Are you looking for the best car speakers to make every drive you go on a more enjoyable ride? I know how difficult it can be to choose the right ones that will not only elevate your listening experience but do so while staying within your budget.
A set of good car speakers makes your ride much more enjoyable and when it’s connected with the right amplifier and subwoofer, if you’re going all out, there’s nothing better than blasting out those crisp, loud tunes.
To help you out choosing, I’ll not only provide you with some of my best speakers for car picks, but also an in-depth buyer’s guide to make sure you can make the right choice for your ideal sound.
What Are The Best Car Speakers On A Budget?
|Dual-DS652||50||86 dB||4 Ohms||80Hz - 20kHz|
|BOSS BRS65||40||85 dB||4 Ohms||80 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Kenwood KFC-6965S||45||92 dB||4 Ohm||30 Hz - 22 kHz|
Dual DS652 100-Watt 2-Way 6.5-Inch DS Series 2-Way Car Speaker System – Punching Above Its Weight
These 6.5 inch coaxial speakers feature a paper-thread cone with a black foam surround, a polypropylene woofer, and a 1 inch black mylar dome tweeter, packed in a coated-steel stamped basket – typical of what you might get for car speakers on a budget.
The system features an 80Hz-20kHz frequency range which means you will be missing out on some bass. However, 86dB sensitivity combined with a relatively standard 50 RMS and 100 Peak Power rating means you should still be able to pump out plenty of volume.
While it consists of what’s generally considered cheaper materials, these speakers punch above their weight in sound, and the 2.3 inch low-profile basket design should make for easier installation.
If you don’t want to break the bank or maybe if you’re just upgrading from your factory set up for the first time, these are a good place to start. Overall, these are some of the best cheap car speakers, and will give you excellent sound.
BOSS Audio Systems BRS65 80 Watt, 6.5 Inch, Full Range, Replacement Car Speaker – A Solid Low-Cost System
As the most affordable car speaker on this list, you might expect some significant compromises, but the BOSS BRS65 performs admirably for budget speakers. The polypropylene basket does produce decent crispness, although your frequency range is slightly limited at between 100Hz-18kHz.
A foam surround and stamped metal basket make up the cost-effective construction, but for the price you shouldn’t expect better materials.
With a depth of 6.2 inch, it’s a hefty piece so you’ll need to ensure it can fit in your specific vehicle model. The BOSS performs at 80 watts peak power and 40 watts RMS power handling rating with 85dB sensitivity.
They’re not the best car audio speakers on my list, but for the price you will get great sound and reliability. As well being easy to install, they’re a good starting point for anyone wanting to upgrade their factory speakers.
Kenwood KFC-6965S 6×9 Inch, 400 Watt, 3-Way Coaxial Speakers – The Best Budget Car Speakers
The KFC-6965S is the top-of-the-line affordable speaker on my list. 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.
This speaker features a polypropylene cone with 1 inch balanced-dome tweeters and ceramic super tweeters that give a vivacious mid and high range – impressive for budget car speakers.
With a frequency range of 30Hz – 22kHz, it features a much wider range than either of my other two budget options. The 7/16″-deep profile also allows for more flexible installation while the speaker itself has a cool and sleek and stylish facade.
It can also handle more significant power sources/amplifiers with a peak power handling rating of 400 Watts, and if you intend to only upgrade your speakers and not a more powerful amp these will deliver as much crisp volume as many of its more expensive competitors.
The KFC-6965S is the higher end of my price range for buying on a budget, but if you can scrape a little bit more together, they’re definitely the best cheap car speakers for bass and sound quality in this price range.
Tips To Make Your Car Speakers Sound Better
What Are The Best Car Speakers For Sound Quality?
|JBL GTO606C||5 - 200||92 dB||3 Ohms||67 Hz - 21 kHz|
|Pyle PL63BL||180||89 dB||4 Ohms||90Hz - 20Khz|
|KICKER CSC65 CS||100||92 dB||4 Ohm||40 Hz - 20 kHz|
JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Car Speakers – Top-of-the-Range Sound Quality
At a relatively high price point, it’s worth asking whether these JBL car speakers are worth the cost. As soon as you open the box, however, you can just feel the quality of the high-grade materials. They are JBL after all, and it’s a full component speaker system.
This system consists of component speakers that include two separate soft-dome tweeters with oversized voice coils for refined highs. The speakers themselves feature carbon-injected Plus One cones that are bigger than its competitors for the price range. The carbon injected cones ensure the speakers will move more air ensuring you get a better low-frequency response and ultimately deeper bass and crisper sounds.
An RMS range of between 5 – 200 Watts and a peak power rating of 270 watts means the speaker should hold up to most power sources. The frequency range could be better than 67Hz-21kHz for the price, but it does feature 92dB sensitivity and very low impedance, down to 3 Ohm.
JBL car speakers are known for being value for money, and the GTO6069C are very good car speakers and probably the best in its price range. I’ve heard some people rubbish the outdated look of them, but I don’t mind the look, especially when the sound is of the highest quality.
Pyle PL63BL 6.5″ Three-Way Sound Speaker System – Great For A Fuller Range Sound
If the JBL’s “outdated” look isn’t for you, I’m sure you’ll like the Pyle Blue Label speakers, which look cool and sound even better than they look. With a 180W RMS and 360W peak power rating, these speakers can handle even the most demanding power supplies and amplifiers.
As triaxial systems, each driver can cover the lows, mids, and highs, leading to full and robust sound output, and these Pyle’s maximise all three parts. Not to mention the speakers also feature 4 Ohm impedance to operate at a higher level, even when used with low-powered systems.
The poly injection provides plenty of stiffness and comes in a striking blue hue for those who like the aesthetic. A 1 inch neodymium film dome handles the mid-range with a ¾ inch piezo tweeter for the highs makes these some of the best sounding speakers for the money.
Pyle don’t always get the recognition they deserve, but I think these are good car speakers, and make for an impressive factory upgrade. All in all, you will get better, but these will enrich your listening experience at what is still a relatively affordable price point.
KICKER CSC65 CS Series 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers – An Excellent Upgrade From Your Factory Set Up
My only Kicker pick in this review and the CSC65 CS Series is a great choice for anyone wanting a good overall quality sound. The 2-way coaxial speakers and for bass, they are the beat speakers for cars compared with any other like-for-like.
The CS series offer deep bass and excellent treble thanks to the heavy-duty motor/magnet structure and the rigid polypropylene cone with EVC (Extended Voice Coil) technology. Added with Kicker’s low-protrusion PEI tweeters with neodymium magnets and these speakers give excellent sound quality with extreme clarity.
With peak power handling at 300W and 100W of continuous power, a frequency range of 40 to 20,000Hz, and an impressive 90 dB sensitivity will ensure you get crisp loud music from these drivers.
These Kickers might not be the best car audio speakers, but they are a massive upgrade from your factory speakers. There isn’t a ton of bass, but it’s good enough for most people. However, if you pair up with a good subwoofer and amplifier, the overall sound will be as good as anything in this price range.
Component Speakers For Amazing Sounds
What Are The Best MidRange Car Speakers?
|Alpine S-S69 S-Series||85||90 dB||4 Ohms||65 Hz - 22 kHz|
|HERTZ SV200.1||250||100 dB||4 Ohms||100 Hz - 9 kKhz|
|Infinity KAPPA-86CFX||100||94 dB||2.5 Ohm||40Hz – 25 kHz|
Alpine S-S69 S-Series 6×9-inch Coaxial 2-Way Speakers – Good Car Speakers For Every Set Up
Alpine is one of the leaders in the car speaker space, which always makes it a reassuring purchase. Known for their sound quality Alpine don’t disappoint with these speakers.
The Alpine S series are a great sounding speaker at a competitive price, and the S-S69 is another sleek product. As with all S series drivers, these are made with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic woofer cone with specialized rubber surrounding the crisp sounds across the board, including the complex midrange.
And a 1 inch silk dome tweeter 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. A power handling rating of 85 Watts RMS and 270 Watts max combined with 90 dB sensitivity, however, makes it compatible with most sound systems/amplifiers and will improve the sound no-end.
For midrange sounds, these speakers are hard to beat. Overall, they offer excellent clarity and a great balance of tones even if you’re just upgrading the factory speakers. If you’re upgrading your whole system, however, you can’t go wrong with these.
HERTZ SV200.1 8 Inch 500W 4 Ohm Mid Range Car Audio Competition Speakers – Not Cheap But Arguably The Best Car Audio Speakers For Sound Quality
As competition-grade speakers from another top industry name, the SV200 speakers from Hertz come with a hefty price tag. They are designed for SPL competitions in mind, and if you can afford these, you will not be disappointed.
With peak power handling of a stunning 500 watts and 250 watts RMS, these speakers can handle extremely high-powered sound systems. Like other SPL components, the cone consists of a copper voice coil wound on a 2-layer KSV former with double-wave damped fabric surrounds, which ensures almost perfect sound even under extreme conditions.
The high quality of the materials means the SV200 scores well in SPL competitions, and it should ensure the longevity of the speakers even under the challenging conditions associated with participating in competitions.
They’re definitely not cheap, but these competition-grade car speakers will give you some of the best and crispest sounds, and when put together with a good quality amplifier, the sound will clarity and loudness will shake your car.
Infinity KAPPA-86CFX 6″ x 8″ 2-way Car Audio Multi Element Speaker– Best Midrange Speakers For The Money
While not as big of a brand name as its two competitors in this category, this model from Infinity KAPPA performs admirably at a reasonable price point. These two-way speakers feature 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.
Infinity’s glass fiber woofer cones are light and stiff and have more cone-area than other speaker brands. This delivers a wider frequency than many other brands.
The speakers are capable of exceptionally low 2.5 Ohm impedance, extracting the maximum power out of your sound system combined with 94 dB sensitivity. They are also rated for decent power handling at 100 watts RMS, peaking at 300 watts, which isn’t a match for the Sv200s, but neither is the price.
The sound is as clean as anything and for midrange speakers the bass is second-to-none. They say Infinity speakers go through the most rigorous of testing and these speakers pack a punch. They would be a significant upgrade to your factory set up, and if you partner them with a good quality amplifier you won’t get a better speaker for your buck.
Cheap Improvements For Your Car Speakers
What Are The Best Car Speakers for Bass?
|JBL GTO629||5 - 125||93 dB||3 Ohms||53 Hz - 21 kHz|
|Rockford Fosgate R165X3||45||91 dB||4 Ohms||52 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Pioneer TS6900PRO||100||92 dB||4 Ohms||29 Hz - 40 kHz|
JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5 Inch Coaxial Car Speakers – Good Car Speakers For Clean Bassy Sounds
This is my second JBL pick and it’s not by coincidence. JBL car speakers are among the best and the company constantly delivers some of the best car audio equipment and these speakers match their brand reputation.
Like the GTO609C, these speakers are made with Carbon-injected Plus One cones for an enlarged profile. This ensures more air and of course lower frequency and more bass. A unique feature is the patented UniPivot tweeter that you can use to direct the sound according to your preference, ideal for those low car door speakers.
The speakers also feature a low impedance of 3 Ohms, resulting in solid performance even in systems lacking a powerful amplifier. Dedicated 12dB/octave crossover components also dynamically redirect highs/lows to the correct speakers for optimal performance and a crystal clear sound.
Unfortunately, they do have a slightly restrictive power handling range of between 25 – 180 watts, but for most people that is sufficient.
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 these GTO629s.
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5″ Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker – Best Bass Speakers For The Money
My first Rockford Fosgate pick and the most affordable picks in my speakers for bass category. The speaker is another 3-way system polypropylene cone, midrange, and a silk dome Piezo tweeter which helps deliver a robust performance across lows, mids, and highs. and warm mellows. With a wide frequency range starting at a low 52Hz (up to 20kHz), it also offers exceptional depth for bass performance.
Power handling is slightly limited, only supporting 45 watts RMS and 90 Watts of peak power with a standard sensitivity rating of 91 dB, but for the price you can’t expect much better. Nothing a good amp won’t fix.
These Rockfords can provide a cost-effective solid listening experience for users who prefer bass-heavy speakers. And even without a subwoofer it will make a big difference to your listening experience.
They might not be the best speakers for cars on the market, but at a reasonable price and even without a subwoofer, these speakers will 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.
Pioneer TS6900PRO – Last But Not Quietest And All Around Good Car Speakers
These 2-way speakers from one of the industry leaders, Pioneer who claim the PRO series line of speakers is constructed with the street enthusiast in mind, and the max output of these drivers emphasises that point.
These speakers are explicitly designed for high sensitivity and power handling and are an excellent choice for those who want to maximize volume output on low-powered systems or need speakers that can handle more powerful systems.
The 6x9s are capable of 100 watt RMS with up to 600 watts of peak power handling. And with a frequency range from 29 Hz to 40 kHz there’s some room to drive a variety of sounds.
The large bullet tweeters are slightly awkward and bulky but help give the speakers a good overall sound quality, while the blended pulp cone woofers deliver great sound at low ranges for that perfect, pounding bass.
These speakers are built for a tank, and if you want to push everything to the max, you’ll have to get yourself a decent amplifier. If you do, you should get one at least 90 watts for continuous clean power. Once wired up, though, your drive will be more noticeable around town.
Avoid These Mistakes That Kill Bass
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.
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.