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Best Car Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality: The Complete Buyer’s Guide

“Looking for best car speakers for bass and sound quality? Don’t make the decision without reading this first”

Car speakers are a big part of any music enthusiasts’ life. If you will be spending a lot of time in your cars, why don’t fix a decent car speaker set to it to bring good music with you everywhere? However, just as you have to do your homework before purchasing anything to ensure a good fit with your likings and interests, choosing a good set of car speakers will be an intimidating task if you don’t have a guideline to follow.

I have been there, browsing hundreds of sites, forums and go through most of the biggest brands to find the set of car speakers with great bass and sound quality. And I have to admit that this is a trial and error process that most of you won’t want to experience. This is why I wrote this article, to save you some time and hard-earned money yet still landing the most suitable car speakers set for your vehicles.

The information below comes from my own experience and knowledge. I have also used some of the products on this list, the others are recommendations from folks I put my trust on. Some are users of the brands, some are car speaker experts, and some are from the brands. I hope this helps.

Top 5 Component Car Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality

1. Best pick – Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System

Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System

Polk Audio is a famous brand among audio producers in the market. With a 40-year experience, the Definitive Technology, and an extensive sound expertise, Polk has gained the trust of consumers in search of an audio system for their vehicles. DB is one of their key models, which has flown off the shelves since it was launched.

The tweeters boast extremely precise high-frequency reproduction. Thanks to the swivel-mount cups, they can be either surface – or flash mounted. The woofers feature a Kapton voice coil which has high power handling and greater reliability. Their case is made with polymer/mica composite, which minimizes the chances of distortion. It’s also engineered with Dynamic Balance technology, which ensures the sound is delivered smoothly and in detail. The woofers and tweeters combine to great effect delivering crisp mid-range and highs.

With the Polk Audio DB6501 in your car, you will hear everything: the vocals are put just right, electric bass, horns, cymbals, cellos, violins, and electric guitar and many more. Since I installed this set into my car, I have heard a ton of subtle undertones in songs that I didn’t even know exist.

I highly recommended that you place the tweeters so the broadcast is towards your ears since the stereo-imaging and the soundstage will be enhanced.

The feature that I cherish the most in Polk Audio DB6501 is its crossover network. This system is responsible for frequency purity, which, in turn, delivers pure, clear, and detailed sounds. It blocks random frequencies and delivers the exact frequencies only to the proper drivers.

If I have to point out a drawback, it would be the Polk Audio DB6501 will be a total waste of money if you don’t pair it with a proper amplifier. And trust me; you will notice a world of differences if you do so. The lows are fuller and will be perfected with the assistance of subs.

2. Runner-up - JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System

JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System

The JBL GTO609C isn’t only a great car speaker but it’s also a stunning one. Folks at JBL obviously know what they are doing to make a great first impression.

Their arsenal features an array of car speakers but I’m enthusiastic about the JBL GTO609C. In short, it is one of the best component speakers you can hope to find. It’s an incredible as a component system, it’s appealing to the eyes, and it sounds like a dream.

The JBL GTO609C can withstand high output level and capable of striking each and every note clearly and coherently. This ability is partly thanks to the carbon-injected cone material that isn’t only durable but also contributes to the quality of sounds.  Additionally, the GTO609C houses a vented magnet and a voice coil that can dissipate heat effectively, which can prolong the life of the speaker.

This is the speaker that I’ve actually tested and here is what I found out. I played a 20Hz to 20kHz sine tone through each speaker to see how accurately it reproduces low, mid and high frequencies, with the assistance of a frequency analyzing plugin. After this test, the GTO609C received all B’s.

If you have done some research on car speakers, you will probably know that it’s extremely difficult for speakers to reproduce high-frequency sounds. And the GTO609C is good enough not to make a distraction, which usually happens when the highs aren’t balanced or accurate. The high notes don’t grate your ears or lead to headaches.

If I have to find a criticism for it, it would be it lacks low-frequency response. Whether this is good or bad depends on your musical taste. This can be fixed by pairing the GTO609C with a subwoofer.

3. On a budget - Pioneer TS-A1605C A-Series 6.5" 350W Component Speakers

Pioneer TS-A1605C A-Series 6.5 350W Component Speakers

The Pioneer TS-A1605C is by far the least expensive, but it doesn’t mean this speaker is of low quality. In fact, this is the one I’m quite fond of at this price range when it comes to bass and sound quality.

You may have an impression that the TS-A1605C is for newbies who want to start small and don’t want to splurge on a more expensive set, but it cannot be farther from the truth. Many experienced audiophiles I know have said that this set has never disappointed them.

Pioneer A series has everything it needs to bring you the true self of music. It features a high sensitivity rating and a wide frequency range so that you can experience clear vocals, brilliant guitar riffs, heavy drums, and distinct bass lines that you’ve hoped for when looking for a set of component speakers.

The TS-A1605C speakers include a mica-matrix woofer that can stand firm against high volume levels and minimize distortion so that your bass sounds as clean as possible. They can perform well running off your head unit, but if they are driven by an aftermarket receiver or an external amp, you will receive an even greater result.

I know the TS-A1605C sounds like a bang for the buck considering the quality and the price, but heavy-bass enthusiasts will find it unsatisfied since it’s unable to reproduce deep bass. However, this doesn’t mean that ground-pounding bass lovers have to forever cross it out of their wish list, just add a subwoofer to the mix and you will be fine. Otherwise, the TS-A1605C sounds great on its own.

4. Also good - Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2" (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system

Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2" (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system

No list of best car speakers for bass and sound quality would be complete without the Infinity Reference 6500CX. Infinity Systems is under the umbrella of Harman International, a high-end audio company since 1983. The product I would like to review here is the Infinity Reference 6500CX, the best component speaker that the brand has to offer.

These speakers feature edge-driven textile dome tweeters that are capable of yielding a high level of details without sounding grating. The mounting cups that accompany each set of speakers allow these tweeters to be surface- or flash- mounted.

The Infinity Reference 6500CX features plus one woofer cone, which means the cone is larger than comparable speakers and you have more output out of the same amount of power. This technology also extends the frequency response even lower to deliver to you a nice thump.

A criticism that I can give here is the frequency range of 53 – 21 kHz that the Infinity Reference 6500CX can handle is narrower than the other speakers in the same category.

5. Also good - JBL CLUB6500C 6.5" 360W Club Series 2-Way Component Car Speaker

JBL CLUB6500C 6.5" 360W Club Series 2-Way Component Car Speaker

The JBL CLUB6500C 6.5" Component Car Speaker can strike some good bass beats as well as higher frequency sounds. It is good at its job of cranking out higher-end bass notes and catching a wide array of high-frequency notes.

The JBL CLUB6500C will allow you to enjoy some great crisp sound. I have had a hard time deciding where to put this one to since it has decent quality and also a reasonable price that won’t break the bank.

Another thing that I highly regard of this model is its sensibility level, which will ensure its use of power is effective to produce the best sounds possible. The speaker’s woofer cone is featured with acoustically damped, UV-resistant polypropylene material, which means the sound quality will be clean and non-resonant. It also helps the cone to last long in the high heat and humidity of the car’s environment. The tweeters play an important part in playing clear, high, and smooth frequencies with outstanding dispersion.

One obvious drawback is the bass. Not that it has a terrible one but the bass is not as good as another speaker on this list. Other than that, the JBL CLUB6500C 6.5" Component Car Speaker is a good choice with a great price.

Top 5 Coaxial (Full Range) Car Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality

1. Best pick - ALPINE SPR-69 6X9" 2-WAY COAXIAL SPEAKERS 300W PEAK / 100W RMS

ALPINE SPR-69 6X9" 2-WAY COAXIAL SPEAKERS 300W PEAK / 100W RMS

The SPR-69 will make better bass than any other component speakers, how do I know that? Because it gets higher points on sound quality than its rivals in the same test and on the same amp.

Its bass is of the classic six-by-nine. It’s tight, balanced, taunt, and boasts an unparalleled melodic ability that is able to track rich bass lines, an obvious distinction from the subwoofers that can only go boomp boomp.

The tweeters and the EQ Ring further enhance the dispersion features, which, in turn, offer an outstanding off-axis response. Its motor structure can keep distortion at a minimum level and improve vocal presence. It’s also highly mobile, can be swiveled as much as 15 degrees so that you can, to some extent, focus the sound where you want it to and custom sound tuning.

I particularly enjoy the swivelly tweeters, so much so that I have worked out some ways to adjust my back window to spread the highs flat on the screen to the rear. However, I noticed that it can get hard when driven with vigor; but the tweeters are still good at making-some-bass-from-the-back effect.

I bet you’ve heard of the Alpine’s legendary subwoofer line, which is good at something others usually struggle at: controlling the bass at high volume and the Alpine Type R SPR-69 has inherited this technology. It perform exceptionally well with high and mid-range sounds. While some other brands will have difficulty maintaining the sounds at high volume level, the Alpine Type R can do this with ease. This feature makes it the ideal choice for those who love to play their music loudly.

The Alpine Type R can maintain their stability and control power inside sub-woofers to handle suspension inside of the speaker for a sound quality boost. The surround sound is another plus. It isn’t not only of high quality but can be effectively distributed everywhere in the vehicle.

However, the Alpine Type R cannot withstand high voltage. So be careful when wiring it otherwise you might blow it.

2. Runner-up - JBL GTO939 Premium 6 x 9 Inches Co-Axial Speaker

JBL GTO939 Premium 6 x 9 Inches Co-Axial Speaker

It comes as no surprise that when anyone hears the name JBL, most of them will think of great quality, which is supported by years of experience. The JBL GTO938 6×9-inch 3-way Loudspeaker is one of its pride. Many speaker enthusiasts have praised it as a quick fix that comes with the superior high sound quality for cars.

Now, let’s talk about the tweeter. The tweeter is rigid and lightweight. The voice coil is of a great size so that it can increase its power handling.

The bass response is improved tremendously by the larger cone surface, larger than most of its rivals. This improvement greatly enhances bass response and the overall quality of sounds. You can say that it has the bass that booms.

The built-in Crossover Networks is a unique feature of this model. Thanks to it, the transition between the woofer and the tweeter is smooth and clean. This is beneficial to the mid-range vocals, making it is as realistic as possible.

 If there is one problem, it would be the quality of the upper mid-range should have been better. However, if you are not an expert or one of the folks with a champagne taste for speakers, it’s not exactly an issue because only audiophiles will recognize or be bothered by this problem.

3. On a budget - JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5″ CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers

JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5″ CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers

The JVC CS-J620 is an inexpensive line of car speakers that don’t forfeit quality for cheap price. They are best accompanied by an external subwoofer to prove its full potential. Decent bass and clear audio are what you can expect from it.

The JVC CS-J620’s bass is forceful enough at moderate volume. The high notes aren’t accompanied by any bite and the vocal is able to ring over the noise. All in all, the audio is well balanced for the price.

Its impedance of 5 ohms allows it to match with several amplifiers that are able to produce low-frequency signals and boast in high-quality sound with minimum distortion. It utilizes tweeters and woofers for reproducing the high and low-frequency sounds.

Bass is a weakness for this model compared with other models on this section of full range speakers. After all, this is an in expensive one so I guess you get what you pay for.

4. Also great - Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers

Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers

You don’t have to be seasoned sound enthusiasts to know that good bass will boost the overall quality of music. Bass lovers will be thrilled to find out that the Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers features voice coils that have ultra-clean bass and minimum distortion.

The Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers can withstands pressure, stress and prolongs the life of the set. So this speaker reproduces high-quality music and lasts for a long period of time, sounds like a dream for me.

The Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers’ surrounding is ultra-violet, which is known for the ability to resist high temperature and assist in making the linear and optimum sound of the deep bass. In short, this set can bring you the sounds of high frequencies.

 One drawback that I heard its users talk about is it is unable to produce high-definition sounds since it requires less power than the component speakers. But I don’t think that is a deal-breaking disadvantage since we all know that we cannot expect the component-kind-of-quality in a full range set. The more important feature I think you should know is that this set is not so durable against different weather condition. It can under-perform sometimes if the weather is not favorable.

5. Also great - Pioneer TS-A1685R A-Series 6.5" 350-Watt 4-Way Speakers

Pioneer TS-A1686R A-Series 6.5" 350-Watt 4-Way Speakers

The Pioneer TS-A1685R is one of the best on the 6.75 car speakers around nowadays. When other speakers stagnate at the high volume level, it can remain its rigidity. It is able to keep noise and distortion at bay so that the bass sounds full, clean, and punchy. The woofers are able to support high responsiveness and sensibility. Each of this woofer is accompanied by a midrange speaker, a super-tweeter, and a tweeter to support a trouble-free on- and off- axis response. They combine and create a 4-way design, which projects the mid and high frequencies uniformly and overall, a balanced output.

The TS-A1685R fits into the same openings as conventional 6½” speakers yet possesses a 14% larger cone, which means a deeper low frequencies production. Plus, these speakers can cover a wide frequency range.

The Pioneer TS-A1685R sounds like a perfect match for all purposes but it’s not a cons-free one. It has a great sensitivity rating but in order to have the optimal performance, it should be supported by a proper external amplifier. If your taste in music is not so high to invest in a whole new outboard amp, the Pioneer TS-A1685R is fine running off factory-installed or aftermarket head unit.

How to choose the best car speakers for bass and sound quality

Choosing a limited number of criteria for this section is a tricky task since everyone has their own liking and standard of good quality and different cars with distinct features. However, I will include here the most general things you should know to land the most suitable car speaker set for your vehicles.

The list below will ensure you pick the most suitable speakers for your vehicle. This is important because no matter how good the speakers are if they cannot get on well with your car’s system, their benefits will be wasted. Don’t worry if some of the concepts are new to you, it happens to all first-timers and it takes time to master. Once you have got the hang of it, understanding car speakers’ specifications to pick the most suitable one will be a piece of cake.

1. Component vs Full range car speakers

If we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the component and full range speakers, it will lead to an endless argument. In short, component speakers are in nature, reproduce better sounds than the coaxial ones. But that doesn’t mean everyone should all opt for the component speakers. These are for the professionals and people with a champagne taste of music, folks who are willing to pay to get the best quality and have the expertise to install the speakers in the right way.

If sound quality ranks high on your list and has a major impact on your buying decision, component speakers are what you should think about. If you are none of the above, a set of coaxial speakers will serve you just fine. And remember, the fact that full range speakers don’t perform as well as component counterparts doesn’t mean they are bad; they just serve a different taste.

2. New Car Speaker Size and Configuration

Before you decide to bring home a new set of car speakers, it’s important to know what type of speakers your car comes with. If you have decided to replace them all together, so just remove them and place the new set in. If this is too much of an effort to you, I recommend paying the nearest speaker store a visit. Most of them can look up the size and configuration of the out-of-the-factory speakers in your car. All you have to give them is the make, model, and year of the vehicle.

3. Car Speaker Power Handling

After you are sure of the size of the new speakers, what comes next is the power handling. Speakers show the optimal performance when they get the suitable power input. The head unit and the amplifiers will be in charge of this power.

If you haven’t chosen the head unit yet, you will have more freedom to pick the speakers with the features you love and then make the decision on which head unit or external amp will cooperate well with that speaker set.

The term power handling means the level of power, measured in watts, which the speakers can withstand. The most common value is the RMS (root-mean-square). You may find the manufacturers’ measurements on the speakers, which can be looked at before you buy the products, but I have to warn you, these numbers have little application in real life when you need them to determine the speaker’s power handling.

4. Car Speaker Sensitivity

This term refers to how much power the speaker needs to produce a certain level of volume. If you have already had a head unit or an external amp that don’t want to replace anytime soon, the speaker must have the ability to handle and use the power you provide it effectively. Speaker with high sensibility level requires less power to reach a given volume level.

If you are having an anemic factory stereo, so a speaker with high sensitivity level is required. Otherwise, speakers with a lower sensitivity level will work well with an amp that produces high power.

5. Car Speaker Build Quality

One of the most convincing reasons to upgrade your already-there factory speakers is the built quality. Most of the OEM systems are made out of materials with poor quality, resulting in the chances of the system degrading after a period of time in use. Materials play a vital part in determining the quality of sounds so you can improve the music reproduced by the speakers by upgrading the existent systems. If you want to replace the speakers altogether, these criteria can come in handy in choosing the best speakers for bass and sound quality.

  • Surrounds made by rubber last longer than those with other materials, they also help to reproduce better quality music.
  • Foam and cloth surrounds cannot last as long as the rubber but they are more durable than the combination of foam and paper. The former guarantees better sounds than the latter.
  • Woofers are the determining factor in the bass quality, so in order to have the best bass possible, you should only go for the following materials. The lightweight and stiff, for example, polypropylene combined with metal-coated or mica synthetic fabrics. These materials will ensure great bass response and a long life.

6. Consider some extras

Most head units house amplifiers but they are not very powerful. So if you want to have the following features, feel free the consider purchasing an external amp:

  • Minimum distortion with louder sounds.
  • To provide power for a woofer.
  • To make sure your new speakers show the optimal performance.

Low-frequency sounds are as important as the highs in bringing the sounds to life and they are a big part of any type of music. Some types of music even require a decent subwoofer more than others. So in order to have the best bass possible, investing in a subwoofer will never a bad decision.

Picking a sub enclosure is as important as the subwoofer itself. An extremely deep bass requires a sealed enclosure. Such enclosure will be a great compliment for accurate and tight bass. But if you need the bass to be as loud as possible and don’t care much about accuracy, don’t bother looking at the sealed ones, ported and bandpass will serve you just fine.

The last option is the type of subwoofer that can operate accurately without an enclosure. These subs are usually mounted on a board that fits into the trunk. So the trunk must be somewhat airtight to act as an enclosure itself.

First-timers might experience a hard time taking in this sheer amount of information with new terms, new names, and not-so-familiar concepts. Picking the best car speaker set for bass and sound quality is never a straightforward task, after all, nothing good comes easy.

The brands that I have listed above are good in my personal opinion, but I cannot be sure they will work well on your cars with different features and music taste. Moreover, this is a competitive business, maybe there are great brands that, for some reasons, I have never heard of. If that is the case and you happen to know about it or have used it, feel free the leave me a note, I’m happy to look into them and add them to my wishlist too.

I know I have said this before but I think I have to repeat so that you don’t forget this very important piece of information. Car speakers, no matter how good they are, cannot show their full potential if they cannot cooperate well with the vehicle. So when you search for the set with the best bass and sound quality, remember to see if they can suitable for your car, they are vital in equal measure.