Pros / The Pioneer TS-6900PRO was the loudest speaker we tested.
Cons / The series’ size options and shotgun tweeters limit which cars the speakers can be installed in.
Verdict / The car speakers in the Pioneer PRO series look mean and have a lot of bite, but they sound excellent. This is why they are among the best options.
The Pioneer PRO series is one of the newest car speaker series to hit the market. Its speakers feature an aggressive blade-like grille with a shotgun tweeter – they look mean and have some teeth, but they sounds great. In our tests, the series’ TS-6900PRO model proved to have some of the best audio performance while also being the loudest speaker. However, the Pioneer PRO series’ extended shotgun tweeters, as well as its lack of some common size options, may make its speakers unsuitable for your vehicle.
To test audio performance, I recorded the TS-6900PRO playing a repeated sine tone that transitioned from 20Hz to 20kHz. Then I used a frequency analyzing plugin to analyze and grade the speaker's ability to reproduce an audio signal. Overall, the PRO received an A.
The TS-6900PRO received an A for accuracy in the high frequency range. This is the most difficult range for a speaker to reproduce and the first to cause ear fatigue if it's not accurate or too prominent. Based on this model’s performance, the speakers in the PRO series produce great high-end tones that don't grate or overwhelm the rest of the mix.
In fact, without analyzing software, you won't be able to tell the difference between a PRO speaker’s high-frequency performance and that of a speaker from the Alpine Type-S and Infinity Reference X series, both of which received an A+ in this test. That said, you'll definitely hear a difference if you compare the TS-6900PRO, or another speaker from the PRO series, to models from the lower-performing Kenwood KFC Performance and JL Audio Evolution C2 speaker series.
The TS-6900PRO earned a B for its midrange accuracy – its most disappointing audio performance score. Its low-end accuracy was excellent, earning the highest possible grade, but the mids were just good, not great. Based on this test, the speakers in the PRO series still create an overall balanced-sounding mix, but they’re not quite good enough to make them the best car speakers overall.
The Pioneer TS-6900PRO has excellent power handling specifications, including an above-average, though not elite, 92 dB sensitivity rating. The continuous power rating is 100 RMS watts, which is average, but the 600 peak watt rating is among the highest. Even though the PRO series speakers don’t have the highest sensitivity ratings compared to speakers from other series we evaluated, the TS-6900PRO received an A+ in our comparative loudness test. This suggests it has the greatest volume potential of the models we reviewed.
To test comparative loudness, I connected each speaker to the same car stereo, then placed a decibel meter 1 meter away from the speaker to measure the volume it produced with the stereo set at 10, 20, 30 and 40. While I don't know exactly what the power output was at each of those levels, this speaker produced the loudest volumes at each setting. Basically, this means it's more efficient at converting power to volume than other speakers, so you don't need to crank up your stereo as far to damage your hearing.
One of the Pioneer PRO series’ biggest drawback is it isn’t very versatile. For example, it doesn't have component speaker options and is missing common-size speakers, like 5.25-inch ones.
However, the biggest concern is the PRO series speakers include a shotgun tweeter. It sticks out from the woofer significantly, which means it may not fit in installations where the car has unremovable speaker grilles. That said, if you can remove the grille and are fine with the aggressive blade-like grille that comes with the speaker, then it's not a big deal.
The Pioneer PRO series is one of the best car speaker series available right now. The 6 x 9-inch model we tested, the TS-6900PRO, was among the best sounding speakers we reviewed. It was also the best at converting power to volume, which is why it is our pick for the best volume potential. You just need to make sure a PRO series speaker is a suitable fit for your car before you purchase it.