How to Choose Speakers for Your Car Stereo

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The original speakers in most cars aren't very good. If you've already replaced the original radio in your car and you want to improve the sound even more, replace the factory speakers.

Things You'll Need

  • Car Door Poppers
  • Car Stereo Speakers
  • Speaker Cables

When You Get to the Store

  • Select several speakers that fit your car and budget.

  • Ask the salesperson to plug the speakers you've chosen into a radio that's similar to the one in your car.

  • Play your own music when testing the speakers.

  • Choose the speakers that sound best to you.

  • Choose coaxial speakers for the front doors. (A coaxial speaker is actually an assembly of two speakers. One plays the mid-range/mid-bass frequencies, and one plays the highs.)

  • Check the speaker package before you leave the store. Make sure you're getting everything you bought: speakers, screws, grille, speaker wire, owner's manual, installation instructions and warranty.

Before You Go Shopping

  • Remove the existing speakers.

  • Measure the speaker openings. Front speakers usually measure 4 inches, 5 inches or 6 inches. Speakers in the rear deck are usually 6 by 9 inches, 6 1/2 inches or 5 1/4 inches.

  • Choose a favorite CD or tape to bring with you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose 4-ohm speakers.
  • If you intend to connect the speakers directly to your radio, make sure the salesperson doesn't run the speakers through an amplifier in the demonstration. (This will change the sound.)
  • Avoid speakers with heavy magnets. You might think that heavier magnets mean better speakers, but speakers with heavy magnets cannot be powered by the average car stereo.
  • If you can't measure the speaker openings, bring the original speakers with you when you shop.
  • Use a door panel popper to remove the panel and get to the speakers.
  • Make sure to label and secure the original speaker wires.

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