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8 Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Car Speaker

Car Speakers: What to Know Before You Buy

If you’re looking for an aftermarket speaker replacement, then probably you would want to settle for nothing less than the best. It’s very important that you keep a few important things in your mind when buying the perfect speakers for your car. New speakers put life back into your stereo system. Speaker units usually come in different sizes, types, shapes, and other features. You need to do some research before purchasing a speaker. The following are 8 things you should consider before buying a car speaker.

8 Things you should consider before buying a car speaker - with infographic

Let’s dig in.

#1 Type of Speaker

According to toptechgiant, the first thing you need to consider is the speaker type. There are two main speaker categories, i.e. component speakers and full-range speakers. Getting an ideal one for your car stereo can be a great money-saving opportunity and offers you that sound quality you’ve been looking for. Component speakers offer the best sound quality due to their design. They feature separated speaker components, i.e. woofers and tweeters are separated to allow for easy movement of the speakers around within the car. This results in the production of a better overall sound since sound waves usually move best on different speaker sizes.

High-pitched sounds are known to come through better on smaller speakers while low-pitched bass sounds usually come through more clearly on larger speakers. Have you ever asked yourself why the flute is usually small while the tuba is large? Now you have the reason. Component speakers are usually higher priced and are the best if you’re looking for a more advanced system. Full range, on the other hand, is packed in a single system. They are the simplest to install and costs the lowest. They are capable of producing any range of sound. These are so far the best option for those who’re looking to replace their factory car speaker units. A nice set should produce quality sound although they do not allow for customization as component speakers.

#2 Sound Quality

Sound quality is among the most important considerations that everyone looks for in a speaker. You can determine your speaker’s sound quality by looking at its frequency range. Car stereo systems usually feature specific frequency ranges. The wider the range, the better the sound the speaker is capable of reproducing. The normal peak frequency is 20,000 Hertz while the lowest is 10 hertz. You don’t actually need the whole range to get that quality sound because there is no proof that extreme frequencies will give you audible sound.

#3 Speaker Sensitivity

Sensitivity is the measure of how a speaker produces from the power subjected to it. If your car stereo system is low-powered, i.e. 15 watts RMS per channel or less, the best match would be high sensitivity range speakers (more than 90db). Remember, most factory-installed speaker’s car audio systems are low-powered. If you have a high-powered sound system, probably an aftermarket stereo system, or an externally installed amplifier, then you need speakers with lower sensitivity ratings. When properly powered, they’ll definitely offer excellent sound.

#4 Power-Handling

Another thing you need to consider when purchasing an after-market speaker unit for your car stereo is power handling. This allows you to know the amount of power, usually measured in watts that the speaker is capable of handling. A stereo system featuring powerful external amps requires speakers with power-handling close to the amp’s output. It’s important to note that the key feature in the power handling is Maximum RMS and not really the peak power handling as many people tend to think. Low-powered stereo requires a system rated at around “2-50 watts RMS” and not “10-80 watts RMS.”

installed audio speakers and subwoofer
Image credit: shinobi, Deposit Photos

#5 2-way or 3-way

The most common types of speaker systems are 2-way speakers and 3-way speakers. 2-way speakers are also known as coaxial speakers and are considered the standard units consisting of only a woofer and a twitter while the 3-way speaker has a woofer, twitter, and added mid-range component. Three-way speakers have a higher frequency range and therefore produce highs and lows of the sound thus resulting in a much fuller and more accurate sound.

#6 Speaker Build Materials

The speaker materials featured on the components have a large impact on the sound quality produced and also on the whole system’s lifespan. The following are the main components you should look at.

a) Tweeter

The tweeter usually features soft materials like silk, polyurethane, or textile blends that lead to the production of a warm sound. Tweeter components with harder materials like ceramics, graphite, or metal usually produce a pop’ sound with higher tones.

b) The speaker surround

This is the casing around the woofer and should be capable of withstanding humidity and heat. Rubber is usually the best-preferred material for speaker surround although some speakers feature cloth or foam surround which are less expensive and still work well.

c) Woofer

Woofers with lightweight construction produce the best base sounds. The most popular material used is polypropylene because of its accurate bass sounds although other materials like woven fabrics can be used.

#7 Speaker Compatibility and Configuration

Although speakers do not raise your vehicle’s value by much, they enhance the driving experience. Of course, you wouldn’t want to have low-quality speakers in a top-rated car. It’s, therefore, important to match your speakers with the car. Before you go out shopping for new car speakers, it’s important that you collect some information on the already available speakers in the market. If you’re really committed to exchanging them, you can remove the speakers are literally measured them. However, most speaker units have specifications indicated so you can just take the readings and present them to an after-market car speaker dealer. You may need to provide the model, make, and your car’s year of manufacture. This will give the dealer an insight into the speaker’s configuration and size.

#8 Cost of the Speaker

Different car speakers come at varied prices. While simple replacement speakers can be very affordable, hi-tech systems with high performance can really be expensive. You should, therefore, determine your budget before going to shop for speakers. You can adjust your budget to favor more speaker capabilities or features. The speaker size doesn’t necessarily reflect on the systems’ overall sound performance and the same is true for the price. There is no guarantee whatsoever that expensive speakers will work better than inexpensive ones.


Speakers are the life of a car stereo. Choosing great speakers for your vehicle’s stereo system may seem difficult but with Speaker Champion’s guide to selecting the best car speakers, you’re on your way.


car audio, Car Speakers

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