Articles & Videos: Component Systems

Factory speakers usually sound fine when they're new, but they deteriorate over time. We compared speakers of different ages to see how badly they fared.

When you're shopping for speakers, don't forget the tweeter. Tweeters reproduce the upper frequencies in your music — they're what makes your highs sparkle and come to life — so they're vital for proper soundstaging and stereo separation.

Component speaker systems are the audiophile's choice for superior mobile sound. But what are component speaker systems, exactly, and are they the right choice for your vehicle?

Brand-name speakers will make a big difference in your car's sound, there's no doubt about it. But with some simple, relatively inexpensive extra steps, you can make them sound even better.

Raise the soundstage
by John Pollard

Installing tweeters in your factory tweeter locations, or custom-mounting them on the upper part of your doors, will give you better stereo imaging and raise the soundstage to your ears. You'll hear better placement of instruments in recordings, and you'll enjoy more depth of sound. And they might not be as difficult to install as you may think.

Factory speakers are not built to last, so over time they'll deteriorate to the point where they sound truly awful. We set up a blind listening test in our Labs and invited some of our most critical listeners to drop by and see if they could tell a difference in the sound.

Properly tweaked, your car or truck can be a fantastic place to listen to music. But in order to achieve that level of enjoyment, you need to compensate for some of its natural limitations. Achieving great imaging is a matter of understanding your components, and how they interact with your vehicle and the people sitting in it.

Tuning your speakers
by Ken Nail

Even the best component system can sound better with a few tweaks. Here are some keys to help ensure you get the best possible sound out of your new investment.

Factory speakers are the bane of every music lover's existence. They're just not built to withstand the conditions inside your car over time. Fortunately, we carry all kinds of aftermarket speakers that are built to survive - and thrive - in these harsh conditions.

Adding brand-name component speakers is a great way to improve the sound of your vehicle, but installation can involve a few more steps than 2- or 3-way speakers. We'll take a look at the most common mounting options chosen for component speaker systems.

Installing the front door speakers
by Michael Sokolowski

Installing the woofer in the passenger-side door. In keeping with our goal of achieving high-fidelity sound without springing for the "high end" (JL Audio ZR series,...

Component Speakers Installation Guide
by Crutchfield Writing Team

Installing component speakers in your vehicle can make a big difference in the sound, but there's a bit more involved than in installing regular full-range speakers.

Car speakers FAQ
by Crutchfield Writing Team

What kind of a difference do new car speakers really make? How difficult will my new speakers be to install? Will my factory radio power aftermarket speakers? Those, and other common questions, are answered in our FAQ.

Car speakers glossary
by Crutchfield Writing Team

A helpful guide to the technical specifications and terminology you'll see when you're shopping for car speakers.

Sound Ordnance car speakers are your best option for replacing your factory speakers on a tight budget. Watch this quick video to learn more about them.

Harold Jones, winner of  Virginia's IASCA Sound Quality Challenge, was kind enough to drop by Headquarters to show off his impressive ride. The centerpiece of...

Anatomy of a Car Speaker
by John Pollard

While most speakers feature the same basic components, the materials used, the quality of the construction, and the sophistication of the design can greatly impact how a speaker sounds. Here's a close look at what makes Focal speakers sound so good.

Minivan makeover
by Buck Pomerantz

Like most high schoolers, Morgan didn't particularly enjoy getting stuck driving the family minivan. And a minivan isn't a vehicle you'd normally think of to put in a rockin' aftermarket sound system. Now, it sounds better than a new car's stereo and she has a place to plug in her iPhone, too.

Find what fits your car