The idea behind car horns has always been to alert other motorists. Horns are featured on almost every vehicle and all vehicles on the highway require a working horn.
Horns come in many shapes, sizes, and tones. On vehicles, horns are normally tuned to a certain pitch to help listeners identify the type of vehicle honking. Usually smaller vehicles, like cars and motorcycles, come equipped with higher pitched horns, whereas larger vehicles, like trucks, trains, and boats, come with lower pitched horns.
When replacing or upgrading a car horn you have a lot of choices that will make your car louder, different, and distinguished: starting from small direct-drive air horns and musical horn systems to outfitting your car with high-pressure truck or train horns.
Choosing the Right Car Horn Upgrade
Selecting the right horn for you can be a tough decision.
It’s usually a good start to know what’s out there before you begin. We’ll outline a few of the choices here with their pros and cons to help you find what you’re looking for.
Pros: Simple and rugged; very small form factor.
Cons: About the same loudness as a stock horn (just different tones).
Direct Air Horns
Pros: Small form factor; doesn’t require and air tank, louder than a stock horn (reaching up to 135dB compared to the 115dB stock standard); available in different tones and even musical melodies.
Cons: Not as loud as other car horn upgrades.
High Pressure Air Horns
Pros: Relatively small (require a small air tank); much louder than stock horns; available in different tones.
Cons: Higher pitch than train or truck horns.
Pros: Distinctive low pitch sound; louder than stock horns.
Cons: About the same size as train horns without as powerful of a sound.
Pros: Insanely loud (louder to the human ear than all other types of car horns); distinctive low-mid pitch.
Cons: We can’t really think of any