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Published Jan. 20, 2020

Whether you want to celebrate at a sporting event, need a loud horn for your bike, car, or boat, or just want to scare your friends, an air horn is a great way to grab someone’s attention. They are more commonly found in large buses, trucks, boats, and cargo ships, and can be set up in just about any vehicle. If you’re looking for a new air horn, we’ve put together a list of the best and loudest to alert people of your presence.

The Best Air Horn

If you’re looking for a versatile air horn that is able to function on nearly any vehicle, consider the Pactrade Marine Boat RV Car Stainless Steel Dual Trumpet Horn. It may be a mouthful to say, but it’s quite impressive. It’s a 12V powered air horn with two stainless steel horns for additional noise.

The double trumpet-shaped horns are also rather loud and can reach up to 150 decibels (dB). Plus, it comes equipped with full mounting hardware so you can install it yourself or have someone more qualified take a look at it. However, it can be difficult to install on certain vehicles or boats due to its larger size. It can also be prone to rusting.

Key Features
  • Dual air horn kit
  • 150 dB
  • Designed for truck, car, or boat
Specification
  • Brand Pactrade Marine
  • Model PDSA0181/01
  • Weight 2.8 pounds
PROS

Deep tone

Super loud

Sleek look

CONS

May be prone to rusting

Can be difficult to install on certain vehicles or boats

As our first single horn choice for an air horn, don’t be fooled by it. The single horn is capable of producing a loud and powerful warning sound. It’s able to release a crisp and clear sound at around 150 dB. However, it may not reach a full 150 dB and may be a bit less, but is still a worthy air horn.

One of the best features is that you are able to mount it anywhere that has a 12V connection, so it is quite versatile and convenient. It’s developed out of a high-quality material that doubles its strength and durability. However, you may find the instructions can be difficult to follow and it may not come with a relay.

Key Features
  • Can reach 150 dB
  • Powered by 12V connection
  • Functions in cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats
Specification
  • Brand Zone Tech
  • Model EH0006
  • Weight 2.3 pounds
PROS

Sturdy construction

Powerful

Weather-resistant

Easy to install

CONS

Poor instructions

May not come with relay

May be less than 150 dB

This Vixen Horns premium air horn comes in a classic and modern-looking chrome finish. The paint helps to protect them from all types of weather conditions and will reduce the chance of any rust appearing on them as well. All this train horn kit takes to function is a connection to a 12V power source. Just be sure the mounting system supports them well, as they are a bit heavier than other models. 

They work great in any vehicle and can be adapted to fit boats, yachts, RVs, and trucks. Another benefit of this air horn system is it does not require a compressor to function. Plus, these horns are developed out of a premium quality-grade stainless steel, so they are reliable and durable on the go. However, you may find that wiring them together can be confusing.

Key Features
  • Powered by 12V source
  • Stainless steel design
  • Weather-resistant
Specification
  • Brand Vixen Horns
  • Model VXH2112MAR
  • Weight 5 pounds
PROS

No compressor required

Ultra loud train sound

Chrome finish

CONS

A bit heavy

Wiring kit can be confusing

Could be louder

These sleek air horns come in a black finish that stands out on the outside of your truck or boat. The horns are powerful and can belt out a higher-pitched sound at a combined total of 135 dB. However, compared to our other choices, that is a low, yet powerful, noise level. 

One of their best qualities is their construction. They are built out of a high-quality weather-resistant plastic and feature rust-proofing metal. However, the plastic can crack if not handled with care. They are also a breeze to install and include everything but the electric wires to get them powered up. 

Key Features
  • Rust-proofing metal design
  • High-quality plastic construction
  • 135 dB
Specification
  • Brand GAMEPRO
  • Model 4332980226
  • Weight 1.94 pounds
PROS

Black finish

Versatile

Sturdy design

Lightweight

CONS

Do not include electric wires

Lower dB level

Plastic can crack, so handle with care

This Zento Deals dual air horn system runs off any 12V connection and produces a clear loud sound to alert anyone in your path. Though the decibel level is low at just 115, these horns are still plenty loud and functional in traffic. With a sound like a train horn, they are difficult to ignore or not hear.

One of the greatest things about the horns is their construction. Their black finish is a weather-resistant coating that protects them from rain, snow, and ice. Although they may be plastic, which can break more easily, they are durable and built for all weather conditions.

Key Features
  • Powered by 12V source
  • 115 dB
  • Weather-resistant
Specification
  • Brand Zento Deals
  • Model EH3
  • Weight 0.64 ounces
PROS

Easy installation

Versatile and can function in a number of vehicles

Lower price

Trumpet train air horn kit

CONS

Low decibel level

Made of plastic

Poor instructions

At what may be our loudest choice for air horns for your car, truck, semi, or boat, the Dual Trumpet Air Horn from Maso is a powerhouse. It packs a whopping heavy-duty 178 dB, which makes an extremely loud noise. It’s much louder than it has any right to be, and it will certainly let anyone around you know you’re coming.

These horns are developed out of a premium material as well. As a mix of high-quality weather-resistant plastic and metal, they are strong and stand up well to high winds. They are also easy to power by connecting them to a 12V source. You may also find that the pump can be quite loud as well.

Key Features
  • 178 dB
  • Powered by 12V source
  • Weather-resistant
Specification
  • Brand Maso
  • Model mtx 7.0
  • Weight 1.61 pounds
PROS

Ultra loud air horn

Lower price point

Lightweight

Solid construction

CONS

May be overbearing

Pump can be loud as well

Kleinn’s dual air horn system features a stunning black finish that stands out on your vehicle. One of their best features that really improves their overall sound quality is their length. The trumpets are extended, which gives them a deeper truck air horn-like sound.

The trumpets are also constructed with a black corrosion resistant coating to protect them from rusting and the elements. Plus, they are rather loud and can belt out around 153 dB. There are a few things you will need to do to ensure you get the best sound from them. First, you may want to swap out the solenoid as it is a bit weak. You will also need a compressor to run them.

Key Features
  • Weather-resistant
  • 153 dB
  • Dual horn system
Specification
  • Brand Kleinn Air Horns
  • Model 102-1
  • Weight 3.95 pounds
PROS

Good quality sound

Loud and deep sound

Extended trumpets for crisper sound

CONS

Weak and flimsy solenoid

Requires an air compressor

Hard to fit a thread

Best Air Horn Buying Guide & FAQ

When you think of the name “air horn,” you may imagine the old-time Saturday morning cartoon car horn. You know the one that goes “ahooga.” Or the one that plays La Cucaracha, as heard in Avengers: End Game and Ant Man. The air horn is mainly used in a comedic way to lighten the mood, however, it is much more than that.

Air horns are a great way to alert people that you are behind them or that you may be in trouble. They are most commonly found on larger vehicles and boats. They are extremely loud, obnoxious, and rather effective at clearing a path.

Why Do You Need Air Horn

You may need an air horn for a few different reasons, but they are more often used to get attention. If, for instance, you have a massive truck, then you may want to install an air horn or two outside of it to let people know you are approaching.

You could also use one or more horns on your cargo boat or any vessel for that matter. The ocean is vast and having a loud horn can alert people of your location quickly and efficiently. They can also be used at sporting events to root for your team or annoy the opponents during a vital play. We really don’t recommend them for scaring or pranking your family or friends because, well, that’s just mean. It also can lead to hearing loss.

Benefits

  • Air horns are suitable for larger trucks, SUVs, boats, ships, and trains.
  • They are loud and will alert anyone of your vehicle or vessel.
  • An air horn can gather the attention of those nearby quickly so you can alert them of something dangerous.

Types of Air Horns

There are really only two types of air horns. You can think of an air horn as an instrument. It blasts out sound waves at different frequencies depending on its size, length, and girth. Like instruments, these frequencies each hold a different pitch and can either be high or low.

  • High Frequency

A high frequency air horn is one that is very high pitched. It can be whiny or nasally and is typically much more annoying than it is effective. These are more commonly heard at sporting events and are more compressed and elongated.

You may also often hear high frequency air horns inside smaller, more compact, vehicles. Their sound is more harsh and may not be as loud as a lower frequency tone. They work more effectively if you tap the horn multiple times, as their sound doesn’t travel as far.

  • Low Frequency

By contrast, the low frequency air horn is exactly the opposite. Its sound is boastful and large. You will more commonly hear air horns of this magnitude from cargo freighters, cruise ships, or semi trucks. If you’ve ever heard a fog horn, then you’ve heard a low frequency air horn.

Low frequency air horns tend to travel further much more quickly and effectively. If you want to get the attention of someone else, then it is suggested you look into a low frequency air horn.

What to Look for When Buying Air Horn

When it comes to air horns, they really only have one basic feature and that’s their volume. While that may be the most important feature about them, there are other components of an air horn you should consider. You should look for how large they are to ensure they fit in or on your vehicle or boat. 

  • Volume

When it comes to air horns, it’s all about volume, volume, volume. They may look small and stunted, but they pack a punch in the sound department. If you need a better air horn for your vessel or truck, then consider one that is audible at great distances.

We mentioned it above, but a low frequency air horn may be the way to go if you need to clear a path quickly. They can be heard from further away and are clearer and crisper. You could go for a high frequency air horn as well. Even they can be quite loud at times.

  • Design

You will notice air horns come in different shapes and sizes. The one thing they have in common is each generally includes a round trumpeted end where the sound comes from.

Their design can also have a direct impact on their sound as well. While it is difficult to judge how an air horn will sound before installing it, you can read the box to see if it is low- or high-pitched. Their design should also be easy to install.

Tips for Buying and Using Air Horns

An air horn is designed to be really loud, so when you decide to replace an old air horn or get a completely new one, there are a few things to be aware of.

If you drive a large semi on the highway, it’s going to be loud in the cabin already. It’s equally just as loud outside as well. Other drivers passing by the semi will no doubt hear the engine of the semi and the heavy tires on the road. You will need to make sure the air horn you get is louder than the semi so others can hear it.

The same goes for boats or ships on lakes and oceans. Their motors can be loud and the droning of the engine carries across the open water as well. Having an air horn that is booming will ensure everyone is capable of hearing you.

  • Make sure your air horn is louder than the vehicle or vessel you are controlling so it can be heard.
  • For an even louder horn, consider getting multiple units on your vehicle. One can be in the front while another can be in the rear.
  • If the air horn you have is high-pitched, consider tapping the horn a few times instead of just holding it down. The sound from a higher pitched frequency doesn’t travel as far as a lower one.

Best Air Horn FAQs

Air horns are a tool designed to alert anyone around of your presence. You may have a few questions about the importance of one and we’re here to help you out. Understanding why you may need an air horn will help you make a better decision on getting one. 

Q: Why is an air horn better than a standard horn?

An air horn may be louder than a standard truck horn. It is mainly used to alert other drivers of dangerous situations.

Q: Is it legal to install an air horn on my truck?

You will need to check with your state’s policy on air horns. You may even need to check with your city to see what their laws are about horns over a certain decibel. This can be difficult for semi drivers who travel through different states and cities. You should always keep up to date with the legality of your air horns as you drive.

Q: Can an air horn be installed by yourself?

Many air horns can be installed by following the instruction manual. However, there are complex air horns such as those with a large on-board air system, where the help of a mechanic or electrician may be required.

Our Top Pick

For anyone in need of one of the best air horns for your car, truck, SUV, or boat, consider the Pactrade Marine Boat RV Car Stainless Steel Dual Trumpet Horn. It’s our top choice for its sleek stainless steel design and overall sound quality. These suckers are loud as well. Boasting more than 150 dB, the dual air horn system is versatile enough to fit on nearly every vehicle. Plus, they are convenient to hook up as they function with a 12V power source. They also feature a full mounting hardware so you can connect them all by yourself in no time at all.

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