🔥 Black Friday 2023 - daily updated plugin deals for music producers!

Car Test Is A FREE Car Speaker Simulation Plugin For Your DAW


Rocket Powered Sound releases Car Test, a FREE plugin that simulates typical car speakers.

If you make music, you’ve most likely heard of the car test; it’s something musicians have relied on for a long time, and it’s an important real-world listening experience.

Whether setting up a commercial studio or a space at home where you can make music, you do everything possible to create the perfect listening environment. I use the word perfect very loosely, but between studio monitors, and acoustic treatment, amongst other things, we do whatever we can within our means to make the most of our surroundings.

When your mix sounds fantastic in your studio, it’s no confirmation that it sounds fantastic everywhere else. The average listener won’t be playing your music in a studio with nice monitors; they’ll be playing it on their phones, tablets, laptops, consumer stereo systems, and in their cars.

Those are real-world listening experiences, and it doesn’t get any more real than in the car.

Rocket Powered Sound’s Car Test simulates typical car speakers’ frequency response to tell you how your mix will react to that environment. Hearing your mix through car speakers or the Car Test plugin for the first time might be a little disheartening; it’s not unusual (Tom Jones reference again, I’m sorry!) to go from reasonably polished to very rough around the edges. Don’t worry if your mix sounds a little harsh; that’s why the car test is an important step; it lets you know what to fix.

Car Test is a straightforward plugin with just a power button and a Level knob to make sure you aren’t clipping when specific frequencies are boosted.

The one thing the plugin doesn’t give you is an actual car to sit inside, which is why, as cool as I think Car Test is, it shouldn’t replace a real car test. When you get out of your studio and into the car, it’s not just about the frequency response but the environment. The change of location helps you get out of that engineer tunnel vision mode that can become a problem when stuck in the studio.

Car Test might be the perfect first step, and your mix might not sound so harsh when you get in the car for real. Cool Plugin.

Don’t forget there are deals on iZotope products and free plugins on offer at Plugin Boutique until July 31st.

Car Test is available in AU and VST3 formats for digital audio workstations on Windows and macOS. If your DAW doesn’t support the VST3 plugin format, contact the developer, and they will send you the VST2 plugin.

Download: Car Test


Share this article. ♥️

About Author

Avatar photo

James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.


  1. Yeah guys these are “snake oil”. I wish they worked because it would help a ton. There’s another plug-in that’s supposed to simulate different popular speakers like Beats and iPhone. The truth is, my AirPods aren’t suddenly gonna turn into car speakers with the plug-in. There’s a lot to consider like the environment and space mentioned here.

    Useless? You decide but I think these can work for bounced audio effects like a short 1-bar intro to a verse or something.

    • Coopmusic247


      I find these things great, but better when there are multiple simulations like the one from ARC or my favorite MixChecker Pro. It doesn’t sound like my car, but cars don’t sound the same. Some have Bose speakers and some have blown speakers. What I like to do though is cycle through them and see if my mix can withstand a variety of issues like no low end, everything in mono, pushed mid-range, some distortion, or something else. My absolute favorite part of MixChecker Pro though is the noise. You can have it generate some ambient foley noise like people talking in the park or a train station. If your mix can take some noise and some crazy EQ challenges and the mono test and some distortion, then it’ll probably do better than one that falls apart with a little change of scenery.

      • They can’t emulate the speakers is my point. Mix checker Pro is the one I was talking about. It’s expensive for what it claims to do. Like I said it would still be a cool plug-in for effects.

        There’s a really expensive plug-in. Forgot what it’s called and it asks you what headphones you’re listening with and emulates a pro studio space with the information gathered. I believe that’s as close as you’ll get regarding emulation.

  2. My philosophy is that music should be optimized for the best possible listening experience, i.e. flat frequency response studio monitors, hifi speakers. I think when you start doing compromises to cater for mobile speakers, car speakers etc you’re doing it wrong. When you start sacrificing the optimal end product and start thinking how most people are listening to it and how to make their experience better, it stops being art and becomes customer service instead. This is the equivalent of a high end michelin star restaurant overcooking their beef to please the uncultured customer. People listening with phone, laptop, car speakers etc should know that it’s not the optimal experience and should thrive to enjoy music in the highest quality possible with the best equipment they can afford. But that’s just me..

    • i think you are right, but to check the mix on bad speakers or in other compromised situations can help you to get a fresh perspective on a mix, because you lose the distance the more time you spend with it.

  3. doesn’t do what a car test needs to imo. this just sounds like a low end enhanced multi band compressor kind of test, which is what car systems do, but it misses the whole other 90% of the cockpit interaction.
    The reason cars are great tests is all the reflections from weird + close angles, and different surfaces with different absorption coefficients which catches out different frequencies and stereo artefacts in mixes that a flat environment wouldn’t due to neighbour masking .the point is also the swapping of environments to cleanse the ear ‘pallet’ not the environment specifically, so only having 1 is kinda moot.
    much better to find a bunch of hq car impulse responses and load them into an impulse reverb, like what Audioease have in Altiverb + Speakerphone.

Leave A Reply