Kicker KS Series Review

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PROS / It was very loud in our comparative loudness tests.

CONS / The overall audio quality is just average.

VERDICT / The Kicker KS series of car speakers provide solid but not impressive audio quality, but the power handling and the comparative loudness is excellent, which makes it a great option for the listener who wants to turn it up.

The Kicker KS series of car speakers live up to the Kicker name, as the speakers proved to be one of the loudest speakers in our review. With good sensitivity ratings and high power-handling ratings, these car speakers are ideal for high volumes. However, the audio quality is only average – there's nothing spectacular or disappointing with it. Every car speaker in the KS series is made with polypropylene woofers and silk dome tweeters, and the series features every speaker size except the 5 x 7-inch speaker. For our review, we tested and evaluated the 6 x 9-inch car speaker in the series – KSC6934.

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We performed three tests to evaluate audio quality and power handling: subjective ear tests, frequency accuracy tests and a comparative loudness test. The subjective ear tests measured how a variety of listeners would rate the speaker as it played music. The frequency accuracy test graded the speaker's ability to accurately produce a 20Hz to 20kHz tone. With the comparative loudness tests, we measured the average decibel level at 1 meter for each speaker when the volume on the amplifier was on the same setting.

  1. The lowest frequency that the speaker can produce, according to the manufacturer.
    Lower is Better.
  2. 8 Kicker KS
    30 Hz
  3. 28 Hz
  4. 46 Hz
  5. 28 Hz
  6. Category Average
    43.43 Hz

In the frequency accuracy and subjective ear tests, the Kicker KSC6934 was average in almost every aspect. It received Bs for the low and midrange frequencies and a slightly below average B- for the high frequencies. In other words, there was nothing particularly spectacular about the audio quality, but there was nothing terribly disappointing either. These speakers do the job.

The best feature of the KSC6934 is the comparative loudness. After measuring each car speaker's decibel level at one meter with the volume of the amplifier set at the same level, this speaker was just 1 dB below the loudest speaker. Most people can't tell the difference in a 1 dB change and the power needed to make up the difference is minimal. For comparison, the quietest speaker in our review was 6 dB less than the Kicker KS speaker. For every 3 dB change in volume, an exponential change in power is needed. For example, if the Kicker KS car speaker used 100 watts to produce a specific volume, then the quietest speaker in our tests would need 300 watts to reach the same volume. This efficient use of power makes the KS speaker an excellent upgrade.

The 6 x 9-inch KS car speaker has a continuous power handling of 150 watts and a peak power handling of 300 watts. While the peak power handling is average, the 150 watt continuous power handling is among the highest available, which means you can push these speakers harder than most auto speakers without damaging the woofers or tweeters. Bottom line – if you like it loud, these speakers are an excellent choice.

Summary

The Kicker KS series are punchy car speakers with average audio quality but excellent loudness. The frequency accuracy received average grades, as did the subjective ear tests. However, the power-handling ratings are among the best in our review, and the comparative loudness was among the loudest, so this is one of the top car speakers for turning it up to 11.

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