Getting the best 6.5 component speakers for your car isn’t an easy or straightforward decision. There are many factors involved when looking for the right ones, and much of it is down to personal taste.
There are many high quality speakers out there, both component and coaxial, but in this review I’m going to decipher the best component speakers, to save you the reader time.
First thing to know is the difference with component speakers and coaxial speakers. In short, a coaxial speaker contains a mid-range and a tweeter all together in one piece. In a component-speaker set, your woofer, tweeter, and often even the crossover are all separate parts.
As well as more control with the separate components, component speakers use a more advanced crossover design that filters unwanted sound frequencies from reaching the woofer or tweeter.
Component speakers are more popular among true audiophiles than the limited coaxial speakers as they give you more control over your listening experience. That’s not to say coaxial speakers aren’t good, because they certainly are, but for this review I’m going to introduce the best 6.5 component speakers. If you want 6.5 coaxial speakers, however, you should check out this review.
What’s The Best 6.5 Component Speakers For Clarity?
|6.5 Component Speakers||RMS||Sensitiity||Impedance||Frequency Response|
|Morel Maximo Ultra||90||90.5||4 Ω||50 - 20k Hz|
|Infinity-Reference-6530CX||90||93||3 Ω||53 - 21k Hz|
|Focal PS165F Flax||70||91.6||4 Ω||60 - 28k Hz|
|JBL CLUB6500C||60||92||3 Ω||55 - 20k Hz|
|Rockford P165SI||60||88||4 Ω||44 - 20k Hz|
|Alpine R-S65C||100||88||4 Ω||65 - 29k Hz|
|Kicker 43CSS654 CSS65||100||90||4 Ω||35 - 21k Hz|
|Rockford R165-S R1 Prime||40||89||4 Ω||60 - 20k Hz|
|MB Quart ZC1-216||60||88||4 Ω||20 - 20k Hz|
|Rockford Fosgate T1650-S||80||88||4 Ω||47 - 20k Hz|
1. Morel Maximo Ultra – Best 6.5 Component Speakers For The Money
Morel has a long-standing reputation for making high-fidelity speakers that give quality sound, and their Maximo Ultra line is a range of excellent entry-level for component speakers. This set of 2-way component drivers contains two mids, two crossovers, two tweeters and two woofers.
The 6.5 inch speaker’s soft dome 1 inch tweeter employs Morel’s external voice coil technology (EVC), and it offers arguably the best power handling and low distortion for beautiful and crisp mid to highs.
With an impressive 90W RMS, and a high-grade ferrite magnet motor that delivers increased magnetic energy, with higher power handling and better efficiency, which helps produce loud, crisp volume.
The crossover network is built to handle more power than the speakers need, which minimizes component saturation and help the speaker against distortion.
The treated paper composite woofer cone with butyl rubber surround allows for tight, and crisp bass, even at higher volumes.
When playing music that needs a more authoritative midrange and midbass, this set performs very well. If you’re willing to pay close on $300 for your speakers, then it’s safe to say these are the best 6 1/2 speakers for overall sound quality.
2. Infinity Reference 6530CX – Best 2-Way 6.5 Component Speakers
These 6.5 2-way component speakers deliver big on sound quality, and for a decent price. First launched in 2018, the speakers impress on sound thanks to the edge-driven textile tweeters that deliver clean and very well rounded highs.
With 90W RMS these speakers pack an impressive punch with or without an external amplifier, but at 53 Hz – 21k Hz the frequency range is limited compared with most other speakers on my list.
The 6 1/2 component speakers utilize Infinity’s Plus One oversized woofer, which produces a higher bass output and enhanced midrange performance and ensures sound is spread easily around the car, no matter what size it is.
It must be said, however, the bass is a little underwhelming, even if 6.5 car speakers aren’t designed for bass. Anyone desiring deep bass, therefore, should look for a full set up with these 6.5s included as these will give a great all round sound quality in a full system set up.
The versatile baskets make these an easy installation, making them the perfect factory upgrade. Overall, these give an excellent highs, and with good midbass the sound quality is very crisp and clear.
3. Focal PS165F Flax – Best High-End 6.5 Component Speakers For Your Vehicle
These Focal drivers are the best 6.5 component speakers for anyone who can afford more than $500. Made in France and all I can say is ohh la la!
They’re obviously not cheap, but as with most things in life: you get what you pay for and these car speakers are quite simply the best 6.5 drivers on the market.
Even if you’re driving with the roof open, or even on a motorcycle you’ll still hear your music loud and clear with this high-performance 6.5″ component speaker set.
The speaker is made with a flax and glass fiber woofer with butyl rubber surround aluminum frame basket, 2 inch processed aluminum/magnesium inverted tweeters, and 2-way external crossover with 2-position tweeter level control (-3 dB or 0 dB).
With 4-ohm impedance, and 70W RMS the speakers produce ultra clear sounds for any genre of music, even at maximum volume.
The 2-inch inverted dome tweeter produces rich and clean highs, leaving the flax and glass fiber woofer to produce exquisite midbass.
The speaker is made of rigid cast aluminium baskets with the Focal branding cast into them. They’re really well made and all the other parts speaker pods, wiring, crossovers etc are all high quality.
They’re known for being awkward to install, so spending so much on perfection, I would recommend getting them professionally installed, unless you know exactly what you’re doing. That said, these are the best 6.5 component speakers, and if you can afford them, you will defintely enjoy them.
4. JBL CLUB6500C – Best 6.5 Component Speakers For Under $100
If you want a solid and overall good quality speaker at a reasonable price to replace your car’s factory speakers, then this JBL CLUB6500C is a good deal.
This set of 6.5 inch speakers 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.
A 3-ohm impedance allows you to easily pull the power with an OEM radio. Each speaker has a 50W RMS, so they’re not the most powerful, especially if you really like the volume up.
That said, they do drive some crystal clear melodies, and they’re not lacking in midbass once they’re broken in. And with a high-sensitivity design the tweeters produce some crisp high notes.
To be honest, these speakers are not for high-fidelity enthusiasts, but they sound great if you don’t consider yourself an audio aficionado. That said, you can expect a good response from the mid-bass with clear vocals and a fairly warm sound overall.
If you drive a subwoofer with these car speakers and a good amplifier they will all be very complimentary to each other, and your car will shake if that’s your thing. Buyers recommend getting at least a 10 inch subwoofer to go with these.
5. Rockford P165SI Punch – Great 6.5 Midrange Speakers with Concealed Crossover
The Punch plays its music with a punch and is a great upgrade from your factory speakers. The main advantage to this set of 6.5 inch component speakers is its built-in crossover, which means you won’t need to mount any of those black boxes you’d normally have with other systems.
When you order these, you’re getting a total of four speakers, or two mids and two PEI dome tweeters. The speakers drive a high dynamic range almost like an expander would, so you’ll be surprised by how loud the music goes even with a slight twist of the volume.
The set is a pair of 2-way midrange speakers (with built in crossover) and 1 inch tweeters. The cone is made of injection molded mineral filled polypropylene, with a santoprene rubber surround, ensuring high output and accurate frequency reproduction.
The 4-ohm 6 1/2 driver powers some clarity at high volumes, thanks to the 60W RMS, even without an external amplifier. Utilizing Punch’s FlexFit2 basket design the slot mounted frame pattern, allows for variable adjustments, making sure the sound is easily distributed around your vehicle.
The 6.5 component speakers don’t need an amplifier to sound good if you don’t really need lots of bass. That said, the internal crossover dims down most bass frequencies because it’s meant to work with an additional amplifier and subwoofer, so ideally they work better in a full car audio stereo set up.
6. Alpine R-Series R-S65C – Dependable Car Speakers at a Decent Price
Alpine is a well-trusted brand of speakers in the car audio industry. BMW and Mercedes factories have often had Alpine speakers installed and for good reason.
This set of 6.5 Inch Component 2-Way Speakers comes with two woofers, two tweeters and two external crossovers, and at 100W RMS, 4 Ohm Frequency Response they drive some loud and clear music.
Alpine’s legacy Type-R speakers are well known for their loudness, and the company has taken all the best parts of Type-R and improved it with its R-Series speakers, and these 2-way drivers prove Alpine continue to deliver.
The speaker has an Ultra Smooth 1 inch Silk Dome Tweeter, which produces some high fidelity, and a new ring-type tweeter voice coil for increased efficiency and better tonal balance across the entire sound band.
Added with Alpine’s Wave Guide technology, which is a phase plug in the center of the woofer cone, it enhances in-car sound dispersion and helps eliminate phase distortion, helping the driver deliver some crystal clear sounds at high volumes.
Although with 65Hz-29kHz frequency response is a bit limited, but you shouldn’t be buying 6.5 component speakers for their bassline anyway.
Type-R speakers have been known for their dependability and sound performance. The quality of the material with these R-S65-C ensures you’ll get long lasting enjoyment, and possibly the best 6.5 component speakers in this price range.
7. Kicker 46CSS654 – Best Full Range 6.5″ Car Speakers
Kicker CS-Series is famous for delivering remarkable performance and ultra-clean bass, and these full range 6.5 component speakers maintain that brand image.
With a continuous power rating of 100W RMS, these 4-Ohm Kicker speakers drive some power for those that like it loud, and let me tell you, they are loud.
The set includes a pair of 6.5 inch woofers with grilles, a pair of crossovers, and a pair of 3/4 inch tweeters with attached grilles with 3 different mounting options: flush, surface, angled.
The woofer design produces an unmatched sound thanks to the sturdy cones, ribbed surrounds and Extended Voice Coil (EVC) technology. Added with the inbuilt phase plugs, which help eliminate any distortion, and these 6 1/2 component speakers drive some clear and accurate sounds at high volumes.
The heavy-duty motor structures deliver remarkable bass response and smooth midrange, while the titanium tweeter and heavy duty neodymium magnets controls the highs with such authority, no matter what music genre you play.
The 6.5 speaker is also equipped with UV-treated polypropylene cones with tough ribbed surrounds, 12dB crossovers and a three-position tweeter switch that help you manipulate the highs to your liking, all of which makes these the best full-range car speakers for this size.
And the best things is, these Kicker CS Series speakers are very affordable. For the price, I believe they’re an excellent upgrade from your factory speakers, especially if you like your music loud and clear.
8. Rockford R165-S R1 Prime – Budget Component Speakers For Factory Upgrade
The second set of Rockford speakers on my list and like the other more expensive Rockfords, these deliver the brands famous sound quality, but at a more affordable price. I’m putting these along with the JBLs as the best budget component speakers.
The set includes 2x half-inch mylar-balanced dome tweeters with integrated crossovers that accommodate flush, surface and angle mounting so you can manipulate the highs to your liking. 2x 6.5 inch woofers that utilize mica injected polypropylene cone for extended frequency response.
The sensitivity is a bit low at 89 dB as is the 40W RMS continuous power handling, but this is sufficient for most people, unless you like your car to really shake.
The Frequency Response is 60 Hz – 20k Hz is rather standard, too, but for under $100 you’re getting a good set of speakers that make for a good factory upgrade.
They’re probably not an audiophile’s choice of 6.5 component speakers, but seriously, they sound good, and thanks to the inbuilty crossovers, they’re easy to install, too.
Although they work well as a factory replacement, getting a decent subwoofer with a low-pass crossover on the amp will really compliment these speakers and the sound will be nice, loud and crisp.
9. MB Quart ZC1-216 – Best 6.5 Component Speakers For Sound Quality
These 6.5 component speakers from MB Quartz are a high quality driver that are made to last, and produce fantastic overall sound to your car stereo system.
The main selling point for these component speakers are the ceramic coated, 1.4 inch titanium dome tweeters, which offer some fantastic highs.
The ceramic coating helps reduce overtones and harmonic distortions that can occur when using speakers like these at higher power levels. This tweeter ensures the speaker system produces the highest sound quality, while eradicating distortion, making for some unbelievably resonating highs.
The set also includes 2 mid-range speakers with an oversized thermal polypropylene cone, which delivers impactful midbass and is perfectly matched to the Butyl Rubber Surround that helps drive warm and powerful sounds at higher volumes.
The 60W RMS power handling is good enough, even if these speakers are on the expensive side. Many people get caught up on RMS, thinking if it isn’t a certain height, the speakers won’t shake the car, but these speakers are loud.
Added with the lightweight aluminum Voice Coil which helps dissipate the heat, not only ensures the speakers can play loud volumes for extended periods of time, but it also means you’re getting something built to last.
The speaker has a larger than normal radiating dome, which helps create louder acoustics and a smoother toned sound. Another selling point of these drivers is the Removable Phase Lens. This allows you to customize your listening experience with “dispersion tuning, which is basically more control over the soundscape of your car audio system. It does this by removing any harsh frequencies, so your midrange and tweeters can produce the sounds they are made to produce.
The MB Quartz 6.5 speakers aren’t cheap, but they offer a fuller sound with beautiful harmonies, and with unbelievable clarity, with or without an external amplifier. Whether you make these speakers a part of a full car stereo upgrade or just a factory replacement, they will make a huge difference and you will be pleased with your purchase.
10. Rockford Fosgate T1650-S – Fantastic Midbass And Extremely Durable 6.5 Component Speakers
My third Rockford Fosgate pick. I’m not a salesperson for Rockford, honestly, but they are known for the excellence, and these speakers are unbelievable, albeit expensive.
You’ll appreciate the highly durable construction of these 6.5 woofers. They’re made from injection moulded, carbon fiber and polypropylene cone with santoprene-type rubber surrounds, which is much more durable than standard rubber.
This helps with the durability because after a while, standard rubber will eventually cracks and goes brittle, whereas santoprene remains firm, making these an excellent choice for motorcycles and boats, too.
The cones are made of a compound of polypropylene and carbon that is extremely strong and resistant to wear and tear, and the material helps the speaker push some crisp and accurate melodies.
The 1 inch tweeter’s clear highs balance out the heavy bass nicely, and help make these a one of the best car speakers for sound quality. This is helped by the dedicated external 2-way crossover network, which has selectable tweeter levels with axis switching that adjusts the high frequencies for you.
The power handling is an impressive 80W RMS, and ensures the speaker drives a clear soundscape for lengthy periods. At 47 – 20,000 Hz frequency is a bit limited, but if you want deeper lows, you’re better getting a subwoofer or two anyway.
The separate midrange helps with the accuracy of the music reproduction, allowing the driver to distribute the music around the car quite easily.
Even though these component speakers work efficiently with most types of stock stereos or common head units, getting yourself a quality amplifier really does make a big difference.
Whatever you choose, these speakers will give your soundscape the energetic burst it needs. The bass is so precise, even on its own, but as already stated: part of a full car stereo system and BOOOM!
Car Speaker Buyer’s Guide
Are 6.5 Speakers Better Than 6×9 Speakers?
That’s the ongoing debate that literally has no definitive answer. Some 6.5 speakers beat 6×9 speakers in some departments and the opposite can also be said.
It depends where you’re putting your speakers, too. Are they in the head unit, the front or rear doors etcetera. There’s lots of different factors to working out which speaker is best.
This includes your taste in music and the sound you’re actually wanting. Many people agree that 6 1/2 speakers are better for mids and highs, whereas, you’ll get better bass out of a 6×9 speaker.
However, if you’re pairing speakers with a subwoofer or two, you’re probably better getting some 6.5 speakers, which will give you a better all around sound quality. It’s really all about you and what you’re wanting form your speakers.
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.
That’s not to say you don’t get fantastic sounds from coaxial speakers, because you do. It’s just pound for pound componnent speakers are better for all around sound.
The way a component audio system works goes like this:
First, your music passes through the head unit, which then transmits your music as a low-level signal to your amplifier. Some head units have a lot of options to adjust bass, treble and other things as well.
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 delivering strong bass. As with everything else in the car audio industry, however, there’s no definitive answer and much of it is about personal taste.
What’s more, component speakers are designed specifically for midbass, and 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.
So, getting the best component speakers for bass really depends on your whole system, and how you match it all up. If you get a good quality amplifier or two, and a subwoofer or two, all of the above car audio speaker sets will produce some amazing sounds and of course some amazing bass, but how deep you want it is up to you.
RMS Power Rating: How much power do I need for my new speakers?
Power handling means the highest input of power allowed to flow through your speakers. You should match this with your amplifier, because sending too much power from your amp can cause overheating, distortion, and permanent damage yo your speakers.
There are two power ratings to bear in mind when comparing speakers, Peak Power and RMS (Root Mean Square) Power and both are measured in watts (W). Peak Power is the maximum it can take in short bursts, while RMS is the amount of power your speakers can handle continuously.
Peak Power will likely be double that of your RMS, but you shouldn’t try and maximise your peak power too often as it will shorten the life of your system.
When matching your speakers with a good amp go with the RMS rating, because this is the average power the speakers can handle while being used on a regular basis without experiencing distortion or faults.
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 partnered with an external amplifier.
Most speakers can actually handle about 25 percent extra power than their listed RMS rating, so a speaker that is rated for 100W RMS could safely handle 125W RMS.
Be careful, however, because if you push the 125W amplifier to its limits you’re back in the same boat and your speakers will eventually die a hard death. And be kind to your speakers and to your ears: if the music sounds bad, its’ bad for the speakers and probably your ears.
What is Sensitivity Rating?
Sensitivity rating refers to measurement in decibels (dB), and is a rating that tells you how loud your speakers will play with the amount of power you have from your amplifier.
Although everything is important, many people believe sensitivity is the main spec to look for when choosing some good car speakers.
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.
Be careful with the sensitivity, however, because cheaply made speakers with high sensitivity may have compromised other components, so finding the right balance is important.
|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 car speakers?
New sound engineers continue to work on designing speakers that can deliver more sound with less parts. For example, News18.com reported Ac2ated Sound is developing an innovative transducer that works with a copper-coil-wrapped magnet, with a goal of eliminating 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 its effect their ‘3D immersive sound.’ For now, you have any one of the above 10 great speaker systems to choose from. In the future, however, you can look forward to some great technological advancements in component speakers.
Getting the best 6.5 component speaker is not an easy job, but hopefully this review has shed some light on the nuances of each spec, and helped make your mind up. Fel free to comment and let share your experiences with your sound system.