What Are The Best 6.5-Inch Car Speakers? (2020 Edition)
Are you looking to drive in style while enjoying the very best in high quality sound? Tired of listening to the same old tired stereo system that seems to go dull after a few years of usage? Want to pull up to the beach and party with everyone looking your way? Imagine speakers that not only sound great, but are also aesthetically pleasing as well!
We picked five of our favorite 6.5-inch speakers on the market in 2020 that will get the job done for you and come at a great price.
- Buying Factors to Consider
- Coaxial Speakers versus Component Speakers
- Power Handling Rating
- Does Design Matter?
- Why Does Durability Matter?
- Our #1 Choice – Boss Audio Chaos Series 6.5” Speaker
- Our #2 Choice – Rockford Fosgate R165 6.5” Speakers
- Our #3 Choice – JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speaker
- Our #4 Choice – Kicker DSC650 DS Series 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers
- Our #5 Choice – Pioneer TS-F1634R 6.5 Inch 2-Way Speakers
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What Is the Best 6.5 Inch Speaker for Bass?
- How are Car Speaker Sizes Measured?
- Are Two-Way Speakers Good for Bass?
- What Is the Difference Between Two, Three, Four-Way Speakers?
- What Is Mounting Depth?
Buying Factors to Consider
By this point, you might be unsure of which 6.5-inch speakers to choose for your vehicle. You might not even be sure if you need to replace the speakers at all. If you’re still on the fence, let’s help you clear up and questions or concerns you might have about whether or not now is the time to grab yourself some new sound boxes.
When you purchase the best quality aftermarket audio systems, you’re allowing yourself to listen to music in a new light. Vehicle manufacturers don’t often focus on the sound system of your car because they’re too busy focusing on the more critical components like performance and safety.
As a result, sound quality gets thrown to the side, and we understand that.
You’re lucky that you have the opportunity to purchase advanced aftermarket parts from companies that focus on designing and developing products to produce only the best sound for inside your vehicle.
The best part is, these speakers work perfectly with your stock radio, or you have the choice of upgrading the whole sound system for a complete overhaul. The price of a set of 6.5-inch speakers is minimal, so it’s a worthwhile investment for anyone who enjoys listening to great music while they drive.
Now let’s talk about some of the details you’ll want to consider when you are deciding on your final choice for the best 6.5-inch speakers.
Coaxial Speakers versus Component Speakers
It’s essential to understand the difference between these two speakers when making your choice. Coaxial speakers are the most common you’ll find for automotive uses. These are full-range speakers. This factor means they combine both mid-range woofers and tweeters, which provides an overall more powerful sound.
The combination of these two factors is what helps the speakers produce higher highs and lower lows. In terms of sound advantages, there isn’t any. Both speaker types have high-quality products and low-quality products, so it depends more on the brand and quality that you purchase.
The reason why there’s an automotive advantage to coaxial speakers is that they’re bundled into one, which makes them easier to install.
Component speakers come separately with woofers, tweeters, and crossovers. The result is a whole bunch of components that work together to create one sound. While you might be able to generate a more powerful sound with component speakers, you’ll have a hard time installing them unless your Xzibit from “Pimp My Ride.”
Anyway, unless you are an expert or confident in your ability to install aftermarket parts, we would recommend sticking with coaxial speakers because they typically fit right in where your previous speakers were. If they don’t, they only require a small adapter.
Power Handling Rating
We want to keep this point simple and easy to understand. Many manufacturers want to complicate this to try and trick you into thinking that one speaker is better than the other. We’re here to tell you that the power rating isn’t what you think it is.
Many manufacturers will use something called “max power” to show the rating of their speakers without displaying root mean square power output, which refers to the amount of power a speaker can crank out.
To keep it simple, RMS is the loudness of your speaker. It determines how much continuous power the speaker can crank without taking damage or shortening its life. Your max power determines the amount of power it can take in short bursts without blowing out.
There’s a big reason why both of these points matter. Here’s why.
Almost all the speakers you see will have a higher max power than their RMS. This is because the speaker can manage that high volume for a short period of time, but it cannot sustain it over the long-term. What you want is a speaker with a high RMS because it will offer better sound quality at higher volumes and a longer life span.
Does Design Matter?
It depends on whether or not you care about the aesthetics of your vehicle. If you’re all about getting the best sound in your car and you don’t care about having gaps, spaces, or a speaker that doesn’t look right in your vehicle, then, by all means, go ahead with your choice regardless of design.
Most people don’t want to have a speaker that doesn’t fit properly or match the interior design of their vehicle. If that sounds like you, you’ll want to be a bit more picky about which speakers you choose and how you get them into your car.
In addition to the aesthetic design of your speakers, you’ll also want to pay attention to the depth of the speaker enclosures to make sure they’ll fit.
One cool new feature on Amazon is you can check to see if they’re compatible with the make and model of your car. This doesn’t work for all of them, but it’s an added bonus of shopping on Amazon, in addition to the two-day shipping, of course.
To determine the durability of your speakers, the first thing we want to look at is the materials. Your speakers have many different parts that have to work perfectly together to produce a high-quality sound. If one small thing isn’t functioning correctly, it will throw off the sound quality.
The woofers usually consist of a small piece of stiff polypropylene. Inside that is a section of reinforced metal or aluminum to hold everything together.
On the other hand, tweeters are soft materials made from silks and ceramics. On the back and sides of the speaker is your surrounds, which is surprisingly one of the most essential parts of the entire speaker.
The interior of the speaker is what produces the sound, but as we’ve said, there are a lot of things along the way that can screw up the sound quality. You could have the best woofer and tweeter on the planet, but if your surround isn’t great, you won’t have a good speaker.
The surround is responsible for absorbing and vibrations or environmental factors that may influence the quality of the sound. For this reason, these usually have rubber and cloth on them to help any vibrations bounce off the speaker.
Why Does Durability Matter?
As with everything else in your car, it gets exposed to elements of heat, cold, wind, rain, dust, dirt, and more. You need to ensure that your speakers will last long enough to become an investment in your car.
In addition to environmental factors, there are also constant vibrations that will impact the quality of your sound and shorten the life of your speakers.
You’ll often find IP or Ingress Protection ratings on speakers. These ratings refer to the marine certified durability of the speaker. The higher the rating, the more protection you have from the elements. Ideally, anything between 61 and 64 will protect against all forms of water damage.
Compare The Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers
Our #1 Choice – Boss Audio Chaos Series 6.5” Speaker
Looking mean in red and black, these 6.5-inchers from Boss Audio are certainly not a case of form over function. With adequate power handling and solid sensitivity, you’ll get a powerful sound that’s also beautifully clear. Perhaps the best thing about these speakers is the ultra-low price. If you act now, they are available at an aggressive discount.
- Power handling more than fit for purpose
- Components built to take heavy punishment
- Very easy to install
- Design might not be to everyone’s taste
If you’re on the trail of a subtle pair of speakers, click away. If, on the other hand, you like something that makes a real statement, both visually and on the audio front, the Boss Audio 6.5-inchers deserve a place on your shortlist.
From a respectable bass right though mids and high-range frequencies, the sound is clean and punchy.
Build is dependable and these speakers will last many years if properly cared for.
Already priced competitively, if you act quickly you can snap up these speakers at an incredible discount leaving you with some spare cash to consider investing in a subwoofer or amp.
Our #2 Choice – Rockford Fosgate R165 6.5” Speakers
Rockford Fosgate specializes in serving up first-class car audio at anything but first-class prices. While power handling could be slightly better and low-range frequencies improved, these are minor gripes set against the crisp and undistorted sound you’ll enjoy with a set of the R165s installed.
- Fantastic value for money
- Unrivaled brand heritage
- Extremely dependable speakers built to last
- Disappointing bass
Rockford Fosgate delivers another winner in the form of these 6.5” speakers perfect if you’re looking to improve your stock system.
A stamped steel basket helps out with low-end frequencies although we’d like to see a bit more oomph from the bass.
Grilles, crossovers and all mounting hardware are included so you’re good to go straight out the box. These speakers are suitable for the beginner and audio enthusiast alike.
The silk dome pole and Piezo tweeter give you all you need by the way of mids and highs for a rich overall sound experience.
Our #3 Choice – JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speaker
These 6.5-inch speakers have carbon injected plus one cones that are larger than the standard for their size class. What this means for the listener is more air and, ultimately, more bass.
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- Easy to install
- Fits a variety of vehicles
- Reputable brand
- Tuning the equalizer makes them sound even better
- Concerns over lifespan
The mounting dimensions on these speakers are 5-1/16 inches, and the mounting depth is two inches. They come in a set of two.
They use a patented UniPivot tweeter that allows you to aim the sound towards the direction of your ears even when the speakers are mounted far below you. This feature provides a more lifelike sound and overall better sound quality throughout the vehicle.
The dual-level tweeter volume adjuster allows you to compensate for less than perfect speaker placement as well. You can set it based on your musical preferences and tastes.
Many of today’s cars feature undersized wires, which makes it challenging to get the power you want from your speakers. These JBL speakers accommodate for that with low impedance and three ohms to make sure you make use of every watt your car provides to you.
Based on the reviews from customers of this product, we’ve decided that the online community well recommends it. Most people who purchased these speakers say they made a great choice, they were easy to install, and it sounds like they have a subwoofer in the front of their car. Overall, a solid choice.
Our #4 Choice – Kicker DSC650 DS Series 6.5 Inch Coaxial Speakers
These speakers provide great sound, and they use a zero-protrusion tweeter with a low-profile speaker, so they easily fit more vehicles than your standard aftermarket speaker.
- Easy to install
- A great substitute for factory speakers
- Doesn’t provide as great of a sound as some others
If you’re tired of the worn-out factory speakers in your car, you might elect to get these from Kicker. They make an excellent choice for a variety of reasons.
They’re 6.5 inches and offer a two-way design that creates dynamic sound while still sending lower frequencies to the polypropylene woofer. The combination of these two factors greats high volume with low-powered factory radios, so you’ll have no problem cranking these up.
Inside the box, you’ll find a set of two speakers with two grills and all the wiring and hardware you need to install them. They also include a helpful owner manual to walk you through the steps of setting them up and installing.
What a lot of people don’t understand about 6.5-inch speakers is that they’re not designed to create a deep bass sound. What they’re here to do is help with the static. One customer did say that they take a bit of time to break-in, and after a month or so, you’ll notice some development with the bass.
Our #5 Choice – Pioneer TS-F1634R 6.5 Inch 2-Way Speakers
These speakers from Pioneer come with a convex damper that offers higher power handling and deeper bass for a 6.5-inch speaker. The balanced dome tweeter comes with a ferrite magnet to create better highs and overall improved performance.
- Solid all-around design
- Strong and durable
- Comes with speaker grilles
- Lacking bass
These speakers offer a two-way design that handles up to 250 watts of max power. They feature Pioneer’s durable and lightweight composite cone woofer, which is said to improve the sensitivity of the speakers while reducing the distortion.
This factor is crucial to us because we find this is the problem a lot of the time. Many companies will use pressed paper cones, which don’t hold up over time and start to create a slight rattling and distortion from the speakers. You won’t have to deal with that with these speakers from Pioneer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Everyone has questions, so you need answers to these questions. Here are some of the most popular issues surrounding 6.5-inch car speakers.
What Is the Best 6.5 Inch Speaker for Bass?
The unfortunate answer to this question is that none of your 6.5-inch speakers get optimized for bass. While some do have a high-quality bass sound, they don’t exist with this purpose in mind. These are usually smaller and more affordable speakers that fit into a variety of different vehicles. They don’t have the power to produce a heavy bass, but if we had to recommend one, we would say the Kicker Coaxial speaker we reviewed previously.
How are Car Speaker Sizes Measured?
The measurement of a car speaker is the diagonal length of the speaker frame. You would start by measuring from one hole on the frame to the speaker on the other diagonal end. Most speakers have four holes, so you would choose which hole and then pick the one diagonal from it. That is how you would determine the circumference of the speaker.
Are Two-Way Speakers Good for Bass?
The speakers that produce the best bass are dedicated, low-frequency range speakers. These produce the best bass because they provide better lows. Two-way speakers don’t typically offer the best bass because they don’t have the frequency range that a three or four-way speaker has.
If you’re interested in a speaker that provides the best possible bass, you would want to choose a four or five-way speaker instead.
What Is the Difference Between Two, Three, Four-Way Speakers?
A two-way speaker is also known as a coaxial speaker, which is what makes up most of the 6.5-inch speakers we reviewed above. They include a woofer and a tweeter, but they don’t offer a mid-range.
Three-way speakers are also called triaxial speakers, and they have a woofer, tweeter, and mid-range. This extra part allows the speakers to produce a more extensive frequency range, which results in a more natural sound.
A four-way speaker offers everything previously mentioned with a bass cone and additional tweeter. The extra tweeter helps produce a better sound, and the bass cone boosts the bass and volume while handling higher frequencies.
What Is Mounting Depth?
To measure mounting depth, you could measure from the speaker’s flange to the base of the magnet. It should be flush with the interior of the door with enough space to allow the speaker to fit. Luckily, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and most 6.5 inch speakers have the same mounting depth with only slight differences, so you shouldn’t have to worry much about this.