Car audio capacitors – 1 Farad capacitor spotted in Maplin

I got the chance to wander around a Maplin store yesterday, something I do whenever I get the chance just to see what they have on the shelves.

Looking at the car audio display I spotted a large one Farad capacitor sat on the shelf next to a very reasonably priced Bluetooth car stereo system.

speaker

This was a new one on me, capacitors come in small sizes with values measured in Micro Farads (μF) and Pico Farads (pf), what was this monstrosity that even boasted its own digital display?

Reading the pack suggested it was aimed at those who install huge powerful stereo systems into their cars, mention was made of improved bass performance. My natural scepticism was immediately brought into play, were these claims proven, or was this snake oil?

On arriving home I set about investigating further. I found a number listed for sale on Amazon.

These car audio capacitors are widely available with values between ½ Farad and 5 Farads. The recommendation being that you install a capacitor with a value of one Farad per 1,000 Watts that the stereo is rated at. As well as claims of improved bass there were also mentions of reduction of card headlight flicker as the stereo draws high amounts of power.

I still was not convinced, and then found two web pages, “Car Audio CAPACITORS: Why They DON’T Work” and “Capacitors – Basic Car Audio Electronics“, and the video below that shared my skepticism.

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