Upgrading car speakers can breathe new life into your vehicle, but choosing the right pair might be tricky for you.
Knowing what you want to get out of your sound is another major step toward buying the correct set of speakers. Gearing your sound towards your taste in music will ensure you get the most enjoyment possible out of your system.
Our car speaker category carries hundreds of speakers ranging in sizes, shapes, and styles – and this blog will help you decide in getting the best speakers for you.
What type of fit do you want in your vehicle?
Some of the most popular fitments we carry are the 6.5″ and the 6×9″ speakers. While these are the most popular speaker fitments we carry, it’s important that you use our Fit Finder to determine what speaker fit works for your vehicle. This guide will tell which speakers you will need for your vehicle. The majority of individuals who are replacing their speakers are going to go with the exact same size as the factory speakers.
What kind of speakers are you looking to buy?
There are two main types of speakers you can purchase: component speakers and full-range or coaxial speakers. Component speakers offer the best sound quality because of their overall design. The woofers and tweeters are separated to offer more mobility in your car.
Coaxial speakers are compacted in a single system and are the easiest speakers to install. They are a go-to if you are looking to replace your factory speakers. They have the ability to produce any range of sound. Even though they are cheaper than component speakers, they do not offer the same customization as component speakers.
Our full-range car speakers are available in many shapes and sizes. Most have a woofer and tweeter molded into the speaker. Some also have midrange drivers. In contrast, component systems feature separate woofers and tweeters. This allows you to mount the tweeters in an optimal location for generating a more realistic sound. They also have midranges and external crossovers, which send separate frequencies to the woofer and the tweeter for a more efficient and cleaner reproduction.
Types of Coaxial Speakers
The two most common types of speakers are the 2-way and 3-way speakers. 2-way speakers consist of a woofer and a tweeter. Most of the top-of-the-line speakers on the market are 2-way. 3-way speakers, on the other hand, consist of both a woofer and a tweeter as well as the added mid-range component. They produce both highs and lows of sound, creating a fuller, richer sound in your car.
It is important to note that just because a 3-way speaker has one more additional component, this does not inherently mean it will perform better than a comparable 2-way speaker. In fact, many of our high-end coaxial speakers are actually 2-way speakers. Two and three-way speakers have different ways of delivering sound.
Here’s a quick rundown of the types of material used for your coaxial speakers’ different components:
- Tweeter: The most common material used for tweeters are soft, silk fabrics. This produces a more mellow sound. If you are more into high, bright sounds, then go for a tweeter made from more hard materials like ceramic and graphite.
- Woofer: Woofers made from a stiff, yet lightweight, material produce the best bass sound. Most woofer cones are made from a polypropylene material, with the second most popular material being paper. These materials stand up well against heat, cold, and moisture.
- Surround: The casing around the speaker should be durable and can withstand heat and humidity. The most common material for the surroundings is rubber. Foam and cloth surroundings are cheaper and perform just as well as rubber surroundings.
What Speaker Size Do You Need?
Knowing what car speaker size your car requires is the most important step in buying your speakers because if you buy speakers that are too big or too small, they won’t fit and you’ll either have to return them for a set the right size or get very creative with your installation. Another critical specification to be aware of is the mounting depth of the speakers versus the depth you have in your vehicle. Some vehicles have incredibly limited door space and require shallow-mount speakers.
Here’s a complete list of every size of car speaker available in Sonic Electronix:
- 3.5″ Speakers
- 4″ Speakers
- 4×6″ Speakers
- 4×10″ Speakers
- 5.25″ Speakers
- 5×7″ Speakers
- 6″ Speakers
- 6.5” Speakers
- 6.75” Speakers
- 6×8” Speakers
- 6×9” Speakers
- 8” Speakers
For an in-depth background of these speaker sizes – their function and vehicle suitability, make sure to check our blog about car speakers.
How Are You Powering Your Speakers?
Speakers require power and they receive power via the speaker leads that they’re connected to. This power is provided by some type of amplifier, whether it be a head unit or an actual external amplifier. Head units (or stereos) have limited power they can supply to speakers. Standard factory head units usually provide a very low amount of wattage to each speaker, around 5-10W RMS per speaker.
Aftermarket head units not only give you about twice the power, but they also open up a lot more options for your sound system. An aftermarket head unit will improve the dynamic range of the sound system, and provide you with superior sound processing components.
An aftermarket head unit paired with an external amplifier will truly maximize the potential of your speakers. You’ll get a larger sound stage, deeper bass, punchier mids, and crisper highs due to the more effective power transfer from source to speakers.
What Else Should You Know?
The sensitivity rating is a very important aspect to consider when gauging a speaker’s quality. An efficiency or sensitivity rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power into sound. The higher the sensitivity rating, the more efficient the speaker, and the louder it will play given a set amount of input power. An efficient car speaker helps you maximize your available power.
There are three main components of a speaker that decide what kind of sound it produces: the cone, the surround, and the tweeter composition. The cone can be assembled using three different materials – paper, plastic, and woven fiber. These materials can go by many different names, but it all boils down to those components. Paper cones provide you with the most natural sound reproduction, and are more associated with Sound Quality (SQ) installs than with SPL installs since paper cones less durable and rigid than other cones.
This can open the door for potential distortion if you aren’t careful when tuning your system. Plastic cones such as polypropylene are the most commonly used in car speakers because of their overall good balance between natural sound reproduction and durability. Finally, woven fiber cones are typically found on higher-end speakers. They can be composed of glass, Kevlar, and other components. These typically can display the best blend of quality sound reproduction, intense detail capturing, accurate imaging, and optimal rigidity.
Tweeter material can change the way vocals are heard. Aluminum tweeters are very helpful for vehicles that have a lot of road noise, like convertibles or motorcycles. This is because they are built with a “brighter” sounding material that can be a bit louder than a neutral silk dome tweeter or other soft domes.
The tweeter material is also important to consider when you go back to “What type of sound do you want?” Metallic tweeters tend to sound louder, while soft textile dome tweeters tend to sound more neutral and smooth.