JBL vs Kicker Speakers

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Our Winner JBL GTO939


Introduction

Replacing your old car speakers with new ones does require some research. You want to improve sound experience and  quality, without wasting your money on speakers that might only be good for a few months or years.

Narrowing down the brands will help. Once you have it down to a couple, you should consider comparing them. See which speaker brands have exactly what you are looking for, at a price that won’t break your budget.

Two of the top-rated budget-friendly car speaker manufacturers are JBL and Kicker. Both have their advantages, and some disadvantages too. 

Below we will explain why we prefer JBL's speakers to Kickers. 

For those who don't want to read the full article below is our favorite speaker. 

About JBL Car Speakers

JBL speaker is an American company that was founded in 1946. They have been manufacturing car speakers for over range six decades. Their experience and ability to consistently produce high-quality speakers at an affordable price has cemented the brand’s popularity with consumers.

JBL has several speaker series with features that are hard to beat at this price anywhere else.

JBL GTO939 (Best Speaker)

These 6x9 inch coaxial car speakers are designed for bass lovers. The speakers have large cones injected with carbon for improved airflow when they are vibrating. The larger volume of displaced air is what gives you the punchy and heavy bass you want. Best of all, you probably won’t need to spend extra money on a subwoofer.

When it comes to the tweeters for higher frequencies, these speakers have you covered. The soft-dome tweeters have large voice coils for exceptional heat dissipation and high power handling. Not only does this help to prolong the life of the speakers, but it also ensures a smoother handling of power.

These are three-way coaxial speakers and come with dual-level adjustment for volume. This makes it easy for you to make adjustments to compensate where the speakers are placed. Adjust the levels according to your preferences and to match the type of music you are listening to. Not many other car speaker brands allow you to do this.

Pros

  • Since these are three-way speakers, low, mid and high range frequencies are covered
  • The low 3 Ohms impedance works great with thin wires normally found in factory-installed car stereos
  • The cones are carbon-injected for optimal bass
  • High frequencies are clean and lows “punchy” without need for an equalizer
  • Cons

  • The materials used to construct the cones are flimsy and may not be able to withstand higher powered amplifiers.

JBL GTO429 

If you’re on a tight budget but still want to improve audio quality in your car, these 4-inch speakers might be a great way to start.

The coaxial speakers are small, but they do have a high RMS capacity. This allows you to push the volume and sound quality even further, without having to add an external amplifier.

Sound quality is good, thanks to the cones’ design. They have a larger surface area that is ideal for maximum output from most frequencies. Higher frequencies sound crisp and clean, while the lower ones have the “punch” you want.

The only downside with the GTO429 speakers is their smaller size. If you want to “rock” a large space, you will need to add a sub-woofer.

Pros

  • Priced to fit most budgets
  • Ideal for listening to high and mid-range frequencies
  • Very easy to install
  • Mounting is flexible to allow for several configurations

Cons

  • It is easy to accidentally break the plastic mountings during installation

JBL GTO6428

These are 4-inch coaxial speakers that are affordably priced. Since they are two-way speakers you have a tweeter and low-range woofer. This means you can clearly hear most high and low frequencies.

GTO6428 tweeters have a lightweight dome, constructed from a Mylar and titanium composite. Large coils limit distortion when the volume is turned up and also increase the amount of power they can handle without an external amplifier.

Another plus to these speakers is that they are crossovers. This improves sound equalization for improved sound.

Pros

  • Tweeters have a lightweight and sturdy construction
  • Speakers are priced for most budgets
  • Impedance is 91 dB for clearer sound
  • The tweeters can be easily adjusted

Cons

  • Bass is not always clear at higher volumes

JBL Club6520

If you are looking for affordable, durable car speakers that are several steps above your factory installed ones, JBL Club6520 is a great option. They are coaxial speakers so low and high frequencies sound crystal clear. The speakers also come with UV-resistant polypropylene woofers that can withstand most weather conditions.

They come with JBL’s patented Plus One woofer that has a larger surface area. This allows for more air flow for better bass. The PEI tweeters make sure that you hear every note from the higher frequencies.

An external amp is not needed since the impedance is 3 ohms. You don’t have to worry about the standard thin wires on your factory stereo “blowing out” your new speakers.

Pros

  • Speakers have a one year warranty
  • Grilles are included to prevent dust and particles from getting into the speakers
  • The woofer cone is UV-resistant for longer life
  • Easy to install in almost any vehicle

Cons

  • Bass can be distorted at maximum volume without an external amp

GX862

These speakers are designed to turn heads, both with their sleek appearance and powerful sound. The speakers are designed to fit in most vehicles. All you need to do is pop the JBL speakers into where the factory ones where previously installed.

The Plus One polypropylene woofer cones are designed for greater input, with less distortion. You can turn up the volume and still have a great sound. The soft done tweeter is designed to provide a smooth audio response from high and mid-range frequencies. You will also appreciate their durable construction.

Since your factory installed stereo probably has thin wires that aren’t capable of producing the sound you want, GX863 speakers can compensate for this. The 3 ohms coils can handle most frequencies, at any volume, without distorting the audio.

Pros

  • Bass is crisp and clear, even at higher volumes
  • Come with a durable construction
  • Designed to fit easily in most vehicles
  • Affordably priced for most budgets

Cons

  • Bass can sound “thin” when the speakers are connected to a factory car stereo
  • Some consumers have noted the 3 ohms impedance of these speakers is not compatible with their installed car stereo

Kicker Car Speakers

Since 1973, Kicker has been manufacturing speakers that are capable of producing exceptional high-quality sound. You can find the brand name speakers in a variety of stores and online.

They do have several series of speakers, but there are four that stand out. The company’s QS, KS, CS, and DS series. All are affordably priced and designed to deliver clear high and low frequencies.

QS Series 6.5 Components

These speakers are at the higher end of Kicker’s affordable price range, but they are worth the cost. They have mid-range drivers and tweeters that produce precise sounds. You also have the advantage of their crossover network, so all frequencies are sharp and clear.

There is a removable plug that allows you to convert them into coaxial speakers for improved sound quality. If you are worried about durability, the tweeter’s dome is constructed from Tetoron.

They have an impedance of 4 ohms, which means you do not need to purchase an external amplifier to enjoy exceptional sound quality. The frequency response is between 50Hz to 20k Hz, so you can listen to crystal clear high and low-range frequencies.

Pros

  • Durable construction for long-life
  • Easy to install in most vehicles
  • Can be changed into coaxial speakers
  • The crossover network is ideal for listening to most frequencies

Cons

  • The speakers are higher priced than some other brands
  • Bass is not always crisp at higher volumes

KS Series 6.5 Components

These speakers will boost your sound performance. They are also designed to be easy to install. You can enjoy an extended frequency range, including highs and lows.

A polypropylene woofer delivers deep bass, and it is coated in rubber for exceptional durability. The tweeters are silk covered for a smoother sound. You also have multiple tweeter mounting options so the audio is always pointed exactly where you want to hear it.

You will appreciate how easy it is to convert the speakers to a coaxial configuration. This can improve sound quality from all frequencies.

Pros

  • The speakers are simple to install
  • Grilles are included to protect speaker domes from dust and debris
  • KS 6.5 series speakers are designed for high power handling
  • High, mid and low-range frequencies are sharp and clear

Cons

  • Bass can be distorted at higher volumes

CS Series CSC35

These are affordable car speakers that are several steps above your factory installed ones. The 3.5 inch coaxial speakers are designed for volume, clear audio and durability.

They have a stamped-steel frame that protects the speakers no matter how rough your drive is. It also supports the polypropylene cone. If you decide to mount the speakers in a window, they are surrounded by foam that is resistant to UV light.

If you listen to a lot of bass, the 3.5mm woofer can deliver. Higher frequencies also clear with the PEI tweeter. Increasing the volume isn’t a problem on higher ranges, thanks to the neodymium magnets in the tweeter.

Pros

  • The speakers have a two-way design for high and low frequencies
  • You can easily install the speakers in most vehicles
  • The woofer cone is constructed from polypropylene for improved bass sound

Cons

  • Due to the lack of a grill dust and debris can get into the speaker

DS Series 6x9”

The first thing you’ll notice about the DS series 6x9” speakers is the lack of protrusion from the tweeter. You can still use your factory installed grills without interfering with the speaker’s installation. Even without any protrusion the Pei tweeters still produce exceptional sound clarity.

To ensure long-lasting durability the cone is supported by a stamped steel framework. The cone is constructed from polypropylene and UV treated foam. Not only does this ensure durability during rough rides, but the speakers are also protected from exposure to sunlight.

You won’t need to add an amplifier since the speakers have Kicker’s trademarked extended voice coil technology. This improves sound quality, even at higher volumes.

Pros

  • The speakers are designed to be easy to install
  • Durability isn’t a problem due to the protective steel framework
  • With an impedance of 4 ohms, the speakers are compatible with most factory car stereos

Cons

  • An amplifier will increase sound quality at any volume
  • The speakers are mainly designed for car doors and not rear windows

JBL vs Kicker

There are several similarities between JBL and Kicker car speakers. Sizes, configurations, and specifications are a few aspects the brands have in common.

Quality of construction and price are also similar, making it difficult for consumers to choose between the two brands.

Both companies do manufacture quality car speakers that produce excellent audio at most frequencies. When you are trying to make a decision, consider the type of music you frequently listen to. Another consideration is if you want to listen to heavier bass or improved sound quality.

JBL speakers offer better audio than Kicker, according to customer reviews. Bass is better than with factory installed speakers and the higher frequencies are clear and crisp. The one area where JBL speakers are lacking is in the frequency band. Kicker seems to be better at the mid and high-ranges.

JBL still is one of the better options when it comes to heavy, loud bass.

All of these are affordably priced middle-class car speakers. When it comes down to what is right for you, consider the type of music you generally listen to. If you prefer bass, then one of the JBL series might be the right decision. If crystal clear highs are what you want, then one of the car speakers in Kicker’s series will probably be a better choice.

The one factor that you do want to consider is if the speakers you choose are compatible with the stereo system already in your car.

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