You are probably tired of scrolling through websites after websites looking for the perfect guideline that will help you find the right speaker for your stereo.
Or… this is the first article you just stumbled upon on your first try. Either way, you are in for a treat. This single webpage will tell you all the things that no one else will. Well! What’s in here?
This article will describe you about car speakers in the past few years. Here, I have basically talked about how I perfectly match car speakers with the stereo every time.
By the time this article ends, you will have the perfect speaker in mind (or probably, you will have the speaker on its way to your home. Who knows!)
This is what you came here for, right? So, let’s get started.
- 1 Can You Install Any Speaker in Your Car Stereo?
- 2 What If You’re Trying to Match an Aftermarket Speaker with Your Car Stereo?
- 3 What If You Are Trying to Match an OEM Speaker with The Stereo of Your Car?
- 4 What If You Are Replacing a Blown Speaker?
- 5 Should You Get a Subwoofer?
- 6 Should You Get a Tweeter?
- 7 What Material Is Best for Your Speaker in terms of Build?
- 8 How Many Car Speakers Do You Need?
- 9 What Speaker-Size Do You Need?
- 10 Where Should You Install the Speakers in Your Car?
- 11 How Much Power Will Your Speakers Need?
- 12 How Much Should Be Your Budget?
- 13 Component Vs. Full-Range: Which One Is Right for You?
- 14 FAQs
- 15 My Last Two Pennies on The Topic:
Can You Install Any Speaker in Your Car Stereo?
Well, you can’t just set up any random speaker in your car stereo. Speakers come in different shapes and sizes. Apart from the dimensions, the type and power may not be compatible.
Although, if you get all the points just right, any speaker will perfectly fit in your vehicle’s sound system. But this is too much hassle. And chances are the sound quality of these speakers won’t be up to the mark. The bottom line is, you can install any speaker in your car stereo, but it’s not worth it unless you don’t have any other option.
If you are following my words, you probably already understand that there are two options. You can either have the original speaker from the manufacturer or get a spare part from a different company. I prefer the first option because, as I already said, the latter one is quite complicated to handle.
No matter what you go for, there are a few things you should be aware of. Keep reading, and you will find everything you must know.
What If You’re Trying to Match an Aftermarket Speaker with Your Car Stereo?
Aftermarket speakers have a few benefits, and people who know these secrets don’t go for anything else. Firstly, aftermarket accessories won’t let your pocket run dry.
You can afford them any time of the month. Moreover, they tend to be extremely durable. If you are lucky enough, you may never need to buy speakers twice.
The main point, the speaker quality is not disappointing at all. In my experience, having an amplifier with the stereo increases the loudness of the speaker while adding extra clarity to it.
Although, this power handling capacity should not exceed the limit of your car. For example, if the aftermarket speaker demands 300 watts, while the stereo consumes less than this, your vehicle’s sound system may not work.
Apart from this, the speaker’s efficiency must match with the existing stereo. This is hard to ensure with aftermarket speakers.
While it’s essential to match the wattage of the speaker with the central system, the decibels must be compatible with the stereo as well. In case you are wondering, these numbers are printed on the device.
Finally comes the matter of dimensions, and I must say this is the most crucial yet complicated point. You have to match the diameter, length, and depth of the speaker with the slot in your car.
There are a few places where you can set up your speaker (more on this later), and all these spots vary in shape and size. So before choosing a speaker, make sure to get all the sizes accurate. Otherwise, it won’t just fit.
I guess you will agree that it’s all a huge pain in the neck. You can avoid all these hassles if you go for OEM or original equipment manufacturer speakers. How? Check out the following point.
What If You Are Trying to Match an OEM Speaker with The Stereo of Your Car?
Finding an OEM speaker that matches your car should be easy. It goes without saying that not all OEM speakers will slide right into your car. To mount the right one, you may have to do some modifications and make a choice based on the specification of your car.
Whether it’s a blown speaker or you just want to replace the old one, having the device from the original manufacturer is the best option. This type of stereo upgrade will prove beneficial in the long run.
You also have to make sure that the power handling efficiency and the volume range match your vehicle. Most importantly, make sure that the size is just right.
Now you may ask, how is it anything different from aftermarket speakers if all the points of consideration are the same? Here comes the special part.
The sound production quality of the original speakers is far better than any other option. Though they cost a bit more than what you may want to pay, it’s absolutely worth it.
On the other hand, you don’t have to go through the trouble of measuring the nooks and crannies of your speakers! If you know the production year, car brand, and model of your vehicle, you can easily find the ideal speaker.
Not only this, you can find the perfect device for the perfect spot may it be on the front, rare, or at the door. How? Just visit this program made by Crutchfield and put the data in. This way you will find what you were looking for.
This ease, along with the assurance of the best sound quality, makes OEM the best speaker option for you. Again, it might cost a bit extra, and it’s still worth the shot if you can afford it.
What If You Are Replacing a Blown Speaker?
When it comes to the matter of handling a blown speaker, you probably don’t want to upgrade it. Rather you would prefer to replace the speaker. Right? I think this is the choice most people go for, or least should go for.
In case you have already figured it out, there are two factors to consider while the replacement is as well. The points are not the same when your aftermarket speaker is blown and when it comes to the OEM sound system. Why? Let me explain.
Your aftermarket speaker may not be tailor-made for your vehicle. I have already discussed this once those aftermarket sound systems may not be compatible with your car all the way. The problem is it’s quite difficult to determine.
Hence, the possibility of ending up with the wrong device is always there. This is the reason when I see that an aftermarket speaker has blown, I immediately blame the speaker itself. Yes, it was an incompatible speaker. Now, you should get a new one and install the device properly.
Ask a professional to find the ideal product.
Things are less complicated with OEM speakers. If you follow the method of choosing an OEM device that I’ve already mentioned, the chances of ending up with the wrong device are close to zero.
What’s going on here? Your car is probably the issue if I’m not wrong.
I have seen cars generating excessive power, way more than the speaker’s capacity. Later I found out that this happened due to a malfunctioning battery. And when it does, your speakers receive too much energy and become a roasted soundbox!
Though understanding this whole matter is quite simple, handling the issue is difficult. Obviously, you need to fix your car’s power supply. But that’s not all. As your speaker has blown, you have to get a new one and install that as well.
If you ask me, taking on all this is not worth it. On the other hand, fixing the power supply can be hard as hell unless you are an expert in this field. Considering all these, I would suggest you call a professional to take care of everything. They may cost you around $70 to $100, but you won’t regret it.
Should You Get a Subwoofer?
Yes, a million times yes. Subwoofers are not mandatory, but they are essential if you want to listen to smooth, undistorted music. You can rest assured that you are getting a subwoofer for your car.
However, just getting any subwoofer will not do it. There are a few crucial points you need to consider. Firstly, let me tell you a fact that may disappoint you. Not all OEM stereos support subwoofers.
This is quite strange because every aftermarket stereo I know of is perfectly compatible with subwoofers and every other extra component.
Now, if your speaker does allow a subwoofer, you should try to get one from the same brand as your speaker. Unfortunately, a big number of car stereo companies don’t make dedicated subwoofers.
This was conflicting for me. What did I do then? Finally, I discovered a manual method.
I tried to find subwoofers with the same power as my speaker. I installed them in front of my car. Not gonna lie, I installed two subwoofers at the rear of my car but I removed them because the frequency level was not that high. In other words, the sound coming from the rear speaker sucked.
At first, it seemed like an impossible problem to solve. Luckily, I stumbled upon the solution to this as well. I installed stronger subwoofers at the back compared to the front ones.
This way I was able to establish a balance. But how do you know which speaker will even things out? If you are confused about what you should do, you can always seek professional help.
Should You Get a Tweeter?
You don’t get to choose here. If you are setting up a speaker in your car, you must have the tweeter installed. A speaker cannot function without a tweeter.
Think of the tweeter as the vocal cord of the speaker. Yes, it is that important. Not only this, different types of tweeters affect the sound in different ways.
Adding woofers and subwoofers helps with the bass. If you are anything like me, you would want that. But you have to get a tweeter no matter what. The performance of the tweeter depends on the material of the component.
The best types of tweeters are made from delicate materials such as silk, poly, or textile blends. These elements can generate clear and refined sound.
However, if you prefer loud music, you need a sturdier tweeter. Silk can tear easily with loud bass. The solution here is using a tweeter that is made from graphite or ceramics.
What Material Is Best for Your Speaker in terms of Build?
The build material has a significant effect on the speaker’s performance and durability. There is a conflicting issue here. If the material of the speaker is light and delicate, it will sound better. But it goes without saying that this will make the speaker fragile as well.
On the flip side, having an extremely robust speaker may not be able to generate the same vibration you would expect to get from other flagship speakers. Although they will last decades, what is the use of it if it sounds like shit. Hence, what do you do then?
If you think about it, there is a way of ensuring durability along with top-notch performance. Not all the parts of the speaker are responsible for sound production while some are there to hold all the components.
Hence, if you can make sure that the surrounding material and all the protective material of the speaker are robust, the speaker will be durable as well.
The surrounding material must have the ability to sustain pressure and withstand heat. Rubber is a good surround material for car speakers. I like adding foam or cloth to it. This way, the double protection ensures twice the durability.
But you can’t go for the same robustness when it comes to the parts directly related to the sound production. For example, the woofers can be rigid, but the material has to be light. In my experience, I have noticed that most car speakers are made from synthetic films.
Polypropylene is a popular material to build the woofer cone because of its durability and weight. Magic happens when you add mica to it. The bass just becomes more intense then. Aluminum and titanium work as well, but they can be too expensive.
There is nothing much to say about tweeters, as I have already mentioned all about it in the previous point. In case you are wondering where you will get the perfect speaker built with these elements, trust me… the manufacturers know about these benefits and understand how they work.
If you make your purchase from any reliable brand, you can rest assured that you are going to end up with the speaker you want and need. If you are not sure, you can always check the speaker’s details. You will find all the info on the built material there.
How Many Car Speakers Do You Need?
There isn’t a definite answer to this. Why would there be any? It completely depends on your situation, needs, and obviously your budget. In general, most cars have 2 speakers in total. Both of them are installed in the front panel where they are convenient. This is the most basic and cheapest arrangement.
If you are into music and keep the stereo turned on whenever you step into your car, you may want rear speakers as well along with the front ones. Now here is an important point to consider. The rear speakers have to be identical to the front speaker.
The reason is pretty obvious, I think. If all the speakers are not the same, the imbalance of sound can ruin the music. And as you have probably guessed, this setup costs double the previous option. As you are having 2 sets of speakers, the price will undoubtedly increase two times as well.
The final and my favorite option is having speakers all around you…. literally.
If you want to experience the music to its fullest and enjoy the songs at their very best, you want 4 sets of speakers. The 1 set on the front, and 1 set at the rear side will give you enough bass to vibe.
But if you add two more speakers on both car doors, you will get something from another level! It goes without saying that this option is the costly one.
If you ask me, I’ll recommend having 4 speakers in your car. This is just the amount you need.
Having sound from the door is great but not necessary. Although having rear speakers isn’t necessary as well, it offers something you don’t want to miss out on. Moreover, it does so without emptying your wallet! What’s there not to like?
Again, if budget is not an issue, go for the 4 set speakers. (include a product of your choice) It’s a shut-up-and-take-my-money deal because of the surreal experience.
What Speaker-Size Do You Need?
One of the most crucial points that makes a product like this perfect is its size. The concept of size or dimension is quite simple, but when it comes to car speakers, it is a bit different.
Here you have to consider the shape of the speaker slot first. Car speakers’ front surface can be a perfect circle, squared circle, or round with four holes sticking out. Each for one product. You can determine the perfect shape just by taking a look at the speaker slot. It’s nothing difficult.
Then comes measuring the diameter of the speaker’s front. The distance between two opposite points of the speaker has to match the speaker slot.
Otherwise, the device will either not fit or will wobble in its place. Yes, bigger speakers are usually better. But you don’t get to choose in the case of front-panel speakers.
However, if you are buying rear back or door speakers, the size is not an issue. In this case, go for the bigger ones. 5-¼” is an ideal size for an audio device. The larger ones are usually 6”x9”.
Finally, you have to measure the length of the speakers. It means you have to determine the distance between the topmost point of the speaker and the bottom of the device. This length has to be compatible with the speaker slot. Again, this only goes for the front panel speakers.
And this is how you can get the perfect-sized speaker to match your car.
Where Should You Install the Speakers in Your Car?
I already discussed this. But in case you forgot about that or didn’t understand the whole thing, I am here to clarify the matter. If you have already understood what I am going to say, you can skip this part. However, I would recommend you give this portion a read so that you can gain a better insight.
The first question you should ask yourself is, what are you looking for?
Do you need a speaker that can perform its basic functions like playing radio forecasts and occasional music? The front speakers are enough for you. They have just the amount of volume you are looking for.
But things totally change when it comes to audiophiles. The passion for loud music demands not only clarity but the perfect bass as well. Unfortunately, the front panel can’t produce that bass.
This is why people install the rear-back speakers. In a sentence, if you enjoy deafening music in the car, install two speakers at the back as well. There is another category of audiophiles who love to be immersed in music.
If you want to experience the song and get the full taste of it, you should install two speakers on the car door, and two at the back as well. The front panel speakers will also be there.
This way, you’ll have a sound system setup everyone dreams of. Give this arrangement a try if you are really into music. Trust me, you won’t consider any other option.
How Much Power Will Your Speakers Need?
Technically, this is yet again another question you ask yourself. Do you listen to loud music or silent melodies? The loudness sucks in too much power while the soft music doesn’t bother the energy supply much.
A highly efficient stereo of 90 dB can be louder than this with a stereo that is supplying 50 – 100 W. In this sense, 200 W should be enough to power up a set of two speakers. But this is way more than the ideal amount.
On average, a decent OEM speaker doesn’t need anything more than 50 W. Even if you set them to the maximum loudness, they will draw in 80 W of electricity. This is the limit of their power handling ability. If you think about it, the difference is not that much. But the practical usage tells a different story.
As I am talking about the power supply, there is an essential point I must mention. Never hook up your stereo with an amplifier with excessive power (excessive power as in the power that exceeds that of the speakers). It may not sound dangerous to you.
But overflowing the power supply means your speaker will blow up. Though the device won’t blow up instantly, it will happen before you know it.
So, it’s wise to avoid such set-ups.
Despite being such a crucial point, it’s quite easy to handle. When you are buying the amplifier, inform the retailer about your speaker. They will find the ideal device for you.
How Much Should Be Your Budget?
Similar to every other point, this too is completely on you. Your expectations and demands will combine to become a budget. On the other hand, your budget will shape the arrangement you can have.
If you want only the basics, you should go for entry-level speakers. These sounds clear and good without the bass that may annoy you. Many people feel nauseated with loud bass.
If you are among these people, low-budget sound systems are the best for you. The price of these devices is around $300 to $500.
Raise your demand a bit, and you can get mid-range speakers at $600 – $1,200. These speakers will quince your thirst for the amazing music experience in your car. The perfect bass and the loud volume combine to generate top-notch music.
Want to build a complete system with time? You have the best idea here. This strategy will allow you to get the high-end speaker without having to suffer from a financial crisis.
It may surprise you how much a speaker can cost. The price of these stereos basically starts from $1,500. This number keeps growing from here. Just so you know, I’ve seen car speakers that cost more than a regular car! But you don’t need this.
If you really want a durable yet the best stereo for your vehicle, have a budget of around $2,000. You can also start off by installing the speakers bit by bit. This way all the equipment is perfectly installed while the price doesn’t hurt that much.
Component Vs. Full-Range: Which One Is Right for You?
Car speakers are not just ‘speakers.’ There is a variation in them. Each of these varieties has its own significance. And only you can determine which one you should get. I can only show you what each of them offers.
Component speakers are the most common of these types. Just like the name suggests, component speakers are available in ‘components.’ No, it’s not a whole speaker. Rather… it’s a separate combination of tweeters, woofers, and crossovers.
You have to assemble these components accordingly to get the perfect sound. I know it sounds difficult, but in practice, this is quite easy. The components are tailor-made for fitting in with others.
The good thing about these speakers is their power handling capability. I have noticed that component speakers can deal with a huge amount of power, in contrast to the full-range speakers.
As these devices take more power, they are capable of delivering more realistic sound with depth. The cherry on top here is durability. The sturdy components are sturdy on their own. When they come together, the durability of the whole speaker goes beyond any other alternative.
You’ve probably realized by now that the full-range speakers are totally opposite of the component speakers. This is true not only for the power handling ability but for the whole speaker itself.
Component speakers come in separate parts but the full-range speakers are a complete device. The woofers and the tweeters are already built-in.
Now, why are they called full-range speakers! The reason is the range of frequency they can cover. The woofers of full-range speakers can handle 40hz to 300hz.
In addition, the tweeters of these speakers can deal with 2,000hz to 20,000hz. The complete picture tells us that this type of speaker has a vast frequency handling rate that extends from 40hz to 20,000hz.
In case you don’t know, the bass you vibe to, the loud kick drums you enjoy, and the pop song you love, all fall into this sound range. What I am trying to say is, full-range speakers are capable of perfectly playing all types of songs. You may not get this with other types of speakers.
The difference is not noticeable, I agree. But if you put them side by side, you are bound to realize that full-range speakers are just better. However, there is a catch, these speakers are not very durable. Moreover, they cost a bit more than you would like to pay for speakers.
Want my opinion? Go with the full-range coaxial speakers. So what if you have to pay a few extra bucks. At least you don’t have to go through the hassle of assembling everything up like a complex Lego structure. The sound quality you are getting here is worth compromising for. Believe me, it will go perfectly with your car.
As you can see, matching car speakers with the stereo is not a simple matter. There are tons of considerations and decisions to be made. And here I have tried to cover all the topics you need. But I could not help leaving out certain points.
I realized you may have questions. To answer these queries, I felt the need to create these sections. Check out the questions and answers below. Chances are you will get valuable insights from here as well.
What Is the Speaker’s Sensitivity?
In a car speaker, sensitivity is the amount of volume the speaker generates. Simply put, it indicates the speaker’s efficiency in converting electrical power to volume or sound. This sensitivity is measured in decibels or dB.
What Are the External Crossovers?
External crossovers filter the frequencies coming from the head input. Then they send the appropriate frequency to the other components. It does so by adjusting the low and high frequencies to the same level. In other words, the external crossover is responsible for generating balanced sounds from the speaker.
What Does RMS Mean for Subwoofers?
RMS is short for ‘root mean square’. It is basically the power handling ability of the sub-woofers. The more RMS there is the merrier. It gives you the control to adjust the sound to any level you want. If the RMS is too high, you can set the volume to its extreme level.
My Last Two Pennies on The Topic:
If you think you won’t go through all these hassles of choosing the ideal speaker for your car, you can do that. But it won’t give you the satisfaction you deserve.
You are obviously going to spend a lot of money. A wrong decision can prove your purchase to be an unworthy expenditure. So just take a bit of time and give all these points a thorough read. A bit more investment here will keep you content for years to come. It is all that matters… right?