Car Speaker vs Home Speaker: What’s the Difference?

car speaker vs home speakercar speaker vs home speaker

One of my friends asked me the question- What if I use my home speaker in the car or vice versa? Does it make sense or am I talking like a fool?

You may have also been curious about this for a while but couldn’t get a proper explanation. To give you the answer you are looking for, we’ve thought and written this article. So, without any further ado – let’s dive deep into the topic!

Impedance: Low Voltage High Amperage vs High Volt Low Amps

Impedance is a term electrical engineers use a lot. Simply, the amount of load a speaker put on the amplifier is referred to as impedance rating.

The unit of impedance is the ohm. So, for your better and quick understanding, we’ll use ‘ohm’ to illustrate this. More ohm rating means more current resistance to keep the component safe from burning due to overvoltage.

The main thing for which it is very difficult to interchange the car speakers and the home speakers is their ohm differences. While almost all the car speakers come with 4 ohms of impedance, you’ll see the home speakers with 8 ohms of impedance.

This happens because of the differences in the electricity source of the car and your home. While your car battery typically produces a very low voltage of 12 to 14 with amperage, home electricity that comes from the national power grid has around 110 volts with low amperage. So, the car speaker can pass through more current to the amplifier while the home audio system needs to resist some of the currents to protect it from burning.

home speaker bighome speaker big

Design: Congested vs Open Space

The design between the car speakers and the home audio systems are also different in all aspects. While you need to fit the instruments of the speaker in a very limited space of the car, this is not the case in your home. You get enough room to have the speakers in big boxes that allows you to get the maximum result out of the component.

Durability: Built for Rough vs Comfort

Next comes the build quality! As you can guess, car speakers need to withstand different weather conditions and moisture quite a bit to be able to produce good sound for long. But this is not a requirement for the home speakers.

At home, you get the speaker delivered at your doorstep and set things up at the preplanned room. After that, you don’t touch the speaker for months, if not years unless there is any problem or need cleaning.

So, car audio systems are made for withstanding a decent amount of harsh weather, home audios do not come with this feature generally.

Can You use a Home Audio Subwoofer in the Car?

Theoretically, yes! You can carry your home audio setup to your car and connect that to hear some music. But it is not practical in various aspects we have talked about earlier in the article.

First, it won’t fit in your car well. Plus, it won’t be able to produce the sound it used to produce in your home because of the difference of impedance. And lastly, if someone is stubborn enough to try the home setup in the car, it is very likely that he would bring it back to the home with some damage because of the unusual vibration and jumps of the car.

So, I would recommend not to try this.

Can a car speaker be used at home?

As I’ve answered in the previous queries, theoretically the answer is yes. But the sound quality won’t be good and it will be risky to run the car audio setup in the home and vice versa.

However, you can modify the car speaker to run at your home but that requires a decent amount of knowledge about how the speaker and electricity works.

Can water damage car speakers?

Yes! Although car speakers can withstand moisture to some extent, it will get damaged if you pour water directly on its circuits.

So, when riding your car, be careful with liquids like water, juice, and soft drinks. If you accidentally spill water on the speaker, quickly turn the sound system off and wipe the surface. And when you get home, check the speaker thoroughly to find out if any water content passed through.


Speakers are great components to refresh your mind. In most of the cases, people try to use old electric components in other places to save some money. While this can effectively some of your money if you know what you are doing. Working with electrical components without adequate knowledge can lead you to a bigger problem than the outcome.

So, we recommend not to try using any electric components other than the places it is made for use.

Leave a Comment