There’s a saying that says “Music is what feelings sound like.” Whether you prefer to listen to rock, jazz, hip-hop, rap, country, classical, golden oldies, or some other music genre, you can enrich your car listening experience through the right choice of speaker.
Often referred to as “the cornerstone of great sound reproduction,” speakers are key to adding realism to your music. People who listen to a lot of music grow to have a passion for it and understand there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hearing music the way the artist intended.
Without question, the first step in improving your vehicle’s sound system is upgrading the speakers. Why? Because they can make the most difference in the sounds you hear. After you’ve focused on upgrading your speakers, you can turn your focus to other sound-related upgrades, such as amplifiers.
When purchasing car speakers, it helps to begin with the end in mind: What do you want? What are you looking for in speakers?
Clear Sound Enhances
There are many speaker manufacturers in today’s market, including well-known favorite brands and lesser-known, emerging darlings. You don’t have to spend mega-bucks to get a rich sound experience, many different speaker brands deliver great sound.
Sound clarity comes in many brands and sizes and even less-expensive gear can offer a dynamic sound experience that works great.
But speakers do so much more than enhance the music. They make a difference for all the sound in your car that uses speakers. While listening to audiobooks or podcasts, following GPS directions, even when making phone calls, speakers can allow a crisp, high-quality sound and enhance your listening and overall driving experience.
You definitely don’t have to be a professional sound engineer to hear the difference a better sound system makes. Shopping for speakers can be a fun experience, even if you’ve never done it before.
So … buckle up, read on, and learn some awesome tips to help guide your car speaker purchase.
1. Learn What You Already Have
Sure, it can be challenging to know what to look for in aftermarket speakers. Start by learning more about what you already have.
What factory-installed speakers are already in place in your vehicle? This knowledge can set the stage and serve as the roadmap for your purchasing decisions.
The make, model, and type of vehicle you drive is another vital consideration. Even the oldest vehicle can be upgraded with killer speakers.
While there’s no right or wrong way to go about upgrading, take measurements of your car before you shop for speakers is helpful so you can automatically disregard speakers that are either too deep or too high to fit in your vehicle’s existing speaker receptacles.
If you’re not a fan of your car’s factory stereo, most are functional but unimpressive, you might prefer to save money by buying speakers that fit readily into your vehicle’s existing speaker receptacles and can use factory-installed wiring. You’ll find some speakers are far more compact than others.
A speaker’s power needs are also an important consideration when weighing your options. How much power, (in watts) do your current speakers handle? Current speakers requiring a lower number of watts shouldn’t be replaced with aftermarket speakers that require a higher watt rating.
Also, speakers are known to deliver different sounds in different cars since more spacious vehicles could deliver more echo, for example, than the sound from the same speakers heard in a more compact car model.
2. Figure Out Your Budget
The cost of new car speakers doesn’t have to drain your wallet or be a roadblock to your improved sound experience. Even dyed-in-the-wool audiophiles, people obsessed with high-fidelity sound reproduction, can find budget-friendly speaker solutions that are reliable and pack a powerful punch.
Perhaps one of the most important (and practical!) factors in making your ultimate speaker decision is the bottom-line cost. Begin the process by figuring out how much you intend to spend. Once your maximum budget is determined, stick to it.
You can find ways to economize even within a modest budget, using the existing, factory-installed wiring, for example, to further help keep your bottom-line costs down.
Remember to think down the road, past this speaker purchase, since many speaker systems can be removed and placed in another, future vehicle. Ask a car installation specialist for advice if you’re unsure.
3. Narrow Your Requirements
What features are you ultimately expecting from your sonic upgrade? Front car-door speakers or rear-deck speakers? Placement matters since replacing speakers that are low in the door sound better with swiveling tweeters.
Knowing the available options can help direct your shopping. It pays to understand a bit about the components of this ever-evolving technology so you buy a well-chosen speaker set for your needs.
As their name implies, these speakers are sold in individual components that you choose and piece together to form a customized overall system. So, the separate components: tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers are selected independently, from scratch, and end up working together.
Let’s further break down these component types:
- Tweeters are the smallest speakers in a system that make high-end sound frequencies.
- Woofers handle a speaker system’s low- to mid-range sound frequencies.
- Subwoofers produce the full-bodied, low sounds of bass.
To some newbies, component speakers might be a bit daunting purchase. However, other buyers do strongly prefer shopping around, looking at the specs and available features for the individual combinations of components they prefer. If that sounds like you, component speakers might be a good option for you.
Know that component speakers are typically the most expensive option and can be more complex to install.
Full-Range, or Coaxial Speakers
These all-in-one aftermarket speaker sets are the most affordable and the easiest to install, without going overboard money-wise. This type of speaker is the most hassle-free and tends to be a go-to replacement for factory-installed systems as they’re often a direct fit into factory speaker receptacles.
This means upgrading your vehicle’s sound from your car’s factory speakers can be relatively straightforward with full-range speakers, without emptying your savings account.
With all components in one, choosing the full-range type of speakers is the absolute easiest choice, making them the most popular speaker option as well.
If you spend a fair amount of time in your vehicle, maybe you have a bear of a commute driving to work each day, or maybe you’re planning an upcoming road trip, good car speakers can vastly improve your driving satisfaction.
Aftermarket car speakers can not only upgrade the sound quality of your audio system but they can also inject new life into your vehicle by letting you hear sound details not audible through the factory speakers.
With the right speakers for your needs, you’re well on your way to having personal transportation with an amazing speaker experience every time you get into your car. So, put on your favorite music and enjoy the ride.