Best 6.5-Inch Speakers: The Best Picks for Upgrading Your Car’s Sound System

The best 6.5-inch car speakers to enhance your driving experience

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Improving a car’s sound system is something that every audiophile strives for, and the first step to do this is to upgrade the speakers. In choosing a new set of speakers for your car, there are many variables, such as the power output and the compatibility with different aftermarket decks. We will compare the 6.5-inch speakers that have the best sound quality and features.

  • Best Overall
    Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker
    Summary
    Summary
    The Rockford Fosgate R165X3 offers a combination of crystal clear sound and durable design.
    Pros
    Pros
    Higher frequency response suitable for a more advanced stereo setup. The durable design fits in most late-model pickup trucks and cars without modification.
    Cons
    Cons
    Will not work in every car without a specific adapter for the speaker system. The included wire harness might not work with some factory wiring setups.
  • Best Value
    JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5" CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers
    Summary
    Summary
    The JVC CS-J620 is a value-priced speaker that has the same qualities as a much more expensive set.
    Pros
    Pros
    The rubber surrounding gives the speaker more durability during heavy bass. It includes mounting hardware and connections.
    Cons
    Cons
    The engineered holes might not work in every make or model of vehicle. The rubber cone is susceptible to cracking after a few years.
  • Honorable Mention
    JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker
    Summary
    Summary
    If you are seeking crystal clear sound at a reasonable price, the JBL GTO629 is an excellent choice, featuring a durable cone design with easy installation.
    Pros
    Pros
    The hard carbon-composite frame gives the JBL GTO629 a durable design, while the non-magnetic tweeter prevents unwanted damage and interference.
    Cons
    Cons
    The cone might be hard to mount in some older model vehicles. The suggested 25-to-180-watt range might be too powerful for a low-frequency car stereo.

Benefits of 6.5-Inch Speakers

  • Realistic sound. Most modern cars now come with an infotainment center. This means you’ll most likely be playing music or movies in your car at some point, and a good set of 6.5-inch three-way speakers make a difference.
  • Compact design. A 6.5-inch speaker is designed with a circular shape, making it ideal for pickup truck doors and classic vehicles.
  • Affordability. Traditionally, a good set of 6.5-inch car speakers will cost a lot less than a 6.9-inch speaker. This offers a more budget-friendly alternative to upgrade your sound system.

Types of 6.5-Inch Speakers

Component Speakers

Component speakers are the bread and butter of a sound system. The component speakers make up the complete sound system: the subwoofer, tweeter, super-tweeter, and mid-range speakers. The component speakers deliver the ultra-high and ultra-low frequency ranges. 

Full-Range (Coaxial) Speakers

Full-range speakers are more complex than component speakers. Full-range speakers have the tweeter built in and rely on the subwoofer to handle the low-to-mid frequencies, while the speaker handles the highs. Full-range coaxial speakers are a good choice because the units require less external hardware while still offering crystal-clear sound quality.

Top Brands

Rockford Fosgate

Perhaps one of the most well-known players in the automotive speaker market is Rockford Fosgate. Founded in 1973 by Jim Fosgate in his Arizona garage, this company has become one of the go-to brands for sound enthusiasts who want complete control over their sound system. Jim Fosgate was the inventor of the Punch EQ, which gives a tremendous amount of control over the bass and treble. The Rockford Fosgate T1650 Power 6.5" Speaker is worth checking out when searching for a new speaker.

JVC

You’ve probably seen the logo since you were a child. JVC has been a staple of the electronics world since the company’s foundation in 1927. The brand remains a strong presence in the automotive audio market and the electronics business. JVC makes a full line of affordable and value-oriented automotive audio products including double-din and single-din decks for your car. The JVC CS-DR620 Peak 2 Way Factory Upgrade Coaxial Speakers are a great addition to consider for your sound system.

Pioneer

Pioneer is more than just an audio equipment maker; it’s also a consumer electronics company that was founded in 1938 and has remained a presence ever since. Pioneer is a brand name we have seen on various electronics for decades, and the brand makes exceptional automotive audio equipment such as single-din and double-din decks and an assortment of speakers. The Pioneer TS-A1680F 6.5" 350 Watt 4-Way Coaxial Car Speakers are worth a mention for a great, well-rounded 6.5-inch speaker set.

6.5-Inch Speaker Pricing

  • $10-$25: This is the beginning range of pricing that you can expect to pay for a pair of 6.5-inch speakers. The speakers in this price range are rarely from a well-known brand, and thus not engineered to last a very long time.
  • $25-$60: This price point will offer you higher-quality speaker options. You’ll be able to get a set that’s designed for high-quality sound and durable enough to tackle years of consistent use.
  • $60-$100: This is where you can get into some serious audiophile territory. In this price range, you will see some advanced speaker sets designed for sound competitions and top-notch audio quality.

Key Features

Compatibility

For investing in a pair of 6.5-inch car speakers, you want a pair that will evolve with technology. New car decks come along every few years with upgraded features such as Bluetooth compatibility, and you want to get a pair of speakers that will evolve with the rest of your system.

Weather Resistance

A car’s speakers take quite the beating in everyday life, from the scorching sun to freezing winters. You need a pair of 6.5-inch speakers that take what life throws at them, and the main way you get this level of durability is with a rubber cone inside of the speaker. Low-quality speakers use a paper cone and these crack after a few years of usage.

Tweeter

While a speaker will make a difference in your radio’s sound quality, the tweeter is an important aspect that consumers often overlook. Because the tweeter produces the high range noises that come from the speaker, you’ll want a pair of speakers that has a good set of tweeters built in. This will give the sound system excellent clarity for talk radio and just about any music you might be playing.

Other Considerations

  • Frequency: When buying a pair of audio speakers, the frequency is something you’ll want to consider. The higher the frequency, the better the sound quality. You’ll preferably want a speaker that has a higher range of frequency, as this will mean exceptional sound quality.
  • Optimizing The System: There are a few tweaks that you’ll want to consider doing to your car stereo to get the best performance out of your speakers. Installing the external tweeters in the dashboard is ideal to keep the higher frequencies at ear level. It is also beneficial to ensure that the subwoofer is in the trunk or an enclosed speaker box for the best acoustic response.

Best 6.5-Inch Speaker Reviews & Recommendations 2019

Best 6.5-Inch Speakers Overall: Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker

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

While the R165X3 will not win any sound competitions, the high-frequency rating gives the speaker a reasonable amount of a kick. The dome tweeter is made from a durable rubber surround, so it’s less susceptible to cracking and sun damage that can happen over time to paper-cone based speakers. 

One drawback with the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 is the plastic grille, which can interfere with the speaker placement when attempting to install on an older model vehicle. Another con of the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Speakers is the connector that will require splicing on older vehicle audio system installations.

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Best 6.5-Inch Speakers Value: JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5" CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers

JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5
Amazon

The first thing that’s unique about the JVC CS-J620 is the polypropylene cone, which is far more durable than the traditional factory speakers. Compatibility is a major focus point for the CS-J620; the outer case on the speaker has engineered holes which allow the unit universal installation. The sound quality is crisp, and the overall design of the two-way speakers is an exceptional improvement over the factory ones. 

There are some drawbacks to the JVC CS-J620. One is the lower frequency range so the speaker will need an amp to give it any real bass. Second, the speaker lacks a protective grille over the surface area, so you must be a little more cautious during the installation so you don’t puncture the cone.

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Best 6.5-Inch Speaker Honorable Mention: JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker

JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker
Amazon

The polypropylene cone is a lot larger than other 6.5-inch speakers and it helps the speaker move more air at high volumes. You’ll get much better bass and treble response, which will mean clearer and more precise sound quality. The large cone design takes up a lot of slack for audio setups that might not have an amplifier or subwoofer, thus saving you money.

There are some drawbacks to the GTO629, and the first comes from the large, heat-resistant cone. This makes the speaker too cumbersome to fit in a pickup truck or small car door, especially on older car models. Also, because of the clip-on coaxial connections, the GTO629 might be a little more difficult to install in a classic muscle car without mounting hardware.

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Tips

  • Remember to always check the Root Mean Square (RMS), since this will determine if the speaker will function correctly with your amplifier.
  • Always wear latex or rubber gloves when installing electrical components. Even speakers can experience electric buildup and this can cause shock.
  • When you install your new 6.5-inch speakers, you’ll want to disconnect the negative battery cable until the process is complete.

FAQs

Q: What’s more important for good bass, an amplifier or the RMS rating?

A: Both are important to consider purchasing a new set of speakers. The amplifier will give the speakers a boost of power that enhances the bass. A higher RMS rating means that the speakers can handle more power.

Q: Will a new set of speakers improve my stock sound system?

A: Yes. Factory speakers wear out after a few years of use. A common problem in older model cars is that the speakers used a paper cone that would crack and affect the sound quality adversely. 

Q: Is choosing a speaker with a built-in tweeter important?

A: Choosing a speaker that has the tweeter built-in means you’ll need less external equipment to get high-quality sound.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the best-sounding 6.5 speakers is the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker.

For a more budget-minded option, consider the JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5" CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers.

Are you an audiophile? Leave us a comment in the section below with your thoughts.