Q Forms Kick Panels
Q-Logic began offering Q-Forms kick panel speaker mounting kits in 1994. Since then, we’ve sold countless thousands of them to audio enthusiasts all over the world. Q-Forms are quite simply the most affordable way to great GREAT SOUND in your vehicle!
We currently offer Q-Forms kick panels for over 125 different vehicle applications! Visit Application Guide to see if we have a Q-Forms kick panel speaker mounting kit to fit your vehicle.
All Q Forms are sold in pairs and do not include the drivers pictured
Where are the Kick Panels in my vehicle?
The kick panel is the interior surface just forward of the front doors and below the dash. Believe it or not, some vehicles did have speakers installed here as early as the 1960s.
Why this location?
The idea of locating speakers in the kick panel area dates back to the hey-days of organized sound-off competitions. The best way to understand why competitors began to locate speakers in the kick panel areas is to consider the difference between listening to music in your vehicle versus listening from the comfort of your sofa. In the drivers’ seat of a vehicle, you are to the far left of a pair of stereo speakers mounted in the doors or the dashboard of the vehicle. Contrast this to sitting in the “sweet spot” on your sofa, equidistant between a pair of properly toed-in stereo speakers!
Obviously, your sofa offers a more ideal listening position. This central position allows the sound from each speaker to arrive at the listener’s ears at the exact same time. A really good pair of properly set up home audio speakers will allow one to hear the vocals and instruments exactly as the recording engineer intended, as well as their locations within the soundstage – both left and right and from front to rear. In some cases, the speakers can seem to disappear, giving one the impression of being there! The term to describe proper localization of instruments and vocals within the soundstage is called “imaging” – and this is one of the most difficult things to achieve in an automobile.
Path Length Equalization
The original reason that competitors migrated to kick panel locations was to make their audio system sound less like a car audio system and more like a home audio system. The way to do this was to improve the stereo imaging by minimizing the localization and “side bias*” that traditional door and dash mounting locations succumbed to – remember, this was LONG before the advent of digital audio processors! This is commonly referred to as equalizing the path-length or more properly, path length equalization. As the kick panel areas offer the minimum difference in distance between the left and right speakers in the front of any vehicle, they were chosen.
Equally important as the location is the angle of the baffle with respect to the listeners’ position. As you can imagine, this took a tremendous amount of experimentation in each vehicle to get the desired results. Integration into the vehicle’s interior via custom upholstery and finishing made this an expensive endeavor for any car audio enthusiast that was looking to benefit from these competitors’ research!
On-Axis vs. Off-Axis
Shopping for that right pair of speakers can certainly be challenging. You’ve brought a few of your favorite recordings (or all of them on your favorite media device!) to your local car audio dealer, you’ve got the dealer to agree to let you play your music for an indefinite amount of time, you’ve pulled up a comfy chair in their sound room, and . . . only one problem – you won’t be listening to any of those speakers in your vehicle like you are in their sound room (well, you could be . . . )!
You see, when you listen to a pair of speakers mounted in a sound board, you are listening to them On-Axis as they are facing you and you hear their direct radiation. When these same speakers are installed in the doors or dashboard of your vehicle, and you are sitting in either of the front seats, you are now listening to them Off-Axis and you hear their indirect radiation. This can cause frequency response problems – which happens to be the number one cause of listening fatigue. In addition, dashboard locations that point up at the windshield also cause you to hear reflective sound from the speakers as the glass will redirect much of the sound.
By mounting your speakers in the kick panel area, you will be able to enjoy their On-Axis sound. This allows you to enjoy the frequency response they are capable of and reduce the possibility of listening fatigue! This is yet another reason to do so.
Why Choose Q-Forms?
So you’re sold on kick panel locations for your next speaker purchase. We strive to make the addition of Q-Forms kick panels as easy for you as possible. Our extensive line of Q-Forms kick panels are the result of many years of painstaking research and development. We’ve done extensive in-vehicle testing to perfect fit as well as the speaker locations themselves. [Trust me, you've never seen so many guys in white lab coats with pocket protectors, slide-rules, and black framed glasses . . . We’ve done this so you don’t have to!
Choose the Speakers You Want!
One of the major disadvantages that you have when putting speakers in the factory locations is that you typically have to choose speakers that fit those locations. This can be a limiting factor if the brand you like doesn’t offer that size . . . or the dealer doesn’t stock them. When you purchase a pair of Q-Forms, you can choose the speakers that you like best in either a 6 ½” or 5 ¼” size – the two most popular sizes. Every brand has numerous offerings in these sizes!
Q-Forms Accommodate Component Speakers!
It’s common knowledge that you’ll get the best sound with a component speaker – a set that includes a mid-bass / midrange*, tweeter*, and external crossover network*. Why? Simple – with very few exceptions, the speaker manufacturers put their best technology in their component speaker offerings. An external crossover network* allows them to include the right components to ensure a smooth transition from the mid to high frequencies. A smooth transition at the crossover point will improve the overall frequency response and your overall listening enjoyment.
Q-Forms are designed to accommodate both the mid-bass / midrange* and the tweeter*. By locating the tweeter* and mid-bass / midrange* on the same baffle, the sound of both reach your ears at the exact same time. This eliminates acoustical problems that can result from having speakers in different physical locations on the same side of the vehicle – such as when mounting the mid-bass / midrange* in the door and the tweeter* on the sail panel.
Q-Forms will accommodate either 5 ¼” or 6 ½” component speakers! If you’re looking for the most OEM look possible, the 5 ¼” Q-Forms include color matched cloth covered grilles. This way, your speakers will disappear behind the grilles. The larger 6 ½” Q-Forms allow you to utilize the grilles that come with your speakers – perfect for those really cool looking grilles that you’d prefer to show-off! In addition, the panels themselves are 50% thicker than the 5 ¼” models. This keeps them from flexing from the increased mid-bass* energy from a 6 ½” speaker.
What about 3-Way Component Systems?
OK, you’re clearly in the camp where there is no such thing as good enough! Either that or you spend more time in your vehicle than you do in your home. Either way, we know the feeling . . . Let’s say that you had your heart set on that pair of 3-Way component speakers that you fell in love with the first time you heard them. No problem, Q-Logic has you covered! You see, as you go lower in frequency, sound is less localized – this is why it is difficult to pinpoint the physical location of a level matched* subwoofer*. In addition, lower frequencies are less prone to Off-Axis frequency response problems. Therefore, if your vehicle came equipped with door locations that will accommodate a 6.5″ or larger speaker, you can have your cake and eat it both! You can locate the dedicated mid-bass* speaker in the stock door location, and then locate the midrange* and tweeter* in the Q-Forms!
Properly set-up, this set-up will satisfy even the most demanding of audiophiles. If you’re not ready to take the 3-way plunge right away, but consider it to be an option down the road, several speaker manufacturers offer a way to add a dedicated mid-bass* / crossover* to their component speaker systems. This allows you to get the component systems and Q-Forms installed in your vehicle first. As your budget permits, you can always add the mid-bass drivers – again, have your cake and eat it both!
Let’s face it . . . putting a set of speakers in your brand new late model car is a little different than mounting a pair of six by nines in the back deck of your cousin’s 1974 Camaro. Many of the door panels in today’s vehicles require special tools and expertise to remove without damaging them – a job we recommend for the professionals. Even more imposing is the thought of installing component speakers in doors that did not come with component speakers installed from the factory – this involves cutting holes in your upholstery. Again . . . a job better left to the pros!
Q-Forms totally eliminate these installation difficulties as the speaker components can be easily mounted in the panels prior to installing the panels in your vehicle! This leaves you to locate a suitable location for the crossover network and make the electrical connections. Of course, you can also choose to have them professionally installed at any one of our hundreds of authorized dealers across the nation.
Q-Forms are Factory Matched
Given our broad selection of applications and factory matched colors, it is very likely that we offer just what you’re looking for!
- To verify that we make Q-Forms to fit your vehicle CLICK HERE
Properly installed, Q-Forms provide an OEM fit and finish.
Q-Forms Include the Hardware You’ll Need
Included with every pair of Q-Forms kick panels is all the necessary hardware you’re likely to need to mount them to your vehicle – the specifics of this vary by kit. In addition, we include:
- PolyFil – Polyester Fiber Fill
- Step-by-step instructions
Quite simply, Q-Forms represent the best way to get the maximum return on your new speaker investment! CLICK HERE to order a pair for your vehicle today!