Have you ever listened to your Rock or Heavy Metal music on your friend’s car speakers, and it just does not sound the same on his car speakers as it does on yours or your Hi-Fi at home? I did, and you hear this difference because Heavy Metal and Rock music are different from other music genres, and not all speakers will suit them equally.
In general, the best car speakers for Heavy Metal music are those with an efficiency of over 90dB. Speakers must have an excellent frequency response and have to be made of materials that produce smooth overall audio, for example, silk dome tweeters. Also, cones in such speakers have to be ultra-light due to the dynamic of this type of music.
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This article will explain why rock music is different from other music genres and how all of those factors apply to your car speakers.
Also, I will show you which of the various types of speakers are best for Heavy Metal and Rock, considering if you should use an amplifier.
Finally, you will find out what EQ settings are best, and I will show you my best car speakers and Bluetooth speakers for Heavy Metal and Rock.
What makes Metal and Rock different from other types of music?
Rhythm in terms of Rock and Metal
Rock and Metal are mainly based on a concept of 4/4 time wherein essence there are 4 beats per bar of music, and the accents come on beats 2 and 4.
Thousands of songs in Rock and Metal are based on this musical idea, and this is where Rock and Metal get their “feel” from. Other genres like country, jazz, and blues sometimes have a swing feel with different time signatures and are less apparent when accenting those specific beats.
Those beats in Rock and Metal are usually accented with the snare and bass drum along with a heavy bassline.
Now, this aspect of accenting the bass drum and snare drum creates more of a full and thicker range of frequencies, and hence in terms of your speakers, they should be able to cope with those frequencies a little better if they want to be able to sound good while playing those genres of music.
Frequencies in terms of Rock and Metal
These genres focus on heavy-driven guitars, loud (sometimes fast), and hard bass drums, with heavy basslines. Then you get the vocalists who either scream or sing as high as possible, maxing out the entire audible frequency range that humans can hear.
So in terms of speakers, they should be able to cope and have a good frequency response.
Granted, other genres may have heavier bass, but Rock and Metal push all frequency range sections to their limits.
Compression in terms of Rock and Metal
Modern Rock and Metal are not produced the same way they were when the genres were first introduced. Now you have producers compressing all instruments and vocals, cranking the levels, and finishing a mix close to a 0dB range shrinking the song’s dynamic range.
This means all the frequencies are loud and stay loud. Your car speakers need to be able to cope with songs made with tons of compression (have little dynamic range).
How do these factors play a role in car speakers?
Well, based on how Rock and Metal are made, what is going on with the sound frequencies, and how it is produced, it is safe to say that you need a car audio system and set of car speakers that can handle constant hard work.
You will need very efficient speakers with good frequency response, and that can be played loud because Rock and Metal are meant to be played typically as loud as possible.
No average set of car audio speakers will be able to maintain the constant pounding these genres produce.
Do I need a car amplifier for rock music?
Car aftermarket amplifiers offer more than you think when it comes to your car audio setup, especially for Rock, Metal, and other genres in those categories.
Amplifiers provide better quality sound because they offer more headroom in your audio system. You can think of it in terms of it, giving your speakers space to breathe. As I mentioned earlier, due to the dynamic range being shallow, the sound levels are pushed hard, and all the frequency fields are blasted in Rock and Metal.
An aftermarket amplifier can offer much better audio quality than that of your simple car stereo. You should definitely consider one if you are opting to purchase new speakers.
What are the best stereo settings for rock music?
This is a subjective question, and one person’s preference in terms of audio preferences will be different from another’s. However, there are some things to note that you can use to your advantage and make your Rock and Metal sound like your center stage at a concert.
Remember that Rock focuses on the guitar, the bass drum, snare drum, and the vocals; for the most part, trying to push these instruments to the forefront of the music.
You should try and get the flattest response you can by adjusting the necessary levels on your equalizer, and then you should increase the frequencies for these instruments, pushing them forward and making them more audible.
This will give you the best possible sound setting that would be applicable to mimicking what you would hear from a home entertainment system.
Equalizer settings for instruments
- Guitar frequencies are between 82Hz and 330Hz
- Vocal frequencies vary from male to female and vocalist to vocalist. However, male vocalists are between 100 and 300 Hz, and female vocalists are between 200 and 400Hz
- Kick drum frequencies are between 80 and 100Hz, and you may want to try to accentuate the bass drum at a frequency of 500Hz
- Snare drum frequencies lay between 900HZ and 2Khz
Can I listen to metal music using any speakers?
As with all music, you can listen to Rock and Metal on any speakers you wish, but that does not necessarily mean that the quality will be of a high standard.
If you listen to these genres on poor quality speakers, then the music’s sound will surely suffer.
Again, going back to how these music genres are recorded, If you have speakers with no power range, poor efficiency, and are made of a material that will produce a bright unnatural tone, you will think that the music sounds horrible.
Does rock music require special speakers?
You do not get special speakers, only ones which are designed differently in terms of trying to produce better quality sound. Remember that a speaker is effectively producing sound waves for specific frequencies that you are able to understand (your brain can interpret), and hence comprehend that it is music.
Factors to consider when choosing car speakers for Heavy Metal and Rock music
Car speaker material
Speakers are actually made from different types of material. The factor that you should consider is that you get two types of tweeters that offer a different kind of sound quality made from two different types of material.
One type is silk dome tweeters, and the other type is metal dome tweeters.
Now, car audio and all audio are subjective; however, metal dome tweeters tend to be a bit brighter than silk dome tweeters. If you are continually pushing heavy, loud Rock or Metal music through your system, this could cause ear fatigue.
You also have to consider the factors that these genres tend to have a narrow dynamic range, are mixed close to 0dB, and most frequency ranges are always apparent.
Considering this, you would be better off opting for speakers and tweeters that provide a smoother quality sound (silk dome tweeters), alleviating any frequencies that would be more prominent due to speakers made from other materials such as metal dome tweeters.
Types of speakers
The typical types of speakers that usually come standard in cars that are more affordable and easier to set up in your vehicle are coaxial speakers.
Coaxial speakers have the tweeter and the woofer built onto the same frame, and thus their frequency response is pretty good when compared to that of component speakers.
Therefore, there are existing terrific coaxial speakers and ones that are great for Rock and Metal because manufacturers do put a lot of time and money into R&D (research and development) when designing, producing, and manufacturing high-end top-quality car speakers.
Below I compared coaxial speakers for these music genres, and these speakers separated themselves from the rest.
Which are the best coaxial speakers for metal music?
There are many speakers available, so choosing the right one can be tricky. At the beginning, I made a list of 15 speakers that I listened to and could buy them again even today. Then I looked at this list and thought, hey… I do not need 15 speakers to show you. I want to give you the best of the best!!!
And here they are, three (I could not squeeze this list any further) best speakers for the Rock and Metal music, starting from the absolute Top Notch and going down with the price, so even if you are on a budget, there is one waiting for you.
Focal EC165K K2 Power 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers
These are the bad boys that I would never replace with anything else. I know they are expensive, but honestly… they are worth every cent.
They are pure perfection and will crush any heavy Rock or Metal tune you throw at them, including your wallet. Their efficiency of 93dB means that Focal EC165K K2 do not have much competition on the market.
All models from the K2 line have strengthened suspension TMD (Tuned Mass Damper), which is one of the Focal’s best achievements.
Within the whole K2 series, EC165K are the only coaxials. All the rest are component speakers, but these are really expensive. Well… at least for my budget.
You can drive these speakers as loud and as hard as possible without using a lot of power, thanks to the ultra-light Kevlar cones that are sensitive for every single tone. Still, you will need an amplifier to experience their real potential.
In the beginning, I had them installed in the front door and powered from a stereo, but after no longer than a few weeks, I realized that something is missing, and then I installed an amplifier.
Since then, I know I will never ever come back to power any speakers without an external amp, especially such precious like EC165K.
Their power range is between 80 watts and 160 watts with a frequency response of 60Hz to 22Khz, which means those highs of the vocals and guitar solos are clear and crisp.
I truly love their sound and often spend hours in my car enjoying every single tune with closed eyes. If you want to experience the same, check them on Amazon.
If you would like to know more about Focal car speakers, I wrote a full review of this fantastic brand, so check it out.
Alpine X-Series 6.5 Inch 330 Watt Coaxial 2-Way Car Audio Speakers
These coaxial speakers took second place on my list of the best for Rock.
Sleek and minimalistic in design with a midnight black type of finish, their frequency range is a whopping 55hz to 50Khz (that’s almost double if not more of any speakers out there). This means you would have to listen to audio files with high bitrates, which are lossless in their compression.
Even though you may not be actually able to hear those high frequencies, having them there will color the sound differently. They have a speaker efficiency rating of 89dB, which is significantly less than Focal, but their highs are unbeatable.
When it comes to the overall dynamic, they actually go deeper with bass than Focal. However, they felt just a little softer, like there was not enough pressure created by the cones.
If you love guitar singles or violing, Alpine from X-series is for you but to understand what I am trying to say here, you have to listen to them. They are available on Amazon, so if you want to try them, do not wait. Check the recent price.
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5″ Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speakers
These round-based coaxial speakers come in various sizes and are the greatest value for money I have listened to, among all top Rock and Metal speakers, and this is a fantastic choice if you are on a budget.
They have sizes that start from 4 inches all the way up to 6.75 inches, which means they can be placed in a large number of different vehicles.
They are 3-way full-range speakers with an impedance of 4ohms, having a frequency response between 52Hz and 20Khz. Their efficiency is 91 dB, which means these speakers are of the highest quality and play really loud without any distortion.
I cannot expect deep bass based on their size, but drums and especially kick drums are so fast and precise with strong and loud vocals.
When I listened to them for the first time, I was expecting a price of way over $100. Rockford Fosgate however, made a fantastic design for much less than that. You can find them on Amazon, so check the latest price, and you will be surprised how cheap they are.
The power handling capability of these speakers is between 45 watts and 90 watts max. However, due to their efficiency, these speakers will outperform many others of a higher power value (perfect for Rock and Metal).
They also feature a stylish grill and are black in color that will most likely appeal to any metalhead.
We conclude that an individual is ill-informed if they think that Rock and Heavy Metal music is just another genre that you don’t have to pay attention to when considering speaker quality and sound quality.
Rock and Metal are recorded, mixed, and mastered very differently from other music genres, and in doing so, speakers have to be of the highest quality to endure the constant pounding of minimal dynamic range and the entire frequency range being pushed out all at once and continuously.
Car speakers, which are the best suited for Rock and Metal, are very efficient ones (90dB or more), have an outstanding and comprehensive frequency response, and are made of materials that will produce smooth, clear audio.