The Kicker KS series car speakers live up to the Kicker name, as the Kicker KS 6 x 9-inch speaker proved to be have some of the best bass in our test. In addition, this speaker features good power handling, so you can really turn it up. However, its overall performance wasn't impressive.
To test audio quality, I had the Kicker KS 6 x 9-inch speaker play a 20Hz to 20kHz sine tone repeatedly as I used a frequency analyzer plugin to grade how accurately it reproduced the low, mid and high ranges. It received a B- for its performance across the entire frequency range. However, it earned a C+ for its mid and high accuracy, which was disappointing. The highs weren't grating, but they were close – they’ll certainly make you wince at high volumes.
The best part of the speaker’s performance was its low-frequency accuracy, for which it received an A-. It had the lowest frequency response of the models we tested and was generally very accurate. The speaker sounds a bit punchy towards the 200Hz mark, but some people prefer that.
In previous years, the Kicker KS speaker was one of the most efficient in our comparative loudness test, during which we compare the volume produced by each speaker when the same amount of power is supplied. However, this year the Kicker KS 6 x 9-inch speaker was one of the least efficient, receiving a C+ for comparative loudness.
Its lack of volume was particularly apparent in the mid-level setting on the stereo – this speaker reached just 83.9 dB, while the most efficient speakers, those in the Pioneer PRO and Infinity Reference X series, reached 93.8 and 90.8 dB, respectively. This 10 dB difference means the Pioneer PRO model we tested is twice as loud as the Kicker KS 6 x 9-inch speaker, despite using the same amount of power.
The continuous power handling rating is 150 watts, which is above average. That said, with its questionable efficiency, you have to push your Kicker KS speaker harder than others if you want your music to be loud. As such, the higher continuous power handling specification may not matter much.
The Kicker KS series has punchy car speakers with average overall audio quality, but their low-end accuracy is great. The high frequencies can grate at high volumes but are okay at mid-level settings. Overall, these speakers are an OK option, but there are better models at better prices.