A car without good car speakers is one way to dampen your day. Imagine how amazing your life will be with new car speakers. Now you don’t want to invest in any car speaker, you must buy the best. Only the best car speakers will deliver the best sounds for music and sound lovers.
More often, you listen to music more in your car than in your home. While your car will most likely come with speakers from the factory, aftermarket speakers provide tweeters with better quality, woofers with precise bass, over-all sound clarity and better performance as well as a longer lifespan.
In this buyers’ guide and review, we present to you the best car speakers for your delight. If you are new to car speaker, we suggest you read from the beginning to the end of this article but if you already have some basic knowledge, feel free to use this navigation menu below. We also prepared a comparison table to give you the detail and informative comparison between each kind of car speaker.
Reasons for Buying Car Speakers
The way to hear good music is through good speakers. Every ear is different, every car interior is different, that’s why you need to maximize your control over your environment. Installing the best car speakers for you will ultimately lead to a perfect sound environment.
Subwoofers for bass, external crossover for middle tones and tweeters for treble. Whether you buy an all in one or a component set, you want to control your tones and ranges to be able to reach that sweet spot of music miracle sound. That’s one of the reasons why you want to buy car speakers.
Types of Car Speakers
There are basically 2 types of car speakers: component speakers and full-range or coaxial speakers. Both speaker types differ in the manner they use drivers to create sound.
1. Component Speakers
Component speakers break up the sounds into three ranges, the subwoofers for delivering those deep rumbling basses, the mid-range speakers (external crossover) and the tweeters for high treble control. Each component has to be installed separately and in the right place. When installed correctly, these components provide a comprehensive surround experience.
External crossovers deliver all the ranges that the subwoofers and tweeters do not. These are just as important as the other two components, and usually, sit where the original speakers were installed. However, the main crossover component comes with input terminal connectivity for bi-amping. The crossovers are the connectors between the audio stereo system and the other components.
Component speakers are essentially the beasts of the industry, and when correctly installed, deliver epic cinematic surround experience for all types of music at all power levels.
2. Full-range or Coaxial Speakers
This is a single-system type of speaker. They can produce sound in a variety of range. They are easy to install and are relatively low in cost making them the most commonly used. Factories often install these type of speakers on new cars.
Full-range speakers are equipped with a mid-range cone woofer and at least a tweeter. This allows the mid-range woofer to reproduce low to midrange sound and high frequency from the tweeter.
Full-range speakers are usually 2-way, 3-way, 4-way and 5-way when referring to the number of tweeters attached to the woofer. 2-way means one woofer with an attached tweeter, 3-way is a woofer with 2 tweeters attached etc. Tweeters allow a more defined and clear sound quality so the more tweeters added the more detailed the sound becomes in a specific range.
Drivers in full-range speakers are joined together so sound from all frequencies will come from the same a single space. The tweeter is located above the woofer. Mid- to high-frequency sound will be handled by the tweeter and low to mid-frequency by the woofer.
Car Speaker Components
You need great speakers to enjoy the superior quality sound. A car speaker consists of different sound drivers. The alignment of these drivers provides different configurations, differentiating the two types of car speakers.
A woofer is a driver that comes with large cones to allow more air for low frequencies. Woofers handle the vocals, bass, mid-basses and lower frequencies produced by drum instruments. Woofers respond to low frequencies (20 Hz to 200 Hz) of the midrange drivers of speakers. Woofers also respond to speakers with no midrange drivers (20 Hz to 1 kHz).
The best sounds of bass are produced by lightweight woofers.
A tweeter is a driver that responds to high frequencies (2 kHz to 20 kHz). It comes in a small cone because high frequencies displace only few air. Tweeters handle high-pitched sounds such as hi-hats, melodies and the rest of the drum instruments not handled by woofers.
3. Midrange Driver
This driver handles mid frequencies (200 Hz to 5 kHz). Most elements of a song are within this frequency range. This driver is responsible for the sound quality you hear such as synths, vocals, drums and leads.
4. Speaker surround
This is a casing that surrounds the woofer. It is able to tolerate heat and humidity.
Tip: If you want to maximize their capabilities, you will need to install and amplifier unit if your car audio stereo system does not have one integrated. Take heed that car speakers use power, and the more powerful a speaker set you to install, the more powerful an amp you will need to install as well.
Car Speaker Materials
The materials a speaker is made of determines the quality of sound it produces and its durability.
1. Woofer Materials
To be able to produce the low notes in a music effectively, woofers should be made of stiff and lightweight materials. Woofers are mostly cone-shaped that are made of polypropylene. When Polypropylene is mixed with mica, the material becomes stiffer and will produce a more precise bass response. Woven fabrics coated titanium or aluminum are also stiff and lightweight and produce superior response.
2. Tweeter Materials
Unlike woofers, tweeters are made of materials that are soft such as silk, poly or textile blends. These materials produce mellow and refined sound. If you, however, prefer highs that are snappy choose car speakers with tweeters made of hard materials such as graphite, ceramics or metal.
3. Surround Materials
Surround materials of woofers must be durable to withstand extreme humidity and temperature. Rubber is the best surround material because it is long lasting and offers superior overall performance. Cloth and foam surrounds are cheaper than rubber and also perform well. The surround allows the woofer produce bass with bolder sound thus it must be made of good quality material.
There is a direct relation between materials and quality, especially durability. When you set your budget, focus on finding higher quality materials, even if this is at the expense of features, since the bottom line is functionality and durability. You don’t want a fully-featured speaker set that dies after two weeks.
Tip: Most component kits come with identical material sets if you prefer different materials for your components you might consider purchasing each component separately. This will deliver a fully personalized sound experience.
Famous Brands of Car Speakers
There are a lot of car speaker brands in the market but these brands stand out because of consistent performance and top quality.
Alpine is a well – known Japanese car speaker brand established in 1960. They also manufacture stereo and audio systems. Alpine car speakers and audio systems were used in high-end cars such as Dodge, Honda, BMW, and Jaguar. Alpine manufactures car speakers based on the listening demands of their customers.
Boston Acoustic was established in 1979 with the goal of manufacturing products with advanced designs and quality. Boston Acoustic focuses on combining elegant and innovative products with clear and authentic sound wherever people want to listen to music. Boston Acoustics produces full range speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers in different quality and various price ranges.
JBL is an American brand which began producing audio systems in 1946 and has since risen to become one of the well-loved speaker brands in the market. The professional division of JBL solely manufactures car speakers, woofers, and subwoofers. Each JBL car speaker category has distinct features to suit your specific needs.
Kenwood is a leading US-based developer and manufacturer communication and consumer electronic equipment since 1946. Kenwood is known for its stylish design and great sound quality. There is always a Kenwood car speaker available for the very budget limit. Kenwood car speakers are often the best replacement for worn out factory-installed speaker systems.
Kicker was founded in 1973 out of Steve Irby’s love for music. With meager resources, Steve developed the first car speaker system with full frequency range. Kicker manufactures speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers and other car parts.
Pioneer has been producing audio systems since 1938. Pioneer has a wide range of car speakers for varied music lovers. Pioneer knows what their customers want and have been producing car speakers to meet these needs.
Polk Audio has been a recognized manufacturer auto and home speakers since 1972. Right from the very start, Polk has been selling car speakers with superior quality sound, overall high quality at an affordable price. Polk car and home speakers are available in 3 different types each with their own distinct features.
Difference Between 2-way, 3-way or 4-way Speakers
You need great speakers to enjoy the music of good quality sound. The manner in which car speakers are configured dictates the sound quality they produce. Car speakers are configured as 2-way, 3-way or 4-way speakers. Knowing the difference between each can help you decide which car speaker to purchase.
2-way Speakers are equipped with a woofer and one tweeter. Audio signal is separated into two by the crossover – the highs and the midrange. The highs are sent to the tweeter and made up of frequencies between 2 kHz to 20 kHz. The midrange is sent to the woofer and is made up of 60Hz to 5 kHz frequencies.
Most full range and component or coaxial speakers are 2-way speakers which means they have a single unit consisting of a tweeter and a woofer cone. Some component speakers have two-way speakers even if the tweeter and woofer are not a single unit.
3-way Speakers are equipped with a midrange driver that handles midrange frequencies. Audio signal is divided into 3 bands (highs, bass, mid-bass and midrange). In a 3-way speaker, the woofer does not handle the midrange frequencies but instead only handle the sub-bass and mid-bass.
The added driver in a 3-way speaker produces more sound clarity and handles frequencies for synths, vocals, drums and leads. Most coaxial speakers are configured as 3-way speakers with the woofer, tweeter, and midrange as a single unit. In a 3-way component speaker though, the woofer, tweeter, and midrange are separated.
4-way Speakers are added are with a super tweeter aside from the woofer, tweeter and midrange drivers. The super tweeter takes charge of the high frequency (20kHz) that a regular tweeter cannot handle.
Supper tweeters are capable of handling high frequencies without sound distortion. 4-way speakers are only configured for high-end component speakers. Coaxial speakers are neverv4-way speakers.
It should be noted that the more components a speaker is configured with, the clearer the sound definition it is able to produce.
Factors to Consider in Choosing Car Speakers
There are many things to consider, the first and foremost is what you want to hear. Your ear is unique, and you must buy a system that supports your personal sound experience needs:
- Size. Most car speakers are either 6.5 inches or 6 inches × 9 inches. You need to be conscious of the size of the speakers to ensure that they fit the doors of your car.
- Sensitivity. Check the power of your amp to determine the level of sensitivity of your speaker. The simple rule is this: low power systems of equal to or less than 15 watts per channel require high sensitivity speakers. Anything over 16 watts (root-mean-square) RMS requires low sensitivity speakers. Sensitivity is the power your speaker needs to produce a specific volume.
- Power handling. The speakers should match the amplifier’s power output. Power handling is the level of power in watts that a speaker can handle. It is often defined as a RMS. The lower the power on your system, the lower the watts your speakers will handle, and the higher the watts, especially if you have an amp, the more power your speakers will need to manage. This means that for low power systems only buy low power speakers and for high power systems you have to buy speakers that have high watts RMS. Look closely at the power handling at maximum RMS instead of the power handling at peak RMS.
- Frequency Range. This measure the lows and highs produced by the speakers. Car speakers come with varied frequency ranges. The wider the frequency range the higher the sound quality. Emphasizing too much on low or high frequencies will cause other sounds to distort thus it is best for a speaker to have a balance frequency.
- Number of Speakers. Be conscious and check if the speakers are 2-way, 3-way or 4-way. The more components a speaker has, the clearer is the sound quality.
- Price. We usually don’t factor in budget, but we will now. The budget is a major influence on what you can install. However, buying blindly the most expensive set will not necessarily deliver the best sound experience. If you have an unconstrained budget you must still try out all the models you can find to match the one that suits your vehicle and ear for the ultimate sound experience.
- One final consideration is the cabin type, each cabin is designed differently, when installing speakers, make sure they suit the interior and the music type you intend to listen to.
|- 3 way full range|
- 2.15" mounting depth, grilles and mounting hardware
- Polypropylene cones, a silk dome Piezo tweeter and midrange
- 1-year warranty
|- 3 way full range|
- 5.5" mounting diameter
- Longer play times
- Piezoelectric tweeter
- 3 Year Platinum Online Dealer Warranty
|- 2 way full range|
- Power handling of 55 Watts RMS/110 Watts Max
- PEI dome tweeter, built-in crossover and injection molded mineral
- Full 1-year warranty
|- Mounting Cutout Diameter: 5-1/16 inches. Mounting Depth: 2 inches. External Diameter: 6-1/4 inches|
- Polypropylene cones, a silk dome Piezo tweeter and midrange
- Suit your personal listening preference and musical taste
|- Power handling: peak: 450 watts per pair/ RMS: 90 watts per pair|
- Multilayer carbon and mica reinforced IMPP woofer
- Top-mount depth: 2 7/8"/ 4 ohms impedance
- Frequency response: 34 - 25, 000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 89 dB
|- Polypropylene and UV tolerant cone with waterproof surrounds|
- Sensitivity: 92 dB, Frequency response: 40 Hz to 22kHz
- Power handling: 100W RMS, 300W Peak power handling
- Removable sport grilles
|- 2 way full range|
- Impedance: 4-ohms
- Power range is 2-30 Watts RMS
|- 2 way full range|
- 60 Watt RMS power range
- PEI tweeters, rigid polypropylene cone with EVC™
- UV-treated foam surround.
|- Power Handling: Peak: 300 watts / RMS: 60 watts|
- 4 ohms impedance
- Frequency Response: 40 - 22000 Hz / Sensitivity: 90dB
Top 9 Car Speaker Reviews
This Boss audio, full range 3-way car speakers comes in a poly-coated Chaos paper polyurethane cone design in red metallic.
This car speaker features a piezoelectric tweeter for wide range sound modifications and channel handling. It has considerable power for high sensitivity and to provide a wide range of audio frequencies. It produces good quality sound and the bass is of low level. It does not need amplifiers because of high handling capacity.
These car speakers are ideal for users who want speakers with an awesome look and good sound quality that will last long. It is a cheap upgrade for your car’s audio system.
This is an excellent aftermarket speaker and is a perfect replacement for the factory unit. Rockford Fosgate’s Prime Series R165X3 6-1/2″ speakers deliver a clean and powerful sound, they perform exceptionally well in most environments.
These are a 45 Watt RMS model, the speaker combines the woofer with a piezo super tweeter and a silk dome tweeter. It is 6.5” and has a built-in crossover network for frequency division. The Woofer comes in a polypropylene dome, and the overall design is finished off with a grill.
The Rockford Fosgate’s P1650 is a pair of 6.5” speakers that use a mica-polypropylene for the woofer cone and softer polypropylene for the tweeter. The overall effect is powerful, and you get a full range of tones delivered from one unit. The tweeter is exceptional and cuts through the woofer even when the bass is set to maximum.
This particular model comes with an interesting installation feature, it accounts for every car type incorporating a bespoke Flex 2 basket rather than a rigid screw-hole design. Rockford is an American company delivering American muscle sound to your vehicle.
The JBL GTO629 is another 6.5” speaker module that comes with a directional tweeter built-in. JBL calls it their UniPivot™ design, and it aims to deliver a slight edge on the competition. This edge comes in the form of a focused treble making the overall sound experience more suitable and personalized for your ear.
These speakers are of the low impedance, and they work well up to the 60-Watt RMS range, with this in mind, treat these speakers as more than standard factory replacements, and relate to them as suitable for every environment. If you want to peak them at 60 then you should add an amp.
When it comes to great tech, Pioneer always delivers. In this instance, the TS-A series of speakers come with a stiffer woofer cone made from Carbon & Mica reinforced IMPP. This model has a 6” base and has 4-way speakers. It can handle up to 450 Watts with a 45 Watt RMS. The woofer comes in an elastic polymer surround, and the tweeters have a PET dome.
This range is designed using Pioneer’s “CarSoundFit” which is a sound simulator app to improve your in-car sound experience. The base comes with their Custom Fit Adaptor enabling you to install it in any make and model.
This pair of black car speakers are the best 6.5-inch component speakers from Polk Audio. These speakers produce superior and clear sound quality regardless of volume. Woofers are a combination of polymer and mica material supported by heavy-duty rubber surrounds. If you are looking for car speakers with a good price and an amazing performance, this Polk Audio component system is a perfect choice.
Pioneer’s TS-F1634R is a TS-G Series speaker set that delivers a 2-way experience. This model integrates polypropylene woofer cones. These are low power speakers for an immediate factory replacement option. Their power range is 2-30 Watts RMS.
This design is finished off with a standard grill and is one of the inexpensive but good brand models on the market. Installation is easy, and it’s basically a plug-n-play speaker set for simple car listening experience. Just remember, this is a Pioneer, so while it is simple and the price is neat, the quality of this device is outstanding.
The Kicker’s DS Series are 6.5” speakers designed to deliver excellent sound in the 60 Watt RMS power range. These speakers integrate zero protrusion PEI tweeters, rigid polypropylene cone with EVC™ and UV-treated foam surround.
This 2-way model gives a dynamic sound and is a low-profile speaker. They are the ultimate factory replacement kit that upgrades your sound experience without denting your pocket. They are like wild stallions, so you do need to control them properly, but once broken in, they will deliver the ultimate sound surround you desire.
The Kenwood KFC-1666S Sport Series is another great low power factory replacement speaker set. This one works with 30 Watts RMS. The woofer uses a cloth surround with a polypropylene cone, and the tweeter uses a 1” balanced dome design.
This design recreates amazing lows and superior highs and is finished off with a focusing grill for enhancing the overall sound mix. Since this is a low power setting and is a Kenwood, you will never go wrong installing one of these for your standard listening experience.
Choosing Where to Install Car Speakers
Choose a location where the speakers are free of any obstruction. This is so the output of the speakers is not blocked. Car speakers are often installed on the lower portion of the car doors.
How to Install Car Speakers
The manner in which you install your car speakers is as important as the speaker design. This is the way you can try setting up your speakers on car doors.
1. Determine the exact spot in the car doors you wish to install the speakers.
2. Position the layout of the speaker on the front movable panel of the door.
3. Temporarily fix the layout with a tape on your desired spot.
4. Remove the movable panel or inner side of the car doors.
5. Remove the temporary layout and place the movable panel or door in front.
6. Reduce the movable panel or door to set a durable elastic piping within the door frame.
7. Wire the CD or radio through the piping.
8. Wrap the wires in the door and internal panel with electrical tape.
9. Install the speakers on the movable panel or door of your car.
10. Fold the wires to the back portion of the audio system.
11. Re-install the movable panel or door of your car.
Maintenance and Care Car Speakers
Proper care and maintenance of your car speakers will ensure they function at the top condition at all times. Proper care and maintenance can also extend the lifespan of car speakers.
1. It is a must that you regularly clean your car speakers. You need to get rid of the dirt and dust that has settled on the car speakers. Dirt and dust on the car speakers can affect sound quality. The car speakers will also deteriorate faster when not regularly cleaned.
2. Use a hand-held vacuum cleaner to clean car speakers and remove dust from the sound system.
3. Clean the exterior of the car speakers with a soft brush. Be extra careful if the speakers do not come with grilles.
4. While cleaning, inspect the wiring of the car speakers. The wires should be in the right places at all times. If there are dangling wires, put them back in place. Inspect the wires too for any wear and tear. Immediately replace worn out wires.
Upgrading Car Speakers
Some feel they need an upgraded car speaker to keep up with the newest trend. For car owners still with factory installed car speakers, an aftermarket car speaker can allow the enjoyment of a better bass and an enhanced sound clarity. There are three simple ways to upgrade your car speakers:
- Add new speakers
- Add a subwoofer
- Add an amplifier
If you are up to it and have the budget, you can purchase an all-new car speaker.
A top quality car radio or compact disk player is useless without excellent speakers. If you want to experience superior quality sound from your car radio or CD player, you need to invest in the best car speakers available in the market that matches your needs and preferences.