The first step you need to take when replacing factory speakers is determining what size your aftermarket speaker will have.
As much as they improve your car audio performance, you can’t just select any random model online and plug it into your vehicle.
Most people believe that bigger is better when it comes to car speaker size but that’s not always true.
A well-built speaker from a reputable brand will perform way better than a poorly-built big speaker from a b-grade manufacturer. So no matter what speaker size you go with, always buy one from a well-reputed company.
Car Speaker Size Guide
Below we’ll discuss some of the most commonly available car speaker sizes. Each of them has its pros and cons, and the speaker size you’ll eventually go for will depend on the type of sound you’re trying to produce and the area of the vehicle you want to install these speakers in.
1. 3.5-Inch Speakers
With 3.5-inch diameter, these are the smallest aftermarket car speakers typically available in the market.
Their compact nature and relatively lower volume levels mean you can install them in tight, narrow areas closer to your ears, such as dash ports. Typical 3.5 speakers come in a coaxial design with a tweeter and woofer cone in a single frame.
The smaller profile of 3.5 speakers has some disadvantages too. They come with smaller cones which, along with low power handling, results in terrible lower-frequency response.
With that said, there are quite affordable and good for handling upper-level frequencies and can act as tweeter in your car audio setup – especially if you have a dedicated sub for bass.
2. 4-Inch Speakers
Up next we have the 4-inch speakers. Despite being slightly bigger than 3.5-inch speakers, they can be installed into most areas around your vehicle.
While they’re available in coaxial as well as component forms, you get more or less similar performance in both: good midrange/treble performance and poor bass response.
Since they’re very power efficient, you can use them with your factory stereo and don’t need to have a dedicated amp unless you have a separate subwoofer for bass.
In case you’ve selected a 4-inch speaker and your vehicle has oval cutouts, you’ll need a speaker adapter, such as 4×6″ to 4″ adapter, to make them compatible with each other. These adapters are cheap and save you from making any new mounting holes inside your car.
3. 4×6 and 4×10 Speakers
4×6 and 4×10 are probably the most common type of speakers around us as most factory speakers come in these sizes.
Although both 4×6 and 4×10 speakers are 4-inch wide, their height is 6-inch and 10-inch respectively. This difference in width and height gives them an oval shape which results in an extra cone area.
This extra area allows them to have a better bass response compared to 3.5 or 4-inch speakers. And while it still can’t be compared to that of a subwoofer, it’ll be good for beginners.
4. 5.25 Speakers
If you have a round-shaped factory speaker in your vehicle, then it’s most likely a 5.25″ speaker. While most aftermarket models, perform similar to their 3.5/4-inch siblings in terms of bass performance, their main advantage is the budget-friendly nature and easier DIY installation.
5. 6.5 Speakers
According to many experts, the 6.5-inch speakers are ideal for any vehicle. They’re lightweight and can fit into most of the cars out there. With a bigger cone size and more power handling capacity, these speakers give an all-around sound performance with a good amount of bass.
And the overall loudness of sound is also better than any factory model.
6. 6.75 Speakers
There is no major difference between 6.5 and 6.75 speakers, except the fact that the latter has a slightly bigger diameter. This extra size can give you more bass but can also result in more power consumption.
6.75 speakers are also generally more expensive than their 6.5-inch siblings by a noticeable margin and are not as readily available. So make sure to check the power requirements of your car audio setup before making any final decision.
7. 6×8 and 5×7 Speakers
6×8 speakers are the oval speakers closest to 6.5/6.75-inch models in terms of size and appearance. 6.5 speakers will probably have better sound quality due to being circular, but 6×8-inch models will have extra bass response due to increased size. So it all depends on your music preferences.
If we talk about 5×7 speakers, these are identical to 6×8 speakers with the only difference being the locations of the mounting holes. This is the reason why you see some speakers labeled as “6×8/5×7”. It just indicates that they have extra holes that can be used for 5×7 mounting.
8. 6×9 Speakers
If you’re a basshead but don’t have any spare budget for a subwoofer, then 6×9 speakers are what you should consider. They come with a 6-inch width and 9-inch length which results in the best low-end frequency production for a regular speaker.
On the flip side, they’re not cheap and will require an amp if you want a thumping bass and loud volume levels.
Due to their extra size, the rear dashboard is the area where car enthusiasts install such speakers. In case you want to place them in any other area, some hardware modifications will be required.