Posts: 227
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 4:59 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Burbank, California

Speaker Upgrade Advice

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:12 pm

Hi all,

Wanted to see if I could get some audio advice. I own a 2018 LEAF S. The stock speakers are just so bad.. I really wanted to replace them. To me.. they just don't have any clarity.. seem to be missing high range frequencies (and generally just not good). Although it does seem that the 2nd Generation LEAF does have better stock speakers than the 1st generation. At least the magnet seems to be a little bigger than the one in the '11-17 models.

So I found some speakers on sale and just put them in today. I have to say the sound is better in someways.. but actually worse in other ways. I'm a bit disappointed. I'm sure if I did a new head unit, an amp, and a sub, it would put it in a whole new world. But I don't think I am up for all that. I was hoping the speaker upgrade would make a bigger difference.

So I do hear much better clarity now (high frequencies are back and things sound more full range now). But it seems that the stock speaker actually had better bass and low frequencies. I guess I'm just really surprised. Did I just pick bad speakers.. or are they just not matched well to the stock head unit (an ohms issue)?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Should I sell my replacements and try a different brand?

The 4 replacement speakers that I put in are the:

Kicker 6.5" CSC65.

Thanks much,

Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:55 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jul 2018
Leaf Number: 306063

Re: Speaker Upgrade Advice

Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:23 pm

You are right that the OEM drivers should have better bass, with less high frequency information. The OEM drivers are generally made with a paper cone that is slightly heavier and relays the lower frequencies better. The coax that you used do have the tweeter but they are playing right into your lower leg which knocks down alot of the information. If you could move them farther up on the door or onto the pillar like the OEM premium unit would yield a much better sound. That is an option if you used a component but you would probably need some sort of small amp at the minimum.

The bass on the front speakers could also be lost due to the mounting. If the new drivers are securely mounted to the door and sealed against the mount would kill some of the available bass. It might be time to add a small powered sub if you really want to have something on the bottom end.

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:18 am
Delivery Date: 28 Aug 2018

Re: Speaker Upgrade Advice

Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:01 pm

The aftermarket speaker you bought is likely underpowered by the OEM head unit. Kicker and other higher end speakers are designed to run with high powered systems (10 to 100 watts rms), and therefore tend to need a large amount of input power to sound their best. The stock unit likely only outputs about 12-15 watts per channel, if that, so not much over the minimum rating. You'd be better off adding an amp, or using a slightly cheaper speaker which would be a step up in materials but not demand as much power to sound good. I learned this the hard way myself. Good luck!

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