The best car speakers

Improve your audio experience with a car speaker upgrade

A speaker

by Ryan Gilmore |

There is a near-endless amount of content you can listen to in your car. It appears every celebrity now runs a podcast, radio stations are (mostly) excellent and the emergence of streaming means almost any song you want can be played whenever you want. In short, there's never been a better time to have a good sound system in your car.

An upgrade to your car's speaker system will improve sound quality but the whole process can be hard to get your head around. So we've created a list of the best speakers you can buy for your car.

• Speakers for your car and home
• How do you fit Speakers to your car?
• What are Watts?

What is DAB (digital audio broadcasting)?

What you need to know about car speakers

Coaxial or component?

Coaxial speakers will include a woofer and a tweeter in one speaker unit. These are the most popular speaker setup for cars because they are more compact and cheaper to produce.

Component speakers have separate speakers for the tweeter and woofer. The key difference between the two is that component speakers do have a boost in sound quality. They are available for cars but do take up more space and are more costly to buy and install.

What is a tweeter and a woofer?

Put simply, a tweeter produces high-frequency sounds, a woofer makes your lower frequencies. Coaxial speakers will have both included, component ones are sometimes sold separately.

How do I install new speakers?

If you're replacing your old car's speakers then changing them out should be quite simple. Measure the size of the old speakers and buy some new ones that match that size. Wiring them up is a simple affair and will come with clear instructions from your manufacturer (always remember to disconnect your battery).

If, you're wanting a set of 6x9's in your rear parcel shelf, you may have to get the Stanley knife out, this might sound scary but it's not as bad as it sound. Parcel shelfs are generally quite thin and as long as you draw around your speakers to provide a template of what you're cutting away, you should be fine.

What about Watts?

We hear the word Watt's used a lot when it comes to electrical appliances from washing machines to microwaves but what does it all mean?

Wattage in speakers and amplifiers is about how much power a speaker can handle and how much power an amplifier is putting out. Amplifier spec sheets will often reference Continuous Power (occasionally referenced as Continuous Power Output or Continuous RMS power) and Dynamic (or Peak) Power.

Put simply, continues power indicates how powerful an amplifier is in normal operation. However, Dynamic or Peak Power could push 100 watts into 8 ohms and 150 watts into 4 ohms. That’s because Dynamic Power is designed to ensure that the wide dynamics demanded by modern digital music and movie formats are properly powered in the moments. However, this power is only utilised for milliseconds, making it an unreliable indicator for general amplifier power.

In regards to speakers, many manufacturers have their own way of displaying recommended amplification (wattage) levels. Manufacturers may provide you with Minimum Recommended Power, Maximum Continuous Power, and Maximum Short-Term Peak Power ratings for your speakers.

If you're wanting top-grade sound quality then this option from Pioneer is well worth considering. Boasting a deep and rich bass (something coaxial speakers sometimes struggle with), these speakers are definitely worth the premium pricing.

• Top grade sound quality
• Bonus headphones are a nice touch
• Expensive option

Perfect if you just want a boost in quality without breaking the bank, these four-inch speakers from Sony will provide a crisper sound if your cars normal speakers are showing signs of age. They are also easy to install.

• Great sound quality
• Good value
• Not the most powerful option for bass-heavy music

An underseat subwoofer is definitely an option for serious audiophiles only. it'll totally transform your listening experience by amplifying the low frequencies that standard speakers struggle to produce. An underseat subwoofer will totally transform how you listen to music in your car. This model from Kenwood boasts a maximum output of 150w which basically means it's very powerful.

• Amazing low-frequency sounds
• Expensive Requires other speakers to get a full sound experience

A more powerful coaxial option, this model from Pioneer is a popular option for an audio upgrade. Using a multi-layer mica matrix design, this speaker set offers excellent sound quality. For extra money, Halfords will even fit these speakers for you.

• Can be installed for you for an additional cost
• Bass is a bit weak

A great thing to own in general, a portable speaker will allow you to play music anywhere you take your phone (within reason obviously). This portable speaker has built-in Bluetooth and a 15-hour battery life, perfect for use in your car.

• Portable, use in your home as well as your car
• Won't give you surround sound quality Will require charging

A great option if you want something portable, this speaker slots neatly into your sun visor. It also doubles as a handsfree kit, allowing you to legally make phone calls thanks to full Siri and Google Assistant integration. A 10-hour battery life is a plus, even is the 3w speaker is a little weedy.

• Out of the way
• Phone call function a bonus
• Not very powerful speakers
• Needs charging

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