Unless you have a relatively late model car with excellent sound, there’s a very good chance your car or truck is in need of a major overhaul in the speaker department. If your car speakers are starting to wear out due to age and use, or they haven’t been all that great, there are plenty of reasons to replace your factory car speakers with aftermarket ones.

Price versus quality when upgrading car speakers

2 cars parked next to each otger with front doors open to show all speakers
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The main argument against speaker replacement is cost, but avoiding direct aftermarket speaker replacements is often a great way to improve your sound quality without breaking the bank. While it can be quite expensive if you upgrade to component speakers, it’s all part and parcel of the quality spectrum compared to the costs you should be targeting when upgrading your car audio system.

If you’re looking at a complete upgrade to your car audio system, then your factory speakers should still be one of the first components to hit the block. It is unlikely that the original speaker equipment in your car or truck will anyway work with head unit premium class and amplifier so if you leave them in place, it will seriously interfere with your new dream system.

In that case, you might want to stay away from direct-swap speakers. If you really want to get the most out of your new car stereo, your best bet is to replace the factory «full range» speakers with high quality component speakers and add at least one subwoofer . While full-featured aftermarket speakers typically still provide an improvement over your stock system, component speakers are hard to beat.

Upgrading Factory Columns on a Budget

If you want to squeeze the best sound out of a factory audio system and don’t have a huge budget, speakers are a great place to start. Majority OEM systems use «full-range» speakers, which is a fancy claim that each speaker has a single driver that is responsible for generating the entire sound spectrum, or at least the same amount as a relatively compact car speaker.

The advantage here is that full-range speakers are comparatively cheap and take up less space than speakers with separate components, but you end up paying elsewhere with a dirtier sound. If you replace car speakers that fall under the «full range» category with two-way or three-way speakers that have multiple drivers or even individual component speakers, the difference in sound quality can be significant.

Premium speakers also tend to be better crafted and made from higher quality materials than factory made speakers. Most factory speakers use bulky ones made from foam and paper, which degrade over time.

When a loudspeaker wears out, sound quality drops significantly. High quality aftermarket speakers tend to use rubber caps that last longer and make shipping easier high quality bass .

Aftermarket cones are often made from denser materials as well. This is another reason why a high quality aftermarket speaker will usually reproduce bass better than similarly sized factory speakers.

So, even if you don’t have the money to spend on high-quality two-way or three-way speakers, replacing old, worn-out factory speakers with new units usually results in better sound.

Building a car audio system from scratch

Replacing the factory speakers does not compensate for the low power consumption of the head unit or amplifier, so many music lovers prefer to design a new system from scratch. In this case even more it is important to replace low quality factory speakers excellent aftermarket devices.

Just as two-way and three-way speakers deliver better sound than full-range speakers, component speakers are even better at reproducing high and low frequencies. Because you can pick head device and amplifier manually according to your speaker system configuration, this type of setup allows you to pick up other car audio systems.

Replacing stock car speakers with real woofers and loudspeakers is more complicated than just installing two way or three way speakers, but it allows you to create a real soundstage that is perfect for your car.

But will new car speakers fit?

One of the biggest problems with replacing factory car speakers with component speakers is that you can run into space and mounting issues. For example, if you replace the four coaxial speakers with some combination of left, right, and rear channel woofer, tweeter, and midrange component speakers, you can’t just plug the new ones into the factory-designed enclosures.

Even if you are using coaxial speakers secondary market space can still be a problem. You may be able to just buy replacement speakers with the same dimensions, but you may also run into some issues.

For example, 6″ by 9″ is the overall size of the speaker, and the numbers refer to the length and width of the speaker. However, different 6 by 9 speakers will have different depths, so some devices may not be suitable for some applications. Some devices are also subject to significant tweeter protrusion beyond the base mounting height, so it is important to consult installation instructions before upgrading car speakers.

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