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Radio stations often do additional processing of music to make it louder and more crisp when played on a car stereo, often by using techniques such as multi-band compression: the sounds is decomposed into several bands, and each band has dynamic range compression applied with different parameters to maximize the perceived sharpness/loudness.

It destroys a lot of subtlety and sonic detail in the original, but in exchange you get an overall louder, more in-your-face sound, with highs that come through even on bad audio systems. On car stereos, where you have a lot of low-frequency rumbling sounds, this especially makes a difference. And if you ask a random person to give a subjective quality assessment of original vs that processed audio, they'll almost always feel as if the latter is of higher quality.

For more info see e.g. [1].

[1]: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/multi-band-compressi..., section "Broadcast Applications for Multi-Band Compression."




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