Having the best horn for car is important to you, as a driver, as well as to other road users. In fact, it is a requirement for a car to be fitted with a properly functioning horn. You will find it illegal in some countries to drive a car that has a faulty horn or one with no horn. After all, how will you alert or warn other road users?
A proper horn is not only audible but also doesn’t cause irritation to other road users. You don’t want a component that moans instead of hooting or one that sizzles instead of producing a loud bellow.
All the car horns we have reviewed here are of great quality, and you will not go wrong choosing any of them. Therefore, read through our reviews and search for great sounding car horn that will suit your car. Of course, as long as you are within the legal decibel limit, you can always replace your car horn with the latest model to have a different loudness and sound.
- Best Horn for Car: Editor’s Top Picks
- Top 10 Best Horn for Car Reviews:
- 1. MPC BI (0419) Trumpet Horn Kit
- 2. Hella 003399803 Supertone Twin Horn Kit
- 3. LAMPHUS SoundAlert Siren & Slim System
- 4. Hella 003399061 Supertone with Black Protective Grill
- 5. Wolo (619) Big Bad Max Air Horn
- 6. Hurbo Super Loud Train Horns Kit
- 7. PIAA 85115 Bass Horn
- 8. GAMPRO 12V Dual Trumpet Air Horn
- 9. Stebel 11690019 – Nautilus Compact Mini Air Horn
- 10. Klein Copper Coated Air Horns
- Things to Consider When Buying a Car Horn
- Car Horn Legal Issues
- Brief History of Car Horn
- How to Install a Car Horn
- How Do Car Horns Work?
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Car Horns
Best Horn for Car: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 10 Best Horn for Car Reviews:
1. MPC BI (0419) Trumpet Horn Kit
This is a common option if you are in search of the best loud car horn. It includes 4 trumpets to ensure that you end up with the loudest horn all the time. Each of the 4 horns has a solid metal construction and boasts a chrome finish. Better yet, the horns are stacked two-by-two to enhance power. These compact air horns include amazing features such as push buttons, wiring kit, pressure switches, and mounting hardware. Upon purchase, you get mounting materials provided which allows for easy installation of the unit. When installed correctly, the MPC B1 Horn Kit offers years of reliable service. The kit also comes with an illustrated instruction manual.
The comprehensive system features a 110 PSI compressor and a 3-liter air tank. It is recommended that you install its compressor in a dust-free and dry location in the vehicle. The Quad horn kit by MPC was designed to produce the loudest possible sound. Overall, it offers a 150Db noise level, making it one of the top choices in the market. What makes it great is its versatility as it can be used on different types of vehicles. This air horn is best for trucks, SUVs, and pickups.
- Has 4 trumpets that have a chrome finish
- Kit includes a pressure switch, push-button switch, wiring kit, fuse, zip ties, etc.
- Comes with a comprehensive instruction manual
- Suitable with different types of vehicles, e.g. trucks, pickups, etc.
- Emits 150 decibels of sounds
2. Hella 003399803 Supertone Twin Horn Kit
Hella is a global leader in automotive technologies with over 100 years of experience. As a result, you can expect high-quality loud horns from this brand. Like any driver, you expect to get a louder horn kit than the one you get from the factory. If this sounds like you, then you need Hella Supertone Twin Horn Kit.
This model combines classic appearance, performance, and safety. These ultra-reliable 12 disc horns look legendary and sound like nothing else on the road. Hella designed this accessory with one high-tone Supertone horn and a low-tone horn. They emit 118 decibels of sounds to help you get attention when beeping or warning people on the road. The two horns are easy to install because the kit includes a pair of mounting brackets and manual instructions. To install, you only need one mounting screw and two blade terminals to connect.
Featuring a black coated metal body, these horns were made with durability in mind. They also feature a protective grill which is distinct for a stylish look. You should be impressed by their tone, which is similar to most BMWs and Mercedes but louder. The model also boasts of offering the best guarantee to functionality and long-lasting customer satisfaction.
- They are Loud and powerful dual Supertone horns to guarantee attention
- Have a metallic body with a black and red protective grill for a stylish appearance
- This kit includes an M8 screw horn bracket for easy installation
- The design includes a high-tone horn (500GHz) and a low-tone horn (300GHz)
- They are easy to install since the manufacturer includes a pair of the mounting bracket and manual instructions in its packaging
3. LAMPHUS SoundAlert Siren & Slim System
The LAMPHUS speaker is popular with drivers for its eye-catching aspects and functionalities. These warn people with the inclusion of horn, sound, and siren. It comes with amazing audibility with the speakers emitting up to 124dbs of sound. The output power is 100W making this PA system clearly audible from afar.
With these, you also get the option to broadcast from external sources via radio mode. Moreover, there is the option to talk microphone. This is very easy to use with its multiple operation modes that include radio, horn, and siren. It also features two 20A switches enabling you to power other devices. The unit is well built to last long as it uses rust-resistant and heavy-duty materials.
What’s more, the system comes with mounting accessories to make its installation a breeze. Another nifty feature in the unit is the hands-free operation which allows you to connect the unit to the car horn easily. This way, you only need to touch a button to enable the siren system.
- 100 watts for powerful performance
- 118-124Db speakers offer maximum sound and minimal noise
- Multiple operation modes can be used in varied situations
- Two 20A switches to power other devices
- Multiple mounting accessories for installation
- Hands-free operation when you connect to the horn
4. Hella 003399061 Supertone with Black Protective Grill
When searching for a car horn replacement, you need one with uncompromising performance and indisputable value for money. This horn from Hella is among the top in the market right now when it comes to being loud. And being from such a big brand, you can expect it is going to deliver an impressive performance.
If you are looking for a distinctive look, these have been designed with a black metal body that features a black grill. As you can see, they not only perform but also look good overall.
The model boasts long-lasting customer satisfaction, optimum fit, and best functionality. It supports 12V and is arguably the best twin horn you can get at its price. Along with the horn, the kit contains an M8 screw mounting bracket and a precise manual to make its installation easier.
- Well-made black metal body with stylish black grill
- Has M8 Screw mounting bracket for easier installation
- Supports 12V vehicles
- Offers 1-year warranty (Limited)
- It is durable thanks to its solid construction
5. Wolo (619) Big Bad Max Air Horn
Big Bad Max is for you if you’re looking for the best car horn upgrade. WOLO uses innovative technology to make some of the best-sounding car horns on the market. By making a bold claim that this horn is twice as loud as factory horns, it should be up there in terms of performance. At 12V and 123.5 Decibels, this horn rivals other big brands on the market.
Right out of the box, you will notice how easy it is to install the unit. It is nicely finished using ABS plastic and an all-in-one design that includes wiring, horn, and an in-built compressor. This system is maintenance-free hence offers good value for your money for years to come. It can be used for cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, etc.
- Sound Chamber to offer maximum sound (2x louder than factory horns)
- Ideals for 12V vehicles like trucks, cars, and motorcycles
- Has a one-piece patented design for less maintenance
- Easy to install with just one bolt
- Has a heavy-duty compressor for durable use
6. Hurbo Super Loud Train Horns Kit
At a glance, the Hurbo Train Horn Kit looks small, but a deeper dive reveals just how powerful this system is. It features a high-quality zinc material and a zinc material plated metal designed to withstand all kinds of weather. Furthermore, these horns are suitable for almost any vehicle; from buses and trucks to tractors and trains. It is also ideal for boats and motorcycles. More importantly, you will find it very easy to install or move from one car to another.
The unit is made with 4 trumpets that emit a loud and powerful warning that isn’t noisy. The compressor kit produces a maximum sound level of 150 DB. The kit comes with a compressor that measures 15 X 7.1 X 6.3 inches. Its compressor has a 1.59-gallon tank and can pump up to 120 psi. In case the pressure drops to 90 psi, the compressor pumps it back to 120 psi.
It also comes with 4 vibration pads to be installed under each leg when mounted.
The air horn is equipped with safety protection which restricts the compressor from going above 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Has 4 trumpets to emit a powerful warning
- Produces 150 Decibels
- Equipped with safety protection to control the temperature
- Suitable for cars, trucks vans, campers, RV’s Tractors, and off-road vehicles
- Easy to install as the manufacturer provides a user manual
7. PIAA 85115 Bass Horn
PIAA is reputable in the automotive industry and has been making some of the best air horns for cars on the market. This one from them doesn’t disappoint and performs really well. The bass is able to produce a good sound enough to grab attention. The build construction stands out as being compact. The horn has a dual-tone unit with a low tone speaker at 330Hz and a high tone speaker at 400 Hz. This gives you the best sound between the two sounds. The result is a deep sound rather than a high-pitched sound. You can also change the frequency in varied situations.
It produces 112 DB of sound which certainly is not the highest we have seen. Nevertheless, it is still enough to grab the attention of road users even in high traffic areas where noise can get quite high. Another feature is the additional relay you get when you purchase the unit. That means you will not have to install an additional relay when wiring. Also, fact that you get 2 separate units in the kit, you can install them in strategic locations so that you can have a better sound that is evenly spread.
One of the things that will impress you is the lifetime warranty you get with this car horn. It means that at any time the horn stops working, you just return it to the company for a replacement.
- Deep tone to get attention
- Has a loud 112 DBs
- Has a low tone and high tone for best sound
- Comes with relays
- Lifetime warranty included
8. GAMPRO 12V Dual Trumpet Air Horn
This dual trumpet horn by GAMPRO is exactly what you need to stand out from the rest. The system is versatile and can be installed in a variety of vehicles like trucks, trains, vans, pickups, boats, and many more. Make sure your vehicle is DV 12 because this can only work with these. The air horn has both high and low tones which produce 150 dB when working together. There are two trumpets; long and short.
The trumpets have been made using high-quality plastic that is weatherproof, and the air compressor features a rust-proof material. This makes the air horn have a longer lifespan regardless of the weather conditions. To make its installation easy, the air horn comes with everything you need for installing in the package. There is a manual instruction, two horns, an air compressor, a hose, a Y splitter, and a relay.
So it’s high time you grab one of these train horns to ensure safety in your driving. It will certainly remind the frantic motorists and unmindful bystanders that you are present. However, you need to avoid using this air horn close to a school or hospital as it is really loud.
- High-quality chrome-plated zinc for durability
- Can be used on any 12V vehicles such as SUVs, Motorcycle, and buses
- Super-loud air horns with 150 dB of sound
- Comes with manual instruction hence easy to install
- Works in any weather conditions
9. Stebel 11690019 – Nautilus Compact Mini Air Horn
If you need an air horn that can be used in small installation spaces, then this one from Stebel could be a great choice for you. More importantly, this car horn is incredibly loud with a sound level of 139 dB making it one of the loudest models. The best compact car horn has a black ABS finish and is water-resistant. It is an excellent choice for drivers in cold areas.
Moreover, you can install this electric car horn effortlessly as it comes with everything you need for installation including manual instructions. However, your vehicle needs to be 12 V hence suitable for SUVs, pickups, motorcycles, and many more. Additionally, it has a low tone of 530 Hz and a high tone of 680 Hz hence the pitch is loud and can be heard from afar.
Overall, the Stebel 11690019 – Nautilus Mini Air Horn offers excellent value for money to owners on a tight budget.
- Small and Compact design to fit in small installation spaces
- Incredibly loud with 139 dB of sound level
- Offers easy installation with instructions
- It can be used in vehicles with a 12V current system
- The compressor is waterproof
- Has a high tone of 680 Hz and a low tone of 530 Hz
10. Klein Copper Coated Air Horns
This is one of the most refined air horns with a deep and loud sound. You will be impressed by the design and finish of this air horn which makes it appealing. The black air horn by Klein features two long trumpets that produce a loudness of 153 Db. For this reason, you need to use it at your discretion especially in crowded places as it can damage your hearing and that of others.
The metal body has a metallic cover that has been coated with XCR 2.0 making it the best for any weather condition. Though these are preferred for trucks, they are compact enough to fit in any vehicle. The horns are long to ensure that the loud blast is channeled properly from the vehicle to the surrounding. The long design gives your truck a sleek look that is appealing to the eye. This horn has a vortex Solenoid 4-12 V which makes the horn sound powerful.
- Emits 153.6 Decibels of sounds which can be heard from miles away
- Coated with a corrosion-resistant XCR 2.0 hence weather-resistant
- Easy to install with mounting gear
- Has a vortex solenoid 4-12 to enhance sound output
- Recommended for trucks
Things to Consider When Buying a Car Horn
This is the most important factor to keep in mind for people who are looking to upgrade their car horns. The sound of a car horn is dependent on the tone of a horn. The tone, which is measured in hertz, dictates the loudness of a horn. The higher the hertz, the more high-pitched a horn will be. If you want to have a high-pitch horn, then you will need to go for a model with more than 500Hz.
Conversely, if you are looking for a car horn with a deeper sound, then it is best to go for a model that is less than 400Hz. More often, you will find car horns in two variants, a high-tone horn and a low-tone horn for tone flexibility.
Shape and size
Generally, the size and shape of a car horn do not matter a lot especially if you are planning to install it under your car’s hood. There are other more important factors to consider such as loudness, ease of installing, installation space, and tone.
However, if you are planning to install your car in a visible location such as in the front part of your RV, then shape and size will be important factors to consider for aesthetic reasons. For this reason, it is better to choose a trumpet-style horn as it will look great in front of your car. Also, consider the size of your car. For instance, if you have a big vehicle, then you will need to go with a big unit. However, for a small car, you will need a smaller and more subtle car horn.
The material of a car horn is also an important aspect to keep in mind as it dictates accessory durability. Most car horns are made from premium ABS plastic that is both long-lasting and durable. Besides, it has a great heat resistance and will not get distorted when your car overheats.
Additionally, high-end car horns are made from stainless steel with an excellent chrome finish to give you a long-lasting service. Of course, such accessories are pricier than their plastic counterparts.
The durability of a car horn is mostly dependent on the material used and how it is built. The horn needs to be made of a heavy-duty material that can withstand engine heat because you don’t want to be charging your horn now and then. Therefore, ensure your car horn is solidly made and if possible go for one made from corrosion-free material such as stainless steel or ABS plastic. These two materials will last for a long time as they are also resistant to heat.
You also need to assess the size of your car assembly before purchasing your best horn for the car. Some cars have small assembly spaces for horns, and thus you should ensure there is ample space for the horn you are interested in before replacing your OEM horn.
If you are unsure about the right size of the car horn you need, always buy one that is almost the size of your original car horn. To be on the safe side, go for a car horn that is relatively smaller than the original one fitted in your car than buying a big one that will call for extra modification.
Ease of Installation
Generally, a car horn should not be challenging to install. Pay attention to whether or not the manufacturer has provided the installation manual.
As long as you are not installing an aircar horn that has a compressor, the installation process should be very easy, and any beginner can do so within minutes.
Car Horn Legal Issues
Most traffic offenses such as over-speeding or driving on the wrong side are straightforward. However, others such as using faulty or overly loud car horns are a little less known.
In certain countries where accidents statistics are quite high, drivers should use their car horns almost all the time while driving. However, in countries with relatively few accidents incidences, it is illegal to use car horns except when you are avoiding a potentially dangerous situation.
In most cases, you only need to use your car horn while your car is moving and you want to alert or warn other road users of your presence.
However, it will be illegal to inappropriately use your car horn as this will distract other drivers. Sounding your car in heavily populated areas can affect people who are asleep during the day due to sickness or working schedules.
You should not sound your horn aggressively even when other road users act dangerously or when they are at fault; you should only sound to alert them of your presence.
Sounding the horn aggressively while you are stationary on the road or when driving in heavily built-up areas especially at night or early in the morning is considered illegal in most countries, and this can result in fines.
Brief History of Car Horn
Car horns are a part of an everyday driver’s life. You can hardly find a car without a horn. In the early 1800s when steam carriages were popular in Britain, automotive didn’t have horns. However, for the safety of road users and animals, a law was passed stating that all self-propelled vehicles be preceded by a man with a red flag blowing a horn when on public roads. Of course, this didn’t take long before the invention of the old bulb horn.
By the late 1800s, there were different signaling devices including whistles, bulb horns, and bells. Bells were more common in America.
However, in the early 1900s, some drivers were calling for a better horning device since they considered the bell horn to be less effective. Manufacturers responded with a wide range of chimes, sirens, horns, and whistles. One of the most popular car horns of the 1920s was the Gabriel horn, named after angel Gabriel. Its sound was touted as being both pleasing to the ear and powerful.
Over the years, manufacturers have made better horn designs producing pleasing sounds that are more penetrative and less noisy. Up until the 1960s, car horns were tuned to E flat and C (musical tones). However, since then, manufacturers have moved up the sale to notes A sharp and F sharp.
Throughout the 1950s–1970s, several states continued to pass legislation in an attempt to regulate the usage of automobile horns, while still allowing for their legitimate use. Therefore, it is important to be conversant with traffic laws relating to horning so as to be on the safe side.
Currently, the latest car horns are electronic COGApa; these are the digital age horns. You should use COGApa in a responsible and respectable manner at all times.
How to Install a Car Horn
Installing a car horn should not be an involving task. Here is what to do;
Step 1– Locate where your car horn is
You need to find out where your car horn assembly is. Generally, if you open the hood, you should easily be able to locate it. If not, look up your user manual or ask someone to hoot so that you can see it.
Step 2– Disconnect the wires
Normally, you will find a car horn connected to a pair of 12V wires that supply it with electricity. You should be able to find 2 connectors connecting to your car since they are rarely soldered. Disconnect the wires to access your car horn.
Step 3– Install your new car horn
Unscrew your old OEM car horn from its assembly and replace it with the new car horn. You may need to replace the screws, as well, due to rust. Most probably, the new car horn will be able to use the old installation accessories since many manufacturers use a standard base mount for their car horns.
Step 4– Check to see if it works
Give it a honk to see if it is making a great sound as you would expect. If the sound is not loud, you might need to replace your car horn fuse since your new car accessory may require higher electrical wattage than your old one.
Installing your new car horn should not be a difficult task, and you can do it in minutes.
How Do Car Horns Work?
A car horn is a simple electromechanical device that uses the electromagnetism principle to make a hooting sound. A typical car horn has a flexible metal diaphragm, a switch, a coil of wire forming an electromagnet, and a housing working as a megaphone. The entire accessory uses Hooke’s Law to function (The spring extension is directly proportional to the amount of load applied, provided the limit of proportionality is not surpassed).
This simply means that if a horn is designed properly, the flexible diaphragm will oscillate forth and back continuously as current is applied. This will produce the desired sound.
Horns are made with a flexible electrical contact attached to the flexible diaphragm. A strong electromagnet moving a central armature is connected to the metal diaphragm. When current comes across the electromagnet, the armature shifts to its mechanical limit thereby disconnecting power. As it reverts back to its original point, the electrical contact is made again, and the armature starts traveling again.
Moving all these things to create a loud, consistent sound that is often over 90 decibels takes a lot of energy in the form of an electrical current. That’s why your horn assembly needs terminals and wiring that are large.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Car Horns
Q-1: Can car horns damage your ears?
- It is important to know that hearing can vanish because of being in a place where there is excessive noise. And when your eardrum gets damaged, you cannot restore it. You will need to ensure that your car horn doesn’t exceed a maximum of 129 decibels. You should also note that a sound exceeding 85 decibels will likely cause hearing loss. This means that overexposure to horning sound can damage your ears.
Q-2: How do I make my horn louder?
- All the car horns we have reviewed here are loud, and there is no need to modify them to make them louder. The best thing to do is to buy a car horn that is loudest and most pleasing to your ears. However, ensure that it doesn’t exceed 129 decibels to keep your ears healthy. Different car horns have different decibels, and therefore, you should choose one that suits you.
Q-3: Are loud car horns legal?
- Every state has its own set of rules regarding the loudness of horns allowed. You will need to check the set rules and regulations in your area of residence to know the limitation of decibels you need not exceed. However, in all countries, it is illegal to hoot unnecessarily, aggressively, and loudly. This means that you cannot install a horn that surpasses the set limit in your area of residence.
Q-4: Why is my car horn not functioning properly?
- This can be caused by a bad horn switch in your car steering wheel, a bum horn relay, corroded ground, a broken wire, or a broken “clock spring.” You need to check any of these places to see if everything is okay.
Yes, car horns are simple, yet very important since they play a key role in warning or alerting pedestrians and motorists of your presence and it is also a legal requirement. An effective or faulty horn is as bad as not having one installed in the first place. It may be too loud, operates erratically, or even fail to be audible.
Fortunately, there are many brands making car horns for replacement, and you can find the best horn for cars in today’s market. However, because of the many brands making these car accessories, you might get overwhelmed with the wide range of choices. That’s why we reviewed the top 10 car horns on the market to make your work easier. We looked at key things such as size, compatibility, sound, ease of installation, material, design, price, and installation space. By picking any of the above car horns, you are guaranteed a properly functioning unit that will serve you for a long time.