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If your car’s factory audio system isn’t satisfying, you’re probably considering speaker upgrades. One of the more popular sizes of car speakers out there is 6×9, large enough to deliver quality audio, but small enough to fit in nearly any vehicle. But shopping for speakers is never an easy task, especially since there are several variables to consider. Are you planning to upgrade your factory head unit? Do you want to install an amplifier for more power?
With those questions in mind, we tackled the task of researching the best 6×9 speakers available, finding options that will work with a factory head unit, or sound even better with more power. If you’re a novice when it comes to car audio, we’ll also explain what some of the specifications mean and how they’ll impact your listening experience.
For more information on the best 6×9 speakers, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Rockford Fosgate Prime 6x9 3-Way Full-Range Coaxial Speakers
Ideal replacements for your factory 6×9 speakers are these 3-way, full-range coaxial speakers from Rockford Fosgate. Part of the company’s Prime lineup, these feature 4-ohm, 3-way speakers with an integrated tweeter crossover and are capable of handling 65w RMS and 130w peak. The speakers have a mounting depth of 2.85″ and Rockford Fosgate includes grilles and mounting hardware.
With polypropylene cones and a silk dome piezo tweeter, these are great factory replacements if you’re looking to upgrade your factory car stereo without a lot of fuss.
- 3-way, full-range coaxial speakers
- 4-ohm nominal impedance
- Polypropylene cones
- Silk dome piezo tweeter
- Handles 65w RMS and 130w max
- 2.85″ mounting depth
- Includes grilles and mounting hardware
2. Infinity Reference 6x9 3-Way Speakers
If you are looking for clearer mids and highs, take a look at Infinity’s Reference lineup of 6×9 speakers. These 3-way speakers feature Plus One+ polypropylene woofer cones with hi-roll rubber surrounds along with edge-driven textile dome tweeters and supertweeters. These are 3-ohm speakers that can get 4-ohm load when combined with speaker wire impedance.
The Infinity Reference speakers handle up to 100w RMS and 300w peak, while frequency response is rated 46-30,000 Hz and sensitivity is 94 dB. Top mount depth on these 6×9 speakers is 3-1/16″.
- 3-way speakers
- Plus One+ polypropylene woofer cones with hi-roll rubber surrounds
- Edge-driven textile dome tweeters and supertweeters
- 3-ohm impedance
- Handles up to 100w RMS and 300w max
- Frequency response: 46-30,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 94 dB
- Top-mount depth: 3-1/16″
3. Kicker D-Series 6x9 3-Way Coaxial Speakers
One of the most popular brands in the car audio industry, Kicker’s D-Series 6×9 speakers are also a great option. Featuring a 3-way design, these coaxial speakers sport a polypropylene woofer with ribbed polyester foam surround, along with 1/2″ PEI domed tweeter and supertweeter. Power range on these speakers is 6w to 90w RMS and 360w peak, while frequency range is rated at 30-20,000 Hz and sensitivity is 92 dB.
These 4-ohm impedance speakers have a top-mount depth of 3-1/4″ and are ideal for low-powered factory head units.
- 3-way coaxial speakers
- Polypropylene woofer with ribbed polyester foam surround
- 1/2″ PEI domed tweeter and supertweeter
- Power range: 6w to 90w RMS and 360w peak
- Frequency range: 30-20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 92 dB
- Top-mount depth: 3-1/4″
- Impedance: 4 ohms
4. Pioneer PRO Series 6x9 2-Way Speakers
Another reputable brand, Pioneer’s PRO Series 6×9 component speakers are designed for high sensitivity and high power handling. Featuring large, oversized magnets and lightweight blended pulp cones with dual layer urethane surrounds, these speakers handle 100w nominal and 600w max. These speakers deliver a balance of power handling and output to compliment the highs from the 2-7/8″ bullet tweeters, anchored by high strength, stamped steel frames.
Sensitivity on these 4-ohm speakers is rated at 92 dB, while crossover frequency is 4500 Hz. Mounting depth is 3-1/2″.
- 2-way component speakers
- Large, oversized magnets
- Lightweight blended pulp cones
- Dual layer urethane surrounds
- Handle 100w nominal and 600w max
- 2-7/8″ bullet tweeters
- High strength, stamped steel frames
- 4-ohm impedance
- Sensitivity: 92 dB
- Crossover frequency: 4500 Hz
- Mounting depth: 3-1/2″
5. JBL GTO Series 6x9 3-Way Coaxial Speakers
According to JBL, its engineers designed the GTO 939 speakers “to produce strong, clear sound from a head-unit or amplifier capable of delivering up to 300 watts of power.” Featuring patented Plus One carbon-injected cones, these speakers also benefit from a carbon-composite non-magnetic frame.
The 3-way coaxial speakers handle 100w RMS and 300w peak with 94 dB sensitivity and frequency response rated at 46Hz-21kHz. They have 3-ohm nominal impedance and mounting depth is 2-13/16″.
- 3-way coaxial speakers
- Patented Plus One carbon-injected cones
- Carbon-composite non-magnetic frame
- Handles 100w RMS and 300w peak
- Sensitivity: 94 dB
- Frequency responses: 46Hz-21kHz
- Nominal impedance: 3 ohm
- Mounting depth: 2-13/16″
What is Sensitivity?
One of the most important specifications to pay attention to when shopping for speakers are their sensitivity ratings. Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB) and paints a picture at the sound output of a speaker based on power input. In other words, it’s not about the quality of sound, but how loud a speaker can be when given a certain amount of power.
So if your factory car stereo doesn’t offer a lot of power, you’ll want speakers with higher sensitivity ratings, say anything about 90 dB. If you are running an aftermarket head unit or plan on pushing more power, you may want to consider speakers with lower sensitivity ratings.
At the end of the day however, you still need to make sure your speakers are properly powered to provide the sound quality you’re seeking.
What is Speaker Impedance?
When it comes to car audio speakers, you’ll mainly see 2- to 4-ohm impedance, with 4 ohm being most popular. Think of impedance as resistance, with the lower impedance rating having less resistance to the flow of electricity. But having a 2-ohm speaker doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than a 4-ohm speaker. In fact, noticing a difference may come down to just how sensitive your ears are.
Typically, 2- or 3-ohm impedance speakers will produce louder sound than a 4-ohm impedance speaker if wattage is the same. But there is a decrease in the sound quality at a louder volume. With 4-ohm impedance, which is most common and popular with car audio speakers, you’ll generally get better audio quality.
If you’re planning a major upgrade to your car’s stereo by adding an amplifier, you’ll want to pay close attention to the amplifier’s impedance rating.
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