Despite how many cars I’ve been through (a lot), I’ve never once stuck with factory speaker set. In fact, the first thing I do when I get a new car is start hunting for the best 6×8 speakers to replace the default pair.
Well, it mostly has to do with the build quality. It completely baffles me how many well-made cars have sub-par speaker sets. It’s almost like the audio quality is an afterthought to most vehicle manufacturers. Higher quality construction materials improve a speaker’s ability to reproduce bass, middle and treble frequencies accurately. In addition, they improve the durability of the unit as well, allowing it to withstand harsh temperatures and extreme humidity levels.
So that’s why I always buy aftermarket speakers instead of sticking with the factory pairs. In this article, I’ve reviewed my top five picks out of all the aftermarket 6×8 speakers I’ve had the pleasure of testing out this year. But before we get into the reviews, I want to answer a very crucial question that a lot of first-timer buyers have.
How Do You Find The Best Speakers?
‘Best’ is subjective, meaning that the speakers that suit me perfectly may not be right for you at all. In order to find the 6×8 pair that works best for you, you need to consider two main things:
- What your audio preferences are
- Whether the speaker you’re considering is compatible with your car’s stereo system
First of all, the way a speaker sounds is determined by the way it’s built: particularly, the materials that make up its components. In this section, I’m going to talk about the commonest woofer and tweeter materials and get into how they impact the sound.
Second, speaker-stereo compatibility can be figured out by looking at three technical specifications: power-handling, speaker impedance, and sensitivity. I’ll explain what each of these mean.
Woofer Cone Materials
The woofer is the sound driver that handles all the bass frequencies. You may have heard of the term ‘subwoofer’ being thrown around and it refers to a specific type of woofer that handles the lowest bass frequencies – the sub-bass.
Woofer cones need to be made of a material that’s both stiff and lightweight, which is why polypropylene is a very popular choice. Polypropylene is firm enough that it prevents the woofer cone from rattling excessively when it has to pump out sound waves at high volumes. This is known as dampening and it prevents the bass frequencies from distorting when you play music really loud through a speaker. At the same time, polypropylene is light enough that it allows the cone to vibrate as much as it needs to.
Read : Best 6.5 Component Speakers
Some polypropylene cones are actually injected with minerals like carbon or mica. This reinforces the cone and makes it stiffer, and as a result, you get even better dampening.
Other woofer cone materials include paper, metals, ceramics, and Kevlar. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, untreated paper is both stiff and lightweight but doesn’t fare so well against extremes of temperature and humidity. Therefore it isn’t the most durable material.
Woofer Surround Materials
The surround is the thin material that covers the edge of the cone. It has a very important purpose: to keep the cone from vibrating so much that it actually shifts inside the speaker basket at the same time. This means that it needs to be stiff while also being flexible because we still want the cone to be able to vibrate and produce sound. Because of this, surrounds are most often made of rubber.
Rubber isn’t just stiff and flexible; it’s also very resistant to temperature and humidity. This is very important for door-mounted speakers because we all know how doors can heat up during summer. In addition to rubber, you may also come across surrounds that are made of foam and cloth. The latter isn’t as durable as rubber but modern variants of foam like the ribbed polyester kind certainly are.
Tweeters handle the upper frequencies in music and can be categorized as ‘soft tweeters’ and ‘hard tweeters’. Soft tweeters are usually made of textile material like silk and they produce highs are that are warm, mellow and very detailed. The major drawback with soft tweeters is that they’re not very good at dampening sound. As a result, when you crank up the volume, the treble frequencies tend to gain some distortion.
Hard tweeters, on the other hand, are excellent at dampening. They’re commonly made of either metal, graphite or ceramics. Metal tweeters, in particular, are very sharp (cutting through all that pesky road noise during work commutes) and they tend to make the sound brighter.
The Technical Details
How compatible is a speaker with your existing stereo? These three tech specs will let you figure it out:
More power means better sound quality and of course, more volume. However, if you supply a speaker with more power than it can handle, then it’s eventually going to overheat and break down. The maximum amount of power (in watts) that a speaker can safely receive is known as power-handling.
There are two specifications that relate to power-handling. The first is peak power-handling which indicates the absolute maximum amount of watts that you can supply to a speaker. The other is the ‘Maximum RMS’ which gives you an idea of how much power a speaker can receive on a continuous basis.
The RMS is a more useful spec when you’re trying to determine speaker-stereo compatibility. Typically, if it’s rated at 2-50 watts, then it’s more compatible with a low-powered stereo than a high-powered one.
Sensitivity tells you how loud a speaker is going to get when you pass one watt of power into it. If you’ve got a low-powered stereo, you want to pass up on speakers that have a sensitivity rating lower than 80dB. This is because you’ll have to supply the speaker with a lot of power in order to reach really loud volumes (power the stereo may not actually be able to provide).
On the other hand, if you’ve got a high-powered stereo, you’d certainly have a better chance of getting really loud with low-sensitivity speakers. However, you also need to consider the speaker’s power-handling.
Impedance measures the amount of resistance (in ohms) that a speaker will show to the current supplied to it. The lower the impedance, the more current it draws. This might seem like a good thing but consider what happens if it’s too low: the amplifier has to work really hard to supply a huge amount of current to the speaker, which in turn may cause the former to overheat and break down.
On the other hand, if the impedance is too high, the speaker won’t have enough power to sound as loud as it can.
Most speakers have an impedance of 4 ohms, which appears to be ideal for drawing enough power while not stressing out the amplifier. Some may have an impedance of 3 ohms to compensate for the undersized wiring you’ll find in most modern cars, which adds more resistance on its own.
Best 6×8 Car Speaker Reviews
Now that you know how to choose your ideal set of speakers, let’s take a look at a review of my top five picks for this year, starting with the:
- The Punch P1683 is an impressive 3-way full-range speaker designed for...
- The P1683 6”x8” 4-Ohm black speakers come as a pair, have a power...
- Featuring a PEI dome tweeter with built-in crossover and injection...
- FlexFit basket design utilizes slots instead of single screw sized...
- Famous Rockford Fosgate build quality with a full 1-year warranty when...
Reinforced Polypropylene Woofer
The Rockford Fosgate P1683’s woofer cone is not just made out of polypropylene but is injected with minerals as well, giving it additional stiffness. As a result, I could always crank up the volume on my music without having to worry about the mid-bass distorting.
Vertical Attach Surround Technique (VAST™)
VAST is a unique technique for attaching the surround to the edge of the cone, resulting in a 25% increase in the cone’s surface area. This means that more air and soundwaves were being pushed out of the speaker, giving the low-end a ‘fuller’ and ‘punchier’ sound. I could honestly ‘feel’ the bass because of the sheer force it was emitted at.
The sound of the highs you get from polyetherimide tweeters more closely resembles that of silk tweeters than metal tweeters. It sounds well-rounded and detailed but with slightly more sharpness than what you get from silk tweeters. As a result, the highs were relatively effective at cutting through road noise.
Further, the PEI tweeters are much better at dampening than silk tweeters. So the upper frequencies never really distorted unless I got to ear-splitting levels of loudness.
A supertweeter is an additional driver found in some speakers that handle the extended upper frequencies. Because of this, I could hear very high-pitched vocals (like that crazy high ‘F’ note that Minnie Riperton pulls in “Lovin’ You”), ‘squealing’ guitar solos and violin arpeggios with all of their nuances.
Crossovers are components that take a signal and separates the bass and treble frequencies (and sometimes middle frequencies as well, if it’s a 3-way crossover), and sends each to the appropriate sound driver. The benefit here is that it allows for better imaging, which is the extent to which a speaker can recreate the original panning of the instruments present in a piece of music.
As a result, whenever I played classical music through the P1683, I could always tell that the violins were coming from the left and the brass from the right.
The Rockford Fosgate P1683 has a power-handling rating of 6-65 watts which means that it can handle being paired up with a high-powered stereo. Since it’s got a sensitivity of 90dB, it doesn’t need actually need that much power to get really loud. Hence, it’ll work fine hooked up to a low-powered stereo as well.
Lastly, the P1683 has an impedance of 4 ohms, meaning it won’t stress out the amplifier.
- Excellent sound reproduction with no added distortion on the bass at higher volumes
- Compatible with both low-powered and high-powered stereos
- Rich mid-bass
- Supertweeter handles extended highs
- Crossover allows for accurate imaging
- Highs tended to distort slightly when I turned up the volume close to max
- Pioneer TS-A6880F 6" x 8" A-Series 4-Way Car Speakers
- Power Handling: Peak: 350 watts per pair / RMS: 80 watts per pair
- Top-mount Depth: 2. 5" / 4 ohms impedance
- Frequency Response: 34-34, 000 Hz / Sensitivity: 88dB
Mica and Carbon-Reinforced Polypropylene
Like the Rockford Fosgate P1683, the Pioneer TS-A6880F comes with a mineral-reinforced polypropylene woofer cone. The benefit, of course, is that the bass frequencies remain accurate and undistorted even at really high volumes.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Tweeter
PET is a synthetic material which, like PEI, is stiffer and therefore better at dampening than textile tweeters. So you can still have your music playing quite loud before the highs start to get fizzy.
Cellulose Fiber Mid-Range Driver
The Pioneer TS-A6880F has its own midrange driver which specifically handles all of the frequencies between 300Hz and 5,000Hz. These ‘middle’ frequencies determine how ‘forward-placed’ the overall sound is. Hence, the sound coming out of TS-A6880F felt quite lively and more impactful. I found that I didn’t have to turn up the volume as much to let all the details come through.
The Tech Specs
This speaker comes with a power-handling rating of 80 watts RMS, which is definitely one of the highest I’ve ever come across personally. This means that it can be connected to a high-powered system with no problems whatsoever. It’s got a sensitivity of 88dB, which is definitely decent enough to get it to work with a low-powered stereo as well.
Its impedance is rated at 4 ohms.
- Excellent sound quality with no distortion of bass at high volumes
- Push ‘mids’ make songs feel very lively
- Can pair it up with either a high-powered or low-powered audio system
- Can’t get to max volume on the stereo without the highs distorting slightly
- 3.0 ohms Impedance, edge-driven, textile tweeters
- High quality product
- Manufactured in United States
Plus One Polypropylene Woofer Cone
If you like bass that has a lot of ‘weight’ to it, then you might appreciate what the Infinity REF8622CFX’s woofer has to offer. It’s got a polypropylene cone with a ‘Plus One’ design which essentially increases the cone’s surface area by 30%. This means that the cone is able to pump out more low frequencies at once, creating a bass sound that not only ‘packs a punch’ but also contains all the tiny details.
The Infinity REF8622CFX came fitted with a soft tweeter, which gave the highs a warm and smooth quality. However, I did notice that they start to turn a bit harsh if I go beyond the 85% volume level.
One thing I loved about these tweeters was the fact they were ‘edge-driven’. This basically means that they’re quick at dissipating heat and thereby able to avoid any heat damage to their internal components. As a result, I could have music playing for a prolonged period of time without receiving any performance issues from the tweeter.
The Tech Specs
The Infinity REF8622CFX sports a power-handling rating of 60 watts RMS, which means that they can work fine with a high-powered stereo. However, you may want to take care if you’re also using a powerful external amplifier. You may end up supplying more power than this speaker can handle.
The REF8622CFX can also work perfectly well with a low-powered stereo, considering that it’s got a sensitivity rating of 93dB. This means that you can still go very loud with it.
Last but not least, the REF8622CFX uses True Four Ohm Impedance technology. This means that the speaker’s actual impedance is 3 ohms but when you factor in the speaker wire’s impedance, the total comes to 4 ohms, which is what the amplifier actually sees. This prevents the speaker from resisting the amplifier too much.
- Extremely powerful bass
- Tweeters won’t overheat with prolonged use
- Compatible with both high-powered and low-powered audio systems
- The treble frequencies begin distorting at high volumes
- 70Hz - 20Khz FREQUENCY RESPONSE: Pyle, 6” x 8” three way sound...
- 4-OHM IMPEDANCE: This car speaker has 4-ohm impedance rating that...
- 1'' ASV VOICE COIL: Pyle car sound speaker system is capable of 1''...
- 180W RMS AND 360W PEAK: This 6” x 8” car speaker can provide up to...
- LOUD AND CLEAR: Pyle car speaker were carefully combined to reproduce...
You don’t see many with speakers with coloured cones. The Pyle PL683BL sports a really cool retro blue finish on its woofer cones that can add some flavour to an otherwise plain-looking car interior. It was certainly the case in my own car.
The woofer cones in the PL683BL have been injected with a polymer material that gives it comparable stiffness and dampening ability to the other speakers on this list. As a result, I could always max out the volume without having the bass distort.
Similar to the Pioneer TS-A6880F, the Pyle PL683BL comes with a mid-range driver than handles the middle frequencies separately. Like with the TS-A6880F, I found this added a layer of clarity and hiked up the ‘presence’ of the overall sound.
With an RMS of 180 Watts, The Pyle PL683BL has by far the highest power-handling rating of all the speakers on this list. This means that you can definitely hook this up to a powerful external amplifier without any issues whatsoever. It won’t place a huge load on the amplifier either, with a safe impedance of 4 ohms.
The PL683BL can work great with a low-powered stereo too, considering it has a sensitivity rating of 91dB.
- Unique cone aesthetic
- Excellent sound quality with a very ‘forward-placed’ feel
- Can handle tons of power on a continuous basis
- The extended highs seemed to lose a little clarity closer to max volume
Plus One Glass-Fiber Woofer Cone
The main benefit of glass-fiber cones is that they weigh even less than polypropylene cones. As a result, you don’t actually need to supply a lot of power to drive them. At the same time, glass-fiber is quite stiff and has no problems dampening the sound when things get really loud.
The glass-fiber woofer cones in the Kappa 682.11cf actually sport the Plus One design that we’re all familiar with now. This, of course, means that the bass contains more details and more depth to it.
Edge-Driven Soft Tweeter
Singing highs that are nuanced and the ability to have an extended listening session without worrying about heat issues – that’s what you get with this tweeter. Unfortunately, the upper frequencies did start to distort a bit when pushed.
The Kappa 682.11cf comes with a level control switch, which allows you to determine how pronounced the highs should be. Be warned though, if you hike up the upper frequencies too much, you’ll end up with a really bright sound.
This is Infinity’s proprietary tweeter design which allows it to be aimed directly at your ears, regardless of where it’s mounted. I had the Kappa 682.11cf mounted low in the door and it sounded like it was actually placed right beside my ears. This meant that the imaging was more accurate, allowing me to hear all the correct panning of instruments.
The Tech Specs
A power-handling of 100 Watts RMS makes it perfectly safe for the Infinity Kappa 682.11cf to be paired up with a high-powered stereo. It’s also got the highest sensitivity out of all the speakers on this list (94dB) which means that it’ll work very well with much less powerful stereos.
Unlike the other speakers, the Kappa 682.11cf’s impedance is quite low at 2 ohms, which means more stress will be placed on the amplifier. Hence, I highly recommend that you only purchase this speaker if you’ve got a newer car model with undersized wires. Those wires add resistance on their own, reducing the stress on the amplifier.
- Bass can sound really ‘huge’ without a lot of power driving the woofer
- Tweeter level control for tweaking the upper frequencies
- Unipivot design allows highs to be aimed directly at your ears
- compatible with both high-powered and low-powered stereos
- Upper frequencies tend to distort when pushed
- Can place a big load on your amplifier unless you have a car with under-sized wiring
What Is The Best 6×8 Car Speakers
If I had to pick just one of these five speakers, I’d have to go with the Rockford Fosgate P1683. Here’s why:
- Full and punchy low-end that you can crank up to max volume
- Extremely detailed highs, with a separate supertweeter to handle extended upper frequencies
- Excellent imaging thanks to the integrated Crossover
- The fact that I can easily change my high-powered stereo with a low-powered without any compatibility issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will A 6×9 Fit In A 6×8?
Not without small modifications to either the speaker frame or the car’s speaker slot. Alternatively, you could build or purchase a customer speaker box that should allow you to have your speakers placed behind the seats.
What Is The Difference Between A 2-Way And 3-Way Speaker?
The types of sound drivers present. In a 2-way speaker, you typically get a tweeter and woofer while in a 3-way one, you also get an additional driver such as a midrange driver or a supertweeter.
What Are The Best 6×9 Speakers To Buy?
Here are three of my favourite picks for this year:
- Rockford Fosgate Punch Series P1692
- CT Sounds Meso
- Pyle Pl6984BL
Are Infinity Car Speakers Good?
Yes. They make top of the line car speakers in a variety of sizes from 3.5 to 6×9. Most of them come with Plus One woofer cones, which make the bass sound especially good.
What Are The Best Car Speakers For Sound Quality?
You can’t go wrong with speakers from brands like JBL, Infinity, Rockford Fosgate and so on. Here are a few favourites for this year:
- JBL GTO609C
- Pioneer TS6900PRO
- CT Sounds Meso 6.5
- Rockford Fosgate P1683
- Rockford Fosgate R165X3
- Infinity REF8622CFX
The products featured on this page were last updated on 2020-02-22 at 17:22 /. Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.