AudioControl EQS

Trunk-mount 6-channel equalizer and line driver (White)

  • AudioControl EQS


  • AudioControl EQS


  • AudioControl EQS


  • AudioControl EQS

    System Diagram: 6-channel EQ to 6-channel crossover

  • AudioControl EQS

    System Diagram: OEM integration (4-channel to 6 channel) with EQ and crossover

  • AudioControl EQS

    System Diagram: OEM integration (factory amplifer) with EQ

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Item #: 161EQSW

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Our take on the AudioControl EQS

by Charlie Pastorfield

AudioControl designed the EQS for one reason — to make your car audio system sound better. This rugged 6-channel equalizer features 13 bands of adjustment for sonic fine tuning, along with a line driver that allows you to send the cleanest possible signal to your amplifiers. And speaker-level inputs allow you to connect the EQS to just about any car stereo, even Bose® systems and factory amps up to 400 watts.

The EQS features inputs and outputs for your front, rear, and subwoofer channels, fitting between your receiver and your amplifiers in the signal chain. Once connected, the EQS makes it easy — turn up the input gain knobs, adjust the output knobs until the light indicates the desired output, and you're all set. You can adjust the output level up to 9.5 volts, so you can maximize the performance of any amplifier.

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Most car audio problems occur in the bass frequencies, so the subwoofer channel gives you six bands of equalization between 31.5 and 100 Hz, along with a rolloff filter that keeps inaudible subsonic bass out of your subwoofer system. You also get seven bands of equalization from 120 Hz all the way up to 10,000 Hz on the front and rear channels. If you're not using the sub channel, the low-frequency EQ section switches to the rear channel automatically.

Balanced inputs reject noise caused by your vehicle's electrical system, but you have the option of grounding your inputs to solve ground loop problems.

The EQS is designed to work with a variety of systems, whether it's tied directly into a single amp or connected to an AudioControl crossover in a multi-amp setup. Check out the system diagrams in More Photos.


  • dual 13-band equalizers with level matching controls
  • white steel chassis with gold-plated RCA jacks
  • line driver increases signal up to 18 dB (up to 9.5 volts RMS)
  • 6-channel preamp inputs and outputs (front, rear, and subwoofer)
  • speaker-level inputs for easy connection to factory radio
  • top-mounted controls for easy adjustment
  • balanced inputs eliminate noise (switchable to unbalanced)
  • 33 Hz subsonic filter eliminates extreme low bass (rolloff point can be adjusted with optional module)
  • EQ points: 31.5, 45, 63, 90, 125, 180, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 Hz
  • frequency response: 10 to 100,000 Hz
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 110 dB at full output
  • fuse rating: 2 amps
  • size: 8-13/16"H x 9-5/16"W x 1-5/16"D
  • weight: 3-1/4 pounds
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Pre-amp 6-Channel Equalizer
  • Owner's manual
  • QC checklist
  • Product registration card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


Description: The EQS is a 6-channel equalizer/line driver. There are are dedicated 7-band graphic equalizers for the front and rear outputs, and a 6-band graphic equalizer for the subwoofer output.

Dual Bandwidth Equalization: A total of 13 bands are available over two bandwidths:

  • Front/Rear EQ: Two 7-band equalizers feed the front and rear outputs; the center frequencies of both are 120 Hz, 160 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 10 kHz. The rotary knobs adjust the signal +/-12 dB. There's a notch at each knob's center position so it's easy to return to the flat setting.
  • Subwoofer EQ: A 6-band 1/3 octave equalizer feeds the subwoofer outputs; the center frequencies are 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 kHz, and 100 kHz. The rotary knobs adjust the signal +/-12 dB. There's a notch at each knob's center position so it's easy to return to the flat setting.

Line Driver: To achieve the best possible signal to noise ratio and dynamic range from your amplifier, the built-in line driver can increase the head unit's output voltage up to 18 dB (9.5 volts RMS/13 volts peak).

Input Gain: The input gains for the front, rear, and sub channels are set independently. The range is adjustable +/-12 dB to match the source output to the EQ input.

Output Level: The +20 dB maximum output level allows you to increase the head unit's line voltage to the top of your amp's input range; up to 9.5 volts RMS/13 volts peak.

Balanced Inputs: Using the balanced differential input circuit cancels noise picked up in the transmission line between the EQS the the source unit.

Ground Isolation: The power supply ground is switchable, in case of ground loop noise. The factory position is fully isolated (typically the best choice), but can be changed to Ground or 200Ω.

Auto Select Inputs: The EQS automatically switches the inputs to maximize the equalization controls, whether you use two, four, or six preamp inputs.

Speaker Level Inputs: The 4-channel speaker level inputs are compatible with most factory installed radios, even most Bose systems.

Terminal Blocks: The power/ground/remote terminal and the speaker level input terminals are removable; the wiring is attached to the block, then the block is plugged into the EQS. The terminal block will accommodate wire up to 12 gauge.

Subsonic Filter: The subsonic filter crossover point is 33 Hz. The crossover point is governed by a replaceable chip, so it can be modified.


  • Maximum Line Input: 15 volts RMS
  • Maximum Speaker Level Input: 100 watts/channel
  • Maximum Output: 9.5 volts RMS/13 volts peak
  • Frequency response: 10 Hz-100 kHz; ±1 dB
  • THD: 0.003%
  • S/N Ratio: 110dB
  • Balanced Input Noise Rejection: 60 dB
  • Input Impedance: 20 kΩ
  • Output Impedance: 150 ohms

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Video: What can AudioControl Gear Do For My Car Audio System?

Video: What can AudioControl Gear Do For My Car Audio System?

by Charlie Pastorfield
Video: What can AudioControl Gear Do For My Car Audio System?

Crutchfield car A/V editor and longtime musician Charlie put a new system in his convertible a little while back, and while his sound vastly improved it was missing something at first. After tuning...

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AudioControl EQS Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5


Written By The Dude, Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, September 08, 2013
This item is a must for those with discerning taste when it comes to thier auto audio system.
Ease of use
i can not think of any
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5 out of 5

A must have!

Written By gupper, buffalo ny on Sunday, June 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I have a 2013 Toyota Avalon and wanted to upgrade my audio system without replacing the factory head unit. I installed a JL Audio cleansweep dsp and matched that up with the EQS. What a nice combination. I used a JL Audio Slash 300/4 v3 for my front and rears and a xd 600/1 for my sub (tw5v2). Between the output voltage boost and the equalizer functions, the EQS gave me the ability to modify my sound the way I had envisioned.
Nice piece of hardware plenty of flexibility for sound preferences easy install
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Pretty good

Written By ernie, San Pedro, CA on Sunday, November 04, 2012
I've been using the EQS for 2 years now and It has been very reliable. For what this unit does, it does very well and I have no complaints. If you are like me and don't want to spend a ton on an expensive DSP this is a very good compromise. The line driver on this plus EQ is really worth the price you pay, the signal is very strong and very clean. EQS makes it dummy proof to set this up and get going, especially with the clipping lights. To sum it up if your looking for some eq on a budget and don't want to get a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) than this is the next best thing. Pros: Build quality and sound plenty of bands for adjustment small form factor Cons: none for me
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Perfect for factory head units

Written By Keith, Marrero, LA on Saturday, February 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Nice unit with lots of equalization and tuning options. I was running speaker level inputs so this was perfect to clean up the signal. I had never heard of them so my trust in the Crutchfield advisor was how I based my decision.
Lots of signal processing options. You can get a really nice sound from the factory head unit with this processor.
It takes a bit of tinkering to get the sound right and any bugs out of it. I had a whine which I was able to phase out by lowering the amp gains to their lowest setting and adjusting the input and output on the processor. The manual said to start by setting the volume to 3/4, but I set it at about half way up then connected everything and cranked it up. Then I set my equalizer settings, & I have not touched it since. It did take about a week of listening to set it to where I have it now,
12 out of 15 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

I am considering installing this unit in an infiniti g35 using the bose head unit's output to remove the bose amplifier from the sound syatem. The eqs will then send the signal to my JL XD 400/4 for fronts and rears and a JL JX 1000 for the sub channel. Its difficult to find accurate information about the signal from the bose head unit, but i gather its a low level balanced differential line. Im unclear on how the 4 channels function, however, and ive been told there are two channels dedicated front / back and two for left / right. In any case, my question is will this unit accept the 2005 g35's 4 line level, balanced differential bose channels for input? Additional questions: Should I terminate the line level cables from the head unit with rca plugs to use the line level inputon the eqs , or will the speaker level input accept a line level balanced differential signal? Assuming the 4 channels are a non-conventional L/R/F/B, can the eqs be setup to convert into this to conventional FL/FR/BL/BR output? Finally, if i wind up keeping the crappy bose amp, does the eqs offer channel summing capability to ensure im sending a full range signal to the amplifiers? [ Ryan  Jan 25, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • Thanks for your questions. For information on selecting the best gear for your system I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy Staff  Jan 26, 2014 ]

For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the AudioControl EQS, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_161EQSW/AudioControl-EQS-White.html ).