With the expansion of car models and sizes and intricate car stereo systems with 6×9’s and subwoofers, the little 4×6 inch car speakers could have been left out in the cold and relegated to old models of cars with factory car stereo and out-of-date plates.
The beauty in any car audio system, though, is that it will always feature the right tool for the right job when doing a significant upgrade for the best sound.
Insert the little car speakers that could, the 4 inches.
If you are looking for a small speaker with the best possible sound to create that perfect soundstage, or just looking to get the best music for your buck, look no further.
What are the benefits of 4-inch car speakers?
Although small in size, 4-inch car speakers come with a few features that stand large in the car audio game.
One of the best benefits you will find in your 4-inch is, in fact, that size. Four-inch speakers are great in small cars where size is a commodity. There are even many aftermarket 4-inch speakers designed to stand alone in spaces you usually wouldn’t consider installing a speaker in. And if you install a coaxial 4-inch speaker in a small car, you will not only save space but you’ll get a rich, complex sound that fits the limited space.
Another clear advantage of the small 4 is its price. A smaller-sized speaker means less amount of materials that your wallet will gratefully feel. With that extra cash, you will be able to do something more like soundproof your car so you won’t need big, expensive speakers to have music in your whole car.
Finally, whether you are running your speakers directly off of your head unit or pairing them with a much larger car audio system or an amp, you cannot beat their power pull or lack there off. A 4-inch speaker pulls such low power that it won’t conflict with the rest of your setup.
What are the drawbacks?
Although you’ll find a ton of reasons to love your 4-inch speakers, they do come with a few drawbacks with the biggest being their small size.
See, the size of the speaker is the primary determiner of the amount of air it can move. A small speaker moves less air than a large speaker. Air, when it comes to speakers, means noise and bass.
The largest speakers in your system, the subwoofers, deliver thumping bass and sound because of their size and the amount of air they can move.
Comparatively, 4-inch speakers deliver very little bass and have a much lower audio output. Because of this, you’ll find that if you turn a 4-inch speaker up too loud, you will encounter minimal distortion.
What to look for in a 4-inch car speaker?
You are going to find two main types of speakers: the component and the coaxial.
Component 4-inch speakers contain a single driver that is capable of delivering a single frequency range. That means component 4-inch speakers are best paired with a host of other speakers to provide a full power range of sound.
Coaxial speakers, conversely, house multiple drivers in one basket. You’ll find coaxial speakers in 2-, 3-, and 4-way designs. A 2-way coaxial speaker comes with the main woofer driver and also a tweeter. A 3-way speaker adds a midrange driver, and a 4-way coaxial speaker adds an even smaller tweeter to the tweeter, midrange driver, and woofer cone setup.
To sum it all up, if your 4-inch speakers will be your main listening speakers or you would like to get the best speakers money can buy, go with the highest coaxial speakers in your price range. On the other hand, if you are filling out an already existing car audio system, you should be looking for component speakers.
A solidly built speaker can stand the test of time and deliver high-quality sound day in and day out. If you want a speaker to last, you should look for one that incorporates premium, durable materials in the right spots. That means you’ll want a high-end driver, rubber surround if it’s in your budget, and a high-grade magnet or even a speaker with multiple magnets.
You’ll also want to consider how the materials affect the sound quality of the speaker.
If you prefer soft treble frequencies from your 4-inch, you want your speaker material to be made of soft materials like poly or cloth. On the other hand, if you prefer bright highs, you’ll want your speaker material to be made of something like ceramic or Kevlar.
When purchasing 4-inch speakers as replacements, look for a set with multiple mounting screw holes and patterns as the speaker holes won’t always line up exactly with your car’s old speakers.
A replacement speaker with a shallow depth will also increase the ease of installation.
Speakers are transducers that convert electrical energy into audio waves. When considering your speaker’s power handling, you should look at the watts RMS and Peak Power. In both instances, higher power handling is generally better.
This is because, unless your speaker is of low impedance and drawing too much power from the amp, even a speaker with high power handling ability can be paired with a low output amp. Inversely, a low-power handling speaker with a high-powered amp may mean a blown speaker.
In all cases, the goal is to keep a reasonable flow of electrical power between the amplifier or head unit and the speaker.
A speaker’s sensitivity, measured in dB, denotes the amount of sound the speaker can produce per the power or electrical energy delivered to it. If you are running your speaker off of your low-powered head unit, you’ll want the highest sensitivity rating possible (shoot for over 90 dB). If you’ll be running your speaker off of an amp, you should be okay with a low sensitivity (under 90 dB) setup.