By Jocelyn Morrell. Car Audio. Published at Tuesday, May 01st, 2018 - 11:31:08 AM.
Sensitivity. Sensitivity measures how much sound a speaker yields from the power applied to it. If you have a low-powered car stereo (15 watts RMS per channel or less), like most that are factory-installed, speakers with high sensitivity ratings (over 90 dB) will make the best match. If you have a high-power system (16 watts RMS or more), like that provided by an aftermarket stereo or external amplifier, then consider speakers with lower sensitivity ratings. Properly powered, they'll provide excellent sound quality.
First, listen for a few minutes while parked in the driveway. Twist all the knobs and push all the buttons. Do all the functions seem to work okay? Listen to each speaker individually by adjusting the balance and fader controls. Turn up the volume and the tone controls. Are all the speakers working, or do you hear a slight rattle or a buzz?
Standard factory car stereos usually have no more than about 10 watts RMS maximum output power per channel, in spite of what the car dealers advertise. That's usually not enough power to overcome road noise without sounding shrill. A great way to upgrade your sound system without changing the factory look of your vehicle is to get a factory system upgrade. Each of these systems include an amplifier and other sound processing gear custom-designed for your specific vehicle that will vastly improve the sound and leave the interior looking stock.
Ported boxes: For forceful bass. Ported boxes use a vent (called a port) to reinforce low bass response. You get more output than you would from a sealed box at any given amplifier wattage. Some people prefer the sound of ported boxes for rock, heavy metal, or any hard-driving music. Ported boxes can deliver deeper bass than sealed boxes, though they need to be much larger than sealed enclosures to accomplish that.
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