The Best Car Speakers: Which is the Right One For You?

Best Car Speakers

Nick, an audiophile and car stereo enthusiast, and I previously talked about subwoofer stuff in great detail. The shapes, the sizes, the power, the wattage, and even a few histories behind. To tell you frankly, I always get dumbstruck with all the terms he throws in my face! I thought I already know a lot about car speakers, but every single time, he proves me wrong! I still have a lot to learn.

When I asked Nick about the best car speakers, I thought he’d give me one direct answer. But instead, he answered me with a question. This fellow really knows his deal. So, with a smug face, I asked him what’s the best coaxial car speakers, and what’s the best component car speakers. Again, I thought I’d get an answer. Yes, you guessed it right! He threw me another question. “What about surface mounted car speakers?” I was like "surface mounted what?" Then I shut my mouth and listened to him.

Here’s a gist of our conversation that took hours!

Best Car Speakers 2017

Choosing the best car speakers depends on how much inclined you are with listening to music. Different types of music may require varying setups. Of course, there are budgetary considerations too. However, the most expensive setup doesn’t mean it is the best set up for you. Some speakers with high rating can only be enjoyed at a certain volume.

Some speakers need to be cranked up pretty high to get to the optimal zone. If you are not fond of listening to music loudly, it may still not be the best for you.

Below is a summary of what Nick and I found to be few of the best speaker for every type.

Device Name

Power
RMS/Peak

Type

Auto Tech IPX7 Portable Wireless Waterproof Speaker

N/A

Surface Mount

BMR Bluetooth Visor Handsfree

N/A

Surface Mount

Pioneer TS-X200 Surface Mount 3-Way Bass-Reflex Speakers

40W/80W

Surface Mount

Pioneer TS-A1676R 320W 6.5" 3-Way TSA Series

80W/160W

Coaxial

Rockford Fosgate R1675X2 Prime 6.75-Inch Full Range 2-Way Coaxial Speaker

45W/90W

Coaxial

Rockford Fosgate Punch P1683 6 x 8-Inches Full Range 3-Way Speakers

65W/130W

Coaxial

Infinity Kappa 60.11CS component speaker system

90W/270W

Component

JBL GX600C GX Series Component Car Speakers

140W/420W

Component

When I asked Nick this question, I thought we would be talking about coaxial and component speakers. I never considered surface mounted speakers to be something you could use in a car. Apparently, it has its own merits and advantages. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Coaxial Car Speakers
  • Component Car Speakers
  • Surface Mounted Car Speakers

Most vehicles that come out of the showroom are fitted with coaxial speakers. This speaker setup has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your preference. But we could all agree on one thing about coaxial speakers: they are easier to install and operate.

It is easy to distinguish a coaxial speaker. If you see a small speaker mounted at the center of a bigger speaker, you probably have a coaxial speaker setup. If there is only one speaker panel on your car door, chances are, your car is fitted with a coaxial speaker.

•    Advantages
Coaxial speakers are easy to install by yourself. These types of speakers usually have a small unit of crossover built-in at the back of the speakers to split the signal from your amplifier and direct them to the tweeter mounted at the center of your mid-range woofer.

As long as the impedance and wattage match your amplifier’s specifications, you can easily install it even without professional help.

•    Disadvantages
Since they have their built-in crossovers, you are limited with a few presets and stiff control over your equalizer. For extreme audiophiles like Nick, the idea of not being able to tweak your EQ is like a restraint. And because two speakers spit sound in one linear point of origin, some dynamics of the music recording you are listening to might be canceled by each other.

  • The Best Surface Mounted Car Speakers

1.    Auto Tech IPX7 Portable Wireless Waterproof Speaker

Auto Tech is a car accessory company that pretty new in its trade. They specialize in making car useful small electronic car accessories. Aside from speakers, they also manufacture multi-tools, mobile phone mounts, tripods, and many others. Although they have not been known for quite long, their mountable car speakers have been noticed by some music lovers.

  • View On Amazon.com

Product Details
This mountable car speaker has a lot of value for a small gadget. It’s available in blue color and packs huge sounds for a tiny device. It is equipped with an ABS suction mount at its bottom that grips on smooth surfaces strongly. Aside from bringing you great sounding music, it is also equipped with mood lights that bring your musical experience one notch more pleasant.

Best Use
If your car has no speaker system installed and you need an immediate music fix without spending too much, this Bluetooth surface mount car speaker can help you go through the day. Also, if you have a broken speaker system and you don’t have the time to get it fixed, this speaker can be a quick relief.

Installation
There are no special instructions on how to install this device. Just stick the suction base to a smooth surface, and you are ready to rock.

Sound Quality
The sound quality of this Bluetooth speaker is quite good for its size. It packs some good highs and mids. This speaker renders decent lows in small spaces. However, it still lacks punchy basses. Cranking the volume to max level would still not be enough to bring those basses.

Pros

  • This speaker can be easily mounted and removed from a smooth surface. You can bring it with you as you get off from your vehicle and take the party somewhere else!
  • This Bluetooth speaker is very small and can easily fit in one of your backpack’s pocket.
  • It won’t cost you a fortune to get this product.
  • Easily pair with your phone, and you can answer and make calls on demand.
  • This Bluetooth speaker is waterproof.

Cons

  • Since all the frequency comes from a single point of origin, you will not be enveloped by the sound of your favorite audio track.
  • This speaker is not connected to your amplifier and will only play music until the battery lasts.

Nick says:
This Bluetooth surface mounted car speaker is way below the quality of a component system. But hey, you can get this with a fraction of a component speaker setup’s price, and you can bring it with you anywhere. Add the fact that it’s waterproof, you can bring it to a pool party!

Author says:
This is a good speaker if you are not that particular with the in-depth quality of sophisticated systems. If you are the adventurous type, this surface mounted car speakers can double as a portable speaker you can bring wherever you go.


​2.    BMR Bluetooth Visor Handsfree

This Bluetooth speaker is designed to be mounted on your visor to give you a clear projection of music while you are traveling. The slim and light design will not pull the visor down and get in the way. Although the manufacturer is not that known, it packs a decent enough quality to entertain you.

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Product Details
This speaker easily hooks up on your visor. It is Bluetooth enabled and will not need any wiring connected to your car head unit. You can connect it wirelessly to your music player. You can also connect this to your mobile phone and answer and make calls with it.

Best Use
If you are always on the go, you can easily slip this on your visor and play music with it. You can bring it with you when you get off your car and share your music with your friends.

Installation
The installation procedure of this wireless speaker is straightforward. You just clip it to your visor and its done. You don’t need any special mountings to attach it to your visor.

Sound Quality
This speaker plays audio tracks with a good quality when you are right in front of it. However, the other people inside the vehicle may not enjoy your music as well as you do. The sound quality it gives is the best experienced just right in front of it. Slightly deviating from the optimal position results in loss of some trebles.

Pros

  • This speaker is very light and handy. You can mount it anywhere inside the car, preferably the visor, and play music with it.
  • This device is Bluetooth operated and does not need any physical connection to your music player.
  • You can easily take and make calls with this device.

Cons

  • This speaker may create a white noise that can isolate you from your passenger.
  • The audio track comes from a single channel which only projects good quality while you are in front of it.

Nick says:
It's not best surface mounted speaker out there. It’s not the loudest one you can have. However, for its’s price, you get what you pay for.

Author says:
While Nick particularly points out that it’s not the best sounding speaker, I say it’s best for those who are busy with taking calls from their phone. This Bluetooth speaker seems like optimized for this purpose as it has a dedicated call button.


​3.    Pioneer TS-X200 Surface Mount 3-Way Bass-Reflex Speakers

Pioneer is a Japanese brand that is known globally to produce high-quality speakers and other audio equipment. This 79-year-old company continues to research and revolutionize the audio industry and pushes it to keep moving forward. They set a very high standard of quality that brings the competition at a quick pace. They make sure that aside from their perfected analog designs, they keep up with the digital and current fad.

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Product Details
This surface mounted speaker is not as portable as the first two mentioned above. They come in pairs and are about the size of a football. This speaker is fitted with three different speakers split by a built-in crossover. It has a 4-inch subwoofer, one 2 ½ inch mid-range woofer, and 1 ¾ inch tweeter. This can be added to your existing speaker system or replace your broken speaker system.

Best Use
This speaker is designed to augment your existing speaker setup. It can improve the highs and mids to give you that live feel. If you have a broken setup and you don’t want to spend that much, this can be a good replacement if you are not too particular with the richness of the music you listen too.

Installation
You will have to locate the channels where you need to attach your speakers. Be sure to match the impedance rating of your audio system as this will add up to the load of your amp. Make sure that the wattage rating of your amplifier has enough room to handle additional 160watts.

Sound Quality
This football-sized three-way speaker gives out a great sound for its stature. It can fill your car with loud music that you and your passengers can enjoy. It has a balanced bass, mid, and high just like a full-range speaker system. But still, the bass lacks the vibe of a component system.

Pros

  • Compared with full-range and component setup, this three-way speaker is easier to install.
  • No special mounting devices are needed to fit these speakers
  • These are good sounding speakers with a decent bass punch.

Cons

  • Takes quite a space inside the vehicle.
  • Needs to be wired to your amplifier.

Nick says:
This is a good addition to your speaker system. It will add good mids and highs to the spectrum of your music. Just don’t expect the sound quality that you can get from a component system. Overall, these speakers are fine.

Author says:
These speakers are cool. In fact, it defines what a great speaker set up is during my era. However, Nick is right, today’s equipment has far better quality than the speakers in the past. But still, these are decent speakers that pack a good sound.


  • The Best Coaxial Car Speakers

Coaxial speakers, or full-range speakers, as the name suggests, covers all the frequency range of your audio track. The price range of coaxial speakers and component system speakers are not that far from each other. There are affordable brands, and there are insanely expensive brands. However, coaxial speakers can become more affordable in the sense that you may not need to buy crossovers or upgrade your amplifier. Still, if you go for the top brands, you will have to pay top bucks.

1.    Pioneer TS-A1676R 320W 6.5" 3-Way TSA Series

Since 1938, Pioneer has been manufacturing speakers and other audio equipment with top-notch quality. Nozomu Matsumoto, the founder of this company, started out as an electrician and repairman himself. With his interest in audio equipment and natural talent, he started designing and tinkering his own designs. Today, Pioneer is one of the most well-known brands of audio equipment we can trust.

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Product Details
This 6.5inch three-way speaker model by Pioneer is packed with 320watts of peak power. Compared with their previous models, this 6.5-inch full-range speaker has an improved bass thump and a more dynamic range that can be easily tweaked according to your preference. Also, to make this speaker more appealing, Pioneer fitted it with a pleasing design.

Best Use
If you are in to pop music and ballads, this speaker will not let you down. It can greatly improve your audio system, and you can easily install by yourself.

Sound Quality
The sound quality of this after-market full-range speaker is amazing. With just a 6.5 inch subwoofer, you get to enjoy a rich bass and excellent highs and mids. However, you may need to crank your volume a bit to get it to the right zone.

Pros

  • This full-range speaker is built by a well-known manufacturer.
  • This speaker is fitted with Multilayer Mica Matrix Cone that gives a definitive bass.
  • Overall improved audio experience.

Cons

  • Good quality sound can only be achieved at higher volume.
  • A little more expensive than the average equivalent product.

Nick says:
This full-range speaker is awesome. It gives a decent bass for the size of its woofer. However, since the tweeters are fixed on the woofer, the source of music is linear. The middle of the car has the sweet audio spot.

Author says:
What can I say about these speakers? Well, I don’t know about Nick, but this speaker will rock my world. Well, mainly because of the difference in the type of music we listen to. But then again, it's not the best speaker for loud music.


2.    Rockford Fosgate R1675X2 Prime 6.75-Inch Full Range 2-Way Coaxial Speaker

It was 1973 when Jim Fosgate realized that the human ears don’t pick up audio frequency the same as a multimeter picks it up. The human ear finds it difficult to hear the lows and the highs at low volumes. This prompted him to invent and patent the Punch EQ that adds up to 18dB to a selected frequency channel. This translated to a more versatile and flexible control that you can tweak to your liking.

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Product Details
This 6.75-inch 2-way speaker is made of vacuum propylene cone and durable rubber surround. It has a built-in crossover that divides the frequency to the woofer and the tweeter. This product is packaged in sets of two and comes with a mounting hardware and a grill cover.

Best Use
If you are solely listening to mellow music and instrumentals, this set of speakers is a nice upgrade. You don't have to spend that much, and it’s pretty easy to install.

Sound Quality
The overall quality of this pair of speakers is decent. It packs good mids and highs. The bass is noticeable but not exceptional. Cranking it at high volume still leaves the bass a little weak

Pros

  • This speaker comes in sets of two that translates to money savings.
  • The box it comes with contains a mounting device that you can fit your car door in case the size does not match your specifications.

Cons

  • It only has 90 watts maximum power output which means it’s not the loudest speaker you could get.
  • The basses are not that punchy, especially at low volume.

Nick says:
This 2-way speaker lacks power. It lacks volume and bass. Cranking it will only make the music loud but not as pleasant as a well-balanced component system. It lacks the mids that three-way coaxial speakers project clearly.

Author says:
I simply agree with Nick.This is not the best out there, but decent enough especially for its affordable price.


With over 44 years of experience in making speakers and other audio interface gadgetries, Fosgate is followed and patronized by a large group of consumers. Fosgate is a sensible company that caters a wide range of their client’s needs. It’s not just bigger or better. For them, it’s giving their clients what they truly enjoy.

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Product Details
This three-way speaker is designed to fit an 8-inch speaker mount. This oblong shaped speaker is designed to cover the lows, mids, and highs with clarity. The cone is made with mineral and propylene injected cones and butyl rubber surround. These materials have high durability rating that can withstand a beating.

Best Use
This three-way speaker is a good upgrade if you want fuller sound on your car. It increases the mids and adds some punchy lows. If you love jazz, these speakers can bring out the best in them. However, it still lacks the lows.

Sound Quality
This speaker spews great sound. It has clear mids and highs. Although, you will need to crank it up a bit to hear everything clearly. There seems to be less bass response even on higher volumes.

Pros

  • This can handle up to 65Hz to 24kHz.
  • The basket is designed to fit most 8-inch speaker mounts.
  • Covers the lows, mids, and highs decently.

Cons

  • This product is a little expensive for what it can do.
  • This speaker needs to be cranked up to produce good sounds.

Nick says:
Overall, these speakers are decent. It is rated at 135watts at its peak and can go on forever at 65 watts. Having two of these can boost your audio experience. However, you may need to upgrade your amplifier to accommodate two of these.

Author says:
These three-way speakers are great. I mean, what’s wrong with it? Well, it can be a little expensive. But it’s totally fine. However, Nick explains that the balance of the lows, mids, and highs are not optimized and may need a good equalizer to bring out the best out of it.


Coaxial Car Speakers Installation

Before replacing your factory installed speaker, check how much wattage rating your amplifier has. Matching wattage means that you can maximize the output of your speakers. However, if your amplifier has a lower wattage rating, you may not be able to drive your speakers to its potential.

Now, find a manual on how to remove your door panel to reveal your speakers just behind it. Carefully remove it and unscrew your stock car speakers. Some factory wirings are connected with a Metra plug and play adaptor s for easy upgrade. All you need to do is unplug and remove your old speakers and plug it into your new speakers.

If you have larger or smaller speakers to install, you may need to use a mounting bracket that usually comes with the speakers you bought. If you will need to drill a few holes to install the bracket, make sure that your windows are rolled up so that you will not accidentally hit it with your drill.

Now, when all the connections are done, it is highly suggested that you test it first to make sure all your connections are fine before reinstalling the panel. In case there are some connections that you need to reinstall or solder, you won’t be needing to remove the door panels again.

Now that your after-market speakers are installed, go for a spin and enjoy your music while you drive!


  • The Best Component Car Speakers

The best car speakers, no doubt, is the component system. Nick and I both agree on this. A full-range coaxial speaker set up cannot beat a properly configured component system. The component system gives you a free hand to select your sub-woofers, woofers, tweeters, amplifiers, crossovers, and all the stuff that lets you have control over the range of frequency you listen to.

We can’t deny, however, that a good set up would cost you a lot more money. Here are three of the best car component speakers in the market you may want to consider.

​1.    Infinity Kappa 60.11CS  component speaker system

You may not be fully aware, but, the chance that you have come upon and used a product by Harman is highly likely. Or at least, you have used something that Harman devised. Infinity speakers have been acquired by Harman in 1983 and have since moved its production in global scale delivering high fidelity music to everyone.

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Product Details
This Infinity Kappa component speaker packs 540 watts of power in two 6.5inch woofers. Each speaker has a maximum peak power of 270watts, and each is rated at 90 watts RMS. It comes with two tweeters and two external crossovers for easy installation.

Best Use
This speaker package is a great upgrade for your car. If you are tired of your old component or coaxial system, this new generation speaker will bring life to your music. This is a well-rounded speaker setup that will brighten most genres of music.

Sound Quality
This 6.5inch woofer packs a good bass with it and well-defined mids. In a small vehicle, this will bring rich music that will fill the air. The crossover divides the lows, mids, and highs that gives a better musical experience. Having the speakers placed in different locations gives that live music feel.

Pros

  • The 6.5-inch woofer packs high fidelity mids and basses.
  • This speaker set comes with brackets and adjustable mounts to make sure that it will fit your car door.
  • This product is manufactured by a well-known brand.

Cons

  • It can be a little hard to install by yourself especially for first-timers.
  • You might need to upgrade your amplifier for this.

Nick says:
This is a good setup that brings out great quality. For the price, you get yourself a good deal. It brings a balanced feel compared with coaxial speakers because of the position of the tweeters.

Author says:
I’m not really sure what Nick finds lacking in this speaker. These speakers are awesome! Although it’s a little more expensive than coaxial speakers, it’s worth the buck to upgrade to a component system.


JBL is another brand owned by Harman. This company was founded by James Bullough Lansing and was named after his initials. They specialize in loudspeakers and other audio related electronics. They started with two product lines, consumer and professional, and eventually drifted to consumer electronics as they discover that they have a better edge with it.

  • View On Amazon.com

Product Details
JBL is known for their astounding quality worldwide. Their products are known to spit out great quality for their sizes. This 6.5-inch component system has a peak power rating of 420watts. It can continuously operate with clarity and without compromising quality at 140 watts RMS. 

Best Use
This 6.5 inch is a small monster on its own. For its size, you will be amazed at how much lows and mids it packs. Whether you like listening to heavy or mellow music, your listening experience will be perfect. Every genre of music will be much better with clear sounds.

Sound Quality
It gives better bass and mids that fills the air. Every thump can be heard clearly. The position and channeling of frequencies give out the best musical experience.

Pros

  • JBL is an excellent brand that you can rely on.
  • They have innovated their speakers to enhance low frequencies with the design of the cone.
  • High peak power rating that can handle a party.
  • Great customer relations and support from their team.

Cons

  • This speaker setup is quite expensive.
  • You might need to upgrade your amplifier to accommodate them.

Nick says:
I have to be honest. These speakers are small to have the capabilities of a sub-woofer. These speakers are amazing and spew ground-shaking lows at high volume. The bass is still heard clearly at low volumes. If you could just add one more 8-12 inch sub-woofer, then everything is just perfect.

Author says:
I agree on what Nick says. There are not enough words to describe how amazing these speakers are. They give out punchy basses and great mids. It’s just a perfect experience to listen to them!


Component Car Speakers Installation

If you don’t have a working knowledge of electronics, you may want to have a professional install this for you. If you are really happy doing stuff yourself, you can watch video tutorials on the web on how to install a component car speaker.

Installing a component system is a lot more difficult than wiring a coaxial setup. Coaxial speakers have built-in crossovers which makes it easier. However, component setups have a separate crossover unit that needs to be mounted on the car door. This separate crossover divides and sends frequencies to your speakers with a lot more precision. Also, this enables the component setup to place the speakers in different locations to give you a better feel.

Firstly, check the box and look for all the attachments you need. Most manufacturers include the wirings you need to hook it up to your existing system. Then, check your manual and find out how to remove your car door panel. After removing the car door panel, find a secure mounting place for your crossover. Usually, your after-market speaker set comes with mounts that have universal screw locations for easy installation. Now, remove your old speaker.

You will notice that there are 6 pins where in your crossover where you will feed and send the signal. The default wiring on your car can be easy to follow. Hook up your speaker wire to the input on the crossover. They are often labeled IN+ and IN-. Plug the negatives and the positives on the input dock.

The other four terminals are labeled with W+, W-, T+, and T-. W stands for woofer and T stands for the tweeter. Plug them respectively and mount your speakers on your door loosely. Now, play some music to make sure that you got everything right. If everything is working well, tighten the screws and reinstall the car door panel. Now, enjoy great music while you drive!


In Summary

Nick has helped us see the qualities of each type of speaker setup. Although it’s a fact that component car speakers are the best car speakers you can get when properly setup, we don’t want to be snob and haters of other types.

Surface mounted car speakers have their merits. It can be a quick fix and lets you have better control over your calls. So, if you are the type of person who has someone over the phone most of the time, BMR’s visor-mounted car speakers will be very useful.

On the other hand, if you just want to upgrade your existing setup without too much of a fuss, a coaxial speaker setup can be easily fitted on your car. Rockford Fosgate’s Punch P1683 6 x 8-Inches Full Range Speakers can be a luxurious upgrade already!

Lastly, if you are an audiophile like me and Nick, a component system will give you the best music experience while driving. JBL’s GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System packs great music for its size!

We hope you have enjoyed reading through and have finally figured out what type of speaker system you will get for your car. If you have some comments or suggestions, leave it below, and we’ll ask Nick about it!

About the Author Simon Adams

Simon Adams here. a tech geek and an industry wizard. One of the original members of the CurateView team to offer unbiased product reviews.

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