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Listening to your favorite music with your stock speakers can be a pain. There is no clear separation of the frequencies, the music may sound distorted, and the vocals often sound muffled. You may also just crave the fuller sound that can be achieved by installing more speakers in your car.
You can step up your car audio experience by replacing your factory speakers with a new set of 6.5 speakers. Most standard car speakers are between 6 and 6.5 inches in diameter. That’s very convenient because you won’t have to make a lot of modifications, if any, when installing new aftermarket speakers. We’ve put together a buying guide to help you choose between some of the best car speakers on the market.
The Best 6.5 Speakers
The Pioneer TS-A series is a three-way speaker system that will appeal to the taste of any music lover. It plays music loud and clear, and the manufacturer didn’t cut corners when making these speakers good-looking. Each speaker is made with a lightweight yet sturdy elastic polymer that enhances sound distribution and reproduction. A multilayer mica matrix cone design optimizes the unit’s frequency response, and you can expect to receive a well-balanced sound across all frequency ranges.
The speaker has an integrated tweeter to improve mid and high frequencies. It also minimizes distortion at higher volumes. Moreover, they can run cool during longer play times, thanks to the heat-resistant voice coil wire that dissipates heat. It may not have the best bass response, but that can be solved by adding a compatible subwoofer to the speaker setup. The downside to these speakers is that you have to buy mounting hardware separately.
320 watts peak power
70 watts RMS power
Four ohms impedance
Frequency response of 37 Hz to 24 kHz
- Weight3.6 pounds
Smooth sound response across all frequencies
Great-sounding mids and highs
Easy installation into OEM mounting holes
Doesn’t produce a deep bass
Doesn’t come with grills
The BOSS Audio Systems are a great pair of three-way speakers for anyone in need of a cheap car audio upgrade. The lower price doesn’t represent any compromises on their power handling, durability, or appealing design. Each speaker is made with a long-lasting polyurethane cone and a wear-resistant rubber surround. High-quality voice coils disperse heat during extended playtimes and limit speaker fatigue during such instances.
Each speaker has an integrated piezoelectric tweeter that can be used without a crossover. It can also resist overloads. The speaker arrangement makes it one of the best speakers for listening to a wide range of music genres, including alternative rock and hip hop. What’s more, you can be confident that the music won’t be halted during heavy-duty play. All these superb features are offered at an affordable price. However, you may be disappointed with how sharp the highs may sound.
300 watts at peak power
150 watts RMS power
100 Hz to 18kHz frequency response
- BrandBOSS Audio Systems
- Weight2.5 Pounds
Remains cool after a lengthy period of music playback
Sounds good even without a crossover
Clear mid and high frequencies
Decent bass quality
May distort at low frequencies
May sound too sharp at high volumes
JBL has a reputation for providing the best car audio solutions since the 1940s. This JBL Premium system is no exception. It’s a set of 6.5-inch component speakers with higher power-handling capacity than most factory speakers. The entire set up includes two woofers, two tweeters, and two external crossovers. Each speaker has a large carbon-injected plus-one cone that moves more air and produces cleaner bass. The speaker system has independent soft dome tweeters with oversized voice coils for fatigue-free highs and better heat dissipation.
You will appreciate JBL’s patented i-mount system that allows for greater flexibility when mounting the speakers. They can be either flush- or surface-mounted. However, you need to be careful when installing the speakers since the plastic mounting tabs may break. Also, you will likely have to make a few modifications to your car in order to accommodate the entire speaker system.
270 watts peak power
90 watts RMS power
Three ohms impedance
Frequency range of 53 to 21,000 Hz
- Weight6.1 pounds
High frequency response
Better frequency separation
Provides a deep bass
Installs in under an hour
Excellent sound quality
Fragile plastic mounting tabs
You may have to make modifications to the mounting hole for a secure fit
This pair of great-sounding three-way coaxial speakers is from Rockford Fosgate, a well-known audio equipment manufacturer who has been in the industry since 1974. Each speaker is made up of a polypropylene cone, silk dome Piezo tweeter, and midrange speaker. Each speaker is also integrated with high-pass crossovers for seamless separation of the low, mid, and high frequencies. To minimize the risk of sun damage, the tweeter has a durable rubber surround.
The speakers come with grills that both protect the speaker components from mechanical damage and also enhance their visual appeal. The speakers are not the best when it comes to sound quality across the high and low frequencies, but they are great for listening to the radio on long drives.
90 watts peak power
45 watts RMS power
91 decibel sensitivity
Frequency range of 52Hz to 20kHz
- BrandRockford Fosgate
- Weight3.5 pounds
Clean audio quality
Comes with grills and mounting hardware
Compatible with advanced stereo systems
Designed to fit in the latest car models with minimal modifications
Poor bass response
Not the best highs
Low power handling
These Kicker two-way coaxial speakers offer a decent improvement from your stock speakers without using an amp. If you decide to add an external amplifier, you can expect nothing but better performance. The speaker contains a combination of 6.5-inch polypropylene woofer cones and PEI dome tweeters that produce a crisp clean sound. It can produce low frequencies of 40 hertz and highs of 20,000 hertz.
They are direct OEM replacements speakers, meaning that you will experience little to no issues installing them after uninstalling your factory 6.5-inch speakers. The speaker has a slim profile that can fit on any mounting surface, and it comes with modern grills and wire connectors for easy installation. However, the speakers may crackle when playing low-frequency music for a long time.
300 watts peak power
100 watts RMS power
½” poly-imide (PEI) dome tweete
- Weight4 pounds
Sturdy and modern design
Great OEM replacements
Produces crisp, clear highs
Wide frequency range
Protected from external damage
The speakers may crackle at low frequencies
The Alpine S-Series is another high-end product from a big-name brand. It’s a two-way speaker type and a great replacement for muffled stock speakers. There are a variety of options available for the S-Series speakers, but these stand out due to their ability to produce a full-bodied sound with great mids and highs. They’re designed with a butyl rubber surround, Poly-Mica basket woofer, and a one-inch dome tweeter. The tweeters are made from silk for smooth high frequencies.
The basket design allows for faster cooling and maximum high-frequency response. In addition, the combination of polypropylene and Mica adds heat resistance and strength to the woofer cone. That translates to reduced sound distortion and long-lasting performance. Installing the speakers is easy; they typically come with adapter rings, machine screws, and other mounting hardware. Their simple design and low impedance make them suitable for older car models with outdated circuitry. The speakers can fit in 6.5- and 6.75-inch mounting holes.
240 watts peak power
80 watts maximum RMS power
Two watts minimum RMS power
88 dB sensitivity
- Weight4.8 pounds
The efficient design is reliable
Swiveling tweeters can be adjusted to a better listening position
Can be powered with a factory or aftermarket head unit
Comes with mounting hardware
Lacks a full bass and mid-range output
You need to include an amplifier in the setup for the best sound
No grills included
The JVC CS Series Speakers are a great upgrade from your OEM speakers, offering a full range of sound. Each speaker has a 1-inch poly-ether imide balanced dome tweeter that delivers smooth and clean highs. It can reach a frequency peak of 22,000 hertz. The mid and low frequencies are optimized with a hybrid cloth and rubber surround.
The woofer composition is made up of Mica Injected Polypropylene, which promotes superior sound imaging. The speaker basket has several mounting holes that can fit in either a 6.5- or 6.75-inch hole. You can install the speaker on shallow frames without worrying about hitting glass and other obstructions. The speakers do, however, need an amplifier to deliver the best sound quality. They also come with fragile mounting brackets that may break if you aren’t careful during installation.
300 watts peak power
30 watts RMS power
Mica Injected Polypropylene (MIPP) woofer
- Weight2.2 Pounds
Bright and clean highs
Delivers punchy lows
Shallow mount design
Produces distortion-free music
Compatible with almost all types of amplifiers
Weak mounting brackets
You have to add an amplifier to get the best sound
The Kenwood KFC comes as a set of four three-way full-range speakers with advanced technology to offer an enhanced listening experience. They are designed with sound harmonizer technology, which delivers crisp, clear, and well-detailed sounds. These speakers are part of the Performance Series of speakers; these speakers are characterized by a multi-driver design for great highs, deep lows, and clean vocals.
The woofer cone is made of water-resistant paper and features a radial rib pattern to increase the speaker’s strength. A rubber surround increases the speaker’s durability. The system has an integrated tweeter and super tweeter for accurate vocals and better frequency progression. Moreover, the speakers come at an economical price point. The main downside of the paper woofer is that it can easily be damaged by intense sun rays. They may also not sound as great as more high-end speakers.
320 watts maximum power
75 watts RMS power
88 dB sensitivity
Paper cone woofer
- Weight8.2 pounds
Easy to install
Can work without an amp
Water-resistant woofer cone
Great frequency response
Paper cone woofers get damaged easily
May not be as full-sounding as expected
The Sony XS Marine speakers come as a set of four coaxial speakers with a peak power of 140 watts per speaker. You get a combined RMS power of 130 watts from the four-pack. It has a wide frequency range of 40 to 20,000 hertz, meaning that it can deliver a full sound with both decent bass and clean highs. These speakers should be installed at the rear and front for a better listening experience. They are designed to resist marine or saltwater conditions, and are IPX5 certified as water-resistant.
The woofer is made of polypropylene and treated with a cloth surround to deliver reasonable sound clarity. These speakers come in a classic black and white color scheme, but you can paint over the grills to enhance the look. The speakers have a lightweight yet durable design, and its removable grills allow you to install it anywhere in your vehicle or boat. The grills are made of fragile plastic, so take care not to break them during installation.
140 watts peak power
65 watt RMS power
45 to 20,000 Hz frequency response
Two inch mounting depth
- Weight7.75 Pounds
Convenient removable and paintable grills
Can be used in both cars and boats
Plastic grills are fragile
The speakers distort at high volumes
Best 6.5 Speakers Buying Guide & FAQ
To further help you in your quest for the best 6.5-inch speakers, we have created a simple buying guide. It’s a breakdown of everything you need to know before you buy. We’ve also answered a few questions that you may have.
Why You Need 6.5 Speakers
Upgrading to 6.5 speakers can make a significant difference in your car's audio system. Some of the benefits include:
- Better sound quality than your factory speakers.
- Appealing designs that complement your vehicle’s interior.
- A compact design that can fit in the door and dashboard of most vehicles.
- They are compatible with most factory and aftermarket head units for playing audio or video files.
- A more affordable car audio upgrade than buying larger speakers.
- They come with other components like tweeters, midrange, and crossovers to produce a fuller sound.
- Can be easily installed from the comfort of your garage.
Types of 6.5 Speakers
There are two main types of 6.5 speakers:
- Component Speakers
Component speakers have physically separated drivers to optimize sound quality. They typically comprise of mountable tweeters, independent mid-range speakers paired with crossovers, and a separate woofer cone for the low frequencies (bass). The drivers can be mounted on different parts of your car. Component speakers excel at producing well-balanced and detailed sound across all frequencies.
- Full Range (Coaxial Speakers)
Coaxial speakers have all the drivers built into one unit. The design consists of a woofer with a tweeter attached to the top of the cone. Most full-range speakers have a crossover built into the tweeter. They can produce sound across all frequencies, but aren’t that great at producing detailed and clean sounds. That’s mainly because the drivers are too close together, which results in distortion or interruption of frequencies.
What to Look for When Buying 6.5 Speakers
There are a few things to consider before settling on a 6.5 speaker. Be on the lookout for the following features:
- Power Handling Rating
6.5 speakers come with different power ratings depending on the manufacturing design. Each speaker has a maximum power rating and a root mean square (RMS), or continuous power rating. If you intend to power the speakers with your factory stereo, you should consider a unit with a low power rating to prevent blowouts. High-powered speakers are usually powered by an external amplifier.
In a speaker system, some of the power is converted to sound, and the rest is mostly converted to heat in the magnet assembly and voice coils. The sensitivity rating of a speaker determines how well it can convert the power input into sound output. It’s given as the measure of watts produced at a distance of one meter. The resulting figure is expressed in dB (decibels). A car speaker rated at 90 dB is efficient and loud enough for a contained space.
The construction of the speaker determines the quality of sound produced and how long it will last. The best material for making the woofer cone is polypropylene; it’s thin yet stiff enough to withstand constant vibration. It’s typically reinforced with a resilient material such as a metal thread. Tweeters, however, are best made from a soft material such as silk or ceramic for the smooth flow of high frequencies. The best speaker surround material is rubber since it’s more flexible than foam and cloth surrounds.
- Mounting Depth
Most 6.5-inch speakers have a basket design, but the mounting depth varies depending on the woofer cone design and the size of the magnet assembly. Ensure that the speaker can fit in your door panel, dashboard, or any other speaker enclosure in your vehicle. Measure the depth of your enclosure and get a compatible speaker. Alternatively, you can buy OEM replacement speakers for your vehicle model for a guaranteed fit.
- Frequency Response
The frequency response, or range, is something worth considering, especially if you plan to install only one pair of speakers. It should cut across all frequencies to deliver a richer and fuller sound than your factory speakers. Component speakers have the best frequency response. However, if you have limited space, you can get coaxial speakers with a high frequency range of about 20 to 25,000 hertz.
- Weather Resistance
The speakers will be exposed to extreme weather conditions and it’s good to know that they can stand it. If the speakers will be on your door, you will obviously have to open that door in the rain, and your speakers will be exposed to rainwater. If the speakers are on the dashboard, intense sun rays may damage it. Be sure to get waterproof speakers with a rubber surround that can withstand heat.
Tips for Buying and Using 6.5 Speakers
Here are a few tips on how you can buy the best speakers and get the most from them:
- Measure both your old speakers and the mounting hole to make sure that 6.5-inch speakers will be a good fit.
- Prioritize speakers with a low impedance; they have less resistance to the voltage and current in your car’s electrical system.
- If you don’t want to remove your factory speakers, you should install the new speakers at the door panel where there’s more space.
- Buy speakers from recognized brands to get the best quality.
- Consider upgrading your stereo or head unit to get better sound quality.
- Play high-quality, uncompressed digital music in your car to get cleaner sounds.
- Install sound-dampening materials at your door panel to block out road noise.
Best 6.5 Speakers FAQ:
Q: Do I need an external amplifier for my aftermarket speakers?
A: It depends on the speaker's power rating. A low-power speaker can be powered by your stereo speaker, and you don’t have to buy an amplifier in that case. Only buy an amplifier if there’s a risk of underpowering the speakers with your head unit.
Q: Do I need to replace the wiring?
A: It’s not necessary if the original wires are in good condition and compatible with your new speakers. However, if you plan to add an amplifier that has a higher RMS than your stereo, then you should replace the entire wiring for your car audio system.
Q: Will the new speakers improve the radio reception?
A: The speakers have minimal impact on the quality of your radio reception. FM signals are largely affected by the interferences surrounding your driving conditions. They are also affected by poor weather. You may notice that the signal fluctuates between strong and weak throughout your drive.
Q: Do car speakers drain car battery?
A: If the speakers are installed correctly and you only use them when the engine is on, they won’t drain your battery. However, if you upgrade to a high-end aftermarket sound system with a powerful stereo and speakers that can be heard a couple of blocks away, that may strain your battery.
Our Top Pick
The Pioneer TS-A Series 6.5” Car Speakers stand out as the best 6.5-inch car speakers mainly because they promote enhanced sound quality from your head unit. This system promises improved frequency response, better sensitivity, and high power handling capability in comparison to the other models.