Are more expensive speakers really that much better than cheaper ones?


Alex Jarrell

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 21, 2019
12
0
I'm looking to put some new speakers in my 2013 Kia Rio.  I spoke with a local audio shop that recommended Alpine Type R 6.5" speakers for $260.  I've been looking online though and have found quite a few options with great reviews ranging from $65 - $90.  I'm wondering if the ~$200 price difference is really going to make that much of a difference, or if I would be better served going with one of the cheaper options and putting the extra money towards a sub system as well.

 

beak81champ

Senior VIP Member
Jun 20, 2016
277
32
Spfld, Illinois
Depends on what your ultimate goal is for your system, and your budget. If you are just doing speakers, sub, and amp, you should be able to find a better deal with little effort. If you are really looking for a nice system, there are many other factors to consider. The first thing you might wanted to think about is sound deadening your ride. Best bang for the buck upgrade, and will even make your stock system sound better. Just my .02

 

Jroo

CarAudio.com Elite
10+ year member
Feb 13, 2007
516
2
richmond virginia
really depends on the rest of your system. If everything you keep in the car is factory, going out and buying 600 dollar speakers may not change anything. If you are upgrading the whole system, you certainly can hear differences. I first would listen to speaker and get a feel for what you like. Dont just buy online unless you have listened. I also think at certain points you get diminishing returns at certain price points. I recently demoed a set of speakers and heard a big difference from the 300 dollar pair to the 600 dollar pair. I didnt hear anything different from the 600 dollar pair to the 1000 dollar pair, all from the same manufacturer

 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
I'm looking to put some new speakers in my 2013 Kia Rio.  I spoke with a local audio shop that recommended Alpine Type R 6.5" speakers for $260.  I've been looking online though and have found quite a few options with great reviews ranging from $65 - $90.  I'm wondering if the ~$200 price difference is really going to make that much of a difference, or if I would be better served going with one of the cheaper options and putting the extra money towards a sub system as well.
they are not worth 260$ you are getting your @sshole completely raped with that pricing. 

 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
everything else matters a lot more to be honest. Signal processing active crossover tuning, Deadening, install techniques, System design and enough clean amplification does WAY more than speaker choice.  260 bucks can get you a processor/or good head unit that does way more for your overall sound than swapping speakers and doing nothing else. Actually if you just swap speakers only and dont do anything else your whole system will sound like absolute shit compared to your stock setup because aftermarkets require a clean flat signal from the head unit along with amplification and deadening. If you are missing any of those then you literally wasted your time and money completely.

 
OP
Alex Jarrell

Alex Jarrell

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 21, 2019
12
0
everything else matters a lot more to be honest. Signal processing active crossover tuning, Deadening, install techniques, System design and enough clean amplification does WAY more than speaker choice.  260 bucks can get you a processor/or good head unit that does way more for your overall sound than swapping speakers and doing nothing else. Actually if you just swap speakers only and dont do anything else your whole system will sound like absolute shit compared to your stock setup because aftermarkets require a clean flat signal from the head unit along with amplification and deadening. If you are missing any of those then you literally wasted your time and money completely.
I plan on swapping out both the speakers and head piece eventually, I am just looking at doing it in steps right now.  I've spoken with some people who have suggested replacing the speakers first, but it sounds like you're suggesting that starting with the head piece will yield the best results.  Is that right?

 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
I plan on swapping out both the speakers and head piece eventually, I am just looking at doing it in steps right now.  I've spoken with some people who have suggested replacing the speakers first, but it sounds like you're suggesting that starting with the head piece will yield the best results.  Is that right?
yeah those people have no fking clue what it actually takes to sound good.  Head unit is always top priority. You can then add an amp to your stock speakers as well and you'll see everything completely change.  Your stock head unit at best puts out 3-5 watts and has low resolution digital to analogue converters thats holding everything back. You put in power hungry speakers to only 3-5 watts and your setup will sound weak with zero clarity and a major loss of bass.   I'd recommend a pioneer head unit because they have network mode with active crossovers and then with a 4 channel amp, you can do a 2 way active front setup buying seperate tweeters and mids that are much higher quality than the crap in type R sets for a lot cheaper.

 
OP
Alex Jarrell

Alex Jarrell

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 21, 2019
12
0
I'd recommend a pioneer head unit because they have network mode with active crossovers
Can you elaborate on what network mode and active crossovers are and why they'd be important?  I've heard good things about Pioneer and was thinking about sticking with that brand already, but outside of that I don't really know a whole lot about what makes a good head piece.

 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
Can you elaborate on what network mode and active crossovers are and why they'd be important?  I've heard good things about Pioneer and was thinking about sticking with that brand already, but outside of that I don't really know a whole lot about what makes a good head piece.
with those type R components you buy, there's a set crossover point inside the crossover that you cannot change no matter what however inside a car. The crossover point is where the mid cuts off and lets the tweeter handle the rest. there's different things from the seat fabric material to the shape of the dash to how far away the tweeters are from the glass etc... all these factor into vehicle acoustics that determine how good or bad your system sounds.  With a passive crossover you cannot change anything, you are stuck with what you have even if it sounds like complete sh*t. There's also the matter of time alignment as well which is delaying the signal of each driver so all the sound waves reaches your ears at the same time to create a virtual sound stage aka a live performance feel right on your dash where you can see via sound. This is only possible with active mode which lets you individually control the midrange and tweeter crossover points and time alignment separately along with the output as well.  Most of the pioneer double dins can do this.  Kenwoods and alpines cannot. 

As for your setup. Later on down the line, you'll be leaving the stock speakers in on head unit power and spend ZERO dollars on anything in the rear. Focus all amplification power, money and effort on the front speakers running active if you want a competition level sounding setup as your daily driver on a budget.

 
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Alex Jarrell

Alex Jarrell

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 21, 2019
12
0
active mode which lets you individually control the midrange and tweeter crossover points and time alignment separately along with the output as well.
Thank you for the easy to understand explanation.  My only concern is the quoted part.  As someone who has zero knowledge on the subject, how difficult would it be to optimize these settings?

 

2RZ-FE

Senior VIP Member
Mar 14, 2011
361
45
Dixon, Ca
I have the latest Type R's on passive they aren't too bad. I knew someone that wanted to upgrade so he let them go for cheap. To help the OP and me what else does it take to go active besides a network capable deck?

 
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Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
I have the latest Type R's on passive they aren't too bad. I knew someone that wanted to upgrade so he let them go for cheap. To help the OP and me what else does it take to go active besides a network capable deck?
4 channel amp, dedicated wiring to the mid and tweeter and the deck, reset deck to factory default, choose network mode thats it.  Go to crossovers and play with the crossover points and slope till it sounds really smooth and clean. Then do time alignment and EQ viola magic.

 

beak81champ

Senior VIP Member
Jun 20, 2016
277
32
Spfld, Illinois
Actually, it will be easier, bcuz you are only installing speakers. You don’t have to find additional space for 2 crossovers.

***Start everything with sound deadening and preparing your ride for great sound. I can’t stress this enough...

Another plus with active speakers is that you will get much, much better speakers for the money you spend. We will have a ton of recommendations for great speakers, once you know what size you need, and where you are going to put them.

 
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OP
Alex Jarrell

Alex Jarrell

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 21, 2019
12
0
**Start everything with sound deadening and preparing your ride for great sound. I can’t stress this enough...
I saw that there is a stickied post on this site about sound deadening doors.  Is that thread good enough for getting me started?

 

DRBOOM

CarAudio.com Well Known
Nov 21, 2018
249
51
If you just want to swap stock speakers for after market speakers then don't spend that money on top speakers unless you do the sound deadening and external amplification along the change.

If you wish to change the speakers for better after market speakers, it may provide you with a brighter sound but nothing much will be changed due to the stock car housing / lack of sound deadening :blackeye:

So its up to you to decide whether you want to just get speaker replacement, so that would mean just get Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, components, or any entry level components

If you decide to go the whole hog and go for amplification, deadening, then it would be wise to spend money on more expensive components.  The reason for this is it will provide you;

  • better crossover with different tweeter attenuation;
  • better materials / bigger voice coil / more power handling;
  • more tweeter mounting options rather than just a top mount bracket;
  • more reliability over the life of your car; (will not die on you in six months)
Usually most car speakers sound similar and you will not notice much difference, but with the more expensive gear the tweeters are more pleasant to listen to over long periods.  Personally I like the silk dome tweeters as I find the metal tweeters are more harsher at louder volumes but that is my personal experience and choice. :fro:

Determine which option suits you depending on your budget mate!  You can always upgrade over time, just plan out your project and take it from there! :cool:

 
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beak81champ

Senior VIP Member
Jun 20, 2016
277
32
Spfld, Illinois
I’m sorry, I haven’t read it. Check out a youtube video by Richard Vedvick, and the entire series of videos from Car Audio Fabrication. Mark is an awesome guide to all things car audio, and his videos are broken down into specific stages of the process.

 

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
252
South Coast Metro, CA
If you just want to swap stock speakers for after market speakers then don't spend that money on top speakers unless you do the sound deadening and external amplification along the change.

If you wish to change the speakers for better after market speakers, it may provide you with a brighter sound but nothing much will be changed due to the stock car housing / lack of sound deadening :blackeye:

So its up to you to decide whether you want to just get speaker replacement, so that would mean just get Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, components, or any entry level components

If you decide to go the whole hog and go for amplification, deadening, then it would be wise to spend money on more expensive components.  The reason for this is it will provide you;

  • better crossover with different tweeter attenuation;
  • better materials / bigger voice coil / more power handling;
  • more tweeter mounting options rather than just a top mount bracket;
  • more reliability over the life of your car; (will not die on you in six months)
Usually most car speakers sound similar and you will not notice much difference, but with the more expensive gear the tweeters are more pleasant to listen to over long periods.  Personally I like the silk dome tweeters as I find the metal tweeters are more harsher at louder volumes but that is my personal experience and choice. :fro:

Determine which option suits you depending on your budget mate!  You can always upgrade over time, just plan out your project and take it from there! :cool:
beriylium and higher end metal domes actually are extremely smooth. Just anything under 500$ like that will tend to sound nasty.  most of the times, a head unit swap with stock speakers will sound a thousand times better than a speaker swap with no head unit swap.  

Actually most people stop at that stage from all the installs I've done. It literally fulfills everything the person wanted out of their setup.   While the speaker swap guys fall into a giant never ending money pit remaining unsatisfied.

 

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