7 Best Car Horns of 2021
A car horn is an important safety accessory that helps to warn and alert other road users of your presence on the road. The problem is that OEM car horns are not very loud or may have a sound that you don’t particularly like.
Of course, as long as you remain within the legal decibel limit, you can always change your car horn to an aftermarket model that has a different sound and loudness level.
Below, we have hand-picked the best car horns in the market that are worth buying. They come in mutiple shapes & sizes and have varying loudness levels to suit your needs. Without any further ado, let’s find the best model that will suit your car!
- 7 Best Car Horns - Review
- The Law About Car Horns in the USA
- How to Buy the Best Car Horn
- How to Install a Car Horn
7 Best Car Horns - Review
1. Piaa 85115 (Best Overall)
2. Marco TR2 (Loudest)
3. Hella 003399801 (Most Stylish)
4. Stebel 11690019 (Best Compact)
5. Zento Deals EH6 (Best Budget)
6. Wolo 419 (Easiest to Install)
7. Wolo 310-2T (Best for 12V Vehicles)
1. Piaa 85115
2. Marco TR2
3. Hella 003399801
4. Stebel 11690019
5. Zento Deals EH6
6. Wolo 419
(Easiest to Install)
7. Wolo 310-2T
(Best for 12V Vehicles)
1. Best Overall: Piaa 85115
A powerful dual-tone sound output, inbuilt wiring, and two pieces per set make the Piaa 85115 our best overall car horn. The product is a dual-tone model with a low 330 Hz tone and a high 400 Hz tone. This gives a deep, non-high-pitched sound that can easily be heard at great distances.
At 112 dB, this car horn is not the loudest we have seen. However, it is still loud enough to grab the attention of road users, even if you are stuck in high traffic where the noise can get high. That said, this sound output is just above the road-legal limit, and it can be lower if you use one horn.
There is an inbuilt relay inside the horn that eliminates the need for wiring before installation. Additionally, the piece only consumes 2.7 amps, which is not much. As such, no fuse is required, which simplifies the installation process to a plug-n-play.
Two units are included in the set, which allows you to install them in strategic positions on your car so that the sound spreads evenly.
However, the horn is quite expensive but worth the price. You also get a lifetime warranty, which sweetens the deal.
2. Loudest Car Horn: Marco TR2
Marco's Tornado is lab-tested to produce 150 dB on exit and this makes it the loudest piece in our car horn review. Additionally, it comes in 2 harmonized tones that will make it sound better than your factory fitted car horn.
Made almost entirely out of a high-grade ABS plastic, this car horn is very lightweight. It is also very compact, which allows you to fit it on any small car or motorcycle.
Just be careful where you install this car horn because it is plastic made. Avoid installing it near an engine where the high temperatures can melt the plastic.
The manufacturer tests the unit thoroughly before leaving the factory, and thus, you are guaranteed to get a car horn without defects that work out of the box. Best of all, the manufacturer provides you with a 2-year warranty with this purchase. However, you only get a single horn per set.
3. Most Stylish Car Horn: Hella 003399801
Hella's 003399801 is characterized by an aesthetic design that gives a distinctive and stylish look. This is made possible by a black coated metal body with a red protective outer grill. There are also other colors to choose from, which are full-black and black/yellow.
That said, the product comes as a pack of two: a low tone and high tone horn. The low 300 Hz and high 500 Hz tones produce a piercing sound that will allow you to be heard clearly by other road users. This is spread more evenly to create a powerful and balanced 118 dB honk.
Due to its compact size, you will have no problem installing this unit in tight areas. Therefore, this model is an excellent choice for those who drive a small car or a motorcycle.
Installing the two pieces is easy because a relay, two mounting brackets, and mounting instructions are part of the set. However, its terminals are flimsy. As such, you need to be very gentle when installing the relay system.
4. Best Compact: Stebel 11690019
This product is a compact car horn that is ideal for installing in very tight spaces such as in motorcycles, golf carts, ATVs, etc. Despite its small size, the unit is incredibly loud as it has a 124 dB output, which makes it one of the loudest electric car horns.
Additionally, with a harmonized twin tone sound (530 Hz at the lowest and 680 Hz at the highest), the horn produces a loud pitched sound that is audible at close distances.
Moreover, you can install this electric car horn quite easily. It has a built-in 18-amp water-resistant compressor. Therefore, all you need is a 12 V power source, which is available in most vehicles, including motorcycles.
On the downside, the horn is made largely from plastic, which can melt if placed very close to the engine. Also, you get a single horn per set, and this does not distribute the sound more effectively as two pieces.
5. Best Budget: Zento Deals EH6
The Zento Deals EH6 is an economical car horn because it is very reasonably-priced, yet, is very loud. Its highest output is 150 dB, which makes it one of the loudest car horn upgrades on the market.
That said, this model is ideal for those who operate boats, trains, trucks, and other large vehicles because it is quite large. The setup consists of a single trumpet air horn and a compressor as the main components, plus a hose to connect the two and mounting hardware.
However, despite all this power, the unit only needs 12V DC, which makes it highly compatible with most vehicles.
The horn is built using premium-quality materials for maximum strength & durability, and these also make it tough enough to withstand any weather. This is coated using an aesthetic shiny chrome finish.
However, such a loud sound might not be legal in most states, and the horn is too large to fit in small cars or motorcycles.
6. Easiest to Install: Wolo 419
The installation of this car horn is easy because it has a patented single-piece design that does not require hoses. All you need is a 12V power source, from which you can transfer the factory horn wires to the compressor.
Moreover, this unit is heat-resistant, which means it can be placed near the engine without running the risk of damage.
That said, the unit is built using metal and ABS plastic, giving it a highly durable waterproof finish.
Even though the decibel rating is not given, the manufacturer claims that it produces a powerful dual-tone, which is two times louder than your factory-fitted car horn.
The only problem is that you don't get two pieces for better sound distribution at the front of your car.
7. Best for 12V Vehicles: Wolo 310-2T
Wolo's 310-2T is the best for 12V vehicles because it has a universally replaceable design that connects to one or two-wire systems. Essentially, this means it can fit all 12-volt vehicles built since 1955.
Other than that, the unit features a steel and plastic construction that is very durable. This is coupled with a heavy-duty steel mounting bracket and hardware that hold the horn firmly in place. You also get mounting instructions in English and Spanish for quick & easy installation.
Another benefit you get with this piece is its compact size because it measures 3.5 inches in diameter. On the downside, it only produces a low tone that might not be audible very far ahead. It is also a single piece, which does not distribute the sound evenly.
However, there is a high tone option, and both are very affordable. You can buy both to have a dual-tone horn and better sound distribution.
The Law About Car Horns in the USA
In the USA, the road act and various other federal traffic laws are not specific for car horns.
However, each state has its specific vehicle noise-related laws, and you will need to consult with your state's transportation department to make sure if your car horn complies with the law.
In general, road users are allowed to use a car horn that is not unreasonably loud. Additionally, you can safely honk in allowed areas as long as your car horn is factory fitted.
If you want to fit your vehicle with an aftermarket car horn, then you must make sure that it is below the maximum decibels allowed by the law. In most cases, this is between 100 dB to 110 dB.
Since most electric car horns sold commercially are more than 110 dB, you need to inquire from either your state’s police superintendent or transportation department to ensure that you can use this car horn safely and legally.
Additionally, some states like California prohibits car horns that exceed 110 dB but still allows you to attach the horn to your vehicle, as long as you do not attach the electrical wires. Any violation of this law can attract a fine of around $100.
In states like Virginia, Texas, and Georgia, the law allows you to connect a car horn that exceeds a tolerable limit, as long as it is attached to your car's anti-theft system only.
If you do not plan to connect it to your anti-theft system, then you may always install the car horn without connecting it to your electrical wiring, just to comply with the law.
How to Buy the Best Car Horn
1. Shape and Size
In general, the shape and size of a car horn do not matter if you are planning to fit it under the hood. However, if you want to place it in a visible location, like in the front of your RV, then you need to consider its shape for aesthetic reasons.
In this case, it is better to go with a shiny trumpet-style car horn like the Zento Deals EH6 because it is designed to fit in front of vehicles.
Additionally, the size must be appropriate for the size of your vehicle. For example, if you operate an RV, you can retrofit it with a big unit like a train horn. But if you have a small vehicle, it is ideal to go with a smaller and more discreet car horn.
This is the primary reason people choose to upgrade their car horns to aftermarket units. The sound of the car horn will mostly depend on its tone, which is measured in hertz.
The higher the hertz rating, the higher the horn's pitch. If you want a high pitch car horn, then it is best to go a model that is at least 500 Hz or more.
On the other hand, if you want a deep car horn sound, it is best to go for a model that produces less than 400 Hz. Most manufacturers ship their car horns in 2 variants: a low tone horn and a high tone horn, to cover all angles.
The material of the car horn is an important aspect to consider because it directly affects durability.
In most cases, the units are made using high-grade ABS plastic that is quite durable. However, with such models, you need to check if they are heat-resistant so that the plastic does not melt when placed close to the engine.
That said, some of the best aftermarket car horns are made from stainless steel, zinc, or other metals, plus an outer chrome finish for rust proofing. Such units are very durable, and we highly recommend them. For this, be sure to check out Gampro's DG-CBL.
The durability of the car horn will dictate how long it will last. Indeed, the caller needs to be heavy-duty and durable because this is not a car accessory that is often changed.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your new car horn is made of high-quality materials that will make it durable and long-lasting.
As already stated above, a quality car horn should be made from a corrosion-free material like stainless steel or even ABS plastic. It should also have excellent heat & weather resistance.
5. Ease of Installation
In general, the car horn is not very difficult to install. Pay attention to whether or not the manufacturer states anything about the installation process. In any case, all you will have to do is remove your old car horn and replace it with your new one.
As long as you are not installing a car horn with a compressor, the installation is easy. Even absolute beginners can do this replacement in a few minutes.
6. Installation Space
You need to assess the installation space and consider the size of your car horn before installation. Some installation spaces are small, so you should purchase a compact horn to replace the OEM part. However, if you have unlimited space, pick any size that suits your preference.
How to Install a Car Horn
Step 1 - Locate The Horn
Find where your car's OEM horn is fitted. It should be easily visible once you pop the hood open. If not, you can consult the car's user manual or ask someone to honk so that you can locate it.
Step 2 - Disconnect the Wires
The car horn is usually connected to a pair of 12 V wires that provide it with electricity. They are rarely soldered, and you should find two connectors that hook up to them.
Disconnect the wires to access the horn. Due to corrosion, you may need to use an anti-rust spray like WD 40 to break the rust before disconnecting.
Step 3 - Install your New Car Horn
Now that the wires are out of the way, unscrew your old OEM car horn from its support, then replace it with the new piece. You may want to replace the screws as well.
Many manufacturers make their car horns with a standard base mount for installation, so you should not have any problem installing your new car horn using the old installation hardware.
Step 4 - Check if Everything Works
After installation, give it a honk to see if it works. If the sound is low, you need to replace the fuse because the new car horn may have higher electrical specs than the old one.
As you can see, the Piaa 85115 is our best overall car horn because it has a powerful dual-tone sound output that is just about road legal. It also comes as a two-piece set for better sound distribution, and the two horns are very energy efficient.
However, if you want a compact piece for your motorcycle or golf cart, we highly recommend Stebel's 11690019 as the best car horn because it is very compact.
You can also go for the MPC B1 0419 if you want a complete set. Though expensive, this product contains all the required components to set up four trumpet horns and a big 3-liter compressor.