If you are planning on installing a new set of car speakers, you find yourself faced with a multitude of decisions. Do you want to put a stock replacement in or are you ready to upgrade? Aside from that, what size should you choose, and what’s the difference between 6×9 vs. 6.5” car speakers?
In this guide, we evaluate both car speaker sizes to determine which one might be better. We look at the differences and help you choose what’s right for your vehicle. Plus, we answer some of your top car speaker questions.
An affordable option is the 6.5” speaker. It’s small but still produces a decent amount of sound. It’s one of the most commonly used speakers in the car stereo setup for a reason. You can find a two-way 6.5” speaker that contains a tweeter and a woofer or a three-way speaker with an added midrange component.
Because it is round, it fits in the door panels with ease. It also doesn’t require an amplifier because usually it’s not overly powerful. Let’s examine a few of the pros and cons of this speaker type.
- Small, compact size
- Easy to find
- Tons of mounting options
- Provides good mid-range sound
- Fits many factory speaker replacement
- Ideal for surround sound setups
- Quieter than other speaker options
- Doesn’t produce clear bass
- Won’t always perform well at high frequencies
Another option available to you is the 6×9 speaker. It’s been around since the 1950s and is the largest one for in-car use in most cars. With this speaker, you achieve a nice balance of volume and sound quality because some bass is produced.
6×9 speakers were a staple in older cars where there was a different layout. You could find these on the deck behind the back seat, otherwise known as a parcel shelf.
Still, not everything about this speaker is ideal. It’s not the easiest to install and it can’t be mounted anywhere. Let’s look closer at the pros and cons.
- Compact design for the size
- No amplifier is usually required
- Produces solid bass
- Fit well in older cars
- Vibration can be an issue
- Not as many options available to buy
- Sound distortion can occur
- More expensive
Key Differences Between 6×9 and 6.5” Speakers
The similarities between the 6×9 and 6.5” speakers go as far as them both producing sound. Aside from that, there are numerous differences you should examine. We take a look at the size, design, sound quality, power spec, mounting, installation and cost differences between these two speakers.
The 6×9-inch speaker isn’t standardized across the board. For this reason, brands can vary the measurements slightly. For the most part, expect these oval speakers to measure 6.5” x 9-5/16”.
The 6.5” speaker is measured by the diameter since it is a round speaker. Again, the measurements may not be specific but are a general ballpark. Because these are so popular, you can expect to find most measuring the same size, so they remain interchangeable.
The 6×9 speaker is oval. It doesn’t look like most of the other speakers that tend to be round, such as the 6.5”. The larger design is older looking, not what you expect to see in a new car.
With the round shape of the 6.5”, you get a more modern appeal. These are more attractive to most drivers than the 6×9 speaker. You won’t find a lot of the oval speakers in cars anymore.
Many cars come with 6.5″ speaker slots from the factory, so it’s much easier to use 6.5″ speakers without larger modifications to the car’s interior.
3. Sound Quality
You are going to achieve different sounds from these two speakers. Because the 6×9 has a larger cone area, it’s going to create louder bass notes. Bass frequencies require more cone space to produce.
With the smaller 6.5” speakers, you still achieve the same bass sound. However, it’s more focused and meant to draw out the mid-range frequencies.
4. Power Specs
Powering the speakers is a top priority as you determine whether you need an amplifier or not. With the 6×9 speaker, you can expect to draw more power than you would with the 6.5” speaker.
These larger speakers need thirty to sixty watts of power, while the 6.5” may only use 15 to thirty watts. You can find the power specifications in the owner’s manual for the speakers or on the brand’s website.
It’s important to know where you can mount these speakers. With the 6×9 speaker, you can put them on the back lid, behind the passengers or on the floor. However, the smaller 6.5” speakers typically get mounted to the dash or door.
The smaller speaker is the easiest to install and normally fits right into the spot that’s already in place. With the larger speakers, you need more room, which can make for a complicated installation.
The 6×9-inch speaker is going to cost more than the smaller speakers. The added cost is due to the different designs and the increased bass performance. These are also harder to find, so the competition isn’t fighting to gain consumer attention.
Therefore, people looking for a cheap set of speakers are going to gravitate to the 6.5”. You can find them most anywhere and so many different brands make this size. For most people, the difference is negligible and not worth the upgraded cost.
6.5 vs. 6×9 Car Speakers: Which Is Better?
Both the 6.5 and 6×9 car speakers have a lot to offer. The 6×9 speakers are larger and produce a better bass sound, but they also cost more. On the other hand, the 6.5 speakers are compact, easy to install and cheap, but may not provide the bass you hope for.
For this reason, it’s impossible for us to tell you what speaker will fit your needs the best. You must evaluate all of the factors we laid out above to determine which ones you need in your car. If you want to build an ideal car stereo system, you may want to reach out to professionals. Talk to sound experts about your needs and see what’s recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are 6×9 speakers good for bass?
The 6×9” speakers provide a great way to add more bass without spending a fortune on a new system. With these speakers, you often don’t need to purchase an extra amplifier or subwoofer, but you still get a high-quality sound that’s worth jamming out to.
What sounds better, 6.5” or 6×9?
6×9” speakers are going to produce a better bass sound than the 6.5” speakers, but they aren’t good at creating high frequencies. The mid-range sound often comes out better from the 6.5” speakers and these are considered the best sound option if you are on a budget.
Will 6.5″ speakers fit 6×9?
These two sizes are close together but not the same. The 6.5” speaker is circular, while the 6×9 speaker is oval. You could technically interchange them, but they must be properly mounted and secured. To make this process easier, several brands sell kits that provide the spacers necessary for a solid fit.
Can you get bass from 6.5 speakers?
There are some 6.5” speakers designed for the deeper, growling bass you seek. You may have to pay more for these speakers, but it’s worth the cost if you want to avoid buying a subwoofer. Before choosing a speaker, look at the surround’s material and the woofer cone.
Can 6×9 be used as a subwoofer?
The 6×9 speaker is a mid-range speaker that can also be used for subwoofer purposes. They have a decent bass response and some brands make models specifically for these notes. However, don’t expect the same quality as a dedicated subwoofer since these are just substitutes.
It can be a lot of fun to put together a car stereo system. From choosing the best head unit to setting up subwoofers, there’s no end to the ways you can customize your car sound. Picking different car speakers requires knowing what each one is good for. Unless you are a sound expert, this information must be searched out.
With the help of our professional guide, you should have a better idea about what you need. You can also choose to add both of these speakers to your system for well-rounded sound. After your system is set up, you are ready to hit the road and crank up the tunes.