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Understanding car speaker sizes

How we determine car speaker sizes for the best fit

Illustration of speakers and question marks

So what's the deal with car speaker sizes anyway?

At Crutchfield, we help customers who have questions about car speaker size all the time. Figuring out car speaker sizes can be a little confusing. In the mobile audio world, it helps to think about the size of car speakers as more of a category than an actual size. Much like a 2x4 is not actually 2" thick and 4" wide, a 6-1/2" speaker isn't actually 6-1/2" in diameter. Its measurement is close, but the actual dimensions of speakers within the 6-1/2" category can vary based on a manufacturer's design.

The differences between speaker sizes

When we research the speakers we sell, we take into account several measurements and the manufacturer's information when determining if they'll fit in various vehicles. The size designation is most closely related to their frame's diagonal measurement and hole alignment. It's not just about the diameter of the speaker's cone or the cutout diameter, which is a common misconception. Below is a diagram showing how a few speaker sizes are determined: 

Visual comparison of speaker sizes.

Not only does the size of the speaker frame help determine its size category, but note that the hole patterns on the 6-1/2" and 6-3/4" speakers are different.

Figuring out the size of your vehicle's factory speaker 

Determining the size of the factory speaker in your vehicle can be tricky. These speakers don't always adhere to the same size standards as aftermarket speakers because the factory speakers are designed to work with the overall design of the vehicle. And of course, you usually have to do some work to get to the factory speakers, since it's difficult to tell the size of a speaker when it's under a door panel or a grille.

Speaker opening in a car door.

The speaker cutout in a 2015 Honda Fit isn't a conventional size. It also uses only one screw and two tabs to keep the factory speaker in place. For many vehicles, we offer brackets to help the new speakers fit the factory opening.

We've done the research for you

For most vehicles on the road, Crutchfield has done the measuring work for you. By using our exclusive OutfitMyCar tool, you'll be able to see which aftermarket speakers fit your vehicle.

Not only have we researched what speaker sizes can be accommodated, we've also taken other measurements into account. As you can see in the diagram below, we measure every aspect of a car speaker to provide you with the largest selection of speakers that'll fit your ride. And when we don't have a speaker that's the same size as the factory speaker, we usually offer brackets that work with other sizes to give you some alternatives. 

Car speaker diagram.

We measure all dimensions of a speaker to help determine what will work for you.

And we're also here to help

If you have any questions about finding new speakers for your vehicle, contact our advisors via phone, email, or chat. They can look up your vehicle, answer questions, and help you choose new speakers that'll fit the first time! 

  • tim from Cary

    Posted on 2/27/2019

    It is ludicrous that car speakers' "speaker size" dimension is based on the diagonal distance between frame mounting holes and not actual outside diameter of the basket, the bit that slips into the door opening. It be SUPER handy if Crutchfield included in its search criteria the ability to select/sort car speakers by the outside diameter of the basket. For instance, my car specs a 6.5" speaker and has an actual door opening of 6.1". That means I can install any speaker with an basket O.D. of just under 6" and thus accommodate the maximum speaker cone that'll fit. Were I to go with the default 6.5" OEM spec for my car, I might end up with a cone that is only 4" yet still qualifies as a 6.5" speaker!

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield on 2/28/2019
    Tim, keep in mind that other measurements like top mount depth and tweeter protrusion (if you're installing coaxials) factor into fit as well. If your vehicle has been databased by our research team, we can tell you more about if and how a speaker fits, and more importantly, which speakers will fit, when you enter your details in our vehicle selector tool. You'll see everything that will fit your car and then you can examine the individual speaker details from there.
  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/6/2017

    Jamie, oval vs. circular isn't as much the issue as smaller woofer vs. larger woofer when you're talking bass response. A larger woofer cone can move more air than a smaller cone, and as a result, you'll gain more impact from lower frequencies. I've passed your question along to one of our Advisors, who will contact you soon to help you find the best speakers for your vehicle.

  • Jamie from Dallas

    Posted on 11/5/2017

    How do I determine if I should go back with oval speakers or switch to round? Are there any major differences in sound quality?

  • Rob Putman from Springfield, Oregon

    Posted on 2/16/2017

    Keep up the great work! Very proud of our work there many years ago. ....Rob Putman Former Crutchfield employee ??

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