Classic Car Kick Panel Speakers Buyer's Guide
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Classic Car Kick Panel Speakers Buyer's Guide

Classic Car Kick Panel Speakers Buyer's Guide


This classic car kick panel speakers buyer's guide will help you determine if speaker kick panels are right for your vehicle and if so, which kick panel speakers are the right ones to meet your budget and listening requirements. We base this information on actual customer feedback. We are not a media company that is trying to send you to another site. We are an online authorized dealer for the brands we carry and have the experience to help you find the right product for your vehicle.

Speaker Kick Panels for Classic Cars

Made from ABS plastic, speaker kick panels look like the original kick panels in your vehicle, but they have a protrusion and a cutout that allows you to add speakers. The benefit of adding kick panel speakers is volume, clarity, and acoustics. When you look at a new car today, the speakers are usually located in the door panel. The car manufacturers do this because it provides a better listening environment. The issue with classic cars is that the door panels are flat and the interior was not designed to accommodate the extra protrusion in the door panel. Also, the design of the door itself limits the speaker's depth. You typically have two options. You can cut metal out, but that ruins the integrity of the vehicle. Or, you have to find special speakers that will not only fit but not interfere with the window as it rolls up and down.

Standard Paintable, Black Finish

The classic car speaker kick panels, come in a textured, paintable, black finish, except for the Volkswagen ones. Black is by far the most popular interior color for classic cars. If you have or will be installing a black interior, you don't need to worry. You can install the kick panels, as-is. If you have a different color interior, you can paint the kick panels to match your vehicle's interior.

Speakers Ship Pre-Installed

If you order kick panels with speakers, the speakers come pre-installed in the kick panel. This makes like easier for most installations. If you decide to paint the kick panels, you can remove the speakers, but since so many cars come with black interiors, it is much easier for most customers if the speakers arrive, ready to install.


Stadard Kick Panel Speakers

We offer standard kick panel speakers that come with Custom Autosound or Pioneer speakers pre-installed. The Custom Autosound kick panel speakers are the cost option unless you want them empty. The Pioneer speakers are what they are. Read below to find get our opinion.

Custom Autosound Kick Panel Speakers

custom autosound kick panel speakers for classic cars

$149.95

Custom Autosound kick panel speakers get the job done. But, they are not ideal if you are looking for the best bang for your buck with sound quality. If your goal is to add 6.5" speakers in the kick panels while spending as little as possible, the Custom Autosound kick panel speakers are a great option. If you want speakers that will sound better, we have several different upgrade options that use a better speaker. The Custom Autosound speakers will sound better with an amplifier. But, if you are spending the money on an amplifier, you are better off buying kick panels with better speakers installed. The extra cost isn't that much.

Pros

  • Least Expensive Option
  • Plain Black Mesh Grilles
  • Low Profile Speakers and Grilles

Cons

  • Poor Sound Quality Compared to Other Options
  • Better Speaker Options Available

Premium Kick Panel Speakers

We offer the largest selection of premium kick panel speakers for classic cars. We are an online authorized dealer for the best car audio brands in the world, and we have found several different speaker options that fit in the panels themselves, handle more power, and deliver better sound quality. With these upgraded speakers, there are three different tiers. We have the speakers that will sound good when powered off of the radio, but sound that much better when powered with an amplifier. We have speakers that will work with your radio, but we recommend an amplifier. Finally, we have some high-end options that need an amplifier.

Please note, while all these speakers will work when powered directly off of your radio, they will sound night-and-day better if you power them with an amplifier.

Kicker CS

Kicker CS Series Kick Panel Speakers

$184.95

The kick panel speakers with the Kicker CS series speakers are one of our most popular options for premium kick panel speakers. The Kicker CS speakers come with PEI dome tweeters, have a very shallow mounting depth, and come with simple black mesh grilles. The 6.5" Kicker CS speakers are rated up to 100 watts RMS, but are more realistically designed to handle between 25-75 watts. The Kicker CS speakers are efficient enough to run directly off of your radio. Like all speakers though, they will sound significantly better if you put an amplifier to them.

Pros

  • Good Value for the Sound Quality
  • Low Profile Speakers & Grilles
  • Nice and Bright with Lightweight Cones
  • Speakers Work Well Powered Directly off the Radio or with Amplifier

Cons

  • Yellow Tweeter isn't Black

Rockford Fosgate Punch

Rockford Fosgate Punch Kick Panel Speakers

$214.95

The Rockford Fosgate Punch kick panel speakers have PEI dome tweeters and with an RMS rating of 40 watts, these speakers will work really well if you aren't using an amplifier. These speakers are nice and bright to cut through road, wind, and exhaust noise. These speakers are actually oversized 5.25" speakers and come with simple, one-piece, black mesh grilles. These speakers just sound good. If you put an amplifier to them, they sound even better, but you don't need to. Compared to the Kicker CS, these are very similar. The speaker size with this overside 5.25" is negligible in a real world application.

Pros

  • Good Value for the Sound Quality
  • Very Simple, Black Mesh Grilles
  • Nice and Bright with Lightweight Cones
  • Speakers Work Well Powered Directly off the Radio or with Amplifier

Cons

  • Oversized 5.25" Speaker is Slightly Smaller than other 6.5" Options

Infinity Reference

Infinity Kick Panel speakers for Classic Cars

$194.95

The Infinity kick panel speakers use an edge-driven, silk dome tweeter for smooth, balanced output. These Infinity Reference series speakers have a nominal impedance of 3 ohms instead of 4 ohms like all the other options other than JBL. Even though these are 3 ohm speakers, the final impedance at the radio or amplifier is at or above 4 ohms when you take into consideration speaker wire and connectors. But, because the speakers are 3 ohm speakers instead of 4 ohm speakers, it means that the radio or amplifier is putting out more power compared to the Rockford Fosgate or Kicker options. As a result, the extra power means that these speakers play louder and with more clarity when you compare them apples to apples at the same volume. Now, when you are in the car listening to music, this matters, but not as much because you can always just turn the volume up to make any speaker play louder, assuming you havent turned it up all the way, or at least to the level at which the radio clips.

The only drawback of the Infinity kick panel speakers is that the grilles are somewhat bulky. On some of the vehicles like the GM A-body, the grille of the Infinity speaker may hit the e-brake. You can usually bend the e-brake pedal and get them to clear, but we want to give you a fair warning.

Pros

  • 3 Ohm Nominal Impedance Means these Speakers Play Louder
  • Edge-drive Silk Dome Tweeter for Rich, Balanced Output
  • Speakers Work Well Powered Directly off the Radio or with Amplifier

Cons

  • Grilles are Somewhat Bulky and May Hit the E-Brake on Some Vehicles

JBL Stage

JBL Kick Panel speakers for Classic Cars

$194.95

The JBL kick panel speakers for classic cars come with an edge driven, hard dome tweeter that will play bright and clean. These speakers are also 3 ohm speakers like the Infinity Reference speakers above, but the JBL Stage grilles aren't as bulky as the Infinity grilles. These speakers come with Harman's Plus One woofer cones which are oversized woofer cones with standard sized baskets. The larger the cone, the better mid-bass response. These JBL speakers handle 45 watts RMS and 225 watts peak making them perfect for powering off of your radio or with an amplifier.

Pros
  • 3 Ohm Nominal Impedance Means these Speakers Play Louder
  • Edge-drive Hard Dome Tweeter for Bright, Clear Output
  • Speakers Work Well Powered Directly off the Radio or with Amplifier
Cons
  • Orange Exclamation Points on the Griles

Kick Panel Speakers that Should Be Powered by An Amplifier

The classic car kick panel speakers that should be powered by an amplifier will still work and sound good when powered directly off of your radio, but an amplifier will maximize performance and deliver superior sound quality. These speakers are not "expensive" per se, but these speakers handle more power and have better materials than the standard, "Work well off of your radio" speakers.

Kicker KS

Kicker KS Kick Panel Speakers for Classic Cars

$234.95

The Kicker KS speakers are the only ones within this category, primarily because there is a less expensive model, the CS Series, that sounds better when powered off of your radio. The Kicker KS speakers have a heavier cone and a silk dome tweeter. These speakers will sound fine if you don't have an amplifier. But, we recommend the Kicker CS speakers for these applications because they have a brighter, PEI dome tweeter and a lighter weight cone.

Pros
  • Silk Dome Tweeters Deliver Rich, Balacned, Natural Output
  • Heavier Cone that Kicker CS for Better Mid-Bass Response
  • Kicker Sound Quality & Performance without a Bright Yellow Tweeter
  • Great Value for Step-up, Performance Speakers
Cons
  • You Don't NEED an Amplifier, but you SHOULD use an Amplifier
  • More Expensive than the CS Speakers
  • Two-Piece Grilles can Be Annoying if You Plan to Paint the Kick Panels

Kick Panel Speakers That Require an Amplifier

Technically, these high end "amplifier needed" speakers will work with your radio, but it is a situation where you are spending money for high end speakers. If you don't spend the money for an amplifier, you are wasting money on the speakers. Without an amplifier in these situations, you are better off buying a less expensive speaker.

Hertz Cento

Hertz Cento Kick Panel Speakers for Classic Cars

$343.95
Pros
  • Bright, Beautiful, Musical Output
  • .9" Tetolon Tweeter Swivels the Allow for Better Tweeter "Aiming"
  • Simple Black Grilles
  • You Get what You Pay For
Cons
  • Amplifier Required
  • One of the Most Expensive Options

Audison Prima

Audison Prima Kick Panel Speakers for Classic Cars

$344.95
Pros
  • Single Point Source Construction for Consistent Phase Response
  • Tweeter Lens Delivers Linear Frequency Response in Off Axis Installations like the Kick Panels
  • Klippel Certified
  • You Get What You Pay For
Cons
  • Amplifier Required
  • One of the Most Expensive Options

Empty Classic Car Kick Panel Speakers

Empty Kick Panel Speakers

$99.95

We sell kick panel speakers that come empty in addition to the pre-loaded options. With the empty kick panel speakers, you or your installer will need to source the speakers and mount them yourself.

Shallow Mounting Depth

When deciding on empty kick panel speakers, it is important to note the mounting depth. The kick panel speakers will not fit with speakers that are deeper than 1-7/8". Most 6.5" speakers are too deep to work with these kick panels. It varies by application, but for most vehicles, you can't buy any pair of 6.5" speakers off of the shelf. If you want high-end speakers, most of the speakers are too deep. There are few 6.5" speakers available with the shallow mounting depth that the kick panel speakers allow.

Basket Diameter

The other thing to keep in mind is the basket diameter. While Custom Autosound markets these as 6.5" speakers, there are many that work much better with a 5.25" speaker and a standard 6.5" with a 165mm diameter will not fit. Now, most "good" installers or trim shops can cut or modify the panels (or your vehicle) to make anything work, but keep this in mind. There is a reason that we offer kick panels with premium options. These are speakers that we have found to work.

Pros
  • You Can Choose Any Speakers You Want
  • You Don't Need to Disassemble the Speakers if You Plan to Color Match the Kick Panels
  • You Can Customize the Kick Panels and Upholster Them to Hide Fabrication
  • You Don't Pay for Speakers You Don't Want
Cons
  • Many Speakers are Too Deep
  • If You Use Spacers to Accomodate Deeper Speakers, You May Hit the E-Brake

Summary

Adding kick panel speakers to your classic car is a no-brainer if you are looking for the best sound quality, and if you are not restoring your vehicle to 100% stock. Speaker kick panels provide a better listening environment with speakers, that play louder, handle more power, deliver more mid-bass. Adding an amplifier to power your kick panel speakers is never a bad idea and you can do it with our premium options. If you are deciding on the Hertz Cento or the Audison Prima kick panel speakers, spend the money on the amplifier to get the most out of your investment. If you have any further questions, we are available Monday through Friday from 8a to 5p PST. You can call us at 888-789-7297 or email support@classiccarstereos.com.

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