Best Car Speakers to Pimp Your Ride

Upgrading your ride’s sound system with the best car speakers is one of the easiest and most rewarding projects you can ​try. Fortunately, you can add watts to your wheels through a variety of ways. You have the option of going all-out and building an award-winning sound setup from scratch, or just make a few simple modifications.

A quick look at ​aftermarket parts ​reveals a host of components that are used to make the sound system. It’s recommended that you start upgrading your system by changing your stock front door speakers to the best aftermarket car speakers as this ​will make the most difference.

Once you’ve dealt with these speakers, you can move on to thinking about subwoofers, amplifiers and other speakers. Are you ready to crank up the sound in your car? Here are the best car speakers available right now.

Top 5 Car Speakers

You will find thousands of car speaker brands on the market but which is the best speaker system for your car? You need to carry out research and compare systems before making a decision.

Instead of spending lots of your valuable time researching numerous online resources, we did it for you and here are the top picks:

Rockford Fosgate P1675-S 6.75 Punch Series Component System

With conventional coaxial speakers, the woofer and tweeter units are combined into a single speaker. While it’s a great way of providing awesome sound from a single opening, the design means compromising woofer and tweeter quality.

Component speakers, like the Rockford Fosgate P1675-S, separate both drivers and use a crossover to let them work even better. In short, 1-inch tweeters are placed at ear level so you can benefit from the directional higher frequencies.

High-pass crossovers, located in the speaker frame, act as the traffic cop for transmitting information from your amplifier or radio. The crossovers’ locations in the speaker frame mean that you don’t need to create extra space for mounting a separate box. Also, the slots around the frame eliminate re-drilling of screw holes.

Most people prefer installing the component woofers of the P1675-S speaker system in their doors. Free from the interference of tweeters, the woofers are capable of producing better low frequencies.

The Rockford Fosgate P1675-S component speakers are built from the ground up to offer durability and sound quality. Replacing your factory-installed speakers with this set will instantly improve the sound quality you experience.

These 6.75-inch car speakers are capable of handling impressive power on a continuous basis – 120 watts peak power. The speakers sport a heavy duty, reliable motor structure for incredible bass response and smooth midrange frequencies.

Each of the 6-3/4-inch woofers has a butyl rubber surround and responsive polypropylene cone that can withstand hours of high-volume jamming. The separate dome tweeters are made of treated PEI for extended highs that are capable of holding their own once the bass gets ​heavy.

A closer look at these speakers reveals Rockford Fosgate technology that brings on the benefits of attaching a cone that offers you 25 percent more cone area. These advantages include stronger performance and fuller sound.

What’s in the box?

  • Two 6-3/4-inch woofers
  • Two woofer grilles
  • Two 1-inch tweeters that come with 6 inches of speaker wire, which are terminated by female quick-slide connectors
  • Two front and rear flush mount brackets
  • Two surface mounting housings
  • Two tweeter trim rings
  • 2 M4x25mm, M4x10mm, M4x15mm machine screws and stud bolts
  • Eight 1-1/4-inch Allen head screws and a 3mm Allen head bit
  • Eight speed clips
  • Two lengths of 40-inch tweeter speaker wire with quick male slides on one side and quick female slides on the other end
  •  An owner’s manual and installation instructions

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Good value for money
  • Powerful bass
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    Easy installation

Cons

  • May require minor installation bracket modifications
  • Woofers lack mid-bass punch

Pioneer TS-A1686R A-Series 6.5" 350-Watt 4-Way Speakers

Pioneer Electronics is a world-renowned manufacturer of high quality, state of the art music equipment. And one of their engineering marvels, regarding sound quality output, are these Pioneer TS-A1685R 6 1/2-inch 4-way car speakers.

The pioneer TSA1685R comes in pairs with both speakers designed to please you with their amazing sound quality. The speakers have 350-Watt maximum power for better sound performance. When combined, both speakers produce precise and crisp sound.

One of the most striking features of the two speakers is their compact size, which allows for easy installation in most cars as ​they don’t occupy too much space.

Despite being small, this doesn’t make them weak in power output terms. Compared to other higher-end brands, Pioneer managed to create a well-developed and audible product in this model.

The manufacturer has the technological advantage on what it takes to increase power output out of such speakers, even at reduced sizes. You should expect their speakers to get smaller but with pretty powerful outputs.

The overall design of the TS-A1685R is sleek yet sturdy, small but powerful, sophisticated but easier to install than you think. The speakers have a distinctive black color and oval design that gives them a look that’s appealing to the eye.

The Pioneer TS-A1685R speakers also have a soft dome midrange/tweeter driver that capitalizes on a unique wave-guide enclosure. This enclosure enables both high and mid frequencies to be projected uniformly for a smooth response.

The diaphragm’s fiber on the speaker is developed from various materials to ensure that it’s rigid and extra light for clear sound reproduction. A large magnet further enhances the diaphragm’s drivability.

Tweeter capabilities are further enhanced to disperse sound even more widely using top-notch control. No matter the conditions or listening positions in the car, everyone is treated to superior sound. Tweeter performance extends all the way to the lower frequencies for a wider response to midrange fidelity.

The TS-A1685R brings you cones that are 14 percent larger than what you would find on conventional 6-1/2-inch speakers. Thankfully, even with bigger dimensions, the speakers will fit in the same cutout dimensions.

What’s in the box?

  • Two 4-way speakers
  • Two grilles
  • Two 12-inch lengths of speaker wire with female quick slides on one side and bare on the other
  • Eight 1-inch self-tapping screws and speed clips
  • Information on warranty, installation instructions, and the cutout template on the box

Pros

  • Amazing sound quality
  • Easily fits in most speaker housings
  • Available at most audio equipment retailers
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    Compatible with most audio systems, allowing for low-cost light installation
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    Low impendence and high output

Cons

  • Slight cut-off of the bass quality, but you can offset this by adding sub-woofers

JBL_GTO609C_Premium_6.5-Inch_Component_Speaker_System

The second installation in this best car speakers review is the 6.5-inch component speaker system JBL GTO609C Premium. The speaker is from one of the most renowned American companies in the sound industry. Founded by James Bullough, the manufacturer is reputed for creating high-quality audio components that reflect genuine standards regarding service and products.

The GTO609C is designed by engineers to offer users a clear, strong sound from their amplification unit or head-unit. The speaker is capable of producing 25 to 270 watts of power, making it ideal for amplifier power outputs.

You can even go a step further and match this unit with a GTO series amplifier. This means that you can use it in car audio systems that have one or more subwoofers for the satisfaction of audiophiles ​​who are in love with ​high-fidelity sound.

This GTO609C features the patented Plus-One woofer-cone technology that’s in a class of its own. This technology allows the speaker to radiate more air. Plus, the stiffer and lighter cone results in better low-frequency response for better response to those critical notes associated with larger speaker systems.

The speaker system also includes non-magnetic, carbon-composite frames designed to maintain their integrity no matter what you throw at it. This ensures that you get a long lasting speaker that will stay with your car for years.

JBL GTO609C has vented magnetic assemblies on the mid-range and woofer drivers, which helps keep the voice coils cool. The benefit of cooling the voice coil is that it will increase the speaker’s reliability regarding power handling and power compression elimination.

This speaker features 3-ohm voice coils that help in compensating and adding resistance using thin speaker wiring. The ​allows for more output compared to other factory-installed speakers on the market.

This GTO model also offers a wide frequency response that goes further than 20 kHz, resulting in component tweeters that deliver a full-range frequency response. A duel-level tweeter volume facilitates smooth volume adjusting.

The JBL GTO609C speaker box includes:

  • Two midrange loudspeakers and tweeters
  • Two speaker grilles
  • Two tweeter mounting kits with angle cups and flush
  • Two passive crossovers
  • An owner’s installation manual

Pros

  • The JBL GTO609C is relatively easy to install in your vehicle
  • Speaker is made from good quality materials designed to last for years
  • The speaker system offers you a smooth sound experience
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    The packaging includes important hardware for your car audio system
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    The GTO609C’s highs are very clear

Cons

  • Customers have complained that the tweeters respond poorly
  • The unit doesn’t home much power in some instances

JBL GTO939 GTO Series 6x9 300W 3 Way Black Car Coaxial Audio Speakers Stereo


Another installation from the popular JBL brand, the GTO939 3-way black car coaxial audio speakers are the perfect solution for anyone looking for aftermarket best car speakers with great sound quality. Like the GTO609C above, these speakers offer you a clear, crisp sound, and are fitted with several interesting features.

One of the biggest appeals of these GTO939 speakers is that they are extremely easy to install. While you need to consult with a specialist to install some of the products on the market, you don’t need one for these speakers.

The speakers are designed to replace stock OEM 6 inches by 9 inches speakers, right out of the box. They'll ​fit just about any car model, and you can easily install them yourself at home.

Fortunately, you don’t need to gather special tools. However, if you’ll be replacing smaller speakers, you might be required to modify space to allow the speaker to fit.

This model also features JBL’s unique Plus One cone technology that’s larger than the average cones on the market. This larger cone allows for more air vibration for better bass quality.

Peak power handling of the JBL GTO939 speakers is 300W each speaker, so you are getting approximately 600W for a pair. The RMS power capability is 100W for a single speaker.

This wattage means that you can use the GTo939 speakers with your car’s stock audio system, and you will still notice a remarkable improvement in sound quality. If you upgrade the audio system to run through an amp, then they come out of their shell and offer you incredible sound.

The sensitivity rating on these speakers is important. A speaker’s sensitivity rating indicates how it’s expected to respond to power. In other words, the higher the rating you get from your speakers, the better the response you will achieve.

Power required for delivering the same volume tends to decrease to around have with every 3dB increase. GTO939 speakers bring a sensitivity rating of about 94dB, meaning that you are getting about 50W of power. In most 91dB speakers, you’d need to about 100W for the same volume level.

Another huge advantage of these speakers over other similar brands on the market is the fact that they come with tweeters. This single component allows the GTO939 to compete with even higher priced speakers on the market.

These 1-inch tweeters are made from a Mylar and Titanium composite, better known as My/Ti. The material helps in reducing distortion, offering more efficiency as well as increasing the units power handling capabilities.

In most cases, distortion reduction occurs within the mid-range frequencies, where most tracks have vocals. My/Ti allows the GTO939 to offer you a richer, clearer, crisper sound compared to other speakers.

The tweeters also make use of the UniPivot system that’s designed to allow you to adjust the tweeter position. A control switch allows for after installation customization, so you adjust tweeter dB output depending on your preferences.

What’s in the box?

  • Two 6 inches x 9 inches GTO939 loudspeakers
  • Two protective grilles
  • An owners installation manual

Pros

  • A minimum mounting depth of 2 inches means that these speakers are compatible with most cars
  • A frequency response range of 45 to 21,000 Hz
  • They are designed to offer you a well-balanced sound
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    They are reasonable speakers that feature quality found in higher-priced units
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    Speakers have gone through a battery of tests to ensure durability and quality of materials used

Cons

  • Unfortunately, no hardware is included in the box, so you might have to make some extra purchases
  • While they work with stock radio systems, you need to upgrade your system to achieve most of their advantages
  • The upper mid-range and deeper lows require some improvement

5. Kenwood KFC-6965S 6x9 Inches 3-Way 400W SpeakersBest Budget Car Speakers

Kenwood_KFC-6965S_6_x_9_Inches_3-Way_400W_Speakers

These 6-inch by 9-inch three-way flush mount speakers from speaker aficionados Kenwood are designed to fit into your existing car while boosting the tunes. The manufacturer, Kenwood, has been in business since 1947, so ​you’re getting a product from someone who’s been in the speaker industry for a long time.

The Kenwood KFC-6965S leverage on the company’s expert knowledge and advanced material used to deliver super high-quality sound. The speakers are perfect for those who are looking for a really powerful bass as well as high-quality treble.

The 600 watts of max power output in the KFC-6965S is equitable to the 89 dB/w you get at a 1m sound sensitivity range. Furthermore, the speakers’ frequency response range is from 60Hz to 2500, so all levels of music are going to be well presented.

These speakers are designed to fit in spaces measuring 6 inches by 9 inches, and they have flush mounting for a 3-way design. The brand new polypropylene cone features rubber butyl surround that helps lower the need for frequent changing after wear while keeping music quality consistent no matter the conditions.

The diamond array pattern, along with a ferrite magnet, allows for a more dynamic response with a much lower distortion level. These speakers have a sexy, sleek black color with a silver finish for the treble output to enhance the looks. The added hard black steel basket around the speakers ​fit well ​while preventing the speakers from being damaged unnecessarily.

Actual measurements of the speakers themselves are 153mm by 229mm. The mid-range section measures 1 inch, or 25mm, which features a dome diaphragm that helps push the sound through. The P.E.I balanced dome design measures 3/4 inch, or 19mm.

Once you receive your Kenwood KFC-6965S 6-inch x 9-inch speakers, the box should have:


  • The speakers
  • Two grille frames
  • Two grilles
  • Two 11-inch long speaker wire
  • Eight by 1-1/2-inch self-tapping screws
  • Eight large flat, small flat and split washers
  • Eight M4 by 70mm machine screws and nuts
  • Two 4-inch strips of putty for the speaker grille
  • Warranty documentation
  • Instructions and specifications as listed on the box

Pros

  • An attractive packaging that keeps the speakers protected and sealed to prevent damage to the unit before opening.
  • An unbelievably good sound output level that offers you high-quality production at every frequency, even when you push them to their highest limits.
  • It is quite easy to fit the units into your vehicle even with limited ​DIY skills. The instructions on the box are clear enough for added peace of mind.

Cons

  • The speakers only come with double-sided sticky tape for holding the speakers, and they could eventually peel off due to constant use and vibration. However, adding an extra layer of tape can help prevent ​this from occurring.
  • Some customers find fixing the speaker frame grill ​a bit tricky ​because you have to cut the putty into shape yourself. But this does not seem to be much of a problem because most users managed to overcome it eventually.

How to Pick the Best Car Speakers for Your Car

Now that you’ve got a pick of five best car speakers to create a new custom sound system in your truck or car, you have some pretty important factors to consider. Unfortunately, it can be confusing to know where you should start.

Fortunately, here is a guide that has been developed to help you find the best car speakers for you. One of the things you need to consider is whether you should get component or full-range speakers. Also, you also need to consider four other critical factors, which are:

  • Speaker size
  • Sensitivity
  • Power handling
  • Build quality

You might also need to consider your budget but keeping these five factors in mind will help you choose the best car speaker system that works best for your car while achieving great sound.

1. Which is Better, Component or Coaxial Speaker Systems?

On the one hand, the argument of component versus coaxial car speakers is complicated, since there is no right answer to what is better. For a start, component speaker systems offer you separate components – subwoofers, woofers and tweeters that work together for high-quality sound output.

Most component systems have crossover connections – or cables – that are used for offering a clean separation between woofer and tweeter frequencies. The configuration offers you better, crisper sound.

Pros of Component Speakers

  • You can move the different sections around because component speaker parts are ​separate for a customizable, unique audio experience
  • Produce higher quality sound with the capability to achieve more enhancements than on full-range systems
  • While pricier, these units are built to last and usually feature high-quality materials

Cons of Component Speakers

  • Component speakers are usually more expensive and bring you lots of customization choices and accessories, so you need to take care that you don’t go over your budget
  • Component units are more complex to install and require some degree of expertise
  • Also, they are more complex to repair

Coaxial car speakers are the all-in-one models that have all the components in a single unit. They are also sometimes referred to as full-range systems. Introduced in the 1970’s, coaxial speakers offer you a range of choices and designs that are built to last for years in your car.

Pros of Coaxial Speakers

  • Less expensive and great for everyday use
  • Easy to install – you can install them on your own
  • They offer you an enhanced listening experience and are great for replacing factory speaker systems

Cons of Coaxial Speakers

  • Fewer customization or optimization options
  • Do not offer you specific high-tones or bass-tones found on component speakers
  • You need to carry out research based on your make and model of car

2. Speaker Sensitivity

Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB), and it is the measurement of a car speaker’s loudness. The sensitivity is usually determined by the non-echoing environment or by the room.

However, room environment sensitivity measurements are inflated by about 2 to 3 dB over non-echoing environment measurements. The higher the sensitivity rating on a speaker, the louder it is, and speakers with over 90dB sensitivity are considered as excellent.

3. Speaker Configuration and Size

Before you start shopping for a new set of best car speakers, gather information on the ones you already have in your vehicle. If you have to replace them, you have to take out the stock speakers and measure them. Plus, most stores ​give specifications of car speakers you need based on your vehicle model.

4. Power Handling

Car speaker power is measured regarding Watts (W), and it indicates the unit’s capability to handle power without incurring damage. If you subject a speaker to more power than it’s rated at, you will damage it. Speakers also have two power ratings, which are continuous and peak or RMS.

RMS rating is a speaker’s continuous output without incurring damage, while Peak power rating is the speaker’s max power handling capability. When comparing different speakers, make sure that power is indicated in RMS.

5. Extra Features

When looking at car speakers, you should also consider the extra features they offer you. Some of these include detachable tweeters on component and coaxial systems for added mobility. You will also get pivoting tweeters that allow passengers to rotate speakers toward their preferred listening direction.

6. Budget

It’s important you consider your financial situation and put in place a reasonable budget. While new speakers will greatly improve your driving experience, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg!

Fortunately, there’s a great range of best car speaker systems that fit in just about all price levels, so there’s something feasible for everyone out there. Therefore, determine your optimal budget and stick with it to weed out some impractical choices on the market.

7. True Value

Despite how much you spend on getting a new pair of car speakers, you should understand that they may not necessarily raise your car’s value. Plus, they don’t enhance engine lifespan nor do they have any other additional value apart from enhancing passenger and driver enjoyment.

This means that you don’t have to take into consideration your vehicle’s overall value when choosing a speaker system. The best news is that many of the systems above are easily removable and can be installed in new vehicles.

Completing Your Sound System

Putting together your car sound system is much like putting together a puzzle. In some cases, it can be a complex undertaking, but it’s an extremely rewarding experience when you are finally finished. While choosing the best car speakers from the list above, you also need to consider the factors mentioned.

Editor’s Pick 

The clear winner in this best car speaker battle is undoubtedly the Rockford Fosgate 6.75-Inch P1675-S Component System Speakers line. These speakers come with lots of hardware, so you can install it into your vehicle without extra purchases. In addition, the speaker set is a component system that features a clear separation of the diverse sound ranges.

What do you think? Have you decided which is the best car speaker for your car?

Jim Thompson