Best Air Horns: Enhance the Safety of Your Truck
Stay safe while on the road with the loud sound of an air horn
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BY Dorian Smith-Garcia / LAST UPDATED ON November 26, 2019
Driving a truck poses some unique challenges that don’t come with sedans and SUVs. Your truck may often feature a slower reaction time when it comes to sudden stops or acceleration. You might need enhanced safety features to protect yourself and motorists that are sharing the road with you. One way to give advanced warning to other motorists is with an air horn. We’ve rounded up some of the best air horns that you can use to make driving your truck safer. Plus, we’ve got smart tips to help you shop for the best air horn for your vehicle.
A solid budget option for motorists who want enhanced sound on their vehicles. The Marco Tornado air horn is a complete installation kit that will work on any vehicle, including boats and motorcycles.
- Dual-tone system will reach up to 151 decibels and can be mounted anywhere on your vehicle
- Installation is easy
- Durably constructed
- One of the biggest issues is the sound output. Rather than bold tones, it can sound like a cheaper air horn canister
- Installation can be complex. In particular, mounting the horn can be difficult due to incompatible hardware and pre-drilled holes
Gampro’s air horn is made of quality chrome-plated zinc. It features a compressor with a copper coil. It has a customized safety relay, is easy to install, and does not rust.
- Air horn is very loud, producing 150 decibels of sound
- Ideal for any 12-volt vehicle or water vessel
- Can stand up to extreme weather
- If you apply full pressure, you might frighten everyone on the road
- Some users have complained that it isn’t as loud as OEM horns
- Doesn't have a long lifespan
A single horn design that offers robust sound and a complete installation kit for easy setup. You’ll like the metal construction on the horn, which is designed to withstand extreme weather.
- Horn is designed to reach up to 150 decibels
- This is a versatile pick that can be mounted on any kind of vehicle
- Because installation is so easy, you can quickly remove this air horn from one vehicle and mount it on another in no time
- Weather may impact the reliability of this air horn. In particular, cold weather will weaken the decibel levels that it can achieve
- Quality control may also be an issue, as some shoppers may receive horns that look pre-used and show signs of age and weathering
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Air Horns
- Frighten aggressive wildlife. When you’re outdoors hiking, hunting, skiing, canoeing, or fishing, an air horn can help frighten unwanted or aggressive wildlife. Coyotes get scared by air horns and dislike the loud noise they produce. Since portable air horns can be heard from a mile away, they are an effective tool for keeping coyotes away.
- Increase your safety. An air horn is very loud and alerts people of your vehicle or vessel, helping you steer clear of accidents. It can be used in large trucks, SUVs, boats, ships, and trains. You can also keep other people safe by alerting them in case there’s something dangerous nearby.
- Multipurpose. An air horn is a versatile object that can be used in different applications. If you regularly go to sporting events, you can use your air horn to root for your team. The device can also be used in ambulances as a warning device and on ships for signaling.
Types of Air Horns
An air horn produces sound waves at different frequencies, depending on its size, girth, and length. A low-frequency air horn produces sound frequencies with a low pitch. However, the sound is loud and effective. This type of horn is mostly used in cruise ships, semi-trucks, or cargo freighters. It alerts everyone of the approaching vehicle or vessel. The sound produced by this air horn travels farther more quickly and effectively. If you’re an outdoors person or own a big truck or a water vessel, we recommend getting a low-frequency air horn.
Unlike a low-frequency horn, a high-frequency horn is very high-pitched. However, most people find it annoying because of the high-pitched sound it produces. It is also not very effective because the sound it produces doesn’t travel far. You may have to tap the horn multiple times for the sound to travel far. A high-frequency horn is commonly used at sporting events and is also found in small compact vehicles.
HornBlasters was founded in 2002 when the owner, Matt Heller, got tired of being run off the road on his daily commute to work. Fed up with dangerous drivers, he created a horn that replicated the sound of locomotives. What sets HornBlasters apart is it uses only high-quality components and offers excellent customer service. Many companies have tried to copy the company’s success and failed. Its line of products includes air horns, air suspensions, installation brackets, onboard air systems, and much more. If you buy a HornBlasters product, there’s always a real person waiting to assist you should you have a problem with it. If you want a vehicle horn that’s easy to install, get the HornBlasters AH-B4 Bullet Air Horn.
Established in 1895, Kahlenberg is a leading manufacturer of electric air and pneumatic horns for industrial, marine, and mass use. It makes horns for the largest navies of the world and many O.E.M. manufacturers in the mining, shipbuilding, construction, transportation, and safety and security industries. The company excels at designing and manufacturing horns of unmatched quality. It is an ISO 9001-2015 certified corporation and is based in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. In 2007, Kahlenberg acquired the marine and industrial divisions of Airchime Ltd. The U.S. Navy uses Kahlenberg electric piston horns in its aircraft carriers. If you want to find out why this company has stood the test of time, get the Kahlenberg D-0A White Air Horn for your boat.
Air Horn Pricing
- $22-$50: These air horns are ideal for different vehicles and water vessels. They may be high-frequency or low-frequency horns and are usually very easy to install and use.
- $50-$100: Most of the horns in this price range have air compressors with large coils for better sound production. Some are sold in pairs and offer great value for the money.
Air horns come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed to look like trumpets while others are short and compact. The only thing all air horns have in common is a round trumpeted end where the sound comes out from. The design of an air horn determines its sound production. However, it’s almost impossible to know what a horn sounds like before installing it. To get a rough idea, you can ask the manufacturer or read user reviews. The air horn you buy should also be easy to install.
Most people buy air horns for their volume. Therefore, even a small, compact air horn must produce incredible sound. If you often go hiking or hunting, get a low-frequency horn that will scare predators and clear paths quickly. If all you want is an air horn for your vessel or truck, get one that is audible from great distances. The further the horn can be heard, the better. A high-frequency horn can be great for cars. It helps you to avoid close calls and keeps dangerous drivers at bay.
Air horns for vehicles, locomotives, and water vessels need a power source to work—that’s why they come with a 12V outlet. The power usually comes from the automobile’s battery. Some horns are connected to the steering wheel and are activated when a button is pressed. Buses and trucks may use both electric and pneumatic air horns that are selectable by pressing a switch on the dashboard. This helps prevent the use of a powerful air horn in populated areas.
- Ease of Installation. The air horn you buy should not have a difficult installation process. If it is hard to install, it may be harder to use. To find out if a horn is hard to install, read reviews written by people who have used the product.
- Usage. Before buying an air horn, consider how you’ll use it first. If you simply want a horn you can use at sports events, get a foghorn that doesn’t cost a lot of money. But if you plan to install the horn in a boat or a truck, be prepared to spend more money because high-quality horns cost more.
Best Air Horns Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- A good air horn should be easy to install. Truck air horns tend to feature straightforward designs that easily integrate into a vehicle’s existing system. Avoid air horn models with complicated installation instructions or configurations.
- Check with your state or municipality’s regulations regarding after-market air horns. While most states allow them, there might be specifications that you must follow to stay compliant.
- Before using your air horns in real-life situations, test the horn first to confirm that it offers the warning you’re hoping to achieve. The last thing you want is to use your air horn in an emergency and discover that it’s not as loud or effective as you had hoped.
Q: Is there a decibel rating that I should target for my air horn?
Look for truck air horns that can reach levels of up to 150 decibels. At this sound level, you can be confident that even over background noise, road noise, or loud music; other motorists will hear your horn. Avoid air horns that exceed 150 decibels as they can be dangerous.
Q: Which air horn design is best for my truck?
An important factor to consider is if the design is compatible with your truck. In some cases, air horns must be mounted under the truck, while in other scenarios, you can mount them somewhere more visible. Designs range from a single horn to multiple horns for a more robust sound.
Q: Should I pick a metal or plastic design for my air horn?
Metal construction is usually better for deeper notes, while plastic can be ideal for mid-range notes. Whether you opt for plastic or metal, focus on a durable, weather-resistant construction.
For the safety-obsessed, we recommend the Super Loud Marco Tornado Compact Air Horn, which produces a robust sound.
Budget shoppers or first-time air horn installers will appreciate the GAMPRO 12V 150db Air Horn, which offers a dual-tone system and strong decibel levels.