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Car Speaker Sizes: Is Bigger Always Better For Fuller Sound?

Last Updated on: May 16, 2022

Shopping for the best car speaker is overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time buyer. This does not mean, however, you will have to spend sleepless nights or sink into a depressive mood because you could not decide what car speaker sizes to choose from! Just relax and let this noob guide handle the pressure of helping audiophile nerds (like you) search and check car speaker sizes.

With so many speaker brands to choose from, the most popular to name a few are:

Pioneer, Kenwood, Polk Audio, Rockford Fosgate, Pyle, JBL, and many more.

The list of the most reputable brands is endless, each claiming to be the best. Every manufacturer tries to come up with new features to set itself apart. 

Nonetheless, more than just the maker’s reputation and the innovations, you also need to pay attention to car speaker sizes. 

Picking the right size is more than just considering what fits in your vehicle’s audio system. It is also crucial to consider how the sizes affect the overall sound quality and listening experience. 

What Are The Speaker Sizes In My Car?

woman thinking
“Does speaker size really matter?”

1. 3.5 Inches

Fill your vehicle with immersive sound without the bulk. In fact, you might as well enjoy amplified speakers without an amplifier provided your stereo has a decent pre-amp installed! If you have a small car, 3.5-inch speakers may be the best option. It is tiny, but depending on the brand and specs, it can deliver unmatched audio. 

More than being compact, 3.5-inch speakers are also great because they consume less power. Not to mention, they are also affordable! 

Most of the speakers under this category are coaxial speakers. They are two-way speakers that mount on the same axis, which is also the reason why they are space-efficient. 

While it is space-saving, I do not recommend them if your goal is to enjoy exceptional bass. The small subwoofer limits the ability to generate large bass waves. It also has low power handling, which can compromise its overall performance.

2. 4 Inches

Looking at the speaker sizes chart, another great option for something compact is a four-inch sound system. It produces great high and mid-range frequencies despite the limitations in its size. 

With almost the same size as 3.5-inch speakers, the two sizes share almost the same quality. You can find them in several types, including coaxial, woofer, and component speakers. 

On average, the power handling of these speakers ranges from 25 to 45 watts. 

To add, four-inch speakers are often mounted in the dashboard right out of the factory. Most of the time, it does not have an enclosure. The latter makes it easily prone to dust and debris over time. 

The best way to make the most of them is to complement them with a bigger speaker. Combining it with a subwoofer helps in improving bass.

3. 4 x 6 Speakers

Those who are looking for a larger cone surface will benefit from choosing 4 x 6 speakers. Even if it consumes a small space, it produces a better sound compared to the two sizes mentioned above. 

One of the most common categories you will find under this size is the so-called plate speaker. It has a component speaker with separate drivers. It will also let you connect it to tweeters for enhanced audio output. 

You can also connect this speaker to a subwoofer. This will provide you with more control over the frequency range, allowing you to customize the sound that it produces. It can even connect to a stand-alone amplifier.

4. 5.25 Inches

Another speaker with a small size is often installed in the rear doors. You can install them in almost any car, especially in those with limited interior space. 

Most of the speakers of this size are factory-installed. Nonetheless, right out of the manufacturing plant, they might not sound great and can have sub-par technical specs. You can replace them with an aftermarket speaker from a reliable manufacturer. 

This car speaker size is popular for DIY enthusiasts. Because it is compact, the installation is a breeze. Plus, it has different sound ranges, which I find impressive given how small they are.

5. 5 x 7 Inches

If you go online and look at the car speakers sizes chart, 5 x 7 inches is often elusive. You might have a hard time finding aftermarket speakers with such dimensions. 

Many of the 5×7-inch car speakers have power handling ratings that range from 30 to 50 watts. 

Since they can be hard to find because they are not as popular as other sizes, you might want to consider using installation adapters. The latter will help you mount a larger component system, even if the available enclosure in the door panel is only for 5 x 7 inches.

6. 6 Inches

Another common option in the car speaker sizes chart, this size is big enough for almost all car models. It has a clear and booming sound while remaining consistent, even when you are traversing rough roads. 

While it is bigger than the sizes mentioned above, it is still easy to install. 

Many of those that fall under this size belong to the category of mid-range speakers. Meaning, the frequency ranges from 1,000 to 6,000 Hz, but they cannot produce the low and high frequencies that will let you enjoy the music’s whole spectrum.

7. 6.5 Inches

With good mid-range and mid-bass, 6.5 inches is the most popular speaker size. 

In most factory-installed set-ups, you will find these speakers in the front and rear doors. They are also common in the rear deck. 

One of the most popular speaker categories under this size is subwoofers. They do not produce the bass that you can expect from a bigger speaker, but it has a decent sound, especially when you complement them with component speakers. 

Compared to the smaller speakers above, this size can deliver punchier and clearer audio. 

Most of the speakers under this size category have stiff and lightweight cones. They create a more efficient response and a stronger kick.

8. 6 x 8 Inches

It is hard to go wrong with 6 x 8 if you are looking for front-door speakers. It has great all-around sound quality with minimal distortion. 

From lows to highs, these speakers deliver rich and clear sounds. They can produce better depth compared to the sizes above. 

While I do not recommend using the 6 x 8 speaker as a replacement for a car subwoofer, you will love the punchy bass that it can produce.

9. 6 x 9 Inches

It may not deliver the same bass quality as you can expect in a subwoofer, but it has impressive audio, especially when you combine it with the right enclosure. It is a great addition to high-powered sound systems. 

Aside from cars, this speaker size is also a great option for recreational vehicles and boats. Because it is big, it will sound good even in larger spaces. 

You will seldom find these speakers at the front door because they are large. Most of the time, they are installed in the back dash.

10. 8 Inches

Take your car audio to the next level with eight-inch speakers. This is for those who dare to be different and enjoy banging music on the road! 

If you want the deepest bass, this is the right size for you. Different music genres will be loud and clear even at full volume unlike in smaller speakers that can be prone to distortion. 

Nonetheless, take note that these speakers will require a lot of power to deliver optimal sound quality. Make sure to pair it with an equally powerful, well-tuned monoblock car amplifier!


How To Measure A Car Speaker Size

Wondering about the right size of speakers to buy for your car? Eliminate the guesswork and get accurate measurements! Here’s a quick guide on how to accurately measure speaker box dimensions.

1. Start By Removing The Speakers

To have a comprehensive measurement of the car speaker, you will first need to remove them from the rear deck, door panel, or anywhere they are originally installed. 

Pop the outside cover of the factory speaker. In most cases, you will need a screwdriver. After loosening the screws, pull the speaker lightly. Be gentle and disconnect the wires that connect to the speaker.

2. Check The Diameter

With the speaker now out, measure the diameter of its mounting frame. Use a tape measure or ruler to do this. 

As you measure, see to it that the speaker is on a flat surface and is standing upright. Measure the widest point of the speaker from one point to the other. 

If the speaker is not round, the measurement should cover all the widest sides of the speaker to identify the dimensions. Alternatively, you can also measure the distance between the mounting screws.

3. Measure The Cut-Out Diameter

Next, flip the speaker so that it will be in an upside-down position. At this position, the cone’s widest part should be laying on the surface. 

The cut-out diameter is the diameter of the frame that supports the speaker at its back. This is an important measurement to make sure that the new speaker will have a perfect fit on the original mounting hole.

4. Measure The Height Of The Speaker

The next thing that you must measure is the height of the speaker at its back. This will determine its mounting depth. 

When measuring the height, flip the speaker again. This way, the back part of the frame is the one lying flat.

5. Match With The Specifications From The Manufacturer

Now that you are aware of the car speaker’s original size, the last step is to match it with the car speaker size chart from the manufacturer. 

If you are still clueless about car door speakers’ sizes, I suggest that you take the old speaker with you to the seller. This way, you can be sure that you will be getting the right one that would be a perfect fit in the original mounting space. 


Go Beyond Sizes When Choosing Car Speakers

It is not enough that you ask, “what are the speaker sizes in my car?” Below are other equally important considerations that will help ensure the best sound quality. 

Look At The Build Quality

For superior sound quality, pick speakers with top-notch construction. It impacts not just durability but the overall audio reproduction. 

Pick ones with rubber surrounds, which will last longer compared to cloth or foam. Polypropylene, mica, and metal-coated synthetic fabrics are also great materials, especially for the woofer to reduce rattle and vibration. Meanwhile, for the tweeter, silk, metal, and ceramic are common.

Pick The Right Type Of Speaker

Car speakers are confusing, especially if you have not bought one before. Know the different types and see which one is most suitable for your needs. Better yet, choose between 2 way vs 4 way speaker set! It’s worth your investment.

Among others, one of the most popular is a component speaker. It has several components that you can install in various locations. Nonetheless, it is quite complicated to install and can be expensive. 

Another option is a subwoofer. It has low frequencies, which make bass guitars, kick drums, and deep voices more noticeable. It will boost even the lowest frequencies. 

You might also opt for a full-range speaker. It comes with a single driver, which produces all audio signals that the human ear can hear.

Know The Technical Specs

Aside from the size, the technical specs are equally important. Look at the speaker’s power handling, which is measured in watts. It ensures its ability to handle the stereo and amplifiers.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular speaker sizes for cars?

The most popular sizes of car speakers are 6.5 and 6 x 9 inches. They are common in factory-installed car speakers, and hence, finding these aftermarket parts are easy. They effectively combine space efficiency with audio quality.

Is a bigger car speaker better?

As you look at the speaker sizes chart, take note that bigger is not always better. Smaller speakers are better for producing high frequencies while larger speakers are better for low frequencies.


Conclusion

Picking the right size of car speakers is important. They can be as small as 3.5 inches to as big as 8 inches. Aside from the right size, however, you must also consider other factors, such as the overall construction and technical specifications like power handling. 

Are there other speaker sizes that I missed? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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