Selecting Car Audio Speakers

Does size always matter?

Installing a new set of car audio speakers is usually a very simple upgrade for any OEM car sound system. In most cases it will be a simple job of simply matching the size, power and resistance (OHMS) of your OEM speakers.

The first mistake that many make is trying to increase the size of their speakers thinking it will mean better quality and louder sound. This isn’t always a good way to proceed.

Checkout our 6×9 speaker buyers guide to find a perfect fit for your Truck.

What Should You Consider?

1.  The first thing to consider is the correct size speakers. There is only one way to ensure you purchase the correct size and that is to pop-off the door panel and actually measure the mounting diameter and the mounting depth of the current speakers.

This isn’t too difficult to do and since you will probably want to install your new speakers yourself, the door panel will have to be removed anyway. Be sure to lower your window inside the door and measure the available depth. Many times you will find newer replacement speakers will require a bit more depth then original equipment speakers.

Many car and truck owners opt to move their new speakers from the usual door locations. Doing this also widens your choice of brand and size speakers. There are high quality kick panel replacements which allows the car owner to install his new speakers in the kick panel location. This changes the “sound stage” considerably, thus increasing the sound quality that you and your passengers will enjoy.

2.  The next point to consider is the suggested power requirements of whatever speakers you are considering. The best way to compare car audio speakers is to compare the continuous power or RMS of the speakers. You will have to check your vehicles sound system to determine if there is an amplifier or just the source unit powering your speakers. Most OEM premium sound systems have an amplifier incorporated in their setup. You might want to consult your car dealer or a local custom shop to check on this.

Do I Need an Amplifier?

3.  Most entry level speakers from the better brands will perform perfectly just being driven by the source unit. But if you are going to invest in high quality car audio speakers, you should really consider installing a power amplifier. No matter which way you decide to go, you will find that just about any aftermarket car audio speaker will out perform OEM installed speakers.

Rockford Fosgate R500X1DIf you think modifications will be necessary when installing your car audio speakers, you might want to consult a professional. Most installers will have access to a data base which will alert them to any potential problems that might arise. They should also be able to tell you specifics about your source unit and amplifier. In many cases, you’ll find custom audio shops will include installation with a purchase over a specific amount. So you might consider switching out your source unit or receiver at this point. You’ll save money in the long run if you do your entire sound upgrade at the same time.


So just remember one specific fact, with car audio speakers, you do get what you pay for. Do not expect to get the same sound quality from a $99 set of speakers as you would get from a $500 set of car speakers. But regardless of your budget, you’ll be impressed with just about any after market speakers when compared to your OEM speakers.


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