PROS / The power-handling ratings are among the highest in our review.
CONS / The low and high frequency accuracy were below average.
VERDICT / With Kenwood KFC car speakers, you get average audio quality with below-average accuracy, but the comparative loudness is excellent despite having the lowest sensitivity rating in our review.
Kenwood's KFC series of car speakers has a wide selection of sizes ranging from 4 inches to 6 x 9 inches. It's also one of the few car speaker series with five-way speakers, which is a speaker with a woofer, a midrange tweeter and three high-range super tweeters. Each KFC speaker is made of the same material – a paper cone for the woofer with polyethylene and ceramic tweeters. For the purposes of our car speaker review, we tested and evaluated the best 6 x 9-inch car speaker in the series – the KFC-6995PS. While the audio performance was just average, the loudness and power handling make this an excellent option for an affordable upgrade of your car speakers.
To evaluate KFC-6995PS's overall audio quality and output performance, we performed subjective ear tests, frequency accuracy tests and comparative loudness tests. The subjective ear tests and frequency accuracy tests were designed to gauge the speakers' overall audio quality while the comparative loudness test was designed to compare the relative loudness of each speaker when the power from the amplifier is the same. We tested the Kenwood KFC car speaker under the same conditions as the other car speakers in our review, so all the grading and evaluation is comparative.
In the frequency accuracy tests, where we recorded the Kenwood KFC-6995PS produce a 20Hz to 20kHz tone, this speaker received a C+ for the low and high frequency ranges and a B for the midrange frequencies. While the midrange frequencies were average, the grade for the low and the high frequencies was the lowest in our review. Ideally, the frequency signature should fluctuate as little as possible from the lowest frequency to the highest, but this speaker had the most significant fluctuations between 20Hz to 470Hz and didn't start producing perceivable tone until about 88Hz, which was the highest in our review.
Similarly, the high frequencies from 7.5kHz to 20kHz had enormous dips and a 5 dB rise at one point, which points to an unnecessary boost in treble. This boost sounds great at first because the treble cuts through the mix, but it sounds grating after your ears adjust and quickly leads to ear fatigue. This explains why listeners in the subjective ear tests often rated the audio quality very high at first but gave it a much lower rating with subsequent songs.
In the comparative loudness tests, this Kenwood KFC surprised us by being one of the loudest speakers when the volume setting on the amplifier is equal for each speaker. This is surprising, because the reported sensitivity is just 88dB – the lowest sensitivity rating in the review. For comparison, the highest sensitivity rating is 94dB. The sensitivity specification is the volume (measured at one meter) that the speaker should produce with one watt of power. This represents how efficient the speaker is at converting electricity to sound. It's also the most disputed specification in the car speaker industry. Our comparative loudness tests showed that you shouldn't ignore this speaker because it has a low sensitivity rating.
The Kenwood KFC has a continuous power-handling rating of 125 RMS watts, which means that this is the most amount of power the speaker can handle on a continuous basis. The peak power handling is 650 watts, which is the amount of power the speaker can handle in short bursts. Both ratings are among the highest in our car speaker review, which makes it one of the best car speakers for power handling. You can push these speakers harder than you can with most car speakers and they won't blow out or clip.
The Kenwood KFC series of car speakers provide many sizes and options, but the audio quality is just average and the frequency accuracy is below average for this type of coaxial car speaker. Even though the sensitivity rating is the lowest in our review, it produced one of the loudest volumes in our comparative tests. In addition, the power handling is excellent, which means you can push these speakers hard before you'll experience any damage. Despite the average audio performance, the KFC car speakers are definitely a good, cost-effective upgrade to factory-installed speakers.