Best Component Speakers: High-Quality Sound for Your Listening Pleasure
Crank up the volume and please your ears with these top component speakers
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PUBLISHED ON May 13, 2019
Whether you’re commuting to work, driving to school, or going somewhere for the weekend, turning on the radio naturally happens every now and then. While your car’s factory-installed speaker system may do an okay job at providing you with sound, it won’t give you that live concert experience. Upgraded component speakers pump music at a higher quality throughout your car, making sure you don’t miss a beat and enjoy the ride while doing so. We’ve found the best component speakers to make your car the ultimate sound stage.
- Best OverallAlpine SPR-60C 6.5” Audio Component SystemSummarySummaryThe speakers produce clear and pristine audio without the addition of an amplifier. The sound is one of the loudest and cleanest to fill your car and ears.ProsProsThe woofers come with multi-layer hybrid fiber to boost the bass tones. The tweeters are designed with silk to put out smoother higher frequencies and complement the undertones.ConsConsThe price is in the higher range for component speakers, and they can only be mounted at one specific depth for your car doors.
- Best ValueJBL Stadium GTO960CSummarySummaryThese speakers focus on the higher range of frequency while still pumping out the bass. The tweeters especially are detailed to disperse music throughout your car evenly.ProsProsThe tweeters are fitted with butyl rubber surrounding a padded fabric to make sure the sound is clear. Their large design makes them capable of being loud and producing a great deal of bass.ConsConsIt is more difficult to mount the grilles to the car’s door, and they probably won’t perform well with your vehicle’s standard stereo.
- Honorable MentionRockford Fosgate R165-SSummarySummaryA two-way dedicated speaker system rated at 40 watts RMS. The sound quality is crisp and clean with two integrated crossover tweeters and two woofers fitted with their own grille.ProsProsThe woofers each come treated with a polypropylene cone, while the tweeters are fitted with a Mylar dome. Both combined provide you with smooth and clear high frequencies.ConsConsGetting a deeper bass sound will require either a subwoofer or amplifier. While the lower tones are good, the speakers won’t release their full power through the car’s factory system. The max amount of watts is only rated at 80.
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Benefits of Component Speakers
- Improve your stereo speakers. Most factory stereo speakers don’t produce the quality of sound needed to hear everything in a song. Car speakers are designed to be small so they don’t take up a lot of space. Their small size means they don’t have enough space to produce great-sounding low frequencies or quality high frequencies. That’s where component speakers make up the difference. They enhance the sound of the audio to give you a more pleasing and enhanced noise.
- Smooth sound. In most car audio systems, there is often an imbalance of sound between the tweeters, mid-drivers, and the stereo speakers, especially when playing music at high volumes. Standard car audio systems combine the tweeter with the woofer, not allowing the optimal amount of frequency to come through the speakers. Component speakers improve the quality of sound by opening a channel for lower and higher frequencies that cause distortion in other devices. This is done by splitting the tweeter from the woofer.
- Speed control. Factory car audio speakers aren’t designed to catch every frequency in a song, so often times you’ll miss music, words, or instruments you’ve never heard before. Component speakers split the sound between the tweeter and the woofer allowing you to hear the highs and lows more clearly and differentiate between sounds.
- Customize your car’s look. While many speakers are hidden behind doors and paneling, the addition of new component speakers can alter how the inside of your car looks, giving it a unique flair and personality. Driving around with the new speakers working overtime will also catch the attention of your passengers and be more pleasing to the ear.
Types of Component Speakers
Component speakers help mix the sound of high, mid, and low-range frequencies. A two-way system focuses on directing and splitting the sound between the tweeter, the high-range, and the woofer or the bass tones of music.
This type works similar to that of a two-way speaker system but adds to the mid-range of the sound spectrum. The mid-range speaker doesn’t get a fancy name like that of the tweeter or woofer but is simply referred to as the mid-range.
Pioneer has been in the audio business since 1938 when the Tokyo, Japan-based company was founded by Nozomu Matsumoto as a radio and speaker repair shop. Since that time, Pioneer has grown into a multinational industry leader in audio and visual equipment. It makes the Pioneer TS-D1330C.
Polk Audio has been in business since the 1970s and continues to create new and innovative ideas in the world of audio. The company has several advanced research and development labs in Baltimore, Md. Polk fits speakers with Dynamic Balance to help bring out their best sound. Check out the Polk Audio DB6501 6.5” 2-Way Component System.
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. One of its top products is the JBL Stadium GTO960C.
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. It makes the Rockford Fosgate T2652-S Power 6.50" Aluminum Component Speaker System.
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. The Alpine SPR-60C 6.5” Audio Component System is a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their car’s factory speakers.
Component Speaker Pricing
- Below $60: This is the price range for budget-friendly car component speakers. They can handle a maximum power output of around 100 watts or less. Most speakers have a small profile with minimal airflow and are prone to overheating quickly. Despite that, most have good sound quality.
- $60-$80: Speakers in this price range can compete with some of the top brands and put out high-quality sound. They come with unique designs and colors and are made of durable materials.
- Above $80: At this price range, you will find car speakers from top-of-the-line companies that deliver an immersive sound that makes it feel like you’re actually at a concert. 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 for your listening pleasure.
Speaker Size & Mounting Depth
Speakers come in sizes ranging from 3.5 to 12 inches. Component speakers are typically on the inside of car doors and other parts of the vehicle’s interior. The larger the depth and size of the enclosure design means you’ll get a better quality of sound. The speakers shouldn’t be mounted too deep; if so they risk constantly rubbing or bumping against the underlying surface.
- Number of Speakers: You need to look into how many speakers you need. Having speakers in the front and back give you a well-rounded sound system in your car. An even number of speakers also contributes to the car’s aesthetics.
- Car Compatibility: You need to ensure that the sensitivity and power handling of the speaker is compatible with your car’s onboard amplifier. The external amp will give you an idea of what volume level your speakers need to attain to determine their sensitivity. The RMS, or root mean square, of the speaker, determines how much power the speaker can handle. It should also be compatible with your car’s amplifier that utilizes the RMS power.
Best Component Speaker Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Alpine SPR-60C 6.5” Audio Component System
For our best pick for component speakers, we found the Alpine SPR-60C produces the clearest audio and will blow your socks off with its volume. Well, they may not be capable of that, but they still put out great sound quality without having to purchase an amp.
A great addition to these speakers is the multi-layer hybrid fiber woofers that provide an excellent amount of bass tones. The noise reverberates through the car and can make it feel as if you are at a live concert. To complement the undertones of the woofer, the tweeters are designed with silk to produce smoother higher frequencies. They also come with an EQ ring in front of them to help disperse the higher-ranged pitches around your car.
You’ll find many, if not all speaker upgrades, will work at their peak when hooked up to an external amplifier. These Alpine brands are no different. While they will work fine with your car's factory stereo, an amp will make them sound as they were designed to be heard. We also found them to be difficult to mount. They are only rated for a mounting depth of 2-5/16 inches. However, with all that being said, they produce a grand total of 330 watts, which is quite a bang for your buck.
Best Value: JBL Stadium GTO960C
These JBL speakers are regarded as one of the best 6.5-inch component speakers for sound on the market. They come with versatile, flexible, and durable soft-dome tweeters to give you a better range of higher-pitched sounds. The tweeters come with an I-Mount system, giving you the freedom to flush or surface mount them inside your car. They also have dual level adjustments for volume and feature oversized voice coils with extra copper and surface area to promote smooth highs and dissipate heat from the system.
As for the design, JBL crafted them to be large enough to produce a range of sound that won’t leave you wanting more. Butyl rubber surrounds standard fabric tweeters, carbon composite speaker frames, and vented magnet assemblies, all this added up makes these speakers plenty loud. While loud is good, they also deliver clean and clear sounds at both high and low frequencies. Their large size means the surface area of the cone allows more air to move in and create a great bass sound as well.
As a set, they will sound all right through your car’s factory system, but to get the best quality, you may want to invest in an amplifier. You may also find it hard to mount the grilles onto your vehicle’s door. Nevertheless, these speakers are ideal for cars that have undersized wires as they can handle up to 270 watts, which is more than most car stereos can deliver.
Honorable Mention: Rockford Fosgate R165-S
This two-way dedicated speaker is rated at 40 watts RMS. It includes two woofers each with their own grille and two tweeters with integrated crossovers and mounting hardware. As our honorable mention, they offer a great deal of sound for anyone looking to replace their stock factory speakers.
Rockford uses a mica-injected polypropylene cone inside the woofers to project the sound throughout the car. The tweeters feature a Mylar balanced dome that releases smooth, continues, and clear high frequencies. They also come with an in-line crossover for easier installation and can be flush surface, or angle mounted.
While they will give you a wider range of high and low frequencies than the car’s stock speakers, if you’re wanting a deep bass from these, you will have to invest in another amplifier. Adding a subwoofer to the mix will also provide you with more lower tones. Both choices will boost the lower range noises and release the full potential of these component speakers. Another drawback is the max amount of watts the speakers put out. Maxing out at 80 means they are the lowest out of our three choices.
- If you want to improve the bass frequency of your speakers, consider purchasing a subwoofer along with your component speakers.
- If you play your music through an iPod or your phone, make sure it’s set up to output the highest-quality audio. The music sounds better when it’s from a file with a high bit rate. For streaming music, you can set the audio to the best quality to get the most out of your speakers.
- Avoid attaching the speakers to a thin piece of metal such as a door panel. The material will vibrate and snuff out the sound of your music, ensuring you won’t get the highest quality. You can help this by installing the speakers under the seats or somewhere near padding.
Q: What causes a blowout in a car speaker?
A: Speaker blowout could be because of a mechanical failure inside the speaker. This could be when it collides with its enclosing surface and results in broken or worn 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?
A: Buzzing from speakers is okay if it’s from an AM radio signal. AM stations are affected by the ignition system, and your speakers could start buzzing, especially if the radio isn’t shielded or insulated. If the FM radio is buzzing, you probably have an electrical issue that’s interfering with the speakers. This could be caused by a charging phone inside your vehicle or another piece of technology. Loose wiring could also be an indication that your speakers are wearing out or are not set up properly.
Q: Will I need to upgrade my receiver along with the speakers?
A: Probably not. Your factory receiver should be able to handle the speakers and still produce good sound. Test them by sitting in your driveway and turning the volume until they start to distort. That is their upper limit. However, to get the best sound quality possible, we recommend upgrading your receiver as well.
If you’re looking to replace your car’s factory set of speakers, our top choice for the best component speakers is the Alpine SPR-60C 6.5” Audio Component System.
You can save some money and still get a great set of speakers with the JBL Stadium GTO960C.