The vital part of a car stereo system is the speakers. With functional speakers, journeys get enjoyable. However, like other car components, they may wear due to constant use or age. You may also have a stock functional speaker, but these OEM speakers do not always offer the best sounds.
You want improved sound quality; you want to enjoy your favorite songs to be played clear and keep updated with news of every hour as you drive. Hence, the need to upgrade. Whether replacing or upgrading, getting the right size is essential and the first thing to consider. So you may ask, what speakers fit my car? We will answer this in a jiffy, but let’s have a brief insight into what car speakers are.
Car speakers explained
The speakers are the centerpiece of your car stereo system as they help transmit sound around the car. If you want to enjoy your favorite news station or music, your speakers should be in good shape. Again, you could have functional speakers, but how much clarity or crispiness you feel depends on the quality of the speakers you have.
Talking about quality, this brings us to the types of car speakers. There are basically two types of speakers—full range and component speakers. And the quality of sound they produce depends on their drivers. Speaker drivers are typically devices that help convert electrical power into sound waves. Let’s look at both speaker types in detail.
Components speakers are built to provide superior sounds. They typically use many drivers to make sounds; this includes a tweeter, super tweeter, woofer, subwoofer, and mid-ranges. However, the most common drivers used by component speakers are tweeters, woofers, and mid-ranges. All of which are separated from one another and, as such, can be placed at separate locations in your car.
For instance, while tweeters may be mounted near the dash, a subwoofer at the trunk, the woofer or midrange (or both) can be placed at the sides of the doors. But while placed at different locations, they work collectively to provide the great sound you hear. So how do these drivers work?
Tweeters are small in size and produce high frequencies, while woofers are used to produce low sounds. Mid-range drivers, on the other hand, just like their name, produce sounds that are between highs and lows. That said, tweeters and woofers can be further categorized to produce extremely high or shallow sounds.
There is the super tweeter used to make the highest range frequencies, while subwoofers, on the other hand, handle extremely low sounds. When the bass notes or drum plays in a song, and you feel a hit on your chest or shakes in the environment, the driver is the subwoofer.
Full-range (coaxial) speakers
The full range, also called coaxial speakers, also produces good sounds but not as excellent as component speakers. You will find them more in vehicles than component speakers, probably because they are cheaper. Unlike the component speakers that use many drivers, the full range uses only two drivers, interconnected to each other.
Typically, full-range speakers use a woofer with a tweeter mounted over the woofer. While the woofer produces low to mid sound frequencies, tweeters help handle mid to high sound frequencies.
Because both drivers of a full-range speaker are interconnected, all the sound frequencies (low or high) come from the same place.
Component and full range speakers-compared
Comparing both types of speakers side by side, we have the following. If you want something cheaper, full range is your go-to option. For better quality sound, component speakers take the lead. Lastly, component speakers have crossovers, so they are more challenging to install than full-range speakers without crossovers.
What speakers fit my car?
Whether you’re replacing or upgrading your speakers, quality speakers are paramount as they bring your music to life, making every journey fun. However, while you shop for quality, also think about the locations of these speakers.
Generally, your vehicle speakers are spread across different locations in your car, each able to take specific speaker sizes. You could find them in your dash, doors, and trunk, depending on your vehicle. There are 3.5-inch speakers mostly fitted to the dash or places where larger speakers can’t contain. There are 4-inch speakers that are like the 3.5 but offer better quality.
There are the uncommon 5.7-inch speakers that are also found in doors. Then there are the famous 6-inch and 6.5-inch speakers prevalent among automobiles with excellent capability. Not forgetting the 6×8 and 6×9 car speakers used for high-performance audio systems with adequate power handling.
So basically, you can have speakers of various sizes in your vehicle since speaker hole sizes differ. So you may ask, what size speakers fit my car? There are a few ways to know what speakers fit your car; let’s explore them.
Check your vehicle’s handbook.
Every car comes with factory speakers placed in different locations. You would find them in the front and rear doors, side panels, rear panels, dash, etc. Therefore your new speaker sizes must match these speaker holes.
That said, the best fit for each speaker location are those sizes that came stock in your car. You may ask what speakers came stock in my car? Check your owner’s manual. You will not only find their sizes, but you will also know the quality and brand fitted from the factory.
However, if you do not see that exact brand, there are also other good speaker brands on the market you can explore. There are the Bose car speakers, Pioneer car speakers, Alpine car speakers, etc.
Check auto shop charts.
Many auto shops selling aftermarket speakers have a car speaker size chart detailing different speaker sizes for various car makes and models. You could ask for this chart to find the best fit for your car’s make and model.
Explore online search tools
There are simple online tools that can help you find the best speaker sizes for your car. Generally, this tool will need some vehicle details like your make, year, and model. By inputting these details, you should see a list of speaker sizes that should fit different speaker locations in your car.
So you may ask, how many speakers are in my car? It could be 2,4, 6, etc., depending on your vehicle. To be sure, use your VIN to look up how many speakers you have. In many automobiles, OEM speakers are placed at the low ends of the doors. Other car manufacturers have them installed on the dash or space directly below the dash.
Other vehicles, like non-hatchbacks, have rear speakers installed on the deck above the rear seats. Sometimes, you may see several speaker sizes suggested for a specific speaker location in your vehicle. Don’t get confused when you see this; some of these sellers intentionally add other sizes and support with mounts.
So even if these suggested sizes don’t fit properly, the mounts can help. The more options you have, the more speaker options you have to choose from. After looking at these sizes online, you can explore some quality brands like Alpine, Bose, and Pioneer car speakers.
Frequently Asked Questions—FAQs
How do you know what speakers will fit my car?
With several speaker sizes on the market, it’s safe for car owners to ask sellers, how do you know what speakers will fit my car? The best place any of these experts will get your speaker sizes is your owner’s manual. Each vehicle comes stock with speakers of various sizes; this speaker size information is stated in your owner’s manual.
These aftermarket speaker sellers also have a speaker size chart showing a list of speaker sizes outfitted to different brands and models. They have this chart placed in their stores or uploaded online. So if they aren’t checking the list physically, they could run a quick check by using online tools. This list should show you all speaker locations and their respective sizes.
Can you put any speakers in any car?
Speakers are not universal. There are things you must consider when choosing speakers to install in your car. First, the speakers you install in all locations must be of the correct sizes. Secondly, the speaker power must match your stereo power. While putting the wrong sizes will give fitment issues, mismatching stereo and speaker power won’t deliver quality sound.
Speaker sensitivity also comes to play as it relates to stereo power. So no, you can’t put any speakers in any car. The best is to go with your manufacturer’s speaker recommendations, especially when it has to do with sizes. This you could get from your owner’s manual, speaker size chart, or these online tools.
When it comes to best sound quality, aftermarket speakers are usually great. For quality sound, you may want to purchase reputable brands like Alpine, Bose, Pioneer, etc.
Does it matter what speakers I put in my car?
In most cases, it matters. The first thing to ask yourself is what you desire to achieve. If you are concerned about sound quality, you want to go for component speakers. There are also some excellent speaker brands on the market, and they will naturally outperform inferior brands.
Many owners are also known to mix different brands of speakers. They can place one brand at the front and another at the rear. Understand that while you can do that, it will affect the audio characteristics. There is also the power issue; if the chosen speaker cannot withstand power from the head unit, you won’t get your desired sound.
Aside from quality, there is also the size issue, as only specific speaker sizes can fit into your car. You can get recommended speaker sizes from your owner’s manual or speaker sellers or explore these online tools. Literally, you can’t put any speakers in your car. There are some factors you need to consider. These include brand, type of speaker, your head unit, speaker size, etc.
How do I know what size stereo fits my car?
To know what size stereo fits your car, you need to know your OEM car stereo DIN size. DIN is the size of the opening in your dashboard that the stereo fits in. Generally, car stereo comes in two DIN sizes— single and Double DIN. Single DIN stereos are standard car stereo sizes in the automobile industry, measuring 2×7 inches. That is, 2 inches tall and 7 inches wide.
Double DIN, as the name suggests, is twice the single DIN and measures 4×7. That is 4 inches tall and 7 inches wide. Generally, a double DIN stereo features a bigger screen, making visibility easier. While those are the two popular stereo sizes, some vehicles also feature the 1.5 DIN measuring 3×7— 3 inches tall and 7 inches wide.
Note that there are universal head units that will fit any car. However, because all stereos are not universal, you must be sure of your fascia panel size, which will help you know whether your vehicle will take a single or double DIN stereo. To know your DIN size, measure your car stereo slot or look through your owner’s manual.
Do bigger speakers mean louder?
Yes, bigger speakers produce more sound. Generally, bigger speakers tend to attain extended range of sound frequency than smaller speakers. This is more apparent in their bass volumes; the bigger tweeters can make high bass that produces fuller frequencies small speakers can’t attain.
So if loudness is of utmost priority to you, bigger speakers should be your go-to option. However, while bigger speakers can attain higher volumes than small speakers, they don’t always produce the best quality sounds. Louder is different from quality.
In fact, some compact speakers also offer high-quality sound. The only flaw is those small speakers that offer quality, and high audio are even more expensive than bigger ones. This is true because making compact speakers that produce pitches as high as big speakers are more tedious.
How do I match speakers to my car stereo?
When matching speakers to stereo, there are two things you consider–speaker power handling and sensitivity which must match your stereo power. Generally, stereos are categorized into two groups —low and high. Low-power stereos output 15 or fewer watts RMS per channel, while high-powered stereo outputs up to 16 watts RMS or more.
Speaker handling power measures how much power a speaker can handle without interference when driven for long. Therefore, your speakers should be able to handle as much power as the stereo is outputting. This is why it is always recommended to consider upgrading your stereo when upgrading speakers.
Next is speaker sensitivity. Vehicle speaker sensitivity measures how much sound pressure a speaker can create with 1 watt of power. Generally, speakers with lower sensitivity will need more power than speakers with high sensitivity. Therefore, for balance, low-powered stereo should be fitted to speakers with high sensitivity, while high-powered speakers should be matched to low-sensitivity speakers.
Can speakers damage your car?
Car speakers can damage a car in several ways, though not structural or mechanical harm. Car speakers are power rated, which should tally with the power it draws from your vehicle. If, however, the speaker draws more current than the alternator can provide, overheating can occur leading to burning and damaging the alternator.
Again, car speakers use different drivers to produce sound, one of which is the subwoofer. If the subwoofer is too powerful, the bass from the subwoofer may cause the door panel, nuts, and other car parts to come off. You can prevent this by installing sound-dampening materials on the subwoofers during installation. Otherwise, you would need to tighten your bolts every few months.
Powerful subwoofers can also drain your car batteries occasionally due to too much current it draws. This is why it is recommended to upgrade your alternator and add a second battery if you’re upgrading to powerful subwoofers.
Can I just replace my car speakers?
You can replace your speakers even if they are still functional. In fact, car manufacturers recommend checking your audio quality every 3-4 years. So you can replace them even when they are still functional to improve the sound. But to curtail cost, you may want to replace them only when they are worn or you upgraded your stereo.
Worn speakers will usually not give the best sounds. Upgraded stereos, on the other hand, will also not work best with inferior speakers, hence, the need for better speakers. More powerful head units need better speakers. But first, you must consider your OEM speaker rooms, as they tell what aftermarket size speaker you need.
So what aftermarket speakers fit my car? The aftermarket that will fit is the same size as the original speakers. Your OEM speaker sizes are stated in your handbook.
Is upgrading your car speakers actually worth it?
Yes. Upgrading your speakers can significantly improve your sound quality and makes every trip more enjoyable. Generally, stock speakers do not always offer the best sound due to low-grade amplifiers that come with them. However, upgrading to better speakers will give your audio system better sound frequencies. Secondly, it will be worth upgrading speakers if you have just upgraded the head unit.
While upgrading head units is one way to get better audio quality, using them with low-quality speakers won’t give the best sound. More powerful head units should be matched to powerful speakers.
When upgrading speakers, ensure their power matches that of the stereo. And most importantly, ask yourself, what speaker fits my car and how many speakers do I need?
As the speaker size and numbers affect the cost. If you’re low on a budget that can’t meet front and rear, you could upgrade the front speakers first, then the rear. But ensure they are of the same brand or series. Lastly, while upgrading speakers will give better sound quality, ask yourself if you can afford it, as this may climb up to $1000.
Are 4 car speakers better than 2?
4-way speakers come with four components —could be tweeters, bass, super tweeter, and midrange. 2-way speakers, on the other hand, utilize only two drivers—a tweeter for making high sound frequency and a midrange that produces moderate sound (not high, not low). Usually, the higher the drivers, the louder the sounds.
So, in reality, a 4-way speaker produces a higher sound range than a 2-way speaker.
Though in terms of sound quality, 4-way and 2-way speakers are almost the same.
However, a 2-way speaker from a good brand properly installed may sound better than an incorrectly installed 4-way speaker from an inferior brand.
Does more speakers mean louder?
Usually, the more speakers added, the more air is carried, hence the louder sound. This is true, especially if the speakers added are of similar quality to the current ones. That said, while more speakers mean more sound, be sure your amplifier is strong enough to drive them.
Some people even install high-quality amplifiers to boost sound without adding more speakers. Meaning amplifiers play a great deal in making speakers louder. So typically, the higher the number of speakers, the more volume they produce collectively. However, this does not mean better tune.
Do better speakers mean louder?
How much sound a speaker output depends on its power rating. More powerful speakers will make louder sounds the rule of thumb. However, while better speakers are more audible, your stereo power plays a huge role.
Generally, your speakers’ power must match that of your stereo. This is true because the amount of power transmitted from the stereo to the speakers also influences its loudness. Powerful speakers matched to powerful stereos will offer optimal performance.
How to choose car speakers YouTube
The first place to start when replacing or upgrading speakers is finding the correct size speakers that snugly fit each designated speaker location in your car. And this article has succeeded in answering what size speaker fits my car. The best fit is usually your stock speaker sizes. So you may ask, which size speakers are in my car? To know what size speaker came with your vehicle, check your owner’s manual.
You can also check the seller’s speaker size chart or explore online platforms. Lastly, different speaker manufacturers use different dimensions during production. So don’t assume all are the same. For example, 6.8 car speakers from Alpine may differ from Bose’s. However, if they’re smaller, you may need to cut the vehicle metal a bit or use brackets if they are bigger than the speaker holes.