Upgrading your car audio speakers needs a lot of research and careful study of the current sound system that is installed in the car. You will also need to consider if you are going to replace the stereo or the radio and the head unit.
Most preferably, it is always good to replace them step by step. It is advisable to start with the speakers, the head units, the car stereo system and then maybe add more power by adding an amplifier.
Getting back to the topic of the day which is how to upgrade car speakers, here is a simple way to achieve a successful upgrade of your car speakers. You can also find more information by watching this video on how to upgrade your rear speakers.
Related article: Why Did My Car Radio Stop Working
Step 1: Ask The Right Questions
There are some few things that you will need to question yourself about before doing any upgrade. Remember that upgrading car speakers means you need better-sounding speakers. Here are some questions that will give you a head start;
- What budget do you have?
- Are you planning to replace everything?
- What does your car lack? Does it have a tweeter or a woofer? This will dictate the component to add.
- Why do you want to replace the current speakers?
- What is your favorite type of music? This will determine the size of speakers and whether you will need extra components like subwoofers and twitters.
Step 2: Choose the right speakers
Before upgrading, you will need to do some research about your old speakers. This is so that if you replace them with new ones, they will fit into the old speaker’s spot without any problem. You will need to consider which brand you are going to go with, the size, price and many other things to look into. Here are some few quick tips that will help you out;
Find the right size
What size are your old speakers? Are they 6.5 inches? If they are, you will definitely need to replace them with 6.5-inch speakers. Replacing with the same size means you have to do the replacement without doing any other modification.
There are other sizes that your car speakers might match with. Round speaker sizes range between 3 ½, 4, 5 ¼, 6 ½ to 8 inches. Oval speakers measure 4×6, 4×10, 5×7, 6×8 and 6×9 inches.
Match the type of speaker
What is the type of your existing speakers? Are they component speakers or coaxial speakers? This is important to know before you do any car audio upgrade. If your speakers are separated from the tweeters, midrange drivers and the woofer, then your car audio system is running on component speakers. You will need therefore to match it up with new component speakers.
If your car speakers involve speakers and tweeters all in the same place, it means that your car audio system is running on full-range speakers. Thus, you will need to match it up with new coaxial speakers.
2-way or 3-way speakers?
Another thing you will need to know before doing any upgrade is to decide which speaker configuration you need. Speaker configuration refers to the number of sound drivers available in a speaker system.
These drivers include a tweeter, woofer, midrange drivers and super tweeters. If your current speakers are 2-way, then you might need to upgrade to 3-way speakers. 3-way speakers will sound better than 2-way speakers.
Go for the right speaker specs
You will need to know your speaker’s specs which include; the power handling, the sensitivity and mounting depth. For power handling, go for those that match with that of your old speakers.
If you are planning to introduce an amplifier, then you might need a more powerful speaker. Sensitive speakers of ratings above 90 dB have low power consumption as compared to less sensitive speakers.
Mounting depth means how much space you will need to create when installing your speakers. That is if you need to add some mounting brackets or spacers. The choice will be yours.
Step 3: Install the speakers
After finding the right speakers that will replace your old speakers, it will be a good time to do a physical replacement of the factory or old speakers with the new one. Assuming that you have the head unit and the amplifier already installed, you will need to use the following procedure;
Match the speakers to the amplifier or the head unit
The power from the amplifier should be within the ratings of the speaker or unless the speakers will blow out. If you are not going to use an external amplifier, you will need to connect the speakers to the head unit. Understanding the basics of electronics will matter a lot during this stage or else you may damage the speakers.
Placement of the speakers
Decide where to place the speakers. They should be in a place where they will be close and pointing towards the listener for a perfect sound quality. Some of the places to install the speakers are the kick panel or the doors. Some might be placed in the trunk depending on their sizes.
Wire the speakers to the amplifier
If you are going to replace existing speakers with the new ones, it means that you will need no new wires to wire up the speakers to the amplifier. Instead, you will use the existing one. The wiring will also differ depending on how your old speakers were wired or on how the new speaker manual describes.
Some of the common ways to wire a speaker to the amplifier are by series or parallel method. Do not forget the grounding connection, speakers, amplifier and the head unit. Make sure you ground them to a bare metal.
After doing this, you may test the speakers if they work fine or not. If you notice that they work well and sound equalized, then it will be a good time to screw them into place and enjoy your music.
There are tons of ways on how to upgrade car speakers. The best way and simple way is using the guide above. This will be however relevant if you will be upgrading your speakers alone. If you are upgrading the entire audio system, you might need to start with the head unit, then the amplifier and then the speakers.
Note that more will be done and required when installing the speakers. You will need some extra tools; maybe you will need to remove some parts of the kick panel or the door panel before you can install the speakers. Hopefully, the above post will help you navigate through the process of upgrading and improving the sound quality of your car speakers.