Best Car Speakers

With so many options available, picking the right pair of speakers can prove awfully difficult. How do you know you'll end up with a reliable model? Or one that will last you for years and years without feeling the need to replace them with a new and modern option? While you can't predict the future, you can use information from the past to make an informed decision.

We're here to help. The most important question we try to answer at StereoChamp.com is the following: "What speakers should I buy?" or "What are the best car speakers for me ?"

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 2021.

Ultimate Guide to 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 Best Car Speakers

Pioneer is one of our most reviewed car stereo brands as they're one of the most recognizable brands in this industry. It's a company known for its long tradition of making high-quality car stereos, and its car speaker line is no exception.

The Pioneer TS-A1675R is one of the best car speakers available on the market as the 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.

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, tweeters, and a mid-range component. This architecture allows for greater sound quality.

Additionally, and 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", 6x8 and 6x9 ). However, whichever size and configuration you decided to go with, Pioneer A-series speakers will revitalize your music.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Size: 6-1/2" 
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB 
  • Power Handling: 300 Watts (Peak) / 50 Watts (RMS)
  • Frequency Response: 35 Hz to 31 kHz
  • Mounting Depth : 1-3/4"
  • Impedance: 4-Ohms

Pros:

  • Crisp and clear sound
  • Easy install
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Bass response is weak.

Another big name in the car audio industry is Polk Audio it has been in business for a very long time, know for the speakers that are well constructed and are built to last.

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.
Polk Audio dB series of speakers come in various sizes and configurations.

So if you're looking for full-range or component speakers, 6x9, 6x8, or 6.5, Polk Audio has you covered.

Polk Audio dB series of speakers are very affordable, and with most of their speakers under $100, you can get a decent pair of speakers.

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 a 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. 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.

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 aftermarket or factory-installed head unit.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Size: 6.5"
  • Sensitivity: 92 dB 
  • Power Handling: 200 Watts (Peak) / 100 Watts (RMS) 
  • Frequency Response: 35-22,000 Hz 
  • Top-Mount Depth: 1-5/8” 
  • Impedance: 4-Ohms

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • Durable design
  • High quality speakers
  • Easy to Install

Cons:

  • Not the right size for some vehicles

Next up, we've got an excellent product from the brand Infinity. 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 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. 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.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Size: 6-1/2" 
  • Sensitivity: 95dB
  • Power Handling: 225 Watts (Peak) / 75W Watts (RMS) 
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz – 25kHz
  • Mounting Depth: 2-1/8"
  • Impedance: 2-Ohms

Pros:

  • Easy to Install
  • Inexpensive
  • Super clear high quality speaker
  • Excellent frequency response and sensitivity

Cons:

  • Lacks low bass frequencies
  • You need a amp to drive them to their potential.

JBL is 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 a "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 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 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 shine when driven by a powerful aftermarket head unit or an outboard amplifier.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

  • Size: 6-1/2" 
  • Sensitivity: 93dB 
  • Power Handling: 180 Watts (Peak) / 5-125 Watts (RMS) 
  • Frequency Response: 53Hz-21kHz
  • Mounting Depth: 2 inches 
  • Impedance: 3-Ohms

Pros:

  • High-quality speaker that’s durable for many years
  • Good value for the price
  • Better performance due to the carbon injected plus one cones

Cons:

  • Designed to fit specific car models

BEST CAR SPEAKER BRANDS

Pioneer once again smoked the competition in the speakers, subwoofers, and head units categories, winning high praise from customers in all reliability and sound quality categories.

They did so well that virtually all its scores were above average.

Pioneer does make the highest quality speakers out there. They have speakers for almost every application.

Whether you're looking for 6.5, 6x8, 6x9, or 5.25 speakers, you name it, Pioneer has you covered.

Pioneer car speakers

They have some amazing prices and there are so many speakers of different sizes and configurations in their arsenal.

We're quite fond of their A series of speakers. They are the bestselling car speakers on the market, and that's no coincidence. They're very well-engineered and have a balanced sound output, and on top of everything else, they're budget-friendly speakers. 

Pioneer car speakers come in 3 different categories: the D-series, A-series, and G-series. They also offer marine speakers as well as special application speakers.

·        D-series: These speakers are the least expensive, however, they're still excellent, high-quality speakers. The D-series Speakers are the world’s first speakers to incorporate Basalt volcanic rock fibers into the cone for crisp, distortion-free sound.

·        A-series: The A-series speakers are the best car speakers for bass that Pioneer has to offer. They are the most suitable speakers for those of you who listen to bass-heavy tracks. These speakers can deliver decent bass but not that of a subwoofer. Granted, a speaker isn't a subwoofer. A-series speakers are equipped with very sensitive tweeters for bright high frequencies. They also come with bigger cones and reinforced woofers which are the driver responsible for boosting bass output.        

·        G-series: Pioneer G-Series Speakers are a decent replacement for stock speakers. They're average speakers.

Polk Audio is one of the best car speaker brands that have amazing prices and a variety of different configurations for their speakers. They have been producing high-quality, great-sounding speakers that are accessible to everyone since 1975.

Polk Audio speakers come at lots of different price points. The pair of speakers linked to above is priced at about $60, which is a very reasonable price tag for anyone who's on the lookout for a solid pair of speakers that doesn’t break that bank.

However, you can also find many Polk Audio speakers – particularly component speakers at higher price points – from $100 up into the $200 range.

polk audio car speakers

However, some of our favorites are less expensive (dB series). Almost all Polk Audio car speakers (dB, DXi, and MM series) are marine certified. Polk Audio marine certified car speakers were exposed to high temperature, salt solution, and Ultra Violet tests. They were put under these grueling tests to see how effectively they could stand up to a harsh marine environment. That said, you can mount them in various applications including boats of all types, off-road vehicles, as well as in your car.

In terms of sound quality, Polk Audio speakers let you feel your music. They boast some impressive specifications. With most speakers being rated between 88dB and 90dB, Polk Audio designed their speakers to be very sensitive. They are rated at 92dB (even higher in some models). Combine that with their high power handling ratings and you get speakers that can rattle some eardrums.

All in all, Polk Audio is an undisputed king of speaker brands. Their speakers are designed and built with nothing but quality in mind.

Infinity® has been one of the leading loudspeaker brands, pioneering the world of recorded music and video since 1968. With Infinity® car speakers one can expect impressive, balanced sound output from their car audio systems.

Infinity car speakers are globally famous for their excellent designs and best durability.

We have reviewed a ton of Infinity car speakers on this site before, and the story hasn't changed. Infinity produces a quality product for a great price.

And With most of their speakers under $70, you can get a decent pair.

Infinity car speakers

Our only complaint was that these speakers are a bit lacking in terms of bass reproduction. They don't hit as deep as some other speakers we reviewed. However, when it comes to high frequencies, that's where these babies shine. With that said, if you're a bass-head, you can certainly sub these speakers out for another pair of your choosing. Despite this criticism, we've come to a ton of you who have tried and loved Infinity speakers.

Infinity produces two major series of speakers, Reference and Kappa. We are pretty fond of the latter. Kappa series of speakers is their new version, they're a bit expensive, and are well-made. If you've got a few extra bucks to spare, think about the Infinity Kappa series. Otherwise, Reference speakers are also a good option for those of you who are on a very tight budget.

Infinity speakers feature impressive specifications including a high sensitivity rating and great power handling. They'll do quite well running of a stock head unit, but they'll shine when driven by an aftermarket head unit or amplifier.

The Kicker is another decent car audio brand. There is a huge array of speakers of different sizes and configurations in their arsenal. And their prices are usually at a perfect balance. Some car speakers can cost up to a few hundred dollars.

You can usually find a pair of kicker speakers for around $60. This stood out to us as not being too cheap, but not expensive either.

We're particularly fond of the CS and DS series. These speakers have a wide frequency range and that's what we love most about them. Their cones are made with polypropylene supported by heavy-duty polyester foam surrounds for intense bass.

kicker car speakers

The 2" poly dome midrange on the other hand brings out the depth and dimension of the instruments, while the 1/2" balanced dome tweeter puts out bright musical details, giving your music energy and ambiance.

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 work, and it boils down to personal preference.

Coaxial speakers (also known as : Full-range speakers)

In this type of speaker, 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 speaker? 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 :

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.

Three-way car speakers  

Three-way car speakers are 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.

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 kHz. 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 to their full-range speaker 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.

how to choose Best Car Speakers

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 and cheapest ways to breathe 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

Vehicle manufacturers don't give that match importance to the whole sound system and not just speakers. When they'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 envelope. They're always experimenting with 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 operate 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. Regardless of your project is large or small, aftermarket speakers will make a 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 for bass 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 confusing.

Luckily, we're here to help you make an informed decision. We've researched 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.

Sensitivity

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 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 a 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.

Power-handling 

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.

On 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 continuously, not just for a short period.

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".

Build Quality 

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 an immediately 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 material

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 are also Woven fabrics, or synthetics coated with metals like aluminum or titanium which are also lightweight, strong, and provide an 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 sound staging and stereo separation. With 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 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.

tweeter

Surround materials 

The surround of a woofer plays a vital role — it allows the woofer cone to move freely and deliver big bass. These surroundings 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 surround cost less, yet still, perform relatively well.

Last update on 2021-12-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API