Music lovers will almost always prefer an aftermarket speaker in their vehicle. Factory speakers are typically adequate but not impressive.
If you’re spending a lot of time in the car, high end speakers are one of the best ways to not only enjoy your drive time more, but also increase the resale value of the vehicle.
Luckily there are a lot of great choices out there depending on your needs. We’ll let you know all about one of the most popular sizes of aftermarket car speaker – 6×8 inches.
Speakers sized at 6×8 are popular because they fit into most vehicles with a simple installation. The leading models have a higher power handling capacity than smaller speakers, ranging from 130 to 360W.
This output should produce enjoyable sound for almost any user.
Unlike OEM (original equipment manufacturer) speakers, which are made with low quality materials in exchange for a low cost, 6×8 aftermarket car speakers are better constructed with higher end materials, for which you get enhanced clarity and depth of sound.
They are an excellent blend of value and function.
Let’s examine some of the top rated 6×8 speakers on the market today.
350 watts max
28 – 39,000 Hz
Cerwin-Vega V468Cerwin-Vega V468
350 watts max
55 – 20,000 Hz
JBL GTO8629JBL GTO8629
360 watts max
49 – 21,000 Hz
Kenwood KFC-C6895PSKenwood KFC-C6895PS
360 watts max
63 – 20,000 Hz
Rockford Fosgate Punch P1683Rockford Fosgate Punch P1683
130 watts max< /p>
65 – 24,000 Hz
Top 6×8 Car Speaker Models Recommendations:
1. Pioneer TS-A6886R 6″ x 8″ 4-Way Speaker, Set of 1 – Best 6×8 Car Speakers
If you are looking for a coaxial(full-range) speaker that’s easy to install yet has incredible sound capacity, check out these Pioneer 6×8 speakers.
This4-way model has 350 watts max power and features an innovative multilayer mica matrix cone for optimum sound reproduction and responsiveness, plus a lightweight elastic polymer surround.
Expect a wide dispersion of sound from this speaker. It also features a tweeter that is specially designed to deliver an improved range of mid to high frequencies and optimized sound at higher volumes.
Heat-resistant voice coil wire is used for heat dissipation and durability so that it can easily withstand high input power.
The spider design uses a high end material for stiffer suspension and more accurate response. The cooling basket with air vent provides increased cooling for better power handling.
This speaker is 1.86 lbs and comes with a one year warranty.
2. CERWIN VEGA V468 6-Inch x 8-Inch 400 Watts – Best 2-Way Coaxial Speaker Set
Cerwin-Vega is a recognized name in the vehicle audio industry, having been hard and work since 1954, and now the world’s largest audio component manufacturer.
This 6×8 coaxial set offers two-way sound with 400 watts of peak and 75 watts of RMS (continuous) power handling.
The mica-filled poly cone and 1” titanium dome tweeter are robust components that will last a long time.
With a frequency response of 55-20,000 Hz, you won’t miss any highs or lows. And with a superior sensitivity of 94 dB, they are the loudest 6×8 speakers on our list, so feel free to turn it up.
Plus, the Vega signature red surround makes this a very nice-looking unit, too.
Cerwin-Vega offers speakers in many shapes and sizes, from 4” to 6×9” rear deck speakers. Many models are available in both coaxial and component design.
The speakers weigh 10.1 ounces and come with a one year warranty.
3. JBL GTO8629 Premium 5 x 7/6 x 8 Inch Co-Axial Speakers – Set of 2
JBL prides itself on innovation, as evidenced in this model, which can fit both 5×7 and 6×8 spaces. JBL’sunique Plus One woofer cone works to expand the diaphragm area for better low-frequency response.
If you are looking for fine tuning ability, these JBL speakers are just the ticket. Their trademarked UniPivot™ design allows users to aim the tweeter’s sound more directly at the listener for a more detailed soundstage.
There isalso an adjustable level control to tweak the tweeters to your liking, making them fully customized to your particular car.
You will also get slightly lower impedance than most aftermarket car speakers at 3 ohms, so they can safely draw a more power from your car stereo and give you high volume even if your factory radio is relatively low-powered.
The power handling comes in at 360watts/pair peak, and 120 watts/pair continuous. The frequency response is 49-21,000 Hz.
These speakers also feature a vented magnet with a high thermal-capable voice coil to effectively dissipate heat and ensure longevity.
The product weighs in at 4.89 pounds and comes with a one year warranty.
4. Kenwood KFC-C6895PS 6×8″ – Best Oval Custom Fit 3-Way Speaker
This Kenwood model may be one of the best 6×8 speakers for the money, featuring a nice combination of sound quality and value.
You may sacrifice a bit on the construction, as they feature a woofer constructed of paper like many factory speakers. However, the woofer is designed with a new radial rib pattern to increase speaker strength and deliver more responsive bass.
A rubber surround helps to ensure the overall durability, so you should be able to enjoy impeccable sound for many years. And speaking of the sound, this Kenwood speaker also uses a multi-driver design that offers detailed lows, clean vocals, and soaring highs.
The Acoustic Sound Harmonizer feature uses slots on the mount that houses the tweeter and super tweeter to improve progression into the higher frequencies.
With 360 watts of pea
k (max) power and 85 watts of continuous (RMS) power, Kenwood speakers can go all day.
A low impedance of 4 ohms supports this. You can expect a frequency of 63-20,000 Hz and sensitivity of 88 dB. The speakers can also be custom fit for easy mounting.
This speaker weighs 4.2 pounds and has a one year warranty.
5. Rockford Fosgate Punch P1683 6 x 8-Inches Full Range 3-Way Speakers, Pair
One of the cooler features of this Rockford Fosgate model is the FlexFit basket design, which allows for variable adjustments to the mounting position.
You’ll be able to angle the speakers depending on how many people are in the car; when it’s just you, point them both at the driver’s seat.
In fact, everything about the design of this Rockford Fosgate speaker is intended to make installation easy and the end result look totally seamless.
The ICC (Integrated Concealed Crossover) improves the final look by concealing the passive crossover (capacitor).
The included Multi-OEM Adapter plate allows round components or full-range speakers can fit in certain existing OEM openings, so that this speaker can fit in a huge range of vehicles.
This model delivers 130 watts of peak(max) power handling and 65 watts of continuous (RMS) power, so it does fall a bit short of other models on the list in this area.
The Vertical Attach Surround Technique is used here to increase the effective radiating cone area by about25% without making installation more complicated.
The construction is solid with a Butyl rubber surround, mineral-filled and polypropylene injection molded cone, and PEI dome tweeter.
The relatively heavy speaker is 5.48pounds and has a one year warranty for both parts and labor.
Benefits of installing 6×8 Speakers
The experience of surround sound and crystal clear audio quality cannot truly be achieved with a standard car stereo. Aftermarket stereos make all the difference for several reasons.
Better sound quality
Typical factory stereos simply can’t match the superior built-in power and better circuit design of many aftermarket models. But they aren’t just louder, they also produce cleaner, richer, more-detailed sound.
Perhaps you like a lot of bass, or want to precisely control the mix of tones throughout the vehicle. With a high quality aftermarket 6×8 speaker, you’ll have enhanced tone controls in the preamp section with which to fine-tune the music.
Longer lasting components
Most factory speakers use surrounds constructed with foam and paper, insubstantial materials which deteriorate over time. You will know when your speaker surrounds are wearing out, because the sound quality drops noticeably.
High-quality aftermarket speakers with higher quality bass are usually constructed with rubber surrounds for a longer life. The cones found in aftermarket 6×8 speaker units are usually higher quality, too, to further improve the bass you can get over a standard factory speaker.
Factors to Consider When Buying 6×8 Speakers
The number one thing to think about when choosing a speaker is whether it will fit in your car! Luckily, this information is easily researched online. Following are more factors to think about before making your purchase.
There are two main types to examine, coaxial (or full range) and component.
Full-range coaxial speakers contain all the speaker elements in one unit. A woofer is there for the lows and a tweeter is mounted onto the woofer for the highs. Upper end models will also have additional drivers, such as a mid-range or super tweeter.
Choose a full range model if you want better sound than your factory speakers with the least amount of hassle. They are easily installed and can sometimes mount directly into factory speaker locations.
Component models come in a set that include different speakers such as woofers, tweeters, and midrange drivers.
Each speaker has its own driver with an individual frequency range, so that you can achieve a fuller sound environment and flawless clarity.
Component systems can be a bit trickier to install as you need multiple locations. In some cases you may need to make new openings for the components.
Because you are looking specifically for a 6×8 speaker, all of the models reviewed here will be coaxial models. Component sets include speakers of varying size.
However, each of the brands reviewed is a leader in the audio industry, and makes both component and coaxial type speakers.
The frequency range, expressed in Hertz (Hz), shows the range of low and high frequencies able to be emitted by a speaker.
The range is always shown as low to high, for example, 40 – 40,000 (40k) Hz. The more range available in a speaker, the more precise its clarity.
We recommend going for the highest range speaker you can afford.
Power handling has to do with how well your speaker components are powered. More complex systems require more power to work well; if you have a great system but are lacking in power, the speakers won’t sound nearly as good as they could, and will likely burn out more quickly.
There are three ratings to consider: peak (or max), program, and continuous (or RPM).
Sensitivity has to do with how much sound is put out per the power taken from the amplifier. The higher the sensitivity of the speaker, the more efficient is its operation.
Average sensitivity measurements are about 88 dB, but we don’t recommend you choose a speaker below 84 dB. If you can swing it, a sensitivity rating of 92 dB or higher provides optimal results.
A crossover is a device that modifies a single input signal into two or three output signals made up of separated bands of high-, mid-, and low-range frequencies.
The varied frequency bands then feed into the different speakers, or drivers, within your overall sound system. Crossovers minimize distortion and make for cleaner sound quality.
Woofer and tweeter
The woofer is the part of a speaker designed to produce low frequency sounds, from 40 Hz up to500 Hz.
The name comes from the low rumbling sound of a dog’s bark, in contrast a tweeter, which produces the high frequency sounds like a bird’s tweet.
A tweeter or treble speaker is designed to produce high audio frequencies from around 2,000 Hz to20,000 Hz (which is basically the upper limit of human hearing).
Specialty tweeters can deliver high frequencies up to 100 kHz, but that level isn’t necessary in a car audio system – you may not even be able to hear it.
Both the woofer and tweeter should be made of high quality materials, as they contribute to the responsiveness and overall quality of the speaker.
Impedance is a tricky concept to understand fully, but in general it has to do with how much power is flowing, and how easily, into the speaker unit.
When it comes to impedance, the lower the number, the more easily electricity (the signal/music) flows through the speaker.
However, you don’t necessarily need the lowest impedance available, as a bigger “pipeline” doesn’t help if the overall power level doesn’t match it.
How to Install Your New Speakers
New speakers are an easy and cost effective way to increase your vehicle’s value.
You can also save money on installation if you have a little bit of electrical know-how as they are usually not too complicated to mount. You can likely use tools you already have for the job.
However, a lot depends on the size of your new speakers compared to the existing holes occupied by your factory speakers.
In many cases new holes for screws and the unit itself will need to be created. Remember that the wiring will need to be accurate and precise for the unit to work – and operate safely!
Following is a general set of instructions for installation of an aftermarket car speaker. If you are not sure that you understand them in their entirety, it’s best to engage a professional installer for the job.
That route costs a bit more, but also provides peace of mind and often a guarantee on the work.
Typically required tools
These are the most common tools needed for the job, but other implements may be needed for your particular model.
General tips for installation
Here are some things to note before getting started.
- Some speakers will fit right into the factory speaker openings and use the factory grilles and brackets. If not, other sizes fit with the help of a mounting bracket that should come free with your speaker purchase, or with minor modifications.
- To replace dash speakers, first remove the grilles, usually held down by screws (or friction fittings). This can be tricky near the windshield – you may need a 90-degree (offset) screwdriver to get at those screws. Be certain to find every screw – some are hidden and if you haven’t loosened them before pulling, you may crack the dash.
- Make sure to note the polarity of each terminal as you remove the old speaker. (The positive terminal is the larger of the two, often marked with a “+” or a colored dot.)
- Know that replacing door speakers will often require removing the door panel entirely, especially in newer cars. This involves removing the window crank or disconnecting the power functions, then finding and disengaging all of the retainer clips and/or screws holding the panel.
- When choosing and then cutting new openings, be very sure that the chosen location won’t affect any other of the car’s systems.
- If you will be using electrical tape, make certain that it is high quality. Low quality tape dries and separates from the wires through time and the influence of heat and cold. That will compromise your internal connections.
Basic steps if all your factory speakers openings are adequate
Honestly, it is unlikely that your factory speakers will be occupying just the right slots for your new speakers, especially if you have chosen a component set.
Following are the basic steps to install new speakers if you are lucky enough to be able to use existing holes. If not, the process gets a bit trickier and is best not performed by someone with no experience.
Step 1: Remove the grille and factory speaker.
Be gentle as the speaker will be attached internally to a wiring harness. You may want to reinstall the factory speaker later, for example, before selling the vehicle, so treat it carefully and store safely.
Note that some vehicle manufacturers will use some kind of sealant or foam in mounting the speaker, which will need to be cut through with a utility knife.
Step 2: Attach the wiring.
Carefully unplug the factory wiring harness and then attach the wiring harness that came with your new speaker to its terminals, making sure that the polarity is correct.
Then, simply plug the other end of the new harness into the factory wiring harness inside the vehicle. If you do not have a new wiring harness, a set of Posi-Products can alternatively make the connections.
Step 3: Test and finish.
Always test the speaker before you put it back into place. Check the connections again to be certain that they are seated properly and then double-check that the speaker works well and delivers crystal clear sound.
Reseat the new speaker into the old slot, secure it with existing screws or clips, and re-attach the factory grille.
How to Maintain Your Stereo
1. Don’t overdrive it
Distortion will fry your amp and kill your speaker faster than anything else. If you had your speakers professionally installed, the tech will have set your amplifier gains at a level that matches the head unit’s output level.
Generally, you shouldn’t need to touch the speaker’s gain knobs after installation. If the sound starts to crackle or distort at high volume, turn it down to a level that delivers clean sound or you’ll burn out the speaker.
If you can’t get the volume as loud as you want with clear sound, you actually need more power, and messing with the amp’s gain knob doesn’t deliver that.
2. Regularly check the power connections
Your vehicle experiences a lot of vibration from being on the road and from the music itself. A clean power current is vital for great sound, so take the time every so often to check the grounds and make sure they are still tight and not corroded.
Also take a peek at the battery terminals and any power distribution blocks you might have. Sound that cuts in and out can result from faulty connections.
3. Protect the speakers from impact
Your speakers are precisely constructed of multiple elements that work in harmony. Repeated impacts can mess up the alignment of these elements and negatively impact sound.
Enough hits can cause the speaker to cut out all together. Be careful when loading items into the vehicle, don’t let loose items roll around in a way that could hit the speakers, and be extremely careful with liquids.
If your speakers are in a particularly vulnerable spot, like the trunk, put some grilles around them for protection.
With all of this information about the best 6×8 speakers for your car, you should be ready to make an excellent choice that fits your desires and budget.
Great sound makes for a great time in the car, so this is the kind of purchase that just makes you happy and puts your vehicle a cut above.
Whether you install yourself or hire a professional, you’ve done your research and will be rewarded with an uplifting auditory experience. Drive on!
Here are some other interesting models that you might like: