The Best Car Speakers – All Sizes
Are you looking for the best car speakers to make every drive you go on more enjoyable? I know how difficult it can be to choose the right ones, and getting the right size speaker adds to the difficulty.
A set of good car speakers makes your ride much more enjoyable. And when it’s paired with a good quality head unit, and the right amplifier and sub, there’s nothing better than blasting out those crisp and clear, loud tunes.
To help you out choosing, the best car speakers I have put together a list of different car speaker sizes. So, if you’re after a set of 4×6 inch speakers, 5.25 car speakers, 6.5″, 5×7-inches, 6×8, 6×9, and even 8-inch speaker I have you covered.
As well as a car speaker review, there’s also an in-depth buyer’s guide to make sure you can make the right choice for your ideal sound.
This is a review of the best car speakers of different sizes, and some of my picks are available in several sizes with slight differences in the specs. If you can’t find the ideal set for you specific size, however, check out my size specific reviews for a more in-depth look at at each speaker size.
The Best 4×6 Car Speakers
Pioneer TS-A462F 3-Way Coaxial Speakers – 4×6 Car Speakers
My first 4” x 6” speakers are some of the best car audio speakers you can buy, no matter what size. Pioneer car speakers are up there with the very best, and although these aren’t cheap, they will enhance any soundscape they’re part of.
Being a Pioneer A Series speaker, the sound design purposely matches its subwoofer sister and full-range loudspeakers to provide seamless and smooth sound characteristics. If you choose to make it part of a full Pioneer car stereo system, you will certainly turn heads while out driving.
The Continuous Power Handling (RMS) is 30 Watts, and although this is seemingly low, they really do pack a punch for a small speaker set.
It’s not just volume, but crisp and clear volume, that will last a long time thanks to the Carbon and mica reinforced cone material. This sits within a rubber coated cloth surround, which ensures the movement of the cone is very efficient, meaning you get crisp and clear sounds for extended periods.
Magnet, and these Pioneer car speakers are truly built to last. The midrange is exquisite as is the highs, thanks to the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) dome tweeter.
Thanks to Pioneer OPEN & SMOOTH technology, there’s a seamless transition from midrange and tweeter drivers, and the 4×6 speaker’s 11mm tweeter introduces instruments you won’t hear in other factory and even some aftermarket coaxial speakers.
With a nominal 4 ohms impedance, the speakers can work with pretty much any stereo set up. At 88 dB the sensitivity is good, but could be better for the price entry, but the 35 Hz to 42 kHz frequency response is excellent, and pretty much unbeatable at the price.
You can also control your speakers with the Pioneer CarSoundFit app. This is basically a car sound simulator for experiencing in-car sound with your smartphone, and gives you more control over the sound quality.
If you’re after some speakers that are easy to install, these Pioneer 4×6 car speakers are as easy as it gets. Replacing your old factory speakers has never been easier thanks to Pioneer’s multi-fit installation adapters, which offer pretty much every mounting point possible.
Pioneer is one of the leading brands in the car audio space, and these 4×6 speakers are some of the best audio equipment you can get at this price. They may be small, but the sound is crisp, clean and very loud, and thanks to the CarSoundFit app, you have more control over the sound you desire.
BOSS Audio Systems BRS46 – Budget 4×6 Car Speakers
If you’re looking for some good quality 4×6 speakers, that will last a long time without breaking the bank the BOSS BRS46 full range car speakers are a good fit.
With an RMS power handling of 50W per pair these speakers aren’t the most powerful, but if you’re replacing factory speakers, the difference will be significant.
The foam surround and stamped metal basket make these 4×6 speakers very flexible, ensuring the efficiency of the soundscape is crisp and clear.
The BOSS car speakers voice coils add to the speaker’s resilience and crisp reproduction. They’re built to withstand high temperatures, and help with the longevity of the speaker and these don’t fatigue while playing for long periods, like many others in this price range.
The 100Hz-18kHz frequency range won’t hit the lows a bass lover craves, but 4×6 car speakers are usually part of a full system set up. The 85dB sensitivity also pretty standard, but for the price, you can’t really complain.
Most 4×6 speakers are an easy installation, and these BOSS BRS46 car speakers are no different. With a 1.75” depth and universal mounting holes, they are a great speaker to replace your old factory drivers.
These are great 4×6 car speakers, and you will get many hours out of them. Beware, they are sold separately, so if you want a pair, you should order two items. They also come in many other sizes, so if you’re after the equivalent 6×9 or 6.5 car speakers, check the tab for the size you want.
The Best 5.25 Inch Speakers
Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime – 5.25-Inch Full Range Coaxial Car Speakers
If you’re looking for the perfect 5.25” car speakers to complement your full car stereo system, the Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime pack a punch and drive some crisp fidelity.
The R1525X2 is a 5.25” 2-way full-range speaker rated at 40 watts RMS for a new generation of factory replacement speakers. The kit includes two speakers with grilles, integrated high-pass crossovers and mounting hardware.
Rockford Fosgate are well known for making some of the best car speakers, and at 40W RMS these 4-Ohm speakers drive some decent power for a 5.25” speaker.
The full range coaxial speakers boast a polypropylene cone, midrange, and a silk dome Piezo tweeter, all of which helps produce a robust performance across lows, mids, and highs.
They do come in other sizes, with slight variations, so if you like these but want a bigger size, check them out and click on the size tab that suits your demand.
The Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime is arguably the best 5.25” speaker for overall sounda quality, and with a wide frequency range from 62 Hz – 20k Hz you can see the lows are decent for a small speaker.
The tweeter is 0.5” and is mounted in the coaxial speaker, and it really adds to the fidelity that lack in other coaxial speakers in the price range.
Being coaxial speakers, the crossover is integrated into the speaker which makes for a cleaner look and easier installation for a good quality full-range speaker.
The sensitivity rating is impressive at 91 dB, and for the price, I think it is fantastic value. Of course, 5.25” speakers are usually part of a full car stereo system, but they will make a huge difference if you only intend to replace your old factory speakers with them, and nother other audio components.
They might not be the best speakers for cars on the market, but at a reasonable price and even without a subwoofer, these speakers do make a big difference to your listening experience if you choose to do a simple speaker upgrade. However, a complete overhaul for your car audio speaker system and get a quality amplifier and maybe a subwoofer these will not let you down.
These Rockfords can provide a cost-effective solid listening experience for users who want a simple factory replacement, or these 5.25″ speakers will complement any full car stereo system, and the best thing is it’s well under $50 for the pair.
JL Audio is one of the leading brands in the car audio industry, and these 5.25” C1 car speakers maintain that branding with precise effect.
5.25-inch speakers aren’t known for their out and out quality audio, but these speakers defy that and will definitely add substance to any full car stereo set up, or even if it’s just a factory speaker replacement. Either way, you’re going to enhance the soundscape in your car.
At 50W RMS the continuous power handling is impressive for small car speakers, and with 89 dB sensitivity it ensures the distortion in these is kept to a minimum.
JL Audio’s C1 speakers are known to deliver real substance and great audio and these boast the brand’s (FEA) Finite Element Analysis-based modeling.
FEA designed speakers from JL Audio benefit from detailed research of the effects of power through the coil as well as coil/cone position, which other brands are yet to figure out. This means the C1 speakers boast more clarity at higher volumes and for longer periods of time.
The JL Audio C1-525x boasts a proprietary, stamped, steel 5.25-inch frame and a DMA-optimized motor system. There’s also a mineral-filled, injection-molded polypropylene cone that is suspended with a rubber surround on the front.
And with a Conex® spider at the top of the voice coil, it ensures the motion between the voice coil and back plate are kept to a minimum, which prevent fatigue, buzzing, and eradicates distortion.
All this ensures the JL Audio speakers’ midrange sound quality is truly unmatchable with any other 5.25 car speakers, and are a match for many of the bigger car speakers.
As well as this, the JL Audio 5.25 car speaker’s aluminum dome tweeter produces superior high-frequency with clarity and definition that you won’t find in other speakers of this price entry.
The highs are clear and mellow thanks to the silk surround suspension, and with a 2nd order high-pass filter installed, the frequency response 54 Hz – 24k Hz is utilized smoothly and eloquently.
If you’re after some high performance 5.25-inch speakers that offer the best sound quality, these are arguably the best on the market. They’re not the cheapest speakers, but if you’re serious about crisp, distortionless car audio set up, these drivers are that.
The Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers
JBL GTO629 Premium Coaxial 6.5″ Speakers
6.5 Inch speakers are among the most popular, and JBL is one of the best brands in the car audio space, so it’s quite fitting that these JBL GTO629 Premium speakers make my list.
The JBL GTO Series high-fidelity speakers are perfect upgrade whether it’s a straight in and out factory replacement, or if you’re making them part of a full system makeover.
At 60W RMS the speakers can blast out some volume, and JBL’s Plus One Carbon-injected woofer cone design benefits from the expanding diaphragm area of the cone, meaning there’s more air moving through the woofer ensuring better low-frequencies and with it more efficiency and bass.
The edge-driven soft dome tweeters produce a rich experience in the higher frequencies, and with the adjustable level control you have more say in the outcome of your soundscape.
That’s not all, because the tweeter boasts JBL’s UniPivot™ design. This allows you to move the tweeter and manipulate the soundstage to your liking, making these an ideal speaker for those low down in car doors.
The JBL car speaker also benefits from a dedicated 12dB/octave crossover components. This seamlessly redirects the highs and lows to the correct speakers for optimal performance and a crystal clear sound, making these a great sounding speaker.
The speakers boast low-impedance (3-ohm), which compensates for the undersized wires found in many of today’s cars, and will help make the most of every watt your car stereo can deliver.
And with 93 dB sensitivity and a frequency response of 53 Hz – 21k Hz, these are arguably the best 6.5-inch coaxial speakers you will get in this price range.
If you want some speakers that are easy to install and built to last, the JBL GTO line of speakers is engineered for the difficult environments and conditions both in and outside today’s automobiles, and the installation is as easy as it gets.
JBL car audio equipment rarely gets a bad review, and for good reason. They offer some of the best tech in the car audio speaker industry, and these are great as a simple speaker upgrade or if you’re upgrading your whole system. If you like deep bass you will not be disappointed with the JBL GTO629s.
KICKER CSC65, 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers
My only Kicker pick in this review, but the CSC65 CS Series is a great choice for anyone wanting excellent overall quality sound without spending too much.
The 2-way coaxial speakers are great for overall sound quality, with a special mention for the clean bass they output. Personally, I would say they are the beat speakers for cars compared with any other like-for-like in this price entry.
Kicker make some of the most trusted speakers in the car audio industry, and these CSC65, 6.5 Inch, 2-Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers are made to fit most cars and give you remarkable performance with ultra clear bass.
The 6.5″ Kicker car speakers boast a thumping 100W RMS power, something the Kicker brand is well known for. This is thanks to the heavy-duty motor/magnet structure and the rigid polypropylene cone and a ribbed, UV-treated polyester woofer surround that resists heat and sunlight, ensuring your speakers will last.
The Kicker car speakers also boast EVC (Extended Voice Coil) technology, which means your drivers will benefit from higher sensitivity alignment and more power handling, which culminates in clearer and louder music and making them a more robust speaker that will last.
Added with a frequency range of 40 Hz – 20k Hz, and an impressive 90 dB sensitivity, it shows these speakers are serious when it comes to producing crisp loud music no matter which frequency.
The speakers also boast Kicker’s low-protrusion PEI dome tweeters with neodymium magnets. These 0.5-inch tweeters offer rich sound detail which you don’t tend to get with many coaxial speakers, and by utilizing the large neodymium tweeter magnets the highs remain exquisitely clear even at high volumes.
These Kicker CSC65 car speakers will add a lot to a full car stereo set up, and are a massive upgrade for any factory speaker replacement. The mids and highs are exquisite, and the bass is clean, but you will need a subwoofer for the extreme lows. That said, the lows are good enough for most people. If you’re after some good coaxial speakers that will give you crisp and loud music, consider these.
The Best 5×7 Inch Car Speakers
JL Audio C2-570x – 5×7 Inch Car Audio Speakers
JL Audio is a brand known for producing high quality car audio speakers, and these 5×7 speakers offer top quality sound and the durability you expect from JL speakers.
The JL Audio speaker can handle an impressive 60W RMS continuous power, and the mineral-filled polypropylene woofer cones with butyl rubber surround, give these drivers impressively long excursion capabilities.
The speakers are fixed in stamped steel frames which not only helps with eradicating distortion, but the speaker’s durability is enhanced, ensuring these will last a long time, and more importantly allowing you to pump out the mids with exquisite precision.
The 5×7 speakers also boast a built-in crossover, which seamlessly distributes the frequencies, and with the 3/4″ silk dome tweeter you can expect a smooth transitions between highs and mids – made even more pronounced with a 90 dB Sensitivity.
The 0.75″ silk dome tweeters are coaxially mounted and the crisp texture delivers a high, smooth and extended response, thanks to the silk offering excellent damping properties. This helps reduce ringing and resonances in a tweeter, leading to a smooth, pleasing high-frequency even at high volumes – something that is noticeable the first time you listen to them.
They are 5×7 car speakers but they will definitely fit in any 6×8″ replacement, and will make for an easy mount for any factory speaker upgrade of either size.
These speakers are pricey, and as with any speakers an external amplifier will make a huge difference. So, if you choose to get these you really want to get the full potential of these speakers. With stock OEM amps built in factory will only push up to 20W RMS, meaning you’re leaving at least 40W sat on the table, and spending so much you really want to maximise the potential
These JL Audio speakers maintain the brand’s image. They’re durable, with excellent mids and even better highs. Whether you listen to jazz, blues, rock, or hip-hop, these 2-way 5×7 car speakers speakers will provide nice quality, crisp sounds, comparable with high-performance component speakers.
Hertz ECX-570.5 – 2-Way Coaxial Speakers
Hertz is another brand that’s well-known in the audio industry for producing high quality stereo equipment. These Energy.5 ECX 570.5 coaxial 2-way 5×7 speakers maintain that brand image, by offering a powerful and wide sound stage for any sized vehicle.
They’re not cheap but are arguably the best 5×7 car speakers that produce a seamless wide frequency range that is comparable with most component speakers. WHat’s more, the technology these Hertz car speakers boast helps guarantee protection for the driver, while producing a distortion free soundscape.
These Hertz car speakers can handle 140W RMS combined, and with a Sensitivity of 94 dB these coaxials drive some power and clarity to the mids and highs.
The structure is built to last and is protected from all weather terrains. The water-repellent treated paper cone, butyl rubber surround produces clear mids no matter how high the volume is.
This is aided by the pure copper voice coil wound on aluminium former, which offers a great thermal and mechanical capacity. Added with low-carbon content plates for maximum magnetic permeability and high heat dissipation, it ensures the speakers perform at their peak for long periods of time.
There’s also a rubber magnet cover that provides damping to the basket and motor structure and protects from abrasions and damage, ensuring these speakers are good for cars, motorcycles and even marine life.
The woofer is protected by a water-repellent treated paper cone, butyl rubber surround. And with a pure copper voice coil wound on aluminium former, the mids are constant and clear.
The neodymium tweeter with built-in crossover, pressed-paper cone with deep ribbings offers maximum rigidity and accurate optimization, and clear and precise highs that are not usually associated with coaxial speakers
That’s not all, thanks to the RHFC technology, the tweeter can be adjusted within a 10° angle, again something which is usually only typical with more expensive component speakers. This allows you to easily manipualte the sounds and frequencies to the soundstage you truly desire.
For a 5×7 coaxials, these Hertz car speakers push an accurate sound, and the power emitting from them will make a big difference to any vehicle sound stage. And with water repellent cones, the drivers are compatible with motorcycles and other vehicles where they might be exposed to nature’s elements.
The Best 6×8 Car Speakers
Alpine R-Series R-S68 – 6×8 Car Speakers
The first car speaker on my list is from Alpine, another brand that’s well known for their attention to detail and focus on quality, and these are up there with the best 6×8 speakers for power and clarity.
These sturdy 2-way coaxial speakers can handle a highly impressive 100W RMS continuous power handling, ensuring you get loud volumes for long periods.
The hybrid fiber (CFRP) woofer is a lightweight yet rigid material, which beats standard cone material, especially for 6×8 oval shaped cones. This is due to the CFRP, manipulated at the molding process, which allows the cone material to be more directional and ultimately strengthen the cone where other 6x8s might be weak.
The result is a rigid cone that delivers accurate and efficient mids like nothing you’ll hear in other coaxial speakers at this price point.
R-Series Alpine speakers are made for full range of frequencies, and with the 1″ silk dome swivel tweeter they deliver a naturally bright and active highs with clarity and treble that’s hard to beat.
What’s more, the swivel mounting allows you to manipulate the highs, that you only usually find in component speakers. This ensures you can sculpt the soundstage for a fuller sound no matter what genre you’re playing.
The Frequency response is a bit limited at 63 Hz – 29,000 Hz, but these Alpine speakers aren’t about the lows. It’s all about the power and clarity of the mids and highs and with a 90 dB Sensitivity, you get a crisp and distortion-free soundscape, no matter how high you crank up the volume.
The speaker construction is made up of a large square wire dual-layer voice coil and a high-performance linear drive motor, both of which ensure longevity in the speaker, while also making it a very efficient speaker.
These are up there with the best car stereo speakers. They’re not cheap, but they’re loud and clear, and with an easy installation and durable construction, you’ll be hard-pressed to find coaxial speakers that can deliver such powerful clear mids and highs.
Infinity Kappa-86CFX 2-Way 6×8 Car Speakers
While not as big of a brand name as some of the other speaker brands, this 6×8 speaker model from Infinity Kappa performs admirably, and at a reasonable price point. The two-way speakers boast the company’s Patented Plus One™ woofers for clear lows and mids and edge-driven textile dome tweeters with oversized voice coils that produce smooth highs.
The Power Handling is impressive. At 100W RMS, you’ll be able to play your music loudly and without fear of wrecking them. The speakers are capable of exceptionally low 2.5 Ohm impedance, which further allows you to extract the maximum power out of your sound system.
Infinity’s Patented Plus One™ woofers drive tight robust bass and high-output. The glass fiber woofer cones are light and stiff and have more cone-area than other speaker brands, which delivers a wider frequency than many other brands, and ultimately a tight and detailed soundstage.
The edge-driven textile dome tweeters with oversized voice coils deliver silky smooth highs with increased thermal power handling for high volume enthusiasts. And thanks to an impressive 94dB sensitivity, the clarity for highs and mids is very impressive no matter how loud you go.
The sound reproduction is as clean as anything and for midrange speakers the bass is good. They say Infinity speakers go through the most rigorous of testing and these speakers pack a punch.
These are up there with the best 6×8 coaxial speakers, and they would make a significant upgrade to your factory set up. That said, they’re not the cheapest so I personally wouldn’t spend this much unless I was making them a part of a full car stereo system. If you do this, you will love them.
The Best 6×9 Car Speakers
Alpine S-S69 S-Series 2-Way Coaxial 6×9 Speakers
Alpine is one of the leaders in the car audio space, which always makes it a reassuring purchase. Known for their sound quality and durability Alpine don’t disappoint with these speakers.
The Alpine S series are top sounding speakers at a competitive price, and the S-S69 is another sleek product. And with a power handling rating of 85W RMS, these speakers are known to reproduce crisp and loud volumes for long periods without fatigue.
As with all Alpine S series car speakers, these are made with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) woofer cone with specialized rubber surrounding, which helps the speaker reproduce a crisp and tight midrange.
The difference with these Alpine speakers and factory, and cheaper aftermarket speakers is the weakness they get after time. The CFRP cone that the S-S69 boats and is manipulated during the molding process to strengthen the cone areas that 6×9 speakers are liable to weaken.
The cone benefits from Alpine’s HAMR big multi-roll rubber surround which helps reduce distortion for a cleaner sound. The result is a very lightweight yet rigid speaker cone that reproduces crisp and accurate performance for long periods of time and for many years.
The 1-inch silk dome tweeter compliments the speaker and further reinforces the sound with warm tones giving the speaker an edge when it comes to mids and highs.
A decent frequency range of 65Hz-22kHz delivers OK, if not stunning bass, but you wouldn’t buy these car speakers for bass. But with an excellent 90dB sensitivity, you can be sure to crank up the volume to play the complex mids and exquisite highs nice and clearly.
I really like these 6×9 speakers from Alpine. For midrange sounds, they’re hard to beat. Overall, they offer excellent clarity and a great balance of tones even if you’re just upgrading the factory speakers. And boasting Alpine’s patented technology the accuracy of the music is fantastic.
Kenwood KFC-6965S, 3-Way 6×9 Coaxial Speakers
Kenwood is one of the leading brands in the audio space and have been delivering high quality products for decades. The KFC-6965S are great 6×9 speakers and for under $50 you can make a dramatic improvement to your car stereo system.
At this price range what you get is fantastic. The power handling is 45W per speaker, and with 92 dB sensitivity you can really crank these speakers up. The RMS might not be as high as many of the more expensive speakers on this car speaker review but seriously, it’s more than enough for a car.
The durable polypropylene woofer with a treated cloth surround offers a platform for some great mid reproduction that won’t wither even after pumping out the tunes for long periods of time.
As a 6×9 inch 3-way speaker, you’ll be able to experience better sound quality at different ranges and higher volumes than others in the price range.
The Kenwood car speakers also boast s 2″ PEI cone tweeter and a 1/2″ ceramic supertweeter, which not only ensures you get a wide range of frequencies, but with accurate reproduction and clarity.
With a frequency range of 30Hz – 22kHz, it features a much wider range than either of my other two budget options, and ensures the lows are well covered, and unless you’re a basshead, you will be more than happy with the lows.
For under $50, these are the best budget car speakers. Sure, if you are happy to pay more, you’ll get better speakers, but for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank, running these just from your head unit will make a big difference to your high fidelity.
The Best 8 Inch Car Speakers
HERTZ SV200.1, 8 Inch Mid-Range Competition Speakers
Hertz is well-known in the car audio space for producing some of the best equipment that regulalrly wins SPL competitions, and these SV200.1 8-inch speakers are leaders in every way.
As competition-grade speakers the Hertz SV200 8” car speakers come with a hefty price tag. They are designed for SPL competitions in mind, and if you can afford these, and of course if they can fit in your car, you will not be disappointed.
With 250W RMS, these speakers can handle extremely high-powered sound systems. Like other SPL components, the speaker consists of a copper voice coil wound on a 2-layer KSV former with double-wave damped fabric surrounds, which ensures an almost perfect sound even under extreme conditions.
The frequency response is relatively limited from 100 Hz – 9k Hz, but these speakers aren’t designed for a full range. The mids are truly exquisite, however, and with an incredible 100 dB sensitivity, you can really pump up the volume and get a crisp soundscape that will make heads turn.
The Hertz SV200 does well in SPL competitions, and this is down to the cone features, which boast a water-repellent pressed paper membrane and paper dust caps. These are both robust and lightweight, and with double-wave damped fabric surrounds, it ensures you can produce crisp sounds no matter how loud you go.
They’re definitely not cheap, but if you want the best 8-inch speakers for your car these competition-grade drivers will give you some of the best and crispest sounds. And when put together with a good quality amplifier, the sound clarity and loudness will shake your car.
Pioneer TS-M800PRO 8-Inch PRO Series
8-Inch speakers are obviously bigger and louder than other drivers, and they really do produce a magnificent amount crisp and clear volume to your daily drives.
That makes them generally more expensive than other sizes, but if you’re looking for 8-inch speakers without breaking the bank these Pioneer TS-M800PRO 8-Inch PRO Series should be considered.
Pioneer’s PRO series are designed with the street enthusiast in mind, and anyone who likes their music loud and the power and clarity these drivers emphasizes that point.
The TS-M800PRO mid-bass driver produces a perfect balance of power handling and output to compliment the crisp highs from the bullet tweeters.
With an incredible 360W RMS power handling per pair, these 8-inch speakers really produce some serious volume without any distortion.
This is helped by the construction of stamped steel frames and lightweight blended pulp cones that are suspended by a corrugated surround. Added with oversized magnets, the mid bass drivers are as powerful and clear as any other 8-inch speaker on the market.
With 50 Hz – 18k Hz frequency response, the speakers produce a variety of frequencies, that will allow them to perform admirably on their own. Of course, if you’re really into the deepest bass a subwoofer will be needed.
At 96 dB the sensitivity is incredible and ensures the crisp volumes are just that with little to no distortion even after playing them for long periods.
The large bullet tweeters are slightly awkward and bulky. It protrudes from the center of the cone and allows you to produce some crisp highs that smaller coaxial speakers might miss.
If you want the best 8-inch speakers for power without breaking the bank, these are explicitly designed for high sensitivity and power handling. They’re built to last and are an excellent choice as part of a full system set up or just a speaker and amplifier upgrade.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Speakers
Choosing the perfect speakers to ensure you get maximum enjoyment out of your listening experience can be surprisingly complicated. It’s not only the budget, quality, and durability of the speakers, but you also have to consider the type of listening experience you’re looking for.
Some prefer thumping lows with resonating bass, while others prefer mellow and warm tones or crystal-clear highs. The materials, construction, and type of speaker can determine how they perform across these different ranges and how much you’ll enjoy the sound they produce.
Before you buy yourself the ideal car audio speakers, you should definitely know what you’re looking for. Read on for a guide on what to look for for specific tastes.
Also called coaxial speakers, these are the most commonly found speaker systems for cars. Two of the main reasons for this is that they are generally much more cost-effective and easier to handle than component speakers.
As the name suggests, co-axial speakers are a 2-way speaker with a tweeter, woofer, and a simple crossover built into the system. Most coaxials provide a woofer cone with a separate tweeter, which ensures a good full-range sound quality and frequency coverage.
As well as being more affordable, coaxial speakers also take up less space, are easier to install, and use lower power outputs to function correctly, which makes them a more popular choice for many.
The main drawback with coaxial speakers is that the different ranges can somewhat interfere with each other. This is more apparent on lower-end systems, so the “connoisseur” tends to go for component speakers. But don’t let that put you off, you can get some good car speakers.
Component speakers can produce the best overall listening experience and sound quality thanks to three separate drivers that handle the lows, mids, and highs. Each component can be adjusted separately to fine tune the car audio to the perfection of the listener.
That said, there are some drawbacks to consider. First, not all components may be included together and may need to be bought separately, although package deals are more common. Component speakers are usually more expensive than their coaxial speakers too.
Possibly the biggest drawback for component speakers is that they generally require more powerful and complex amps to function correctly.
As a last consideration, the way you arrange the separate components may affect the sound quality of your speakers. So this may need some extra research and effort, but these drawbacks shouldn’t put you off component speakers as your listening experience will likely be better.
2-Way vs 3-Way Speakers?
It’s an age old debate: should you get 3 way or 2 way speakers? It all depends on how much you’re willing to pay really. Technically, 3 way component speakers are better, but if you are budgeting and see some 3 way speakers for the same price as 2 way coaxial speakers, I would probably get the 2 way coaxials. This is because the materials used will be better quality, whereas the 3 way being cheap will likely have used cheaper materials.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Whether you’re new or experienced at buying car audio, here’s a quick refresher of the factors you should consider when choosing the best speakers for car:
Does size matter when it comes to car speakers?
Generally speaking, bigger is better when it comes to car speakers. However, you always have to be aware that you might have limited space for the speakers to occupy and that larger speakers will call on more power to work effectively.
Speakers generally come in sizes ranging from 3.5 inch to 6.5 inch diameters, but there are also 9×9 inch oval-shaped speakers widely available.
The most common speaker size is 6.5 and most factory units are built with this size. Speaker sizes are usually measured according to the diagonal measurement of their frames and alignment of holes on the frame.
Aftermarket speakers don’t always fit into the factory car speaker holes, so it’s a good idea to know the size that will fit your car. You can either check the manual of your factory car stereo for this or if you’ve misplaced that I’m sure a quick google search will fix it.
Once you know the type of car speakers and the size it’s time to get into the specifics for your taste.
Power handling basically means the highest input of power allowed to flow through your car audio speaker system. This is the opposite of car amplifier power, which generates the power that your speakers’ power can absorb ie ‘power handling’.
Sending too much power from your amp can cause overheating, distortion, and permanent damage of your speakers, so getting your power handling right is important.
There are two power ratings to bear in mind when comparing speakers, Peak Power and RMS (Root Mean Square) Power. Both have to do with the incoming power your speakers can handle, measured in watts.
RMS corresponds to the power the speakers can handle continuously, while the peak power is the maximum it can take in short bursts. Your 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.
Frequency (low-range, mid-range, high-range)
Also called the ‘frequency response’ this is the range of frequencies that a speaker can output. The human ear can typically detect frequencies of between 20 – 20,000 Hz. Car speakers commonly produce frequencies of between 45 Hz – 20,000 Hz, and even lower for bassier subwoofers.
Obviously, the wider the frequency range, the more accurately the speakers can reproduce sounds at varying degrees. Better bass is produced at lower frequencies and vice-versa for higher notes.
The best car speakers will usually have a wider range of frequency. And depending on your taste in music will determine what frequency range you should go for. As stated the wider the better, but no 2 speakers are made the same.
Although everything is important, many people say sensitivity is the main spec to look for when choosing some good car speakers.
Sensitivity refers to how efficiently the speakers convert power in the form of watts into sounds in the form of decibels. The rating itself is given in decibels (dB), and the higher the rating, the more sound the speakers can produce from less power.
Generally speaking, you want to pair high-sensitivity speakers with low-powered audio systems or amplifiers and vice versa. That’s because speakers with higher sensitivity will boost the volume you can get from a low-powered system.
You should 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.
What materials to consider when choosing car speakers?
Speaker Cone Material
The speaker cone material plays a huge role in the quality of the sound. The more rigid the material, the crisper the sound will be, while a more fluttery material will deliver more inconsistencies in the sound. That said, you also need to strike a balance with the longevity, cost, and the type of sound you prefer.
- Paper/Paper Treated Cones: Paper cones produce great sound but have some of the worst longevity of any speaker cone material. Moisture, temperature fluctuations, and general wear and tear can quickly destroy a paper speaker cone. Synthetic paper cone material can produce the same quality of sound but also last longer.
- Polypropylene Cones: As a cone material, polypropylene is much more durable than paper cones. It’s also a cost-effective material that still produces excellent sound quality, making it one of the most popular choices for car speakers today.
- Kevlar Cones: Being the same material used in bulletproof vests, it’s no surprise that this is the most durable type of cone material. It’s also exceptionally lightweight and rigid, and produces outstanding sound quality. As you might guess it’s also the most expensive material, generally only found in higher-priced speakers.
The type of woofer material plays a significant role in the bass your speakers will produce. Woven fabrics and metal-coated synthetics are some of the popular materials used in woofers. That said, polypropylene is considered the top material for both the quality of the bass and its durability. A polypropylene mixed with metal-coated synthetic fibers will offer the best overall sound for bass that will resonate throughout your car and body.
There are generally two directions you can go when it comes to tweeters. Firstly, softer materials, such as textiles or polyethylene, which produce more mellow, warmer sounds. Harder materials, made of ceramics, metals, or graphite, create sharper high notes with crisper popping sounds.
If you go the first route, silk is the top option, although it’s pricier, less durable, and requires more power to be effective. When it comes to solid materials, titanium is a good choice for its low resonance and accuracy at high frequencies.
The basket, or frame, of the speaker also plays a crucial role. Not only does it hold the speaker in place, but it prevents unwanted sound generated from the back wave of the speaker, helps moderate temperatures, and affects the overall durability of the speaker.
Stamped steel baskets are often used. However, these are generally not great at isolating backwave and are more susceptible to breaking. For a long time, cast aluminum and cast magnesium baskets were the higher-quality options being more durable and practical at backwave cancellation.
Today, polymer composite baskets are the top-of-the-line technology. It has many of the same properties as cast materials but is more cost-effective, making it popular with producers and consumers alike.
Buying The Best Car Speakers Isn’t An Easy Choice, But Getting The Right Ones Is So Rewarding
As you can see, there’s plenty to consider when choosing the best car speaker system. And it’s not just a case of buying the most expensive either. As well as the type of music you want to blast out, there are many other factors to consider.
The materials and type of speaker will heavily influence its cost, practicality, performance, and longevity of the speaker. So compromising on one factor for another depends on your budget and taste in music and sound.
That said, a good pair of car speakers will improve the sound quality in your car, especially if you have a quality stereo system.
Upgrading your car audio system won’t just improve the sound of your music, but it will improve your drive every time you get in your car. Now, you just need to factor everything in and narrow it down to. your perfect choice.
I am a passionate and skilled car audio enthusiast with 15 years of experience in the industry. My journey started when I replaced my first set of factory car speakers, sparking a deep love for high-quality sound. Since then, I have worked as a representative for renowned brands like Kenwood and Alpine.
With a background in both retail and distribution, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the car audio market. Currently a certified (MECP) installer in the Mobile Electronics industry, my expertise lies in delivering top-notch audio installations. My knowledge, coupled with my genuine passion, makes me the go-to professional for all car audio needs.