If you want better sound quality and more bass at a loud volume, you will need to upgrade your car speakers. There are a range of custom speaker setups available but upgraded OEM replacements such as 6.5 speakers are an easy modification.
The best car speakers are the JL Audio C5-653 Evolution C5 3-Way, which provide the highest sound quality and deep bass. The only drawback is the price is but there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives if you are looking for great value.
Factors such as impedance, RMS, peak power, frequency range, sensitivity
Best Car Audio Speakers
|JL Audio C5-653 Evolution||75 Watts||225 Watts|
|Alpine SPR-60 Type-R||100 Watts||300 Watts|
|Infinity Kappa 60.11CS||90 Watts||270 Watts|
|JBL GTO638||60 Watts||180 Watts|
|Pioneer TS-A1676R||50 Watts||320 Watts|
|Rockford Fosgate R165X3||45 Watts||90 Watts|
|Hertz Audio DCX 165.3||60 Watts||120 Watts|
|Polk Audio DB651||60 Watts||180 Watts|
Audio performance comes from knowing your system and installing it correctly without mishap. The correct setup can make a huge difference and improve the value of your car but get it wrong and it does the complete opposite.
Big brands in the car speaker industry are JL Audio, JBL and Pioneer with each being in the industry for many years. Sticking to these and other reputable brands will ensure your audio system will provide reliable and quality audio for many years.
Upgrading from your OEM car speakers is one of the best audio improvements you can do and it is fairly straight forward. Below is a list of the best car speakers that provide sound quality and deep bass without distortion at high volumes.
JL Audio C5-653 Evolution C5 3-Way Speakers
JL Audio car speakers are aimed at car audio perfectionists that require the best quality sound from their speakers. The C5-653 Evolution set of car door speakers are exactly that and are built to provide hard hitting bass and sound quality.
In terms of the features of the C5-653 Evolution by JL Audio, they include:
- 4 Ohms
- 75 Watts RMS
- 225 Watts Peak Power
- Frequency response of 48-25,000 Hz
- 89.5 dB sensitivity
- Mineral-filled polypropylene cone body
- Rubber surround
- 6.5 speakers with a cast alloy frame
- 4″ Mid-range driver
- Pure silk dome tweeter
- JL Audio’s exclusive DMA-optimized motors
The C5-653 Evolution 6.5 inch car speakers are expensive and if you are on a budget, these are not for you. The complete audio system includes 2 woofers, 2 mid-range drivers, 2 tweeters and 2 crossover networks for the ultimate experience.
These 6.5 speakers have been designed to provide excellent linearity at high volumes and ensure distortion is at a minimum. The JL Audio 3 Way is an excellent system but installation is a key factor to ensure you achieve optimum sound quality.
Overall, the C5-653 Evolution by JL Audio
Alpine SPR-60 Type-R 6.5 Car Speakers
Another big brand in the automotive audio scene are Alpine with a variety of options available. Their 6.5 speakers are constructed of a multi layer hybrid fiber wooferwith a 1 inch swiveling silk dome speaker. When using Alpine’s patented Linear Drive technology, the sound quality of these speakers is of the highest quality.
Features and specs of the Alpine SPR-60-Type-R 6.5 speakers include:
- 4 Ohms
- 100 Watts RMS
- 300 Watts peak power
- Frequency response of 65-29,000 Hz
- 88 dB sensitivity
- Large aluminum voice coil
- Shallow mounting
- 1 inch ring radiator tweeter
These are high performing car speakers for bass and sound quality but of course, they do come at a cost but not as much as the JL car speakers above.
Overall, they are the best car audio speakers for those who enjoy loud and clear music. The performance figures speak for themselves and you have the backing of a reputable audio brand such as Alpine
Infinity Kappa 60.11CS Car Audio Speakers
Finding 6.5 speakers that provide high bass and sound quality whilst on a budgetcan be difficult. However, the Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6.5 speakers with a two way setup with a large cone surface area provide exactly that without being too pricey.
In terms of the features of these 6.5 speakers by Infinity, they include:
- 2 Ohms
- 90 Watts RMS
- 270 Watts peak power
- Frequency response of 45-35,000 Hz
- 93 dB sensitivity
- High-quality external crossover filters
- Vented magnet and motor assembly
- High temperature voice coils
The 60.11CS model by Infinity also features a clever tweeter setup as they are completely adjustable. They can be adjusted clockwise and counter clockwise as well as adjustable levels for the ultimate car audio experience.
JBL GTO638 6.5 Inch 3-Way Speakers
JBL have been creating premium speakers since the 1940’s and their GTO638 Coaxial 6.5 speakers are one of the best. The “Plus One Woofer” cones are patented and have been developed to provide deep bass at a high output.
Below are some of the features and specs of the JBL GTO638 speakers:
- 3 Ohms
- 50 Watts RMS
- 180 Watts Peak Power
- Frequency response of 67-21,000 Hz
- 92 dB sensitivity
- Built-in Crossover Networks
- Mylar-Titanium Super Tweeter
- Lower impedance voice coil
Overall, the JBL GTO638 are the best car speakers for the money and are easy to install as they are direct factory OEM replacements. This means that all you need to do is remove the current 6.5 speakers and put these in their place. Sound quality is also excellent with these car speakers and this is thank to a built-in crossover network with advanced high and low pass filters.
JBL are a reputable company in the audio industry and these 6.5 speakers are the most popular OEM swap on the market. You cannot go wrong with these are the ease of installation makes it ideal for those with basic DIY skills.
Pioneer TS-A1676R 6.5 Inch Speakers
The Pioneer TS-A1676R are powerful coaxial speakers that uses a 3 way multi-layer Mica Matrix Cone. This is the latest upgrade that promises improved bass quality and dynamic range with higher power handling compared to the predecessor.
Features and specs of the Pioneer TS-A1676R include:
- 4 Ohm
- 50 Watts RMS
- 320 Watts Peak Power
- Frequency response of 32-40,000 Hz
- 90 dB sensitivity
- Lightweight elastic polymer surround
- Heat resistant voice coil
- Cooling basket with air vents
Pioneer are known for creating aesthetically pleasing car speakers but for those that are installing these inside a door, which is covered by a mesh grill, it is hardly a deciding factor. However, these car audio speakers go much further than just looks.
Pioneer and JBL are direct competitors but this A1676R speakers are cheaper and provide more powerful audio. The improvements in the cone and the tweeter means you can listen to
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Coaxial Speakers
If you are looking for affordable 6.5 speakers that provide good bass and sound quality, then the R165X3 by Rockford Fosgate is the answer. These will be a direct replacement to your OEM speakers and will take less than 10 minutes to fit the pair.
The specs and features of the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 include:
- 4 Ohm
- 45 Watts RMS
- 90 Watts Peak Power
- Frequency response of 52-20,000 Hz
- 91 dB sensitivity
- Vacuum Polypropylene cone with rubber surround
- Silk dome pole mounted Piezo tweeter and midrange
- Integrated tweet crossover
This 3 way full range coaxial speakers setup contains two 6.5 speakers with grilles, integrated high-pass crossovers and mounting hardware. They are a direct replacement for OEM speakers and provide great performance considering the low cost of the car speakers compared with more expensive alternatives.
When looking at the specs, its clear to see that power and the frequency range is far less. However, if you are looking for cheap replacement 6.5 speakers, these are the best option that are easy to install.
Hertz Audio DCX 165.3 Coaxial Speakers
The DCX 165.3 series by Hertz is a relatively affordable pair of 2 way coaxial speakers that provide quality and performance. It uses a pulp cone with cotton fiber woofer and polymer rubber surrounds to provide punchy bass and reduced distortion.
In terms of the features and spec of the Hertz Audio DCX 165.3, they include:
- 4 Ohm
- 60 Watts RMS
- 120 Watts peak power
- Frequency response of 60-21,000 Hz
- 93 dB sensitivity
- High density flux woofer magnet
- Water-repellent woofer cone
- 1 year warranty
To further improve the bass and sound quality, Hertz have integrated an anti-vibration rubber magnet cover. This is a premium feature and makes a huge difference along with the cotton fiber woofer and polymer rubber surrounds.
Overall, these Hertz car speakers will provide clearer highs, more bass and undistorted sound compared against OEM speakers. They are slightly more than the other cheaper alternatives but the Hertz speakers use far high quality materials and provide better power specs.
Polk Audio DB651 Car Door Speakers
Polk Audio is becoming a reputable brand due to their performance on a budget. The DB651S are 6.5 speakers that do exactly that and can even be used on boats or motorcycles as they are marine certified.
In terms of the features and specs of the Polk car speakers, they include:
- 4 Ohms
- 60 Watts RMS
- 180 Watts peak power
- Frequency response of 35-22,000 Hz
- 92 dB sensitivity
- Dynamic Balance polymer woofer
- Neodymium tweeter magnet
- 2-way crossover network
- 1 year warranty
Overall, the Polk Audio DB651 Car Door Speakers offer great sound quality and bass and are a simple replacement to your OEM factory speakers. Polk have invested a fair amount of research and development into their speakers and even use laser imaging to get the optimum design from their speaker materials.
6.5 Car Speakers Buying Guide
Every car will have some sort of speaker installed, which comes in various forms that include 6.5 speakers to subwoofers. Of course, they are not all the same as some OEM car speakers are far better than other cheaper manufacturers.
However, anything can be upgraded to your specification and knowing the right information can help with your buying decision. Within all of our car speaker recommendations above, we have included the following:
- Impedance (measured in ohms)
- Peak Power
- Frequency Range
- … and other
To further improve your knowledge of car audio, we have have compiled all the details you need that will ensure you pick the right car speakers for sound quality and bass.
The range of the frequency determines the sound quality and how it is directed inside of your car. By adjusting the frequency of the speakers, you will be able to increase the effect of the sound. Tweeters function as a means of creating high directional and high-frequency sounds and if they are aimed at the correct angle, you will not have a good all round audio experience.
Using crossovers allows for an even distribution of the frequencies between the woofer and the tweeter. This results in power that isn’t wasted between the speakers because frequencies aren’t reproduced by units in the system that aren’t meant to handle those sounds.
These crossovers also include bi-amping which allows the system to have separate sound amplification for both the woofer and tweeter. This type of design is used for high-performance systems when they are installed.
Power Handling – RMS & Peak Power
When we discuss variables such as power handling, it refers to the amount of power that a speaker can handle. In terms of the difference, RMS (Root Mean Square) is the amount of continuous power the speaker can handle. Whereas Peak Power is the maximum power that the speaker can handle in short intervals.
In terms of peak power, this rating is usually achieved via a heavy hitting bass note and many manufacturers try to impress potential buyers with this rating. However, we strongly recommend that you base your buying decision upon the RMS rating, as this will provide a better indication of the quality of the speaker.
You may also want to invest into a quality car amp to ensure the RMS can be achieved for optimum sound quality. For further information, you can check out Sonic Electronix’s detailed comparison on RMS and peak power.
Impedance is the amount of resistance that the speaker has when when current and voltage is sent to it. Less resistance means more electrical signal will get through to the speaker. It is best to check the impedance range of a speaker when connecting it to an amplifier. Not all amplifiers are set to work with the same impedance when it comes to speakers.
Impedance is measured in “Ohm” but you may also see the symbol Ω when mentioned in the specification of a car speaker.
The measurement of speaker sensitivity concentrates on the amount of sound a speaker can yield when power is applied to the unit. Low power systems are ranked at a level that is 15 watts RMS per channel or lower.
These types of speakers do well with high sensitivity rankings that range in 90 dB. If your system is high powered, such as 16 watts RMS or higher, then you are going to need speakers with a low sensitivity rating.
The material that the speaker also plays an important part in the quality of the sound. Woofer materials are stiff yet lightweight in nature and are made from a synthetic material like polypropylene. Speakers with woven fabrics or metal coated synthetics are also used and can do well with a wide variation in temperature and moisture.
Tweeter materials are soft like poly, silk, or textile blends which makes the sound more refined sending out a mellow sound. Surround materials on woofers allows for free movement of the cone giving a much deeper bass sound. The material that is used is rubber based and provides excellent longevity, quality, and performance. Less expensive Surround Materials found on cheap car speakers include foam and cloth.
Connection and Cabling
Having the best car speakers, woofers, tweeters, and any other component won’t matter if the devices aren’t wired correctly. The flow of electricity throughout the unit must be even and balanced in order to avoid problems with the audio system.
Amplifiers function as a means to provide electrical pressure to a circuit. OHMS are used when measuring resistance against the electrical pressure of the audio system. Watts are used to check the range of how much power will be released. Voice coils are used to create the electrical resistance and perform the duties of the system.
Problems can happen when the amplifier provides more power to the system than needed because of incorrect impedance adjustments. This causes the amplifier to shut down because of overheating before burning out. Consider the range and output of the amplifier when attaching it to the system.
Consider the outcome of amplifier wiring options that will change the level of impedance because of the cross connection of multiple sub systems and voice coils. Use dual voice coils to increase wiring options when setting up an audio system. Use RMS ratings to determine the power output needed for the amplifier to attain adequate sound quality for the system.
How Do You Install Car Speakers?
Installing car speakers is not as easy as “plug-in and play”. For starters, you must be sure your current audio setup is able to work with the speakers as some have limited channels from the stereo or the amplifier is not able to cope.
To install car speakers, use the below steps:
- Check the dimensions of the speaker
- Disconnect the battery
- Remove the grill or door card
- Disconnect the old speaker from the harness
- Install the new harness and connect the speaker
- Test the speakers
- Put everything back together
This installation is a very basic setup and will follow closely to a straight OEM speaker replacement. However, many car audio enthusiasts may choose a custom setup for more bass and extra sound quality as per the image below.
What Size Car Audio Speakers Fits?
When you are deciding to install new speakers into your car, you need to make sure that they can fit. All the work will be for nothing if the speakers are not the correct size and you will have to cut into your door card in order to make them work.
The majority of car speakers are a standard size unless you go for something very custom. Below are some of the standard sizes for most car speakers:
- 6×9 car speakers – 6 x 9 inches
- 6.5 car speakers – Most common speaker at 6.5 inches
- Subwoofers – Between 8 and 15 inches
- Tweeters – Between 1 and 2 inches
Size and style play a large part when it comes to quality and sound in a car. The most popular upgrade is replacing the 6.5 speakers to a more powerful alternative for additional bass and sound quality.
Speakers come in a range of sizes and if you are willing to perform a little bit of DIY, the sound inside your car can be as crazy as you want. In terms of the DIY, it will involve a custom mounting bracket for the speaker and cutting into the door card.
Hopefully the detailed buying guide and car speaker recommendations will aid your buying decision in the correct way. Before you go straight into purchasing your new car speakers, you may want to be sure your double din head unit or single din head unit is able to support the speakers. Outputs at the back of many stereo systems are different and won’t allow for certain car speaker setups.
On top of this, your battery in your car may have an extra electrical draw from these speakers and you will want to ensure it is at its best.