Kicker and Alpine are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers. Kikcer specializes in car audio products.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.
Kicker Quick History
Kicker, an American audio company, headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was founded in 1973. Many companies have tried to copy their square solo-baric L5 & L7 subwoofer over time but in vain. The Kicker is well known for making some of the most reliable and powerful amplifiers in the car audio industry.
The company boasts an excellent quality line of the full range and component speakers. Besides, they recently developed other home audio products such as Zune Dock and headphones.
Kicker traces its origin back to 1973. The company started as a two-person operation focusing on hand-building professional sound and musical instrument speaker systems. The company majorly manufactured products for churches, entertainment and auditoriums.
In 1980, Kicker Performance Audio built the high-performance stereo enclosure market. This was when Steve Irby – the founder and president of the company, developed the Original KICKER – the Original KICKER being the first full-range speaker box constructed mainly for automotive use.
Kicker introduced its first Kicker Solo-Baric subwoofer in 1992 and the first Kicker Solo-Baric L7 square subwoofer in 2000 It continues to release more audio products with increased innovation and training and skills development.
Alpine Quick History
Alpine Electronics, Inc. was established in 1967 as Alpine Motorola. This was a joint venture between the Alps Electric Company and Motorola. In 1978, the company name changed to Alpine Electronics, Inc. when the Alps bought all the Motorola shares. It is headquartered in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The company makes amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers, and car tweeters.
Kicker Sound Quality
Kicker produces excellent sound quality, though at a little higher cost. If you compare some of the best subwoofers from other brands with Kicker products in the same category, Kicker outsmarts many. The company continues to produce concert-like audio quality across a wide range with accurate sound and renowned bass.
Take Kicker 12” 800 Wall Comp VR, for instance. This is a cheaper product, easy to install, and delivers plenty of punch. With an RMS power of 400 Watts and peak power of 800 Watts, this subwoofer from Kicker can handle any music.
It has a higher sensitivity, good power handling capacity, and superior audio quality. It is, however, not quite as nuanced as a high-end subwoofer.
Therefore, although you might notice some sound distortion on some kicker speakers, it is generally a result of some external interference. Kicker speakers produce typically good quality sound, and the bass is ultra-clean.
Alpine Sound Quality
Alpine produces a good professional range of speakers. Though the cheaper end may occasionally lack clarity and suffer from minor distortion, most speakers from Alpine have a very low level of distortion.
The bass is however not as much and those who need thumping bass may need to add a subwoofer.
Kicker speakers feature suitable power handling devices that make them more likable. The car speakers especially come with average superior audio quality with superior low-end accuracy.
Whether you choose to listen to Kicker at its high volume frequencies or mid-level settings, the sound quality delivery and performance are always on top of its performance.
Let’s look at the Kicker CSC65 CS Series 6.5-inch performance features.
- 200 Watts RMS Power per 2 pairs
- 300 Watts Max per speaker
- 5-inch 4-ohm 2-way car coaxial audio speakers
- Polypropylene cone to protect against heat and sunlight
- EVC technology for improved woofer performance
- 5 inch PEI dome tweeters
The speakers bear varied features. These are:
- Hybrid carbon fiber
- Aluminum-Magnesium alloy tweeter unit
- Corrosion-resistant gold-plated terminals
- High Amplitude Multi-Roll (HAMR) surround
- CFRP Cone (Carbon Fiber reinforced Plastic)
Here are the main features of Alpine amplifiers
- T.A.R circuitry
- Thermal management control
- Compact design
- Adjustable gain control
- Variable subsonic filter
- Speaker level input
Kicker Build Quality
Kicker speakers boast very good design and build quality.
For instance, the Kicker CompQ subwoofer has a more solid build with a sleek appearance that reflects its outstanding build quality.
Alpine Build Quality
Alpine speakers have a premium and rugged build.
They use high-density polymers for speaker casing, and the cones are made from premium fiber instead of regular paper.
Their car stereos are also used in some of the most popular and well-respected car brands across the world including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Skoda and VW.
Ease of Use
Kicker Ease Of Use
Kicker engineers put more effort into researching and developing skills to ensure their audio products are manufactured with the highest precision.
They understand that the speakers, for instance, are an excellent way to deliver sound quality for various uses by multiple users.
Therefore, the kicker speakers are built in a manner that makes them easy to use both at home and in the office. They produce excellent sound quality and will fit any form of use. Here are the benefits of using kicker speakers:
- Usable on a wide range of applications
- Excellent sound quality
- Easy to use
- Excellent customer service just in case you face any issue with any kicker products
Alpine Ease Of Use
Alpine speakers are generally small in size and easy to install. The SPR-60C, for instance, focuses a lot on improving performance in a compact size. As a result, they are built with neodymium magnets that are much smaller than regular magnets and deliver better sound quality.
The average costs for Kicker products are listed below:
Speakers: $10 – $1000
Amplifiers: $40 – $1000
Subwoofers: $40 – $1000
Alpine speakers fall into the mid-range and the expensive category, with very few Alpine products falling within the bottom prices. While you can easily get a cheap speaker with offers well under $50, even under $20 from JVC and Sony, Alpine speakers generally cost around $40 or higher.
Kicker Space Requirements
Kicker has perfectly developed three new ultra-thin, down-firing enclosures known as TRTP-Series. You can purchase the enclosures both in-store and online.
They also come with a single 2-ohm terminal available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch models. The famous KICKER CompRT thin subwoofer alongside the reflex passive radiator permits bass upgrade without increasing the depth.
These kicker enclosures are barely five inches high and can fit anywhere from behind the pickup seat to behind the back cargo area of a hatchback. Also, the down-firing design makes it possible to include them in tight spaces and still be able to deliver peak performance.
Therefore, these and other kicker products are designed to fit in small spaces while still ensuring their performance is optimized for a better sound experience.
Alpine Space Requirements
As we mentioned already, Alpine speakers are compact and easily fit in small spaces. You can therefore enjoy music from Alpine even in small rooms without worrying about speaker placement.
Kicker Remote Controls
Wireless remote control is a crucial feature of many audio products today. Kicker makes its products user-friendly by including remote control systems for hands-free management of your entertainment equipment.
Kicker KMLC remote control for Kicker LED marine speakers and subs is a special hands-free control system compatible with kicker TVs and allows quick toggling between programs without changing your sitting positions.
Alpine Remote Controls
Remote controls make listening to music a fantastic experience. Alpine remote controls such as Alpine’s compact RUE-4360 remote control give you wireless command of your Alpine stereo system from any position and distance.
Some of the actions you can perform with the remote control include:
- Audio processor adjustments
- Track repeat and random playback of audio files from USB
- Subwoofer level up/down
- Defeat on/off to be able to apply tone controls using a separate EQ
- Phone functions; include hanging up, picking up, or rejecting calls from paired smartphones
Kicker Connectivity Options
Kicker products are built with the changing technology in mind. They, therefore, accept a wide range of connectivity options.
Most Kicker speakers, for instance, will be able to connect to other Bluetooth speakers within their Bluetooth range. Below are some of the main connectivity options you can use with Kicker:
Alpine Connectivity Options
The speakers are built with various connectivity options that support different use scenarios. For instance, some speakers accept RCA wiring with older brands, while others, such as the Bluetooth Alpine speakers, can easily connect through Bluetooth pairing. The other connectivity options available include USB.
Kicker Power Range
Speakers: Up to 480 watts peak power
Subwoofer: Up to 1800 watts peak power
Amplifiers: Up to 5000 watts peak power
Alpine Power Range
The speakers have a significant power handling ability for the price. The power output on the high-end Alpine speakers is 300 watts or 100 watts RMS. The low and mid range speakers deliver up to 150 watts RMS.
Kicker Frequency Response
The frequency response of Kicker products is essentially wider. For instance, the Kicker 11 KB600W speaker works perfectly well within a frequency range of between 55 Hz to 21 kHz. However, some of the products have much narrower frequency ranges.
For instance, the Kicker 11HS8 Hideaway is built to operate within a frequency range of 25 – 150 Hz with a bass boost of 6+db at 40 Hz.
Alpine Frequency Response
The type-S speakers operate within the frequencies of 80 Hz to 22 kHz while the R-Series respond well between 65 Hz to 29 kHz.
Kicker excels in many ways from build quality to sound quality. For instance, the speakers deliver very clear highs. It is, therefore, a very good option if you are considering upgrading your sound system. Alpine makes great stereos and a force to beat when it comes to mind-blowing head units. Its speakers offer quality and reliability even in the cheaper range. Also, the subwoofers have a good frequency response, good power handling, and are easy to install.