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How To Install A Car Equalizer

Your car needs a good audio system if it is your desire to always keep yourself up-to-date with information flow and accompanied with an ‘invisible’ companion while on the road. EQ (or equalizer) is a device installed as an attachment to your stereo for the purpose of filtering certain frequencies which will tune the sound to your personal preferred level and quality.

In our previous review, we have analyzed some basic hints about what an equalizer is and how it works. We equally pointed out the best quality and highly-rated brands that are good choice to pick for your car audio system. In this how to install a car equalizer article, our focus shall primarily be on the step-by-step procedures to follow to successfully install your chosen equalizer. Please come along.

To install a car equalizer in your vehicle without one, you need to connect the required number of RCA cables to the head unit amp outputs in your vehicle. If you don’t have an amp or the outputs are not sufficient, then you’ll need to buy a new amplifier. Check for complementary power to avoid short circuits and poor sound output after installation. After the connections, make sure to tape the cables properly before running the RCA cables through the EQ inputs. Use another pair of RCA cables to connect the EQ to the amplifier. Make sure you connect each cable to the corresponding channel at the back of each device. If you’re having trouble locating a channel, use both the installation and product manual.


How to install a car equalizer

As we have many brands and types of car stereo, so also, we have varieties of equalizers. With these varieties as we have earlier outlined in our previous article on equalizer, their mode and style of installation are different.

We will restrict ourselves to how to install the graphic equalizer since it remains the leading equalizer type for car audio system.


To install a graphic equalizer:

We assume that you have got a package of the gadget for yourself and are ready to install. For either of the two types you may wish to install, the following tools are needed to be readily on hand to assist you in the process:

A graphic equalizer is a sophisticated tone controller that comes with serial control knobs and taps which allows you to adjust different parts of the tone one after the other unlike the stereo head unit that has only one or two knobs built to boost either bass or treble sounds.

With graphic equalizer, you can boost both the treble and bass without tampering with the middle part of the tone platform.


Required Tools:

  • Necessary wire types in good gauges and quality
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire crimper
  • Screwdriver -Flat
  • Drill
  • Socket wrench set
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Wire ties and clips
  • Screws
  • Amplifier kits such as RCA cables, ground wires, terminals and remote leads
  • Electrical Tape


 Install A Car Equalizer

Installing a graphic equalizer

Beginner’s summary
  • The first step in this process is to disconnect your negative battery terminal and unplug your airbag warning device. This is a precaution as well as a safety step to prevent shock and damages.
  • First disconnect the car stereo wire at the back, isolating each of them to see which one goes together according to their color. Connect the input wires matching same color from the stereo with those from the equalizer after cutting them to same size.
  • Connect the output wires now. Same way you identified the input wires, identify and pair the output wire matching them color for color making sure you know which are to the left channel and which are to the right. Picture
  • Now connect the live feed wire and ensure they are soldered perfectly.


  • Mount it to position. Locate a position where you desire to place the equalizer which will allow for easy access. Most of the equalizer units are hung within the dash board area inside the bracket. Some car stereo comes with extra DIN slot to accommodate the gadget, if yours is that type, you are lucky.
  • Let the equalizer be placed to perfectly fit inside the bracket. Mark the positions of the screw holes and protect them with masking tape and then drill the needed arena to exactly fit-in with the hole, you should be very careful not to drill too large or farther than accurate space.
  • Secure the equalizer unit by placing it accurately within the bracket on the dash targeting the holes already made and then screw up. Attach any available bracket to support the unit’s rear and the equalizer cutting away any excess.
  • To Join the input wire Cut (the disconnected stereo wires) and those from the equalizer to same size. Match them according to color and start to join them – right and left –side positive wires from the stereo to the corresponding input wires on the equalizer and the stereo negative wires to the corresponding wires on the equalizer.
  • To connect output wires Mark to know the equalizer’s output wires and to which channel each of them is to be attached. Connect them with the speakers’ feed wire both on the left- and right-hand sides. Identify the equalizer’s output wires, making sure you know which are the left-hand channels and which the right. Ensure you connect the rear and front pairs accurately if you are fitting a 4-speaker system.
  • Disconnect the battery ground wire and connect the live feed wire to the equalizer. You may connect directly this to the ignition-controlled device or to the live feed of the stereo system, however convenient. Connect the unit to the ground (earthing) wire.
  • Connect to the main power source and ensure that all joined wires are soldered perfectly.


Equalizer Wiring Configuration

  • For additional power supply that will be adequate to generate at least 12-volt, connect the equalizer to the fuse panel by stripping one end of the 16-gauge wire which you then connect to the power unit of the EQ.
  • Unscrew a bolt or any nearer screw to the equalizer, make a hole if there is none already, use your wire crimper to fasten a ring terminal to the end of the wire and bolt up into the hole perfectly to connect your earthing wire.
  • To generate the turn-on signal, bring out the head unit from the dash and single out the blue turn-on wire from others, peel the end and join with another wire that will be long enough to connect the equalizer with the head unit, strip off its end, connect and solder the two wires together and seal up with the help of your electrical tape to prevent wire shot
  • Run the turn-on lead from equalizer to the dash area and fasten them together with wire ties. Put back the head unit after you might have set up your signal connection. To set up the signal connection, connect a set of RCA cables to the back of the head unit’s preamp, tape the cables together and run the RCA cable through the dash to the equalizer and finally connect to the equalizer’s inputs.
  • The remaining RCA cables should be used to connect the amplifier to the equalizer using a set of RCA cable per amplifier. Join the amplifier’s output with the RCA cables and run them back to the inputs of the amplifier. Please avoid running the cords same way with the amplifier’s cables to avoid sound distortion.
  • Connect the negative end of the battery, plug the airbag warning device and then turn on the equalizer and set it to proper sound audition. If it powers on then set as your heart desires and enjoy your cool music.


Our Best three car stereo equalizers to pick from

Out of many that are considered worthwhile for affordable price, we have our best three out of which you can buy one and install with ease.

  • The Clarion EQ746 ½ DIN graphic equalizer
  • Power Acoustik PWM-16 Pre-Amp Equalizer
  • Massive Audio EQ-7X Car Equalizer




Sounds from car stereo without any external supporting devices normally get dwarfed by environmental noise on the high ways either from the engine or the rushing winds.

Getting the best therefore is to wisely get an equalizer or a booster to compliment the production as it may be necessary. Car stereo equalizer is an undeniable partner to all other sound modifiers in the car stereo system.

It is equally important much as the amplifier, the subwoofer and even the speakers because it delivers a peculiar service that cannot be substituted. Getting one installed through our outlines above will not be a waste of resource both financial and time.

We hope now you know how to install a car equalizer, if you have a comment or question, leave it in the box below, we will be glad to hear from you.