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Pioneer D Series Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued.

Our Verdict

The Pioneer D-Series are among the best car speakers, because it provides high-end audio quality and loudness, though the continuous power handling is a bit below average.

For

  • The frequency accuracy grades were the highest in our tests.

Against

  • The continuous power handling is a low 80 RMS watts.
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Pioneer D-Series image: The 6 x 9-inch speaker is the largest speaker in the series.

Pioneer D-Series image: The 6 x 9-inch speaker is the largest speaker in the series.
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Pioneer D-Series image: The 6.5-inch speaker has a frequency range of 35Hz to 32kHz.

Pioneer D-Series image: The 6.5-inch speaker has a frequency range of 35Hz to 32kHz.
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Pioneer D-Series image: With the component speakers, the tweeter and crossover unit is separate.

Pioneer D-Series image: With the component speakers, the tweeter and crossover unit is separate.
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Pioneer D-Series image: The 5.25-inch speaker has a sensitivity rating of 88 dB.

Pioneer D-Series image: The 5.25-inch speaker has a sensitivity rating of 88 dB.
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Pioneer D-Series image: The 4-inch speakers have a sensitivity rating of 86 dB.

Pioneer D-Series image: The 4-inch speakers have a sensitivity rating of 86 dB.
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Pioneer D-Series image: The frequency accuracy tests showed exceptional accuracy from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Pioneer D-Series image: The frequency accuracy tests showed exceptional accuracy from 20Hz to 20kHz.
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Pioneer D-Series image: We gave these speakers an A for its low frequencies in comparison to other speakers.

Pioneer D-Series image: We gave these speakers an A for its low frequencies in comparison to other speakers.
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Pioneer D-Series image: We awarded an A to the D-Series for its midrange frequencies.

Pioneer D-Series image: We awarded an A to the D-Series for its midrange frequencies.
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Pioneer D-Series image: We graded the high frequencies with an A- for accuracy.

Pioneer D-Series image: We graded the high frequencies with an A- for accuracy.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

The D-Series is Pioneer's high-end car speakers. Each speaker in the series has a woofer made of a basalt fiber interwoven with aramid fiber, which provides an exceptionally rigid and stable woofer, especially after long periods of playback. The quality of the woofer is reflected in the incredibly accurate frequencies and very good audio quality overall. In our comparative loudness tests, it proved to be very loud despite a low sensitivity rating. And while the continuous power handling is below average, the peak power handling is excellent.

The D-Series has many speaker sizes but lacks the 5 x 7-, 4 x 6- and 3.5-inch speakers. We reviewed and evaluated the 6 x 9-inch speaker – the TS-D6902R. We found that the 6 x 9-inch speaker was the best reflection of a speaker series' overall quality. It's important though that you measure the speaker installations in your vehicle before purchasing any speakers.

To determine the audio quality of the best 6 x 9-inch speakers in each series, we performed frequency accuracy tests and subjective ear tests. In the frequency accuracy tests, we recorded the speaker as it played a tone that transitioned from 20Hz to 20kHz. Then we analyzed the frequency signature and graded the low, mid and high range frequencies. In these tests, the TS-D6902R had excellent grades. The high frequencies received a B+ and the midrange recieved an A-. However, it's one of the few car speakers that received an A for the low frequencies, which are often the most popular part of an audio experience. Only the Rockford Fosgate Prime speaker had a similar low-end quality.

In the subjective ear tests, where we had listeners rate the speaker as it played various songs, it was also among the highest-rated car speakers, giving it a very good overall audio quality score. The one minor downside is the lack of user reviews. While the user reviews are generally glowing, there are very few of them, which is likely because these are more expensive speakers than most coaxial car speakers on the market.

One of the best ways to determine how well a car speaker handles power is to measure how it converts electricity to volume. To do this, we performed a comparative loudness test similar to the sensitivity measurements performed by manufacturers. We measured the decibel level at 1 meter that each speaker produced when the volume setting on the amplifier was equal. And in this test, the Pioneer TS-D6902R was very loud – about 1.5 decibels quieter than the loudest speaker (Pioneer A-Series). This made it one of the most efficient car speakers in our review, despite the low 90-dB sensitivity rating reported by the manufacturer.

The one downside is the low continuous power-handling rating of 80 RMS watts, which is 30 watts below average. However, this downside is minimized by the excellent comparative loudness results, because the speaker requires less power for loud volumes than most car speakers require. Also, the peak power handling is 360 watts, which is about 15 watts above average. So it gives you plenty of breathing room for the spikes in the audio.

The Pioneer D-Series features just two-way coaxial speakers and component car speakers. The two-way speakers consist of just two drivers: a woofer and a tweeter. Many car speaker series have three-way, four-way and five way coaxial car speakers. Each of these speakers consist of a woofer, a midrange tweeter and multiple super-tweeters. However, the D-Series tweeter is exceptional, as shown in the frequency accuracy tests, so having the option to add multiple tweeters is unnecessary. In addition, the tweeter is adjustable, so you can aim it for the optimal listening experience for your vehicle.

The Pioneer D series is one of the best car speaker series in our review. The high-end woofer and tweeter provide exceptionally accurate frequency responses, and the overall audio quality is very good. The 6 x 9-inch speaker proved to be among the loudest in our comparative loudness tests, which is good, because the continuous power-handling rating is below average. These speakers provide an exceptional upgrade over any factory-installed speakers.