🥇 SPECTRE VS K&N COMPARISON: TOP 14 PRODUCTS OF 2020

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The cold air intake system is among the crucial things required to make the driving experience comfortable. It includes a long tube with an air filter at the end. This assembly draws cold air into a car’s engine. A cold air intake is the simplest way to regulate the temperature under the hood of a vehicle.

Dozens of aftermarket car part brands offer intake systems. However, two companies stand out from others. The Spectre vs K&N rivalry is a subject of dispute for many car enthusiasts. Which one of these companies offers better cold air intakes and air filters? Let us find out the truth right now!

Spectre vs K&N Air Filters and Cold Air Intakes Comparison

14 Best Products of 2020

Quick Reference Table With The Best Top 5 Air Filters And Cold Air Intakes

4.5/5
  • Provides 50% more airflow
  • Does not need much cleaning
  • Impeccable engine protection
  • 10 million miles warranty
  • Delivers an aggressive sound
  • Very easy to install
  • Improves the performance
4.5/5
  • Makes the motor more powerful
  • Cheaper than its counterparts
  • Convenient user manual
  • Fits most 3.6L V6 trucks
  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Makes the engine sound deeper
5/5
  • The kit includes all you need
  • Increases horsepower
  • Fits 2011-2019 Chrysler/Dodge
  • Easy to install
  • Simple maintenance
  • Enhances acceleration
  • 10-year warranty from K&N
4.5/5
  • Enhances motor’s performance
  • Less costy than the K&N option
  • Easy to maintain
  • Suitable for many vehicles
  • Made of eco-friendly materials
  • Easy to install
  • Ready to use out of the box
5/5
  • Made of washable material
  • Speeds up acceleration
  • Does not void the car’s warranty
  • Provides a powerful airflow
  • Compatible with many tubes
  • Lasts for thousands of miles
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty

Quick Reference Tables With Other 5 Cold Air Intakes

Quick Reference Tables With Other 4 Air Filters

Spectre Air Intake vs K&N: In-Depth Products Comparison

Comparing K&N vs Spectre is very difficult since both companies are very popular. There is plenty of air filters and cold air intakes from these brands on the market. That is why we have picked specific products for the most common car models. Check our reviews below! 

Overview

A very decent option for both quality and price perspectives. This K&N intake kit includes everything you need to increase a vehicle’s power. The product is suitable for all Ford F150 models released in 2011-2014. It has been dyno-tested by the manufacturer, so you will not need to tune it manually. The kit increases the torque and horsepower of a car, which makes it a worthwhile upgrade.

9Expert Score
K&N 77-2581KP KIT FOR 2011-2014 FORD F150

This intake fits great our 2012 Ford F150. It provides a great throaty sound to the motor and is very easy to install.

Performance
10
Price
7
Functions
10
Positive
  • Provides 50% more airflow than the OE parts
  • Does not need cleaning for up to 100,000 miles
  • Offers impeccable engine protection from debris
  • Comes with a 10-year (10 million miles) warranty
  • Gives a Ford F150 motor great aggressive sound
  • Easy to install in less than a single hour
  • Improves the vehicle’s performance
Negatives
  • Some people might find it to be too loud
  • The price tag could be a bit lower

Overview

This intake kit for Ford F150 is very similar to the K&N products. However, it is significantly cheaper. Despite the low price, the Spectre SPE-9976 offers a slight improvement over the OE intake tube and air filter. It increases torque but you should not expect too much of a difference. It changes the sound a lot and makes the car feel much more powerful. Nevertheless, the Spectre vs K&N cold air intake Ford F 150 comparison showed that this product is less effective than its counterpart.

7.8Expert Score
SPECTRE INTAKE KIT FOR 2011-2014 FORD F150

It is an inexpensive product that works well enough. However, it did not fit our Ford F150 perfectly — the heat shield is a bit loose.

Performance
7.5
Price
10
Functions
6
Positive
  • Guaranteed to enhance a vehicle’s power
  • No cleaning required within the first 100,000 miles
  • Protects the engine from the smallest debris and contaminants
  • Almost two times cheaper than the K&amp
  • N counterpart
  • Improves the throttling response and acceleration
  • Makes Ford F150 sound much more powerful
  • It is very easy to install
Negatives
  • Does not fit as perfectly as the K&amp
  • N product
  • Comes with a limited 90-day warranty only
Overview If you were looking for a nice truck intake kit, consider buying this one. This K&N product fits a bunch of different 2014-2020 models from GMC, Chevy and Cadillac. You will be able to install it yourself without any problems. Just like other intake kits from K&N from our rating list, it comes with a 10-year old warranty. It is pricey yet highly effective.
8Expert Score
K&N COLD AIR INTAKE KIT (V8, 63-3082) FOR 2014-2020 CHEVY/CADILLAC/GMC

Overall, it is a very good product. The only factor that disappointed us were plastic hose barb fittings.

Performance
10
Price
4
Functions
10
Positive
  • Does not need to be cleaned for up to 100,000 miles
  • Offers a better airflow than the OE air intake system
  • Prevents particles, insects and other debris from reaching the engine
  • Covered with an outstanding 10-year warranty from K&amp
  • N
  • Easy to install even if you have never done it before
  • Improves the engine’s performance significantly
  • Makes the vehicle sound more deep and aggressive
Negatives
  • Comes with plastic fittings that are easy to break
  • It is rather expensive
Overview This is a high-quality intake kit from Spectre available at a fair price. It includes a polished aluminum intake tube, air filter and a powder-coated heat shield. We installed it on our Silverado 1500 without much hassle. Unfortunately, the intake tube has slag on the underside of the welds. Even though this is a rather durable kit, it loses the Spectre vs K&N competition.
7.8Expert Score
SPECTRE INTAKE KIT FOR 2014-2019 FOR CADILLAC/CHEVROLET/GMC

An above-average option for 2014-2019 trucks. When you compare Spectre vs K&N Silverado, the former seems a better option, though.

Performance
8.5
Price
8.5
Functions
6.5
Positive
  • Comes at a very low price
  • You will not need to clean the air filter for 100,000 miles
  • Can be installed with basic hand tools within one hour
  • Provides a perfect fit for a bunch of 2014-2019 trucks
  • Comes with a heat shield, air filter and a tube
  • Gives the motor a deep growling sound
  • Enhances the engine’s performance
Negatives
  • The build quality leaves much to be desired
Overview This is a sturdy air kit suitable for the latest 3.6L V6 Dodge and Chrysler models. It demonstrates the exceptional quality of K&N products. The intake tube looks perfect and does not have a single welding slag. We installed this kit on our Dodge Challenger within 20 minutes. The product fits the vehicle great and does not require much adjusting.
7.8Expert Score
K&N AIR INTAKE KIT 69-2544TP FOR DODGE/CHRYSLER (3.6L V6)

A great choice for a 3.6L V6 engine! A solid winner in K&N vs Spectre comparison for Chrysler and Dodge cars.

Performance
8
Price
8.5
Functions
7
Positives
  • The kit includes all the components of a cold air intake system
  • The intake tube contributes to up to 50% increase in horsepower
  • Perfectly fits 2011-2019 Chrysler and Dodge cars with a 3.6L V6 motor
  • Fits the vehicle great, which makes the installation very simple
  • The air filter will not need to be cleaned for a long time
  • Enhances the overall performance of the engine
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty from K&amp
  • N
Negatives
  • When comparing Spectre intake vs K&amp
  • N kits, the latter one is more expensive
Overview An affordable kit that includes all you need to replace the OE air intake kit. Unfortunately, it has some drawbacks. The heat shield does not fit tight with the chassis. There are huge gaps between it and the conical mount. Despite that, this kit increases the performance in comparison to the original parts. If you are looking for an inexpensive upgrade, this product wins the Spectre cold air intake vs K&N fight.
7Expert Score
SPECTRE SPE-9028 KIT FOR 3.6L V6 DODGE/CHRYSLER (2011-2019)

It did not fit our 2016 Dodge Challenger perfectly. Nevertheless, it is not a bad product considering the price.

Performance
6.5
Price
9
Functions
5.5
Positives
  • Increases the motor’s performance
  • Comes with a detailed instruction manual
  • According to K&amp
  • N vs Spectre comparison, it is almost twice less pricey
  • Provides decent longevity despite the low price tag
  • Includes all the elements of an air intake system
  • Can be easily installed in less than an hour
  • Makes the motor sound deeper
Negatives
  • Does not fit perfectly for some of the supported models
Overview A great choice for V8 trucks from GMC, Chevy, and Cadillac. We have picked it since many people are interested in Spectre vs K&N intake 5.3 comparisons. Both product are good enough, but this one is better in terms of quality. It has a light HDPE tube, but you can always get a version with a chrome metal intake. It fits 2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT 5.3L perfectly!
9.5Expert Score
K&N AIR INTAKE KIT 57-3050 FOR V8 TRUCKS (AVALANCHE, TAHOE, SIERRA, YUKON, SILVERADO, ESCALADE, SUBURBAN)

If you want to upgrade your V8 truck, consider buying this option. It is great!

Performance
9.5
Price
10
Functions
9
Positive
  • Includes all the components of a cold air intake system
  • The intake tube contributes to up to 50% increase in horsepower
  • Provides a perfect fit for V8 Chrysler and Dodge cars with a 3.6L V6 motor
  • Fits the vehicle great, which makes the installation very simple
  • Includes a 10-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • The air filter does not require much maintenance
  • Enhances the overall performance of the motor
Negatives
  • When comparing Spectre intake vs K&amp
  • N kits, the latter one is more expensive
Overview Yet another product that wins the Spectre cold air intake vs K&N comparison in terms of pricing. It is much less expensive in comparison to the competitor. The unit comes with a polished aluminum tube and a heat shield. According to the manufacturer, all metallic parts are prone to corrosion but we did not have enough time to test that. In general, it is a decent option, but the rubber parts seem very unreliable.
8Expert Score
SPECTRE SPE-9900 INTAKE KIT FOR V8 TRUCKS — GMC/CADILLAC/ CHEVROLET (1999-2007)

Consider this product if you do not want to waste too much money on an upgrade. It is not as sturdy as its counterpart, though. This Spectre vs K&N competition is won by the former.

Performance
8.5
Price
6
Functions
9.5
Positive
  • Makes the motor more powerful
  • It is much cheaper than its counterparts
  • Comes with convenient installation guidelines
  • Fits most 3.6L V6 models from Chrysler and Dodge
  • Can be easily installed in less than an hour
  • Makes the engine sound much deeper
  • Ready to use out of the box
Negatives
  • It is not as durable as the K&amp
  • N air intake kit

Verdict on K&N vs Spectre Kits Comparison

As you can see, K&N is a solid winner from a quality standpoint. All its products provided a perfect fit for our vehicles and looked great. On the other hand, you will have to overpay for quality. For instance, according to the F150 Spectre vs K&N comparison, the former is almost twice as expensive! It comes with a 10-year warranty, which is a huge advantage over the products of the counterpart. 

Nevertheless, air intake kits from Spectre are much cheaper. They offer a comparable gain in acceleration and perform their job well enough. You will only get a 90-day warranty, but the huge difference in price segments eliminates this disadvantage. Even though Spectre products did not fit perfectly for some of our vehicles, we were fully satisfied with their price/quality ratio. 

In the end, it is up for you to decide which option is better for you. When choosing Spectre cold air intake vs K&N product, consider the cons and pros of each kit. No matter what brand you choose, we believe that you will not be disappointed with the purchase. Both companies offer solid cold air intake kits for myriads of various vehicles. You should easily find a suitable option for your car!

Spectre VS K&N Drop In Air Filters Comparison

There is no need to upgrade the entire system if you are short on money. It does not matter whether you have Spectre cold air intake vs K&N drop in filter. You can simply clean your old unit and continue to use it. However, sometimes you just have to buy a replacement. In this case, consider buying a new air filter. You will be able to improve the engine’s performance at the lowest cost! Below, we have compared Spectre air filter vs K&N counterparts for some of the most popular vehicles on Amazon.

Overview We want to start our air filter comparison with Spectre vs K&N drop in Ram 1500. The latter option offers impressive longevity combined with high-quality filtration media. It is an awesome way to improve the performance of any Dodge Ram truck released after 2002. The filter is easy to install and covered with a prolonged K&N warranty.
9Expert Score
K&N AIR FILTER FOR DODGE RAM V6/V8/V10 (33-2247)

It is a nice product that will serve you for a long time. It suits every Jeep Ram model released between 2002 and 2019.

Performance
10
Price
7
Functions
10
Positive
  • Covered with a Million-Mile warranty
  • Impeccable filtration media provides an improved airflow
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Made of washable material to prolong the lifespan and reduce replacement waste
  • Protects the Jeep Ram engine from harmful debris and particles
  • Does not require much maintenance
  • Manufactured in the United States
Negatives
  • When it comes to Spectre vs K&amp
  • N Jeep filters, this one is more costly
Overview Let us continue to compare Spectre vs K&N drop in Jeep Ram filters. This product is twice as cheaper as the previous option. Nevertheless, we really liked it. It seems just as good as the K&N filter. Even though Spectre does not offer a 10-year warranty, we think that it is great. You will not be disappointed with this product!
8.7Expert Score
SPECTRE SPE-HPR9401 FILTER FOR RAM/DODGE TRUCKS (2002-2020)

This Spectre filter is cheap and effective. Giving its low price, it is the best option for any modern Dodge Ram.

Performance
8
Price
9.5
Functions
8.5
Positive
  • Improves the truck’s acceleration
  • The installation will take you less than 15 minutes
  • Affordable price tag
  • You only need to wash it every 50,000 miles
  • Non-woven filter material prevents small particles from reaching the engine
  • The filter is strengthened with steel mesh for extra longevity
  • Fits the OEM Dodge Ram filter perfectly
Negatives
  • Just like other K&amp
  • N vs Spectre comparisons, the latter offers a worse warranty period
Overview This is an adjustable air filter that can be used with various vehicles. It comes with flange inserts that adjust the item’s flange to one of three diameters. We could not conduct any Spectre vs K&N drop in the Chevy Impala test. That is why we decided to compare the universal options instead! The flange on this filter is made with sturdy pliable rubber that absorbs vibration and allows for secure attachment. The product is washable and holds up well even after thousands of miles.
8.7Expert Score
K&N UNIVERSAL CLAMP-ON FILTER (6 IN BASE OUTSIDE DIAMETER)

A decent option suitable for 4, 3.5 and 3-inch intake tubes. It is simple and effective.

Performance
8
Price
9.5
Functions
8.5
Positive
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty from K&amp
  • N
  • Improves the overall motor’s performance
  • The flange is made of durable rubber compound
  • Provides excellent airflow with great filtration
  • Fits air intake tubes of different diameter
  • Made of reusable eco-friendly materials
  • Holds up to 50,000 miles without washing
Negatives
  • Not suitable for turbocharged or supercharged motors
Overview Replacing the original air filter with a Spectre SPE-8132 will boost your vehicle’s power. High-quality material provides an enhanced airflow. The product improves combustion and reduces fuel consumption. According to the manufacturer, the item filters 99.6% of contaminant particles. The pre-oiled SPE-8132 filter is suitable with most cars that use 3 In, 3.5 In or 4 In intake tubes.
9Expert Score
SPECTRE UNIVERSAL AIR FILTER (8132 SPE)

While Spectre old air intake vs K&N usually is cheaper, this is not applied to filters. This item has almost the same price as the previous one. It is just as good, though.

Performance
10
Price
7
Functions
10
Positive
  • Enhances the vehicle’s performance
  • Slightly less expensive than the K&amp
  • N counterpart
  • Does not require any maintenance for up to 50,000 miles
  • Suitable with most vehicles that use 3-4 In intake tubes
  • Made of eco-friendly material that can be washed
  • Does not take much time to install
  • Ready to use out of the box
Negatives
  • The adhesive that holds the filter to the base might get loose quickly
Overview Looking for a way to increase your truck’s performance? K&N 33-2129 is exactly what you need! This product offers impeccable performance for dozens of various models. It is compatible with both aftermarket and original intake systems for GMC and Chevy. It is expensive but that is the price of high quality.
7.8Expert Score
K&N 33-2129 AIR FILTER FOR V6/V8 SUVS AND CHEVY/GMC TRUCKS (1999-2019)

An effective product is suitable for a bunch of different vehicles. We only wish it were a bit cheaper.

Performance
7.5
Price
10
Functions
6
Positive
  • Made of washable material
  • Increases horsepower and speeds up acceleration
  • Provides a powerful airflow with impeccable filtration
  • Compatible with both original and aftermarket intake tubes
  • Lasts for thousands of miles without cleaning
  • Protected with a million-mile warranty
  • Does not void the car’s warranty
Negatives
  • Spectre air filter vs K&amp
  • N price comparison shows that the latter is more expensive
Overview SPE-HPR8755 is a washable air filter that can be used with multiple vehicles from GMC, Cadillac and Chevrolet. As usual, Spectre performance air filter vs K&N one has a better price. The item is made out of durable material that blocks up to 99% of harmful particles. We did not have any problem with it during the test.
8Expert Score
SPECTRE SPE-HPR8755 FILTER FOR CADILLAC/CHEVROLET/GMC (1999-2020)

This air filter is a great option for most GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet trucks and SUVs. Feel free to use it with both OEM and aftermarket parts.

Performance
10
Price
4
Functions
10
Positive
  • Almost twice as cheap as the K&amp
  • N counterpart
  • Engineered to improve the car’s performance
  • Comes with installation instructions
  • Fits all modern trucks and SUVs from GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac
  • Does not require much maintenance
  • Will not void a new car’s warranty
  • Extremely easy to install
Negatives
  • Does not provide a perfect fit for some of the supported trucks

Verdict on Spectre Air Filter vs K&N Air Filter Comparisons

When it comes to filters, K&N is not a straightforward winner. It does not offer anything special to justify such a huge price difference. Two of the three Spectre products from our reviews were twice as cheaper! At the same time, they are almost the same in terms of quality. We have conducted Spectre vs K&N dyno tests and found out that both options increase horsepower. Even though the more expensive option provides a better improvement, you should still buy Specter. You will save money without sacrificing much. 

Keep in mind, though, that some of the universal filters for Specter do not provide a perfect fit. When picking an air filter for an old vehicle, make sure it is compatible. Check user reviews for a specific car model before making the purchase. For instance, read what other people say about Spectre vs K&N Tacoma products. Once you know all the nuances of the exact model, you will be able to find and order the right option. 

FAQ About K&N vs Spectre Products

What are the Signs That It Is Time to Replace a Car Air Filter?

You will see a decline in your car’s operation after the cold air filter gets full of crud. Here are the most common signs that you need to replace it:

  • Noticeable decrease in performance and power;
  • The A/C and the heating system stopped working properly;
  • Significant increase in fuel consumption.

In this situation, use our Spectre air filter vs K&N comparison to find a suitable replacement.

How Often Air Filters Should Be Changed?

Clogged air filters make your vehicle less powerful and increase motor wear. The car will start to consume more fuel and accelerate at a slower pace. You can fix these problems by changing an air filter. Additionally, you can check the manual of your vehicle to identify the scheduled maintenance interval.

When Should You Replace an Air Intake System?

There is no need to install a new intake system unless your car’s power does not suit you. However, you can replace the original parts with a performance intake system. It has a wider pipe with fewer bends, which allows enhancing the airflow. Compare Spectre cold air intake vs K&N and other reputable brands. A bad replacement might worsen your car’s performance!

What is the Best Type of Intake Tubes?

There are three major types of intake tubes:

Pic of metal tubes

Metal Tubes. Most of them are made of steel or aluminum. They could be polished, painted or powder-coated.

Pic of a plastic tube

Plastic Tubes. Made of polyethylene or plastic. Most of the manufacturers paint them black.

Pic of a carbon fiber tube

Other Tubes. This type includes options made of silicone, carbon fiber or rubber.

Since the shape of metal tubes is limited, the options made of flexible materials are considered more efficient.  

There is a common belief that metal tubes hold more heat. This will raise the temperature of the intake air. Therefore, plastic tubes are better because cold air makes more power. The temperature theory is not necessarily wrong. Nevertheless, the temperature difference is very small so it will not make a difference in most cases. Rubber, plastic and carbon fiber models are generally better because of their shape.

Summit, racing equipment manufacturer

What are the Best Alternatives to K&N and Spectre?

You are not limited to choose between Spectre vs K&N drop in filters. Feel free to look for decent solutions from other aftermarket brands such as:

ACDelco logo

ACDelco. This company offers rotors, brake pads, radiators and many other components, including air filters. The brand provides high-performance products at a good price. Besides brakes, ACDelco sells a variety of the other aftermarket car parts.

Airaid. The company offers filters and intakes for a bunch of various vehicles. Compare K&N vs Airaid and you will see a lot in common between these brands. Both offer decent yet costly replacements for most vehicles on the market.

Mishimoto. One of the leading Japanese brands that offer cooling products. Its performance air filters are expensive but extremely effective. The greatest option for people who want to buy the best part!

AEM logo

AEM. This brand is known for its high-quality racing solutions. An AEM air filter vs K&N shows similar performance. Nevertheless, products of this brand are not as popular on Amazon.             

All the above-listed companies offer amazing replacement parts at great cost. If you cannot find a suitable replacement from Spectre or K&N, just buy an alternative from one of them!

Conclusion

We tried our best to make this article helpful. Our team has compared every single Spectre air filter vs K&N on this page to identify the best brand. Nevertheless, it turned out to be impossible. Both companies offer decent products! In our opinion, K&N has better intake systems while Spectre does a great job of providing cheap yet effective air filters. Do not forget about that when buying a PC!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the comment section right now. In addition, we would like to know what you think about Spectre and K&N. Have you ever used products from these companies? Were you satisfied with them? What brand is the best in your opinion? Share your thoughts and ideas below. Let us find out together which company has won the K&N vs Spectre battle! 

Sean Wylam

I`m Sean. I have been writing for Motoring Crunch since April 2020, serving as Truck and Automobile Editor and Reviewer. I`am currently covering from model-specific reviews to products guides. E-mail: [email protected]

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