Are you thinking of upgrading your car audio system and in need of the best 6.5 speakers? Who doesn’t want a better system? It makes all the difference and makes your drive more enjoyable tenfold.
In a car stereo makeover, a solid pair of 6.5 car speakers can take your music from drab to dramatic. Still, with hundreds of speakers on the market, it can be difficult to hone in on just one set.
To help you out, I’ve chosen 10 best 6 1/2 speakers in the review below. Not only that, after the review, there’s a Buyer’s Guide with all the FAQs floating around for anyone who’s still unsure what to get.
What Are The Best 6.5 Speakers For A Car?
|6.5 Speakers||RMS Watts||Speaker Type||Sensitivity (dB)||Impedance||Frequency Response|
|Kicker 43DSC6504||60||2-way||90||4 Ω||40 - 20k Hz|
|Infinity REF6522IX||55||2-way||93||3 Ω||57 - 21k Hz|
|Rockford Fosgate PPS4-6||100||1-way||92.5||4 Ω||85 - 5k Hz|
|JBL CLUB6520||50||2-way||92||3 Ω||55 - 20k Hz|
|HERTZ HCX 165||100||2-way||92||4 Ω||55 - 22k Hz|
|Rockford Fosgate R165X3||45||3-way||91||4 Ω||52 - 20k Hz|
|Kenwood KFC-1665S||30||2-way||92||4 Ω||35 - 22k Hz|
|Alpine R-S65||100||2-way||88||4 Ω||65 - 29k Hz|
|Polk DB652||100||2-way||92||4 Ω||40 - 22k Hz|
|Pioneer TS-D65F||90||2-way||85||4 Ω||32 - 49k Hz|
1. Kicker 43DSC6504 – Best 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers For Factory Replacement
The Kicker 43DSC6504 240-watt two-way coaxial car speakers are one of the best selling speakers on the markets, because they offer a huge improvement in sound quality when upgrading your factory speakers, without an external amplifier and at a reasonable price.
The sound of this Kicker DS speaker is crisp and well-balanced thanks to the 6.5-inch rigid polypropylene cone woofers and the zero protrusion PEI domed tweeters. It’s all supported by the stamped steel framework supports and a ribbed, UV-treated foam surround, all of which ensures the speakers produce excellent midbass and crisp highs.
The speakers boast 90 decibel (dB) sensitivity and a frequency range between 40 Hz – 20k Hz, and an impedance of 4 ohms. Kicker recommends an amplifier power of up to 60 watts RMS, like this Kicker CXA800.1 Subwoofer amplifier.
The KICKER DS coaxial speaker range is famous for easy installation as they fit nearly any vehicle door, making these a perfect fit for a factory speaker upgrade. Not only that, the difference in sound quality is fantastic, and for the price range are arguably the best 6.5 car speakers on the market.
On top of that, the 6.5 speakers come with modern grilles and include good quality screws, clips and wire connectors, which isn’t always the case with new car speaker sets. All in all, these speakers are great, and they will enhance the soundscape of your car no end.
2. Infinity Reference Series REF6522IX – The Best Full Range Coaxial 6.5 Inch Car Speakers
The Infinity REF-6522IX are great speakers for replacing worn factory 6.5-inch speakers. These impressive full range coaxial drivers boast oversized polypropylene woofer cones with hi-roll rubber surrounds that deliver higher bass output and enhanced midrange performance.
The 6 1/2 inch Reference car speakers boast a 1-inch edge-driven textile dome tweeters that deliver smooth and clear highs, and these and the sister component speaker set boast an adjustable tweeter output level control for high-frequency optimization.
Infinity’s Reference speakers are audiophile-grade tweeters used that deliver smooth, non-fatiguing sound even at high output levels.
The speakers boast Harman’s patented Plus One woofer architecture which provides more overall speaker-cone area than other cones in its class, ensuring higher sensitivity, increased low frequency output and more accurate music reproduction.
The speakers’ cones are separate from the tweeters and magnets, making for crystal-clear audio. And the power handling of 55W RMS and 3 ohms impedance makes for some loud and clear bass in mid to high range especially.
The speakers come with two different types of mounting brackets, making them very easy fit in just about any car door. These speakers can handle both low and high volume levels with stock stereo systems. As such, they are a great one-and-done audio improvement, and will give you a distortionless sonic quality at a very reasonable price.
3. Rockford Fosgate PPS4-6 – Best 6.5 Speakers For Midrange and Midbass
Rockford Fosgate is one of the leading manufacturers in the car audio industry and rightly so. They constantly produce high quality car audio equipment, and this PPS4-6 continues the US-based firm’s legacy.
These 6.5 inch midrange car speakers are engineered for high SPL (Sound Pressure Level) conditions and the offer superior sound quality for anyone while driving their car.
The oversized motor structure and high temperature voice coil give you more control over the sound, giving you plenty of power for better performance over longer periods of time.
The fiber reinforced paper cone and corrugated treated cloth surround ensure the speaker dramatically cuts down on the level of distortion and delivers a highly sensitive sonic quality.
The 4 Ohm 6 1/2 speakers boast 400 watts of max power per pair and 100W RMS ensures these speakers deliver some high volume. The frequency response is a bit limited – 85Hz -5kHz, but you’re not buying these 6.5 coaxials for the lows. The sensitivity is an impressive 92.5 dB, ensuring you get excellent mids and highs with no distortion.
These Rockford Fosgates are the best midrange car speakers on my list, and are sold in pairs but you can buy a single speaker, too, ideal for anyone who needs to replace one.
They come with universal mounting hardware and attractive grills. They work well when paired with a stock sound system but really shine when you give them some power from an external amplifier.
Overall, these speakers work best in a complete set up and are capable of producing high quality midrange sound. Paired with bass from a subwoofer or 2 and highs from your tweeters, all driven from a good quality amplifier, your listening experience will be hard to beat.
4. JBL CLUB6520 – Great 2-Way Car Speakers On A Budget
If you’re looking for some 6.5″ speakers and you don’t want to break the bank, these are excellent cheap 2-way speakers, that are easy to install and make for a perfect factory upgrade.
The JBL CLUB6520 2-way coaxial speakers are made with incredibly durable UV-resistant polypropylene Plus One woofers, which are engineered to handle constant vehicle vibrations, and deliver distortionless music at high volumes.
As well as that, these 3-Ohm, 6.5 inch speakers have PEI balanced dome tweeters for well-balanced high notes, and a frequency response that ranges from 55-20,000 hertz.
These 6 1/2 JBL speakers produce excellent treble and mid-range, they’re very efficient with high sensitivity ensuring you get good volume out of your 50W RMS.
It might not be an overwhelming amount of power, but for some cheap car speakers it’s certainly good enough and will definitely add spice to your daily commute.
They’re easy to install, although there are complaints of cheap screws, so getting some better quality screws might be a good idea. The 6.5 car speakers boast attractive black grilles with JBL’s signature red accents, making an upgrade not only sound fantastic but look good too.
The JBL speakers can be hooked directly to your car radio, and the clarity and volume will be a significant step up from your factory speakers. For a true audiophile, however, the bass is a bit tight, so they’re better paired with a good full system car stereo set up.
5. HERTZ HCX 165 – Best 6.5 Speakers For Overall Sound Quality
Hertz make some of the best high-performance car audio equipment, and these HCX165 high-energy two-way 6 1/2 coaxial speakers help maintain their brand. But as with everything that is high quality, so is the price.
The sound quality and volume is very impressive, making these very popular 6.5 inch speakers for motorcycles, too.
The speakers boast oversized magnets and pure copper voice coils, that give higher energy and better performance, which ultimately produces power perfection-geared high-notes.
The high-performance 6.5 speakers also feature a damped mesh fiber cone with aerodynamic gaskets that helps to eliminate any unwanted distortion, ensuring the sound quality is second-to-none. On top of that, the speakers have well-engineered cones for smoother feedback and extended bandwidth, ensuring constant, lasting performance for these 6 1/2 speakers.
The power handling is an impressive 100W RMS @ 4 ohms impedance, and with frequency of 50-22kHZ and 92 dB impedance, all help these speakers generate some crystal clear mid and high bass at loud volumes.
If you’re not sold yet, the speakers feature rotary high-frequency contours that enable drivers to tilt the tweeters toward them, allowing you to sculpt the sound to your liking. And if that’s not enough, they have a streamlined design that makes them look as good as they sound.
These Hertz HCX 165 speakers are expensive, but if you can afford it, you’ll be buying the best 6.5 speakers for clear, crisp and overall sound quality on my list. And if you ride a motorcycle, these are a no-brainer.
6. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 – Best 3-Way 6 1/2 Speakers For A Car
This is my second Rockford pick, and these full-range, 3-way coaxial 6.5 speakers offer a very affordable and well-balanced improvement with any speaker upgrade.
The speakers boast vacuumed polypropylene cones with silk dome pole-mounted piezo tweeters and dynamic midranges that are mounted at a depth of 2.15 inches.
These speakers also have a 6-decibel integrated speaker crossover for full-range audio ensuring these speakers produce fantastic mids and high sound quality. As with most 6.5 speakers, the bass is rather limited, but for the non-bassheads, it’s certainly good enough.
The Rockford Fosgate 3-way speakers have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, while the frequency response ranges between 52-20,000 Hz. The 45W RMS power handling isn’t the most powerful, but it’s certainly good enough, and for the price you can’t go wrong with any of the specs.
The speakers also boast an integrated tweeter high pass crossover, which ensures these speakers produce resonating mids and highs, while leaving your subwoofer to work on the lows. And with an impressive sensitivity of 91 dB, these budget car speakers produce a clear soundscape at higher volumes.
To top it off, the speakers come with attractive, slick grilles and trim rings. Overall, these speakers are great for a factory replacement, and the sound difference is huge. So, for those on a budget who definitely don’t want to spend any extra, these speakers won’t let you down.
7. Kenwood KFC-1665S – Best Cheap 6.5 Car Speakers
If you’re really on a budget and want some cheap car speakers for under $30 that make a big difference, these Kenwood KFC-1665S will be a great choice.
The 6.5″ Sports Series 2-way flush mount car speakers have unmatched audio capabilities at this price level, and for anyone who isn’t a serious audiophile, these budget speakers make for a great factory upgrade.
The speakers boast polypropylene woofers with treated cloth surrounds enrich your music with all the midbass and midrange details, and 1-inch balanced dome tweeters drive some sweet highs for the listener.
These speakers have a peak power handling of around 300W, although the RMS power rating of 30W is a bit low for most aficionados, but again for the price you can’t complain.
The frequency response ranges from 35-22k Hz, and a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, while the sensitivity is 92 decibels, which is pretty standard, but together they make for a good car speaker, and one that you can really push to the limits and not worry about the cost.
I found these speakers very affordable and easy to install. While factory-installed radios don’t always bring out their best qualities, they are solid OEM replacements, and for the price point, you won’t get better speakers.
8. Alpine R-Series R-S65 – Best 6.5 Speakers For Bass And Sound Quality
While the Kenwood speakers offer a good driver at a cheap price, these Alpine R-Series are my most expensive car speakers. That said, if you can afford them, you will be getting the best 6.5 speakers for bass and overall sound quality.
There’s a lot to love about the Alpine R-Series 6.5 coaxial speakers. For one, they feature hybrid fiber woofers with multi-roll rubber surrounds, help with the clarity and tone and ensures a clean punchy bass with minimal distortion, which is nice for a 6.5 speaker.
On top of that, the speakers have ultra-responsive 1-inch silk tweeters that allow the highs to soar, and also ensures the mids and lows are covered perfectly.
These speakers handle up to an impressive 110 watts RMS, enabling extreme sound when you want it most. They are a superb upgrade for stock stereo systems, and if you match them with some quality 6×9 speakers in a full car stereo makeover, the overall sound quality will be hard to beat.
These Alpines are expensive, but they produce clean crisp lows and highs with authority for a full spectrum of sound, which is rare in a 6.5 speaker.
If you want a high-performance speaker, you have to pay for it, but these 6.5 speakers offer more headroom and top end detail, and some serious bass.
9. Polk DB652 – Best 6.5 Car Speakers For All Conditions
Polk are well-known for making aesthetically pleasing speakers and these DB652 speakers don’t let them down. The Ultramarine Dynamic Balance Coaxial Speakers are well-balanced marine-certified (IP55) drivers that pack a punch.
The speakers have undergone rigorous salt-fog, UV and humidity testing to ensure that they can withstand even the toughest weather conditions, making them the best 6.5 speakers for boat owners, motorcyclists and of course car owners.
They boast polypropylene UV-resistant cones with resilient waterproof surrounds. Besides their water-resistant barrier, these speakers have incredible sensitivity and a superb frequency response. Not to mention, they have a 100-watt RMS continuous power handling and a 300-watt peak power handling.
With a frequency response of 40-22kHz and 92 dB impedance, these 6.5 inch speakers comfortably play the mids and highs, and if added with a full system set up they complement some 6x9s and a subwoofer very well.
That said, on their own, they are loud and do not require an aftermarket amp to see a big difference. But of course, an exteranl amplifier brings out the best in any speaker set.
Polk’s dynamic balance technology emits rich, clear and precise sound while the reduced mounting depth and zero protrusion tweeter design offers a precise fit for all marine, automobile, ATV and motorcycles.
The Polk speakers are loud and produce a full range of sounds with authority. They sound great while putting up a guard against destructive natural elements, and the price point under $100, they’re not badly priced.
10. Pioneer TS-D65F D Series – Coaxial 6.5 Inch 2-Way Speakers For Loud Volumes
The last 6 1/2 speakers on my list is from Pioneer and if you’re wanting loud and clear mids and highs, and impressive bass at an affordable price, these beasts are hard to beat.
The Pioneer TS-D65F D Series car speakers are bargain-rate replacements for your OEM speakers. They boast impressive injection-molded polypropylene woofer cones with aramid fibers that deliver booming bass.
The speakers feature coated textile dome tweeters for excellent high-frequency response. The pair can handle up to 90 watts of RMS power and 270 watts of peak power, and the nominal impedance of 4 ohms.
The speakers utilize Pioneer’s OPEN and SMOOTH sound concept, and at 32 – 49,000 Hz provides broad and balanced frequency response with a wide sound stage and amazing fidelity for the listener.
The car speakers produce detailed highs without being bright, a solid midrange and they create ample volume with authority. They’re not the cheapest, but certainly at this price point, they are hard to beat.
Keep in mind that these speakers do not come with grilles. As such, you will need to utilize your stock grilles or purchase aftermarket alternatives. On top of that, the kit omits installation wires, making things awkward for anyone new to the car audio world.
Why Buy New Car Speakers?
Are you unsure about replacing your stock speakers? For many, wanting to upgrade factory speakers is an easy decision, but choosing the best car audio speakers is never a straightforward decision.
Since car manufacturers are often focused on the performance and safety features of the vehicle, car audio components are typically cast aside. Or at least, kept to a bare minimum to keep the price of the car down.
Quality aftermarket audio parts offer superior sound quality – it’s really that simple. And there’s a myriad of choice, so anyone new to car audio might be confused with all the choices.
Fortunately, you can purchase highly sophisticated aftermarket parts, including tweeters, woofers, midrange, and crossovers. These speakers are capable of working alongside your stock radio or other aftermarket stereo parts in order to create crisp highs, punchy lows and everything in-between.
While other audio system additions can be costly, a quality pair of 6.5 coaxial speakers are a very affordable investment that can bring about noticeable improvements on their own.
Even better, most 6.5 coaxial speakers are easy to install, so anyone new to car audio upgrades, shouldn’t have a problem, and of course it keeps to cost down.
What’s The Difference Between Coaxial and Component Speakers?
Coaxial speakers are full-range speakers. They combine mid-range woofers and tweeters to produce a full spectrum of sound. Most coaxial speakers feature an integrated crossover that helps separate highs and lows. The main advantage of this type of speaker is that all of the components are housed together, making them perfect for squeezing into a car door.
On the other hand, component speakers consist of separate woofers, tweeters, and crossovers. A large external crossover makes it possible to create more defined highs and lows, but it is more difficult to install this type of speaker. Check out this informative YouTube video for a more detailed look at the differences between coaxial and component car speakers.
If you’re confident in your ability to install car audio parts and you have plenty of money to spend, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality component speaker set. If so, be sure to check out our component speaker buying guide.
But that’s not to say you should just ignore coaxial speakers. They are very useful and are the most popular type of car speaker on the market. Sure enough, they fit into tighter spaces, and are easier to install, but they also complement a full car stereo system set up as much as other speakers.
How Much Power Do I Need In New Speakers?
One of the major differences between speakers is their power ratings. With that said, most manufacturers provide customers with both RMS (root mean square) and Peak Power ratings.
An RMS, or continuous power rating is what a speaker consistently uses during its performance.
Keep in mind that speakers with low RMS ratings pair well with low-powered factory-installed radios. Whereas, speakers with high RMS ratings work best with high-powered aftermarket amps.
Do your best to find speakers that are compatible with your receiver or car amp, as an attempt to pull too much power can damage these components. And keep in mind that it is always better to overpower rather than underpower your speakers.
Although the Peak Power rating is part of the named specs on your speakers, it shouldn’t be a deciding factor on whether to buy them or not. Peak Power applies to the maximum amount of power that can be used during a short spurts in your volume.
This amount of power can be safely used without causing any damage to the speakers, but to be honest it’s more of a marketing ploy from manufacturers.
Which 6.5 Speakers Are Best For Bass?
Even the best 6.5-inch speakers are going to struggle to put out a lot of bass. The fact is 6.5 car speakers aren’t designed deep bass, and to get that you really need to get a good subwoofer. I would say a 10 inch subwoofer at least, but it all depends on how low you like your bass.
A 6.5 speaker is designed to produce good bass but for midranges or midbass, and they work best within a full system set up, which can be said for all components.
Sure enough a good quality amplifier will do a fantastic job and make such a difference to your car stereo system, but if you overhaul everything, that same amplifier will perform even better.
6.5 coaxial car speakers aren’t made to drive the deepest bass, but for anyone who isn’t a serious basshead, you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s all about how much you love different sounds, and how much you have to spend. That said, coaxial speakers are an integral part of any high quality car stereo system.
A speaker’s sensitivity rating paints a picture of how easily power is converted into sound. Speaker sensitivity is a measurement of the number of decibels produced at a 1-meter distance. For example, a speaker with a sensitivity of 80 watts produces that amount of volume 1 meter away from the unit.
Although everything is important, many people believe sensitivity is the main spec to look for when choosing some good quality car speakers.
The higher the sensitivity rating is, or the greater the decibels, the less power you need to get the same amount of sound. An average speaker comes with a sensitivity of around 87 dB to 88 dB. A speaker with a sensitivity rating over 90 dB is considered excellent.
All sound is measured in decibels, and if you’re wondering about the comparison of some average speakers with 87-88 dB and other common noises, here’s a few examples.
- Complete silence: 0 dB
- A whisper: 30 dB
- Conversation: 60 dB
- Outdoor Music Festival: 90 dB
- Car horn: 110 dB
- Indoor Concert: 120 dB
So you see, a pair of speakers with a decibel rating of 90 can be played as loud as they play at Burning Man or Glastonbury festivals. No doubt, there are many of those speakers at the festival, but they’re outdoors, while your car speakers are in a confined space.
Always get the best audio equipment, but you don’t need to overdo it with volume.
What Are The Best Materials For Car Speakers?
The rigidity of the material in the provides tight “control” over the sound vibrations, so pretty much any material can be used to create sound if you can shape the material of course.
Speakers consist of several different parts that work together to produce high-quality sound. A speaker’s woofers are made from thin, yet stiff materials, such as polypropylene. They are often reinforced with metal thread and other resilient materials.
Meanwhile, tweeters are made from incredibly soft materials, including silks, metals, and ceramics. In addition, speakers typically feature surrounds. These parts are made from pliable materials, such as rubber and cloth.
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Do Speakers Ever Sport Specialty Features?
Audio part manufacturers are constantly adding unqiue features to help their speakers stand out. These features include pivoting tweeters, designer grills, and integrated controls. While elements like these can definitely improve a speaker, the core components should never be ignored.
Why Does a Speaker’s Durability Matter?
Car speakers are installed directly into car doors. As such, they often come in contact with rain, mud, and snow, and that’s just in cars. For boats and motorcycles, speakers are bared to the elements much more often.
What’s more, they are constantly at odds with vehicle vibrations. These conditions are often worse in off-road and all-terrain vehicles.
To help eliminate durability issues, manufacturers have developed water- and dust-resistant speakers. These speakers are typically marine certified or boast high a Ingress Protection (IP) rating.
Keep in mind that an IP rating of 61 protects a speaker from minimal condensation, whereas an IP rating of 64 protects from water spray coming from every possible direction.
The Best 6.5 Speakers For Whatever Your Needs
The best 6.5 speakers is an ongoing debate, and something that will never be won. But 6.5 inch speakers play an integral part in a car stereo set up and serve as a major upgrade to factory-installed audio components.
The materials and type of speaker will heavily influence its performance and of course cost. This also affects the practicality and longevity of the speaker, so compromising on one feature for another depends on your budget and taste in music and sound.
There’s nothing quite like listening to loud music in your car. So, upgrading your speakers won’t just improve the sound of your music, but it will improve your your mood every time you get in your car.
Whether you pair them with a factory car stereo, aftermarket amp or as part of a full new car stereo system, these impressive all-in-one speakers offer a full spectrum of impressive sounds.