When you’re ready to upgrade your vehicle’s audio system, how do you know which kind of speakers you should get?
For starters, many people often confuse coaxial speakers with component speakers. However, they’re quite different. In this guide, we’re going to review the best 6.5-inch component speakers. The main reason why component speakers are so popular is that they give you greater control over your audio experience and better-quality sound.
What is the Best 6.5 Component Speakers for Clarity?
|6.5 Component Speakers||RMS Watts||Sensitiity||Impedance (Ohms)||Frequency Response|
|Morel Maximo Ultra||90||90.5||4||50 - 20k Hz|
|Infinity-Reference- 6520cx||90||93||3||53 - 21k Hz|
|Focal PS165F Flax||70||91.6||4||60 - 28k Hz|
|Alpine R-S65C||100||88||4||65 - 29k Hz|
|JBL CLUB6500C||60||92||3||55 - 20k Hz|
|Polk Audio DB6502||100||92||4||35 - 23k Hz|
|Rockford P165SI||60||88||4||44 - 20k Hz|
|Kicker 43CSS654 CSS65||100||90||4||35 - 21k Hz|
|Rockford R165-S R1 Prime||40||89||4||60 - 20k Hz|
|MB Quart ZC1-216||60||88||4||20 - 20k Hz|
|Rockford Fosgate T1650-S||80||88||8||47 - 20k Hz|
1. Morel Maximo Ultra – Best for the Money
Manufactured in Israel, Morel has a long-standing reputation for making high-fidelity speakers that give quality sound. Their Maximo Ultra line is a range of excellent entry-level component speakers. This component set contains two mids, two crossovers, two tweeters and two woofers.
When playing music that requires a stronger mid-range and mid-bass, this set performs well. If your budget is anywhere between $100 to $250 maximum, then it’s hard to find a component set that would give you better sound quality than this one.
2. Infinity REF6520CX – Best Budget Speakers
People love how this set gives you a great sound upgrade from the original manufacturer’s speakers. Instead of paper cones and fairly small magnets like you find on the originally installed speakers, this set has fiberglass cones and magnets that are almost three times larger and heavier.
3. Focal PS165F Flax – High-End Component Speakers
Even if you’re driving with the windows down, you’ll still hear your music loudly and clearly with this premium 6.5 component set.
You can crank your tunes up to the maximum volume, and you still get sound neutral and clear.
This set includes two mid-bass parts, two tweeters and two crossovers. Although the RMS rating for input capability says 70 Watts, they do handle more power well. Customers can use them at 100 Watts RMS daily without a problem if they have an amplifier tuned correctly.
4. JBL CLUB6500C – Can Play Without Amp
If you want a reasonably priced speaker set to replace your car’s standard factory speakers, then this JBL model is a good deal. They operate at a lower ohm rating so you can power them with an OEM radio.
They’re not for high-fidelity enthusiasts, but they sound great for most people listening to popular music. You can expect a good response from the mid-bass with clear vocals and a fairly warm sound overall.
This set includes two woofers, two tweeters and all the installation parts you need, like mounting brackets and screws. Remember to check that you have the right speaker-wire adapters for your vehicle beforehand to avoid wiring problems.
If you’re a true audiophile, then you’ll probably think the sound from this set isn’t very powerful on its own. It can take a month or so to “break in” the bass. If you want to blast music, then you’ll want to buy an additional amplifier and subwoofer with this. Buyers recommend getting a subwoofer larger than 8 inches to go with it.
5. Rockford P165SI – Without External Crossover, Integrated Concealed Crossover
The main advantage to this set is that because it has a hidden crossover, you won’t need to mount any of those black boxes you’d normally have with other systems. Plus, this set definitely has more power than most factory-installed car speakers. It offers a high dynamic range almost like an expander would, so the music gets a lot louder even when you turn the volume up just a little.
They don’t need an amplifier to sound good if you prefer music without much bass. Still, you should note that the internal crossover dims down most bass frequencies because it’s supposed to work with an additional amplifier and subwoofer. Do not mistake this set for coaxial or full-range speakers because they’re not the same.
When you order it, you’re getting a total of four speakers, or two mids and two tweeters.
6. Alpine R-Series R-S65C – Dependable Performance at a Decent Price
Alpine is a well-trusted brand of speakers in the music community. BMW and Mercedes factories have often had Alpine speakers inside them for good reason.
Buyers have commented that listening to their music on these speakers while driving is almost like being in a concert hall.
This set comes with two subwoofers, two tweeters and two external crossovers.
7. Kicker 43CSS654 – Best Sound with a 50 Watt-Per-Channel Amp
The Kicker made this set with polypropylene cones that feature both ribbed and UV-treated surrounds. Set at a very affordable price, these speakers are powerful, taking 100 Watts RMS each.
Please note that these component systems really need a 50 Watt-per-channel amplifier at the minimum for you to get the full audio experience from them.
This set features two tweeters, two mids and two crossovers.
8. Rockford R165-S R1 Prime – Budget Speakers for the Factory Head Unit
The mylar-balanced dome tweeters in this set work well to give you crisp, clear sound with every instrument well-defined over the speakers. It even sounds good without an additional amplifier to the average listeners and represent a big improvement over the stock paper cones.
You get two tweeters and two woofers with grills in this set. It also comes with the parts you need for either flush or surface mounting in your vehicle. Comes with crossovers built inside the tweeters. You don’t need to buy an additional crossover unless you are particularly picky about splitting the higher frequencies from the lower frequencies.
To enhance the lower-range performance, it helps to install an additional 10-inch subwoofer with a low-pass crossover on the amplifier.
9. MB Quart ZC1-216 – Compact Design that Lasts
Some consider the clean sound from these speakers to be right on par with Polk, JBL and Infinity, which is excellent considering the lower price point.
This set includes four speakers. You get two tweeters and two mid-range speakers with their crossover. Plus, they include the hardware you need to mount them either flush with your interior or on the surface. To get the best results while listening to your music, use them with a high-quality deck like the Alpine brand and an additional amplifier.
Remember that because these speakers are not like coaxial ones, you have to mount the tweeters separately. Like other component systems, these tweeters belong in their own holes in the car’s interior.
10. Rockford Fosgate T1650-S – Superior Sound System with Good Midbass
You’ll appreciate the highly durable construction of these speakers, made from carbon fiber and polypropylene cone with Santoprene-type rubber surrounds. That means you can blast your music for hours without blowing them. The tweeter’s clear highs balance out the heavy bass nicely. People love how the external crossover network has selectable tweeter levels with axis switching that adjusts the high frequencies for you.
Plus, you do receive both flush-mounting and surface-mounting hardware with your purchase.
Even though these component speakers work efficiently with most types of stock stereos or common head units, an additional quality amplifier really does make a difference. That way, you can see how they perform at their full potential.
11. Polk Audio DB6502 DB+ Series – Waterproof and Dirt-Resistant
These speakers are ideal for those driving off-road since they can handle exposure to the elements. In this package, you’ll receive two tweeters, two subwoofers, crossovers and the wiring hardware you need for installation. If you use it with an amplifier like the Infinity Primus, then that helps a lot to bring out the best possible sound from this system. Audiophiles will prefer using it with head units that have separate adjustment settings for bass, treble and mid-range pitches.
Some people have blown out the tweeters because they accidentally played their music louder than their radio could handle. If you notice the sound “garbling” when you turn it up, then turn the volume back down. That means you need a radio with more power. Check the specifications of your vehicle’s head unit so that you know beforehand how compatible it will be with this system.
Please note that the tweeters in this set do mount separately. The best places to install them are usually on the side pillars of your interior or inside the front corners of your car’s dashboard.
What are the advantages of component speakers?
Now keep in mind, any set of speakers in which the mids, tweeters and crossovers are separate parts is a set of “component speakers.” Why is that good?
Mounting tweeters from a component set in separate locations inside your vehicle creates the ultimate surround-sound experience. Placing your tweeter in different locations gives better sound staging inside your car. That’s what drastically improves your overall listening experience.
The way a component audio system works goes like this:
First, your music passes through the head unit. Some head units have a lot of options to adjust bass, treble and other things as well. Your head unit transmits your music as a low-level signal to your amplifier.
Next, your amplifier enhances the signal and passes it through your crossover network to the tweeter and your “mid,” or mid-range frequency device. They work together to give you optimal sound quality by balancing all of the components.
Component speakers give you more freedom to tune your speakers. That’s why you can get much better sound from them in your car than most coaxial speakers or factory-installed speakers.
What 6.5-inch component speakers are best for bass?
According to most audio enthusiasts, Rockford and Focal have the best reputations for giving you strong bass.
You should keep in mind though that this is kind of a trick question. That’s because the manufacturers designed component speakers as mid-range managers. The whole point of a component set of speakers is to use them with an amplifier in order to see what they can really do.
RMS Power Rating: How much power do I need for my new speakers?
When you’re comparing speaker specifications, you will see two types. First, they list “RMS”, which represents the continuous power-handling capacity. Then they also list the peak or maximum capacity of power the speaker can handle. The most important specification to look at is the RMS rating.
For example, if your speaker has a 150 Watts RMS rating, then that means your speaker will handle 150 Watts of power without blowing out. The key point to remember from this rating is that you should get an amplifier that’s greater than 150 Watts to use with the speaker. Make sure you’re supplying your speaker with the right amount of power so that you don’t damage it.
As a general rule of thumb, lower RMS-rated speakers work better to power factory-installed or aftermarket stereos. Higher RMS-rated speakers work best when you use an external amplifier.
The truth is that most speakers can handle about 25 percent extra power than their listed RMS rating. That surplus of power will not shorten its lifespan.
For example, a speaker with a rating of 100 Watts RMS can easily handle up to 125 Watts RMS. However, it’s best not to push your amplifier beyond its limits because that will blow the speakers.
To give an example of acceptable power you can estimate that a speaker could receive 25% more power than its RMS rating and still have a long life. So a speaker that is rated for 100 watts RMS could safely handle 125 watts RMS. Of course, if you push the 125 watt amplifier to its limits you’re back in the same boat and your speakers will eventually die a hard death. Be kind to your speakers and to your ears. If your ears or the music sounds bad then turn it down. Your speakers and your ears are being damaged and your speakers are the only one that can be replaced.
What is a sensitivity rating?
The term sensitivity rating refers to measurement in decibels, or “dB.” It’s a rating that tells you how loud your speakers will play with the amount of power you have from your amplifier.
The higher the sensitivity rating is, or the greater the decibel number is of the rating, the less power you need to get the same amount of sound. When people talk about the most energy-efficient speakers, they’re often talking about this type of sensitivity rating.
|Tweeter||Silk, polyurethane for mellow sound. Metal, ceramics and graphite for brighter highs.|
|Woofer||Polypropylene best for bass. Woven fabrics or metal coated synthetics also be used.|
|Surround Materials||The best material is rubber. Foam and cloth surrounds are less expensive.|
What’s in the future of component speakers for vehicles?
New sound engineers continue to work on designing speakers that can deliver more sound with less parts. For example, News18.com reported that Ac2ated Sound is developing an innovative transducer that works with a copper-coil-wrapped magnet.
The goal is to eliminate the need for subwoofers or tweeters. They’re giving the speakers the ability to resonate different-frequency pitches off of the existing interior parts of your car. They call the effect of it as their “3D immersive sound.” For now, you have any one of the above 11 great speaker systems to choose from. In the future, however, you can look forward to some great technological advancements in component speakers.