Whenever I buy a new car, the first thing I do is replace the factory speakers. Sure, the default speakers nowadays are leagues ahead of what you find in older cars, but I still haven’t come across any that have completely blown me away. Being an audiophile, I’m always adamant about the finer details, whether it’s having the low-end come through without too much rumbling or the highs sounding full and crisp without any harshness. That’s why I always begin the hunt for the best 6×9 speakers as soon as I change vehicles.
In this article, I’m going to be reviewing the top five 6×9 speakers I’ve tried this year.
Best 6×9 Speakers
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for 6×9 speakers
How do you know which speakers are right for you? In order to truly understand what a particular speaker might sound like, we need to take a look at two main factors: what components it has and what materials they’re made of. In addition, we need to figure out whether it would be compatible with the stereo system that’s inside the car. This can easily be determined by looking at the sensitivity rating, impedance, and power-handling.
Sound too technical? Don’t worry, I’m going to break it all down for you:
Sensitivity, Impedance and Power Handling
To put it simply, sensitivity measures the volume of a speaker (in decibels) when powered by a single watt. Sensitivity of 80-89 dB is typically considered ‘good’ because that means the speaker will output sound at a moderate volume even when supplied with very little power. Anything over 90dB is considered ‘excellent’ and it means that the speaker will be louder than average.
A common misconception is that if a speaker outputs 85dB at one watt of power, then it will reach 170dB with two watts. The reality is that with each increment of one watt, the speaker only gains around 3dB.
Impedance measures how resistant a speaker is (in ohms) to the current supplied by the amplifier. Why does this matter? The lower the impedance of the speaker, the greater the current the amplifier has to supply. This means that the latter has to work really hard every time the speaker is used, which can end up causing its internals to overheat and eventually fry.
On the other hand, if the impedance is too high, not much current will reach the speaker. This isn’t ideal either as the speaker will require some amount of power to put out high-quality audio. Otherwise, the sound might be muted and some bass or treble frequencies may fail to come through properly.
I find that 4 ohms is the perfect impedance level. It’s not too high and it compensates for the lack of resistance in most factory stereos nowadays. This is because wiring in modern cars aren’t as thick as they used to be.
Power-handling refers to the maximum quantity of power (in watts) that a speaker can safely receive. This is a very important consideration when determining whether a speaker will be compatible with your car’s stereo system. For instance, if you’ve got a high-powered system, you need to make sure that the speaker is able to handle more than 50 watts on a continuous basis.
Power-handling is usually listed as maximum RMS in speaker spec sheets, which refers to the maximum power that a speaker can handle for a prolonged period of time.
Woofer and Tweeter Materials
‘Woofer’ and ‘tweeter’ – you may heard these terms being thrown around quite a lot when you read about speakers. What exactly are they?
Woofers and tweeters are sound drivers that handle different frequencies in your speaker. The latter is responsible for reproducing the low-end signals (i.e. the bass) and the upper frequencies which add treble to the mix. The materials these drivers are made of have a huge impact on the overall sound and the durability of their construction.
The ideal woofer cone material needs to be both stiff and lightweight. The stiffness is required in order to dampen the sound at high volumes because otherwise the bass is going to sound too distorted. On the other hand, the material needs to lightweight so that the cone can vibrate freely. If it doesn’t have the travel it needs, then not all the lower frequencies are going to come through.
The circular strip that encircles the edge of the woofer cone is known as the surround. Most surrounds are made of rubber because they’re flexible enough to let the cone vibrate but also adequately strong so that it prevents too much movement. In addition, rubber is also very resistant to high humidity and extremes of temperature.
In addition to rubber, surrounds may also be made of foam and cloth which aren’t as durable. However, modern foam variants like ribbed polyester foam can match up to rubber in terms of both audio quality and durability.
In terms of materials, tweeters come in two main categories: soft and hard. Soft tweeters are commonly made of textiles like silk. Silk tends to bring out a very refined and mellower sound from the upper frequencies. However, they aren’t that durable and tend to lose accuracy at higher volumes due to dampening. If you like the sound of silk tweeters, I recommend getting one that’s been reinforced with synthetic film material. These are sturdy and can handle being loud.
On the other hand, hard tweeters are more durable and are commonly made of metals, ceramic and graphite. Compared to soft tweeters, the hard ones typically sound sharper and louder – that is to say they cut through ambiance much better. Some metal tweeters, in particular, can also make the sound brighter than usual, which highlights some of the treble frequencies.
The Type of Speakers
Finally, we’re going to look at the two main types of speakers that you’ll need to choose from: full-range and component.
These speakers handle the ‘full-range’ of frequencies, from lows to highs. That means they contain both woofers and tweeters and sometimes one additional driver, which is usually either a mid-range driver or a supertweeter. A mid-range driver handles the middle frequencies (between 200 Hz to 2000 Hz) which determines the ‘presence’ of the sound while supertweeters handle the really high frequencies that elude tweeters.
The main difference between a full-range and a component speaker is that the latter contains an external crossover. Crossovers are components that separate frequencies and send them to the appropriate driver. So, low frequencies are sent to the woofer, high frequencies to the tweeter and middle frequencies to the mid-range driver. I find that this improves the clarity of the overall sound to a great extent.
Component speakers are also better at imaging, which means that they can more accurately reproduce how the instruments were panned during the recording session. Lastly, component speakers are often made from better quality materials when compared to full-range speakers. This makes for a better lifespan and greater audio quality.
Best 6×9 Speakers Reviews
This year I tested a number of 6×9 speakers from a variety of bands. Here are the five that really impressed me:
Rockford Fosgate Punch Series P1692
- The Punch P1692 is an impressive 2-way full-range speaker designed for...
- The P1692 6”x9” 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...
There are a number of things that I liked about the full-range P1692 speaker by Rockford Fosgate. First of all – the Flex fit basket design allows these speakers to be fitted in any car, no matter how odd the interior is. In addition to this, the P1692 also comes with an Integrated Concealed Crossover, which basically means that the crossover is actually built into the tweeter. This saved me a ton of time during the mounting process because I didn’t have to manually insert it into the basket the way you would with external crossovers.
Moving on to the materials, the P1692 comes with PEI (plastic) tweeter and a woofer with a mineral-injected polypropylene cone and a rubber surround. The highs reproduced by the tweeter sounded well-rounded and sharp as you would expect from one made from a hard material. The bass coming from the woofer sounded deep and seemed to have a lot of ‘girth’. I was happy to find that neither the high nor low frequencies distorted at high volumes. Instead, the sound was clear throughout.
The P1692 has a sensitivity of 91dB, which means that you can pair it with a low-powered stereo and still get the best audio quality out of it. However, it can also work with a high-powered since it’s got a power handling of 75 watts RMS. Hence, in summary, the P1692 is quite a versatile 6×9 speaker.
- Easy to install thanks to the Flex-Fit design and Integrated Concealed Crossover
- Compatible with both low-powered and high-powered stereos
- Great sound quality
- Needs a subwoofer to handle frequencies below 60Hz
- 6 x 9-inch three-way loudspeaker pair.
- Plus One woofer cone with rubber surround
- Adjustable mylar-titanium tweeter and supertweeter with level control
- 300 Watts peak power handling; 2 ohm impedance
- Three-inch mounting depth
The JBL GTO939 is a three-way tweeter, featuring a tweeter, supertweeter and a woofer. Both the tweeter and supertweeter are made from a Mylar-Titanium blend. The result is that these drivers are lightweight and strong at the same time. In my opinion, the tweeter and supertweeter work well together. The former enhances both the mid-range and most of the upper frequencies while the latter exclusively handles the extended high frequencies.
The GTO939’s tweeters are ‘edge-driven’ which simply means that they’re very good at heat-dissipating. As a result, you can use them for extended periods of time without having to worry about overheating.
The woofer sports a Plus One cone design, which makes it significantly larger than pretty much any other 6×9 woofer cone I’ve come across. Greater surface area means that the woofer is able to handle a wider spectrum of low-end frequencies, making for a very rich, dynamic bass experience.
Altogether, the sound drivers in the GTO939, in combination with high-quality crossover, provide a very detailed, accurate sound reproduction. If you want to hear absolutely everything in your music, then I recommend you look into this 6×9 speaker.
The JBL GTO939 is quite sensitive at 94dB, so you don’t really need much power behind it. However, at the same time, the GTO939 is quite capable of handling a ton of power, with a maximum RMS of 100 watts! Hence, you can hook this speaker up to a high-powered stereo without having to worry about accidentally cooking the internal components!
Furthermore, the impedance of this unit is rated at 4 ohms, meaning it won’t put a ton of stress on your amplifier.
Finally, the JBL GTO939 was extremely easy to install and setup. I didn’t need to have any special tools or perform any modifications to insert it into the stereo.
- Easy installation
- High-quality driver construction
- Extremely clear sound even at high volumes.
- I can’t think of any.
CT Sounds Meso
- DELIVER QUALITY - You can probably say that one of the best Entry...
- ROBUST - Our high quality construction, massive sound, and...
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- HIGHER POWER HANDLING DESIGN & EASY INSTALLATION - The Speakers are...
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I have a soft spot for speakers with silk tweeters, just because I absolutely adore the sound. Compared to metal tweeters, silk tweeters sound mellower and warmer, and all the minute sonic details come through brilliantly in the higher frequencies. The experience was no difference from the CT sounds Meso.
The Meso did not fall short with the low-end. Fitted with a plastic polypropylene cone and a rubber surround, this speaker emitted a very full-sounding bass. Something I particularly noticed with the bass was that the mid-bass frequencies were very pronounced. As a result I ‘felt’ the lows as much as I heard them.
Moving on to the technical details, the Meso actually sports some impressive specs. For starters, it’s got a sensitivity of 89dB which means that it doesn’t require all that much power. Plus, its power handling is rated at 60W RMS, meaning that it can be hooked up to a high-powered stereo system without a problem. Lastly, it has an impedance of 4 ohms, meaning that it won’t work the amplifier too hard and shorten its lifespan.
- Reproduces singing highs and ‘thumping’ bass notes
- Tweeter and Woofer are made of high-quality material
- Compatible with both low-powered and high-powered stereos
- It does not put too much of a load on the amplifier
- The high frequencies tend to distort a little at very high volumes
- Plus OneTM woofer cone
- 3.0 Ohms Impedance
- Sensitivity: 94 dB
The Infinity REF-9623ix is a 3-way speaker containing a tweeter, supertweeter and a woofer. The two tweeters are made from textile, which smoothens up the treble frequencies and brings out all the nuances of the instruments and vocals. Just like with the JBL GTO939, these tweeters are edge-driven and so are great at dissipating heat.
Another similarity it has with the JBL GTO939 is the One Plus woofer cone design, which helps extend the bass frequencies. Overall, I had nothing to complain about regarding the Infinity REF-9623ix’s sound. I could even have the volume cranked up without worrying about it distorting.
The Infinity REF-9623ix is highly sensitive at 94dB and it’s capable of handling a lot of power with a maximum RMS of 125 watts. So whether you’ve got a low-powered stereo or a high-powered car stereo, this speaker could be a great fit. The impedance of the REF-9623ix is rated at 4ohms.
The only gripe I have with this speaker is that it isn’t the easiest to install because it required some modification. Hence, if you’re not familiar with setting up speakers, then I don’t recommend that you try to mount it on your own.
- Does not distort with prolonged use
- Works well with both low-powered and high-powered audio systems
- Higher frequencies tended to distort slightly at high volumes
- Not easy to install
- 50Hz - 20Khz FREQUENCY RESPONSE: Pyle, 6” x 9” four way sound...
- 4-OHM IMPEDANCE: This car speaker has 4-ohm impedance rating that...
- 1.25'' ASV VOICE COIL: Pyle car sound speaker system is capable of...
- 200W RMS AND 400W PEAK: This 6” x 9” car speaker can provide up to...
- LOUD AND CLEAR: Pyle car speaker were carefully combined to reproduce...
Rounding up my top five picks is the Pyle Pl6984BL. First of all, these speakers look really cool with the retro-looking blue finish on the cones. The cones have been injected with a polymer material that provides the drivers with abundant stiffness and thereby great dampening ability. The woofer’s surround is made of ‘non-fatiguing’ butyl rubber which ensures that the cone does not vibrate out of depth, damaging itself.
The combination of all these materials seemed to result in a sound that was very accurate and high in clarity. The fact that these cones were stiff meant that I could listen to music quite loudly without any distortion muddling the sound.
Getting to the technical specs, the Pyle Pl6984BL has quite a high power handling rating at 120 Watts RMS. It’s got a sensitivity of 92dB and an impedance of 4 ohms, which means that you can hook this up to both a high-powered and low-powered car audio system.
- Can handle a ton of power
- Great audio quality even at high volumes
- Does not stress out the amplifier
- I can’t really think of any, especially considering its price.
What Is The Best 6×9 Car Speaker
If I had to pick just one speaker out of the five, what would it be? That is a very hard question to answer because all these speakers were excellent. As you may have noted when you read through the reviews, each one of these was constructed out of high-quality materials. In addition, they are compatible with both low-powered and high-powered stereo units because of their high RMS. Hence, it all came down to one thing: the sound.
That’s why I just have to go with the JBL GTO939. Typically I tend to prefer the sound of textile tweeters (particularly silk) because of the mellower sound output. However, with the mylar-titanium combination, the high frequencies were nowhere near as harsh as I was expecting it to be. Instead the sound came through with no details missing and it easily cut through all the road noise I ride through on a daily basis (something you just can’t get with silk tweeters).
And let’s not forget the bass! Thanks to the increased surface area of the woofer cone, the bass sounded ‘huge’. I’m not much of an EDM guy but this speaker made me want to explore the genre a bit more, just because of how great the low-end sounded.
Finally, thanks to the external crossover, the lower and upper frequencies were never muddled together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best 6×9 Speakers to buy?
That depends on how much of an audiophile you are and what’s actually compatible with your existing stereo. If you don’t want to compromise even a bit on the sound quality, then I highly recommend that you look into the JBL GTO939. Some excellent alternatives are the CT Sounds Meso and the Infinity REF-9623ix.
What is the loudest 6×9 Speaker?
Of all the speakers I’ve tried this year, the JBL GTO939 and the Infinity REF-9623ix have been the loudest. They both have the same sensitivity as the 94dB, which means that even with just one watt of power supplied, you can still get a decent volume out of them.
Are Higher Watts better for Speakers?
Speakers do need a decent amount of power to output sound at a higher quality. However, you should always be careful not to supply more power than a speaker can handle. This can cause it to overheat and eventually blow. A speaker with high sensitivity can still produce good quality sound without much power supplied to it.
What are good 6×9 Bass Speakers?
If you’re looking for some good low-end specifically, then I recommend looking for a speaker that has a high-quality woofer like the JBL GTO939, Infinity REF-9623ix, and the Rockford Fosgate Punch Series P1692. Generally, it’s a good idea to use speakers whose woofer cones have rubber surrounds. However, certain modern foam materials are good alternatives too.
What is a good dB for speakers?
Always look for speakers that have a sensitivity of 80 dB or above. For anything lower, you’ll have to supply a lot of power in order to get a decent volume. If a speaker with low sensitivity also has a low power handling rating, then that’s something you really need to pass up on.
The products featured on this page were last updated on 2020-01-25 at 06:00 /. Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.