Best Car Speakers Reviews (2020)
When it comes down to your car’s stereo, it’s important to NOT overlook one of the most important components, component car speakers. That’s right, car speakers are what gives your music (or whatever you may be listening to), a clear way to reach your ears. You can have excellent and hard-hitting subwoofers, but when you can barely make out what the vocals are… you’re left in a tough spot and enjoyment goes out the window.
To really improve your experience, we did research to see which companies made good quality speakers that produce clear lows, mids, and highs. Speakers that aren’t out of reach for most us in terms of price, and can be bought with no trouble at all.
Some of the companies we took a look at are Alpine, Pioneer, BOSS, JBL, Kenwood, Kicker, Sony, Clarion, JVC, Rockford Fosgate, Jaras, and Infinity.
From all those brands, we narrowed it down to the 10 best speakers for cars you can get. Each pair may vary in what you get in terms of features, but one thing they have in common is they produce an excellent audible experience.
10 Best Car Speakers For Todays Automobiles
- Extended coils allow for a cleaner, deeper bass
- Adjustable center tweeter to point into the listeners direction
- 1″ wide-range silk dome tweeters bring out vocals
- "Plus One" woofer cone for a deeper, more responsive bass
- Delivers good bass with clear high notes
- Power handling rated at 300 watts max and 50 watts RMS
- Cost efficient with good bass sound clarity
- Power handling rated at 300 watts max and 30 watts RMS
- Includes 2-inch center tweeter for a more defined sound
- Frequency response ranges from 65Hz to 20 kHz, with 90dB sound sensitivity
10. BOSS Audio NX654 Onyx 6.5″ 4-Way Speakers
BOSS is known for their budget-oriented car audio equipment. Whether you’re looking at their head units, subwoofers, cabling, or car speakers. With the NX654 by BOSS, you are getting a 4-way 400watt car speakers that actually sound good.
For around 25 dollars, you’re getting not 1 but 2 speakers, with RMS ratings of 200. Frequency response ranges from 65Hz to 20 kHz, along with 90dB sound sensitivity. Build in-to the speaker is two 1.25″ tweeters which bring out the high vocals, nicely complimenting the mids and lows. One thing that may not be as positive is their efficiency, which requires you to turn the volume up a bit more to get them going. But if there ever was a comparison, they sound about as good as a 70-80 dollar set of speakers.
These speakers come in sizes: 4″ inches, 5.25″ inches, 6×9″ inches, and 6.5″ inches. The 4-way speakers range i n wattage from 250watts to 800 watts. 400 watts seems to be the best value proposition.
9. Kenwood KFC-6965S 3-Way Speakers
Kenwood comes to mind when you’re looking at head units, but did you know they make great car speakers too! The KFC-6965S-3 3-Way Car Speakers are not something to play with. Although these in particular are sized a certain way so fitment is limited, if you can get them to fit you’ll be quite satisfied with the clarity. Overall, the specs are: 400Watts per pair and 45 Watts RMS per pair. A center 2″ inch tweeter is built in to give you more defined high notes (vocals and such), along with a 1/2″ inch ceramic super tweeter.
For 35 dollar 3-way speakers, they sound good in both vocals and bass levels. No crazy bass like with the more expensive speakers, but a much better improvement from factory OEM speakers. Check them out on Amazon for more specs and user ratings.
8. JVC CS-J620 2-Way Car Speakers
Coming in as our number 8 contestant are the JVC CS-J620 coaxial car speakers. A budget-oriented shoppers type of speakers, costing right around 25 dollars for a pair. A nice option to consider when thinking about swapping out your old speakers for something a bit “more” in terms of clarity and bass. Although bass won’t shake your windows and doors, there’s a noticeable improvement over stock speakers (in most cases). Sized at 6.5″ all around, as long as you can get them to fit, they are for you.
Power handling for each speaker is rated at 300 Watts MAX and 30 watts RMS. A 1″ poly-ether imide balanced dome tweeter is installed to bring out the high notes. Sensitivity is rated at 92dB with 4 ohms impedance. Use these with an aftermarket amp or, just by themselves powered by a head unit. Be sure to check them on Amazon below to see more specs.
7. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 3-Way Car Speakers
When you think of a bonified audio company, Rockford Fosgate is one of those. They make audio for every application imaginable, from automotive, marine and even home. Their R165X3 3-way car speakers put them in our # 7 spot for their cost efficiency and bass sound clarity. These speakers in particular are 6.5″ inches all around and are pushing 90 watts MAX and 45 watts RMS. Each speaker is comprised of a vacuum polypropylene cone with rubber surroundings, a stamped steel basket (outer shell), silkd dome pole tweeter for midrange, along with an integrated tweeter crossover. Mounting hardware along with the grill for each speaker is included.
Priced at around 35 dollar for a pair, it’s a good value proposition. Compare it to BOSS’s and Kenwoods speakers, and you’ll see Rockford Fosgate’s speakers are better in terms of bass quality. Check them out on Amazon below for more specs and over 850 individual user reviews.
6. Pioneer TS-A1675R 3-Way TS Series Car Speakers
Lets face it, Pioneer is one of the biggest audio companies in the world right now. From head units, subwoofers, car speakers marine speakers, and home audio systems… they make it all in outstanding quality in most cases. Our #6 comes in as Pioneer’s TS-A1675R 3-way coaxial car speakers. These come in as 6.5″ inch all around, push out 300 watts of MAX power and 50 watts RMS power per speaker. The sound sensitivity is at 90dB and mounting depth is around 1.75″ inches.
Overall experience is good with these Pioneer speakers. If you’re looking for good hitting bass as well as the mid-range, these are perfect. Vocals could be better, but definitely not a deal breaker. Proper adjustments to the amp (if applicable) or EQ can balance things out. Take a look at these speakers on Amazon, along with more specs and a TON of extra user ratings.
5. Jaras JJ-2646 3-Way Car Speakers
Undoubtedly the best bang for the buck car speakers we reviewed to date, Jaras JJ-2646 car speakers fit in the same category as the previously mentioned car speakers. Although a unique cobalt blue color, these speakers are 6.5″ inches all around and boast a maximum power rating of 360 watts (RMS should be around 180). To bring out the mids and high notes, these speakers feature a 1″ inch neodymium film dome for midrange audio and a 0.75″ inch Piezo tweeter for high notes and vocals.
These cheap car speakers provide bass is good, along with clear high notes. Make sure they fit your vehicle before ordering, as it can be a bit frustrating when fitment isn’t quite right. They come with all the necessary wires and screws to have them installed properly. Check them out on Amazon for a few more specs, along with additional user reviews.
4. JBL GTO628 2-Way Car Speakers
Coming in as our #4 best car speakers to buy, are the JBL GTO628 2-way car speakers. One of the more reputable companies for sure, JBL’s car speakers are 6.5″ inches all around pushing out 180 watts of peak power and 80-90 RMS running power. The “Plus One” woofer cone is surrounded by rubber, allowing you to experience deeper and more responsive bass levels. Being a True 4-ohm speaker, low-impendence speaker voice coils extract more power from your amp for improved performance (better than high-impendence coils).
They also feature an adjustable 1″ inch mylar-titanium tweeter with variable level controls, allowing you to have crispier high notes (treble and high notes is where these speakers shine). Overall mounting depth is around 2.15″ inches, and both speakers come mounting brackets to do the install. **Does not come with any wiring or connectors. Take a look at these JBL speakers, though not the cheapest, they provide good sound quality that most can’t complain about.
3. Alpine SPS-610C 2-Way Car Speakers
When you think of prmium brand automotive speakers, which brand comes to mind? Alpine, that’s who! Coming in as our #3 set of car speakers are Alpine SPS-610C 6.5″ component 2-way speakers. These Type-S series car speakers put out impressive mid to high notes. The 1″ inch wide-range silk dome tweeters help to bring out vocals in the midst of high bass levels. Grills do come sold separately, but that’s not really a deal breaker for the type of sound these put out.
Rated as mid-level car speakers, they work great with their sibling subwoofers like the Type S, or even Type R. It’s important to break them in in order to get the best sound quality possible. Break-in period will usually take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour of constant playing audio. For Alpines, 70 dollars for the pair is quite fair. See them on Amazon for more specs and additional user feedback.
For Alpines, 70 dollars for the pair is quite fair. See them on Amazon for more specs and additional user feedback.
2. Infinity Reference 6032CF 2-Way Car Speakers
Moving down to high-performance speakers for cars, the Infinity Reference 6032CF 6.5″ inch 2-way speakers are an excellent upgrade from OEM and even cheap aftermarket speakers. These in particular come in a pair of two for around 50 dollars, the performance numbers they put out are quite good at 4 ohm’s, 180 peak watts and 60 RMS watts.
There’s more cone surface area which increases bass output and improves efficiency. The provided center tweeter can be adjusted clockwise and counter-clockwise to point into the listeners direction. This enables the speakers to point the sound directly to the listeners, allowing for much better quality and ability to capture more sound.
Lastly, the tweeters are also adjustable in levels. For instance if you have the speakers located down low where sound is too “bright”, you can switch from 0 dB to +3 dB. Overall, these are great for any given car speaker system (as long as you wire them correctly).
Check the Infinity Reference 6032CF high-performance speakers on their official Amazon page (below).
1. Kicker DS65 2-Way Car Speakers
Coming in as our #1 best car speakers to buy are the Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coax Professional Grade car door speakers. You know Kicker makes some sick subwoofers, and you better believe their car component speakers are amazing! The exterior shell is durable and not flimsy at all. Using their extended coils, you’ll hear cleaner and deeper bass (compared to regular sized coils). Where it really shines are the mid and high-level notes, using the titanium-dome tweeters with oversized coils for crispy vocals and high-level audio. Although bass is pretty good, the mid and high-level notes are where these speakers SHINE.
45 dollars gets you two of these speakers, pair them up with one or two Kicker subwoofers to get one amazing system. Check out their official Amazon page!
With your entire system put together, a good quality car battery is what will make everything work in harmony. There’s a guide we created for you so you can go ahead and pick a good battery, one that will crank over vehicles in any weather condition and on heavy electrical load. Also, keep in mind that using a high quality auxiliary cord can make a fairly significant difference. Check out our guide for that as well.
Buyers Guide and FAQ for the Best Car Speakers
Now that you have read our top ten best products and have hopefully shortlisted your favorite new speakers to buy you might still have a few questions that you need answering. For this reason, we have added a buying guide and frequently asked question section to help you make an informed choice to get the best from your car audio system.
Features You Should Consider When you Buy Car Speakers
The first question to ask really is are you just going to upgrade the speakers or will you be investing in an upgraded car audio sound system. If you are upgrading your car audio then you’ll want to match the speakers to other new components you might be purchasing such as amplifiers.
If you have a preferred type of music you like listening then there are certain features you’ll want to look out for. If you like hip hop you might consider the need for some extra bass. Lovers of rock music might prefer higher tones when listening to their favorite bands. If you don’t listen to any particular genre of music you might choose to go for a balanced subwoofer for the best of all worlds. The speaker that has a heavy bass sound can be distracting and cause a loss of concentration for some drivers. It might be best to look for sound quality over a throbbing bass.
A speaker’s capability for power handling is shown by RMS and Watts Peak Power. When you are purchasing a speaker these measurements will let you know how much power it can handle. The most important rating of the two is the RMS as it will measure the maximum amount of power the speaker can continuously handle. The Watts Peak Power rating will show how much power the speaker can handle instantly. If the speaker is subjected to more power than is indicated by RMS or Peak Power it will become damaged. Mismatching the power outputs of your car audio components can result in your speakers blowing.
The sensitivity of a speaker is an important factor to look out for. Sensitivity is measured in decibels. You are best to look for high sensitivity, a speaker with a 90 dB sensitivity rating or more would be fine for a Low-powered car audio system.
Before you purchase new speakers you’ll need to consider the size, you can measure the old ones you are replacing or find out the specifications for the speakers based on the model of your car. You’ll also want to make sure that the speaker is compatible with the output of your existing car audio system unless you are planning on upgrading it as well. Speakers will come in a range of sizes but the most popular speaker size is 6.5 inches. For a smaller dash speaker, you might consider a 4×5 or for a back door speaker, a 5.25-inch.
Even though your speakers are inside your car they will still be subjected to a range of temperatures the materials that the different components are made of will have an impact on their sound and quality.
The surround is an important factor for the longevity of your speakers and for how they perform. The most popular and durable material for surrounds tends to be rubber and should protect your speaker against extreme temperatures and humidity. Other materials for surrounds include cloth and foam, these are usually cheaper but should still be durable enough.
A woofer cone needs to be made from a material that is lightweight but still stiff for both component and coaxial speakers. Polypropylene is often used as well as synthetics coated with titanium or aluminum. Woofer cone materials properties are chosen to perform well in the cold, hot and humid conditions.
For the tweeters, it will come down to individual preference to what materials are used. This is because different materials will produce a different sound. Softer materials such as silk will give a more refined sound, while hard materials such as graphite and ceramic would produce better sounding highs.
As you’ve probably realized speakers can vary greatly in price from low budget options to ones that cost hundreds of bucks. The best thing to do is to decide on a budget and stick with it. If you’ve checked out our best ten speakers above then you’ll see that there are options for all budgets. While having great quality audio set up in your car will bring you hours of joy while driving it won’t necessarily add value if you come to sell your car so have that in mind. Though some buyers may appreciate a nice stereo and speaker set up. Of course, if you did decide to sell the in car speakers can easily be removed and reinstalled in another vehicle.
Before you set a budget and decide on the best speakers you should also consider features that you might want to purchase. Maybe you’ll want to buy some detachable tweeters or ones that pivot. Pivoting tweeters are great for installing in cars with tight spaces; they also give your passengers the option to rotate the speakers. If you are looking to build an all-round quality sound system and have a new car, you might want to replace the stock amplifier with one that has a better sound quality.
Types of Speakers
These are the types of speakers that are responsible for producing frequencies at low to mid-range in a speaker system. You’ll find that they are lightweight and usually made from polypropylene
These types of speakers produce the lowest sounds usually below 180 hertz and they usually range from 8 to 15 inches in size. The subwoofer will provide you with a cleaner bass sound, if you like your drum beats to pop out then a subwoofer will be an integral part of your car’s sound system.
These speakers are usually between 3.5 to 6.5 inches in size. They target the middle range of the sound spectrum, between 500 Hz-4 kHz. Most instruments and vocals are produced at this frequency. While a full range speaker system will split the frequencies for the high and low ranges between the woofers and tweeters a component system will send everything in between to the midrange speakers.
These are responsible for high notes that standard mid-range speakers and subwoofers are unable to play. They provide rich detail to vocals and instruments and are the speakers for car audiophiles who want to hear every nuance of high tones without any loss. Tweeters are the smallest type of speaker and aren’t that powerful but if you want great sound for your car they are worth having.
Different Kinds of Speaker Systems
When you are looking to purchase new speakers for your vehicle opting for component or coaxial speakers will be one of your major decisions. Both types have advantages and disadvantages. For those on a budget coaxial is likely to the preferred speaker system as they are more affordable and you can easily install them yourself.
Component Speaker Systems
As you can probably guess, component speaker systems are made up of separate components including woofers, tweeters, and subwoofers combined with crossovers that work in tandem to offer a superior sound quality. The crossovers make sure that higher frequencies go to the tweeters and lower frequencies to the woofers. With component speakers, you get a higher quality and crisper sound quality and as the parts are all separate you can move the different sections around. You’ll find that these speaker systems are the best you can buy and are made from high-quality components.
This all comes at a price as they are a lot more expensive than full-range speakers and with all the customized accessories available it’s very easy to spend a lot of money. They are also more difficult to install and unless you have some expertise in this area it’s probably best to let someone in the know fit them.
Coaxial Speaker Systems
These types of speaker car systems are also known as full-range systems all the components such as the woofer and tweeter are combined. Coaxial speakers are the regular speakers that you are likely to find in cars going back to the seventies. For most drivers, these are the most affordable option and they can still offer good sound quality if you choose the best coaxial speakers. If you plan on installing your speakers yourself then coaxial speakers are much easier to install than component speakers. The disadvantages of full-range speaker systems are that you don’t have the same opportunities to customize them and of course, sound quality is compromised by taking the less expensive option.
The Best Speakers For Your Car FAQ
➡️ Can you install your speakers yourself?
While we recommend that you get a professional to install component speakers installing coaxial speakers isn't that difficult.
These are the basic steps required to fit full range speakers.
Assuming that you have checked the dimensions of the speakers to match up with the ones you are replacing you'll need to get all the tools together that might be required for the installation. Hopefully, you have a fairly extensive toolbox you'll likely need some or all of these items, screwdrivers, wire cutters, socket, and Allen wrenches, drill, crimping tool, file, panel popper tool, and electrical tape. You might find you need other tools depending on the speakers you are fitting.
Disconnect the battery of your vehicle.
Start off by disconnecting the battery this will prevent you from getting an electric shock and your car's electronics from short-circuiting.
Remove the speaker panels
The existing speaker will be protected by some type of grill or paneling and this will need to be removed. You should be able to pry it off with a screwdriver and if necessary remove any screws or bolts.
Remove the old speaker
The speaker is typically connected to a wiring harness so be careful when removing it. You might need to unscrew bolts and there could also be glue or adhesive to chip away at before you can remove the speaker.
Connect the new speaker
To connect your replacement speaker to the vehicle's electrical system is usually straightforward; you just plug the wiring harness of your new speaker into the vehicle's wiring harness.
Now it's time to test the speaker. Reconnect the battery and turn on your car's stereo, hopefully, it will be working fine and you'll have sound emitting from your brand new speaker! If it's not working it means you have an issue with the electrical connection.
Secure your speaker
If you've tested the speaker and it's working fine then you can go ahead and secure it into place. It might fit nicely in the original speaker's housing but it might need some other method to hold it in place. Check the instructions that come with the speaker that you have purchased.
Replace the panels
All you need to do now is replace the panels that you originally removed to install the speakers and your job is complete. Take the car for a drive and play your favorite songs!
➡️ How much power will I require for my speakers?
RMS is the most important specification that you should concentrate on when selecting your speakers. The amount of power they require is decided by their RMS (Root Mean Square) power. In general the higher the RMS the better the quality of sound. This will also depend on if you are using an external amplifier or not. If you don't then lower RMS speakers might be the best option. If you wish to install a speaker that has a higher RMS then you will want to use an external amp with an RMS number that matches the speaker. If there's a big difference between the RMS rating of the amplifier and speakers it will mean that they are likely to be underpowered or overpowered which could prove a risk to your speakers.
➡️ If speakers have a high sensitivity rating will they sound better?
Sensitivity end efficiency ratings don't inform you how good a speaker will sound. The rating only indicates how effective your speakers are at converting power into volume. You'll find that budget-priced speakers that have low sensitivity ratings will often sound really good especially when combined with a decent external amplifier.
➡️ What's the difference between 2-way and 3-way speakers?
We have already discussed 2-way speakers as they are also called coaxial. These are the most affordable and popular type of speaker for a vehicle. They consist of a woofer for the low frequencies and a tweeter for the high frequencies. 3-way speakers also have a tweeter and woofer but additionally include a mid-range speaker for the mid-range frequencies.
➡️ What is a 4-way speaker?
With a 4-way speaker, there is an extra tweeter added to the components improving the high-range audio quality. So this speaker consists of two tweeters, a woofer cone, and a mid-range cone.
➡️ How many speakers do I need?
This will come down to the size of your budget and the size of your vehicle. The majority of speaker systems will come with 2 or 4 speakers. If the vehicle you are planning to upgrade is an RV or a van you are more than likely want more. It will also depend on the power of your speakers and where they are situated, any from our top ten list should be fine for a standard-sized car but if you have a larger vehicle such as an RV you might have to invest in a larger set or double up.
➡️ Do I need a car audio amp?
While it's not totally necessary it will enhance the quality of sound that you experience in your vehicle. There are many different types available to buy so if you are considering purchasing one and are on a budget you'll still be catered for. In most cases, it will improve your audio experience and give you more flexibility for your vehicle's audio system.
➡️ Will better speakers improve the sound of my radio?
Unfortunately not, even the best speakers won't have any effect on FM radio signals. You'll likely notice that the radio quality fluctuates as you drive especially when you are driving in urban environments.
Summary and Recap
Now you’ve checked out our ten best speakers and read our detailed buying guide and FAQ. You should be all set to purchase a great new set for your vehicle. Now you know what to look out for you should be better informed in your buying decisions. Usually, you’ll find even the most affordable and budget-friendly speakers will be an improvement of the stock factory models.
Our top-rated product is the Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coax Professional Grade speakers. This is a great value set that gets some great reviews online and combined with a couple of Kicker subwoofers you’ll have an enviable speaker system installed. Adding extras to your audio set up such as subwoofers, a head unit, and an amplifier will really make a difference if you want to enjoy the best quality sound in your car.