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The Best 6.5 Car Speakers 2020

best car speakers

Car speakers are a component that can be upgraded in any vehicle to improve the sound quality, clarity and bass. There are a range of custom speaker setups available but upgraded OEM replacements such as 6.5 speakers are the best option.

The best 6.5 car speakers are the JL Audio C5-653 Evolution C5 3-Way, which provide the highest sound quality and deep bass. The only drawback is the price but there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives that provide very similar performance.

Factors such as impedance, RMS, peak power, frequency range, sensitivity and materials need to be considered when making a buying decision. Each of the 6.5 speakers we recommend include these ratings, which you can compare and decide on which best suits your requirements.

6.5 Car Speakers Comparison

6.5 SpeakersRMSPower
JL Audio C5-653 Evolution75 Watts225 Watts
Alpine SPR-60 Type-R100 Watts300 Watts
Infinity Kappa 60.11CS90 Watts270 Watts
Focal Access 165 CA160 Watts120 Watts
JBL GX602 Coaxial60 Watts180 Watts
Pioneer TS-A1676R50 Watts320 Watts
Rockford Fosgate R165X345 Watts90 Watts
Hertz Audio DCX 165.360 Watts120 Watts
Kicker CS Series100 Watts300 Watts
Polk Audio DB65160 Watts180 Watts

Audio performance comes from knowing your system and installing it correctly without mishap. The correct setup can make a huge difference and improve the value of your car. However, get it wrong and it does the complete opposite to your in-car audio experience.

Big brands in the car speaker industry include JL Audio, JBL and Pioneer with each being in the industry for many years. Sticking to these and other reputable brands ensures your audio system will provide reliable and quality audio for many years.

Upgrading from your OEM car speakers is one of the best audio improvements you can do and it’s fairly straightforward to upgrade. Below is a list of the best 6.5 car speakers that provide improved sound quality, clarity and deep bass without distortion at high volumes.

The Best 6.5 Speakers


1. JL Audio C5 Component 6.5 Speakers

JL Audio C5 Component 6.5 Speakers
The JL Audio car speakers are aimed at car audio enthusiasts that require the best quality sound from their speakers. The C5-653 Evolution set of car door speakers are exactly that and are built to provide hard hitting bass and superior sound quality.

Although expensive, they are the ultimate car speakers and worth paying the premium price. Included within the kit are 2 woofers, 2 mid-range drivers, 2 tweeters and 2 crossover networks.

Other features of the C5-653 Evolution by JL Audio include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 75 watts RMS
  • 225 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 48-25,000 Hz
  • 89.5 dB sensitivity
  • Mineral-filled polypropylene cone body
  • Rubber surround
  • 6.5 speakers with a cast alloy frame
  • 4″ Mid-range driver
  • Pure silk dome tweeter
  • JL Audio’s exclusive DMA-optimized motors

They have been designed to provide excellent linearity at high volumes and ensure distortion is at a minimum. The JL Audio 3 Way is an excellent system but installation is a key factor to ensure you achieve optimum sound quality.

The C5-653 Evolution by JL Audio are best car speakers you can buy. JL Audio have a great reputation for build quality and excellent sounding speakers and you won’t be disappointed.

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2. Alpine SPR-60 Type-R 6.5 Car Speakers

Alpine SPR-60 Type-R 6.5 Car SpeakersAnother big brand in the car audio scene are Alpine and they offer a variety of premium models. These 6.5 speakers in particular are constructed of a multi layer hybrid fiber woofer with a 1 inch swiveling silk dome speaker. The sound quality of these speakers is of the highest on the market and this is due to the patented Linear Drive technology.

Other features of the Alpine SPR-60-Type-R include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 100 watts RMS
  • 300 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 65-29,000 Hz
  • 88 dB sensitivity
  • Large aluminum voice coil
  • Shallow mounting
  • 1 inch ring radiator tweeter

These are high performing car speakers for bass and sound quality but of course, they do come at a cost but not as much as the JL car speakers above.

The Alpine SPR-60-Type-R are the best car audio speakers for those who enjoy loud and clear music. The performance figures speak for themselves and you also have the backing of a reputable Alpine brand for complete peace of mind.

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3. Infinity Kappa 60.11CS Car Speakers

Infinity Kappa 60.11CS Car Speakers
Finding 6.5 speakers that provide high bass and sound quality whilst on a budget can be difficult. However, the Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6.5 speakers with a two way setup and large cone surface area provides exactly that without being too expensive.

The 60.11CS 6.5 speakers also feature a clever tweeter setup as they are completely adjustable. They can be adjusted clockwise and counter clockwise as well as having the ability to adjust the levels for the ultimate car audio experience.

Other features of the Infinity Kappa 60.11CS include:

  • 2 Ohm impedance
  • 90 Watts RMS
  • 270 Watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 45-35,000 Hz
  • 93 dB sensitivity
  • High-quality external crossover filters
  • Vented magnet and motor assembly
  • High temperature voice coils
  • Backed by a one year warranty

The Infinity Kappa 60.11CS are high performing 6.5 speakers, which when hooked up to the right amp can produce a serious amount of bass. As they have a 2 ohm impedance, you can also get a lot of power out of them without losing sound quality.

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4. Focal Access 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers

Focal Access 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers
Focal are a brand known for their superior build quality and attention to detail. These speakers follow that great reputation and are designed for superior sound quality. This is made possible with unique features such as aluminum inverted dome tweeters with adjustable positions.

Although these Focal 6.5 inch speakers come with a premium price tag, the quality and premium features are worth paying the extra.

Other features of the Focal Access 165 CA1 include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 60 watts RMS
  • 120 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 60-20,000 Hz
  • 92 dB sensitivity
  • Braided glass fiber cone
  • Butyl surround for deep bass
  • Large voice coils for improved power handling

The price tag of these Focal car speakers will put off many potential buyers. However, for those looking for the best possible sound quality without stretching to the price of the JL Audio alternatives, then these 6.5 speakers are the best option.

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5. JBL GX602 2-Way 6.5 Speakers

JBL GX602 2-Way 6.5 SpeakersJBL have been creating premium speakers since the 1940’s and their GX602 Coaxial 6.5 speakers are one of the best yet. The “Plus One Woofer” cones have a patented design and are designed to provide deep bass at a high output.

JBL are a reputable company in the audio industry and these 6.5 speakers are one of the most popular OEM swap on the market. You cannot go wrong with these and the ease of installation makes them ideal for those with basic DIY skills.

Other features of the JBL GX602 include:

  • 2.3 Ohm impedance
  • 120 watts RMS
  • 180 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 67-21,000 Hz
  • 92 dB sensitivity
  • Built-in crossover networks
  • Mylar-titanium super tweeter
  • Lower impedance voice coil

Overall, the JBL GX602 are the best car speakers for the money and are easy to install as they are direct factory OEM replacements. This means that all you need to do is remove the current 6.5 speakers and put these in their place. Sound quality is also excellent, which is thanks to the built-in crossover network with advanced high and low pass filters.

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6. Pioneer TS-A1676R 6.5 Coaxial Speakers

Pioneer TS-A1676R 6.5 Coaxial Speakers
The Pioneer TS-A1676R are powerful coaxial speakers that uses a 3 way multi-layer Mica Matrix Cone. This is the latest upgrade that promises improved bass quality and dynamic range with higher power handling when compared to its predecessor.

Pioneer are known for creating aesthetically pleasing car speakers but for those installing these inside a door, which is covered by a mesh grill, it’s hardly a deciding factor. However, these car audio speakers go much further than just looks.

Other features of the Pioneer TS-A1676R include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 50 watts RMS
  • 320 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 32-40,000 Hz
  • 90 dB sensitivity
  • Lightweight elastic polymer surround
  • Heat resistant voice coil
  • Cooling basket with air vents

Pioneer and JBL are direct competitors but the A1676R speakers are much cheaper and provide more powerful audio. The improvements in the cone and the tweeter means you can listen to a variety of music genres and maintain the same sound quality. The Pioneer speakers are able to provide crystal clear vocals which is mostly due to the impressive tweeters.

The Pioneer TS-A1676R is certainly more powerful but the JBL speakers provides more deep bass. However, if you were to pair these speaker with a subwoofer designed for bass, you will have the ultimate car audio setup for all-round sound quality.

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7. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Coaxial Speakers

Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Coaxial Speakers
If you are looking for affordable 6.5 speakers that provide good bass and sound quality, then the R165X3 by Rockford Fosgate is best option. They are a direct replacement to your OEM speakers and take less than 10 minutes to fit the pair.

The 3 way full range coaxial speaker setup contains two 6.5 speakers with grilles, integrated high-pass crossovers and mounting hardware. They are a direct replacement for OEM speakers and provide great performance considering the low cost when compared to the alternatives.

Other features of the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 45 watts RMS
  • 90 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 52-20,000 Hz
  • 91 dB sensitivity
  • Vacuum polypropylene cone with rubber surround
  • Silk dome pole mounted Piezo tweeter and midrange
  • Integrated tweet crossover

When looking at the specs, it’s clear to see that power and the frequency range is far less. However, if you are looking for cheap replacement 6.5 speakers, these are the best option that are easy to install and provide relatively good performance.

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8. Hertz Audio DCX 165.3 Car Audio Speakers

Hertz Audio DCX 165.3 Car Audio Speakers
The DCX 165.3 series by Hertz is another relatively affordable pair of 2 way coaxial speakers that provide excellent performance. It uses a pulp cone with a cotton fiber woofer and polymer rubber surrounds to provide punchy bass and reduced distortion.

To further improve the bass and sound quality, Hertz have also integrated an anti-vibration rubber magnet cover. This is a premium feature that makes a huge difference along with the cotton fiber woofer and polymer rubber surrounds.

Other features of the Hertz Audio DCX 165.3 include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 60 Watts RMS
  • 120 Watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 60-21,000 Hz
  • 93 dB sensitivity
  • High density flux woofer magnet
  • Water-repellent woofer cone
  • 1 year warranty

Overall, these Hertz car speakers provide clearer highs, more bass and a reduction in distortion when compared against OEM speakers. They are slightly more than the alternatives but the Hertz speakers use far higher quality materials to provide improved performance.

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9. Kicker CS Series 6.5 inch Speakers

Kicker CS Series 6.5 inch Speakers
Kicker are a popular brand and the CS Series are highly rated car speakers that provide maximum “bang for your buck”. They are direct 6.5 inch replacement car speakers that are designed to be easily installed with more manageable components.

Features of the Kicker 6.5 inch 2-Way Speakers include:

  • 4 ohm impedance
  • 100 watts RMS
  • 300 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 40-20,000 Hz
  • 90 dB sensitivity
  • Polypropylene woofer cone
  • Polyester foam surround

The CS Series produced by Kicker are excellent all-round 6.5 inch speakers that combine performance and value for money. If connected to an external amplifier, you can extract extra performance from these but they still work perfectly with OEM and aftermarket head units.

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10. Polk Audio DB651 Car Door Speakers

Polk Audio DB651 Car Door Speakers
Polk Audio are becoming a reputable brand due to their performance on a budget. The DB651S budget 6.5 speakers follow that reputation and are multi-functional speakers that can even be used on boats or motorcycles as they are marine certified.

Other features of the Polk Audio DB651S include:

  • 4 Ohm impedance
  • 60 watts RMS
  • 180 watts peak power
  • Frequency response of 35-22,000 Hz
  • 92 dB sensitivity
  • Dynamic balance polymer woofer
  • Neodymium tweeter magnet
  • 2-way crossover network
  • 1 year warranty

Overall, the Polk Audio DB651 car door speakers offer great sound quality and bass and are a easy to swap replacements to your OEM factory speakers. Polk have invested a fair amount of research and development into their speakers and even use laser imaging to get the optimum design from their speaker materials.

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6.5 Speakers Buying Guide

Every car will have some sort of speaker installed, which comes in various forms that include 6.5 speakers to subwoofers. Of course, they are not all the same as some OEM car speakers are far better than other cheaper manufacturers.

However, any form of car audio can be upgraded to your specification and knowing the right information can help with your buying decision. Within all of our car speaker recommendations above, we have included the following:

  • Impedance (measured in ohms)
  • RMS
  • Peak power
  • Frequency range
  • Sensitivity
  • Material
  • … and other features

To further improve your knowledge of car audio speakers, we have have compiled all the details you need to know that ensures you pick the best car speakers.

Coaxial vs Component

You will notice that all of our recommended 6.5 speakers within this article contain coaxial and component speakers. Examples of the different types include:

  • Component speakers – JL Audio C5-653 and Infinity Kappa 60.11CS
  • Coaxial speakers – Alpine SPR-60 Type-R and Pioneer TS-A1676R

Component car speakers involve multiple components in order to form the speaker system. These components include a 6.5 inch woofer cone, tweeter and external crossover but can include much more depending upon the budget.

The alternative coaxial car speakers use the same 6.5 inch woofer but the tweeter is included and bridged across the center. They will also have a crossover but this will be in the form of a basic capacitor.

You may find that both these speaker types may be either 2 way or 3 way setups. The number refers to the amount of drivers that the speaker has but the more drivers doesn’t necessarily mean it is the better speaker.

Frequency Range

The range of the frequency determines the sound quality and how it is directed inside of your car. By adjusting the frequency of the speakers, you will be able to increase the effect of the sound. Tweeters function as a means of creating high directional and high-frequency sounds and if they are aimed at the correct angle, you will not have a good all round audio experience.

Using crossovers allows for an even distribution of the frequencies between the woofer and the tweeter. This results in power that isn’t wasted between the speakers because frequencies aren’t reproduced by units in the system that aren’t meant to handle those sounds.

These crossovers also include bi-amping which allows the system to have separate sound amplification for both the woofer and tweeter. This type of design is used for high-performance systems when they are installed.

Power Handling – RMS & Peak Power

When we discuss variables such as power handling, it refers to the amount of power that a speaker can handle. In terms of the difference, RMS (Root Mean Square) is the amount of continuous power the speaker can handle. Whereas peak power is the maximum power that the speaker can handle in short intervals.

In terms of peak power, this rating is usually achieved via a heavy hitting bass note and many manufacturers try to impress potential buyers with this rating. However, we strongly recommend that you base your buying decision upon the RMS rating, as this will provide a better indication of the quality of the speaker.

You may also want to invest into a quality car amp to ensure the RMS can be achieved for optimum sound quality. For further information, you can check out Sonic Electronix’s detailed comparison on RMS and peak power.

best 6.5 speakers

Impedance

Impedance is the amount of resistance that the speaker has when when the current and voltage is sent to it. Less resistance means that more electrical signal will get through to the speaker. It is best to check the impedance range of a speaker when connecting it to an amplifier. Not all amplifiers are set to work with the same impedance.

Impedance is measured in “Ohm” but you may also see the symbol Ω when mentioned in the specification of a car speaker.

Speaker Sensitivity

The measurement of speaker sensitivity concentrates on the amount of sound a speaker can yield when power is applied to the unit. Low power systems are ranked at a level that’s 15 watts RMS per channel or lower.

These types of speakers do well with high sensitivity rating that range in 90 dB. If your system is high powered, such as 16 watts RMS or higher, then you are going to need speakers with a low sensitivity rating.

Speaker Material

The material of the speaker also plays an important part in the quality of the sound. Woofer materials are stiff yet lightweight in nature and are made from a synthetic material like polypropylene. Speakers with woven fabrics or metal coated synthetics are also used and can do well with a wide variation in temperature and moisture.

Tweeter materials are soft like poly, silk or textile blends which makes the sound more refined. Surround materials on woofers allow for free movement of the cone giving a much deeper bass sound. The material that’s used is rubber based and provides excellent longevity, quality and performance. Less expensive surround materials found on cheap car speakers include foam and cloth.

best car audio speakers

Connection and Cabling

Having the best car speakers, woofers, tweeters and any other component won’t matter if the devices aren’t wired correctly. The flow of electricity throughout the unit must be even and balanced in order to avoid problems with the audio system.

Amplifiers function as a means to provide electrical pressure to a circuit. OHMS are used when measuring resistance against the electrical pressure of the audio system. Watts are used to check the range of how much power will be released. Voice coils are used to create the electrical resistance and perform the duties of the system.

Problems can happen when the amplifier provides more power to the system than needed because of incorrect impedance adjustments. This causes the amplifier to shut down because of overheating.

Consider the outcome of the available amplifier wiring options that changes the level of impedance because of the cross connection of multiple sub systems and voice coils. Use dual voice coils to increase wiring options when setting up an audio system. Use RMS ratings to determine the power output needed for the amplifier to attain adequate sound quality for the system.

How Do You Install Car Speakers?

Installing car speakers is not always as easy as “plug-in and play”. For starters, you must be sure your current audio setup is able to work with the speakers as some have limited channels from the stereo or the amplifier is not able to cope.

To install car speakers, use the following steps:

  1. Check the dimensions of the speaker
  2. Disconnect the battery
  3. Remove the grill or door card
  4. Disconnect the old speaker from the harness
  5. Install the new harness and connect the speaker
  6. Test the speakers
  7. Put everything back together

This installation steps above are for a very basic setup and will follow closely to a straight OEM speaker replacement. However, many car audio enthusiasts may choose a custom setup for more bass and extra sound quality as per the image below. Follow this guide if you need a complete guide to installing the speakers.

best car speakers for sound quality

What Size Car Audio Speakers Fits?

When you are deciding to install new speakers into your car, you need to make sure that they can fit. All the work will be for nothing if the speakers are not the correct size and you will have to cut into your door card in order to make them work.

The majority of car speakers are a standard size unless you go for something very custom. Below are some of the standard sizes for most car speakers:

  1. 6×9 car speakers – 6 x 9 inches
  2. 6.5 car speakers – Most common speaker at 6.5 inches
  3. Subwoofers – Between 8 and 15 inches
  4. Tweeters – Between 1 and 2 inches

Size and style play a large part when it comes to quality and sound in a car. The most popular upgrade is replacing the 6.5 speakers to a more powerful alternative for additional bass and sound quality.

Speakers come in a range of sizes and if you are willing to perform a little bit of DIY, the sound inside your car can be as crazy as you want. In terms of the DIY, it will involve a custom mounting bracket for the speaker and cutting into the door card.

Conclusion

Hopefully the detailed buying guide and car speaker recommendations will aid your buying decision in the correct way. Before you go straight into purchasing your new car speakers, you may want to be sure your double din head unit or single din head unit is able to support the speakers. Outputs at the back of many stereo systems are different and won’t allow for certain car speaker setups.

For those that require serious power to perform to its maximum abilities, you may want to check out some car audio batteries. All of our recommendations are suited to a range of budgets and are all 6.5 speakers, which are a direct replacement.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always like to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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