Top 7 Best Car Speakers Of 2018 & Buying Guide

Unless your car is a relatively late model that came with premium sound, there is a good chance that your truck or car is crying out for a serious overhaul in the speaker sector. Whether your car stereo speaker are showing the signs of wear and tear after use and age, or you didn’t like them right from the start, there are many reasons why you may want to replace the original speakers that your car came with.

Purchasing the right set of speakers is an important first step in putting together your dream sound system. The problem, however, is that buying a car speaker set is not as easy as you may think. There are a lot of models and brands in the market, and all of them claim they are the best. Luckily, we do cut all the hard work out. In this done-for-you car speaker buying guide, we search the nook and cranny of the internet and pick the top 7 best car speakers. We have done our research well, giving you the top products that have awesome reviews from buyers. Continue reading to learn more.

1. Understand the various types of speaker models available

Speakers are divided into two major categories. You need to understand the one that best suits your need so as to get high quality sound you are looking for and also to save money. The two major types of speakers are discussed here:

Component speakers

These speaker systems are designed to produce the highest quality sound possible. Their components, such as the woofers and the tweeters are separated to make it easy to be moved inside the vehicle. This makes them deliver even better audio because sound waves are known to come through better on speakers that are different in size.

High-pitched sounds are known to come through better on small speakers. Low-pitched sounds on the other hand come through more clearly on large speakers. (This also explains why a tuba is always larger and a flute is smaller.) Components speaker systems are pricier and are best suited for people looking for more advanced systems.

Full-Range speaker systems

These are an-all-under-one-roof speaker systems. They are very easy to assemble, usually the cheapest in the market, and they are able to produce any range of sound.

They are the best for you especially if you are just looking to replace your factory speakers. A nice set delivers high quality music, though they aren’t as customizable as a component speaker system.

2. Important Features to Look out For

Sensitivity

Sensitivity measures and determines how much sound a speaker can yield from the power that is applied to it. For low-powered car stereos, such as most factory systems, speakers with higher sensitivity ratings will suit you best.

However, if your stereo is a high-powered system, such as that provided by brand-name receiver or an external amplifier, then you should consider choosing speakers with low sensitivity ratings. If powered properly, they will no doubt produce an excellent sound quality.

Power-Handling

With power-handling, you get to know the amount of power (measured in watts) your speaker can handle. If you have a low-power system, you can save money by purchasing speakers that does not consume tons of power.

On the contrary, systems with powerful external amp, requires a speaker with power-handling similar to or close to the output of the amps. At this point, be ready to experience the real booming sound from your speaker and incredibly high quality output. Just make sure your vehicle can handle it.

Pivoting or Swiveling Tweeters

Full-range speakers that come with pivoting tweeters may have a great effect on sounds especially if you are replacing speakers low in the door.

Tweeters do create very directional high-frequencies, so you can aim pivotal tweeters towards the direction of the listener for a high listening experience. The music produced will sound much more realistic with an amazing sense of immersion.

External Crossovers

Some full-ranged, higher-priced speakers employ external crossovers to enable them achieve a clear separation between the frequencies sent to the tweeter and the woofer.

The tweeter and the woofer will not consume excess energy by trying to generate frequencies they are not intended to produce. You are about to experience cleaner and more efficient sound reproduction.

External Crossovers

Some full-range, high sound speaker systems employ an external crossover to get a clear distinction between frequencies sent to the tweeter and the woofer. This implies that the tweeter and the woofer will not create unwanted distortions or sounds which leave users with crispier sounding audio.

3. Testing the Audio: How to Focus Your Ears?

The best speakers for your vehicle provide both clarity and punch to your music. They make you not just hear the music but also feet it. The best speakers also enable you to hear all the parts of your music clearly, right from the plucking of the bass to the splashing of a cymbal.

Essentially, you want to own speakers that can reproduce the song the same way that the artist intended. When listening for the audio quality, use a song that you love and are familiar with to test the speakers.

As the song continues to play, be sure to focus your ears carefully through the four stages of listening- high, medium, low a as well as the combined range in different positions. Since the speakers play all the frequencies at the same time, you need some practice so as to be able to learn how to focus your ears.

The first thing is to learn how to focus your body and your ears on low frequencies. This range takes into account the base, punch of kick drum, fullness of the guitar as well as the vocals, especially the male vocals.

You are supposed to feel as well as hear the lows; however low-range frequencies should not sound too dominant or muddy.If the base sounds too dominant, the other frequencies will be canceled out. This will deny the song clarity in the other frequency range.

The next stage is moving your ears to mid range frequencies. This is the place where most of the tonal details are found. Here you will listen for the various instruments, the tone and the words.

You are supposed to be able to clearly pick out the different instruments, including notes being played. A speaker whose midrange is poor will compensate with the dominant bass as well as high frequencies that are very sharp.

Another stage that is very important is focusing on the high frequencies, mostly referred to as the treble. If the treble very sharp, you will feel a sharp pulse in your ears that make you wince. You will also want to closely listen to the sibilance in vocals, which is a very sharp hissing sound that is produced as a result of certain consonants.

This frequency range allows you to listen for spatial recognition and also the separation of instruments. Imagine you are at a concert: are you able to hear where each and every musician is placed on the stage?

As soon as you are done with the highs, keenly listen to the song once more and change where you are hearing the audio.If you are in a vehicle, take a seat in the passenger seat or the back seat. If you are in a vehicle audio store, take a position somewhere inside the store.

Changing your location is as good as cleansing the plate. This allows you to accurately gauge the quality of the audio from different perspectives. You may hear a buzz or even a little distortion from a different perspective that you did not hear from the initial position. This time, be sure to listen to the whole song and ask yourself these simple questions: does the song sound as it’s supposed to be? I’m I going to get lost in this? Shift your position as many times as possible until you get satisfied.

4. Apps and Smartphone integration

It is important to go for the “made with iPhone badge to ensure that the USB port on your car stereo can fully support full speed access to the iDevice’s media. If you own the IPhone 5C, 5S or any of the other iPads that use new Lightning connectors, you will want to ensure your receiver uses plain-vanilla USB port and not the old 30-pin connector. Windows, androids and blackberry phone users doesn’t have badges to look for.

You should either choose receivers that use A2DP stereo Bluetooth audio streaming for your wireless media playback or use aforementioned auxiliary input for the easiest connection.

If you are a heavy user of the streaming apps such as the iHeart Radio or the Pandora, you should go for a receiver that features controls for these apps, putting the custom stations, skip/pause controls, and rating tools in your dashboard, where they are more safely and legally accessed when driving.

If you want a more closely integrated App experience, you should go for App mirror devices like the pioneer’s App radio series as well as the variety of MirrorLink and the MHL compatible receivers from Sony, JVC and Alpine. The compatibility with the app mirroring systems is a new technology and is only limited to a handful devices,

so before you buy your receiver, make sure your phone is among the few devices that is compatible. The Parrot’s Asteroid series side steps app mirroring trickiness by running and storing versions of the Android-based apps on the receiver, but only limited to the number of apps that are supported.

5. Other important factors to consider in Selecting Car Speakers

After the power-handling and the audio quality factors of the speaker are taken into consideration, there is not much else to put into remaining. Car speakers are not too complicated to understand. Since these speaker systems represent a relatively significant amount of investment, and for the purpose of this review, I have included some other necessary considerations to guide buyers as they select the best speaker systems for their vehicles.

Impedance

Impedance is among the most important power-handling specifications you will see with every car speaker. It is a measurement of the electric resistance with speakers. It does not in any way affect the audio performance or quality of the speaker unless the impedance is not correctly matched with the amplifier or car stereo.

BONUS TIPS: This is more complex than simply trying to match a four-ohm speaker system with a four-ohm car stereo. Lower impedance will draw more from the car’s stereo’s amplifier and the opposite is true.

Therefore, if the impedance is not matched correctly, you run the risk of either blowing the speakers or overheating the amplifier. To get a better understanding of impedance, pretend that it is water and not electric current that is flowing from your car stereo. The speaker’s impedance represents the size of that hose that connects the stereo and the speaker. Low impedance represents a larger hose while higher impedance on the other hand represents a smaller hose.

A hose that is too big (a higher-impedance amp matched with a low-impedance speaker) does not allow sufficient water pressure to effectively power the speaker. The amplifier will be forced to work much harder as a result, and this may lead to overheating and eventually burning out.

Equally, a hose that is too small (a low-impedance amp matched with a high impedance speaker) can lead to a higher pressure that might cause the speakers to blow.

Speaker Size

Speakers come in a wide range of sizes; however the most common are the 6.5 inch and the 6 by 9 inch car speakers. The most popular size is the six and a half car inch speaker for the door speaker installation. The 6 by 9 inch car inch speaker is most commonly found in rear doors or rear deck. Since 6 by 9 inch speakers come with much bigger woofers, they are typically the best at producing full low frequencies.

However, note that not all cars are the same. Your car may have 5.5 inch speakers the rear deck and 6 by 9 inch speakers in the door. As such, it advisable to always check the speaker size of your car before buying speakers. If you are installing the speakers on your own, it is important to buy a speaker bracket.

Unfortunately, most car manufactures do not have a standard cutout for vehicle speakers, meaning that the crew holes may not match up with your after-market speakers. For instance, the screw locations of a six and a half inch speaker may not fit perfectly into the holes for 6.5 inch installation of your vehicle. The universal speaker brackets, which are provided by many car speakers, are an easy solution to this problem. With these brackets, you can even fit much smaller speakers to bigger cutouts.

Help and support

For client support, consider the warranty. Industry standard is twelve months. In case of any problems, be sure to contact support telephone or email. The FAQs page should also assist you find answers. User forums also provide excellent resource for sharing concerns and ideas with other people who use similar car audio products.

Top 7 Best Car Speakers Reviews

1. Infinity Reference 6032cf 6.5-Inch 180-Watt High-Performance 2-Way Speakers (Pair)

If you are looking for a more exciting audio experience, you may want to consider going for Infinity car audio.

Infinity products have always been ahead of their competitors due to their breakthrough engineering and innovative materials.

These speakers will stun you with extreme output, and you need to also gear up for detail and accuracy which may simply surprise you.

Infinity Reference speaker series continue to be a top-selling brand insofar as car speakers are concerned. The 6.5-inch Reference coaxial model, for instance, has been the best car audio multimeter speaker for 5 straight years.

Featuring novel features, for instance, the patent-pending Plus One cones, UniPivot edge-driven tweeters, 4-ohm topology and the Intermount III mounting systems, these speakers have always been ahead of the competition.

Pros

  • check
    Replacing your tired-out speakers with Reference Series speaker model will revitalize the sound of your car and make it play louder and better.
  • check
    Thanks to the Plus One woofer design, the Reference 6032CF packs considerably more surface area which means you get better low-frequency punch.
  • check
    Large dome tweeters project smooth and clean highs and they also feature a level control to allow you fine-tune the level of brightness that matches your taste.
  • check
    Installation is easy and stress-free thanks to the included Intermount III. This is a mounting system which lets you install these speakers in all manner of locations.

Cons

  • In order for it to install properly, you may need to make a hole through your sheet metal.
  • Screws or speed clips are not included

The Infinity Reference speakers use low impedance design which pulls more power from your amplifier or car stereo safely. Delivering dream sound, the design of Reference 6032cf is compatible with all aftermarket and factory stereos.

2. JL Audio C3-650 6-3/4″ 2-way Convertible Component/Coaxial Speakers System Evolution C3 Series

When you want a quality car speaker that won’t disappoint you with your music, don’t look further than the JL Audio C3 series. The speakers are available on different sizes which are dual 5×7, 6.5 inch and 5-inch. It’s a two-way convertible component that lets you customize it the way you want.

Each set of the speakers boast 300 watt power, with each side of the sound system having 150 W. Its standard power output is 150 W per set or 75W per side. You decide the amount of power that goes into each depending on your needs.

It also has exceptional frequency rate in the sense that it gives you lots of range to enable you easily get any result you want. The range is between 48 and 25 Kilo-Hz, which is among the highest ranges in the industry. These speakers boast a sensitivity of roughly 93 Db as well as an impedance of 4 ohms. Both these factors combine to deliver fantastic sound quality.

Pros

  • check
    JL Audio C3 speaker system lets you select the best configuration for ultimate sound in your vehicle.
  • check
    It has clean musical reproduction and this is because of the advanced material construction.• The JL Audio C3 boasts silk tweeters and multipurpose crossover networks.

Cons

  • It is more expensive than most car speakers on the market but it is a premium product and worth every coin.

All in all, there are no better 6.5-inch speakers in the market at this point in time. These are among the best car speakers if we are to go by the sound quality. And because this is a premium product, you have to spend a few more dollars on it, which is totally worth it.

3. Polk Audio DB691 6-by-9-Inch 3-Way Speakers (Pair, Silver)

Are you looking to step up your vehicle’s audio performance? If so then no car speaker does better than Polk Audio DB691. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the Polk Audio is able to produce music accurately like you’ve never heard before. A perfect balance of materials which include Polymer/Silk Dome tweeter and Mica woofer combine to enable quick response and roll-off at any volume.

Its rubber surround adds to the bass response, and also increases the speaker’s lifestyle under any condition. Thanks to its high-efficiency loud speakers, it uses less power for the same high-quality output. Its revamped db Series delivers perfect Polk Audio durability and performance like never before.

Pros

  • check
    These speakers sound fantastic.
  • check
    They have great tonal balance. The highs, the lows and the mids are presented evenly to the listener.
  • check
    They maintain warmth and richness to your ears even when being played loudly.
  • check
    The speaker set comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and performance and they offer excellent sound quality. With any luck, you can be sure that you’ll find a speaker that fits your vehicle and also meets your needs.

Cons

  • The speakers lack slightly in bass
  • Occasional distortion especially at high volume

There is no denying that Polk Audio DB691 is a world class speaker system. These speakers from Polk Audio have a long history of high quality, something that you will realize immediately you pick up one. It comes in different shapes, performance, and sizes and also offers excellent quality.

4. Pioneer TS-A1676R 6.5-Inch 3-Way Speaker Pair

Boasting a high power handling capacity as well as up to 300 W and frequency range of 37-25000 Hz, the Pioneer Pioneer TS-A1676R are a steal considering their low price. The speakers come in super-slim sizes and can be installed just about anywhere you want. On their surface, they feature a protective layer which ensures protection from water or sunlight damage. You will still get accurate sound quality even when playing music at highest range.

To prevent the distortion of audio even when playing at high volume, the speakers include 4-Ohm impedance which controls powerful handling in a way which ensures that the speaker remains at the right range at all times.

Pros

  • check
    They come with a warranty of 1 year
  • check
    Have a sensitivity of 90 DB
  • check
    Grilles included
  • check
    Multilayer mica-matrix woofer containing elastic polymer sound ensures clean sound
  • check
    Quite affordable

Cons

  • While there is no question about the quality of these speakers, you need some time to understand the installation process.Bottom Line

The Pioneer TS-A1676R speakers are equipped with multilayer mica-matrix woofers which remain rigid when you tune up the volume, something that keeps distortion to a bare minimum and gives you a clean bass. Each woofer gets connected with a tweeter and midrange speaker to add clarity and warmth to your driving soundtrack. These speakers are any car owner’s dream.

5. JBL GTO638 6.5-Inch 3-Way Speakers (Pair)

JBL GTO638 speakers are made using the finest materials and have been tested to ensure compatibility and quality.Even if you are the type that likes playing music at loudest range, you need not worry as these speakers peak power handling (180 W) ensures you enjoy loud music the same way you enjoy soft music.

The tweeter is adjustable, which means you can tweak it according to your needs. Car owners like these speakers because of the fact that they produce smooth, clear, accurate and high quality sound.

These speakers produce excellent quality sound because they use advanced technology like JBL Plus.

Pros

  • check
    The speaker is small in size but still produces massive sound
  • check
    It comes with 1 year warranty
  • check
    It is compatible with different car models and is easily installed in your car
  • check
    It has commendable power handling
  • check
    The speakers are quite light in weight

Cons

  • One weakness of this set of speakers is that it has weak power handling.

The JBL GTO638 is without doubt among the best selling car speaker models in the market. It has great features for a car speaker in this price range. If you want to upgrade your car audio system, you won’t regret choosing this option.

6. Jl Audio C2-690tx 6×9-Inch 3 Way Speakers with Silk Dome Tweeters

A look at the manufacturer website sends the message clearly: JL Audio C2-690tx was designed for those who want a music system that takes a fair amount of power but who don’t want to spend a fortune on premium models that cost 3 times more.

If you consider similar products for instance Focal 690 CA1 SG or Fosgate T1693 full range speakers that with medium budget, you immediately see that indeed what they are saying holds water.

Pros

  • check
    Boasting a high RMS of 400 W, the JL Audio is without doubt one of the best car speakers that you can find in the market today. The speaker offers equally impressive highs and lows.
  • check
    These speakers enable you to enjoy great music while on the road. The default bass level is more than enough and also the products features very large magnets.
  • check
    The speakers can be used as front end or rear-end speakers, and they will still sound crisp, clear and loud.

Cons

  • There are some fake, low quality counterfeits of this product in the market and buyers can fall for such. Buying fakes can be prevented by purchasing from reputable sites like Amazon.

Overall, the JL Audio C2-690tx speakers are an excellent pair of speakers. They give you great sound at a price that is thrice as low.

7. Hertz Audio HCX 690 (HCX690) Hi-Energy 6″x9″ 3-Way Coaxial Speakers

Another top car speaker model, the Hertz Audio HCX 690 ensures high power bandwidth and smooth frequency response as the woofer cone is constructed using damped mesh fiber. The speakers feature a vibration-proof magnet cover that helps keep away extraneous noise, vibrations and other distortions.

With these speakers, there is no worry about wave reflections as the speaker package includes a basket built with aerodynamic die-cast aluminum. What you get is a completely lossless surround which ensures as high damping as possible.

Pros

  • check
    Woofer is made using dampened mesh fiber as well as a tweeter that’s built with tetolon. The importance of this is to ensure non-obstruction of any manner of your car window.
  • check
    The speakers also feature very unique Radial Venting System made from pure copper and then wound on a KSV. This ensures high and optimal sound performance.
  • check
    The speakers offer very smooth frequency response irrespective of the audio range level. Also, this can be installed anywhere within the car, whether you want to install it in the front or the rear of the car.

Cons

  • It’s quite expensive but given what you are getting, I would say this is a steal.

If you are looking to rock your car’s stereo system without spending a fortune, then you should consider buying the Hertz Audio HCX 690. Built of durable materials, this speaker delivers quality sound that will surely take your car music system to another world. It is without doubt the most expensive car speaker with reviewed here but it offers unmatched cleanliness and clarity in sound.

Conclusion

Building your car music system starts with choosing the right set of car speakers. With the market overflowing with all brands and models of auto speakers, it is really tough to pick the right ones. You need to consider several factors for instance coaxial or component speakers, sound quality, impedance, speaker size, sensitivity and power handling capabilities among other things.

Luckily, you won’t have to go through all this. The above guide is designed to help you do just that. They are not only of highest quality but are also very highly rated by customers. When you buy any of them, you can rest easy that you will be getting a product that has been tried and tested and which won’t disappoint you.