Nearly all contemporary cars these days come with respectable stereo systems, particularly weighing against vehicles of bygone times. Nevertheless, chances are you desire improved audio from your car without having to expend on first-class speakers immediately from the factory.
Fortunately, the aftermarket has an extensive collection of speaker improvements obtainable, a lot of which are undeviating substitutes so you don’t have to be troubled over getting the latest head unit or even adding together an amplifier to your car.
This is principally imperative as a good number of new automobiles have compound infotainment systems that aren’t straightforwardly detachable.
When you are shopping for replacement car speakers, you will want to be careful about getting the right range speakers that suit your car. Or else, you may want to get a custom installation through.
In our recommendations for this list, we have gathered the best replacement speakers to help you choose your best fit.
Best Car Speakers – Quick Look
(Click on the name of any speaker to read it’s in-depth review)
|6.5-Inch||Balanced Dome Tweeter|
|Rockford Fosgate P1692||6x9 inches||PEI Dome Tweeter|
|Infinity Kappa 693.11||6x9 inches||Soft-Dome Tweeter|
|Rockford Fosgate R165X3||6.5-Inch||Silk-Dome Tweeter|
|Polk Audio DB651S||6.5-Inch||liquid cooled silk dome tweeter|
|Kicker DSC650 DS Series||6.5-Inch||Polyethylene-Naphthalate domed tweeter|
|JBL GTO 629||6.5-Inch||UniPivot tweeter|
|Infinity REF6522 EX||6.5-Inch||Textile-Dome Tweeter|
|Kenwood KFC 1666S||6.5-Inch||PEI Dome Tweeter|
1. JBL GTO609C
The GTO 609C component speaker was designed by the JBL engineers to generate strapping, lucid sound from a head-unit or amplifier competent of delivering up to 270 watts of power.
This renders the GTO 609C a perfect counterpart to systems power-driven with head-unit or factory amplifier power levels.
To take it up a notch, the speaker parallels scores of the GTO Series amplifier groupings.
The consequence is its ability to keep up with systems that attribute one or more subwoofers and convince high-fidelity audiophile listeners. And its laudable power-handling specifications also augment dependability over the life span of the speaker.
Our In-Depth Review:
You would most likely be aware of these speakers if you are one of those who perform extensive research on car audios. And it is not without reason that they topped our chart for the best car speakers. One of the best sounding speakers to be used on the go, they come decked with carbon injected plus one cone.
When it comes to the size class, they are sizeable than any of its contemporaries, allowing it to move air like a breeze. This consequently makes them capable of producing more bass.
These ingenious speaker bags understated dome tweeters featuring outsized voice coils. The result is, greater heat dissipation and subsequently, increased power handling. So while using these speakers, expect smooth, fatigue-free highs.
If you are a fan of flexibility, we highly recommend this speaker. The patented I-mount system makes them quite an easy fit to mount them according to your inclination- whether it is flush or surface mount, this speaker does it all. The woofer comes equipped with a metal ring bracket which gives it leverage to clamp it to the door panel steadily. Not to mention, the plastic ring adapter helps to mount it to the factory located inside the door.
Weighing around 6.17 pounds, these component tweeters are surely one to compensate for the flawed speaker placement. The dual-level tweeter volume adjustment doubled alongside the provision to set personal listening preference and musical taste, which is a true winner.
Another feature that we found likeness with certainly has to be how it makes the most of every power unit your car stereo is bound to give you. With low impedance, these three-ohm speakers surely will not disappoint you.
Sharing the sentiments of many customers, we certainly would have loved to see it come with speaker terminal connectors. However, you can always purchase them separately, if you cannot do away with them.
- Excellent air moving capability.
- Commendable heat dissipation competence and increased power handling.
- Does not come with speaker terminal connectors.
Overall, you are bound to have very little complaints using these speakers. With excellent sound quality, they would make a great addition to your car stereo.
2. Pioneer TS-G1620F
Pioneer is renowned for its continued innovation and widely respected for its quality-driven approach.
With the TS-G1620F Coaxial full-range speakers, they have tried to reinstate their place in the market.
Reliable and consistent, this speaker has bagged the second place in our list chiefly for its augmented sound reproduction with the incorporation of improved IMPP technology.
Our In-Depth Review:
The TS-G1620F speaker is a brilliant picking to reinstate a dire set of factory 6-1/2″ speakers. Spotting Pioneer’s tremendously well-built and lightweight Injected Molded Polypropylene, its two-way design competently handles a maximum of 300 watts power. (40 watts nominal) To ensure better sensitivity and abridged distortion, it incorporates IMPP Composite Cone Woofer.
With Pioneer TS-G1620F, be assured to not just get elementary, run-of-the-mill features. It provides you with top-notch power handling and deeper bass with its conex damper. The 1-3/16″ evenhanded dome tweeter efficiently reproduces highs satisfactorily. This, in turn, ensures towering performance and musicality.
Furthermore, these speakers are designed with a shallow mounting depth for trouble-free installation into an extensive selection of vehicles. They weigh heavier than the stock speakers, and for the most part, it is evident in audio. The bass makes itself known in its abundance, there is
By humidifying the outsized cone vibration and augmenting linearity of sound imitation, the Progressive Flex Suspension System wires the sound coil efficiently. Its supple fraction renders movement smooth and is capable of reproducing lucid sound. Even at points of excessive input, its hard part effortlessly regulates and controls unwarranted vibrations and averts movement error of any kind.
Speaking of the specs, they are credibly outstanding with a superior power handling peak of 600 watts per pair. The frequency response comes over an impressive 31 – 18, 000 Hz with about 89Db sensitivity. The installation is effortless and can be performed by an amateur.
Form our experience, bear in mind to leave off the speaker cover as the door panel will not likely clip shut near the speaker. Also, if you are to pull off the old stock speaker, you will require something to meddle it with and would most certainly require some force. Some users reportedly marked weaker bass with time, but considering the price, it is not much of a blowout.
- Superior sensitivity and reduced distortion.
- Enhanced sound reproduction.
- Control over disproportionate vibrations.
- Shallow mounting deepness in shapes fitting into vehicles without adjustments.
- Includes speaker grills.
- Some users have experienced weakened bass with time.
Conclusively, we see how Pioneer has held true to most of its claims and has come with a smart solution to intricate infotainment systems. Considering the price tag at which it hits the market, we surely have to give credit for the performance it renders. Barring a few disadvantages, the Pioneer TS-G1620F is a hit.
3. Rockford Fosgate P1692
Through this range, Rockford Fosgate displays their fervent pledge and dedication to audio fineness in the Punch Series of speakers, amps, and subs.
If you are fond of listening to heady, potent music while feeling the punch, these components are sure to provide you imposing sound that is bound to stand out in a crowd.
The Punch P1692 6″x9″ was conceived and developed as speakers that promise high-grade substitution for factory speakers.
Our In-Depth Review:
An exciting two-way full-range speaker, the Punch P1692 is skillfully developed to serve as a factory replacement in a trouble-free to install package. They could be the right pick for fanatics who are in need of a first-class substitute.
Coming as a pair, the speaker’s dimensions are notable (6”x9” full-range with 4-Ohm). They bring home power handling of 75 Watts RMS and 150 Watts maximum. The packaging also involves speaker grilles, mounting hardware, and an OEM adapter plate.
For ensuring high output and precise frequency reproduction, the markers were quick to incorporate the PEI dome tweeter. With its built-in crossover and injection molded mineral heaving polypropylene cone, the device holds true to its design. The surrounding butyl rubber makes certain the comprehensiveness of the design.
For enhanced fit, slots have been incorporated in place of singe screw ranged holes. We also found that the FlexFit basket design allocates for minor alterations and modifications when aligned with OEM mounting openings. We also have to give credit to the build quality
While reviewing for the speaker, the only disappointment that had been marked time and again, was the forged advertisement that led several buyers to purchase speakers that did not fit their vehicle. So we highly advise you to see whether the speaker is the right fit for your car before purchasing them.
- A slight adjustment is made available during mount with the Flex-Fit basket.
- Mineral-filled and polypropylene injection molded cone with butyl rubber surround.
- Good frequency response and sensitivity range.
- Some users reported cases of false advertising leading to dire fitting.
Conclusively, each speaker features a receptive polypropylene cone and butyl rubber surround that stands up to hours of high-volume jams. The increased cone area yields a fuller sound that is without comparison. The strong performance is only an added bonus with the dome tweeter consistently providing patent, comprehensive highs that can hold their own when the bass gets deep.
4. Infinity Kappa 693.11
Often times, car’s stock speakers just do not cut it when it comes to giving you the kind of experience that you want. This can be quite an irk especially if you are an audiophile motorist.
With the speaker manufactured by Infinity, you can now elevate your driving experience to lofty levels and see for yourself the changes that it reflects in giving your road trips the perchance it deserves.
With these bad guys, Infinity promises to give you the feel of a concert. The craggy design along with the excellent sound quality makes this quite a popular option.
Our In-Depth Review:
Starting off with the feature that has been raved about the most, the power peaking. This speaker, with its power handling up to 660 Watts and RMS power at 220 Watts, is one of the most powerful and loudest of its counterparts. I.e., the 6×9 speakers. In addition, you are in for a treat with its natural-sounding high-frequency output which gives the feeling of live performance.
Adding to the bargain, the Infinity Kappa 693.11i 6×9 Coaxial Speaker makes use of an edge-driven design with its 1-inch soft dome tweeter. This design renders it competent enough to handle more power with ease. This also facilitates achieving smooth mids and better clarity than smaller “W” fashioned domes initiated in competitor speakers.
Moreover, the pragmatic instruments and sound placement delivered is top-notch even in crisp high-frequency sounds with its 1-inch super tweeters. Besides serving the necessary function, it also compliments the bigger cone, ensuring you are provided with that concert-like feel.
When you take into consideration the durability, the 693.11i having been made of high-grade materials for the cone, offers quite a pat. The glass fiber construction along with the carbon injection leaves the materials stronger and resistant in comparison to customary woofer components available on the market.
Its firmness and rigidity help keep hold of the contour and character of the speaker baskets rendering it trouble-free to mount even on asymmetrical exteriors. These supplies also permit the speakers to convey hard-hitting lows, with minimum distortion, and comprehensible highs without forgoing its resilience and stability. Therefore, it is safe to say that these will endure any magnitude of strain you toss at it.
Additionally, its Plus One woofer technology provides it with more distinct bass to go with the top-quality high-frequency response. This is made available with the integration of a larger cone surface area compared to other speakers in its class. As the cherry on top comes the speakers’ low impedance at 2 Ohms that gives you a leverage to integrate into the factory-installed audio systems and wiring of your car without upsetting over concerns of compatibility.
Having said that, it is only right to acknowledge some of the perks to this speaker. The deprived fitting stock plastic basket causes issues with installation. One might have to tidy the basket to get an appropriate shape and form along with mounting adapters. One feature that we especially had a problem with is the bulkiness of the surrounding plastic. Some users reportedly found the device lacking in midrange frequency performance.
- Excellent build quality and high-quality components.
- Deep bass and punches up the treble and bass.
- Admirable clarity even when the volume is increased.
- Crisp UHF tweeter.
- Adaptable in terms of playing all music types.
- Some users find it wanting in midrange frequency performance.
- Issues with installation due to the pitiable fitting stock plastic basket.
- The adjacent plastic can be a tad bulky.
Considering all features, the Infinity Kappa 693.11i 6×9 Coaxial Speaker could be the ideal promotion to one’s factory-installed speakers. It is markedly piercing in its loudness and clean even when turned up to maximum volume. You are assured to get advanced sound quality with Infinity’s famed sound intensity (the highest highs and sweetest lows), all for a no-nonsense price. Despite the fact that numerous complaints have been raised about its fitting concerns, it is decidedly a great recommendation based on the exceptional poise of highs and lows which renders it the upgrade you will be thankful for.
5. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime
If you are looking for an excellent set of speakers that will not be heavy on your pocket, it does not get better than the Rockford Fosgate R165X3.
They come decked with a full-range speaker that is a part of the Fosgate series. This assuredly yields great play and sound quality.
The R165X3 is an enhanced pick than any OEM while being comparatively inexpensive. Although it does not promise you an epic traversing, have no doubt that the ride would be pleasurable as it gets.
Our In-Depth Review:
When glancing through the specification, you are made to realize the excellent set of features these speakers come up with. To start with, the build and appearance have to be given credit for its aesthetics. Measuring 8.1 inches high, 7.1 inches long and 10.9 inches wide in dimensions. the R165X3 is a 3-Way speaker.
This consequently provides you with improved sound experience by funding the woofers, midrange drivers, and tweeters on their own. The R165X3 has a sensitivity of 91 dB and the RMS is 45W. The peak power of the speakers is 90W. The impedance is pretty much to the standard of many car speakers and offers 4 Ohms.
The speakers are sturdy, robust and offer the feeling of excellent build eminence. To protect the speaker from hard hits, the markers have provided it with a steel frame around the speakers. The rubber around the speaker subsequently lessens the intensity of the hit. Both of these features combined, help to guarantee longevity. The construction, for the most part, has been done with elastic polypropylene material. For designing the tweeters of the speakers, materials like Titanium and Mylar has been used.
This lightweight speaker finds utility in a wide range of cars. Its compactness in terms of dimensions makes it an ideal fit for smaller cars. Furthermore, they are straightforward and effortless to install in addition to being best for providing you with a much better driving experience.
Even though it lacks an intense bass from these coaxial speakers, quite distinct from the component speakers are competent, the users cannot but help fall in love with the audio. That, added with the remarkable crossovers assists the speakers to hum to any frequency without immense distortion.
They are capable of giving crisp and clear sound even at times when the volume is turned to the maximum. Although the usage of an amplifier is recommended, the speakers will fare well even without the additional investment.
Talking of the features that the markers could have used a little work, would be sound distortion when it comes to increased sound levels. However, if you are not someone who listens to the music in maximum volume, this inherent limitation will not possess much of a problem. Also, while the speaker is an excellent pick for listening to high and mid, you will require a subwoofer to get the most out of them.
- Affordable and wide-scale utility.
- Trouble-free installation.
- Crisp High & Mid.
- Great Build Quality.
- Prone to distortion in high-volume.
- Lacks a good bass.
From the abovementioned details, we see how the Rockford Fosgate Prime series are one of the finest budget car speakers that are available in the market today. Although it pales in comparison to the performance of high-end speakers, there is no doubt that these make your trips enjoyable without tearing your pocket. This one is affably worth the buy if you are seeking to substitute the default factory speakers with a stereo system that is more commanding. Holding a candle to the popularity, they appreciably augment your car driving experience.
6. Polk Audio DB651S
Another American manufacturer in the market for automobile speaker systems, Polk Audio is a California based company that has been around in the speaker game since 1972.
The Polk Audio DB651S is a mid-tier speaker from their rather large line-up of the automobile and home entertainment products.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Polk Audio DB651S is a well-balanced speaker system that does a lot of things well. The speakers are constructed from aluminum and the cone is made of a proprietary silk polymer composite that is lightweight and stiff. This construction allows it to transfer bass without the massive vibrations transferring to the car door or whatever part of the automobile the speakers are mounted on.
The composite material is also non-magnetic and this prevents any electromagnetic interference. The stiff construction also helps the speakers maintain clarity and depth in the higher ends of audio without the associated fatigue.
The speakers also sport a low impedance resistor that is ideal for automobiles and reduces the heat that is produced. The 4-ohm resistor is also paired with a liquid cooling system that is only seen in much more expensive competitors. The coolant running through the well-designed copper tubing around the resistor makes sure that the speaker never overheats and the precision of the audio is not lost.
The full metallic body affords the speakers an upmarket feel as there are no plastic parts visible after installation. Polk also includes a well thought out bracket that can be adjusted to make sure that the speaker fits well even if the depression is not the perfect size.
The real trump card for the Polk Audio is that the speaker is designed for boats as well as cars is waterproof and marine certified. This means that the build would have to be foolproof and none of the circuitry is exposed to the elements. The speaker is therefore long-lasting and suitable for use in harsh environments.
The built-in amplifier easily handles all normal wattages from head units and sports a pretty decent output of 55 watts RMS The maximum wattage input that is supported is 136 watts. The output volume while not being the leader in its class is about what you would expect from a speaker of this price point.
There is a lack of customizability with the unit as it does not ship with variable resistance control or treble control. This becomes a considerable drawback especially when one is looking to pair the speakers with third-party sub-woofer systems. The mount is also not completely flush although it is pretty slim.
- Full metallic build with non-magnetic compound for versatility and durability.
- Butyl Rubber surrounds that is stiff yet mounts tight.
- Compatible with third-party amplifiers and sub-woofers.
- Waterproof build that is also marine certified for use on boats as well as automobiles.
- Low impedance speaker.
- Relatively low input wattage capacity.
- Impossible to mount flush without third party brackets.
- The dome tweeter is only 0.75 inches and well below the average size of tweeters in this category.
- It does not ship with resistance control or treble adjustments.
The Polk Audio DB 651S is a compact speaker that combines the functionality of many high-end competitors at a mid-range price. This makes it a prime candidate for the ideal car entertainment option.
7. Kicker DSC650 DS Series
The kicker was set up with a detailed spotlight on car audio systems; consequently, there is no question that one amongst the best brands presently featured on the market.
At present, the brand is identified for its extensive assortment of products that tenders a vehicle owner’s superior alternatives to advance their cars’ sound systems.
Kicker’s DS coaxial units are intended to present vehicle owners with a trouble-free installation option. One can plainly plunge these speakers into the existing speaker box and have an immediate upgrade. This may be a user-friendly preference, but in no way does the marker go down on their echelon of superiority and excellence.
For an easy-to-install, drop-in factory speaker promotion, the Kicker DS-Series coaxial speakers offer lucid midrange, crystal clear highs, and base down to 40 Hz that eventually characterize a great-sounding audio system—all while appropriating tidily within your finances, and in your door.
Although the manufacturer has been somewhat successful in providing praiseworthy performance in high and low range, it has been unsuccessful in extending the excellence to the midrange.
- Easy to install and set up.
- Outstanding definition with no overhanging of any sort.
- A compact and slender profile.
- Commendable sonic experience within the price range.
- Not-so great mid range.
In the end, we see how the speakers are a good bet without being so harsh on your pocket. Barring the mid range drawback, you can easily find fondness and likeness in this set of speakers.
8. JBL GTO 629
This offering from the American Entertainment industry giants is a premium speaker set up for all your automotive needs.
The GTO629 is the top of the line offering from JBL Harman and is packed full of premium features.
Our In-Depth Review:
The JBL GTO 629 is the top of the range premium car entertainment speaker system from the American manufacturer and sports the top of the line features you’d expect from the product that is priced at the top of the segment. The carbon injected cones are larger than all of the rest of the competition which means they can move more air and therefore produce more bass and fuller listening experience.
The design is compact with the speaker coming in with a diameter of only 5 and a quarter inches. The smaller size allows the speaker to sit flush when mounted on a factory car door upholstery.
The grills are finished in polished aluminum and the rest of the unit is finished in a lightweight carbon composite material. This offers the device long-lasting reliability compared to the plastic build of the rest of the competition.
The carbon fiber build also means that the speaker set up is non-magnetic and can be mounted on or near other electronic contraptions without the risk of magnetic interference. The carbon also affords the speakers a unique polished finish and that upmarket feel.
The premium materials used, especially the carbon injection in the cones mean that the cones are light yet precise and maintain their integrity in the harshest of conditions. The light nature also means the higher end of audio is crisp and comes through perfectly. The extreme low end in the speaker also helps to drown out road noise and engine noise to provide a studio-like audio experience in your car. The built-in amplifier can handle anywhere between 18 and 190 Watts of power and produces an output of 80 watts RMS.
Although these figures are not truly top of the line in terms of volume, they translate well in real-world experience as the audio is crisp at the lower end and non-fatigue inducing at the higher pitch range. JBL has done a commendable job in making the audio experience appear to come from a much larger speaker system than it actually is. The system also brings versatility to the table as the speakers can be connected to an external amplifier and sub-woofer system if need be.
It is not all rosy for the GTO however, it still does not come built-in with a variable resistor or impedance control which lets the consumer choose the level of treble and bass produced. This is a key functionality found in less expensive systems on the market. The GTO also does not sit flush on the door and a head unit like many upmarket speakers but mounts half an inch lifted from the surface. But these are small things that barely hold back an excellent system.
- Full carbon composite aluminum builds that feels premium and is long-lasting.
- Low impedance speaker (3 ohms).
- Excellently balanced low-end sound and beautifully managed top end with almost no muffling.
- Compatible with third-party subwoofers and amplifiers.
- Well-designed low-frequency noise cancellation to drown out the road and engine noise.
- No RGB lighting on the system.
- It cannot be mounted flush without extensive modifications.
- Surprising lack of impedance/resistance control.
- Priced at a more premium consumer.
The JBL system is an extremely well built compact system that gives consistently great audio output but is priced out of the reach of the average consumer.
9. Infinity REF6522 EX
Coming from the land of the free and the home of the brave, this American speaker system offers true plug and plays functionality with no external amps and built-in variable resistors for customizable impedance.
Our In-Depth Review:
The infinity REF6522 EX prioritizes ease of use over anything else with a compact well-built system that you need only install and enjoy. With no external amplitude and a built-in variable resistor, the infinity system is designed to be foolproof and it does succeed at being that. The dome with edge-driven technology that is surrounded by high roll rubber instead of braided cloth ensures that the mounting is airtight and reduces unnecessary vibrations that eat into the sound quality of the system.
The speaker is not the loudest with a peak power of only 165 watts and a maximum of 55 watt RMS. The maximum bass output is considerably lower than the rest of the field in the market while the price not reflective of that disparity in sound quality. The 1” textile dome does a reasonable job of presenting the high pitched notes without noticeable fatigue. But the relatively low-frequency range of 57-20000 Hz causes considerable muffling in the lower ranges and quite a lot of crackling and loss of quality in the higher ends of the limited volume from the speaker.
The two-way system works well to create a surround feel by splitting the audio effectively into the left and right channels. This is especially useful as the brackets allow for the speakers to be mounted on either door creating a full audio sensory experience.
It’s not all bad news however, the system is built of very high-quality materials and the grill is made of polished aluminum. The mounting brackets are well built and adjustable making sure that it is easy to mount even on a hole that is not the perfect dimension of the speaker. This versatility is extremely useful for the average Joe that just wants a reasonable system for their car.
There aren’t any of the higher-end features such as RGB lighting or variable bass control as one would expect from a system of this price point. But the Infinity system has a trick up its sleeve. The variable resistance control lets the user choose between 4 ohms and 5 ohms impedance effectively letting the user choose between a lower bass and lower top end or a higher base and a higher top end.
- Variable impedance control.
- Easy mounting and airtight seal for good sound quality.
- Coaxial mounting and two-way audio that produces a surround sound effect.
- Priced at a mid-range.
- Poor low-end frequency sensitivity.
- A lower threshold of maximum power output than cheaper competitors.
- Lack of multiple functionalities and do not sport any higher-end features.
- Cannot pair with an external amplifier or another system.
- Speakers tend to overheat upon prolonged use
The infinity REF6522 EX is aimed at a non-discerning customer that just wants a system they can mount with ease and play their music on. The sound quality is sub-par for the price point and the extremities are not very well managed. If convenience is only what you care about then this infinity system fits your bill.
10. Kenwood KFC 1666S
From the land of JDMs and cherry blossoms, Kenwood has been a household name among car enthusiasts for a long time owing to their flashy and loud entertainment systems and racing history.
The KFC 1666S is a subtler option in their extensive line-up.
Our In-Depth Review:
The Kenwood KFC 1666S is an extremely well built low key subtler option among the tried and tested car entertainment system options. The speaker is built to last with anodized stainless steel grills and cloth braided woofer.
The classy appearance, however, does not mean that this system lacks substantial volume. With an impedance of 4 ohms and managing a maximum power of up to 300 watts, the Kenwood option is far from a quiet system. The company is known for its focus on well-built systems that do not break the bank has come through on this offering as well. Priced very aggressively especially compared to some of the competition this unit is made to sell and the popularity of the system is testament to this fact.
With a frequency response of 40-22000 Hz, the system while not being the best in the market offers value for your money with crisp low end and extremely well balanced high-end sound. There are zero unnecessary mufflings in the lower frequencies although there is a little bit of crackling at the top end especially at very high volume levels.
The speaker lacks high sensitivity sporting a very average of 90 dB. The maximum output is also capped at a lack-luster 30 Watts RMS. This is not to say that the speaker wouldn’t handle basic requirements in a normal set of circumstances, but it’s not going to blow the roofs off any cars with its volume and bass capability.
The speaker also lacks a few key functionalities that one may consider important in an entertainment system. There is no built-in LED RGB lighting nor does it have the ability to handle more subwoofers. This makes the system hard to pair with more speakers or amplifiers which could be a deal-breaker for many enthusiasts who like personalizing their listening experience. Other than the front grill, the device construction is mainly off relatively lower quality plastic which may factor into the long term reliability of the system.
However, these drawbacks are about what you would come to expect from a system that is priced affordably aiming at a more down the streaming market. Kenwood also throws in a pair of proprietary AlphaSonik earphones for free along with the purchase to sweeten the deal. Kenwood also ships the system with the necessary screws and a few spare ones along with a very detailed installation manual for ease of use.
- Low muffling for low-end sound making it crisp and beautiful.
- Good quality of grills for a long-lasting experience.
- The subtle flush mounting system that is designed with care.
- The relatively low impedance of only 4 ohms.
- Priced aggressively and well below most of the competition.
- Lower quality of plastic used in the construction.
- Not the largest frequency range resulting in some crackling at the higher frequencies.
- Not compatible with more than one subwoofer and does not support the cross pairing.
- Lack of LED RGB lighting.
The Kenwood KFC 1666S is aimed at the less discerning consumer that just wants a good reliable system that looks subtle and classy without burning a hole in their wallet. If you are that customer, look no further than this well-built little system.
Car Speakers – Buyer’s Guide
What are car speakers?
It is said that ‘music is life,’ and for someone like me that can’t go a day without listening to my favorite artist, that quote holds. Music is my constant companion when I’m cooking, eating, jogging, taking a walk, and even when I’m taking a bath, and I’m sure that’s the case of most of you.
For those who own a car, the importance of a good speaker cannot be overstated as well. From quick dashes to the office, to long journeys, music helps keep you entertained, and makes your trip enjoyable.
However, it is safe to say that most manufacturers don’t pay a lot of attention to inbuilt car speakers, and sooner rather than later, they start producing raspy sounds – just imagine listening to Adele on a speaker that sounds like a stone-breaker. To combat this, and continue enjoying music on the go, you should purchase a quality external car speaker.
In today’s guide, I’ll be walking you through all you need to know to purchase a high-quality external car speaker to replace the inbuilt ones.
How are car speakers different from regular speakers?
Vehicle speakers work best inside automobiles, and it would be a fruitless exercise if you were to try playing music with your car speaker at home. That said, there are several differences between a car speaker and a typical home speaker, which makes each suited to their specific roles. Some of these differences include:
One glaring difference between a car and a home speaker is the way they are both built. Car speakers are smaller in size than home theatres and are generally more rugged as they will be subject to a lot of movement and the full range of temperature changes.
Also, as car speakers are installed directly into the vehicle, they do not require a cabinet. Home speakers, on the other hand, take up more space and often need you to set up a stand.
Sound range and loudness
Because car speakers are built for use in the small, confined space of a vehicle, they are typically limited in loudness. Home speakers, on the other hand, cover a wider area and possess higher amplifier power, which helps produce a significant amount of noise to cover vast stretches.
This part is a bit technical, but I’ll try my best to break it down. Simply put, impedance is the amount of resistance an object offers to the flow of current through it. For car speakers, impedance is the obstruction to the flow of current from the amplifier by the speaker.
Think of it as water flowing through a tap. Once you block the faucet of the tap with a material, water flow lessens considerably. However, when you remove that obstruction, it becomes a free-for-all. The lower the resistance of a speaker, the higher the amount of current (in this case, music), that can pass.
Car speakers generally have a lower impedance rating, about 4 ohms, but they have lesser voltage to deal with. On average, a car battery produces between 12 to 14 volts, consequently generating more current. However, the current produced is such that it can be efficiently dealt with by a low-rating resistor.
Home batteries are the exact opposite of their vehicular counterparts. They receive a higher voltage input, and as a result, they produce lesser current. But, the current is still large enough that it requires a suitably sized resistor to impede the flow. Thereby, most home theatre speakers you’ll come across on the market come fitted with an 8-ohm resistor.
However, when you compare the voltage input to the current output of both cars and home speakers, it is evident that home speakers let more sound out; thereby, making them the louder of the two.
Types of car speakers
When shopping for a car speaker to buy, you’ll be confronted with the task of having to choose between the two types of speakers commonly found on the market: Full range/coaxial car speakers or component speakers. Each speaker is distinguished by how its components are installed – either separately or together.
Full range/Coaxial car speakers
Full range car speakers come with each of their components joined together in a single package. This package typically comprises a tweeter and a woofer, with the option of additional drivers that are usually joined together.
The woofer is responsible for giving out low to mid-range sounds, while the tweeter handles the higher frequencies. Also, since coaxial speakers come in one package, sounds of all frequency ranges originate from the same place.
Coaxial speakers are generally less expensive than their component counterparts, and they are also easier to install. However, most full-range speakers are typical of lower quality to the component types.
For those seeking to replace a factory-installed car speaker, a full-range speaker is the best option.
Component car speakers
If you desire greater control over your music experience, and you don’t mind splurging some cash, you should go for a component car speaker. This type of speaker comes with the tweeter, woofer, and mid-range/crossover designed for separate installation. And, Although, all three parts are spread across your car, they work in tandem to provide you with a studio-like musical experience.
Tweeters are responsible for transmitting high-pitch sounds such as whistles and cymbals, while woofers handle lower frequencies. For sounds that fall in-between, a crossover is equal to the task.
Because parts of the component car speaker are designed separately, special attention is paid to each; hence, they are generally of higher quality than full-range speakers. Also, the ability to place each component at different locations guarantees you a more realistic listening experience.
However, all these features don’t come cheap, and you will generally pay more for a component car speaker, compared to how much you’d get a coaxial one.
The power handling capacity of the car speaker
One aspect a car speaker should excel at to enable it to carry out its sound amplifying job is its ability to handle power entering it from the car battery. The power rating of a car speaker provides necessary information on the amount of continuous voltage it can handle before getting damaged.
Power ratings for a speaker are in two main categories: lowest power rating and maximum power rating.
The lowest power rating for a car speaker is the minimum amount of voltage required for a speaker to work before sounds start getting distorted. A maximum power rating, on the other hand, refers to the highest amount of energy the car speaker can handle before everything goes south, and the speaker gets damaged.
The RMS (Root Mean Square) value of the car speaker is what you should be looking out for to determine its power rating. Info on this RMS value is generally contained among the speaker’s other specifications, and you should earnestly study it before making the final purchase decision.
The knowledge of a car speaker’s power rating will assist you in pairing it with the right speaker. Furthermore, this also reduces the risk of your speaker getting damaged.
Features to look out for when choosing car speakers
Before buying that car speaker, there are several qualities you should look out for to ensure you choose one that will continuously deliver good sounds for your listening pleasure. Some of the things you need to watch out for when shopping for a stereo include:
The material the different components are made of
The material build of the tweeter, woofer, and even the speaker itself play a significant impact on the quality of sound given out.
For an optimum listening experience, the tweeter should be made of a soft, silky material to produce sweet, smooth sounds. Hard tweeters produce a sharp, coarse sound that causes damage to your ear with prolonged listening.
Woofers, on the other hand, create the best sounds when they are made of sturdy, lightweight materials that create deeper bass sounds. Most manufacturers build their woofers with polypropylene due to its ability to generate accurate bass sounds.
The body of the speaker itself should be made of tough, sturdy materials capable of resisting several hits, and extreme weather fluctuations.
Rubber is a material that offers these qualities, and it is the most common substance used in building speakers. Other less common speaker materials include cloth and foam.
Power rating (Wattage)
The power rating of a car speaker is the amount of voltage it can handle before it either works or gets damaged. Before buying any car speaker, take time out to check out its RMS value on the list of specifications. Similarly, check your car battery to be sure it’ll be able to power the battery or that the amount of voltage it supplies to the speaker won’t damage it.
The impedance rating of a car speaker, as discussed earlier, is the amount of resistance it offers to the This is a technical feature that needs to be examined in conjunction with the current-voltage relationship of a car.
When buying a car speaker, check out its resistance rating, and make sure your car supplies adequate power to overcome the obstruction and produce quality sounds from the speaker. With low power, your speaker simply can’t give out sounds.
Sensitivity refers to the ability of a speaker to pick up sounds and amplify them for your listening pleasure. Speakers with a higher sensitivity rating generally require less power and can pick up the faintest of sounds. Those with lower sensitivities usually need connection with a high-powered external amplifier to boost sounds.
If your car battery supplies low power to the stereo, it’d be better to buy a speaker with higher sensitivity. Low sensitivity speakers would best complement stereo systems that receive more power from the car.
The frequency of a car speaker is directly tied to the quality of the sounds produced. You can infer how good a car speaker is, in terms of sound quality, by having a look at its frequency range. Stereo systems with a broader frequency range are typically able to produce more
kinds of sounds, which results in a better listening experience for you.
Extra features to consider
Apart from those features listed above, there are some other factors you should put into consideration before choosing a car speaker to buy.
Compatibility with your vehicle
Check out the specifications of the speaker and make sure it’ll work well with your car. Using a low-quality speaker in a high-end car will not give you the best of listening experiences, the same way a high-quality stereo will most likely not work with older models of vehicles.
Prior info of your car that you should have before buying a replacement speaker includes the make, model, and year of manufacture.
You can also remove your car’s inbuilt speaker and observe its features and specifications to gain a clearer idea of what you are looking for.
Check the make and build of the speaker to verify it won’t begin to fall apart after only a short period of use. If possible, request for information on the materials used in building the components to ensure they are of the highest quality possible.
Also, as car speakers are placed in vehicles, they should offer a certain degree of resistance to dents and breakage that might result from falling or being hit by objects. Also, a good car speaker system is made of a material that can adjust to changes in temperature as vehicles are often left out in the open.
It would be a total waste of time and effort if you were to spend the whole day nit-picking through car speaker features, and have found the right one, you don’t have enough cash to complete the purchase. To avoid this scenario, and potential embarrassment, start out shopping with a clear idea of your budget. Of course, we have those moneybags who don’t have to worry about cash before they go on a spree.
Simple replacement speakers are cheaper to obtain, compared to high-tech systems.
Ease of Installation
After all is said and done, and you’ve bought a car stereo, you’ll have to install it in your vehicle. Choosing a speaker that is easy to setup will simplify the whole process for you. Generally, coaxial car speakers are more comfortable to install compared to component speakers.
Sometimes, you might need to purchase separate crossovers to work with your stereo system, particularly if you’re going for a component speaker. These external crossovers produce cleaner notes by separating and distributing the frequencies being sent to the tweeter and woofers appropriately.
As a result of this separation, the tweeter and woofer can focus on giving out their dedicated pitches, resulting in a smoother sound experience for you.
Do you need an amplifier?
One challenge you’ll encounter when choosing a speaker for your vehicle is whether or not you need to buy an accompanying amplifier. Most inbuilt car speakers come equipped with one, but they are usually not strong enough to handle our high music volume demands.
An amplifier works by picking up weak sound signals and significantly enhancing them to levels where you can comfortably hear them. There are some factors which might influence your decision to get a more powerful amplifier, and these include:
If you want to play music at a louder volume without having to deal with distortions
I think this is self-explanatory. An amplifier allows you to enjoy music on the blast while still maintaining the level of production featured in the song. With an amp, it’s like a mini-concert in your vehicle every time, ha!
Powering a subwoofer
If you’ve purchased a subwoofer to complement your car’s stereo system, then you’ll need to buy an accompanying amplifier. Subwoofers produce bass sounds which bring music to life, and an amplifier helps ramp it up.
However, if you are not bothered by a little distortion in your music, and you don’t want to have to deal with booming sounds, then you’ll be better off avoiding an amplifier.
What is a tweeter?
Simply put, a tweeter is that component of a car speaker that produces the high-pitched sounds you hear while playing music. It is an essential component of any car stereo system and ensures you enjoy those Beyonce-like high notes without any cracking or skipping.
Due to the nature of the sounds they produce, tweeters are designed differently from other components of a car speaker. They are built as small rectangular cones and are made of soft, silky materials that act as a cushion for the high frequencies notes produced.
In a coaxial car speaker system, the tweeter is fused with the other components of the stereo. In a component stereo system, on the other hand, the tweeter is built separately from different parts of the speaker, which gives you greater control over where you can place it in your vehicle.
Installation of tweeter speakers
For full-range speakers, you do not need to set up the tweeter separately as all the parts come in one pack, but it is an entirely different ball game with component car speakers. Follow
Before installing your speaker at all, you need to ensure the various parts will fit in the dashboard spaces and door holes in your car. It would be a terrible waste if you were to splurge cash on a premium stereo system, and you end up not being able to use them because they’re either too big or too small.
- Check out information from the manufacturer’s website on the best locations to place the different parts of the speaker. Component speakers have their parts separated for a reason, and to make the most of this situation; you need to place them in suitable locations.
- Get the essential equipment that will make the installation process smoother. Necessary tools include screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, and tape.
- Disconnect your car battery, so you do not cause severe electrical damage while setting up the speaker system.
- Using your screwdriver, gently pry off the protective panels or grilles covering the pre-installed car speakers. This is one of the easiest methods of accessing the factory speakers you can have.
In some other car models, you might need to remove seats, enter the trunk to loosen bolts or nuts, and even remove the whole door to gain easy access to the speakers. In the latter case, you might want to engage the services of a professional to help remove and reinstall your car door – can’t be driving a doorless vehicle around.
Once you’ve gained access to the factory speaker, gently loosen the cables connecting it to the vehicle to remove it.
Afterward, fit in the woofer, tweeters, subwoofers, and crossover was applicable to the now vacant spaces.
Because tweeters, as well as woofers, most times do not come with the factory speaker setup for cars, you might experience some difficulties in installing them. To navigate this challenge, you will need to create an entirely new hole for the tweeter or expand existing ones.
Not to worry, tweeters are usually small in size, so the adjustments you make will be minor. Woofers are considerably large, and you might need to install a custom panel in your car’s trunk to accommodate them.
- Test your new setup, and if you’re okay with the sound produced, fasten the components in place. Cover the new speakers with the protective grilles you’d earlier removed
- And boom! Your new car stereo system is all set. Alexa, play me Sicko mode by Travis Scott.
What car speaker size do I need?
Simply stated, the size of the car speaker you should buy depends on how loud you want your music to be, as well as the amount of space available in your car.
If there’s limited space available in your vehicle, you should go for a coaxial speaker system or a component set up with smaller parts.
However, if you have adequate space in your car, and you want to enjoy music with no holds barred, install a full component stereo system comprising the tweeter, woofer, and subwoofer.
How do you power car speakers?
Have you ever noticed that your car speakers work only when you turn on your vehicle? That’s right. Car speakers receive the required voltage to work from the battery. The speakers pick up an amplified electric signal from the battery and convert it into mechanical energy, which causes back and forth movements in the speaker cones.
Sound is produced as a result of air vibrations, and the subsequent to-and-fro movements of these speakers create the resonance required to produce notes.
FAQs related to the car speakerWhat is the difference between a car stereo and receiver?
A car stereo comprises the entire sound system of a vehicle, while the receiver is a form of the car stereo that has an inbuilt amplifier.