Articles & Videos: Component Systems

When people ask us for car speaker advice, we often recommend component speakers, because they offer better imaging. But coaxial speakers have their merits, too, including a simpler installation. How would a set of components compare to a better-built set of coaxials? We hit the Crutchfield Labs to find out.

The mobile audio/video section of the Crutchfield Labs lets our writers, researchers, and advisors get hands-on experience with the latest car audio products.

We're passionate about car audio. Crutchfield's Mobile Audio Listening Lab lets us get hands-on experience with all kinds of car audio gear, from speakers and subs to amplifiers and receivers.

After a little over a year of driving my 2011 Subaru Impreza, I knew it was time to change out the system from factory equipped to an aftermarket setup. It also made sense to upgrade since I write all things speaker and subwoofer related for Crutchfield, and I get to hear amazing car stereo equipment on a regular basis thanks to our labs. The final product sounds amazing, and helps me enjoy riding around town even more.

Brittany purchased this 2010 Dodge Charger just a few months ago. She loved the car immediately, but she quickly grew tired of the underpowered factory stereo. With help from our friends at Kenwood, the Crutchfield team gave Brittany a stellar Kenwood Excelon system that's every bit as cool as her car.

Crutchfield Advisor Kramer equipped his 2009 Honda Element with a budget-friendly sound system. The system is built around a Kenwood receiver, complemented by Infinity speakers, and two amps and a sub from Alpine.

Duke's 2008 Toyota Yaris
by Lynn Thorne

Crutchfield advisor, Duke, drives a 2008 Toyota Yaris. While its size and gas efficiency make it great for road trips and long drives, its factory system was lacking. When one of his back speakers blew, he knew it was the perfect time to address his sound system.

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe
by Dominic Devito

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe was in need of a sonic upgrade after he determined its factory Monsoon system wasn't up to par. He added a new JVC double-din receiver and some component speakers from Crutchfield, as well as some speakers, an amp, and a powered sub from his personal collection.

Focal's IFVW Golf 6 system provides you with a huge improvement in sound quality by letting you replace the VW's front door tweeters and woofers with a set of custom speakers that fit right into the factory locations and plug into the existing wiring.

Mike S. from Cape Coral, FL, wanted to add premium sound to his Backdraft Racing Roadster, which replicates the iconic looks of the 1965 Shelby Cobra. He tricked out his car with a 12" Polk Audio DXi subwoofer, some Polk Audio component speakers, and a pair of Polk Audio amplifiers.

Russ, a Crutchfield employee, didn't like the lack of bass and poor high-frequency clarity in the "premium" system of his 2008 BMW 335i. He decided to try the Focal IFBMW-S and IFBMW-C custom-fit speakers, designed specifically for his BMW.

Kicker's venerable KS series of car speakers gets a couple of key updates for 2014. First, they now employ a silk-dome tweeter for smoother highs, and second, a shallower basket so they'll fit into more vehicles.

Eric C's 2008 Saturn Vue
by Dominic Devito

Eric C. of Streamwood, IL, returns to the Custom Car Showroom to exhibit his 2008 Saturn Vue XE, which he outfitted with a Pioneer DVD receiver, Infinity speakers, MTX subwoofers, and a pair of Pioneer amplifiers — most of which he hid from view.

Andrew W's 2007 Toyota Tacoma
by Dominic Devito

Andrew W. from Charlotte, NC, loaded up his 2007 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner with a wealth of toys, including a Kenwood navigation receiver, some Alpine speakers, a pair of Rockford Fosgate enclosed subs, and an alarm system.

Gettin' the jams in a Ram
by Dave Delamere

Gary was tired of weak sound and extra wires on his dash, so he installed a new Kenwood receiver and Kenwood speakers in his 2001 Dodge Ram.

Audiofrog's a la carte approach to car audio is perfect for those with a specific vision of the high-quality system they want in their car. Depending on the combination of tweeters and midrange speakers, Audiofrog provides crossover networks specifically engineered for nearly every 2- or 3-way system possible.

Focal's passion for innovation has led them to a new, dynamic speaker material — flax. By using a sustainable resource in its Expert Series woofer cones, Focal has been able to reduce the price you pay for their famously premium sound.

Find what fits your car