The Best Car Speakers 2023

Upgrading your car speakers with aftermarket OEM replacements can instantly improve the sound quality and also provide deeper bass. Our recommendations below are designed to replace 6.5 inch speakers but most brands offer a wide range of sizes.


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Best Car Speakers
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If you require a quick answer, the best car speakers are the Alpine S-S65’s, which are a high quality set of 6.5 speakers that are designed for those wanting clear sound and full bodied bass with any genre of music. However, if you require a more affordable alternative, the Pioneer TS-R1750S’s are a great option to consider as they produce 250 watts of peak power and a RMS of 40 watts. Alternatively, if you are willing to invest into the ultimate 6.5 inch speaker setup, the Focal PC165F speakers are the best option but they do come with a premium price tag.

To rate the car speakers within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing, our own experience of performing multiple speaker upgrades, plenty of research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we considered included their peak power and RMS ratings, construction, hardware included, warranty and value for money.

Best Car Speaker Overview

In terms of the performance of car speakers, the main ratings you want to pay attention to is the peak power and RMS. The peak power refers to the maximum power the speaker can handle within short intervals whereas RMS (Root Mean Square) is the continuous power that the speaker can handle. Premium quality speakers often have a higher RMS, which provides a better indication of its ability to produce superior sound quality.

Below is a list of the best car speakers that are direct replacements to OEM speakers and produce excellent sound quality and bass.

The Best Car Speakers


1. Best 6.5: Alpine S-S65 Coaxial Speakers


Alpine are an audio brand that need no introduction and their S65 series of speakers are a highly rated option. In terms of their performance, they provide up to 240W peak power and 80W RMS, which is impressive from 6.5 speakers.

According to the brand, they feature the world’s first use of a CFRP diaphragm, which is designed to provide the ideal balance of hardness and lightness within the construction. On top of this, they also feature a larger voice coil, which added up with the diaphragm makes for excellent audio performance.

Pros
  • Boasts the latest in-car audio technology
  • Provides high driving power and clean sound
  • Excellent performance for the money (240W Peak/80W RMS)
  • Easy to install out of the box (direct replacement to OEM factory speakers)
  • During testing, we found that they performed far better than factory speakers (tested within a 2017 VW Golf)
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to other 6.5 speakers
  • Doesn't come with any grills in the box (not necessarily needed)

To conclude, if you require high performing 6.5 car speakers that are direct replacements to your factory speakers, the Alpine S-S65’s are the perfect solution. They aren’t the cheapest but the performance, build quality and reputable brand backing make it a worthwhile investment that you certainly won’t regret.

2. Best 6.5 Runner-Up: JL Audio C1-650X


Another set of 6.5 speakers that offer great performance and are manufactured by a reputable brand are the JL Audio C1-650X’s. With a peak power rated at 225W and RMS of 50W, they are more than capable of providing high quality sound and bass. However, as well as its performance, the design and development that’s gone into the speakers is just as impressive. From the lightweight steel frame of the speaker itself to the mineral filled, injection-moulded polypropylene cone, it has been designed to be one of the best on the market.

Pros
  • New and improved design that offers enhanced smoothness and better power handling
  • Great audio performance for the money
  • Supplied with everything you need to install the speakers within the box
  • Aesthetically pleasing (good bonus if the speakers can be seen inside the car)
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to other 6.5 speakers on the market

To conclude, the JL Audio C1-650X’s are high quality car speakers that offer both performance and superior build quality. When compared to the Alpine speakers above, they are both very similar but these JL speakers lack slightly in performance and are also more expensive. However, it does benefit from improved build quality with its new and improved design.

3. Best All-Rounder: Pioneer TS-R1750S Car Speakers


Pioneer are a brand that dominate the UK market with audio products that are affordable yet high performing. These TS-R1750S car speakers are a great example of that reputation and come as a complete kit ready to install from the box.

According to the brand, these car speakers are designed to provide loud and clear output for any type of music. This is made possible through the multi-layer mica matrix woofer cone, which provides improved bass and mid-range frequency.

Pros
  • Great performance for the money (250W peak power and 40W RMS)
  • 36 – 31,000 Hz frequency response
  • Easy to install and replace OEM 6.5 car speakers
  • High quality multi-layer mica matrix woofer cone
  • Supplied with fitting screws, speaker cable and grills
Cons
  • During fitting and testing into one of our vehicles, we felt that it was better than most OEM speakers but not as good as high end OEM speakers (i.e. Harmon Kardon etc)

The Pioneer TS-R1750S coaxial speakers are a great upgrade for most OEM setups as they provide clear sound and improved full-bodied bass. Considering the low price, they also offer excellent value for money and they won’t disappoint.

4. Best Component: Focal ES165KX2 Elite Series


By far the most expensive car speakers within our roundup are the Focal ES165KX2’s, which are part of the brand’s Elite Series. If you haven’t heard of the brand before, Focal are a French company that are well-known for their high quality speakers and the ES165KX2 Elite Series are a great example of that reputation.

The speakers themselves are high-end component speakers that are designed for the best sound quality and bass but be prepared for the price. With regards to their performance, peak power is rated at 240W and RMS at 120W.

Pros
  • Award winning speakers that are developed by one of the best in the business
  • Superior construction quality (Kevlar cones and Aramid-fibre tweeters)
  • High-end performance and excellent power handling
  • Designed with performance and longevity in mind
Cons
  • The most expensive car speakers within our roundup

Although expensive, the Focal Elite Series are the best component car speakers on the market and the attention to detail is remarkable. They are the perfect speakers for any audio enthusiasts and if you are willing to pay the premium price tag, they certainly won’t disappoint when installed.

5. Best Component Runner-Up: JBL Club 602CTP Car Speakers


Another set of component car speakers are by the Alpine brand but unlike the Focal alternative above, they are far more affordable. At a fraction of the price, the JBL Club 602CTP speakers offer excellent performance and build quality. In terms of the performance, it’s rated at 210W peak power and 70W RMS, which is great performance for the money.

Pros
  • Suitable for low-powered/factory fitted radios
  • During testing, we found that it offered great low frequency response and the all-important deep bass
  • Comes with everything you need to install the speakers in the box
  • Offers great value for the money
Cons
  • Build quality is great for the money but not as high quality as the alternatives

If you are on a tight budget and want affordable component car speakers from a reputable brand, the JBL Club 602CTP speakers are a great option to consider. Although there are cheaper component options on the market, none are manufactured by a reputable brand such as JBL and offer similar performance.

6. Best Performing Coaxial: Focal Performance PC165F


Another pair of car speakers by the highly reputable Focal brand is the PC165F series and they are designed to be the ultimate coaxial speakers. Although they come with a premium price tag, it’s understandable considering the great performance and excellent build quality.

A standout feature of these speakers is that they use the brand’s new and improved membrane technology, which is known as “Flax”. The benefit of this is that it provides a more neutral and dynamic sound without coloration.

Pros
  • The speakers are built to the highest of standards
  • RMS rated at 70W (peak power rated at 140W)
  • During testing of these speakers within a MK7 VW Golf, we were very impressed by the sound quality and bass
  • 4 OHM impedance
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to other speakers within our roundup

If you are looking for the ultimate car speaker setup without spending thousands, the Focal PC165F 6.5 speakers tick all the boxes. They are able to handle high power and deliver very low deep bass whilst retaining superior sound quality. The only drawback is the premium price tag but it’s a worthwhile investment for the performance and build quality.

7. Best Budget: JVC CS-J620X Car Speakers


For those on a very tight budget, the JVC CS-J620X’s are an excellent option because they are cheap and far better quality than many of the similar priced alternatives.

In terms of their performance, they are able to output up to 300 watts with a RMS rated at 30 watts, which is very impressive for a cheap pair of car speakers. To make the installation of these speakers go smoothly, the brand provide 8 x fixing screws, 8 x fixing clamps and a speaker cable in the box.

Pros
  • Offers excellent value for the money
  • Easy to install as a replacement to OEM car speakers
  • Comes as a complete kit
  • Provides adequate performance for the money (150W peak and 30W RMS)
Cons
  • Doesn't produce as high quality sound and bass as the alternatives

To conclude, the JVC CS-J620X’s are by far the best budget car speakers on the market that are easy to install and great OEM replacements. They aren’t going to produce as high quality sound when compared to some of the alternatives but for the cost of the speakers, they simply cannot be beaten.

How We Rated The Car Speakers

As we own many classic/old cars, we have performed multiple speaker upgrades over the years due to the speakers providing poor performance or simply breaking.

Therefore, along with our own experience, research and considering multiple factors, we were able to create the list of recommendations above. The factors we considered included their peak power and RMS ratings, construction, hardware included, warranty and value for money.

Best Car Speakers UK

Conclusion

Upgrading your car speakers is relatively easy and it has the ability to completely transform the sound inside of your car. When deciding between the different car speakers, we advise that you choose a higher RMS rather than a higher peak power rating. The RMS rating of a speaker provides you with a better indication of its sound quality. This is important because many brands will often only state a large peak power rating but this isn’t a true reflection of the speaker’s quality.

The recommendations above are all suited for 6.5 inch mounting holes but most brands will offer alternative sizes if needed. To avoid disappointment, we advise that you remove your existing speakers to find the exact size required.

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