Good aftermarket speakers - 6.5 inch using factory headunit?

Joined
Feb 19, 2009
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The Woods of NY
This is in the kia. I have no real complaints on the factory 6 speaker setup... its about 200 watts in laboratory conditions, probably much less in every day life 🤔.. It sounds good most of the time... but on certain songs / frequencies its as if the speakers are "worn" or "loose" as in they move more than they should. I have the bass at -3 (-10 to +10 values) and the mirrors are just about useless if over 23 (out of 35) on volume level.

Anyways I want to keep the factory headunit just for the looks and functionality.... for time being. (I am thinking about a full touch screen navi setup down road).

I am looking for (4) 6.5 inch speakers that can run off the factory watts (and aftermarket headunit down road) and sound better then the worn out paper ones currently in the car.. I never max out the radio even at highway speeds with the windows down so "volume" is not a issue.

What's your recommendations on a decent 6.5 inch speaker that does not require hundreds of watts to sound good? Im flexible on price, but we will say $150 cap per pair. I also don't know about mounting depth, but when I had the door panel off there is some room to work with..

Thank you for the recommendations.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
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The Midwest
I highly recommend ignoring speaker reviews here if someone chimes in. Like, I installed Jenson, Sparkomatic, Pyle and I'm a simpleton who's easily pleased.

Go to Cructhfield and do your own research. They use to and still might provide free factory wire connectors and detailed instructions.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
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Illinois
I've been more than satisfied in using the Kicker CS (aka "Yellow") series with factory head units. Around $75 per pair for 6.5" units.


It's also the speaker that Crutchfield calls "Perfect for a factory upgrade"...
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
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I've changed the same speakers in the several Hyundai's. I mostly stick with Infinity. You will find when you remove the speakers, most will say on the back 20W nominal/40W max. You will also notice the power and volume are lower in the rear door speakers. For me, I leave the tweeters in the upper front door alone. For a bit more midbass, I replace the lower 6.5" with this:
I replace the rear door speakers with this:
If you have the subwoofer, leave it alone. It doesn't do much of anything, anyhow, In mine, I use this:

At any rate, no matter what speakers you use, they will require a break-in period, which will take about a month of daily commute listening to sound their best. Also note, unless you cut out the cone, and use the factory speaker as a mount, you will need something to go around the speaker, in the form of a tube, to bring the speaker to the grill on the door.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
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And to note, in my experience, many factory radios have poor fidelity and adding great speakers won't always improve the sound. It's like trying to improve the sound from an AM radio.
not always true.
My uconnect system in the jeep was 6 speaker.. the speakers were 15w cardboard mexican specials.
I put in some 50$ a pair pioneers and a set of infiniti 3.5's in the dash..
sound was amazingly better... and noticeably louder.
also the mids and highs didnt sound underwater.

is it worth putting 400 a pair focals or something crazy in with factory HU. of course not.
 
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Joined
Feb 20, 2007
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the simpler 2-way pioneer and Polk speakers tend to work respectably well with factory head units as they tend to not be as power hungry. however, a lot of the “name brand” speakers like Polk,infinity, jbl and even kenwood however have had harshness issues with their tweets, designed to sound great in a showroom but needing some work to tune and tame them in the vehicle. For critical listening I’ve had to add padding networks to the crossovers on JBLs.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
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104
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USA
I have these Rockford Fosgates in my Corolla and I’ve been quite pleased with them. I did the speaker changes first, added an amp later and finally gave up on the factory HU and just bought a cheap Bluetooth Boss HU from WM that really woke the system up. These are in the front doors and are paired with Pioneer TS-G690s in the back.

Rockford Fosgate RX165X3

Edit: I don’t blare my music either and it took me trying a couple of different speakers from Crutchfield that I thought sounded good at low and medium levels, allowed for crisp audio and at the same allowed for clarity in tone without being tinny/hollow sounds. I tried a Kenwood KFC-1696PS from Crutchfield and i thought it was awful, but ymmv.
 
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Joined
Aug 14, 2021
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NH
I've changed the same speakers in the several Hyundai's. I mostly stick with Infinity. You will find when you remove the speakers, most will say on the back 20W nominal/40W max. You will also notice the power and volume are lower in the rear door speakers. For me, I leave the tweeters in the upper front door alone. For a bit more midbass, I replace the lower 6.5" with this:
I replace the rear door speakers with this:
If you have the subwoofer, leave it alone. It doesn't do much of anything, anyhow, In mine, I use this:

At any rate, no matter what speakers you use, they will require a break-in period, which will take about a month of daily commute listening to sound their best. Also note, unless you cut out the cone, and use the factory speaker as a mount, you will need something to go around the speaker, in the form of a tube, to bring the speaker to the grill on the door.
I used Infinity Kappa and Reference speakers in my old Elantra with the factory radio and was very pleased with them.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
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Clermont, Florida
Use speakers with the highest efficiency/sensitivity rating you can find. Most good aftermarket 6 1/2's will be around 94db, give or take. You need a more efficient speaker to use as much of the available power from the OE radio as possible to get the best sound out of them. Also be sure the speakers used in the car for the factory system are not 2 ohm. A lot of car makers have gone to a 2 ohm speaker setup to get more volume out of the system. It is very hard to find a true 2 ohm aftermarket speaker. Powerbass makes a couple but I have never heard them, so no idea how they sound. JBL/Infinity makes a 3 ohm 6 1/2 but that is still too high of an impedance to match the factory radio. Just about all aftermarket speakers are 4 ohm. The end result with a 2 ohm system is you will not be able to get the same volume from the new speakers as the originals.

Crutchfield is definitely your friend on this project. They will also send wire harnesses to plug in to the factory speaker connector and take the guesswork out of determining the correct polarity. Crutchfield also sends plastic speaker mounting brackets, chances are the car will need them. I would suggest using the OEM speaker or the new bracket as a template and making your own mounting plates out of 1/2" or 3/4" medium density fiberboard (MDF). You can buy a 2x4 foot sheet of it cheap at Home Depot. MDF iss an excellent material for mounting speakers. It is lightweight, durable and does not rattle or resonate the way plastic does. You will also be able to cut an exact size hole in your homemade mounting plate for the new speaker. Usually the prefab aftermarket adapters have a speaker mounting hole that is too large, and it is hard to get a good seal. They make those adapters with bigger holes like that to accommodate either a 6 1/2 or a 6 3/4 with the same adapter.

Speaker choice is pretty subjective. I have always liked Rockford myself. Pioneer also makes good speakers that usually pair up very well with a factory radio. Crutchfield has tons of reviews on every speaker they sell and good tech support by phone. They used to have an oline speaker listening tool on their site but I do not know if it still works. Even better if you can get to a Best Buy or a real car audio store with an actual working display you can compare different speakers to get an idea how they sound. What you hear in the display will not be the same as what you hear in your car. Use a flash drive with your own music on it to do some A/B comparisons.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
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Kansas (316)
Aftermarket speakers lose their bass on factory head units usually. I would instead insulate with dynomat and look for phone upgrades or adding a small amplifier-subwoofer instead
 
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st louis, mo
The JBLs that I've put in are low impedance and were considerably louder than the 4ohm factory speakers. Sound is subjective, but I thought they were good for the price.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
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795
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Michigan
I would definitely look at some Rockford Fosgate Prime speaker series. Very sensitive and good bass! Yes sound quality is very subjective but I think they pair up very well with the stock/factory powered radio/headunits! Meaning the lower power of a factory radio amplifies these speakers extremely well, very loud with little power! Treble is crisp and accurate, bass while not subwoofer rattling bass, it's more mid-bass which is completely acceptable with the power you're feeding them from the factory radio.. I also was impressed with the dynamics the "oomph" that music had! Plus I like that the Prime series has a rubber surround, the speaker lasts longer if it's not a treated cloth or foam surround.. And as others have said check out Crutchfield, it's where I get my stuff and when I've had a problem they never complained why I was returning something! (y)
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Don’t go overthink, even if you change HU. Short of going amplifier, be careful on RMS. You don’t want anything more than 45-50W as HU won’t be able to push it.
Pioneer TS-A series is good choice.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
The Woods of NY
I've changed the same speakers in the several Hyundai's. I mostly stick with Infinity. You will find when you remove the speakers, most will say on the back 20W nominal/40W max. You will also notice the power and volume are lower in the rear door speakers. For me, I leave the tweeters in the upper front door alone. For a bit more midbass, I replace the lower 6.5" with this:
I replace the rear door speakers with this:
If you have the subwoofer, leave it alone. It doesn't do much of anything, anyhow, In mine, I use this:

At any rate, no matter what speakers you use, they will require a break-in period, which will take about a month of daily commute listening to sound their best. Also note, unless you cut out the cone, and use the factory speaker as a mount, you will need something to go around the speaker, in the form of a tube, to bring the speaker to the grill on the door.
This is the "setup" I went with. They should be here within the week. Install is a whole another story haha. Thank you for the suggestions as always!
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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10,017
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California
What’s the impedance in ohms of the factory speakers? If you have 4 ohm speakers, look at the Rockford Fosgate Prime series, JL Audio C1 series or Focal Auditor series - they have “high” sensitivity(90-92db) vs most aftermarket speakers.

If you have 2 ohm(like many Nissans and newer Toyotas with JBL “premium” sound), there is an OE-replacement option on Crutchfield.

In any case, I would recommend getting fast rings and foam tape for sound deadening and to “focus” the sound into the passenger compartment like this video:
 
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