One of the first upgrades most people consider to make to their car or truck usually involves the car audio system. The one area that usually has the most impact on any sound system is the car speakers.
If the shopper is new to Car Audio Speakers, selecting the best car speakers for his or her vehicle can really be a challenge. In many cases it isn’t difficult to find the size and power rating of the existing speakers but how do you go about finding the best speakers for your existing system?
The first thing to consider is the size of your Car Audio Speakers. There is only one way to be sure of what size you might fit and that is by removing the door panel and actually measuring the diameter of the cutout in the frame and the allowable depth with the window in the down position.
This isn’t as difficult as it might seem and usually with a couple hand tools and some common sense most people can do this themselves.
Of course if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can always ask a friend for help. Another way to handle this is to consider one of the many “shallow mount” speakers on the market today.
In the majority of cases these will fit in just about any door. Of course things get a bit more challenging if you are dealing with dash mount speakers. This is one reason many opt to simply add another set of high end speakers to a new location like in the kick panels.
Q-Logic Q-forms are custom fit kick panel replacement panels and they were always a popular install in our shop. You will find they come in two sizes and accept 5 1/4″ or 6 1/2″ diameter speakers of just about any depth.
The added benefit of this type of install is they are easy to remove when you trade in your vehicle. If you go with expensive high end speakers, this is something to consider.
To keep things simple, full range speakers will be call co-axial or tri-axial speakers and appear as a single speaker to install at each location. You will find component speaker systems will consist of a separate woofer and tweeter to install at each location.
Component speakers usually provide the best quality of sound since there are separate speakers to handle the highs and the mid frequencies. You can actually find three-way component systems also which will have a mid, a woofer, and tweeter for each speaker location.
As mentioned earlier, if you opt for installation in kick panels you will find they already have provisions for component speakers.
Beyond the size of your speakers, you have to consider the power requirements of any speakers you might select. All speakers, both full range and component systems will provide the RMS or continuous power rating of the speakers.
While standard speakers from the likes of Boss, Infinity, Pioneer and Kenwood are usually easily driven by any vehicle head unit with even a minimum output, many high end speakers with names like MB Quart, CDT, JL Audio or Alpine will require an amplifier for best performance.
Many OEM premium sound systems today have an amplifier built-in to their system. It might be good to check with your car dealer or a custom audio shop just to be sure. If this is so, you might have to purchase an adapter for your after market speakers.
Of course if you are upgrading your vehicle’s source unit or radio at the same time, this will allow you to match your speakers perfectly either with or without a Car Amplifier depending upon the speakers and the source unit.
Another thing to consider if going this route is whether you will upgrade front and rear speakers. If you do and an amplifier is needed it is always a good idea to select a 4 channel amp since it will provide the best control for sound quality.
A bit of good advice is to remember that no speakers will sound the same in your vehicle as they do in a store’s showroom.
But then again, no one in your vehicle will be comparing the sound to anything else either. So what ever you select be assured it will be a great improvement over any OEM sound system.
But never expect to get the same sound from a $59 set of speakers that you would from a $500 component system. As with most things in life, with car speakers expect to get exactly what you pay for.