Are your car speakers producing distorted or crackly sounds? Does your speaker hiss like a snake when you try to play your tunes? If so, it might be time for a speaker upgrade. But don’t stress! Choosing the right speaker system for your vehicle doesn’t have to be complicated!
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll review different car speakers – helping you get the highest quality speaker for the lowest price.
|Speaker Type||Brand||Sizes Available||Warranty|
|Coaxial||JBL||3.5×3.5, 4×4, 4×6, 5×7, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|Pioneer||4×4, 4×6, 5.5×4, 6×8, 6×9, 6.5×6.5||Yes||Check Price|
|Rockford||4×4, 5.25×5.25, 6×8, 6×9, 6.5×6.5, 6.75×6.75||Yes (authorised seller only)||Check Price|
|Memphis||2.75×2.75, 4×4, 5×7, 6.5×6.5||Yes (authorised sellers only)||Check Price|
|Blaupunkt||4×4, 4×6, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 5×7, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|Boss||4×6, 5×7, 6.5x6x5||Yes||Check Price|
|Component||Infinity||3.5×3.5, 6.5×6.5, 6.75×6.75, 6×8, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|JBL||4×4, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|Orion||5×7, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9||Yes (authorised seller only)||Check Price|
|Kenwood||4×4, 4×6, 5×5, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|Pyle||4×6, 5×5, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9||Yes||Check Price|
|Boss||5.25×5.25, 6×9, 6.5×6.5||Yes||Check Price|
Car Speakers: Explained.
Car speaker systems might look confusing, but don’t be fooled. No matter the make and model of your car your speaker system will consist of the same three components. These include:
- The base unit
- The amplifier
- The speakers
The base unit itself is the system on the dashboard – between the drivers and passenger seats. Its purpose is to act as the brains of the operation. When you push ‘play’ it sends an amplified electrical signal into the amplifier. Inside the amplifiers, that signal is increased until it’s strong enough to move the speakers – creating sound. Finally, your speakers take the signal and convert it into mechanical energy. This allows the speakers to move back and forward, creating the vibrations that our brain translates into sounds. Magic!
We’ll only be focusing on speakers themselves. Car speakers come in two types: coaxial speakers and component speakers.
We’ll be judging these speakers by their price, warranty, ease of installation, sizes available and product quality. As prices are subject to change, we are using the following guide.
|Price Range (USD)||Symbol|
|$51 – $100||$$|
|$100 – $200||$$$|
Now that we’ve covered the basics of car speakers, let’s look into the world of coaxial speakers.
Coaxial speakers are the most common type of car speakers available on the market today. These speakers are often allied ‘full-range’, as they are able to produce sound between 20 and 20,000 hertz.
Coaxial speakers are generally much cheaper than component speakers, and they come in a set ‘size’. This means you can easily buy them online after consulting with your cars manual. Coaxial speakers are easily upgraded at home. They just require a little time, patience and some tools. Here is our review of the best car speakers in the ‘coaxial’ category.
Winner of ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’
JBL Club 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker
Price Range: $$ per pair
Sizes available: 3.5×3.5, 4×4, 4×6, 5×7, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9
Pros: JBL’s Club 2-Way Coaxial Speaker Range is one of the largest ranges reviewed in this buyers guide – winning it the title of ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’. They have a great mid-range sound and a bit of bass once they are broken in. They produce crisp and clear sound as they are made with fabric. JBL’s speakers are also easy to install, as you can just plug-and-play. However, you can always pay extra to have them installed for you. These are sold with cables, but ensure the cable connection will suit your vehicle. Overall, these speakers are a great deal and are sold with a warranty included for all JBL products.
Cons: However, these speakers are slightly more expensive than their competition. Four small speakers will cost you under $100, but the larger sizes are more expensive.
Runner up for ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’
Pioneer 2-Way G-Series Coaxial Car Speakers
Price Range: $$ per pair
Sizes Available: 4×4, 4×6, 5.5×4, 6×8, 6×9, 6.5×6.5
Pros: Pioneer’s 2-Way G-Series Coaxial Car Speaker range is very affordable and comes in all the standard car speaker sizes. As a fun novelty, each pair of these speakers is also sold with a pair of earbuds. If you need speakers and earbuds, it’s your lucky day. They are made with decent materials – fabric and polypropylene. You will get a good range of sound with these speakers, and the quality is certainly there. They also include a warranty – which is always a sure sign a company believes in their product. These speakers may not have the ‘wow’ factor, but they are good for the price, and certainly good enough to be the runner up for the title of ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’.
Con’s: Each size uses a different wattage of power, so you will need to check with your vehicle to make sure these speakers are the right wattage for your car before purchasing them.
Rockford Coaxial Speakers
Brand: Rockford Fosgate
Price Range: $$ per pair
Sizes Available: 4×4, 5.25×5.25, 6×8, 6×9, 6.5×6.5, 6.75×6.75
Warranty: Yes, if bought from an authorized seller
Pro’s: Rockford’s Coaxial Speaker range is surprisingly high quality for the price. Each speaker is made with polypropylene, rubber, and steel. This makes them quite durable long term. While rubber is good for durability, some people notice a bit of extra ringing when music is played. However, I can’t verify that. The bass on these speakers is decent, but I’d recommend buying a pair of subwoofers to enhance the bass if you like to rock while you roll. Overall, these speakers are affordable and reliable for drivers who want a durable, middle-of-the-range product.
Con’s: In order to get a warranty on this product you must get it from an authorized seller or Rockford directly. Depending on your vehicle, you may need to buy a hardness adapter – as these speakers only have wires.
Memphis Audio Coaxial Speaker Set
Brand: Memphis Audio
Price Range: $$ – $$$ per pair
Sizes Available: 2.75×2.75, 4×4, 5×7, 6.5×6.5,
Warranty: Only honoured when purchased from authorised sellers.
Pro’s: Memphis Audio’s Coaxial Speaker Set is another great option available on Amazon. These speakers are multi-directional and will spread sound evenly around the car. They are made with polyurethane, making them quite durable. These speakers are definitely built to last and they produce a beautiful, crisp sound. They hit quite hard when loud – which is always a good sign. These are also easy to install, as they are just plug-and-play.
Con’s: While this range has good quality, it is not rated higher because it is more expensive compared to the other products in this buyers guide. Memphis Audio only offers four sizes of speaker, so they will not be suitable for every vehicle.
Blaupunkt Coaxial Car Speaker
Price Range: $ per pair
Sizes Available: 4×4, 4×6, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 5×7, 6×9
Pro’s: Blaupunkt’s Coaxial Car Speaker range is the cheapest pair of speakers that we’d recommend buying. These speakers are made with butyl rubber, ceramic, and aluminum. This makes them fairly durable, and you can expect easy installation too. Their sound is crisp, but they don’t exactly put the ‘b’ in the base. You’d get the best result when pairing these with another pair of more powerful speakers. We’d recommend these as a good budget buy, but they aren’t winning awards anytime soon. Nevertheless, they are very well suited as backseat speakers and are one of the best car speakers amazon has to offer.
Con’s: Blaupunkt speakers are very affordable but they have been known to blow quickly. While you are covered by warranty, it will cost you the same amount to ship back the product as it will to purchase a new set.
Best Budget Buy
Boss Audio Systems Full Range Speakers
Brand: Boss Audio Systems
Price Range: $ per pair.
Sizes Available: 4×6, 5×7, 6.5x6x5,
Pro’s: Boss Audio Systems Coaxial Speaker range is cheap, but good quality for the price. They are made with polyurethane and rubber. The rubber helps Boss speakers last a long time, which is just as well because this product also has a warranty of three years. Installation is very quick too, as you just plug-and-play. Sound quality is fairly decent, but if you listen to music at high volumes you might notice the speakers get a little fuzzy. These speakers work best when paired with a subwoofer speaker for some bass. They come in a pair – so you’d be best putting them in the front seat and getting some bass in the back.
Con’s: Depending on your personal taste, the look of boss speakers might be a ‘yes’ or a ‘hell no’. They are also only available in three sizes – so these aren’t the budget buy for everyone.
Choosing The Best Car Speakers For You
Now that we have reviewed the best car speakers in the ‘coaxial’ category, you might be wondering how to choose the right speaker for your vehicle. We understand the world of car speakers is very confusing – but really, all you have to do is answer these three questions:
- Would I prefer a coaxial or component system?
- What is my price range?
- What size do my speakers need to be?
Let’s talk about that last point – speaker size.
Choosing the right speaker size is really important. If you choose the wrong size, you will not be able to install the speaker into the body of your vehicle. Sizes change between vehicles, so you’ll need to check you have the right speaker size before you can choose the best car speakers for you.
You can find your speaker size by consulting your owners manual, or simply measuring the length and width of your current speakers. Remember that the size of speakers on your door and dash might be different – so double check! Standard speaker sizes for cars include 4×6, 4×4, 5.25×5.25, 5.5×5.5, 6×6, 6.5×6.5 and 6×7, 6×7 and 6×8.
Now that we’ve covered coaxial speakers, you might be wondering if the best car speakers in the ‘component’ category are. Let’s take a look.
If you’re an audiophile or you like your music with a bit of bass, component speakers are for you. While these speakers are more expensive, they are the premium choice. Depending on your vehicle, you may require mechanics assistance to install these. Component speakers fit into five neat categories – each of which produces sound at a different Hertz. These include:
|Type of component speaker||Hertz range|
|Tweeters||2,000 – 20,000 hertz|
|Mid-Range||300 – 5,000 hertz|
|Woofers||40 – 1,000 hertz|
|Super Tweeters||2,000 hertz +|
|Subwoofers||20 – 200 hertz|
Generally, component speaker sets are sold with mid-range speakers, and tweeters or subwoofers. Depending on your personal preference, you may opt to supplement the speaker set you buy with extra subwoofers and woofers. Ultimately, the type of speakers that work best for your car will depend on your listening habits. If you like base, go subwoofer or woofer. If you like jazz, make sure you get the tweeters.
Anyway, enough noise! Here is our review of the best car speakers sets available in the ‘component’ category.
Winner of ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’
Infinity Two-Way Car Audio Component System
Price Range: $$$
Sizes Available: 3.5×3.5, 6.5×6.5, 6.75×6.75, 6×8, 6×9
Included: This product includes 2 mid-range speakers, 2 grilles and 2 spacers.
Pros: Infinity’s Component Speakers are one of the most popular speaker types available on Amazon – and for good reason. These speakers are made with fabrics and fiberglass, making them incredibly durable. They include a 1-7/16 inch voice coil and have a sensitivity of 95 decibels. For these reasons, we have given the Infinity Component System the title of ‘best car speakers 2020’ in the component category. As this system is available in a wide range of sizes, it will suit nearly every vehicle on the market. This system includes tweeters – which will really step up your car audio game, and if it fails you have a warranty to fall back on. If you like bass in your music, this system is a no-brainer of a purchase.
Cons: Infinity speakers are of great quality, but the range increases in price very quickly. While you can pay $150 for a basic setup, more sophisticated component systems are simply overpriced for many car owners. However, if you’re an audiophile – the high price might be worth it for the excellent result.
Runner up for ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’
JBL Premium Component Speaker System
Price Range: $$
Sizes Available: 4×4, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9
Included: This system includes two mid-range component speakers, 2 tweeter component speakers and 2 crossover speakers.
Pros: JBL’s Premium Component Speaker System will definitely give you bang for your buck. This system is less expensive than the Infinity speaker set, but the quality is still there. The system gives quite a balanced sound, as it includes mid-range speakers, tweeters, and crossover speakers. The speakers are also made to keep the speakers breathable, with carbon-injected cones and large voice coils. This means the speakers will use every watt your car’s base audio system has to offer. These speakers get a ‘b’ for ‘banging’, but they also produce crisp sound quality. With a warranty included these are a pretty good deal for the price. However, Infinity still delivers a higher quality component system. For the materials and the value for money, we’ve awarded the JBL speaker system the runner up position for ‘best car speakers 2020’.
Cons: If you are a casual music lover, these speakers are great. However, if you are in any way an audiophile you might find the quality of the tweeters disappointing for the price. The mid-range speakers also fail to deliver on lower-range sounds.
Orion 2-Way Component System
Price Range: $
Sizes Available: 5×7, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9
Included: This system includes two mid-range speakers and two tweeter speakers.
Warranty: The warranty for this system is only valid when purchased from an authorised dealer or from Orion directly.
Pros: This product is very affordable for what you get. In total, you’ll get four-component speakers (two mid-range and two tweeters). The sound quality is very crisp and clear, and they are easy to install. The reviewers were quite impressed with the sound for the price, making this speaker set deserving of being included in this buyer’s guide. These products are also sold with a warranty, which is always a good sign.
Cons: While the price is great on this system, the speaker quality is a bit lacking. The speakers themselves are made with a paper and fiber blend, which won’t last as well as fabric, plastic, and fiberglass. Although the sound is good now they may last for a shorter period of time than the speakers that won the title of ‘best car speakers’.
Kenwood Performance Series 2-Way Component Car Speakers
Price Range: $$
Sizes Available: 4×4, 4×6, 5×5, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9
Included: This system includes two mid-range speakers and two tweeters.
Pros: The Kenwood Component Speaker System looks and sounds good for the price. This set is half the price of the Infinity set, and while it’s not as good, it will still leave you singing along as you drive. If you currently have factory speakers in your car you will be impressed at the quality. These speakers are quite durable and are made with polypropylene. They won’t ‘wow’ a sound technician, but they will last, work and give you exactly what you paid for – good sound. They are also available in a wide range of sizes, so will be suitable for most cars.
Cons: The tweeters in this speaker system can be a little tricky to mount in some vehicles – as apparently some products are slightly too large and thick. It appears this issue has been rectified, however. As many reviewers have noted before, this speaker set would sound better with a subwoofer speaker as well.
Pyle 2-Way Car Audio Component System
Price Range: $$
Sizes Available: 4×6, 5×5, 5.25×5.25, 6.5×6.5, 6×8, 6×9
Included: This product includes two mid-range speakers and 2 tweeters. Expert installation is also available.
Pros: The fabric and plastic of these speakers are surprisingly solid for the price. They deliver a crisp sound and a fair punch without any distorted sound. The Pyle speakers have a good warranty and are frequently on sale. There are very few delivery issues with this system, as they are well packaged and shipped. For newer vehicles, these speakers will install very easily. If your vehicle has non-standard sizing you might find this system will give you some trouble. However, expert installation is only an extra $150.
Cons: Pyle speakers are made in the same color as high-vis clothing. If that offends you, this speaker isn’t a good choice for your car. These speakers don’t ‘thump’, so you really need to add a subwoofer if you are going to get serious about good audio. Other reviewers have raised the issue that these speakers don’t last as long as other speakers on this list, but we can’t verify that without long term testing.
Best Budget Buy
Boss Audio Systems Elite Component Speakers
Brand: Boss Audio Systems
Price Range: $
Sizes Available: 5.25×5.25, 6×9, 6.5×6.5
Included: This system includes two mid-range speakers, two tweeters and wiring.
Warranty: These speakers have a two-year warranty.
Pros: The Boss Audio Systems Elite Component Speaker Set easily wins the title of ‘best budget buy’. This speaker set is the most affordable on this list, yet provides the quality close to the level of the speakers winning the title of ‘best car speakers’. Made from polyurethane, the speakers will easily last several years. With a long warranty and rubber casing, these speakers will endure basically anything short of an accident. They even endure heat – which is a strange quality for a speaker system to have (but appreciated). When it comes to sound quality, these speakers pack a punch. They are also very easy to install and come with detailed, product-specific instructions. For a budget buy, you really can’t ask for much more.
Cons: The boss speaker range is only available in a small handful of sizes, which means they aren’t the best car speakers for every vehicle. Drivers who like a bit of beat might also appreciate pairing this speaker set with a subwoofer.
Step-By-Step: Changing your car’s speakers
Now that we’ve talked about the best car speakers available, let’s cover how to change your car speakers at home. Changing your car speakers is easy – as long as you follow four clear steps and your speakers’ installation instructions.
Before starting, you’ll need to gather some tools. As each installation is different you may require different tools. Generally, these following tools are needed to change speakers.
- Your new speaker set.
- Screwdrivers and a Torx driver (or an electric drill).
- Socket wrench and an Allen wrench.
- A ‘panel popper’ tool (to extract speakers).
Step 1. Disconnect your car battery
While changing your car speakers, you will have the doors of your vehicle open. This will drain your battery, leaving you unable to start your car. Leaving your battery attached can also short circuit the system, which can cause serious harm to you and your car. To avoid getting stuck in this sticky situation, always disconnect the negative terminal of your car battery. For vehicle specific information, always refer to your owners manual.
Step 2. Remove old speakers.
Before installing new speakers you will need to remove the old speakers. Speakers are mounted in the doors and dashboard of your vehicle. For specific placement, consult your owners manual. To remove speakers, remove the cover over each speaker. If your vehicle is old you may need to remove the entire door panel. If this is the case, be careful to disconnect any electrical connections carefully.
Carefully, unscrew the screws holding the speaker into the door. You may need to pry the speaker out with a ‘panel popper tool’. You will also need to disconnect the electrical connection before the speaker is fully extracted.
TIP: To ensure you don’t lose any screws, place them in a small container.
Step 3. Install new speakers.
Before installing your new speakers, ensure they are the right size by testing them in the hole. Once you are sure they fit, connect the electrical connector onto the speaker. Then, you can screw the speaker in with a Phillips head screwdriver, or electric drill. To ensure the speaker is secure, give the car a very light shake. If you hear rustling or clanging, repeat the process. One by one, install each speaker carefully.
Step 4. Test the new speakers
Before putting the cover back on your speakers you need to test that they are working. To do this, reconnect the battery and play a song of your choosing at different volumes. Once you are satisfied, replace the cover on each speaker and test again. Once you are satisfied with the result, you are finished.
Congratulations! You have successfully installed new speakers in your car – saving yourself a costly mechanics bill!
Signs you need to upgrade your car speakers
When upgrading your car speakers depends on your preference as a vehicle owner. If you are a music lover or an audiophile, upgrading your speakers from factory speakers might appeal to you from day one.
However, if you’ve had your speakers for as long as your vehicle, here are three signs it’s time for an upgrade.
- Your speakers produce muddy or degraded sound.
You might not notice your speakers degrading overtime until they produce a sound you can’t ignore. When speakers get old the materials inside them start to degrade. This results in a lower quality of sound – as if you are listening to music that is far away. If your speakers are producing a sound that is faint, patchy, or sounds ‘muddy’ it’s a sign your car speakers need replacing.
- Your car speakers have blown.
When you play music the cones inside your speaker vibrate rapidly to produce sound. However, these cones can become damaged, leading to your speaker blowing. You can tell your speakers have blown if they produce no sound, a ringing sound, or hissing noise when the audio system is on. Unfortunately, there is no fixing a blown car speaker. It’s time for a replacement.
- Loud volumes produce distorted sound.
A distorted sound is also a sign that your car speakers need an upgrade. You can tell if your speakers are producing distorted sound if your music is sounding crackly, warped, or sputters when it shouldn’t. Broken speakers will sound most distorted at higher volumes – so make sure to turn that volume up. If you want to test whether or not your speaker is producing distorted sound, try playing a song that has high and low-frequency sound – like ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. When testing your sound, always test with the engine off to hear clearly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best component car speaker?
We have awarded the title of ‘Best Car Speaker 2020’ to the Infinity Two-Way Car Audio Component System. The runner up for ‘Best Car Speaker 2020’ was the JBL Premium Component Speaker System. The best budget buy was the Boss Audio Systems Elite Component Speaker set.
What is the best coaxial car speaker?
We have awarded the title of ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’ to the JBL Club 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker. The runner up for ‘Best Car Speakers 2020’ was the Pioneer 2-Way G-Series Coaxial Car Speaker. The best budget buy was the Boss Audio Systems Full Range Speaker.
What is the difference between coaxial and component speakers?
Coaxial or ‘full-range’ speakers are cheaper and come in standardised sizing. Component speakers produce a higher quality of sound but are more expensive and customizable.
Does car speaker size matter?
The size of the speakers you buy must match the size your vehicle can take – otherwise they will not fit into the body of your vehicle. Common sizes include 4×6, 4×4, 5.5×5.5, 6.5×6.5 and 6×9.
How do I choose the right speakers for my car?
When choosing the right speakers for your car, you need to choose between a coaxial and component speaker and determine your vehicle’s speaker size. Then, you can select a speaker within your price range.
Are car speakers worth upgrading?
When you purchase your vehicle it is fitted with ‘factory speakers’. Factory speakers are made with paper and cardboard – so they deteriorate over time. While upgrading your speakers is not a part of essential car maintenance, many car owners prefer better sound quality or want to customize their speaker system. If that is you, it’s worth upgrading your speakers.
How often should you replace your car speakers?
Car speakers need to be upgraded between every 4 and 6 years, depending on your personal preference. You should replace your car speakers if the sound they produce is low quality, distorted at a high volume or the speakers themselves are damaged.
What are factory speakers?
Factory speakers are the speakers made by your car manufacturer. As they are trying to sell you a car (not audio equipment) they use very low-quality materials like paper and cardboard. These speakers might sound good at the start, but they just don’t last. Speakers that you buy after you have bought your car (or separately) are called ‘aftermarket’ speakers.
The Bottom Line
Here at The CarXpert, we believe that every car owner can perform basic maintenance on their own vehicle. Speaker systems are no different.
Replacing your own speakers might seem complicated, but don’t be fooled! With a few tools, time and a little patience, you can save yourself a whole lot of money. It’s easy to be swayed by powerful marketing but more expensive doesn’t mean more quality. The best car speakers for you will suit your driving habits, your budget and your car.