Whether you’re planning to outfit a car with new speakers, set up an at-home sound system, or simply want to know what you’re working with, figuring out speaker size may not be an intuitive process.
While the gurus are able to look at a speaker and know the size immediately, we can’t all have that talent. Instead, we must follow the simple method on how to determine speaker size we discussed below.
Generally speaking, a 6.5” speaker may not fit in a 6.5” diameter hole. It might not even have a 6.5” diameter! Crazy as it sounds, speaker measurements aren’t as straightforward as some might hope them to be. Here’s how to determine and understand speaker size.
The overall diameter of a speaker is the size of the very top of it. This would go from end to end, regardless if there is a mounting plate or not. The mounting plate can also come in a few different shapes.
Another important factor when it comes to differentiating between speakers is the hole pattern. There are circular speakers with three holes, four holes, or multi-holes.
Additionally, there are four-hole full flange speakers that are not circular but have more of a square shape. Paying attention to the shape and holes on the speaker will help you find the best match or fit.
Another factor you should pay attention to are the mounting height and diameter. These measurements show you how much of the speaker is intended to be in the recessed mounting region.
The baffle cutout diameter, or simply cutout diameter, is the smaller diameter on the lower, internal part of the speaker. This part needs to be able to fit snugly on any recess mounting cabinet, or it should be able to fit inside of a flush mount.
As you can see, there are a lot of different measurements to take into consideration when finding a replacement speaker or figuring out what size speaker you want. The base information that you need is "What are the overall diameter of the hole and the diameter of the recess on the mounting hole?" With these two numbers, you should be able to find a speaker with the proper mounting to fit into your cabinet, car, or another area.
Let’s say that you have a speaker which is no longer working, and you want to buy a replacement for it. Now that you know how to determine speaker size, it is vital that you also learn how to measure a specific casing for a speaker.
Here's how to do it:
If recessed, measure both hole diameters. The outside diameter is known as the overall outer diameter and should be equal to the overall speaker diameter. On the other hand, the inside hole must be bigger than or equal to the baffle cutout diameter of your new speaker. Keep a record of these numbers so that you can check.
If not recessed, you just need to check that the hole diameter is greater than or equal to that of the baffle cutout diameter on the speaker.
If the overall diameter is smaller than the cutout, it will fall through your mount. If the overhang between the two diameters is too big, it might hang over the edge of your speaker case or mount.
Measure how much room space you have available for the speaker, and make sure the speaker will fit into this area. Also, look at the specifications printed at the back of the speaker. How many watts is it? What about Ohms? Try to match up these with your new speaker.
And there you have it! There are more details that you could check such as driver type to ensure you get the best replacement, but following those four simple tips will help you get a replacement that fits your cabinet in no time.
Cars are notorious for having factory-specific speakers that cannot be easily bought on the market. In case of cars that only have one hole and use factory tabs to hold the speaker in place, you may need to buy a mount to help keep the speaker in place.
These mounts are available at many car stores and can easily be installed. Focus on finding a speaker that fits the front mount needs; you can use the frame to support it in the back.
Speakers come in hundreds of shapes, sizes, and variations. There are even custom speakers out there! If you’re looking for something very specific, gather those measurements and find a speaker expert to help you in your search. With that measurement information, you should be able to succeed in finding it.