Best Car Speakers Review and Buyers Guide

We spend a lot of time in our cars. Whether you use your vehicle for commuting, taking road trips, or simply taking runs to the grocery store, you spend a lot of time in your car. And while you’re there, you probably rely on the car audio system a lot.

Whether you listen to powerful, high-volume hip-hop or calming classical music, podcasts or audiobooks, talk radio or sports games, you have your car audio system on a lot. Unfortunately, the car audio quality probably isn’t that great. That’s because most cars – even expensive ones – don’t have very good speakers.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy – and cheap! – to improve the car stereo experience. The first, and best step is to add aftermarket speakers. Aftermarket car speakers are almost always better quality than the manufacturer’s option, and can handle a higher volume.

There are a lot of great car speakers available, with a lot of power. After reading reviews and specifications, and trying them out, these are, in our eyes, the seven best car speakers available right now, in various sizes, from some of the best car speaker brands.

The Best Car Speakers on the Market

Kicker 41DSC654 D-SeriesPioneer TS-A1676R 320WKenwood KFC-6995PS 125WPolk Audio DB651
6” x 9”
40Hz - 20KHz
32Hz - 40KHz
60Hz - 20KHz
35Hz - 22KHz
90 dB
100 dB
88 dB
92 dB
4 Ω
4 Ω
4 Ω
4 Ω

Kicker 41DSC654 D-Series 6.5” 480 Watt 2-Way 4-Ohm Car Audio Coaxial Speakers

Kicker sells some of the best value speakers on the market. And yet, despite their low prices, the units that Kicker sells are usually of the best quality. This model – a set of four car speakers that are 6.5 x 1.8-inches – has some of the best reviews of any car speaker available, and are definitely one of the best car speakers.

This product is pretty standard in terms of amplifier power handling. Each set (the four speakers combine to create two sets) has a maximum power of 240 Watts, and an RMS power of 60 Watts. This is pretty much the normal power output for 6.5-inch car speakers, as most manufacturer amplifiers supply in that power handling range.

The woofers and tweeters in these speakers are incredibly thin, and they have zero speaker protrusion. As a result, these car speakers can fit into any space designed for their mounting size. Not only that, but the speakers won’t get in the way of the door or window mechanisms.

As for mounting sizes, these speakers are 6.5-inch circles, with a 1.8-inch mounting depth. This is pretty standard as far as mounting sizes go, so you can put this set of four speakers into the door panels of a large number of cars.

Most importantly, these midrange car speakers from Kicker have some of the best power and sound, which is mentioned in every review. They’re huge improvement over the stock speakers that come in most cars. As their reviews suggest, they’re also a huge improvement over even the best aftermarket car speakers in the same price range, making them some of the best value speakers around.

The cones in the speaker’s woofer are made of stiff polypropylene, as well as acoustic foam. The tweeters are composed of polyethylene-naphthalate, and very good quality. This provides a very clean and good audio quality that is both impressive, and easy on the ears. They also feature a high-sensitivity motor, which allows the speakers to reach a high volume without sacrificing quality. If you turn the volume knob up, you won’t find yourself hearing distortion with these Kicker car speakers, even at really high volumes.

These car speakers have decent low-frequency and high-frequency, though they can get a little grainy and distorted on the extremes of the sound spectrum. But at mid-frequency, the car audio quality is the best. These are some of the best car speakers in this price range.

Pioneer TS-A1676R 320W 6.5” 3-Way TSA Series Coaxial Car Speakers

Pioneer is one of the best names in the car audio system industry, as all reviews show. Their speakers are the manufacturer option for many cars, but their aftermarket products are their best work. This particular set of 6.2 x 1.8 x 6.2-inch speakers is one of Pioneer’s entry-level offerings, yet it’s a terrific product that creates very good audio quality.

These car speakers have a maximum power handling or 320 watts, with 50 watts of nominal power handling. Plus. They’re 3-way speakers, which is pretty impressive given the modest price tag that they carry.; these are some of the best value speakers. However, that’s what we’ve come to expect from Pioneer: a lot of bang for your buck, and quality speakers that receive very strong reviews, both from consumers and from car stereo equipment experts.

At 6.5”, these speakers will fit in most cars. But the impressive thing about their size is the depth of just 1.75”, making them a dream fit in virtually any door panel. You should always check a fit before buying a pair of speakers, but this pair from Pioneer will fit a large number of vehicles.

The speakers are made of highly lightweight elastic polymer, and feature a unique and very useful mica matrix cone design. It’s audio engineering and the best level, which is what we have come to expect from Pioneer, whose name is not deceiving. One of its greatest technical qualities is the heat-resistant voice coil wire that allows the car speakers to maintain quality and life even with high input power.

This line of Pioneer car speakers utilizes a stiff suspension that was created for the company’s high-end models, but is featured in this very affordable pair. There’s also a very practical cooling basket with air vent, that keeps the car speakers cool, even with high use, high input power, and high volume.

While the specs are highly impressive, these speakers aren’t about the numbers. They’re about the sound: and the sound is one of the best, and most powerful. It’s the car audio quality, especially the range, that has led to very good reviews. These Pioneer speakers can hit some very high-frequency notes, while also providing a lot more low-frequency than you would expect for such a small set of speakers.

High volume is no problem for these speakers, and their crispness is impressive regardless of where the volume knob is. It’s part of what distinguishes these as some of the best car speakers in consumer reviews.

You can get better speakers if you spend a ton of money, but for the price, it’s very hard to beat this all-around stellar product from Pioneer. And if you don’t want this size, they’re also available in the following sizes: 3.8 x 6.0 x 1.6-inches, 12 x 6.6 x 3.8-inches, 5.2 x 7.5 x 2.4-inches, and 14.4 x 11.2 x 5.5-inches.

Kenwood KFC-6995PS 125W 6” x 9” 5-Way Performance Series Flush Mount Coaxial Speakers

Kenwood is one of the best car speaker brands, and one that is featured in a lot of the best cars as the standard manufacturer’s option. Just like some of the other speakers companies on this list, however, Kenwood’s aftermarket products are even better. These 6.0 x 9.0 x 3.2-inch speakers have some of the best reviews out there, and it’s clear that Kenwood hit a home run with this product. They’re a great addition to nearly any vehicle that they’re compatible with (and they’re compatible with most cars). These speakers are sure to dramatically improve the audio quality in your vehicle, as nearly every review notes.

Combined, this pair of car speakers has a maximum power handling of 1300 Watts, with 250 watts RMS. They feature a 2 ¾ inch paper cone for mid-range, as well as a ½ inch PET balanced dome tweeter, and a ½ inch PET dome super tweeter. They have 4 ohms of impedance, and the sensitivity is 88 dB.  The technical specs for these 5-way speakers are noteworthy, and they certainly match up with the very good audio quality and output.

By utilizing an oblong shape with these speakers, Kenwood is able to get a lot of quality and power into a small space. And, with a relatively modest mounting depth of 3 1/16 inch, these speakers can be installed into a lot of cars, without any issue. As the name suggests, they’re flush mount speakers, so you don’t need to worry about any protrusion, or this product taking up any excess space.

Most importantly, the audio quality in these car speakers is stunning. The range is impressive, and the capacity to handle high volume levels without sacrificing quality, or getting grainy at all, is remarkable. You’ll have a hard time finding car speakers in these sizes that handle low-frequency and mid-frequency levels as well as these Kenwood speakers do. The bass levels are truly stunning given the speaker size, and a very strong asset to anyone who enjoys listening to music with low-range sounds at high volumes.

Some consumers have noted in reviews that the speakers can blow, though it’s a fairly rare complaint, and basically the only gripe. As long as they’re working, these speakers will offer a best-in-class audio experience for your vehicle.

Kenwood also made a great-looking product. This set of car speakers is sleek and modern, but certainly not over the top. They look high-quality, without being flashy. And the aesthetic fits in the interior of almost any vehicle, from a new truck, to a classic sports car. Across the board, these speakers are simply excellent.

Polk Audio DB651 6.5”/6.75” 2-Way Marine Certified db Series Car Speakers with Liquid Cooled Silk Tweeters

Just the name of this product sounds cool, and really, it’s true: these are some of the best car speakers. Polk is one of the leading brands in audio equipment, and is known for making some of the best home stereo equipment on the market. However, their car audio system equipment is just as good in terms of quality, and this pair of 6.5 x 2.4-inch speakers is living proof of that, as countless flawless customer reviews will attest to.

This set of Polk car speakers has a combined peak power handling of 360 watts, with an RMS power handling of 120 watts. The dome tweeter is composed of silk and polymer, and the woofer is made of mica cone, which help create a smooth and responsive sound quality. Polk has mastered the combination and balance of materials in these speakers to create a truly breathtaking audio experience.

These car speakers are created to be free of distortion, and they do that wonderfully, even at high volumes. The sound is remarkably crisp and clean, and distortion is almost entirely nonexistent. All in all, the car audio quality is tremendous: not only is it a silky and clean sound, but these speakers can handle a large range very smoothly. There’s a very impressive amount of low-frequency output and bass levels from this pair of speakers, and reviews suggest that the mid-frequency audio quality is one of the best in its class, no matter where the volume is.

But the beauty really lies in the details, where Polk has found a way to create a set of speakers where every little detail is basically perfected. The speakers are 6.5”, but come with 6.75” adapter rings to make them fit in a wide range of cars. They’re also Marine Certified, so they can withstand serious weather conditions, should they somehow reach the speakers. The voice coil has a very high melting temperature, ensuring the the car speakers can not only survive, but continue to provide good audio quality even when they’ve been used for long periods of time. And the tweeters are swivel-mounted, so you can aim the audio output.

Last, but certainly not least, these are beautiful car speakers. Polk managed to make a set of speakers that looks as crisp and modern as they sound. These speakers are simply excellent in all areas, which should be expected from Polk.

JBL GTO609C PremiumAlpine SPR-60Rockford Fosgate R165X3
53Hz -21kHz
65Hz -29KHz
52Hz - 20KHz
90 dB
88 dB
91 dB
3 Ω
4 Ω
4 Ω

JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System

You’re probably pretty familiar with the JBL name. This audio equipment brand not only makes popular aftermarket automotive component speakers, but has their speakers in many cars as the manufacturer’s option. JBL is also very popular for home stereo equipment, with excellent review. Long story short, it’s a trusted brand that makes some of the best audio products. And these 6.5 x 2.1-inch component speakers are a testament to that.

For starters, this component speaker system is very comprehensive, as it includes a pair of tweeters, a pair of crossovers, and a pair of mid-range. The component speakers can handle a continuous power handling of 90 watts, and a peak power handling of 270 watts. The power handling ability allows these component speakers to not only produce a great sound, but also be very durable. They’ll last a very long time, as long as they’re taken care of.

The carbon injected cones in these car speakers are larger than most of the cones for component speakers of these sizes. The result is some of the best car audio quality that is not only strong, and remarkably crisp, but also very consistent. That’s a very valuable trait in audio equipment, and one that is often lost with automotive speakers. And because the carbon injected cones are both light and very stiff, they’re able to handle low-frequency audio with great success, as well as high volume. These offerings from JBL have stunningly impressive bass levels and low-frequency output for speakers in these sizes. They truly sound like a pair of large speakers when projecting low-frequency audio.

JBL reviews always mention the aesthetics associated with their best car speakers, and this set shows why. The design for this pair of component speakers is modern and somewhat simple, but in the best way. It looks sleek and sexy, especially in a vehicle with a dark interior. These speakers simply look like they’ll produce outstanding bass levels and clean mid-range audio quality, and that’s exactly what they do.

Customer reviews laud these as some of the best car speakers, for the sound quality across ranges, the power, the ability to handle volume, and for how long the component speakers last. JBL did an excellent job with this pair of 6.5-inch component speakers, but really that shouldn’t be any surprise. They truly make some of the best car speakers ever. However, if you want to try a different size, they also offer this series in the following dimensions: 0.8 x 0.8-inches, 3.5 x 1.5-inches, 4.0 x 1.9-inches, 4.0 x 6.0 x 1.7-inches, 5.0 x 7.0 x 2.3-inches, 5.3 x 2.3-inches, and 6.0 x 9.0 x 2.8-inches.

Alpine SPR-60 6-½” Coaxial 2-Way Type-R Speaker Set

Like the other companies on this list, Alpine is a very well trusted audio equipment brand. Alpine makes some of the best amps, receivers, and entertainment systems, but where they excel is with their car speakers. These 6.5 x 2.5-inch coaxial car speakers are among the Alpine products with the best reviews from customers, and that’s saying something, given the brand’s reputation. And it’s easy to see why, as they offer some of the best car audio quality.

As a pair, these coaxial car speakers have a peak power handling of 600 watts, with 200 watts RMS power handling. The 86 dB sensitivity is exactly what you would hope for from a top-tier set of speakers, which is what this Alpine pair is, especially if you read the reviews. And because these speakers are one of the standard sizes, with a shallow mounting depth of just 2-¼ inch, they’re able to fit in most cars. That’s good news, because as soon as you hear these speakers, you’ll probably be wanting to get them in your vehicle.

Because ultimately, it’s always about the car audio quality, and Alpine makes that abundantly clear with this product. Most impressive is the ability to hit high-frequency notes cleanly. Unlike many speakers of these sizes, this Alpine pair hits the highest frequency notes smoothly, with no ear-splitting screeching sounds. If you enjoy listening to any kind of modern music, you’ll be very pleased with how well this pair deals with synthetic, pop, and electronic sounds.

It’s not just about higher frequency, though. Reviews show that Alpine also hits mid-range wonderfully with this product. Mid-range audio quality is clean, crisp, and hard-hitting, and these speakers can really hold up to high volume without showing any signs of cracking or wearing. Even the low-frequency and bass levels are pretty impressive for a speaker of this size, even at top volumes.

They’re also some of the best looking speakers on the market. Alpine chose a simple aesthetic for this pair of car speakers, but it really pays off. The simplistic design is both modern and classic. It’s sleek and sexy, but most importantly, it looks high quality. These speakers provide some of the best audio quality that you’ll find for your car, so you want the design to suggest that. And that’s exactly what Alpine has achieved.

If there’s one drawback, it’s that a few customer reviews suggest that the speakers can begin to give out after about a year’s time. At that point, there can be a tendency to get a little crackly and scratchy. As long as you take good care of these speakers, however, that’s unlikely to happen, and you can enjoy some high-quality audio equipment.

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speakers

This list rounds out with a speaker brand that isn’t as well-known as the other ones on here, but probably should be. Rockford Fosgate has developed a reputation for making some of the best car audio system equipment in the lower price brackets, making these some of the best value speakers on the market. These 3-way 6.5 x 2.2-inch speakers are a testament to that, as they produce excellent sound quality for a very low price. Car stereo equipment reviews have made it clear: Rockford Fosgate is the go-to speaker company in this price bracket, and these are their go-to speakers.

These car speakers require a combined 90 watts of RMS power, and 180 watts maximum power. The 91 dB sensitivity is very nice, especially for this price bracket, as is the tweeter high-pass crossover of 6 dB. The speaker cone is made of vacuum polypropylene, and the tweeter is a silk dome pole mounted piezo. In other words, the specification of this set from Rockford Fosgate is what you would expect with a high-end company, but you’re able to get the same quality for a fraction of the price.

One of the best aspects of the speakers is the very shallow mounting depth. At just 2.15 inches, this set is ready for installation in just about any car. And if the 6.5-inch speaker isn’t the right fit for you and your vehicle, Rockford Fosgate offers this product in a handful of different sizes, so you can find the perfect one for you.

The specifications and technical details are better than you would expect when you see the price tag, but the sound quality is somehow even better, regardless of volume level. These speakers excel with mid-range sounds, making them a diverse speaker set that sounds good with any genre of music. The speakers can easily handle high volumes while still having good audio quality, and both high-frequency and low-frequency sounds are handled gracefully.

Finally, these Rockford Fosgate products are some of the best-looking. The included grille and trim ring looks expensive, strong, and sleek. Unlike many speakers in this price range, nothing about this product looks cheap or made of plastic. Everything looks high quality, because it is. That’s why these products are reviewed as the best car speakers for anyone who wants to dramatically improve their car audio system experience without spending much money. If you’re looking for different sizes, you can purchase this series in a few different dimensions: 4.0 x 1.7-inches, 5.3 x 1.8-inches, 5.0 x 7.0 x 2.5-inches, 6.0 x 9.0 x 2.9-inches, and 6.8 x 2.2-inches.

Car Speaker Buying Guide

If you decide to up your car stereo equipment game, you can do so with any of the seven best car speakers listed in this article, or with many other top quality series of speakers. But before making an investment into a pair of speakers for your car, it’s important to do know how to buy car speakers. You never want to be an uninformed consumer, and that’s especially true with car stereo equipment. You’ll be listening to the new speakers in your car almost every day, so it’s crucial that you make an informed, quality decision. As such, you want to pay attention to a few factors.

What is Your Budget?

Whether you’re buying the best car speakers, groceries, or a new house, your budget is always the most important factor. You need to figure out how much money you’re willing to spend, so you can narrow down your options. Looking for a good deal is always important to, but just finding your price bracket is most important.

For instance, you can get virtually flawless car audio system equipment if you’re willing to spend $2,000. But if you’re looking to stay under $100, you shouldn’t be comparing the speakers you’re looking at to the $2,000 pair. Figure out your budget so you can set your expectations, and narrow down your options.

Now, just because you’ve reviewed your budget doesn’t mean you need to max it out. It may be that you find the best deal at a lower price; only you can determine what that means. But if you don’t have a clear budget, you’ll likely end up getting drawn to the very expensive products that aren’t worth it for the money that you’re willing to spend.

As the Rockford Fosgate speakers in this article prove, you can get excellent speaker quality for a very low price. So whatever your budget is, you’ll find audio equipment that makes you happy, and you won’t have to spend an amount that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Is This the First of Multiple Audio Equipment Purchases?

Buying some of the best car speakers for your car will instantly improve the audio quality, and make life happier for you when you’re driving. However, while one pair of speakers will make a big difference, a series of purchases can make a bigger difference.

A set of aftermarket speakers is the first step in improving the audio experience and audio quality in your car. Once you’ve done that, you can add a series of products of varying sizes, such as a rear set of speakers, some larger tweeters, a subwoofer, an amplifier, a receiver, and a few other things as well. You don’t have to add any of this things, but you can. And figuring out whether that’s part of your future plans is an important part of speaker buying, as different components and different sizes can help at different frequency levels.

If this is simply the first move for you, then you’re going to want to factor that into your budget. You’re also going to want to purchase speakers with future purchases in mind. Do you want to stick to one brand with all of your equipment? What speakers will look good with the other equipment you’re putting in your car? Which speakers are easily compatible with the other products you’re considering? Which sizes work well together?

If these speakers are simply part of a larger automotive series you’re pursuing, you’ll need to take that into consideration.

What speaker size is best for you and your car?

The speaker sizes that you purchase are often determined by your vehicle. Cars have ports to put speakers in (usually these ports are occupied by the speakers that come with your vehicle, which will need to be removed). The sizes of these ports determine the sizes of the speakers that you need, which partially determines the watts. Not only is the circumference important, but the depth is, as well. If you purchase speakers that are deeper than the space provided by your vehicle, then your audio equipment will protrude and be a hassle.

Before purchasing any car speakers, figure out what sizes your car can accomodate. If you’re not sure about this, you can easily find the information online, and often in your car’s owner’s manual as well.

The ports in some cars are adaptable, so you can fit speakers of a few different sizes. Either way, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase, so you can find a pair of speakers that fits perfectly into your car.

What is the Power Output?

Speakers require power (measured in watts) in order to operate. That’s true for the speakers in your home audio equipment (which require a lot of watts), and it’s certainly true for the speakers in your car. Your speakers get their power and watts from your vehicle, but each set of speakers requires a different level of power and watts.

Speakers that require a higher power output (more watts) are often better quality (and naturally more powerful, and can handle higher volumes). However, they also often sap power from the car, which can lower performance, limit the lifespan of the speaker, and even lower the mileage that you achieve in your car.

For speakers that require a higher output of watts, it can be important to get an aftermarket amplifier for power. An amplifier can help control the power and watts being funneled to the speakers, to ensure that both the car and the speakers are operating at their prime.

There’s no “right” power rating or watts rating for a speaker. It depends on your car, your amplifier, what you want for your speaker, and how much volume you need. However, it is an important part of buying automotive speakers, so take power and watts into consideration. If you’re at all confused or not sure what to do, you can talk to an audio quality expert (either home or automotive) at an electronics store. They’ll be able to help you out. Reading reviews can also help here.

Is the Brand Important to You?

For a lot of the products we buy in our lives, the brand isn’t particularly important. We either want the best product, the best price, or some compromise between the two. Whatever brand happens to offer that is the brand that we choose.

But people can be very picky with their cars, and they can be even picker with their audio equipment. As such, a lot of people have really strong opinions about car speaker brands.

There are a lot of reasons to care about the car speaker brands that you buy. First, most people are simply more comfortable purchasing speakers from a reputable company. Even if you don’t know much about speakers, but you’re familiar with the company name, you may feel at ease buying from them. Second, many people who are into car stereo equipment like to stick with one brand. For performance, installation, and aesthetic reasons, a lot of people prefer to use the same company for their amplifier, subwoofer, and speaker sets. And third, a lot of folks have used a few different home audio equipment brands, and developed a favorite company. A company that they trust, whether it’s because of the performance or the customer service.

Car speaker brands might be important to you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If it is, you’ll want to take that into consideration before buying car speakers.

What Aesthetic are You Going for?

Far and away the most important thing that car speakers do is provide good audio quality. Audio quality is the first, second, and third most important reasons for buying car speakers. But with that said, there are a few other perks that new car speakers offer as well.

Namely, looks. Car speakers can look really, really good. All of the best car speakers are exceptional looking, but each looks different. What you like is a matter of personal taste, but there are a few things to consider.

First, you want to think about whether you want speakers that really catch the eye, or ones that kind of blend in. Both look sleek, but each serves a different purpose. And second, you need to consider how the car speakers look with other aspects of the car, most notably other car stereo equipment that you plan to purchase. It’s important to not only determine what your preferred aesthetic is, but find ways to make sure that your entire car is matching that aesthetic.

If you’re unsure how good a product looks from online pictures, find it in a store, or read some reviews.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Nothing is quite as important as a product review. And that is very true for car speakers. As such, you want to always read a lot of reviews about good audio audio quality before deciding what set of speakers to buy.

A good review can make you realize just how perfect a set of car speakers and their audio quality is for you and your vehicle. A bad review can remind you that a certain set of car speakers isn’t right for you, no matter how much you liked them. And even a review that isn’t particularly bad or particularly glowing can help you realize a certain aspect of the speaker that’s important to you as a consumer, even if it’s just letting you know what frequency the product excels at.

A review can also give important information about little aspects of the speakers that are important. Reviews are where you find out how easy or hard the car speakers are to install, and quirks (negative or positive) that aren’t on the product description, and how the sound quality lasts over time.

So always read a number of reviews from consumers before purchasing your new car speakers, or any kind of car stereo equipment. A review is some insight on the product that you are purchasing; you can’t get that type of insight anywhere else. Other than setting a budget, reading a review or three is the most important think you can do when preparing to buy car speakers.

Give the Speakers a Test Run

It goes without saying that you can’t buy a lot of pairs of car speakers, install them each separately, see how they sound, and then choose a winner. Well, technically you could, but it would be a gigantic waste of both time and money.

However, there are still ways to test some speakers. Many electronics stores, especially large ones, allow you to listen to some of the car speakers they sell. An independent car stereo equipment store should have a lot of speakers that you can try out. And maybe you even have a friend with a pair of speakers that you’re considering, and you can try them out there.

Reviews are helpful, but nothing beats getting to hear how the car speakers sound. If you have that opportunity, it will really help you in you car speaker buying process.


Car speakers are a lot of fun, and they’re a great way to improve your vehicle. Having a better car stereo system simply makes it a lot nicer to be in your car, whether you’re a driver or a passenger.

The seven car speakers that we’ve chosen here represent what, in our eyes, are the seven best car speakers on the market, based on our reviews. They also seem that way if you read customer reviews.

Ultimately, however, the choice is yours: your review matters most. There are hundreds of great car speakers available, including these seven options. As long as you are thoughtful about what you’re purchasing and follow this buying guide, you’ll be able to find a pair of car speakers that is perfect for you and your car. And you’ll be thankful every time you get behind the wheel.