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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!

5 Best Spectre vs K&N Products - All Categories Products Comparison


5 Best Cold Air Intakes Of Spectre vs K&N Comparison

Top 4 Spectre vs K&N Air Filters - Quick Reference Table

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! 


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.


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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.

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.
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!
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.
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.
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.


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.

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.  

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!


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! 


  1. I have a 2012 Chevy Avalanche and tried Spectre air intakes. My immediate response is I did see a noticeable power increase and it growls nicely when I step on it. It is much cheaper than K&N and I don’t know if it is worth the extra money or not. I’d probably check the filter after a month to see how the dust accumulates. Also is there any difference between the 2 if it will hurt my gas mileage?

    • More air means more combustion, there will be a slight increase in gas mileage but it outweighs the performance it gives. It will help boost the engine response to acceleration while giving a smooth ride. It has been said that it will provide 5-20 hp increase and you can also upgrade your exhaust for a more efficient engine performance.

  2. I’d stick with the Spectre at this time. It is cheaper than K&N. I may not be able to compare the performance between the two but so far I’m happy with Spectre. When it’s time for me to replace it, probably I’ll try the K&N and I will share my experience.


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