When it comes to choosing a set of car speakers, there are quite a few different options you need to consider. There are also many different brands to pick from, so how do you decide what will work best for you?
In this article we will be talking about some of the features you should look out for in a set of 6×8 speakers, and then take a look at some of the highly rated speakers currently available on the market. Let’s kick things off by talking about what kind of speaker you should decide on.
Full range vs Component
The first major choice you will need to decide on is which kind of speaker you want to invest in. Full range speakers are the most common type of speakers you will find, and these come standard on most new cars. These types of speakers essentially hold all the parts in the speakers, such as the woofer and a tweeter. These typically come in two and three range varieties. The main difference between two way and three way speakers is that the three way types often have an additional component to process mid-range sound. This third component is often otherwise know as a supertweeter. Essentially this feature gives you better sound, so three way speakers are often the preferred choice if you are looking at getting some full range speakers.
If you are looking for excellent sound quality, then component speakers might be the best choice. These speakers work together with a separate woofer, tweeters and external crossovers to give you the best sound quality. Since these speakers are somewhat independent of the rest of the sound system, they are typically of higher build quality than most full range speakers. It also gives you the option of choosing your preferred woofers and tweeters to give you the ultimate custom sound system build.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the above speakers. Full range speakers are very easy to install, and are the quickest and easiest way to replace your standard sound system. Most decent full range sets will provide a good upgrade over the stock sound system.
Component speakers will give you the best sound quality, but installation can be quite difficult if you don’t know what you are doing. There is also the added cost of the additional bits and pieces to consider, so this all adds up. It’s up to you to decide how much you are willing to spend, and if you are willing to do the installation yourself.
Next up you will need to consider the power output of the speakers. This is linked to your head unit or external amp, so you will need to find out what they can output. As an example, most head units can output 50watts (maximum output) per speaker. If that was the case with your car, then you should look for speakers that can handle 50watts. You must be careful to pay attention to the power handling RMS rating, and not the peak power handing rating. The RMS rating means the power which the speakers can continuously hold, so this is the important part to remember. The peak refers to the highest output the speakers can hold for a short period of time.
The last thing to consider is the sensitivity of your speakers. Generally speaking, the sensitivity of a speaker will determine how much volume it puts out by using how much power. High sensitivity speakers need less power to operate, thus they are ideal for standard car sound systems. If you are simply using a head unit with full range speakers, then you will need to look for speakers with a high sensitivity range to get the best results.
If you are using an external amp, then low sensitivity speakers are a little better. The external amp will provide most of the power to operate them, thus the high sensitivity ratings aren’t needed that much.
Now let’s have a look at some of the top rated speakers currently on the market. If you aren’t looking at investing too much cash, then a good two way speaker set may be ideal.
Full Range Speakers – Infinity Kappa 6829CF
The Infinity Kappa 6829CF is a very popular choice on a tight budget. This two way set has a peak power of 300w, with an impressive RMS rating of 100W. They have a sensitivity rating of 94db, and the woofer cones are made out of distortion free woven glass fiber. They come with a crossover dongle, which makes installation very simple. They have a adjustable tweeter level control so you can tweak the sound to your exact requirements. Overall this is one of the best two way sets you can buy, so it is definitely worth checking out. This particular model is being phased out now, so if you can find any for the original retail price of around $70 then you should grab them. New sets occasionally appear on Amazon, so keep an eye on the product page to see if any pop up. With almost 150 5-star reviews on there, it seems like these are speakers worth having.
Full Range Speakers – Rockford Punch P1683
When it comes to three way speakers, the Rockford Punch P1683 is a good mid range option. The max power output on these is 130 watts, and the RMS rating is 65watts. These come with an integrated crossover concealer to make installation much simpler. They come with a handy OEM size adapter, allowing them to fit in a wider range of vehicles. They have a 90db sensitivity rating, and they come with a one year warranty. They have a retail price of around $60, which makes them really great value for money. They should give you a good upgrade over factory speakers without emptying your bank account. These speakers have many positive user ratings, as seen on Amazon.
Full Range Speakers – Kenwood KFC-C6894PS
If you want some slightly more powerful three way speakers, then the Kenwood KFC-C6894PS set is a good set to consider. These come with a peak output of 240 watts, with a RMS rating of 80 watts. These speakers have polypropylene molded woofer cone, and have a Diamond Array pattern that makes for a stronger and vibration resistant design. The tweeter is ceramic, and is 1/2″ in size for the consistent reproduction of high frequencies.
These speakers come with a sensitivity rating of 87db, and come with a one year warranty. With a retail price of around $45, these are certainly very good value for money. You can check some of the many positive user reviews here.
Component Speakers – JBL GTO8608C
Moving onto components speakers, we have the JBL GTO8608C set. This set can handle a peak output of 210 watts, and has a RMS rating of 60 watts. It has a sensitivity rating of 92db. The woofer cone has a rubber surround to minimize vibration, and it has a one inch titanium tweeker for ultimate durability. It has JBL’s Plus One cone technology, meaning it has better bass responses and higher frequencies. It is very easy to install, as it comes with JBL’s easy mounting system. It comes with a one year warranty, and comes with a retail price of around $80. This speaker set has a number of good reviews, and at that price it does look like a tempting purchase. You can find more about it over here.
Component Speakers – Infinity Kappa 680.7CS
Lastly we have the Infinity Kappa 680.7CS set. These are a slightly more powerful set than the JBL mentioned above. They come with a peak output of 270 watts, and have a RMS rating of 90 watts. The have a glass fiber woven cone, for great strength and sound quality. They have a sensitivity rating of 94db.They are very easy to mount, and have a simple tweeter adjustment system. The tweeter itself comes in the form of a Edge driven metal matrix diagram. This similar to the ones found in high quality home audio system. With a retail price of around $160, this is a decent quality set of speakers. You can find more info about these 6×8 speakers on the Amazon product page.
So that is a look at some of the features you should consider, and a quick writeup of some of the highly rated models available. This should give you a good idea of what to look for, and perhaps how much to spend. I you have standard factory installed speakers, then some of the listed products should give you a fine upgrade over that sound.