Car Speaker Buying Tips: 3 Important Features You Must Consider

We all have busy lives. It’s perfect because it helps us to stay mentally and physically active.  The issue lies in the fact that we often can’t find the time for the simplest tasks in life. A couple months ago I needed to purchase new car speakers. It seemed simple, but when I went to the store there were so many options it took me forever to pick one.

The next available weekend I had I took the time to research the best features for car speakers. With my new found knowledge I was able to compare speakers in a jiffy. I also help family and friends compare speakers they want.

I’ve summarized the speaker’s most important comparable features into three main categories:

  • Performance
  • Speaker Range
  • Materials

Once you understand all these categories you too can compare quickly and pick the speakers for you.


You probably see the word “RMS” or “sensitivity” but you don’t know what exactly they mean. You need to be in tune with the speaker’s lingo. Sensitivity and power handling give you an indication of the speaker’s performance. Look at these two features together when comparing products.


Sensitivity measures how the sound output a speaker produces from the power it gets. The power converts to volume and they’re measured in watts & decibels(dB) respectively. The higher the sensitivity rating—which is also an expression of dB—the louder the speakers. For example:

  • 100W produces 85dB
  • 25W produces 91dB

If you want loud sounding speakers look at the dB rating. The highest rating of the two or three product you’re comparing will obviously be the loudest.

For any given set of speakers each 3dB volume increase requires a double amount of the amplifying power. This gives you enough reason why you need a high power handling speaker.

Power handling

Power handling literally refers to how much power the speakers can handle. It’s pretty simple to determine if your speakers can handle high power or not. It all depends on the power source.

The lower number of the speaker should tell you the minimum wattage required to operate the speakers. This is expressed as “RMS”. The maximum RMS power handling measurement refers to the largest amount of power the speaker can handle on a continuous basis. The “peak power RMS” also refers to the burst of power sound bursts the speakers can handle.

Always consider the maximum RMS rating as it gives you the better performance. It’s also ideal if you’re running sound input from a secondary amp. demonstrates perfectly how a maximum RMS gives you the best performance speakers.

Speaker Range

Now that you understand the sensitivity and power handling you need to decide on the speaker range you want. The range may or may not include other sound audio equipment built into the speaker to drive maximum performance.

Full Range Speakers

To explain briefly, the full range speakers contain all speaker elements in the casing. The speaker elements include:

  • Woofer for all your low music.
  • A tweeter which is built into the woofer to produce those clear high tone you probably love.
  • A midrange speaker which you need for all those middle frequencies your songs have.
  • This is a smaller driver designed for ultra high frequency production. It produces music higher than a tweeter.

Component Speakers

Components speakers have a superior design and consists of those elements which work well to produce the best sounds. It typically consists of woofers, tweeters and external crossovers. If you didn’t know crossovers are important because it ensures all the output produces the sounds they’re designed for. Meaning, tweeters emit high pitched sounds.

Coaxial Speakers

These are the most basic speakers. It contains only two elements- The woofer and the tweeter. You will also see the words “one way” “two way” “three way” speakers. This refers to how many speaker elements the system possesses. The higher the number the more element you have.

Sometimes people want to be simple and don’t want to purchase added equipment. It’s understandable. If you still want maximum performance then purchase the three way full range speakers. You don’t need to purchase additional items because you have everything for maximum performance.

The Materials

You need to also consider the materials in which the speakers were made. Often people buy any speaker without looking at the material construction.

Want to know the fate of these speakers? They weren’t equipped to handle heat. Yes, speakers can get hot when they’re used continuously. Speakers that have overheated are most likely to malfunction. Outside temperatures also have an effect on the car’s speakers. Hot weather can cause the speakers to warm up which can be fatal.

The best type of speakers is made of aluminum. Speaking from experience these speakers tend to last longer than the common steel type. Aluminum has heat resistance properties. If you travel far –especially in hot weather—aluminum is the better option.

The cone shape of speakers must be made of polypropylene. If you see it mixed with other materials such as mica that’s okay too. This type of material emits accurate tunes and notes. Picture it like this: What you hear in the car almost matches how the music studio produces the sounds. Its close match ensures you never miss a beat. The surround materials also make a difference. Trust me when I say a rubber surround material is what you need. It gives you the best overall performance and durability.

You learn something new every day. With these tips you can compare and quickly pick out the best speakers. You have more time for other needs.

Stephen Foreman

Hello everybody! My name is Stephen Foreman and I am an automotive reviewer. I choose this job because I feel my extensive experience on automotive can help you a lot. Thank you for your time. If you have any questions or you want me to review something, please let me know.