Looking for the car audio speakers and feel spoilt for choice?
Whether you're a casual listener or a total audiophile, the right car speakers can make a huge difference in how enjoyable it is to ride down the road. While virtually every modern vehicle comes with factory-installed speakers, you can greatly enhance your favorite music by installing new speakers from aftermarket manufacturers; the question, however, is which ones are right for your needs?
In the past, car speakers were expected to deliver a standard volume, amount of bass, amount of treble and a mid-range sound. These days, you can replace or enhance factory-installed car speakers rather easily, and most importantly, you can do so affordably. If you’re ready to get the most out of your next ride, we’ve got you covered.
Want to know more?
Take a look at the following top car speakers to learn how they can help you get the most from your music:
Rockford Fosgate Punch P152 5-Inch Full Range Coaxial Speakers
As detailed below, coaxial speakers are considered to be “full-range speakers”, meaning that they include everything in one package. A coaxial speaker is one that utilizes a tweeter, which plays the high-end sounds, and a woofer, which plays the low-end sounds, all within one unit. This type of setup is especially helpful when you want to casually enjoy music on the go.
Rockford Fosgate is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of car speaker equipment, and the Punch P152 is no exception. These speakers offer Rockford Fosgate’s FlexBit system, meaning you have more flexibility in mounting and directing your sound, and they also come with an adapter plate for OEM installation.
A crossover is also built into these speakers, providing the ability to ensure that high-end frequencies are sent to the tweeter while low-end frequencies are sent to the woofer. All of this combines into a rich sound regardless of what type of audio you’re enjoying.
Rockford 5.25" 40W RMS 110W PEAK COAXI
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15.6 x 8.5 x 4.6 inches
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1 year parts and laborand labor.
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- FlexFit basket design
- OEM adapter plate included
- PEI dome tweeter
- 5.25-inch full-range speaker with 80 watts maximum power handling (40 watts RMS)
- Mineral-filled and polypropylene injection molded cone with butyl rubber surround
- PEI dome tweeter with built-in crossover
- Flex Fit basket allows slight adjustment of the speaker when mounted
- 70Hz - 22kHz frequency response with 87dB sensitivity
The bottom line?
Rockford Fosgate’s Punch P152 speakers are perfect for drivers who want a quality set of speakers for a fair price. For most, installation is quick and easy, especially when utilizing clip inserts. Due to the full-range coaxial design, these speakers can deliver a rich array of sounds without breaking the bank. In addition, the speakers’ coaxial design saves on space and provides fairly decent low-range sounds without rattling your trunk.
It should be noted, however, that these speakers are not going to be a substitute for a sub-woofer and an amplifier combination. In our opinion, they are best suited to vehicles that don’t have existing speakers or vehicles that have damaged or very old speakers.
- Coaxial design allows for compact installation
- Fits a variety of standard speaker insets
- Includes a custom grill for seamless installation
- Can reach rich bass levels down to 70Hz
- Coaxial design means that a crossover is not necessary
- Unable to deliver sound separation found in component systems
- Can only handle 80 watts max power
- May require trimming in order to fit certain vehicles
- Potential to blow speaker is high when played at loud volumes for extended periods of time
- Will not deliver the punch of a sub-woofer and amp
Pioneer DEH-150MP Car Audio CD MP3 Stereo Radio Player, Front Aux Input with JVC 6.5 Inch 2-WAY Car Audio Speaker
When you want to upgrade both your vehicle’s head unit and speakers, Pioneer has you covered with the DEH-150MP package. This package includes a head unit that allows for MP3, CD, and AM/FM stereo playback as well as an auxiliary input that can be used for external media players.
On top of that, you also get four JVC two-way speakers that feature a coaxial design for maximum efficiency and ease of installation. This means that you can replace your vehicle’s entire stereo system in one dynamic package without the hassle of searching out various components. All of the elements in the DEH-150MP package are perfectly matched to work right out of the box.
In-Dash AM/FM, CD, MP3 Receiver with Remote Single-line, multi-segmented LCD display with LED back light is 35% larger CEA-2006 compliant amplifier Power Output: Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels ; RMS: 14 ...
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8 inches, 16 inches, 12 inches
- In-Dash AM/FM, CD, MP3 Receiver with Remote
- Single-line, multi-segmented LCD display with LED back light
- Peak power output: 50 watts x 4 channels
- RMS: 14 watts x 4 channels
- Theft-deterrent, detachable face plate with anti-dust design
- 300 Watts Peak Power/30 Watts RMS
- Frequency Response: 35-22,000 Hz
- Mica woofer cone
- Ferrite magnet
- Hybrid rubberized cloth surround
- Polyetherimide balanced tweeter
- Neodymium magnet (tweeter)
- Black ABS composite grills
- Top-Mount Depth: 1-23/32"
Here’s the real story:
The DEH-150MP package combines two of the best-known names in car audio and provides you with the chance to easily swap out existing components or replace your whole system. One of the biggest benefits to the DEH-150MP package is that everything is pre-configured to work together, so you don’t have to spend time or waste money guessing on what will work with what. Simply take everything out of the box, install and you’re ready to go!
As with some of the other speakers and components in this guide, we want you to keep in mind that systems like the DEH-150MP package are meant more for people who want a quality listening experience but who do not expect to have the neighbors hearing the speakers from a mile away.
The included JVC speakers do pack a punch and can be pushed to 300 watts at peak power, but you’re not likely to win any sound competitions with this set. Then again, if you just want to enjoy rich, crisp sound in your vehicle while cruising down the highway, then this might just be the solution for you.
- Everything you need is ready to be installed right out of the box
- Fits most standard speaker ports and center consoles
- Display provides CD track and MP3 ID tag information
- Coaxial speaker design means less installation headaches
- Head unit includes easy-to-use controls for safe manipulation while driving
- Can take advantage of wire harness clips for quick installation
- Includes ABS composite grills
- Some customers have reported faulty equipment once installed
- 35Hz frequency response may not be low enough for bass enthusiasts
- Potential for difficulty in picking up some radio stations using head unit
- Non-component system, so there are limitations in sound clarity, especially at high volumes
JBL GTO638 6.5-Inch 3-Way Speakers
Another name on our list that is synonymous with quality car audio is JBL, and the brand doesn’t disappoint with its GTO638 three-way speaker. If you’re ready to upgrade your listening experience to the next level, it’s likely that you’re going to find this selection to give you an amazing bang for your buck!
Here is the thing:
The GTO638 is a 6.5” speaker that fits most modern vehicles with no trouble, and it features a unique spin on the traditional coaxial design. With a coaxial speaker, both the tweeter and the woofer sit within the same space. This provides more efficient space management and easy installation.
JBL’s GTO638 takes things a little further and includes a third midrange speaker to the mix, meaning you get to the high frequencies, the low frequencies and everything in between without the need for a crossover.
GTO638 Hit the road with the big, rich, detailed sound that makes JBL® products famous. The GTO638 deploys the serious bass of a Plus One® woofer cone and an edge-driven My-Ti™ super tweeter that ...
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10 x 9 x 8 inches
Made in USA
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1 12V batteries required.
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- Patented Plus One® woofer cone
- Home theater-quality tweeter
- True sound from built-in crossover network
- 6-1/2 / 6-3/4-inch three-way loudspeaker
- Plus One woofer cone with rubber surround
- Mylar-titanium tweeter and adjustable supertweeter with level control
- 180 Watts peak power handling; Power Handling (RMS) : 60W ; 2 ohm impedance
- Two-inch mounting depth
GTO638 three-way speaker can deliver on its promise of serious sound, but if you really want to get the most out of this guy, you’re going to want to utilize some sort of amplifier.
Many people have reported that simply relying on a standard head unit isn’t going to cut it, and since the speaker features two-ohm resistance, you’re going to need to supply at least a little bit of extra power in order to really see the benefits.
On the plus side, these speakers are perfect for music fans who don’t need to pack a whole lot of sound into a small space. If you only listen at moderate or low volumes, you’ll definitely hear a difference when comparing these speakers to most factory-installed cones.
- Includes a third speaker to the traditional coaxial design for richer, fuller sound
- Compact and easy to install in most modern vehicles
- Supertweeter is adjustable and its gain can be controlled
- Two ohm impedance allows for more power
- Rubberized casing means less chance for speaker damage
- May not sound as good at high volumes
- Could require an amplifier in order to deliver full bass
- Installation adapters are plastic and may come across as flimsy
- Some customers have had trouble installing in certain makes and models
- Supertweeter level control button can sometimes press against the installation grill
Polk Audio DB651 6.5"/6.75" 2-Way Marine Certified DB Series Car Speakers with Liquid Cooled Silk Tweeters
If you’re looking for speakers that can stand up to tough environments, look no further than Polk Audio’s DB651 line. These speakers are marine-certified and ready to deliver a serious listening experience, both on and off the water. Speaking of liquid, they also feature liquid-cooled silk tweeters, offering you the chance to listen at high volumes outdoors without worrying about damage to your speakers.
The real deal, isn’t it?
This also gives you the chance to hear your music in noisy environments, such as when you’re boating around the lake. Although the DB651s sound great when installed in marine vehicles, they also make an excellent addition to your current or replacement car stereo.
Step up your vehicles audio performance with Polk Audio's revolutionary db651's. Cutting edge technology has allowed for an efficient speaker that has ability to accurately reproduce music like you ...
- 6-1/2" / 6-3/4" 2-way Coaxial Speakers (Marine Certified)
- Power Handling: Peak: 360 watts per pair / RMS: 120 watts per pair
- Lightweight dynamic balance polymer/mica composite mineral filled cone woofer
- 3/4" Liquid-Cooled Silk/Polymer composite Dome Tweeter
- High Pass and Low Pass Crossover Filters / Low-mass 2-Layer 25mm Kapton Voice Coil former
Listen to this!
If you own a marine craft, then Polk Audio’s DB651s are for you. Durable and rugged, yet elegantly crafted, the DB651 line is perfect for outdoor environments where an extra sound is needed. On top of that, these speakers can also be used in commercial vehicles to add an extra boost in sound quality and volume.
One issue that some customers have experienced, however, is the need to install these speakers into an enclosure in order to bring out the maximum amount of bass and tone. This, unfortunately, plagues many novice car stereo enthusiasts across a range of speakers.
If you’re considering Polk Audio’s DB651, consider installing them into some type of speaker box for maximum sound within a vehicle. On a marine craft, you shouldn’t have to worry too much as these speakers are meant to cut through noisy environments without delivering too much in the way of rich bass.
- Can satisfy car audio needs as well as boating enthusiasts
- Liquid-cooled technology allows for extended listening at high volumes
- Crossover filter delivers the right sounds to the right elements of the speaker
- Relatively high wattage range makes for a perfect pairing with a modest amp
- Once grill is installed, form factor looks amazing
- Open-air design may cause problems in some environments despite marine protection certification
- May need to cut or trim parts of the speaker or speaker insert hub in order to ensure a tight fit
- Will not deliver powerful bass due to open-air design unless placed within a speaker box
- Some customers have reported that the high-end coming from the tweeters is a bit too bright
- Complaints often cite lackluster bass performance overall when compared to advertising and reviews
Alpine SPS-610 6.5-Inch 2-Way Type-S Series Coaxial Car Speakers
Alpine is a name you can trust in the car speaker industry, and with the SPS-610 6.5- Inch speakers, you know that you’re going to get superior sound no matter what vehicle you’re using.
Alpine prides itself on delivering a range of speaker types, and the SPS-610 line is an excellent choice for people who are seeking out a coaxial speaker that can handle high-end frequencies with ease while delivering the expected low-end frequencies that come along with a coaxial design.
One of the most important benefits of the Alpine SPS-610 line is the price. While other comparable speakers cross the triple digit mark, Alpine has priced these speakers to be attainable by all. Additionally, these speakers can fit snugly into most modern car stereo speaker ports with no trouble at all, and if you’re using a small amp, you can get some serious sound out of these guys.
6.5 inch Car Audio 2-way coaxial Speakers (Pair) Alpine SPS-610 6.5-Inch 2-Way Type-S Series Coaxial Car Speakers 6.5" S Type Car Speakers.240 Watts Peak Power.80 Watts RMS Power
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2.25 inches, 5 inches, 5 inches
- 6.5" S-Type Car Speakers
- 240 Watts Peak Power
- 80 Watts RMS Power
- No enclosure included
- Slick design
We did the research!
Perfect for replacing factory speakers, the Alpine SPS-610 line of speakers deliver a full-range experience in a coaxial design. This provides customers with a listening experience that provides high-range, mid-range and low-range frequencies in a single speaker without the need for a complicated component system.
At 240-watts peak power, you can pair the SPS-610 6.5- Inch with a number of affordable amplifiers for crisp, full sound without having to break the bank. In addition, Alpine’s design team did a masterful job creating the look and fit of the SPS-610 line of speakers.
- Value-priced for the average driver
- Alpine brand is known worldwide for customer satisfaction
- Full-range sound means you won’t miss frequencies at normal listening volumes
- Compatible with smaller amp configurations for drivers on a budget
- Potential for door trimming during installation
- Considered to be on the low end of the factory replacement speaker level
- Due to coaxial design, may produce distortion at high volume levels
- Harsh tweeter frequencies in close quarters
- May not produce more bass when matched with a stock head unit
- Cones can wear out quickly with repeated or excessive use
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Infinity Reference 612m 6.5-Inch 225-Watt High-Performance 2-Way Marine Loudspeaker
Marine speakers need to provide serious sound due to the elements in which they operate, and the Infinity Reference 612m delivers on this in a major way.
Whether you’re on the water or just enjoying some music in your vehicle, the Infinity Reference is an excellent option for full-range sound. Built on a coaxial design, the 612m provides flawless four-ohm impedance that gives you the ability to use a multitude of amplifiers while ensuring that you get the sound you deserve.
Looking for a more moving audio experience? Take Infinity car audio for a ride. Innovative materials and breakthrough engineering have always put Infinity products out in front of the competition’s. ...
Sound good, right?
- 6.5-inch two-way marine loudspeaker with 225 Watts peak power handling and 4-Ohm impedance
- Sealed polypropylene cone and UV-resistant rubber surrounds for marine durability and stronger low-end
- Grill-mounted 1-1/4-inch polypropylene semi-dome tweeter offers crystal-clear high end
- Treated spider/tinsel leads and sealed cone/magnet structure for moisture protection
- One-year warranty
Get the sound you deserve!
Infinity Reference is known across the world as a leader in affordable sound, and with the 612m series, you get a speaker that can not only stand up to continuous high volume levels but also to outdoor elements. Designed exclusively for marine use, the 612m speaker offers a semi-dome tweeter, a feature that delivers clear high-end frequencies that will cut through background noise while on the lake or ocean.
Additionally, the Infinity Reference 612m provides easy installation and durable construction to ensure a long-lasting performance. This is crucial when dealing with marine-designed speakers in order to keep things like corrosion at bay.
- Marine-ready and fights corrosion due to weather elements
- Four-ohm impedance means you can deliver more power to this speaker on and off the water
- Innovative design and form factor
- Provides great low-end sound despite not needing an enclosure
- Some customers have experienced issues with sizing during installation
- Purchasing from third-party retailers may mean that you are receiving an inferior product
- An amplifier may be required in order to get the sound you’re looking for
- In many cases, these speakers do not come with required wires
Polk Audio DB461P 4x6-Inch Coaxial Plate-Style Speakers
If you’re looking for some serious punch to your audio, then Polk Audio has you covered with the DB461P 4x6-Inch Coaxial Plate-Style Speakers which are often considered to be one of the best when it comes to consumer car audio, and the DB461P is perfect for anyone who wants to get some serious sound quality.
Polk Audio 4X6" Plate Speaker 150W max Polk Audio DB461P 4-by-6-Inch Coaxial Plate-Style Speakers (Pair, Black) Pair of marine certified speakers perfect for use in boats of all types.Equipped with a ...
Want to know more?
- Equipped with a 0.75-inch liquid-cooled silk-polymer composite dome tweeter
- Maximum input power: 150 watts
- Equipped with a dynamic balance polymer/mica composite mineral-filled cone for a big sound
- Durable butyl rubber surround stands up to the stress of extreme temperatures, sunlight and time
Here's the bottom line on Rockford Fosgate.
The bottom line is that Polk Audio has produced an economical solution for music lovers who want to augment their existing stereo systems with the DB461P 4x6-Inch Coaxial Plate-Style Speakers. These speakers are best used in conjunction with a set of four auxiliary full-range speakers in order to get the best bang for your buck.
Some styles, such as trap or R&B can really benefit from super-deep bass, but if you tend to lean toward rock, metal and other varieties of non-hip hop, you can turn the bass down to achieve clear frequencies from your other speakers.
- Speakers will handle anywhere from 4 to 50 watts of RMS power and they are a very sensitive speaker at 91 dB, which means they will respond well to amplification.
- The frequency response of these speakers is 71Hz - 22kHz, which is perfect for mids to highs.
- Easy to install in smaller spaces
- Does not include grills
- Does not come with terminal connectors
Kicker 40CS654 6.5 inch 2-Way Speakers
The Kicker 40CS654 6.5 inch 2-Way Speaker is an amazing addition to virtually any car stereo system.
While it can be paired with a number of affordable amplifiers, this speaker also adds quite a kick to a variety of music styles, including hip-hop, R&B, rock and more. An added benefit to the 10C104 is that it cooling technology to eliminate overheating when used for extended periods of time.
Kicker also added in extra support for tight installations in order to keep sound locked in without affecting music quality. Using an exclusive back bracing, each 40CS654 is able to provide a stricter sound control that prevents leakage and rattling, even in older vehicles that may be prone to such issues when exposed to excessive bass tones.
KICKER provides the best bass for the buck with the KICKER Comp Subwoofer - all the legendary KICKER bass, and still the world’s greatest value for under $100. It’s equipped with all of the proven ...
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11 inches, 11 inches, 6.38 inches
- 4-Ohm 2-Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers
- 600 Watts Peak Power Total Per Pair / 300 Watts Peak Power Per Speaker
- 200 Watts RMS Total Power Per Pair / 100 Watts RMS Per Speaker
- Reliable, remarkable-sounding coaxial for easy drop-in, factory upgrades
- Reduced-depth baskets allow fitment into virtually any vehicle application
Do you want quality? We've got you covered!
The Kicker 40CS654 can add a real kick in the rear. Of course, as always, you’re going to achieve the best sound possible when you combine these elements with quality full-range or component speakers in your vehicle. How you take advantage of this comes right down to how you like to enjoy your music.
At the end of the day, the Kicker 40CS654 is a great deal if you want to get a serious boost in bass without overpowering everyone around you. These speakers can be installed in a variety of places within your vehicle to ensure efficiency, but they can also be shown off in a variety of enclosures to let everyone know that you’re a car audio enthusiast.
- Stands up to high volumes with continuous use
- Easy to install, simple modification of the mounting brackets
- Perfect for enhancement of most existing head unit
- Speakers include all needed hardware
- Requires wire stripping in order to connect speakers
- Some customers have reported problems keeping the speaker going after a few months
Kenwood KFC-1665S 6.5" 300W 2-Way Plus (2) 6x9" 400W 3-Way Car Speakers
Kenwood is one of the most respected car audio manufacturers on the planet, meaning virtually anything you purchase from this company is going to give you quality audio, and the KFC-1665S series is no different.
Providing support for most standard speaker ports these days, the KFC-1665S speaker is an excellent replacement for most stereos these days, especially if you’re looking for a full-range coaxial design that can deliver rich bass, mid-range and high-end frequencies.
Before purchasing these speakers, it would be best to check your owner’s manual to ensure that you have the right measurements. While 16x9” speakers are the norm in the rear of most vehicles, 6.5” speakers are often the norm indoors. As a result, you’ll want to take a look at what and where you’ll be installing these speakers before buying them.
The Kenwood KFC-1665S 6.5" 2-way car coaxial speakers can handle 300 watts of max power per pair and 30 watts of RMS power per pair. They feature a 1" balance dome tweeter with a 6.5" PP cone. Also, ...
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16.2 inches, 12.5 inches, 10.5 inches
- Kenwood 6.5" speakers provide a max power of 300 with speaker and an RMS power of 30 with a speaker.
- Impedance: 4 ohms; sensitivity: 92 dB / W / M; frequency response: 35 Hz - 22k Hz
- Kenwood 6x9" speakers provide a max power of 400w/ speaker and an RMS power of 45w/ speaker.
Here's our honest answer:
Hands down, the 300-watt power handling ability of the Kenwood KFC-1665S series brings a real opportunity to get the most out of your car stereo experience. While you can rely on your head unit to power these speakers, it would be a good idea to couple your system with an amplifier in order to ensure you get the best sound.
On top of the four-ohm impedance that these speakers offer, you also receive the ability to send 400 watts of power without worrying about blowing a cone. This can make a huge difference when you consider purchasing lesser-quality speakers.
- Allows for four-ohm impedance for increased power
- Can handle up to 300 watts per speaker
- Durable at high volume levels and fit most standard speaker ports
- Great value when upgrading from factory speakers
- Some customers are disappointed with the strength of the magnets
- Potential for installation fitting problems
- Coaxial design means some frequencies may have trouble coming through clearly
- Speaker may experience issues with prolonged exposure to high sound levels
Pioneer TS-A1686R A-Series 6.5" 350-Watt 4-Way Speakers
At 350 watts maximum power per pair, Pioneer’s TS-A1686R A-Series line is a great choice for people who want to turn that volume knob up without worrying about checking the bank account.
As a four-way speaker, the TS-A1686R A-Series provides plenty of depth of sound without the need to install an expensive component system. All of this, of course, is backed up by the decades of experience that comes along with the Pioneer name.
Set of 2. Oversized 6.75 in. cone. Multilayer mica matrix cone woofers. Soft - dome midranges with wave guide. Warranty: One year. Black color. Speaker: 6.5 in. Dia..
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13.7 x 7.6 x 4.4 inches
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- 2 x Pioneer TS-1686R 4-Way 6.5 Inch Speakers
- RMS Power: 60 Watts Per Pair (30 Watts Per Speaker)
- Max Power: 350 Watts Per Pair (175 Watts Per Speaker)
- 4-Way Design
- Frequency Response: 32Hz-38kHz
We tested it; Pioneer gets a win!
With the Pioneer’s TS-A1686R A-Series line, you not only get 175 watts of power per speaker, but you also get a form factor that beautifully integrates into virtually any vehicle. This eliminates the need to hide away your speakers, and instead, it gives you a chance to show off your car audio and customize your vehicle’s interior to your unique style.
Another benefit to the TS-A1686R A-Series is that you can quickly and easily add or change components, such as amplifiers or wires, within minutes. The way these speakers are designed allows for nearly instantaneous interchange. Whether you’re a pro or a novice, you can quickly customize the TS-A1686R A-Series speakers to your liking.
- 32Hz frequency response provides deep, rich bass
- Four-way design allows for a range of separated, clear frequencies to cut through
- Includes innovative grill design for added security
- Does not require expensive amplification in order to achieve full bass, mid-range and treble
- Potential problems fitting into some makes/models
- Some customers have complained about high-range sounds being too crisp
- Requires an amplifier in order to get quality sound and lush tones
- Potential for blown speakers in as little as one year according to some customers
How We Tested
We tested the above car speakers in a variety of current models, including consumer and luxury brands.
This was done in order to ensure that all products were provided with equal access to sound spaces and listening quality. We also utilized sound meters to keep quality levels consistent across brands. A decibel meter was utilized to ensure that all speakers were measured equally from various distances inside and outside of each vehicle.
Bluetooth Car Stereo
Bluetooth audio technology has come a long way in recent years, and currently, it can be used to send audio data to and from audio devices, including phones, tablets, televisions and car stereos. Unfortunately, one of the downsides to Bluetooth audio is that there may be a lag between pressing the play button and actually experiencing the music.
Bluetooth is always changing; are you?
In order to get the most from Bluetooth in your car stereo system, make sure that all connected devices are updated with the latest software and firmware. This can make a big difference in determining the sync of your system and devices.
|Product Name||Image||Power||Size||Overall Rating||Details|
|Rockford Fosgate Punch P152 Full Range Coaxial Speakers||110 W||5.25 In||9||Check price|
|Pioneer DEH-150MP||50 W x 4 channels||6.5 In||10||Check price|
|JBL GTO638 3-Way Speakers||180 W||6.5 In||9.5||Check price|
|Polk Audio DB651||360 W||6.5 - 6.75 In||9||Check price|
|Alpine SPS-610 2-Way Type-S Series Coaxial Car Speakers||240 W||6.5 In||8.5||Check price|
|Infinity Reference 612m High-Performance 2-Way Marine Loudspeaker||225 W||6.5 In||8||Check price|
|Polk Audio DB461P Coaxial Plate-Style Speakers||150 W||6 In||8||Check price|
|Kicker 40CS654 2-Way Speakers||300 W||6.5 In||8.5||Check price|
|Kenwood KFC-1665S 2-Way Plus||400 W||6.5 In||8||Check price|
|Pioneer TS-A1686R A-Series||350 W||6.5 In||9||Check price|
Also, remember that older Bluetooth hardware may not always be compatible with newer Bluetooth technologies, so there may not be a way to correct problems. For this reason, always look for head units, speakers and other components that can be easily switched out when you go to upgrade your technology.
Car Audio Setup for Sound Quality
Quality sound is what everyone wants out of a stereo system, but how do you achieve the best quality?
The answer is that it depends. Because all vehicles are different, and because everyone has their own idea of quality, there are no hard rules for achieving the right sound. With this stated, there are some loose guidelines that you can follow in order to maximize your listening experience while heading down the highway.
- How Many Speakers?
First, consider the number of speakers. In the past, monophonic sound, referred to as mono, was the norm. Mono sound meant that only one speaker played and all sounds came through this single speaker.
In time, a stereophonic sound was developed, and today, we know this as stereo. Stereo sound occurs when two speakers are utilized to separate different sounds across as spectrum before the listener.
Why you need surround sound now?
Beyond stereo, musical engineers began to develop things like surround sound in which an array of speakers are used to surround the listener while different sound of the same recording is broadcast to different speakers, ultimately creating a much more immersive experience.
Now, if you want to have great car speakers, you don’t necessarily have to invest in an expensive surround sound system, but you can achieve great sound, even on a budget, by doing some of the following:
- Choose Quality Equipment
One of the biggest mistakes people make when seeking quality car stereo sound is choosing cheap equipment. This isn’t to say that you need to purchase high-end gear to get great sound, but don’t go for bargain-basement equipment either. Try to stick to name brands, but if you don’t, at least take the time to test the equipment in a real-world scenario first.
- Work with a Professional
Although car speakers, amplifiers, head units and other components are easier than ever to install these days, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could cause serious damage to your vehicle.
As a result, if you aren’t sure about installing a component, contact a professional for advice or have that person handle the process for you. Believe us: you’ll save a lot of headaches down the road by doing so.
- Use Existing Components
Many people have the idea that, in order to get great sound quality from their car speakers, they need to overhaul the entire system. This means replacing the head unit, the speakers, and all of the vehicles audio wiring. In many cases, however, this simply isn’t true.
Sometimes, you can keep certain components, such as wiring or a head unit, and just replace the speakers. In other cases, you can replace just the speakers and keep everything else. Once again, if in doubt, contact a professional to know that you’re on the right track.
- Match Components
Finally, the real key to successfully getting a great sound from your car’s stereo system is to ensure that components are matched properly.
Essentially, there are various power requirements and other factors that go into creating a sound system. Failing to properly match components could damage the components themselves or even your vehicle.
While it’s beyond the scope of this guide to discuss the specifics of watts, amps, ohms and other issues surrounding car audio, you’ll want to check manufacturer recommendations when putting together a system in order to achieve the best sound possible.
Speakers with Good Bass
Bass is the low-end frequency that you experience when listening to music in a vehicle or when enjoying music at home, and typically, it is associated with larger speakers. Simplified, the reason for this is that lower tones resonate better through larger surfaces.
As a result, larger speaker cones will give off much deeper and rich bass tones compared to standard car speakers.
Learn more about enclosures:
While you can achieve great butt-rattling bass with larger speakers, the key to truly unleashing the power of bass in your car is by combining the larger speaker, called a sub-woofer, with an enclosure.
An enclosure is typically a box that is sealed and allows the sub-woofer or sub-woofers to neatly sit within. The combination allows for bass frequencies to resonate for longer and at a deeper tone than when using a sub-woofer alone.
When choosing a sub-woofer and an enclosure, you also want to think about where these components will be located within your vehicle. In some cases, you’ll get the best results by having them in the trunk, but in others, having your subwoofer and enclosure in a back seat or even under a seat can deliver more punch.
What it really all comes down to is the size of the cabin of the vehicle, the interior materials and how large the speaker and enclosure are.
An equalizer is a piece of equipment or software that allows you to control the various volumes of different frequencies.
Think about it like this.
When you are listening to a song that has a strong bass drum kick, you want that part to stand out. An equalizer allows you to raise the volume of just the bass part without affecting the high-end instruments, such as a hi-hat or a synth.
How can you get serious sound out of your speakers?
Finding the right balance for the type of music you listen to is really what makes an equalizer an essential piece of the puzzle when enjoying music from your car's speakers. If you're unsure of what settings you need to use, don't worry as most equalizers come with pre-settings that allow you to quickly and easily tailor your sound to your music.
When using an equalizer, it’s a good idea to listen to music on certain settings inside your vehicle, but also do the same standing at various distances outside of your vehicle. This is a common tactic used in the music industry to determine whether levels are correct or not when working on a recording.
In these cases, a recording engineer will record an artist’s song, place multiple versions with different equalizer settings on a CD and then play these in a standard car.
Here is the deal:
The engineer will listen in the car, standing outside the car, standing 20 feet away and so on in order to see how different frequencies sound in all areas in order to find what changes need to be made to equalizer settings in order to achieve the perfect blend.
What Makes a Car Loud?
Although most people tend to think that making a car loud simply involves installing large speakers, there are actually many factors involved. While it's true that larger speakers are going to make a car loud, the choice of an amplifier is important.
Do you really need an amplifier?
An amplifier acts as a go-between, connecting the speakers to the source of the sound. The amplifier you choose needs to match several key factors, including ohms and wattage. An amplifier that produces very little wattage and is paired with a speaker that needs a lot of power is going to be a waste of money.
Likewise, an amplifier that too much power can overload and blow a speaker very quickly. The key is to find the balance, and this can be done easily by matching manufacturer recommendations. When in doubt, always take your vehicle and speaker components to a professional to ensure that installation is completed correctly.
Here's the truth.
Something else to think about when considering what makes a car loud is the effect that sound waves have on the car itself. You’ve likely heard someone drive by with an incredibly loud stereo system playing very low bass, and when this happened, you probably noticed a high-pitched vibration along with the low bass sounds.
This occurs when the bass waves, which are low in frequency and thus travel at a slower rate, meet the actual metal of the vehicle playing the music. In some cases, a license plate may rattle, while in others, a slightly loose trunk may jiggle along with the bass waves.
While this may make a car “loud”, it’s typically undesirable and off-putting, especially to people hearing the bass on the outside of the vehicle. In order to avoid this, make sure your vehicle is in decent shape before attempting to make it loud using bass speaker components.
Virtually all of the today's modern vehicles include at least two door speakers, but exceedingly, drivers enjoy more than just these door speakers. More and more, vehicle manufacturers are including speakers in consoles and even seats in order to provide a more immersive listening experience.
Can you install your own speakers?
While high-end vehicle manufacturers typically include premium door speakers, you'll likely receive standard speakers with a standard car.
As a result, you might consider replacing these speakers with aftermarket versions. Doing so can greatly enhance your listening experience, but if you aren't sure how to go about the installation process, it's best left to a professional.
Trucks present both a unique challenge when selecting speakers as well as an advantage. The challenge when selecting truck speakers is that most trucks have little room in which to install replacement speakers or things like speaker boxes. In many cases, trucks will only be equipped with a single row of seats, meaning that any speakers aside from those installed in doors will have a very tight fit.
So what's the deal with truck speakers?
The advantage to this, however, is that you will need smaller speakers in order to get a big sound. Because of the smaller interior of most trucks, an eight-inch speaker might provide the same intensity and bass as a 12-inch speaker.
When combined with a quality speaker box, you can receive ultra-low bass tones and crisp, rich high tones for less than the cost of a conventional installation of replacement speakers in a car or SUV.
Of course, this sword can cut both ways since you might end up making your truck cab too loud. While serious car stereo enthusiasts may say there’s no such thing, you can easily overpower your cab if you try to install too much speaker and too much power in a smaller truck. When it comes to truck speakers, try to follow the rule of thumb that less is more.
Bose Speakers for Cars
Unquestionably, Bose is considered to be one of the world's leading audio experts. Bose manufactures everything from personal headphones to home theater systems, and many audio experts consider Bode to be among the best of the best. When it comes to Bose car speakers, you can guarantee that you're receiving top-quality equipment.
Are you ready for the truth about Bose?
When considering Bose car speakers, it’s important to keep in mind that you will likely end up spending a decent chunk of change. Because Bose provides notable quality, both in manufacturing of sound components and in sound output, you’re going to likely have to spend quite a bit more on the brand’s products when compared to traditional big-box store speakers and components.
Although this may turn some people away, you also have to consider that Bose car speakers and associated products typically last longer and deliver superior sound quality in the long run, so it’s often worth it to spend the extra cash.
What Else is Important in Selecting Car Speakers?
Although we've already discussed the need for volume and quality of sound, it's also important to point out the need for upgrades. The ability to upgrade speakers is increasingly important as technology shifts.
While you may be happy with your new speakers now, you'll likely want to upgrade them in time, so it's a good idea to choose speakers that can easily be swapped out.
Want to learn more?
Alongside this, it's also a good idea to select car speakers that can be transferred if you purchase a new vehicle. This is often easy when you choose to go with large speakers that reside in a box that can simply be moved from one vehicle to another, but when we're talking about door speakers or console speakers, the process may become a bit more complicated.
These days, most vehicle manufacturers use standard sizes when including car speakers. These tend to be between 6.5” and 6.9” depending on the shape of the speaker. While this is good news for most people who want to transfer aftermarket speakers between vehicles, it can be a problem if you’re dealing with an older vehicle.
Here is the deal.
In the past, most car speakers were 5.5” and even smaller, so in order to transfer and install modern car speakers to an older car, you’ll need to know how to trim away pieces of the door frame or console in order to get the right fit. You’ll also want to take into account the wiring for the speakers and the head unit.
Most modern head units utilize standardized wiring schemes, ultimately making it easy to install new components with clips and harnesses; however, it may be more complicated to wire new components into older vehicles, so always check the manufacturer’s specs before making a purchase.
The last thing you want to do is spend hours trying to install a head unit and speakers, only to find out that they are incompatible or you did something wrong and friend an expensive piece of equipment.
Car Speakers: Component vs. Coaxial
Do you really know the difference?
Finally, it's also important to understand the difference between coaxial car speakers and component sets.
Simply put, a coaxial speaker is one the combines a woofer, which produces low-frequency sounds, and a tweeter, which produces high-frequency sounds. A coaxial speaker is the most common type of speaker installed in most vehicles and can produce a full range of sound.
The downside to a coaxial speaker is that, because the woofer and the tweeter are right on top of each other, sounds can become distorted due to frequency interference. Essentially, when lows and highs are being played at the same time, the sounds can 'step on' each other and produce distorted sound.
A component speaker set, on the other hand, separates the woofer and tweeter and may include additional mid-range speakers. Using a device called a crossover, the system automatically separates the different frequencies and sends them to the appropriate speaker.
This means that the high-frequency sounds get played through the tweeter, the mid-range sounds get played through the mid-range speaker and the low frequencies get played through the woofer.
The result is a richer, cleaner sound as all of the component speakers are carrying out the jobs they were designed for instead of trying to muscle everything in at once.
Are you ready for the outcome?
At the end of the day, if you really want to receive quality, value and the best in performance all around, then we recommend the Pioneer/JVC DEH-150MP package. While the package may be lacking in sound quality for people who are really serious about bass, the fact that it includes both a head unit and four speakers from two well-known brands in the car audio space provides serious value.
This deal is perfect for occasions when you want to purchase a plug-and-play system since there’s no guess work in what speakers will install smoothly with which head unit and the installation process is quick and easy, allowing even novice audio enthusiasts to get the job done right.
And what about specialty speakers?
Finally, our verdict on the best car speakers cannot be complete without mentioning that your needs are important. As such, if you need a specialty item, like marine speakers, then the Infinity Reference 612m wins hands down. This speaker provides UV resistance and serious moisture protection, allowing you to take advantage of Infinity Reference’s amazing sound quality in all types of weather and climates.