Car Bibles is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Just as with any component of your car, if you really want to maximize performance then you may need to consider an upgrade. After all, the standard speakers that come equipped in your vehicle are fine – up to a point.
But if you want crystal clear audio and banging bass lines, then upgrading to the best 6×9 speaker can be a great investment. Because of their size and design, you can get great audio quality from a relatively small investment – making this type of speaker a favorite amidst car audio enthusiasts. How can you tell the real thing from the pretenders? Luckily, you don’t have too, because we’ve done it for you.
The Best 6×9 Speakers
This speaker is part of the fabled Rockford series of Speakers, Amplifiers and Sub – Woofers sold under the “Punch” series label – and boy does this speaker live up to it’s name! If you are looking for a speaker that can keep pace with even the most frenetic, bass heavy tunes, then this could be it.
It’s all down to the construction of the Cone – or more specifically how the cone itself is attached to the unit housing. The polypropylene constructed cone is attached via a unique method we’ve never seen on a contemporary speaker. This has provided for around 25% more surface area, which in turn provides those deeper base notes and an overall excellent performance.
Price wise we’re toward the upper end of the pack here – yes, there are cheaper speakers on the market but frankly, for the price, you’re getting an awful lot of quality sound here.
150 Watts Max Power
60Hz – 22kHz Frequency Response
- Weight8.3 lbs
Pioneer is of course a huge and well-respected name in the world of car audio systems. This is one of two Pioneer models that have managed to get onto our list in fact, testimony to the overall quality of this brand.
This model, the TS-A6966R is the cheaper of the two models on this list, but don’t let that fool you! This model is actually a re-working of an older Pioneer design, so it may look familiar to audio enthusiasts. This model now comes with a new multiplayer cone backed up with a diaphragm constructed of specialist materials previously only found on more high end (and more expensive) Pioneer models.
This gives you the sound performance you would expect from a more expensive speaker for a fraction of the price of a high-end speaker. If you’re maybe looking to try out your first speaker upgrade, this is a good beginner option.
420 Watts Max Power
Multilayer Mica Matrix Cone Design
Small And Compact
- Weight2.71 lbs
This model is custom made to replace the rear deck speakers that your car rolled out the factory equipped with – that is why they come in pairs. If you’re looking to replace original speakers with aftermarket models then you want an increase in performance, right?
You’ll get it with these speakers. Polyester foam surrounds are used to support polypropylene constructed cones. This is not the high end material you will get in more expensive models, but they still work well together to deliver decent base and excellent overall performance – a 92dB sensitivity rating is proof of this.
It’s also worth pointing out they come out the box with all the connectors, wires and housing making them supremely easy to fit. Price wise these are very much toward the lower end, making them a cheap but highly effective replacement for factory originals.
140 Watts Peak Power
3 Way Coaxial
Comes as a Pair
- Weight10 lbs
The first thing that you will notice about this model is that they certainly look the part. The nice flat design & black plastic housing will easily allow these speakers to blend in with any in car installation.
Construction wise we’re talking a high quality, polypropylene cone that has been vacuum formed for top end accuracy in the finished component. A traditional steel basket frame completes the build for a set of speakers built with a level of care and using premium materials that you may not expect for this low price.
The downside is a relatively low power handling rating of just 130 watts, comfortably the lowest on this list. This means that you will suffer distortion to some extent if you crank the volume all the way to 11. If you’re not too worried about having the loudest speakers on the market however, this model provides excellent quality at anything below loudest volume.
They are a great and cost effective replacement for factory installed speakers if you want the next level of audio without breaking the bank.
130 Watts Peak Power
Vacuum Polypropylene Cone
Comes as a Pair
- Weight6.6 lbs
If the Rockford model we discussed above could be accused of being a little underpowered, that is not a criticism that can be leveled at this pair of speakers – not when they are rated to 550 Watts of maximum power!
This is the second entry from Pioneer on this list, and as with the previous one you know you are getting a great build quality when it comes from a company with the reputation that Pioneer possesses.
This a great all round speaker, again designed to seamlessly slot in and replace factory supplied speakers. To that end, you get a very unobtrusive flat black design that will do it’s job without catching the eye or standing out. The price is higher than the other Pioneer branded speaker on this list, but you do get a higher performance too.
550 Watts Max Power
Comes as a Pair
- Weight7.35 lbs
JBL are one of the biggest names in Audio – although you may not necessarily know them. They provide high quality audio installations in places like cinemas, sports stadiums and music venues.
What do all of these places have in common? That’s right – they are loud! So it should be no surprise that now JBL have branched out into car audio, their offering in the field is going to bring the noise – literally!
Ok, 300 Watts Max Power is not the highest on this list – but it is not the raw power these speakers can boast, but rather how they use it that make them so impressive. They employ extra large Cones, which basically translate to powerful vibrations, which equals a louder speaker than you would expect for a unit this size.
They are not cheap – they are in fact the second most expensive on this list. But for that investment you get a heck of a lot of speaker with frankly outstanding audio playback.
Extra large Cone for Deep Bass
300 Watts Maximum Power
- Weight8 lbs
Up until now, we’ve discussed out put and bass – which is fine, because most people just want to know that their music is going to sound clear, that there will be no distortion at high volumes and that great bass beat in your favorite song will come through in all it glory.
But what if you are looking for a high fidelity audio product? What if clarity is your key demand from your speakers? Well, if you want to hear every note of your favorite songs then this could be the speaker for you. The Textile Tweeter & Super Tweeter used in this model are combined with a sub-woofer with larger cones than a similar sized model to provide unparalleled audio quality.
Price wise, well we mentioned above that JBL model was the second most expensive on the list, right – welcome to the most expensive! This pair of speakers costs more than double some of the others on this list. For that premium price however you are definitely getting a premium product.
Comes as a pair
Larger Cone Sub-Woofer & Textile Tweeter
- Weight7.29 lbs
We go from the most expensive on the list to the cheapest – but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is an inferior product.
For one thing, by boasting a 500 Watts peak power rating, this model is well up there with the most powerful on this list. But is it equipped to use all that power? Well, a Polyurethane cone sits in a butyl rubber surround, making this a more traditional style speaker than some of more technologically advanced on this list.
For all that though, you getting a speaker with excellent audio range, good clarity at low and high levels and a pretty good bass too. At 3.6 pounds per unit (it comes as a pair) these are also on the smaller side compared to some others.
Don’t be fooled by its budget price – if you want a great hardworking little speaker without breaking the bank then this could be the one for you.
500 Watts Peak Power
- Weight6.8 lbs
One of the best features of these car speakers is how well they allow sound to resonate – even when the music is being played very loudly. Clarity is assured and the responsiveness level is also very high. Visually speaking, these speakers look great.
Once you replace your factory speakers with these, you are bound to notice an immediate improvement. There is a high-temperature ASV voice coil that works to provide a rich quality of sound.
50 Hz to 20 KHz frequency response
1.25 ASV voice coil
- Weight4.19 pounds
When powered through an amp with the proper load, rich highs and mids are promised by this pair of speakers. The audio is heavily rich, and you can really pump up the volume if you have an amp with proper power at the ideal load behind them.
As always you should check all the product specifications closely to ensure that the speakers are going to be compatible with your vehicle.
Glass fiber cone
120W of power per speaker pair
- BrandCT Sounds
- ModelMeso 6
- Weight12.65 pounds
Best 6x9 Speakers Buying Guides & FAQ
There you go, 8 of the best 6x9 speakers on the market. But why choose this type of speaker anyway? Well, 6x9 refers to the size of the speaker unit – it is 6 inches tall and 9 inches long.
Why is that important? Well, it is at this size that the manufactures feel they can get the ideal balance between size and power usage. This means, literally, you are getting the best compromise here between dollars you spend and the audio quality you receive.
Much bigger speakers can really start to get expensive quickly, as well as requiring customs installs and even new wiring to accommodate their high power usage. Small speakers sacrifice cone and Tweeter size. They can’t handle high volumes, sound tinny and have terrible bass.
So 6 x 9 is the sweet spot. But should you look out for when shopping for new speakers?
You May Also Like: Gifts For Car Lovers
What to Consider When Buying 6x9 Speakers
There are several factors that you should bear in mind when shopping around for your new speakers. Of course, one we can’t advise you on are your budget. In our list we’ve provided what we feel is a good mixture of products to suit most budgets – everything from the budget entry to the high priced premium models - and quite a few in-between.
The more you spend doesn’t necessarily equate to more features – we’ve worked hard to select budget models that bring a lot of bang for your buck. Generally speaking however in addition to price these are the factors that you should consider when selecting which model is right for you.
Overall Build Quality
This is a high tech electrical product. So the overall build quality will have a lot to say both in terms of how well the speaker performs it job, and how long it keeps doing it for. Some materials are of course going to outlast others. The material that the cone is made of, for example, can play a big part in the lifespan of the unit. Some are made are of paper or fabric (or a blend of both) some are made of tough polypropylene plastic. Guess which one lasts longer?
This is quite literally the amount of power that the speaker can handle. It is measured in Watts, and the higher the number will allow more wattage (more power) to pass through the unit. A speaker that can handle more power will, in theory, simply be louder than it's low wattage brother. Turning a low powered speaker up too high will result in a tinny and distorted sound. Of course, some speakers are simply better designed to use their wattage more effectively. These will typically be the higher engineered (read more expensive) models, so pure wattage alone is not the only sign of a powerful speaker.
Somewhat connected to power, the sensitivity of the model is a reflection of the amount of power required to reach a set volume. You could also see it as a mark of the efficiency of the speaker unit. 90dB is considered a good level of sensitivity, and the higher the number climbs above 90, the better sensitivity your speaker has. The higher the sensitivity, the less power is required to reach a certain volume. So speakers with high sensitivity are both louder and able to maintain excellent clarity and sound quality even at higher volumes.
Frequency refers to the range of pitches that can be achieved by the speaker. It is often referred to as the frequency response, and this is the mark of how high and low the sounds are that can be reproduced by the speakers. Naturally, you want a speaker that has a high degree of frequency response so it can playback music and accurately recreate all the notes – this is what is known as clarity.
Common 6x9 Speaker Terms and Ratings
During this article, we’ve used terms like Woofer, Cone and Tweeter. Just in case you aren’t sure what these terms may mean, we’ve put together a short glossary to help.
- Cone The cone is a key part of these items. It is the concave shape in the center of the speaker. The coil, which sits in the middle helps the cone push air backwards and forwards which creates the sound waves which is what you are hearing when the speaker is working. Since it is such a key part of the speaker, it pays to select a model with a good cone. Both the size and the material will have a big impact on sound quality. A larger cone will be able to develop deeper bass.
- Woofer is the part of the speaker that handles low frequency noise. It can be a standalone speaker, or it can be a part of a complete audio installation – such as a 6 x 9 speaker. A Sub Woofer is exactly the same, except it can handle even lower frequency noises.
- Tweeter Woofer is so named because it sounds like a big dog woofing – so it should be no surprise that a Tweeter is it's exact opposite. It handles high frequency sound, like a bird’s tweet.
Related Post: The Best Aux Cable
Also, it’s worth pointing out that whilst there can be a lot ratings used to describe the abilities of these items, to our mind two are key:
- Wattage – The measurement of the amount of power a speaker can handle. A 6 x 9 speaker can handle anything from 100 to 500 watts of max power. The higher the wattage, generally speaking, the higher the volume.
- Decibels – This refers to the amount of power required by the speaker to play audio to a certain volume. 90dB is great, higher than that is even better.
How to Install 6×9 Speakers
If you plan on installing your new set of 6x9 speakers yourself, here is a quick guide that walks you through how you can do this.
- Make Sure You Have the Proper Tools
It will be incredibly frustrating if start on the job, only to find that you don’t have the proper tools to complete it effectively. You will need quite a lot of equipment. You will need a speaker template, small cutting tool, metal cutting wheel, drill and bits, mounting screws, and a medium screwdriver. Also, you should have all the proper safety equipment such as goggles, ear protection, and a shirt with long sleeves.
- Take Out the Factory Speakers
Now, you need to remove the factory speakers that are already in your vehicle. First, you need to take off the factory speaker grill. You should be able to pop this out with a backwards and upwards motion. When it is off, you can unscrew and remove the speaker. Don’t forget to remove the connector as well.
- Fit the Aftermarket Speakers in Place
Your next task is to fit the aftermarket speakers in place. You need to prepare the rear deck by tracing around the cut out with a marker. Using the cutting tool, you can remove the fabric. You then need to remove the metal on the edge of the fabric that remains. Use a dust mask, ear protectors, and goggles to protect your safety. Eventually, it will just be the metal closest to you that remains uncut. You can either do this from above or by laying in the trunk. You can then see is any more trimming is needed using the actual speaker.
- Place the Speaker in the Hole
You need to ensure that the speaker fits properly and that no further grinding or trimming is needed. Using your gasket material, you will need to wrap the speaker where the metal touches it to reduce vibrations. Using the mounting points, you can then drill out one hole at a time. Be careful not to drill in the wrong places. Once you are done, you can either replace the factory grill or use a new one.
- Make the Final Adjustments
The last steps involve hooking up the connectors, putting the sub-woofers back in place, and reconnecting the amp. You can then test the speakers to check whether or not they are working properly. While this is not an easy process to go through, it is certainly cheaper to take care of the work yourself.