Searching for the best car speakers is a daunting task. Whether you’re looking for coaxial (also known as Full-range speakers) or component speakers, there are always dozens available. Here at StereoChamp, We’ve spend many hours curating the top rated car speakers for every purpose, and we compiled them into one list for you. Here are the best car speakers of 2016.
Ultimate Guide to the Best Car Speakers
Our Votes for the Best Car Speakers
Any of these speakers will be a good investment. Just make sure you get one that best suits your car audio system. If you have an under-powered system (running off a factory head unit), you don’t want to buy speakers that are able to handle too much power. Likewise, if your sound system is driven by a powerful aftermarket head unit or an outboard amplifier, speakers with weak power handling rating won’t do you any good.
Reviews of the 5 Best Car Speakers
Pioneer is one of our most reviewed car stereo brands. They’re one of the most recognizable brands in this industry. They’re a company known for their long tradition of making high quality car stereos, and their car speaker line is no exception.
The Pioneer TS-A1675R is one of the best car speakers on the market. Most forums agree. We personally think it’s the best, all things considered. Most importantly, this pair of speakers delivers a well-balanced sonic output throughout the audio spectrum.
The TS-A1675R speakers are built with quality in mind. They have the widest frequency response range on the market (35 – 31,000 Hz), and they’re highly sensitive. If you have no intention of upgrading your whole sound system or at the very least replacing your stock head unit with a powerful one, then consider speakers with high sensitivity rating such as “Pioneer TS-A1675R”.
With the “TS-A1675R” being installed in your car, you’ll be able to enjoy the clear vocals, chunky guitar riffs, powerful drums, and distinct bass lines that have always been a part of your favorite tunes, but have remained hidden behind sub-par stock speakers.
The TS-A1675R speakers feature a 3-Way architecture, which means each speaker has a woofer, a tweeters and a mid-range component. This architecture allows for greater sound quality.
Additionally, and in order to effectively reduce bass distortion, Pioneer equipped the TS-A1675R 6-1/2″ speakers with multi-layer mica-matrix woofers that stay rigid when the volume’s turned up. Each woofer is paired up with a midrange and a tweeter to add warmth and clarity to your tunes. With that said, these speakers will sound great running off your stock head unit, but they’ll truly shine when driven by an aftermarket receiver or an external amp.
Pioneer A series of speakers comes in various configurations ( 3-way, 4-way, 5 way ) and sizes ( 6-1/2″, 6×8 and 6×9 ). Whichever size and configuration you decided to go with, Pioneer A series speakers will revitalize your music.
Polk Audio is another big name in the car audio industry. They’ve been in business for a very long time. Polk Audio produces speakers with a great modern look. They are constructed well, and they are built to last.
Polk Audio holds numerous patents related to loudspeaker design, and has a long legacy of innovation, pioneering many aspects of modern car audio systems.
The speakers we’re reviewing here (Db series of speakers) can be recognized from far away. They have a very unique design and style which sets them apart from the rest. Their stainless steel mounting hardware and muscular ABS grilles will add a stylish touch to your car’s interior.
Additionally, when you name a series of speakers after the unit of sound measurement, (dB for decibels), you’re telling your clients one simple fact – turn them up, they’re set to rock!
Polk Audio dB series of speakers come in a various sizes and configurations. Whether you’re looking for full-range or component speakers, 6×9, 6×8, or 6.5, Polk Audio has you covered.
Polk Audio dB series of speakers are very affordable, which is why they made this list, since we’re assuming most people reading it are beginners. And with most of their speakers under $100, you can get a really decent pair of speakers.
The speakers linked to above are about $56, which is very reasonable for anyone looking for a solid pair of speakers that doesn’t break that bank.
As for most things, when it comes to sound quality, you do get what you pay for. Lots of audiophiles out there (me included) say that nothing beats these speakers. And that’s no coincidence. These speakers are built with quality mind. Their woofer cones are made from a polymer/mica composite and durable rubber surrounds, so that they can withstand excessive use, heat and moisture. The rubber surround also adds to bass response.
Their Liquid-cooled 3/4″ silk/polymer dome tweeters use powerful Neodymium magnets to deliver precise high-frequencies for bright musical details. And you can even pivot the tweeters and aim them at your ears for even better stereo imaging. Moreover, the built-in two-way crossovers redirect the frequencies to the proper drivers – the highs to the tweeters and and the lows to the woofers for seamless, efficient audio.
Polk Audio’s entire db line of coaxial and component speakers is marine certified. With that in mind, you can install them not only in your car, but also in your boat.
Polk dB speakers feature one of the highest sensitivity rating (90dB – 93dB). That means better sound and more sound volume using less power. Combine that with their relatively high power handling capabilities and you get speakers that are ready to rattle some eardrums.
For maximum installation flexibility, Polk speakers come with multi-hole mounting pattern and shallow-depth magnet design. Simply put, these speakers will fit about any car on the road.
All in all, it’s a really solid pair of speakers that will do you a lot of good in the long run, whether they’re driven by an aftermarket or factory installed head unit.
The Infinity brand has a distinguished pedigree of technological innovation in this industry. They make speakers for every lifestyle, application and budget. You’ll find their speakers and subwoofers almost everywhere.
Infinity Kappa speakers feature a rugged design and deliver a relatively well-balanced sound output. Infinity likes to brag about its patented “Plus One+” woofer technology which basically extends the cone right up to the edge of the basket, giving you more surface area than with most regular speakers. A large cone means more bass to complement the ultrahigh frequency response.
Despite the “Plus One+” woofer technology, these speakers are best suited for non heavy bass music. They’re a bit lacking in terms of low frequencies coverage. What I mean is that the bass sounds punchy and alive but it lacks much of the fullness that you would usually hear with speakers that have a deeper frequency response.
That said, if you’re on the lookout for speakers with natural-sounding high frequencies, Infinity Kappa speakers are your best option. Infinity Kappa 62.11I speakers are rated for a sensitivity rating of 95dB. That’s actually the highest among all the speakers we reviewed so far. With that in mind, you don’t need a ton of power to drive these speakers.
They incorporate 1″ edge-driven dome tweeters. These tweeters can handle more power, and play lower so there’s a better transition between the high frequencies and the mid-range frequencies, which results in much crisper, much cleaner highs, and a whole lot better vocals out of the mid-range.
Additionally, Infinity’s UniPivot design allows you to aim each tweeter toward your ears, so you enjoy excellent stereo imaging even if the speakers are mounted way down low in your doors. Moreover, each tweeter also features a level control switch so you can adjust the brightness to your taste.
JBL in another authoritative brand that makes some of the best car speakers. There are many different speakers in their arsenal, but We are particularly fond of the GTO speakers. They are a serious contender. All things considered.
So what’s so special about these speakers? First of all, they’re very well-engineered. They feature “Plus One” woofer cone design, which expands the diaphragm area of the cone for a better low-frequency response. They also incorporate the “Edge-driven” soft dome tweeters for maximum sound dispersion and natural-sounding highs.
Additionally, JBL builds in a UniPivot™ design that allows you to aim the tweeter’s sound more directly at your ears, giving you a more detailed soundstage. You can also use the adjustable level control to tweak your tweeters to your liking, so the GTO629’s sound is customized to match your musical taste.
JBL GTO speakers come in a various sizes and configurations. If you’re a hardcore audiophile, and want to listen to nothing but the best audio while on the go, then GTO component speakers are a great starting point. Otherwise, if you’re just wanting a significant upgrade over your stock speakers no muss, no fuss, then GTO coaxial or tri-axial speakers are worth considering.
All things considered, I’m really quite pleased by JBL GTO speakers. They deliver a well-refined sound output, and they are a wonderfully cost-effective measure for those people who don’t want to break the bank buying all the bits and bobs needed for the full sound system upgrade. GTO speakers will sound great running off a factory head unit but they’ll really shine when driven by a powerful aftermarket head unit or an outboard amplifier.
Types of Car Speakers
Car speakers come in two varieties: coaxial and component. We’re not going to get into the debate about which is better; they both clearly work, and it really boils down to personal preference.
- Coaxial speakers (also known as : Full-range speakers) : In this type of speakers, all the speaker elements are combined in one basket. In their very simplest form, they consist of a woofer for the lows, and a tweeter mounted onto the woofer for the highs. Some advanced models come equipped with additional drivers such as mid-range or super-tweeter. So, who should go for this type of speakers? Well, if you’re on a tight-budget and want a decent replacement for your old factory speakers with a minimum of muss and fuss, then coaxial speakers are your best choice. They come in various sizes and shapes and will mount very easily into factory speaker locations — In most cases, it’s just a matter of removing the old speakers, connecting a few wires and mounting the new speakers.Coaxial speakers are commonly designated into 2-way, 3-way or 4-way speakers :
- 1. Two-way car speakers : Two-way car speakers are the most common car speaker type . They usually consist of a woofer which is the part responsible for lower audio frequency sounds , and a tweeter, mounted inside the woofer which is the driver that reproduces higher audio frequencies . These types of speakers are capable of delivering decent quality sound.
- 2. Three-way car speakers : Three-way car speakers also known as triaxial speakers. They usually consist of a woofer , a tweeter and an extra component called the mid-range. The mid-range component will enhance the coverage of the middle frequency range, like a human voice or musical instruments such as trumpets or saxophones. It boosts the overall sound performance by balancing the frequency slope and outputting the frequencies most natural to the human ear. In this sense, three-way speakers outperform two-way speakers in many ways and sound much better.
- 3. Four way car speakers : Four-way speakers add a small, extra component called “super-tweeter” to extend the high range frequency response out to 22 to 25 kH. This is not so advantageous as it might seem, as very few people can hear sounds above 15 Khz. Additionally, such sounds could be easily obscured by the noise, especially, if you like to keep your vehicle’s windows down.
- Component Speakers : Component speakers aren’t afraid to push the envelope. They are designed to deliver the best possible quality of sound. They use a superior speaker design that yields the best sonic results compared the their full-range speakers counterparts. A typical component system includes separate woofers, tweeters, and external crossovers — all of which come built and designed to work in conjunction with one another. This design — separating all speaker elements , particularly the tweeters from the woofer — allows for great sound-imaging and more realistic sound for you.Furthermore, component speakers are generally made of better materials than their full-range counterparts, which enhances their ability to deliver exceptional dynamics and detailed sound. Component speakers are slightly expensive, slightly harder to install than full-range speakers. They’re more suited for those looking for an advanced, sophisticated system.
Advantages of Upgrading to Aftermarket Speakers
If you want to enjoy high-quality music while you’re driving, consider replacing your current car speakers. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the best an cheapest ways to breath a new life into your sound system. With good aftermarket speakers on board, you’ll say goodbye to that muddy, flat boring sound that your factory-installed speakers used to deliver. And instead you’ll enjoy rich music full of dynamics, full of ultra lows and sparkling highs. Plus, you’ll probably hear details that have always been part of your music, but have remained hidden behind those worn out factory-installed speakers.
- Better designs = better sound : Obviously, vehicle manufacturers don’t give that match importance to the whole sound system and not just speakers. When the’re designing a new car model, they tend to worry about other issues such as the engine and transmission. With that said, don’t expect those factory-installed speakers in your vehicle to wow you. That’s not going to happen. Unlike vehicle manufacturers, car audio manufacturers aren’t afraid to push the enveloppe.They’re always experimenting new technologies and designs to make better sounding speakers. When you replace your stock speakers with a pair of brand-name speakers, you’ll hear the difference that commitment makes. It’s just a whole different experience.Brand-name speakers are designed with quality in mind. They’re built to accurately reproduce each specific segment of your music’s sound. With that said, you’ll hear details that weren’t audible with stock speakers. Aftermarket speakers also have crossover circuit units that are much more highly advanced than what you’ll find in stock speakers. Crossover filters ensure that the right frequencies go to the correct driver — the lows to the woofer, the highs to the tweeter, and so on — so the speakers operates efficiently and deliver clear sound.
- Better Build Materials = long life and improved performance : Aftermarket speakers are built with high quality materials (more on that below) and can efficiently handle the power output that the head unit or external amplifier is emitting, excessive use, as well as high-temperature and humidity that car speakers are exposed to.To put it plainly, aftermarket speakers are quite durable and will hold up over time compared to stock speakers. And most importantly, they have superior sonic performance. So, you’ll enjoy deeper, tighter lows, and cleaner, crisper highs.
- Aftermarket speakers = the affordable option : We’re going to ask you to trust us on this one. There are a lot of ways to expand and improve your car audio system, but the very first thing that you should try is replacing your speakers with a pair of aftermarket speakers. It’s one of the most effective and affordable options.Even a modest investment in a decent pair of speakers will make a day and night difference in sound quality.So make sure speakers replacement is part of your audio improvement plans. Whether your project is large or small, aftermarket speakers will make noticeable difference.
To sum it up, aftermarket speakers will offer :
- Brighter sound and more overall clarity, thanks to higher-quality tweeters.
- More accurate bass (from woofer cones made from superior materials).
- Better construction for longer speaker life.
How to Choose the Best Car Speakers – What factors to consider ?
While the idea of buying new car speakers is exciting, the options are endless and it can be hard to know what to look for. If you haven’t spent much time thinking about car audio systems, all the terms can be terribly confusing. Luckily, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. And we’ve figured the most important factors to be taken into consideration when you’re shopping for a new pair of speakers for your car.
It refers to the amount of sound a given speaker can yield from the power applied to it. In other words, sensitivity refers to how much power the speakers require in order to put out a certain volume level. And the higher the sensitivity, the less power is required (as outlined in the chart below). For example, if you have a weak factory head unit (15 watts RMS per channel or less), you should be looking for speakers with high sensitivity rating – in this case speakers with 90 dB or more will make the best match.On the other hand, if you have a solid sound system powered by an aftermarket head unit or an external amplifier, then consider speakers with lower sensitivity ratings. Properly powered, they’ll provide excellent sound quality.
Sensitivity Rating (dB)
Power needed to produce given volume (watts)
Power-handling is another critical factor to be taken into consideration. It refers to the amount of power (measured in watts) a speaker can handle. If you’ve got a low-powered stereo system, your speakers don’t need to be able to handle tons of power. To the contrary, a sound system powered by an outboard amplifier will require speakers whose power-handling is close to the output of the amps.
When you’re shopping for your new pair of speakers, you’ll notice that brands like to brag about their peak power handling. Don’t let those numbers fool you. The important key spec in power handling is “RMS” (root mean square), not the peak power handling. RMS rating realistically measures how much power the speakers can handle on a continuous basis, not just for a short period of time. A pair of speakers rated at 50 watts RMS will make a better match for your low-powered stereo than another pair of speakers rated at 80 watts RMS or more”.
Because they’re built with low quality materials, OEM speakers tend to degrade over time, which results in muddy, flat boring sound. That said, replacing only the speakers will result in immediate noticeable difference in sound quality. Additionally, your investment will also last a lot longer if you look for speakers that are made with high quality materials.
- Woofer materials : To effectively deliver deep bass notes in your music, the woofer in both full-range and component speaker moves back and forth, therefore, it should be made of stiff, yet lightweight materials. That’s the reason why manufacturers make most car speaker woofer cones from synthetic films like polypropylene, which serves well. Apart from polypropylene, there is also Woven fabrics, or synthetics coated with metals like aluminum or titanium which are also lightweight, strong, and provide excellent and accurate bass response.
- Tweeter materials : The tweeter is the part of the speaker that reproduces the upper frequencies in your music — namely the vocals, guitars, horns and other high notes that make the music sparkle and shine. Tweeters play a huge role in enhancing the overall soundstaging and stereo separation.That said, well-placed tweeters will make your music sounds like it’s coming from all around you, rather than from down at your knees or ankles.
- Synthetic films : Synthetic films, like Mylar, polyimide, and PET are light. Tweeters made with these materials don’t require a lot of power in order to drive them effectively. Tweeters made with these materials are best suited for low-powered speakers. Their downside however is the poor damping which is due to the lack of material stiffness.Tweeters made with Synthetic films aren’t the most accurate in musical reproduction.
- Textiles : The big player in the textile category is silk. Silk tweeters sound warm, mellow, and well-refined. Silk tweeters designed for high power handling are reinforced with synthetic materials that add extra stiffness for superior damping results.That said, they can pump out more volume while still keeping things smooth and maintaining their accuracy.
- Metals and blends : Tweeters made with metals, particularly, Aluminum will deliver loud, bright and crisp highs that can easily cut through road noise and heavy bass. Titanium is another popular material used in building tweeters. It’s extremely light and less resonant than aluminum, which allows for even better accuracy reproducing high frequencies, without the harsh edge that some audio connoisseur attribute to aluminum tweeters.The real trick in buying the best car speakers is knowing when to get silk, synthetic films or metal-made tweeters. I’m going to give it to you straight, guys. If you have a lot of road noise or drive on the highway with the windows down, metal tweeters are your best choice, as they can easily cut through all that noise and maintain a clear, accurate sound. If noise isn’t a problem, or if your vehicle’s interior is mostly hard plastic, silk might give your music a more natural sound.
- Surround materials : The surround of a woofer plays a vital role — it allows the woofer cone to move freely and deliver big bass. These surrounds must be able to withstand excessive use and high temperature. Surrounds made of rubber will provide the best overall performance and longevity. Foam and cloth surrounds cost less, yet still perform relatively well.