How to Match Speakers to a Car Stereo

By Nichole Liandi

i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

A well-designed car audio system has all the separate elements in balance, with the speakers, receiver and other elements all working together to provide you with good sound. A proper match between the speakers in your system with the car stereo is one of the most important pairings. By considering a few important elements, there's no reason that you can't buy a set of speakers well-matched to your stereo and car.

Step 1

Match the speaker's power handling specifications to your car stereo's power output. Car stereo speakers are designed to handle specific amounts of amplifier power. Compare the power handling, measured in watts RMS, to the power output of your car stereo, measured in watts RMS. The power output of the car receiver should not exceed the power handling of the car speakers. Check the specifications for your car stereo and car speakers.

Step 2

Consider the sensitivity of the speakers. This is measured in decibels (dB) and is listed in specifications as SPL. If you have a low-powered car stereo, choose speakers with a high SPL number, ideally above 90 dB. You'll get stronger sound output. If the output of your car stereo is high, choosing speakers with a high SPL rating is not as important for good sound.

Step 3

Make sure the car speakers fit your car. Car speakers come in a variety of sizes, and different models of cars will use different size speakers in different locations. Car stereo shops will know the correct size for your car. (see Resources below for link) is an excellent online resource for finding the correct size of speakers your car needs.