Reviews

Best Car Speakers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Upgrade your car’s basic sound system with some of the best car speakers that offer high quality and great performance.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON November 19, 2021

Your car speakers might seem like an accessory you don’t need to worry much about. However, whether you’re a huge music fan, love listening to podcasts on your commute, or simply enjoy tuning into the radio while you’re on the road, your car’s speakers can make a world of difference. Standard factory speakers don’t always offer the best sound quality or clarity, and they can be downright frustrating if you really want to customize how your car’s audio system performs. But there’s good news: upgrading your speakers is as easy as buying a new set. Which car speakers offer the best in terms of quality, performance, and sound that’ll really resonate no matter what you’re listening to? You can check out our picks for the best car speakers right here.

Best Overall
JBL Premium Car Speakers
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Summary
Summary

These two-way speakers incorporate a surround-sound setup. They offer powerful bass and impressive range. Coming as a set of two, these six-and-a-half-inch speakers work in almost any vehicle.

Pros
Pros
  • You can choose where to place the tweeter to control sound dispersion
  • Not prone to overheating
  • Built to optimally replace factory models
Cons
Cons
  • Can be difficult to mount the grills
  • High amounts of carbon in the construction can result in premature wear
Best Overall
JBL Premium Car Speakers
Best Value
Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker
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Summary
Summary

This four-way speaker offers up to 300 watts. At six inches, it fits most vehicles. Priced affordably, they provide crisp audio at a wide range of frequencies.

Pros
Pros
  • Comes at a friendly price point
  • Features a copper voice coil for optimal resistance
  • Synthetic rubber exterior buffers static
Cons
Cons
  • Aftermarket speakers not compatible with most warranties 
  • Four-way design at low power can feel too quiet
Best Value
Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker
Honorable Mention
Dual Electronics 80 Watt Car Speaker
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Summary
Summary

A four-way, six-inch car speaker, this model is built to withstand the elements. Easy to install, it provides smooth sound transitions and high clarity at all frequencies.

Pros
Pros
  • Includes tough polypropylene cone for quality bass
  • Rubber surround prevents sound distortion
  • Durable tweeter for high-frequencies
Cons
Cons
  • 80 watts is fairly low
  • Better for smaller vehicles
  • Can be too quiet if competing with noisy trucks
Honorable Mention
Dual Electronics 80 Watt Car Speaker
Close up shot of a round car speaker in a car
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

In order to find the best car speakers available, we dove into the wide selection of different speakers and took a close look at many. With so many different product options, we compared each set of car speakers based on their specific details, from speaker size to materials and construction to ease of installation. We took a look at the specs of each set of car speakers too, considering the wattage for power, the cone structure and material, and the levels available for bass and treble. Our top picks were those car speakers that offer good value for their price and great performance, whether you’re tuned into music or talk radio. 

Best Car Speakers Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
JBL Premium Car Speakers

These six-and-a-half-inch component speakers optimize the woofer technology to improve the bravado of the sound and include 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 and 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, and installing it will take some effort, but once it’s in place, the durable nature of its design makes it well worth the work.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 270 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Mounting: Flush or surface

Pros

  • Dome-style tweeters deliver smooth high frequencies
  • Gives sound more bravado
  • Constructed with high-grade materials
  • Two volume control adjustment options

Cons

  • Installation does take effort
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 six inches, the design is compatible with most vehicles, and peaking at 300 watts with a minimum of 75 watts, it offers reliable volume controls that highlight both the bass and treble. Inside the speakers is a rubber coating meant to buffer vibrations and the result is a smoother sound and reduced wear and tear. It is made out of high-grade material, most notably in the one-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 your car’s existing warranty—make sure to consider this before purchasing.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 300 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 9 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • High power handling
  • Can highlight bass and treble
  • Rubber coating smooths out vibrations
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not compatible with most existing car warranties
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 and 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, and because they’re 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 which impacts volume and makes them more likely to blow out if you crank it too loud for too long.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 80 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • Smooth, steady sound
  • Covers all frequencies, including high
  • Well-ventilated to reduce heat
  • 30-day warranty

Cons

  • Low wattage makes speakers more limited in volume
  • Low wattage also makes blowouts more likely
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, these speakers aren’t prone to taking on dust and can remain in fighting form for an impressive amount of time. And 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 and eventually, caked-on debris will compromise the sound quality, so make sure to wipe them off occasionally to keep the sound on top of its game.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 300 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • Made with high-grade materials
  • Plenty of power without distortion
  • Crisp, clear sound even at high frequencies
  • Includes all necessary hardware for installation

Cons

  • Can be challenging to clean
Honorable Mention
Blaupunkt Four-Way Coaxial Speakers

These speakers from Blaupunkt 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 which 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 six-and-a-half-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.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 360 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Mounting: Surface

Pros

  • Great performance at the higher end of high frequencies
  • Rubber exterior limits vibrations and smooths out sound
  • Highly intense sound
  • Buffer out any existing static

Cons

  • Best for larger vehicles, as the intense sound and volume can be a lot for passenger cars
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, and 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, and 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 as some users note that the mounting holes don’t always line up, so be prepared to make a minor modification if needed.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 60 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 5.25 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • Great frequency range
  • Cone tweeter offers wide-ranging overall sound
  • Foam exterior limits ambient noise and vibrations
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Hardware and mounting holes can make installation a challenge
  • May require small modifications to be properly installed
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 six-and-a-quarter 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.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 180 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • Ideal for high frequencies
  • Reliable performance
  • Efficient with power
  • Components are made with top-tier materials

Cons

  • Expensive
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, six-and-a-half-inch speakers, you get three-way sound over a wide frequency range, and 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.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 300 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Mounting: Surface

Pros

  • Reduce distortion for clearer sound
  • Rubber exterior helps limit vibrations and disturbances
  • Easy installation process
  • Great for perfecting pitch

Cons

  • Speakers tend to grab dust easily
  • Will require regular cleaning to prevent dust and debris 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 and features a voice coil that’s designed to handle high temperatures, which is 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 and 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.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 300 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 7 inches
  • Mounting: Flush

Pros

  • 150 watts of typical power, 300 watts of peak power
  • Voice coil is designed to withstand heat and high temperatures
  • Polymer-injected cones offer even volume
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Volume can be pretty loud, with little to muffle or cushion the sound
  • Echo-like vibrations can cause sound distortions at high volumes
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 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 as 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 when you crank up the bass, so 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.


Product Specs

  • Peak Watts: 360 watts
  • Subwoofer Diameter: 9 inches
  • Mounting: Surface

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Reliable performance and sound quality
  • Built to perform even after wear and a bit of abuse

Cons

  • Noticeable distortion occurs on bass
  • Not sized to fit all vehicles

Our Verdict on Car Speakers

The JBL Premium Car Speakers are our pick for the best overall car speakers, with a two-way design that creates a surround-sound setup inside your vehicle. With powerful bass and great range, they can deliver all of the features you need. If you’re looking for a good combination of value and quality, the Scosche HD6904 Car Speaker is another great choice.

What to Consider When Buying Car Speakers

Where should you begin when you’re searching for the perfect car speakers to replace your factory ones? With our guide right here. We’ve got all of the information you need to pick out the right level of quality and performance, plus advice that’ll help you hone in on the qualities you need from your vehicle’s speaker system.

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 and 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. 

Car Speakers 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 and 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 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. 

Car Speaker Brands to Know

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, California. 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, Arizona. 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 Speakers Pricing Considerations

You can spend less than $60 and get budget-friendly car speakers with less than 60 RMS and a maximum power output of 100 watts or less. Despite that, most have good sound quality and bass. For $60 to $80, you’ll find speakers that don’t 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. Spend $80 or more, and you’ll 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.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and car speakers. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • 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.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

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 two- or four-ohm speakers, while models for the home rely on eight 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.