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Best Car Speakers: Make Your Soundtrack One to Remember

These car speakers will take your sound quality to the next level.

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON October 14, 2021

Drivers use their car speakers to catch up on the news, check the weather, and rock out to the radio. Sure, you might take them for granted, but your speakers are a crucial component of your vehicle. Plus, they are one of the most cost-effective ways to upgrade your ride. With little to no modifications, you can feel the beat of that bass line or enhance the treble on your classic soundtrack.

However, picking out a set of speakers can be a bit overwhelming—there’s no shortage of options, ranging in size, type, and benefits. To help you track down the best car speakers, we’ve identified the best products available on the market today. Whether you’re jamming to some EDM or feeling the soul in classic country tunes, there’s a speaker for you on this list.

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Benefits of Car Speakers 

  • Replace your OEM stereo. While car stereos usually perform fine, they lack an aftermarket option's impressive range and power. Eventually, factory speakers lose their efficacy, beginning to get noisy and make the sound seem sharp. Replacing them restores the quality of your music.
  • Improve music quality. Car speakers don't only bring the music back to par—they enhance it. There are two-, three-, and four-way speakers, helping you direct the sound waves in a way that works for your vehicle. Plus, the quality of manufacturing continually improves, helping aftermarket car speakers last longer. 
  • Access news and weather. While driving, you rely on the radio to relay important information, and you need to hear it clearly. A good car speaker means you can easily stay up to date. 
  • Little to no modification required. Since your car comes with a speaker already built into it, you don’t have to make any substantial changes to fit in the new car speakers. There are options available in all sizes, so you can usually just pop them into place. Even if you need to make a slight adjustment, it’s typically nominal. 
  • Add a touch of flash to your ride. From the pumping bass to the crisp treble, clean sound already adds to the effect your car has. That said, there are a lot of stylish speakers available that give it an extra kick. The right set of car speakers can help you make the look and vibe of your car perfect. 

Types of Car Speakers 

Full-Range Speakers

Also referred to as coaxial speakers, these are the more basic speakers and the most prevalent on the market. The speakers feature a tweeter and a woofer, with the former being responsible for higher frequencies. Woofers deal with the bass at lower and mid-range frequencies. Since these models are so straightforward in design, they require fewer modifications and are more budget-friendly. Improving the sound substantially, you can get up to four-way coaxial speakers to control the flow of the soundwaves. 

Component Speakers

This type of car speaker consists of separate parts which are positioned throughout the vehicle. It lets you control the flow of the music based on how you mount them. You can ensure that the tweeters and woofers channel different frequencies to play to their strengths by wiring them correctly. Because of the extra control, the music quality is optimal with component speakers. However, they are more likely to require modifications to the vehicle and also take substantially longer to install. 

Top Brands

JBL

JBL is an American-based company that manufactures audio equipment for cinema markets, studios, homes, and vehicles. JBL continuously unleashes innovative products in the market including Bluetooth speakers. The company was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing and has its headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif. Try out the JBL GTO609C Premium.

Rockford Fosgate

Rockford Fosgate is fondly known for making quality speakers at pocket-friendly prices. The company makes audio speakers for motorsports, motorcycles, and marine equipment. It was founded by Jim Fosgate in 1973 and has its headquarters in Tempe, Ariz. A classic high-performance speaker from Rockford Fosgate is the Rockford Fosgate R165X3.

Alpine

Alpine is known as a leading manufacturer of audio speakers and navigation systems. The company was founded in 1967 and has its headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Alpine products come as built-in audio systems in BMW, Honda, Dodge, and Jaguar cars. Their S line speakers, like the Alpine SPS-610 S-Series, are a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their car’s factory speakers.

Pioneer

If you are looking for speakers that are good enough to wake the neighbors, then Pioneer is the brand for you. Pioneer is a multinational corporation specializing in digital entertainment products, and its headquarters are in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Consider buying the Pioneer TS6900PRO if you are looking to boost the audio experience in your car. 

Car Speaker Pricing

  • Under $60: This is the price range for budget-friendly car speakers with less than 60 RMS and can handle a maximum power output of only 100 watts or less. The speakers have a small profile with minimal airflow and tend to overheat quickly. Despite that, most have good sound quality and bass.
  • $60 to $80: Speakers in this price range do not disappoint as they come with great designs and are made of high-quality materials. They can handle extended use without overheating and have impressive sound.
  • $80 and up: At this price range, you will find car speakers from top-of-the-line brands that will deliver the ultimate music experience. They offer differentiated sound levels, from low to high frequencies, on different cones with no distortion. They are also designed to be durable and deliver the best surround sound. 
A collection with a car stereo and speakers.
gettyimages

Boost your car stereo with a new set of car speakers that can handle higher volumes.

Key Features

Size and Installation

Most speakers fall somewhere between four and nine inches. Typically, the larger the vehicle, the bigger the factory speakers. Usually, the speakers are installed behind a protective grill. The amount of space you have to work with determines the size of the speaker you can get (unless you want to make modifications). Generally, the more space there is, the higher-quality the audio is. 

Speaker Axes 

Depending on how much room you have to work with and the layout of your vehicle, you will want a different speaker setup. Within the full-range category, you can find two-, three-, and four-way speakers. Naturally, the more speakers, the higher quality the audio will be. Each of the speakers accommodates a specific frequency range, limiting crossover and cutting down on sharp, staticky sounds. 

Structure

Another critical feature is the materials and build of each speaker. Sound results from vibrations, but you don’t want ambient noise. It not only compromises the sound quality, but it also can cause the system to overheat. Look for models with a butyl rubber protective layer. This material absorbs the vibrations, helping prevent damage to the system and preventing background noise. 

Wattage

Especially if you drive a loud vehicle, wattage is an essential feature. You can find stereos as low as 80 watts and higher than 350 watts. The higher the wattage, the louder it can get. Now, all speakers can blow out, but you are much less likely to face this issue if you’re working with a higher wattage capacity. Consider the type of vehicle you drive when picking out your new speakers. 

Other Considerations

  • Hardware. The hardware used in construction plays a massive role in keeping the speakers working for longer. Be sure to look at the type of tweeter: a dome and a cone are the most common, though the cone is better able to perform at lower frequencies
  • Copper Versus Aluminum Coil. This plays into how the speakers dissipate heat and how much power they can relay. Both work well, though aluminum has less resistance and is also less vulnerable to heat. However, aluminum is a malleable material that is vulnerable to pressure and impact (even on a small scale). Think copper for better control and aluminum for raw power. 
  • Exterior. The outside of your car speakers is the part most exposed to the elements. Whether that be dust from a dirt road or spilled coffee, the speaker's exterior is its primary protection. Consider how easy it is to clean and whether it comes with a replacement grill for after setup. The less exposed they are, the longer the speakers will last. 
  • Car Compatibility. You need to ensure that the sensitivity and power handling of the speaker is compatible with your car. If in doubt, check your vehicle's user manual. However, in just about every case it is standardized as long as you remain within the two to four ohm zone.

Best Car Speakers Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
JBL Premium Car Speakers

These 6.5-inch component speakers optimize the woofer technology to improve the bravado of the sound. It includes dome-style tweeters that hit high frequencies smoothly. By incorporating two adjustment levels on the volume control, you get a lot of say in how the music presents in the vehicle. Able to handle up to 270 watts, they are on the higher end of the power spectrum. All the components are made out of high-grade materials, featuring a carbon-forged cone structure and optimal thermal control. It lets you listen to any music while projecting the notes at the proper pitch.


However, keep in mind that this is a component-type speaker. Installing it will take some effort, but once it’s in place, the durable nature of its design makes it well worth the work.

Best Value
Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker

When you’re looking to overhaul your car’s sound without breaking the bank, the Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker is a fantastic option. At 6 inches, the design is compatible with most vehicles. Peaking at 300 watts with a minimum of 75 watts offers reliable volume controls that highlight both the bass and treble. Inside the speakers is a rubber coating meant to buffer vibrations. The result is a smoother sound and reduced wear and tear. It is made out of high-grade material, most notably in the 1-inch copper coil that handles power smoothly. Despite its high quality, this speaker comes at a friendly price point.


Even though these speakers are small, they are aftermarket speakers that likely won’t be compatible with a warranty—make sure to consider this before purchasing. 

Premium Pick
Dual Electronics 80 Watt Car Speaker

If you’re looking for something simple and reliable to replace your OEM speakers, consider the Dual Electronics 80-Watt Car Speaker. Running on 80 watts, this speaker provides a smooth, steady sound that won’t take over the environment. It uses a four-way speaker design to capture all frequencies, both mid-range and high. Because of how the speakers direct the sound, it flows smoothly. Paired with the rubber protection inside the speaker, it evens out the vibrations for a good sound. Well-ventilated, the speakers aren’t prone to overheating and can handle moisture in the air due to humidity. Backed by a 30-day warranty, these speakers are ideal for compact cars and hybrids.


While the sound is steady, the speakers run on low wattage. This impacts volume and makes them more likely to blow out if you crank it too loud for too long. 

Honorable Mention
Pioneer G-Series Coaxial Speakers

Unlike other models that use OEM standards and lower wattage, these 300-watt speakers can carry sound. With a two-way design, these tough speakers are crafted out of high-grade materials, including the polypropylene composite of which the woofers consist. Because of the structure, you get all the power from the speakers without distortion from the ambient vibrations. The PEI tweeters top it off, letting you get crisp audio on high frequencies. Featuring full mesh grilles, they aren’t prone to taking on dust and can remain in fighting form for an impressive amount of time. Coming with everything you need for installation, this is a quick and convenient way to modify your vehicle. 


One thing to note about these speakers is that they can be hard to clean—eventually, caked-on debris compromises the sound quality. Make sure to wipe them off occasionally to keep the sound on top of its game. 

Honorable Mention
Blaupunkt Four-Way Coaxial Speakers

These speakers work with frequencies between 80 hertz and 20 kilohertz and have a 90-decibel sensitivity. Coupled with the dome tweeter constructed of Mylar, they work well at the higher end of the frequency without damaging the speakers through the vibrations. The speakers' synthetic rubber exterior protects the polypropylene cone, and together, they buffer any static. This lets the four-way speaker work its magic and spread out the soundwaves evenly. Coming with everything you need to set it up, including the grill, it can make a great addition to your next road trip.


Keep in mind that these 6.5-inch speakers incorporate an aluminum voice coil, letting the system reach 360 watts peak power which will show in the sound intensity. As a result, this model is better suited for larger vehicles like trucks or cars with exhaust spoilers.

Honorable Mention
BOSS Audio Systems Replacement Car Speakers

If you want to be sure that your new speakers will work with your vehicle, the BOSS Audio Systems Replacement Car Speakers are a solid pick. They come at a friendly price point and are designed to be as compatible as possible. Since the frequency range lies between 100 hertz and 18 kilohertz, you don’t have to worry about them hitting the correct pitch. They feature a sensitivity of 82 decibels, making them a safe option with your vehicle’s existing hardware. The aluminum coil optimizes the level of resistance while the cone tweeter gives a wide sound range. By buffering them with a foam exterior, you don’t have to worry about ambient noise and pesky vibrations.


However, these speakers leave something to be desired when it comes to the installation. Electrically speaking, they fit well, but their hardware is a different story. Some users note that the mounting holes don’t always line up, so be prepared to make a minor modification if needed.

Honorable Mention
JBL Premium Coaxial Speakers

With the JBL Premium Coaxial Speakers, you can appreciate all the high frequencies in your music thanks to the unique UniPivot tweeter technology that enables you to control the sound based on the music's demands. It works by physically directing the sound where you want it, improving clarity. The ability to maneuver the sound this way is not typical for coaxial designs, giving this item an extra edge. The tweeter pairs with the carbon-injected cones to create a reliable, efficient speaker that works in most vehicles. At 6 1/4 inches, it's small enough to fit into most spaces. The exterior is well-crafted and designed to both reduce noise and limit the chance of it wearing out. 


It warrants a mention that this speaker set comes at a reasonably high price point, especially compared to some of the competition. However, if you commute, take a lot of road trips, or otherwise spend substantial time in the car, it's well worth the investment.

Honorable Mention
BOSS CH6530 Coaxial Stereo Speakers

The BOSS CH6530 Coaxial Stereo Speakers help you hear the perfect pitch with carefully made tweeters. Coming in a set of two, 6.5-inch speakers, you get three-way sound over a wide frequency range. Working between 100 hertz and 18 kilohertz results in a clear, steady audio flow that lets you appreciate the music. By incorporating rubber surrounds to absorb noise, the speakers reduce distortion and result in a clean sound. These 300-watt speakers are straightforward to install and have a stylish look that integrates with any vehicle. All parts used in construction are of high quality, and the product is backed by the BOSS name, a well-known brand around the globe.


However, the speakers' style makes them pick up dust more easily. Make sure you wipe them out once in a while to prevent buildup.

Honorable Mention
Pyle Car Sound Speakers

The affordability of the Pyle Car Sound Speakers enables you to swap out your old speakers without overspending. With a sensitivity of 90 decibels, this model peaks at 300 watts. Featuring a voice coil that’s designed to handle high temperatures, it’s an excellent way to go for older vehicles. Relying on a four-ohm setup, it incorporates polymer-injected cones to enable quality volume distribution. At five by seven inches, these speakers fit into most cars. The bright blue cone adds a pop of color while working to optimize the sound quality. Given the effective wiring and well-made tech, if you’re looking for a good range on a budget, these are a worthy pick. 


Keep in mind that these speakers can get loud and don’t incorporate an impressive amount of matter to buffer it. As a result, they may leave an echo-like vibration that causes the sound to distort. It’s only a big issue at high volumes, though, so if you keep it at a medium level, it should be fine.

Honorable Mention
Kicker D-Series Car Audio Coaxial Speakers

If you're searching for a pair of speakers to give you clear and crisp sound on both high and low volumes, these might be an excellent choice for you. These Kicker speakers offer 360 watts of peak and 90 watts of RMS power. They also feature a low-profile design and look incredibly good in all vehicle types. The great thing about these speakers is their reliable performance. The units are made to withstand heavy daily abuse and provide perfect sound regardless of the conditions. They are also sturdy and quite durable. With proper maintenance, you'll use them for many years and enjoy a quality upgrade to your old factory audible system. 


The thing that might bother you the most is the noticeable distortion on bass volumes. If you're looking for speakers that have incredible bass, these are not the best option for you. Another problem might be with the installation. Depending on the model, these speakers might not fit your vehicle, so make sure to double-check the dimensions. 

Tips

  • If you want to improve the bass levels of your speakers, consider purchasing a subwoofer and including it in the setup. It doesn’t have to be the extravagant kind.
  • Play higher-quality music files from your MP3 player or smartphone. The music sounds better when it’s from a file with a high bit rate. If you’re streaming the music, set the audio to the best quality to get the most out of your speakers.
  • Do not attach the speaker on a thin piece of metal like a door panel. As the music plays, the metal vibrates and kills off the music from your speakers. It’s better to install them under the seats or in the trunk. 

FAQs

Q: Can you put regular speakers in a car?

To get decent sound quality, you need actual car speakers. Sure, you could blast the volume on your smartphone or throw in home speakers, but the results will be subpar (at best). Car stereos are affordable, easy to install, and drastically improve the sound experience in the vehicle. 

Q: How do you check if the speaker is working? 

The easiest way to check the function of your speaker is to listen to music on it. Make sure you check a range of frequencies, test the bass, and make sure the volume works properly. Look for any vibrations or noisiness and try the speakers while the car is in motion. You’ll know if something is off by the quality of the sound. 

Q: Can I use 8-ohm speakers in my car? 

Cars use either 2- or 4-ohm speakers, while models for the home rely on 8 ohms. Since ohms refer to the electrical resistance in the system, it’s a very important consideration. Stick to low-ohm speakers for your vehicle, as they are designed for exactly that purpose. 

Q: What causes a blowout in a car speaker?

The blowout could be because of a mechanical failure in the speaker when it collides with its enclosing surface and results in broken or torn components. The blowout could also be due to a thermal failure when the speaker’s internal components overheat and melt or burn. When the voice coil is burnt, you will get no sound from the speaker.

Q: Is it normal for car speakers to buzz?

The buzzing is only normal if the AM radio is on. AM signals are affected by the ignition system, and your speakers could start buzzing, especially if the radio isn’t shielded or insulated. If the AM radio is off, you probably have an electrical issue that’s interfering with the speakers, like a phone charging inside your vehicle. Another reason could be a loose wire that indicates that your speakers are wearing out. 

Final Thoughts

Ready to take your car’s music game to the next level? There’s a ton of powerful yet smooth car speaker options like the JBL GTO609C Premium. Want something that won’t ding the budget? The Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker is cost-effective and installs easily.