Reviewing The Best 6×9 inch Car Speakers [2018]

Tread carefully you’re approaching nerd territory, where you’ll be subject to review some of the best 6×9 speakers for cars in extreme detail.

But first let’s start from the top, describing the specifications of a speaker and the particular features that make it sound better, before moving on to the bottom, where we’ll be reviewing some speakers.

If you’re in a hurry, just skip down to the Conclusion section, the features are summarised, then you can get back to the product review section.

Table of contents

Coaxial 6×9 Speakers

Our Pick: HERTZ DCX 690.3 Dieci Series

Power Range: 90W RMS / 180W Peak
Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 21,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 93dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms

Hertz is so well renowned it’s no wonder they’re at the top of our coaxial list. This speaker has a below average impedance of 4 ohms, which if you remember means volumes can be tuned higher with fewer watts. It has a 93 dB sensitivity.

It’s a 3 way, so it has three drivers which are; tweeter, super tweeter, and woofers. The driver materials are made of polyetherimide (PEI) and water repellent pressed paper.

Its surround is made up of 60mm Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and it’s woofer magnet, high-density ferrite. Its motor assembly is large for better voice coil control.

With power handling at 180 watts (peak) and 90 watts (RMS), as you’ll see later, it’s RMS is better than most coaxial speakers on our list but not the best.

Its frequency response is from 45 to 21,000 Hz. So you can easily notice the effect of the super tweeter driver (raising the high pitch frequency beyond what human beings are capable of hearing) and that the lack of subwoofers means really low bass notes will be missed.

The primary concern of most users was that it lacked the low-end range suitable for bass beats and had excessively high frequencies. We did a complete review of Hertz speakers here.

Most of the specifications on other coaxial speakers will best be understood, aside from customer reviews, when compared with the features addressed in our pick. So that’s what you should expect henceforth.

Bang For The Buck: PIONEER TS-A6996R A Series

Power Range: 100W RMS / 650W Peak
Frequency Response: 28 Hz – 38,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 93dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms

You really see where your money’s going with this 5-way speaker. The drives are made up of three dome tweeters and super tweeter, a mid-range as well as a woofer. So it included the mid-range that’s lacking in our pick.

It has a 100 watts RMS, and 650 watts peak. 1-5/8″ paper cone midrange. Has a multilayered mica matrix cone woofer, and a polymer surround. Its sensitivity is 93 dB which is still above average and the same with our pick. Top mount depth is 3-3/8″ and frequency response is from 28 to 38,000 Hz – very high because of the three tweeters and super tweeters used-

The really high frequency really doesn’t matter to ordinary music listeners, who are likely the buyers, so it’s like paying for really great features you don’t need.

Why isn’t this our pick? It just doesn’t seem to be worth shelving out the extra cash for frequencies unlikely to matter to us.

Runner-Up: Rockford Fosgate R169x

Power Range: 65W RMS / 130W Peak
Frequency Response: 47 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 90dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 2-15/10″

What stands out the most in our runner-up is that it has the least peak (130 watts) on our list. The RMS is 65 watts. So you can imagine how low your amplifier would need to be so you don’t mistakenly damage your speaker.

But it gets serious points for having quality materials. Its woofer cone is vacuum polypropylene, while its surround is rubber.

Its sensitivity is 90 dB which is above average but still lower than the hertz we picked. Frequency is 47 Hz – 20,000 Hz which is almost the same for our pick.

It has a stamped steel basket with an integrated crossover. Top mount depth is 2 – 15/10″, it’s drivers are a 1/2″ silk dome tweeter and midrange.

On The Budget: JVC CS-J6930 J Series

Power Range: 45W RMS / 400W Peak
Frequency Response: 30 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 92dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 3″

This JVC 6×9 speaker is obviously meant to be a cheap alternative to our pick, so while it has some similar features, it has other shortcomings.

It uses a ferrite magnet for the woofer, has a PEI cone midrange driver and a 1/2″ PEI balanced dome tweeter. So it combines all the major drivers. Its frequency is 30 Hz – 22,000 Hz, which is actually better than the frequency response on our pick.

Sensitivity is 92 dB and its impedance is 4 ohms just like our pick. Has a top mount depth of 3″.

It looks great so far. What makes it a far inferior choice is because of the RMS.

While it has a peak of 400 watts. Its RMS is just 45 watts. Fortunately, it’s sensitivity is 92 otherwise this would not have made our list.

It’s should come as no surprise that the main complaint was that the speaker kept getting damaged. With a continuous handling power as low as 45 watts, that is to be expected.

Note that while it’s sometimes possible to replicate the strong features of the quality speaker, there are often trade-offs that would not be immediately visible to the unsuspecting. It’s now up to you to question cheap products and determine whether or not you prefer quality over quantity.

Also Great: Infinity REF-9623ix

Power Range: 100W RMS / 300W Peak
Frequency Response: 46 Hz – 30,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 94dB
Impedance: 3 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 3″

This 3-way Infinity 6×9 speaker comes with a rubber surround, so it’s very durable. Its peak is 300 watts while its RMS is 100 watts, which is on par with our bang for the buck and greater than our pick.

The impedance is 3 ohms – the lowest amongst coaxials. Remember that a lower ohm implies having more space for electricity to pass through. With its relatively high RMS, increase in volume will be on par with the average amount of electricity passing through.

Has a 94 dB. This is the highest sensitivity on our list. Coupled with the low ohms, the is one of the best electricity (watts) to volume speakers.

Committed audiophiles will probably find it lacking in some way but the reviews have mostly been positive.

Like our bang for the buck, its use of super tweeters overemphasized high pitched notes that ordinary people won’t care about since they aren’t very in tune with notes.

Also Great: FOCAL Auditor R-690c

Power Range: 80W RMS / 160W Peak
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 92dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 3-3/16″

This Focal speaker is on the pricey end of our Also Great category. What’s it offering?

Its power ratings are 80 watts for RMS and 160 watts at its peak, the second lowest peak on our list. Impedance is 4 ohms and sensitivity is 92 dB. Has a one year warranty like all the rest we’ve seen so far.

It uses a polypropylene woofer cone and its surround is butyl rubber. Has a mylar dome midrange and tweeter driver.

Unlike our bang for the buck, whose use of a mid-range driver made it have lower bass notes, this Focal auditor has the highest minimum bass with a frequency of 50 Hz – 20,000 Hz.

What’s most likely pricey here is its use of a rigid steel basket.

It has one of the highest low bass frequency on our list ( second only to Alpine), so it won’t be as good as some of the less expensive speakers you’ve already seen.

Alright, that’s all on the coaxial front of the best 6×9 speakers for cars. Don’t forget that although they’re cheaper and easier to install than component speakers, you could find a treasure trove in one that a cheap component speaker couldn’t be compared with.

Component 6×9 Speakers

Our Pick: Infinity KAPPA 90CSX

Power Range: 135W RMS / 405W Peak
Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 35,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 94dB
Impedance: 2.4 Ohms

You may have noticed this isn’t our first Infinity. This one has a power handling of 135 watts (RMS) and 405 watts (peak). Sensitivity is on average 94 dB. Impedance is 2.5 ohms. If this really was a car lane, it’d be 7 lanes in one direction.

Uses a patented Plus one woofer which has a tight robust bass. Frequency is 35 Hz – 35,000 Hz. So It’s able to maintain both a significantly lower bass pitch on one extreme and an ultra-high note on the other.

Has 2 glass fiber woofers as well as edge-driven soft textile dome tweeters. Uses a hi-roll rubber surround.

Bang For The Buck: Infinity REF960 CX

Power Range: 125W RMS / 375W Peak
Frequency Response: 46 Hz – 21,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 93dB
Impedance: 3 Ohms

At this point, you have to realize that Infinity makes the best 6×9 speakers. This one has Infinity’s patented plus one woofer in polypropylene with a hi-roll rubber surround.

Has 125 watts (RMS), 375 watts (peak). Has 3-ohm impedance. Its frequency response is 46 Hz – 21,000 Hz and sensitivity is 93 dB. This has just one year warranty.

Like Kappa, this series comes with two woofers, tweeters, and crossovers each.

Runner-Up: JBL CLUB 9600C

Power Range: 90W RMS / 270W Peak
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 90dB
Impedance: 3 Ohms

This JBL component 6×9 speaker comes with UV resistant polypropylene woofers and edge-drove PEI tweeters. It doesn’t come with any passive crossover so you might need to purchase that separately.

Has an RMS of 90 watts with a peak of 270 watts. Has 3-ohm impedance like the other component speakers and has a 1-year warranty.

Its frequency response is 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which is average although its bass is a little higher than most like.

Also Great: MOREL Tempo ultra 692

Power Range: 140W RMS / 250W Peak
Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 92dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 3.35″

This component 6×9 speaker is most expensive one on our list today. Although it has a peak of 250 watts, its RMS of 140 watts is the second highest power rating for the component speakers we’ve evaluated.

Woofer cone is treated paper composite and its surround is butyl rubber. Has a silk dome tweeter. The magnetic system for the woofer is high-grade ferrite while the tweeter is neodymium. Mounting depth is 3.38″ for the woofer and 0.8″ for the tweeter. Voice coil is made of copper wire.

Users not used to the mesh grilles installed in the speakers still complained about lack of grilles. But rest of the reviews were mostly positive despite the high cost.

Also Great: KICKER 43CSS694

Power Range: 150W RMS / 450W Peak
Frequency Response: 30 Hz – 21,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 90dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 3-3/16

The last 6×9 speakers for cars we’ll review is from Kicker. It has a 90 dB sensitivity. Uses polyester foam surrounds, so it’s a little on the cheaper side.

It has 3/4″ titanium dome tweeters. Its external crossover network has 3 tweeter levels. Its power handling is 150 watts (RMS) and 450 watts (peak). While it’s frequency response is 30 Hz – 21,000 Hz.

Conclusion

If you’re not an audiophile, you may be tempted to just close your eyes and pick a speaker for yourself rather than go through the rather tedious research process. But as we’ve seen earlier, your patience can be rewarded.

First, you’d understand that coaxial and component car speakers have slightly different requirements. For coaxials, you need to ensure there’s time alignment so the sound comes out even. While for components you need to ensure they’ll be compatible with your car and budget.

Then you’ll need to make sure your power source or amplifier is compatible with the speaker you want. We saw that one of the main reasons speakers get blown up is due to too much or too little watts.

Next, we noted that there are interdependencies between the power rating, sensitivity, and impedance of a speaker. Having one extremely good feature may not make sense if that feature isn’t compatible with the rest of the speaker’s specs.

We also saw that the quality of the materials used in making speakers matter as they could be the difference between a two month and a three-year use.

Lastly, we emphasized that even though coaxials speakers are thought to be cheaper and produce fewer quality sounds, they shouldn’t be dismissed entirely because, with careful observation of their features, you could find one that’s better than a cheap component.

Ultimately, the speaker you decide to go with will depend on your music tastes. Most people are advised to have their favorite tracks on hand when going shopping for a new speaker. You should as well.

While this has been a really long article dedicated to picking the right 6×9 inch car speaker, it’s really just about hearing the beauty of the music as it was intended by the artist.

What Are The Types Of Drivers?

Of course, all speakers play music and each type adds to the general experience. But why do some speakers have more bass than others? Or more simply, why do the vibrations from some speakers seem like minor earthquakes?

The pitch of a speaker will depend, aside from design and construction, mainly on the drivers used. Here are the main drivers explained simply.

Tweeters

Like the high pitched sound of a bird, tweeters produce sounds on the high end of the audio spectrum. Human beings can hear sounds from a range of 20 Hz to about 20,000 Hz when they’re young and healthy.

With 20 Hz meant for low notes like the bass on one extreme end and 20,000 Hz for a high pitch on the other.

The range of a tweeter driver would be between 2000 – 20,000 Hz. For instruments, think cymbals or bells, for vocals, think high pitched opera or better still Mariah Carey.

They’re usually very small (the smallest drivers actually), and you’ll find higher pitched frequency focus in other variations like the super tweeter. Note that super tweeters produce ultrasonic frequencies way beyond the normal hearing range (> 2000 Hz to > 20,000 Hz) but they can add to the experience for the keen listener.

Mid-range

Their sounds fall between 250 Hz and 2000 Hz. Mostly they tend to overlap between tweeters and woofers. Having this type of driver in a speaker system would soften the emphasis of the tweeter’s high pitch on one hand, and reduce the impact of the bass.

Woofers

So coined because of their ability to accurately reproduce a dog like “woof”, these drivers produce deep bass with very low notes (40 – 500 Hz). They are the biggest drivers, because of the size of the enclosure needed to generate low frequencies.

A more concentrated woofer, the subwoofer, focuses highly on just the bass extreme (20 – 200 Hz) of the spectrum.

A more extreme woofer would have a max pitch of 100 or 80 Hz. But these are mainly for professionals, so you may not find them easily. Picture a glass vibrating simply because your speaker is on and you’d have captured how powerful a woofer can be.

Note that some subwoofers have their own power source (active Subwoofers) while others don’t (passive), so they’ll need amplifiers.

Subwoofers aren’t really your concern now since you’re in the market for 6×9 car speakers. Subwoofers tend to be bigger than the ports allocated for car speakers (unless you put them in your trunk).

Alright, these are the main drivers. While you may come across others on the net, they usually fall under one of these categories.

Vincent T
*Any prices mentioned in the article were at the time of publishing and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.