rest.
If you want to get the most out of your car’s sound, you’re going to have to do a bit of shopping. All speakers and speaker brands are, to some extent, unique, and some might sound more pleasing to your ear than others.
Whatever you choose, make sure they are all synchronized and not mixed and matched – you want the most stable and consistent sound quality possible. Installing the new speakers can typically be done on your own, but depending on the model and make of your vehicle, you may have to commission an experienced technician to do it for you.
How to Prevent Speakers From Making Strange Noises?
If you ended up investing in new speakers to fix your muffling issue, you’re definitely going to want to protect your investment. There are simple precautions you can take in order to lower the risk that your equipment will take damage.
This goes without saying but avoids exposing the speaker outlets to extreme conditions; natural elements can cause rapid deterioration on the paper and spider lining on a sound unit.
Water is banned for all types of electronic equipment including speakers, so grabbing some baffles to cover your speakers will help protect them from the water and additionally give you a boost in sound quality!
If you want to find out some tricks about protecting speakers from water, you will find quite a few in this article.
While blown speakers or loose wires are typically the most common causes of sound muffling in any device (whether it be vehicles, a personal computer, et cetera), it’s still important to be reasonably sure in your assessment of the issue. Especially, if you’re going to be investing time and money to fix it.
Less common or more obscure issues can be what’s bugging your sound system, so the more experience you have with sound systems and tracking, the better.
If you’re experiencing issues that are not described above and you’re not confident in your ability to diagnose, there are numerous communities online to reach out to where you can describe your problems and get suggestions from more experienced individuals.
Ultimately, fixing a speaker issue can be a blessing in disguise when it comes to getting the most out of your vehicle’s audio output.
Taking the time to pick out a speaker setup that sounds most pleasing to your ear can dramatically enhance your driving experience. Being more aware of the problems speakers can face will hopefully inspire you to maintain your investment and get the best sound for years to come.