What if you wanted to install an aftermarket 6×9 speaker for your car but there was no room to mount it? You could perform some modifications to the speaker or simply buy yourself an excellent 6×9 speaker box.
Speaker boxes are just what they sound like – enclosures that house all the speaker components. You can set them up inside your car and experience that ‘massive’ low that you can only get from large 6×9 cones.
Recently I bought a car that didn’t have a large enough bracket for an aftermarket 6×9 speaker. Hence, I started testing out speaker boxes that could fit my JBL GTO939. I’ve reviewed my top five picks in this article.
Best 6×9 Car Speaker Boxes
Speaker Box Buying Guide
Before we get to the actual reviews, I want to delve a bit into the two main considerations when it comes to purchasing a speaker box: the material and the design.
Like how the tonewood in a guitar can influence its timbre, the material that the speaker enclosure is made of can have a huge impact on the overall quality of the sound output.
Manufacturers make speaker boxes out of a wide variety of materials, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. If I were to try and find the absolute perfect speaker enclosure, I’d look for the following properties:
- Stiffness – speaker enclosures have to deal with lots of air pressure changes when they have cones vibrating inside them and pushing out air and sound waves. Hence, the ideal speaker enclosure should be stiff enough so that it doesn’t move or change shape with air pressure changes.
- Being Well-Damped – this means that the box will return to its original position if it every does move because of air pressure variations. If it does not, this will lead to resonance, where certain frequencies will become unnecessarily amplified, and potentially adding extra distortion to the sound.
- Having A High Resonant Frequency – here’s a quick science fact for you: all things constantly vibrate even if there isn’t any movement. This is called its ‘natural frequency’. If the speaker box encounters another frequency that matches its own natural frequency, then there’s going to be resonance inside of the box, causing it to rattle excessively.Hence, if the speaker enclosure has a supersonic natural frequency that you won’t encounter in any music, this can be avoided.
- Light-Weight: you’re going to hate your speakers really quickly if it’s difficult to carry them around. Hence, in addition to the above, the ideal speaker material would also be quite light in weight.
Here are some of the commonest speaker enclosure materials you may come across:
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
MDF is a composite that’s a combination of wood fibers and a dense form of resin. It’s easy to cut, sports a smooth surface that’s nice to the touch and is very accepting of veneers. Furthermore, it’s good at dampening, meaning the enclosure won’t rattle when you crank up the volume on your stereo.
The biggest drawback is that they’re quite heavy. So if you’re trying to move it around inside the car, best bring a friend to help you. In addition, the manufacturers’ attempt to make a curved design with MDF hikes up the cost significantly.
MDF is by far the commonest speaker box material.
There are quite a number of pros to having a plywood speaker enclosure. Firstly, a ton of different things can be done to improve the aesthetic like staining, coating, oiling, waxing, which means that you’ll have a wide variety of looks to choose from. Like MDF, plywood is excellent dampening and cutting out resonance but it weighs much less and is known to be more durable.
It can withstand definitely withstand sound forced movement without suffering permanent damage. From a builder’s perspective, plywood is harder to sand down than MDF.
Particleboard is a wood product that’s a combination of several layers of wood chips, sawdust, and a pressured synthetic resin to bind it all together. Particleboard is cheaper to make and takes veneers and paint really well. However, it’s not as dense as MDF or plywood meaning that it does suffer from dampening issues. If you’re going for a particleboard speaker enclosure, my advice is to pick out a veneered one. These absorb less moisture and therefore are more durable.
In addition to these materials, speaker enclosures can also be made out of stones like marble and slate and plastics. Slate, in particular, is very good at cutting out resonance but it weights a lot!
Other than the size of the enclosure, you have to decide between different designs as well. Below is a brief overview of the commonest design types that you’ll come across:
It’s actually a stretch to call it this, but infinite baffle enclosures a real ‘box’. A more accurate way to describe it would be a board with spots cut out into them for housing woofers. They’re best placed in the trunk of the car because the trunk itself can act as the enclosure and isolate the sound from the speaker’s rear.
Infinite baffles don’t take up much space at all and they don’t need to be driven with a ton of power. The biggest downside is that the separation of front and back sound waves isn’t all the great, leading to less clarity in the overall sound. In addition, the speaker components aren’t completely protected, making them more prone to damage.
These speaker boxes are the most compact. The interior is air-tight, which means that the volume of air remains constant, allowing the movement of speaker cones to be controlled. Sometimes when cones vibrate too much, the bass begins to sound too ‘boomy’. With closed speaker boxes, excessive cone movement is prevented and so the low-end sounds ‘deep’ and powerful while retaining all of the nuances and details.
The downside with closed enclosures is that they require a lot of power. Hence you may have to hook up an external amplifier to your car’s stereo if it’s a low-powered one.
As the name suggests, these speaker boxes have vents or ‘ports’ built into them. These produce a richer bass response than even enclosed speaker boxes but are less compact, because they require more room to house the vents. Also, they need to be built carefully because even slight errors in the design can have a huge impact on sound quality. This is what you need to be wary of when by vented speaker enclosures.
These are a variation of vented speaker boxes, where the interior is split into two chambers: a closed one and a vented one. The sound emanates from the vented chamber and it comes out loud but the frequency range is limited, which means that some details will be missing. As a result these kinds of speakers are suited for genres like hard rock and reggae which pack a punch but aren’t all that complicated.
Personally, I feel that bandpass enclosures can make the low-end sound a bit too ‘boomy’. In addition, they can get quite large because of the dual-chamber layout.
The Top Five Picks for 2019
Now that you’ve gotten a crash course on speaker boxes, let’s delve into my top five picks for this year. I spent a couple of weeks testing out each of the picks below and these are my impressions:
- Cutout Diameter - 6" x 8.75"
- Max Mounting Depth - 3.625"
- Net Volume - 0.16 Cu ft
- (Height) 7.875" x (Width) 12" x (Depth) 3.750" x (2nd Depth) 6.250""
- Sold as Pair
The Atrend 6X9PR B is a closed speaker box featuring a charcoal carpet glued on its exterior. This seemed like a sound choice to me as it will blend well into most vehicle exteriors. Not only that, it’s bound to protect the speaker’s box from any nicks and scratches.
The Atrend 6X9PR B is made up of MDF panels, which makes it very dense and well-damped. This meant that I could crank up the volume without worrying about the sound resonating and getting distorted.
Of course, the downside is that you’re going to need to put you back into it whenever you have to move it around. Fortunately, I didn’t attempt to do much of that.
Miter and Dado Construction and Trick Glue
These refer to signature construction techniques that were developed by Atrend. You’ll see them being featured in the outside panels. Typically, edges in the front panel featured end/butt joints which basically means that the edges are glued together without any special shaping. With Mitered edge construction, the edges are cut diagonally and then connected.
There are a few benefits to using this technique. First of all, it allows for a cleaner and stronger gluing. Secondly, it allows the enclosure to have 41% more surface area when compared to your usual butt joint.
Dado reinforcement involves cutting grooves into the bottoms of the side panels, which the edges of the top and bottom panels can lodge themselves into. This makes the construction stronger, allowing you to blast your music out loud without worrying about the walls of the box coming down.
Atrend uses their own ‘Trick Glue’ to seal the construction together, giving the speaker box up to 3600 PSI of holding ability all the while allowing the panels to be flexible.
- Carpeted Aesthetic allows speaker box to blend in with most interiors
- Extremely durable construction
- Prevents distortion in sound at loud volumes
- It’s quite heavy
- UPGRADE YOUR SPEAKER SYSTEM: Simplify the process by utilizing this...
- ENCLOSURE MATERIALS: The enclosure is constructed of 1/2" MDF carpet...
- COVER MATERIALS: Speaker box comes carpeted with a standard grey trunk...
- INCLUDED IN PACKAGE: 1 pair of pre-wired enclosures, terminal cup,...
- CONVENIENT INSTALLATION: Recessed side panels for easy lifting in your...
Similar to the Atrend 6X9PR B, the SCOSCHE SE6900 features a grey trunk liner that will fit nicely with most vehicle interiors. It won’t look like you just randomly lug around two wooden crates inside your car.
Not only is the SCOSCHE SE6900 speaker box made out of MDF panels, but its interior is also lined up with a polymer fiber that helps to dampen the sound and prevent rattling of the enclosure. This allowed me to consistently push the volume on my stereo without having the sound distort due to resonance.
The SCOSCHE SE6900 speaker enclosure comes pre-wired which saved me a lot of time and effort during installation. All I had to do was merely connect the speaker and it was good to go. Furthermore, thanks to its sides being recessed, I had a much easier time getting a good grip on and lifting it than I did with the Atrend 6X9PR B.
- Grey liner allows the speaker box to fit well with most interior aesthetics
- Dampening poly-fiber allows you to crank up the volume without worrying about distorting the sound
- Comes pre-wired
- Easier to lift than most MDF enclosures
- Still a relatively heavy speaker
- Sealed airtight chamber each holds (1) 6 X 9 Inches speaker
- Box volume (net. int.): 0.20 cubic feet (per box)
- Solid MDF construction, Durable carpet and Speaker terminal cup
- Grey Color
- Dimensions (W X H X D): 12.25 X 8.25 X 9.25 X 3.25 Inches
The Absolute USA 6X9PKG is a closed speaker box that comes in three carpet options: black, grey or black and grey, where the side panels are lined with black carpet and the rest with grey. I personally preferred the plain black carpet liner, just because it fit better with my own car’s interior.
Sealed Airtight Chamber
This means that there’s always a calculated amount of air inside the chamber, which helps to control the movement of the woofer cone, preventing the low-end from sounding too ‘boomy’ and blurring out some of the details.
The Absolute USA 6X9PKG Speaker box is made out of MDF panels, so you know that it’s going to be dense and well-damped. Each panel is just half-an-inch thick, making this one of the lightest MDF speaker boxes I’ve come across. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not durable. I could get really loud with my JBL speaker and the 6X9PKG was able to handle it just fine, with no noticeable rattling.
The back of the box has a sharp slant, which helps it fit better into tighter spaces. So if you’ve got a smaller car, the 6X9PKG might be good for you to consider.
- Comes in three carpet colour options
- Deep bass response without sounding too ‘boomy’
- Solid but relatively light MDF construction
- Able to fit in tight spaces
- Does not distort the sound at loud volumes
- I’m struggling to think of any
- 6" X 8. 75" Woofer holes, built-in terminal with gold screw posts,...
- High quality MDF hardwood, enclosure Volume is . 2 cubic feet per box,...
- The front (where the woofers are loaded) are slanted and the back are...
- Ships fully assembled, simply drop in your woofers
- Applications: car, truck, SUV or fixed installation speakers
Black Aviation Carpet
Out of all the speakers on this list, I have to say that the OnlyFactoryDirect TR69 sports the ‘stealthiest’ look, thanks to the black aviation carpet liner. It blended well with the black carpets in my own car and they’re barely noticeable most of the time.
Like all the other speaker boxes on this list, the OnlyFactoryDirect TR69 is made out of MDF panels. The popularity of this material among speaker enclosure manufacturers doesn’t really surprise me. After all, it’s cheap to source and easy to cut and sand. Plus because of it being quite dense and stiff, it’s excellent at dampening too. Pretty much the only thing keeping MDF from becoming the ideal speaker box material is its weight.
So in summary, the TR69 outputs quality, undistorted sound (even at very loud volumes) but it can be a bit of pain to lift.
When installing the TR69, all I had to do was merely connect my 6×9 JBL speaker to it. Since it came pre-wired there was hardly any effort required from my part.
- Stealthy aesthetic
- Solid construction; allows you to crank up the volume without the sound being distorted
- Comes pre-wired so all you need to do is drop the speaker in
- It’s made of MDF so it’s naturally a bit heavy
- 3/8" MDF (medium-density fiberboard) with black carpet covering
- internal volume: 0.17 cubic feet each
- Support by Crutchfield℠
Rounding up my list of top five 6×9 car speaker enclosures for 2019 is the Sound Ordnance Bass Bunker. ‘Bunker’ seems like an appropriate word for this speaker box because not only is it made out of MDF panels but it’s fitted with resonance-canceling sealed inner braces as well. This is just an additional measure to prevent any rattling at all, even if you hook up an external amplifier to your stereo and drive a ton of power into the speaker.
If you like your ‘bass’ sounding as massive as it possibly can, then this speaker box will probably make you quite happy. There’s almost no limit to how much you can crank it and still not have it sound ‘boomy’, blurring all the details.
If you can’t already tell, black carpeting is my favourite kind. Not only does it make the Bass look great, but it’s so tough that you won’t easily nick the panels with rough handling.
Thanks to its rounded corners and recessed side panels, this speaker is going to have no trouble fitting inside a wide variety of interiors.
- Solid, durable construction
- ‘Huge’ low-end with no added distortion
- Tough black carpeting
- Will fit inside a variety of vehicles
- A bit heavy to lift
What Is The Best 6×9 Car Speaker Box To Buy
Choosing my favourite out of these five was easier said than done, especially considering that they’re all so well-made. However, if I had to stick with just one for the next couple of years, I’d have to choose the Atrend 6X9PR B.
First of all, I have a lot of confidence in its premium charcoal carpet liner. It’s sufficiently thick and appears tough enough to protect the panels underneath if it topples over. Secondly, it featured innovative construction techniques which gave me the impression that this speaker box was going to last quite a while. With the ability to withstand up to 3600 PSI of pressure, I can definitely have my music blasting every day on my work commute without any worries of the panels rattling too hard and coming loose.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Make A 6×9 Speaker Box?
If you’ve got a little bit of DIY experience, you can try making your own speaker box. You’ll need to be comfortable using the following tools:
- 3/4-inch thick MDF or your preferred material
- A drill
- A solder and soldering iron
- Wood screws
- Circular Saw
What Are The Best 6×9 Speakers To Buy?
When figuring out which pair of speakers will suit you the most, you’ve got to consider two main factors: your sound preferences and whether a particular speaker is compatible with your car’s stereo system. Here is a list of 6×9 speakers that output well-balanced sounds and are compatible with both low-powered and high-powered stereos:
- Rockford Fosgate Punch Series P1692
- JBL GTO939
- CT Sounds Meso
- Infinity REF-9623ix
- Pyle Pl6984BL
What Are Good 6×9 Bass Speakers?
I’d recommend looking for speakers like JBL GTO939 and Infinity REF-9623ix that feature either mineral-filled woofer cones, a Plus One cone design.
Minerals like mica and carbon are used to make polypropylene cones stiffer, which prevents excessive rattling and resonance in the lower frequencies when the volume is pushed. Plus One cone designs are found commonly in JBL, Infinity, and Rockford Fosgate speakers. This design increases the surface area of the cone, resulting in the bass being much deeper and more detailed.
What Are The Best 6.5 Speakers For Bass?
The same logic applies for 6.5 speakers as it does for 6×9 ones. You want to keep an eye out for stiffer and larger woofer cones if you truly want the best bass response. Here are some 6.5-inch speakers that I’ve personally tried and would recommend to anyone:
- JBL GTO629
- JVC CS-J620
- Infinity REF-6522EX
- Pioneer TS-A1680F
- Polk Audio DB6501
What Is The Loudest 6×9?
The sensitivity of a speaker (measured in decibels) will tell you how loud it can get when you supply it with just one watt of power. For instance, if a speaker’s sensitivity is 85B, then that means it’ll get moderately loud when driven by one watt. The loudest 6×9 speaker that I’ve encountered is the JBL GTO939, which has a sensitivity rating of 94dB!
Are 2 Or 3-Way Speakers Better?
2-way speakers feature two sound drivers, which is always a tweeter and a woofer. In contrast, 3-way speakers will have one additional driver, usually a midrange driver or a supertweeter, which handles middle frequencies and extended high frequencies respectively. This basically means that 3-way drivers can handle a wider variety of frequencies, resulting in clearer sound output.
The products featured on this page were last updated on 2020-02-22 at 13:00 /. Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.