Kicker Speakers: Are they any good? [Our Review]

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Kicker was introduced with a specific focus on car audio systems; therefore, it’s no wonder it’s one of the best brands currently featured on the market. In 1973, the brand was launched from Steve Irby’s garage.

He launched the company with the amazing Original Kicker.

This was the first full-frequency range speaker that was specifically meant for trucks and cars.

This set the tone for Kicker’s impressive future as a trendsetter and innovative company.

Today the brand is known for its wide range of products that offer vehicle owners quality options to upgrade their cars’ sound systems.

Kicker enables sound systems to provide sound experiences that equal live concerts, thanks to powerful speakers that can handle high volumes and provide clear mid and high frequencies.

They make sure it stays modern and relevant to today’s audiences. It incorporates modern technology and expands the range to different markets when necessary.

This includes:

  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Bluetooth headsets
  • Noise isolating in ear headsets

Kicker still operates from Oklahoma in the US, but exports to over 50 countries worldwide. It sets a standard and makes sure to keep on meeting that standard via constant reinvention.

Let’s have a look at some of their speaker series and I’ll review a few of their most popular models too.

Kicker Speakers Series

QS

Kicker’s QS series offers you the best of the company’s features and workmanship.

The range includes component and coaxial units that feature Kicker’s signature technology:

QS SERIE SPEAKERS REVIEW
  • On the component systems, you’ll find Kicker Tri-Tech cone technology
  • On coaxial units, you’ll enjoy the effects of Kevlar-impregnated polypropylene
  • Tetoron dome tweeters
  • Metallized polypropylene capacitors

These all work together to offer you exceptional sound, as if you’re listening to it live. With easy installation features, Kicker makes sure anyone can partake in this experience.

KS

The KS range offers exceptional quality sound, whether it’s bass frequencies or high tones.

Though this range is not as advanced as the QS series, you’ll still enjoy the upgrade from normal factory speakers.

You can purchase either coaxial system or component speakers.

KS SERIES REVIEW

The speakers are beautifully designed, which gives them aesthetic value.

Both round and oval shaped speakers are featured, and they are available in many sizes, so you’re bound to find one that easily fits your car.

CS

One of the focus areas when designing the CS series, was bass frequencies.

Thanks to this effort, you can enjoy bass sounds of exceptional quality with very little distortion.

This is made possible through a strong magnet and Kicker’s patented EVC (Extended Voice Coil).

CS SERIE REVIEW

This bass feature is paired with quality cones and padded surrounds.

This makes the speakers deliver clear sound, while ensuring they’re durable as well.

Whether you want coaxial units or component speakers, you’ll find one in the correct size on the CS

DS

Kicker’s DS coaxial units are designed to offer vehicle owners an easy installation option.

You can literally drop these speakers into the existing speaker box and have an instant upgrade.

It may be a user-friendly option, but in no way did Kicker drop their level of quality.

DS SERIE REVIEW

The following features ensure you can enjoy advanced sound quality in your vehicle:

  • Quality magnets
  • Advanced motors that can cope with amplifiers’ power
  • Polypropylene cones

Their classic-though-modern look means any driver will love installing these speakers, as they look as stunning as they sound.

Kicker Speakers Reviews

Comparison Chart

41sDtRr9EJL. SL500
Kicker 41QSS654 QS Series 6.5″ Component System with 1-3/16″ (30mm) Tweeters, 4-Ohm, 180W
Kicker DSC650 DS Series 6.5″ 4-Ohm Coaxial Speakers – Pair
41bsfQCoTzL. SL500
Kicker 40CS6934 6×9 inch 3-Way Speakers

​1. Kicker 41QSS654 QS Series 6.5″

41sDtRr9EJL. SL500

The 41QSS654 QS Series component system from Kicker is a quality setup that delivers a stunning midrange and versatile installation options to best fit a variety of vehicles. Kicker is known for innovative designs and intense power and the QS series lives up to this reputation.

The 41QSS654 system includes two 6.5” Tri-Tech woofer cones and rubber surrounds, two 1.18” tweeters with Tetoron domes, two crossovers, grilles, and a variety of adapter brackets, mounting and trim rings and more to accommodate different installation options.

Related: gear4wheels.com/kicker-40cs654-review/

Specifications:

  • Bottom-mount depth: 2.5”
  • Sensitivity:  86 dB
  • RMS: 90 watts
  • Peak Power: 180 watts
  • Frequency Response: 50-22,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms

The tweeters are tonally balanced and feature domes made from Tetoron. This synthetic material has some give for an intense audio performance while faithfully hitting the high range without sacrificing quality.

The Tri-Tech woofers fill in the midrange for a well-rounded audio experience.

Perhaps one of the most compelling features of the QS series component system is the flexibility. Mount the tweeters in the center of the woofers to use as coaxial units.

You can also use with the removable “bullet style” aluminum phase plugs mounted in the center of the woofers. In this application the tweeters can be installed separately for improved dispersion.

When mounted separately the tweeters can be flush-mounted to reduce the risk of damage and maintain the integrity of the system.

The 41QSS654 system also includes an external crossover network that allows for bi-amping capability to separately power both the tweeters and woofers.

The 41QSS654 system is also equipped with three-level tweeter attenuation that can be adjusted to 0 dB, +3 dB, and +6 dB, for powerful and precise audio when mounted off-axis from the listener.

Pros

  • Two tonally precise 1.18” tweeters with Tetoron domes and two 6.5” Tri-Tech woofer cones.
  • Includes removable “bullet style” phase plug.
  • Flexible installation options means this system can be installed as coaxials or as separate components. Various mounting hardware, adapters and trim included to support different set up options.

Cons

  • The Kicker QS series system does not fully support low bass tones leading to a hollow sound in some instances.
  • May require custom-built boxes, so measure your vehicle to confirm if the components will fit as you wish to install them before purchasing.

​2. Kicker 43DSC6504

This Kicker model is a unique design, so before you purchase them, make sure they’ll fit into your car. If they don’t, you’ll have to build customized storage boxes.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 92 dB
  • RMS: 150 Watts
  • Peak Power: 450 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 30-20,000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way: 2 Way 

Though they’re made to afford easy upgrade options through features such as the reduced depth baskets, the oval shape may be a problem in some cars.

The mounting depth is slightly more than many other speakers, so make sure it will work before you buy these.

If you get these to fit your car, you’ll love the sound they produce, because the 40CS6934 units support an expansive range of tones.

Though any basic speaker will struggle to produce bass notes as strong as subwoofers, these speakers afford quality low tones.

It will suffice in most cases, unless you’re set on getting bass effects that you can feel as well as listen to.

If you love what you’re hearing, you’ll appreciate the fact that these speakers are well protected and will last you a long time.

This prevents damage from shock, wear and tear.

In the woofer cone, you’ll find a polyester foam surround, and the baskets are made from strong materials.

Pros

  • Exceptional frequency range
  • The speakers easily install in most cars
  • They look sleek and modern

Cons

  • Very low bass sounds won’t be heard well
  • The oval shape may be problematic in some cars when it comes to installation

​3. Kicker 43DSC6504

41bsfQCoTzL. SL500

This is perhaps Kicker’s best selling 6″ by 9″ speaker. It’s a 3-way speaker which I don’t always recommend if there’s a 2-way option, but these are proper good speakers despite that. They made in into my list of the best 6×9 car speakers given the great value for money they offer.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS: 60 watts
  • Peak Power: 240 watts
  • Frequency Response: 40-20,000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way: 3-way

This unique model is a winner in Kicker’s range, thanks to these amazing features:

The speakers can handle quite a lot of power for their size

The tweeters don’t protrude much, which means there’s less chance of them being damaged

Extended Voice Coil (EVC) technology is used, which enhances the clarity of the sound

The foam surround helps to keep the speaker damage free, and it improves the quality of the sound the cone produces.

What adds to their uniqueness is that they’re flexible; this means you can install them in most vehicles’ existing speaker compartments, even if the shapes don’t completely align.

Flexing them slightly won’t break them or prevent them from producing excellent sound.

You need to keep the speakers’ limitations in mind; though they can handle a lot of power, they will deteriorate over time.

Low frequencies won’t sound as clear anymore and you’ll hear a lot of distortion.

Pros

  • Clear sound production thanks to excellent technology
  • Easy installation options
  • Flexible so it can fit most cars

Cons

  • Some customers question the speakers’ durability
  • Will damage easily when used at peak power performance too frequently

​4. Kicker 11KS65

ReviewThey aren’t top of the range, and only handle average amounts of power; this means you risk blowing them if you connect the speakers to an amplifier..

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS: 65 Watts
  • Peak Power: 195 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 40-21 000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way:  2-Way 

Though the speakers’ frequency response is quite good and the KS range is meant to help you achieve powerful low tones, no speaker is an adequate gear4wheels-20nt of a subwoofer.

You may want to test these out before purchasing them.

The durability of the speakers is improved by the santoprene surrounds of the woofer.

You receive a 1-year warranty when purchasing these, which should lay your fears to rest about the speakers’ quality.

Pros

  • You can easily install these if you want to replace your factory-provided speakersT
  • The speakers look stunning

Cons

  • Extreme low and high range notes won’t sound clear

Kicker Accessories

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your preferred Kicker speaker, it’s better to use the brand’s recommended accessories.

There’s no need to look for essential items like amp mounts, install kits, or signal cables made by other brands because Kicker already has those.

If you’re into stylizing your speakers, the company has a collection of products made for customizing the look of your sound system. You may utilize Kicker LED speaker rings and sub grilles to give your speakers visual appeal.

Wires

Several manufacturers resort to low-cost, copper-clad aluminum (CCA) to reduce the price of their accessories. While it is consumer-friendly, you can’t overlook the drawbacks like less wire flexibility, higher internal resistance, and low corrosion resistance. These factors result in inferior sound quality, which is not something anyone would prefer.

Another cost-cutting strategy used by audio companies is to reduce the number of real copper strands and use a thicker, external PVC jacket to exhibit “quality.” This leads to lower amp output because the lack of copper limits the capacity of the wire to transmit current.

Kicker wire products are made of oxygen-free copper (OFC) with full AWG spec. Expect peak power transfer as OFC wires have remarkable flexibility, strong corrosion-resistance, and minimal internal resistance.

Kicker Gear

Besides producing high-quality speakers, Kicker also made strides in the lifestyle category. If you’re a fan of the brand, try its collection of clothing and other merchandise.

Several of its offerings are made for outdoor use. Kicker has backpacks, cooler bags, folding knives, and camp chairs.

The brand features mugs, tumblers, face masks, phone wallets, and many more for home and office use.

Final Thoughts 

Kicker is an exceptional brand that aims to bring practical, quick solutions to its customers.

The various ranges cover most requirements that vehicle owners may have, so you’re sure to find a speaker that fits your preferences.​