Best Truck Speakers: Strive for a Clear Sound
Get the best sound from your truck with these aftermarket speakers
Whether you’re an audiophile who’s thinking of upgrading the factory speakers that came with your truck, or just a music lover looking to replace a speaker that blew out, chances are you’re searching for the best listening experience you can find. With a simple upgrade, you can build a system that delivers clear, balanced sound whether on the road or off. There are many car audio systems on the market, so we’ve sifted out the best truck speakers currently available.
Benefits of Truck Speakers
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- Custom sound. Most stock speakers and sound systems come with the sound softened out to reduce the bass levels. The speakers are also placed at different distances from you, so the sound reaches you at different times. Replacing the speakers lets you reprogram the sound coming from the speakers.
- Quality sound. Aftermarket speakers can produce better quality sound than the stock speakers in your truck. They have more advanced crossover circuits that can create a more accurate and realistic sound.
- Improved durability. The design and durability of the speakers isn’t a priority for car manufacturers. By replacing them with quality aftermarket ones, you can improve the durability of your speakers.
Types of Truck Speakers
If you’re looking for an immediate improvement to the sound in your truck, then start with a subwoofer. These speakers give you the lower tones in the deeper sound range to increase the bass and round out the sound. They typically need an amplifier for optimal performance. They typically range in size from 8 to 15 inches.
The next step up in sound are the midbass speakers. These produce the low to mid-range tones produced by lower octave voices and bass drums. They can produce a wide range of sounds, which make them a perfect addition to any system. They typically come sized 6.5 to 8 inches.
These speakers cover all of the sounds in the middle frequencies that are too high for the midbass and too low for the tweeter speakers. This gives your sound more accuracy and detail. You need midrange speakers to create the bulk of the sound your system creates. They’re smaller in size at 3.5 to 6.5 inches.
At the highest end of the spectrum are the tweeters. They produce all of the highest frequencies. This gives the treble sound clarity, such as voices, cymbals, or high hats. Their placement is also higher in your truck so that they’re physically above the middle range and subwoofer speakers. They’re also the smallest, at 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
Founded in 1946, Kenwood is a Japanese company that is known for producing some of the highest-quality speakers on the market. It produces an extensive product range of car and home audio equipment, along with two-way radio communication equipment. The Kenwood 300 Watts 6.5" 2-Way Car Coaxial Speakers with Sound Field Enhancer are a set of speakers that will improve the sound quality in your truck.
Another Japanese company, Pioneer was founded in 1938. The company focuses on producing digital entertainment products, including audio equipment. Many vehicle manufacturers use Pioneer for their stock speaker systems. Pioneer 6-3/4" PRO Series High Efficiency Mid-Range Car Speakers will be a perfect OEM replacement for your speakers.
Continuing the Japanese trend, Alpine was founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1967. The Alpine brand is a subsidiary of Alps Electric. It specializes in car audio equipment and navigation systems. The Alpine S-Series 6.5-inch Component 2-Way Speaker is a quality speaker that will give you decent sound.
An American brand founded in 1946, JBL produces car and home audio equipment, loudspeakers, and headphones. Thanks to their experience in creating concert-level sound systems, they create car audio equipment that maximizes sound in a confined space. Try the JBL Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker to create a powerful sound in your truck.
Founded in 1973, Rockford’s primary goal is to create innovative speakers and audio technology. The company wants to revolutionize how its customers listen to music and sound. Try the Rockford Fosgate Prime 6” x 9” 3-Way Full-Range and experience the sound revolution for yourself.
JVC is one of the oldest audio equipment manufacturers, as it was founded in 1927 in Japan. Throughout its history, it has consistently led the market by introducing the first of many consumer products. Its audio equipment is durable and performs consistently. Try the JVC Peak 2 Way Factory Upgrade in your truck.
Truck Speakers Pricing
- Under $100: If you’re looking at multiway speakers, this price is the lowest quality. If you’re looking at single-purpose speakers, then you can find some decent options.
- $100 to $350: A low-quality system in this price range won’t give you the best sound on the market, but it may be an improvement over your stock speakers. You may find some decent quality single speakers in this price range.
- $350 to $600: This is a good midrange price. You’ll find decent systems that are on the smaller side. You’ll hear a noticeable improvement in sound from the lower quality speakers.
- $600 to $1,000: You’ll find high-quality speakers and entire kits in this price range. You’ll have the truest sound and the most clarity. Expect these systems to include single-purpose speakers and an amp.
There are two types of speakers on the market: full range and component. A speaker that does it all is a full-range speaker. The basic ones have a woofer and a tweeter. This covers the low and high sounds. Advanced models also have midrange or super tweeter. Full-range speakers replace OEM speakers with minimal effort. Component speakers perform a single task, subwoofer, midrange, or tweeter. They’ll give you the best sound quality, but will be more expensive and require more detailed installation.
This is a measurement of how much sound the speaker can produce when compared to the amount of power supplied. Most OEM speaker systems have a low power supply. To compensate, you’ll want to choose a speaker with a high sensitivity rating. If you have a high powered aftermarket system or external amplifier, then you can choose speakers with lower sensitivity ratings.
This tells you how much power the speaker can handle. If your system has low power, then you don’t need to waste your investment on speakers that can handle a large amount of power. However, if you install a high-powered amp, then you’ll need speakers that can handle the additional power. Look at the maximum RMS and not the peak power handling for this measurement.
- Material. The construction material needs to be stiff and lightweight. Polypropylene is a common and effective material. Woofer speakers can also use titanium or aluminum. Tweeters use softer materials like poly textile blends or silk. For the sharpest highs, look for ceramic or graphite. The surround material needs to be soft to allow your speaker to flex and move. Look for rubber, foam, or cloth.
- Pivot Tweeter. A pivoting tweeter can greatly improve the sound of the speaker, especially when installing the speakers down low or up high. Aim the tweeter towards the listener to achieve a more realistic sound. This directs the sound waves directly at the listener and creates different levels of depth.
- External Crossovers. If you plan to have a component system, then you need to have passive external crossovers so that you can achieve a clean separation between the different frequencies. This creates a more efficient system by preventing the different components from producing sounds outside of their intended tonal range.
Best Truck Speakers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Best OverallPioneer Mid-Range Speakers
The two speakers in this set are each 6 x 9 inches and are a combination of a subwoofer and tweeter. They use 600 watts at max power and 100 watts nominal. The PRO Series from Pioneer is meant for the person who loves some seriously loud music.
The combination of the oval woofer and bullet-shaped tweeter achieve a high quality and realistic sound. The large magnetic circuit contained inside is designed to give the speaker greater sensitivity and higher power handling.
However, you’ll need an amp to get the full effect of these speakers in your truck. The price range makes them a bit more expensive than what the casual truck owner will want to spend. They also will require a bit of tinkering to get optimal performance.
These full-range speakers come in a wide range of sizes, from 4 to 6.75 inches. You also have the option of buying a single speaker or additional accessories with it. The speaker features a polypropylene cone and a silk dome tweeter for a balanced sound.
These speakers are a solid construction for their price. Plus, they come with a one-year warranty. They have an impressive ability to balance the sound across your vehicle, so everyone experiences the same sound profile. They are a solid choice for the truck owner looking for a direct factory replacement.
However, it’ll take quite a bit of tinkering to get the sound just right. Some owners struggle to get enough bass in the front of their vehicle. You may also find that the mounting bolts need replacing for proper installation.
Honorable MentionKenwood 600-Watt Speakers
This set of two four-way speakers is a direct OEM replacement at an affordable price. The ceramic tweeter will provide superior sound quality at higher tones. The enlarged magnetic circuit provides sound clarity across the lower tones.
These speakers offer nice clarity of sound across the different pitches. They’re super easy to install, which makes them a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade their stock speakers. You also don’t need to install an amp or subwoofer to enjoy quality sound.
There are some downsides, though. If you’re looking for heavy bass in your sound, then these speakers aren’t the best choice. They perform better at the balanced all-around sound production. You may also find that the higher-toned notes can sound shrill or harsh at louder sound volumes.
Best for Aftermarket RadiosJBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker
We like the JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speakers because they have an excellent sound range with good clarity and are easy to install. Mids and highs are clear and bright, and they feature large carbon-injected Plus One cones that provide more bass than rival brands with smaller cones. They also include a UniPivot tweeter that you can aim for optimal sound, even if the speaker is mounted low in the doors.
You can adjust the dual-level tweeter volume based on your musical preferences, which helps if speaker placement is less than optimal. These 3-ohm, low-impedance speakers are a good option if your vehicle has undersized wires as they take every advantage of your audio system's wattage. Users report that they pack a good amount of punch, and if you use them with an aftermarket head unit, they sound really good.
However, you may need a speaker adapter for proper installation. Also, the bass is average, so if you want thumping bass you may need to use an amplifier.
Honorable MentionBOSS Audio Systems CH6530 Car Speakers
The BOSS Audio Systems CH6530 Car Speakers are an inexpensive way to improve your stock audio system. They sound much better than factory speakers, are clear with a good range, and are overall a good balance of sound and value for your money. The speakers' cones are made with resilient and durable polyurethane, while the voice coils are built to tolerate high temperatures.
They have a rubber surround, stamped basket, and Piezoelectric tweeter that can withstand overloads even without a crossover. These 4-ohm speakers have a 90dB sensitivity and a frequency of 100 Hz to 18 kHz. Users report that they sound good at medium volume, don't distort, and handle bass well. BOSS Audio Systems also includes a three-year platinum online dealer warranty should you experience any issues.
One downside is that they lack a little bass at higher volumes. Also, depending on what type of truck you have, the mounting holes may not match up. Still, they're a good option for those on a budget looking for a crisper and cleaner sound.
- Consider replacing your factory speakers even if they aren’t broken. Not only are many aftermarket units built with better sound quality, but your truck’s built-in speakers can also deteriorate over time even if they don’t blow out all at once. Replacing them is almost a guarantee you’ll have an improved listening experience.
- Also, think about adding new peripherals. Factory-added audio in trucks tends to be stripped down in order to fit around everything else the vehicle needs. Something as simple as an aftermarket amplifier can give you a lot more flexibility and quality.
- Every audio system has to contend with one simple problem: loud roads. One often-overlooked solution to coax an extra performance out of your speakers is to dampen road noise by using soundproof materials in other parts of your truck. The most common step is to slip sound-dampening panels into your doors. This will give you a quieter ride even when you aren’t listening to anything.
Q: Do truck speakers work with all makes and models?
A: Individual product models don’t necessarily work with every truck. However, most aftermarket speakers are part of product lines that are designed to fit as many makes and models as possible. If a specific speaker doesn’t work in your truck, a closely related one likely will.
Q: How difficult is it to install new speakers?
A: It’s not difficult at all. It’s one of the easiest replacement parts you’re likely to find. Simply remove the factory speaker and plug in the new one, replacing any panels you have to remove along the way.
Q: Why are most factory speakers worse than most aftermarket speakers?
A: Factory speakers aren’t built to last. They tend to be built out of the cheapest materials available, which can be damaged over time by regular use. In contrast, aftermarket speakers are often constructed of ceramic or strong synthetic materials.