One thing to note is that Crutchfield prices are high, but they sometimes give free shipping.
I would check out etronics
Their prices are usually 25-50% less.
Other sites are even less.....
As for speakers I would recommend Infinity Reference 6002i 's ($60) (also available in short depth (which you DON'T need and they don't sound as good)) or the Infinity Kappa 62.5's ($80) for a little better sound.
You could install the Reference 6002i's in the rear and then install Reference 6000cs ($110) or Kappa 62.5i ($165) component speakers in front. The tweeters are a separate component and because of this the cone area is large and you will get a little more bass. Since the Outback's front speaker grill is oval it is possible to mount the tweeter beside the woofer. Just be sure that the tweeter is on the left side of the woofer on the left door and the right side of the woofer on the right door, so that the woofer will not block the tweeter sound signals to the listener. Also be sure that the tweeter sound output goes clearly through the door panel grill. You could also drill a hole in the door panel to mount the tweeter, and I recommend this so long as it is low and near the woofer for the best sound imaging. Component speakers have a crossover that you will have to install in the door, just find a place where it does not interfere with anything (including door panel reinstallation) and cable tie it in place or use double sided tape (recommended).
Why do I like the Infinity's?
- generally low price for the performance
- good speaker efficiency (less amp/radio power required)
- innovative I mount for the component tweeters (its been copied by others though) The tweeter can be aimed in any direction.
- The coaxial (non-component) speakers feature a rotating tweeter for aiming, I have not seen this on other brands.
- larger than normal cone (more bass)
- the highs are nice and smooth, no harshness
I currently use the Boston Acoustics Pro 6.5's ($450+), but I also have a set of older Infinity Kappa 62.2 coaxials, and aside from the Bostons better low end bass, I actually prefer my Infinity's.
For about a year I ran the Kappa's up front and the stock speakers turned down in the rear. It sounded quite good. Unless you get a deal, just do the front speakers in which case get the Kappa 62.5's components in front and dial the fader forward.
I have heard demo cars with Polks that sound very good too.
I may take some flack for recommending Infinity's, but the truth is that all medium level branded speakers (Infinity, Polk, JBL, Kicker, etc) will more or less have the same quality of sound. The sound differences are generally related to equalizer tuning and installation.
A few other notes:
Since you will be cutting the watershield of the stock speaker retainer, I recommend installing a foam baffle to protect the speaker from water and/or rustproofing.
I read earlier in this forum that nuts were used to space the speakers to fit. DON'T do this, as the speakers must be sealed into the door. Door speakers are "infinite baffle", and it is exceedingly important that the backs of the speakers be sealed from the fronts, otherwise you will get no bass and very little midrange. The stock Subaru speaker retainers are sealed, but not that well. I highly recommend the use of rope caulk (aka exterior crack seal) ($3 at Home Depot) to seal the speaker to the speaker retainer and the retainer to the door. Rope caulk is like playdoh or plumbers putty, it will seal very well but will not harden and allow easy removal. DO NOT use silicone or other adhesives, otherwise your speaker installation will be a permanent one.
When installing the speakers be absolutely sure that the polarities are correct, otherwise they will be 180 degrees out of phase and the bass from each can cancel each other out. The striped wires are positive.