Table of Contents
- 1 Top Picks for the Best Car Speakers
- 1.1 1. Pioneer TS-A1675R 3-way Coaxial Car Speakers
- 1.2 2. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 3-Way Coaxial Speaker
- 1.3 3. JBL GTO609C 2-Way Speakers System
- 1.4 4. Polk Audio DB651 2-Way Car Speakers
- 1.5 5. Pioneer TS-A1686R 4-Way Speakers
- 1.6 6. Infinity Reference 6032CF 2-way Speakers
- 1.7 7. Alpine SPS-610C 2-way Type S Speaker System
- 1.8 8. Kicker KB6000 Full-Range Speakers
- 1.9 9. Kicker DS65 Coax Speakers
- 1.10 10. Boss Audio CH6530 3-way Car Speakers
- 2 Benefits of Upgrading your Car Speakers
- 3 Types of Car Speakers
- 4 Choosing the Best Car Speakers
- 5 Care and Maintenance for Car Speakers
- 6 How to Install Car Speakers
- 7 Conclusion
Do you love driving? Do you like listening to music? If you answer yes to these two questions, you should definitely invest in aftermarket speakers. While the factory-installed speakers can deliver pretty much a good job, if you have discerning preferences and if you want only the best sound experience, replacing the original speakers is a must!
In the rest of this guide, I will share with you some of the top picks for the best car speakers, as well as the reasons why they are excellent choices. To add, I will also tackle some of the most important things that will help you to come up with a well-informed decision.
Top Picks for the Best Car Speakers
The table provides a glimpse at some of the best products that are currently available in the market. The succeeding section, meanwhile, will show you some of their notable features, as well as a few of their pros and cons.
1. Pioneer TS-A1675R 3-way Coaxial Car Speakers
More than just a premium music listening experience, this speaker is also great because of its aesthetics. Add it to your car, and for sure, your friends won’t stop looking at such a thing of beauty.
Performance-wise, one of the things that I like about it is that it is a three-way speaker. It is made from multi-layered materials that can disperse sound in an excellent manner. It can reproduce sound clearly, which can be expected regardless of the genre of the music that is being played.
The materials used in the speakers are highly-influential of its sound output. For instance, the tweeters are incorporated with polyethylene terephthalate film, which makes the sound bright and mellow.
The materials used are also lightweight, especially the elastic polymer. More so, it has heat-resistant voice coil.
The frequency range is one more thing that is exceptional in this product. Based on the technical specifications from the manufacturer, the frequency ranges from 35 hertz to 31 kilohertz. This full spectrum can also be said as one of the reasons why the sound output is excellent regardless of the music that it plays.
- Produces great sound quality regardless of the genre of music
- Excellent power handling
- Aesthetically-pleasing design
- Installation can be quite tricky
- May break down easily
2. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 3-Way Coaxial Speaker
While there are many things to love in this speaker, one worth highlighting is the quality of the crossovers. Crossovers are critical for enhanced frequency, which impacts the overall quality of the music. Because of the premium crossovers, the music produced is sure to be a lot clearer.
In terms of installation, there is no need to fret. Even without help from the pros, its assembly is one thing that you can accomplish on your own, even without having a lot of time at your disposal. The kit is inclusive of almost everything that you will need to have the speaker installed.
Looking at the quality of the materials that are used, it is also impressive. It has a silk dome tweeter. To add, the woofer cone is made from polypropylene with rubber surround. These materials are not only long-lasting but also positively affects the quality of the sound that is reproduced.
With low impedance, there is another good reason to believe that this is a good pick. In case you do not know, the good thing about low impedance is that you are free to add more amplifiers as desired. In turn, this can improve the overall sound quality.
- Affordable price
- Produces clear and loud sound
- Comes with a grill/trim ring
- Can blow out after some time
- Can lead to distortion of sound
3. JBL GTO609C 2-Way Speakers System
The Plus One Woofer Cone is perhaps one of the most notable features of these speakers. It is made using an innovative technology that has been developed exclusively by JBL. This makes the cone area wider than most of its competitors, resulting in better bass waves.
The Mylar-titanium tweeter is also worth giving emphasis. These materials are lightweight and compact. To add, it improves the mid-range frequency of the speakers, resulting in better overall sound quality.
It also features built-in crossover networks. This is in contrast to low-level products with inferior crossover. This is the one that is responsible for the smooth transitioning of the sound from the woofer to the tweeter.
Technically speaking, meanwhile, it has a maximum power of 180 watts. There is 60-watt RMS while the frequency ranges from 50 hertz to 21 kilohertz.
Lastly, it comes with Intermount III mounting system. This is a signature mounting system from JBL, providing you with the assurance that its installation will be a piece of cake. There are also grilles that are provided to protect the speakers from external damage and to prevent dampening as well.
- Has adjustable super tweeter
- Has rubber surround
- High-quality mounting brackets
- Bass quality can be better
- Can be small for some
4. Polk Audio DB651 2-Way Car Speakers
When you spend your money on something, better be sure that it will last long. With these speakers, you will happy to know that it has sturdy construction. It is made from high-quality materials that can withstand even harsh environments, such as extreme heat.
Speaking of the materials, there are also rubber surrounds. They will not easily crack or fall, even when subjected to stress.
It also has neodymium magnets. The latter is the one that allows it to reproduce high frequency while making sure that every detail of the sound can still be clearly heard.
Each speaker has a diameter of 6.5 inches. It has a size that will easily fit in most cars. There are also ABS wheel-design grilles, which can protect the speakers, while also adding character in its appearance.
The speakers are also marine-certified, which means that it can be used beyond cars. If you have a boat or a yacht, this will also be a great addition to an enhanced music-listening experience.
The speaker has a power range of 6 to 60 watts RMS. The peak power is 180 watts. Meanwhile, the frequency response is from 35 hertz to 22 kilohertz. Lastly, its sensitivity rating is 92 decibels.
- Has a two-way crossover
- Fits in many cars
- Durable construction
- Distortions are common when playing in high volume
- Inferior bass
5. Pioneer TS-A1686R 4-Way Speakers
This set of 4-way coaxial speakers has RMS of 60 watts per pair and peak power of 350 watts per pair. Meanwhile, the frequency response is 32 hertz to 38 kilohertz.
In terms of the materials used, the dome tweeter and super tweeter are made using polyethylene terephthalate. More so, there is an elastic surround, which is also helpful in improving the overall quality of the sound that is produced.
Meanwhile, for installation to be easily accomplished, the manufacturer provides the essentials that will be needed, including two grilles. There are also wires, self-tapping screws, and speed clips. With the comprehensive instructions from the manual, it will not take long before you can install the speakers and enjoy it.
When it comes to the sound quality, it is far from being the best in terms of output. There are some inconsistencies and points for improvement. Nonetheless, it can still deliver noticeable improvements as against the sound from factory speakers.
The best thing about this product is perhaps its price. If you are looking for an option that is easy on the wallet, this should be one of the products on your list.
- Comes with high-quality grills
- Produces amazing sound
- Affordable price
- May not be long-lasting
- Can be easily prone to burning
6. Infinity Reference 6032CF 2-way Speakers
One of the most commendable about this model is the quality of the materials used. It may be affordable, but that does not mean that quality is cheap. The rubber surrounds, for instance, can take a beating through the years. The same thing is true with the other materials.
It is also worth noting that it has True Four Ohms. This combines the two ohms impedance of the speakers with the wire impedance to produce a four-ohm load.
The speakers also feature Unipivot, a technology that has been exclusively developed by Infinity. This means that the tweeter is located towards the position of the listener. As a consequence, there is a better quality of sound and uniformity of response.
The tweeter lever adjustment is also a good add-on feature that you can find in the speakers. You can have it customized depending on the position of the speakers or your personal preference.
Lastly, for your peace of mind, the manufacturer is offering a one-year warranty, which is pretty much the standard within the product category. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the warranty to avoid the latter from being voided.
- Excellent highs and bass
- Installation is easy to accomplish
- Durable rubber surrounds
- Mid-range notes are not as incredible
- Possible distortions
7. Alpine SPS-610C 2-way Type S Speaker System
The mid and high notes are some of the best that you can hear from this 6.5-inch speaker. Even with subwoofers and other enhancements, you can expect that the quality of sound it will produce will be decent.
In terms of construction, the HD polymer frame is one of its top assets. The latter is made from a highly-damped material and also offers the benefit of being free from resonance. It also makes installation flexible while also guaranteeing that it will be long-lasting.
The high excursion suspension spider, which is made from aramid fiber, is also exceptional. The latter has an optimized shape, which is responsible for delivering deep bass.
The Type-S component tweeter, although complained of being easily prone to popping, is made using top-notch materials as well. It has silk dome and rigid aluminum. The combination of these materials enables a wide-band response.
Lastly, there is also stable voice coil structure. This is not only making the sound more efficient but also makes sure that it will be delivered with extreme clarity, even when it is loud.
- Produces clear sound
- Fast energy transfer
- No sound distortion
- Tweeters may pop when playing loud music
- Can easily get blown
8. Kicker KB6000 Full-Range Speakers
While this is a great choice for car speakers, it is well-loved by many because of its versatility. You can use it at home, both indoors and outdoors. It is also constructed in such a way that it will be good for marine applications.
This 2-way speaker has a maximum power of 150 watts and RMS power of 75 watts. Meanwhile, its frequency response is 55 hertz to 21 kilohertz.
The materials used are also exceptional and durable, one thing that is to be expected, given the fact that it is more expensive than any of the models that have been mentioned earlier in this post. It has polypropylene cones and Santoprene surrounds. They are known for being able to resist external wear, guaranteeing many years of use.
To produce sound with great quality, the speakers have dual enclosures. There are also compression-loaded tweeters and low-pass crossover.
To provide excellent value for money, the manufacturer provides mounting brackets, which will also make it easy for you to accomplish its installation.
- Sound is crisp and clear
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use
- Easy to install
- Can easily burn
- Thin mounting brackets
9. Kicker DS65 Coax Speakers
Based on the technical specifications from the manufacturer, this 2-way coaxial speaker has a nominal output power of 50 watts and maximum output power of 100 watts. The nominal impedance is 4 ohms. Meanwhile, the frequency response is from 40 to 20,000 hertz while the sensitivity is 90 decibels.
There are some people who complained about how the speakers easily blow. Nonetheless, this can be avoided with the correct installation and making sure that the power can be handled by the speaker. Naturally, if the sound is too loud and power is too much, the speaker will get damaged.
Looking at the materials that are used, the speakers are quite impressive. The dome tweeter is made of titanium while there is also heavy-duty motor structure for an incredible performance. The ribbed surround, on the other hand, is UV-treated. There is also an extended voice coil tweeter for improved bass.
It should also be noted that the speakers are built with an ultra-violet surrounding. The latter is for a better linear response while also helping the speaker to survive extreme heat.
The speakers are also compatible with a wide range of amplifiers and other enhancements that can improve the overall sound quality of your car.
- Installation is straightforward
- Affordable price
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Can easily blow
- May not easily fit in factory speaker cutouts
10. Boss Audio CH6530 3-way Car Speakers
From the ten products that are mentioned in this post, this is perhaps the one with the cheapest price. For this reason, this is recommended for those who are looking for an economical upgrade from their factory-installed speakers.
This product comes with a polyurethane cone, which provides a protection similar to a cushion. This also makes the speaker flexible. The aluminum voice coil is also a plus, which allows the speaker to withstand high temperatures. Plus, there is also a foam-surround, which is great in terms of damping sound.
Another material that is great for this product is the aluminum voice coil. The latter makes it possible for the speakers to handle elevated or higher temperatures without negatively affecting the sound that it will produce.
The speakers have 150 watts RMS and 300 watts max power. The frequency response is from 10 hertz to 18 kilohertz. Meanwhile, it has a sensitivity of 90 decibels
The product comes with a three-year warranty, which is quite longer than what is offered by most of its competitors. Many speakers only have a warranty that lasts for a year.
- Affordable price
- Rubber surround
- Extensive warranty coverage
- Large cone cover
- Flimsy construction
Benefits of Upgrading your Car Speakers
A lot of people may be contented with the factory-installed speakers, especially those who are on a budget. However, installing aftermarket speakers can offer a number of benefits, including the following:
Better Sound Quality: This is perhaps the best reason why you might want to consider installing upgraded speakers. They are more capable of delivering clear and crisp sound, with improved bass.
Better Materials: Compared to the original speakers that are pre-installed on your vehicle, upgrading means that you can take advantage of more premium materials that are meant to withstand the test of time. They will not easily blow up.
Improved Aesthetics: New speakers are not only about form, but also all about function. They often come with good-looking grills. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to improve the look of your car’s interior.
Options for Customization: The factory installed speakers may be limited in terms of power handling. If you plan to install new subwoofers and amplifiers, among others, you might find the need to install new speakers.
Types of Car Speakers
Before you start shopping for the best car speakers, it is important to be familiar with the types that are available and how they are different from one another.
In terms of sound quality and customization, component speakers can prove to be an excellent choice. They are also known as separates, basically because the parts are separate or independent of each other. Meaning, you will have to install the woofer and the tweeter separately, among other parts.
With component speakers, you can enjoy better freedom, especially when adding enhancements. Nonetheless, one problem is that they can be more expensive since you have to purchase the different parts separately.
Also known as a full-range speaker, coaxial speakers are all-in-one-systems. They are perfect for those who are looking for cheaper options. When purchased, they come as a single system, with all the parts installed altogether. Installation is also pretty much straightforward since you just have to remove the old one and put the new speakers in place.
The main drawback of coaxial speakers is that they do not offer customization. You will not have the freedom to add enhancements as you desire.
Choosing the Best Car Speakers
To easily narrow down the options that you have, here are some of the most important considerations:
Sensitivity: This is one of the most important technical details that require your attention. Expressed in decibels or dB, it refers to the loudness of the sound that is produced by the speaker. A higher number would mean that it is louder, but such is not always necessary. Sensitivity should be directly related to the other specifications of the speaker, such as its power.
Power Handling: Measured in watts, this is a reference to the speaker’s system capacity. This is the amount of power that can be handled by the speaker. If your sound system is low, you do not need too much power as it cannot be handled by the latter.
Materials: Look at the materials that are used in the speaker as they will not only be indicative of durability, but will also greatly affect its overall performance.
Woofer: A lightweight and stiff material will be the best, which will enable the best reproduction of low notes. Polypropylene is the most common woofer material, which is often mixed with mica and woven fabrics.
Tweeter: Soft materials like silk and textile blends are the ones that are commonly used in tweeters. Graphite, ceramic, and other hard materials, on the other hand, are better choices if you want the highs produced by the speaker to be bright.
Surround: The most common material that is used for surround is rubber, which is known for its durability. It can withstand harsh environments, especially high temperature. Foam and cloth are also common materials, especially for the cheaper speakers.
Installation: The assembly of the aftermarket speakers should be effortless on your end. Aside from comprehensive instructions, the manufacturer must provide everything that you will need, such as the mounting brackets.
Style: As it has been noted earlier, speakers are about both form and function. That being said, more than the quality of sound, you also have to pay attention to the aesthetics. It must be able to add a unique character in your car.
Size: The right size of the speaker will depend on a number of factors, such as the car that you have. Small cars require small speakers. See to it that it will not consume too much space.
Warranty: What if the speaker experiences defects? If it is still under warranty, the manufacturer can offer free repair or replacement, depending on what is stated in the terms. Choose one that comes with an extensive warranty, which can provide you with peace of mind.
Additional Features: Detachable and pivoting tweeters, as well as external crossovers, are optional features that you might also want to look for in car speakers. They can amp up the cost of the product, but these things are actually great because of their positive impact on the overall sound quality.
Care and Maintenance for Car Speakers
To ensure optimal performance and long-term functionality of car speakers, here are some of the most important things that you have to keep in mind:
Keep the speakers clean. Regular cleaning is a must, especially dusting. If there is dust or dirt in the speakers, it can be easily prone to wear and the quality of sound will also be negatively affected.
Make sure that the wiring is right. See to it that there are no dangling wires in the speaker system. Inspect the wire as well to be sure that it is in good condition.
Use a soft brush to clean the outside of the speaker. Be careful when doing this, especially when there is no grille. Applying too much pressure can cause significant damage.
The use of a hand-held vacuum is also a good way to keep the speakers clean and to blast dust out of the sound system.
How to Install Car Speakers
In the next part of this guide, I will talk about the basics of the installation of car speakers, including the materials that you will need, the steps that you have to follow, and some practical tips to ensure that its assembly can be successfully completed.
Before you start with the actual process of the installation, the following are some of the most important things that should be done:
Refer to the instructions from the manufacturer. The steps that will be mentioned later on will apply in a general sense. However, depending on the brand and model of the car speaker that you will purchase, the steps may vary.
Check if the speakers will fit in your car. In most of the aftermarket speakers, they can easily fit in the slot of your factory-installed speakers. This is going to make your job a lot easier since you do not have to create new holes.
Aside from checking the fit, you also have to pay attention to the power requirements of the speakers and make sure that it is matched with the power that your car provides. Change the wattage and wiring needs of the speakers, among other things.
For your safety, do not forget to disconnect the battery of your car. This will lessen the likelihood that you will suffer from electrical shock as you work. To add, this will also avoid short-circuiting, and hence, it protects the electrical system of your car.
Gather the materials that you will need. Handy tools, such as a screwdriver, wire cutter, electric drill, crimping tool, and socket wrench are some of the materials that you have to get ready beforehand.
Removing the Old Speakers
Once you have shopped for a new car speaker and you have already verified that it is appropriate for your car, the next thing that you have to do is to remove your old speakers. The steps will depend on the position of the speakers, such as in the door or rear among others.
In most cases, the first step is the removal of the grilles. This is the panel that provides protection against external elements. You can use a flathead screwdriver to take out the cover. Some models will have nuts or screws.
There are also some situations wherein you have to remove the seats and the doors, depending on where the original speakers were installed.
When removing the speakers, you have to do it carefully to avoid the electrical systems from being damaged. Also, do not throw the screws. You might need it later.
Installation of Full-Range Speakers
As it has been mentioned in the earlier part of this post, a full-range speaker has the benefit of being easy to install. In a nutshell, it is an all-in-one system. All of the parts are in a single body, which is the reason why its installation is pretty much straightforward.
- Remove the old speakers from their original position.
- Place the speakers in its position and connect the wires. In the simpler models of car speakers, you just have to connect the wiring harness of your car to the wires of your new speakers. A crimped or soldered connection, on the other hand, might be required.
- When connecting the wires, you have to ensure the right polarity. Simply put, this means that you have to connect positive with positive. Otherwise, no electricity will flow in the wire and the speakers won’t function.
- Test your new speaker. But first, you have to reconnect the battery. Play music in full volume and see if the speakers will work, making sure that there will be no noticeable distortions.
- Now that it is working, the next step is to have it secured in place. Put the screws and the grille.
Installation of Component Speakers
For more discerning users who are looking for a better music experience, component speakers are preferred. As noted above, this type has components that are separate from each other. They may be more complicated in terms of installation, but they can offer better quality.
Provided that you have already removed the old speakers, here are the steps that you have to follow
Prepare the Crossover and Install the Woofer
The first thing that you have to do is the preparation of the crossover. An external crossover is needed by this type of speaker for the purpose dividing the bandwidths of the frequency. Cut a wire to a length that is just enough to reach the location of the crossover. Strip about half an inch of the insulation and connect.
Soldering can be quite an intimidating task for many, especially for those who have no knowledge about DIY tasks. With this, an easier solution is to use Posi connectors. They will provide durable connection sans the need to exert too much effort.
Now that the wires have been taken care of, screw the woofer in place.
Install the Tweeter
Now that the woofer is already in place, the next part of the component speaker that you have to install is the tweeter. Only a few cars have original tweeters, which is why you might need to make radical changes to install it in a specific spot, which can be door or dash.
For ease of use, you might want to pick one that is surface-mounted. As the name implies, the process will simply require its assembly on the top of the surface, and hence, there is no need for modification.
In other cases, meanwhile, you have to cut a hole on the door panel. The shape and size of the hole should be fitted for the tweeter that you are going to install. There are different ways to attach it to the hole, and one of the most common is through the use of a spring clip.
The position of the tweeter is an important decision that you have to make as it influences the sound output. For a more realistic sound, it is best to have the tweeter above the woofer. According to experts, the tweeter and the woofer should not have a distance of more than one foot from each other.
Test the Speakers
At this point, you have completed the installation. The next thing to do is play a music and see if the speakers are working properly. If the sound is low and if there are distortions, you have to check the components and look for possible mistakes.
Once all parts are up and working, it is time to place the covers or the grilles. You might have to screw them, but in some cases, they have a tight fit even without the need for screws, nuts, and bolts.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Aside from following the steps that have been mentioned above, there are also some tips that you have to know to increase the likelihood of successfully completing the installation of your new speakers.
If the speakers are not working upon testing, there are several problems that are possible. One of the most common is the wrong polarity. Go back to the wires. Make sure that the positive is connected to positive, and the same thing must be true in the case of the negative terminals.
As a part of the installation process of speakers, you also have to consider the possibility of using sound deadening materials. The latter will help in the reduction of noise and vibration, which will improve the quality of music coming out of the speaker. This makes the platform of the speakers more stable for better sound output.
Aside from the speaker, you might also want to consider the installation of an amplifier. You might see it as an added cost, but truth is, it will be a worthy investment given how it can influence the sound that is reproduced. The power will be cleaner and your entire sound system will be better.
An equalizer and a sound processor will also be a good part of the sound system. This will help to correct the problems that could result from having plastic and glass surfaces. An equalizer is a great way to improve sound response. A sound processor, on the other hand, will significantly improve the bass response.
The distance of the speaker from the listener is also a primary consideration during the process of installation. If the right speaker is too near while the left is too far from the ear, the tendency is that the sound will not arrive simultaneously, which can significantly reduce its overall quality. With this, make sure of the equal spacing of the speakers.
You also have to make sure that there are no gaps or holes once the speakers are already positioned. Fiberglass or wood can be used to close these gaps for better sound reproduction.
When mounting speakers, be careful when drilling holes on any part. In most instances, the warranty will no longer be honored by the manufacturer.
The market is teeming with choices for the best car speakers. Nonetheless, you should not be overwhelmed and should not make a decision on the basis of price alone. I hope that this post was able to help you be enlightened on the top choices that are available and the essential considerations that will help you to narrow down the possibilities.