Best 6.5 Speakers - Upgrade Your Car Audio Equipment
Today, we've prepared an article for all car audio enthusiasts out there!
Let's be real - the factory car audio system cannot satisfy audiophiles who enjoy the high-end sound, high volumes, and good bass. Luckily, there's plenty of excellent ways to upgrade your system, arming you with the full range of sound and frequencies that you deserve.
So, you've decided that 6.5 speakers are the correct size for your car - what now?
As usual, we're there to aid you in the process of finding the right model of speakers for you. After performing a gauntlet of tests, we've singled out the best 6.5 speakers to support your car audio system.
Let's get right into reviews!
In a hurry? After 30 Hours of Research (and driving), We Recommend:
Why it is better?
Last Updated: February 2023
By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best 6.5 speakers available for those who are interested in having high quality sound in their vehicle. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best 6.5 speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Best Subwoofers Under $200 – Comparison Table
KICKER CS Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Car Audio Speaker
Mounting Depth: 2- 3/8"
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5" Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speakers
Mounting Depth: 2-3/16"
45/90 watts each
Polk DB652 UltraMarine Dynamic Balance Coaxial Speakers, 6.5" - Pair
Mounting Depth: 2-5/8"
Pioneer TS-F1634R 6.5" 200W 2-Way Speakers
Mounting Depth: 1-5/8"
JBL GX602 180W 6.5" 2-Way GX Series Coaxial Car Loudspeakers
Mounting Depth: 2.06"
Infinity Kappa 62IX 6.5" Coaxial Speaker System
Mounting Depth: 2-1/16"
Pioneer TS-A1680F 6. 5" 4-Way 350 Watt Coaxial Car Speakers
Mounting Depth: 2- 3/8"
Skar Audio FSX65-4 300-Watt 6.5-Inch 4 Ohm MID-Range Loudspeakers - 2 Speakers
Mounting Depth: 2.26"
Best 6.5 Car Speakers: Detailed Reviews
Firstly, we were browsing for the best car speakers that seem to match their price tag and quality. Those 6.5 car speakers that made it through the first round were given in-depth testing in real-life conditions.
After all of that, we've curated the 6.5 car speakers list with reviews of the best products to replace your factory speakers.
The reviews below are all presented without any pink-colored eyeglasses, based on what our trained ear has caught during the testing period.
1. KICKER CS Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Audio Speakers
- BEST OVERALL -
Our Rating: 96/100
Kicker is a company with a reputation for high-quality audio equipment. Thus, we weren't surprised when their 6.5-inch speakers made it to the top of our list in the "best speaker for car" category.
This is arguably the best pair of 6.5 speakers we've reviewed, delivering the impeccable sound quality and high-frequency power handling.
Combine the fantastic performance and features with the affordable price tag, and you've got one of the best in-car speakers you can buy.
Although the cones seem a bit larger than your regular 6.5-inch speaker, we can assure you that the size of the unit is true to the description, and it will fit holes in your car.
The cone is injected with water-resistant carbon and surrounded by the elastic polymer addition, increasing its durability. Nice yellow accents in the middle cannot go without a mention. You will also get two grilles, but in all honesty, the product looks better without them.
These speakers were simply designed to provide both aesthetics and unparalleled sound quality.
Worrying whether your not-so-powerful car wiring in the car can support these speakers?
Due to the low ohm impedance of three-ohm speakers, they'll make the maximum of every watt in your car audio equipment.
The RMS power handling of each speaker is 150 watts per speaker, totaling 300 watts peak power. To get the most of the speakers, we recommend getting an amp, but it's not a must. They will still sound great instead of any set of stock speakers you've previously owned.
Patented Neodymium Magnet tweeters make sure that the sound goes to the direction of you, no matter the angle of placement.
Our Rating: 91/100
The Rockford Fosgate 3-way 6.5 speakers are one of the best car speakers you can buy right now.
It delivers robust deep bass, crisp vocals, and the full range with enough RMS power to be heard over the wind you open your car windows.
The manufacturer opted for a unique design of this car speaker, although it does not come to the surface until you remove the grill.
Moreover, these 6.5-inch speakers come with all the required mounting hardware, which makes it easy to install.
The famous silk dome Piezo tweeter and midrange outstanding build quality make these car speakers a real bargain.
Piezo technology is carefully implemented in the Rockford Fosgate design, and the bolt rib pattern on the cone increases the resistance. These are the kind of thoughtful details that we like to see.
Now, a seasoned car audio enthusiast may use silk dome pole Piezo tweeters with crossovers to increase the power handling by altering the frequency ranges, but these produce highs and lows equally good. The woofer cone material is polypropylene with polyester foam surround.
These 3-way speakers work great with 60 watts of recommended power and at a high-frequency response of 20,000 Hz. Power handling of 45 watts (90 watts maximum power) is okay - we've seen better, and we've seen worse.
Bass lovers, this one's for you.
The Marine-certified Polk Audio made it to our reviews because of some quite impressive specs and features.
Its price range is high up, but that's something to expect considering the quality and how well it fits in all cars, car radio, and door components. Plus, this product comes in a pair of two 6.5-inch speakers!
The polypropylene woofer cones are long-lasting and sturdy, but what may earn your vote are the removable sport grilles that can probably withstand a lifetime of abuse.
The speakers come with all the necessary mounting brackets and the heat-resistant voice coil wire for a trouble-free installation process.
And now, let's go over the booming sound these 6.5 speakers pump out of their attractive frame.
On top of offering quality sound at both ultra-high and ultra-low frequency, this high-end 6.5 car speaker can pride itself on 300 watts. And we're not talking about 300 watts for the pair - that's the RMS power per speaker!
It produces more power than speakers twice the size, with robust vocals and strong bass.
To get the most of that RMS power, we suggest using it with amplifiers with 80-90 watts per channel.
With 92 dB sensitivity, this speaker will adapt to just about any of your favorite music genres on the fly without sound distortion.
Did we mention the 22k power handling?
While the speakers are more expensive than some others on the list, they are worth the premium. You're getting multiple key features, like bass control, that isn't that common nowadays.
You'll pay for the quality, and as a reward, you'll get excellent sound overall.
Our Rating: 84/100
Our next pick, the Pioneer TS F1634R 6.5 car speakers are the best for folks shopping on a budget.
The Pioneer band name is huge amongst competitors on the market for a good reason - they maintain the course of making top-notch audio devices at a budget-friendly price.
The simple and elegant design features silver and black color scheme with added gloss.
Almost all of the Pioneers have the recognizable element of style - Mica Matrix cone with elastic polymer surround. They make a world of difference not only for a good fit in any car door but also for the sound quality.
They have standard coil wire, and the dome protrudes just about 1 inch from the back of the mounting speaker basket.
If you hook the dome tweeter with straight wires, you'll need a crossover to protect it.
If we were asked to describe this product in a phrase, we'd say "big bass on a budget."
From our experience, these audio speakers easily overpower the ambient noise of vehicle vibrations, with Neodymium magnets that enable excellent peak power. The whole system is loud, considering that it cranks out 200 watts.
Although the sound is not that crisp or detailed as our top pick, high frequencies at the 4-ohm impedance and two-way setup are satisfactory. It goes without saying that it will crash any stock stereo speaker performance.
The 2-way setup does not enable more separation of the frequency scale, so if you prefer the 3-way solution, check out some other speakers.
The next 6.5-inch speaker on our list can seamlessly blend into your car door, but it's much more than part of the interior.
As usual, JBL has managed to pack a bunch of top-class features into an affordable unit sold as a pair.
The housing of these speakers consists of polypropylene cone, rubber surround, and balanced dome tweeter with a mounting depth of 2.06 inches. They are solidly built, don't you agree?
Based on our experience, this set will ward off against dust, heat, cold, or water.
In addition to the standard black color scheme, the manufacturers tossed in an orange detail in the middle of the cone. If you have an affinity for speakers that manage to hit just the right balance between elegant and sporty, get these for your car.
With big bass and full vocals, these speakers are a steal for a mid-range price tag.
For starters, the frequency range this car speakers deliver is nothing short of amazing.
Regardless of whether you funnel in your own music from your phone or decide to go with FM frequencies, you can play pretty much any genre on these speakers. They produce bass-heavy sound with resonant crispness.
The biggest knock on them? To our surprise, the installation was complicated. You probably want to recruit someone to help you along the way.
If that's not a deal-breaker to you, the power and sensitivity of the speaker are great for the price. They make for an excellent replacement of your factory speaker and upgrade to your stereo system.
Our Rating: 88/100
The Infinity Kappa are one of the best 6.5 car speakers for their great sound output and power rating.
Hungry for more information? Here are the highlight features:
If you're one of the vehicle owners who subscribe to the "fancy cone woofers" school of speaker design, you'll enjoy these speakers.
Their glass hybrid fiber cone is futuristic and refreshing, but, more importantly, contains the travel-ready ruggedness.
Is it temperature and weather-resistant? Yes.
It can survive water, heat, and dust, making it perfect for your next road trip without worrying about additional factors.
Its modern design is not all. On the inside, Infinity has packed these with features that account for a spectacular sound.
High output with 2.5-ohm low impedance voice coils brings out the most from the amplifiers and attains peak power with ease.
But it's advantages do not stop there.
The handling RMS for each speaker is 75 watts. They can get louder than many speakers in this range.
We mostly used it with 50-watt amplifiers, and it had plenty of peak power. Anything over 75 watts would be an overkill.
It produces a balanced mix of bass and treble. The only thing that keeps them from providing a No. 1 experience is the resonant vocals that they lack.
Last but not least, let's consider the cost. Their price tag is a bit high, but it's due to their toughness, rubber details, and excellent housing. If you have the money to invest, go for it!
All the speakers on this list deliver excellent audio quality, but the second Pioneer entry has the best power input with 350 watts.
This upgrade of the earlier Pioneer TSA1676r speakers, A1680F, brings some rather exciting features to the table.
It's great for playing all genres of music and packs a lot under its attractive surface.
These monsters of rock in the category of car speakers feature polyethylene dome tweeter and cone midrange, with the Mica reinforced polypropylene cone finish. These cones feature wider audio dispersion than usual.
Overall, the construction is synonymous with sturdiness. After all, they come from Pioneer, and their products are built to last. You can rest assured that this system will serve you for a long time to come.
Multi-fit installation adapters are included in the purchase, and they make the installation a breeze.
Armed with 350 watts of max power (80 watts nominal), these speakers offer the best sound with a 4-way full-range car audio experience.
Keep in mind that all of that power will cost you. While they will lighten your wallet faster than some other speakers, if you're in for premium audio quality at high volume, go for it.
One of the unique things about these 6.5-inch speakers is that they can be used with your smartphone when you install Pioneer's Car Sound Fit App. It simulates sound so that you can tweak your settings in the best way possible.
Need speakers with balanced dome tweeters and wide frequency response? The Skar Audio FSX65 will fit the bill.
Learn why these might be a perfect fit for your high-powered OEM replacements as you hit the road next time.
Rocking a characteristic circular appearance for car speakers, with beautiful woofer cone design and a dome tweeter inside, the Skar Audio FSX65 does not fail to amaze.
Relatively low mounting depth (about 2 inches) is extremely well-optimized for all mounting holes.
The choice of materials is such that it can withstand a lot of spills and splashes. Add copper voice coil on top of that, and you have the ultimate durable coaxial speakers.
When it comes to audio performance, these speakers are capable of operating very efficiently at loud volumes.
It aptly handled all the sounds we've thrown at it, from the hip hop and dubstep bass. It isn't too shabby for the guitar distortion of alternative rock, either. What is more, it did it with an incredible degree of precision.
Be aware that these speakers are mostly intended for mid-range frequencies and that they would lose in terms of efficiency if you constantly keep them at highs that they simply cannot achieve. Everything we've said above accounts for mid-range frequency.
The speakers are not terribly expensive, either, so they are an attractive buy for drivers who want to save money for some other vehicle upgrades. Sometimes, all you need is a decent unit to replace your OEM speakers.
Car Speakers Buying Guide: Key Features to Consider
Have you decided it's time for OEM speaker replacement?
If you are after the perfect car audio experience, you are probably knee-deep in internet rabbit holes full of terms that might be confusing.
With this buying guide, you’ll get all the information about your car sound system to ensure that you get only the best listening experience.
Different Types of Speakers
Your average set of full-range speakers contains a pair of a woofer and a tweeter, with some extra components prepacked as well if you opt for the costlier versions.
These speakers are the best and most reliable bet if you want to replace the old factory stereo in your car.
On the flip side, with component speakers, a more complex situation is opened up. Component speakers do not come prepacked, and they include separate elements that are created to operate together.
This means that your separate components allow for different placements, which will definitely give more depth and richness along with better sound quality.
The next box to tick is of equal importance, and that is the material of construction. Both the sound quality and durability are determined largely by the quality of materials.
The most popular materials utilized in woofer manufacturing are synthetic; most notably, polypropylene mixed with various other materials. The goal of polypropylene cones is to produce a richer bass.
When it comes to sound quality and sound reproduction, the low notes are essential. Therefore, lightweight yet relatively stiff and stable materials, like titanium and aluminum, are more favorable for woofers.
For those warm, high notes and sounds, the attention falls on the tweeter design and material. They necessitate rather soft materials, like silk and various other soft textile fabrics. That's why you saw many silk tweeters on our list.
Materials like metal, graphite, or ceramics produce sturdier and brighter tones of the sound spectrum.
All of these react well when it comes to weather-resistance.
They can stand against cold, or high temperature without a problem. On top of withstanding heat and sun rays, you want your car speakers to be water-resistant.
The surrounding of your speaker set should not be overlooked, either.
For the most reliable ones, turn to rubber surround as it has proven to be the most durable and reliable material. Those cones that are injected with rubber surrounds equal longevity and max power.
When testing speakers at our lab, we look at a number of audio key features.
How bass, highs, and lows sound? What about volume? Is dB sensitivity of the speakers appropriate? That's not even the fifth part of the factors we consider.
But we'll try to keep it brief and informative for you.
These are the main audio features to check:
- Frequency spectrum. Simply put - a high frequency spectrum, or frequency response, will result in better sound quality. The best 6.5 car speaker system can pull off both high frequencies and ultra-low frequencies perfectly.
- RMS rating. Each speaker has a certain number of watts RMS (root mean square). What this translates to is the distance that can sound can travel efficiently. For example, speakers with RMS ratings of 90 watts produce 90 watts of volume 1 meter away from them.
- dB sensitivity. Speaker sensitivity determines how loud your speakers are. Everything above 88 dB is excellent, while we managed to even find some speakers with over 90 dB.
Dealing with crossovers, one of the things that you should definitely have your mind firmly set on if you plan on muscling out a high-end sound system is extra input terminals.
Let’s see why one would need to check this: woofers and tweeters should stay in their own lanes and produce their own sounds without trying to compensate for the sound production that the other feature should produce on its own.
Typically, passive crossovers neatly separate the channels between the designated frequencies so that no energy is wasted.
However, there is more to it. Many external crossovers have a few more input terminals, which means that you would have the option of running the woofer and the tweeter separately, not within the same channel of amplification, to your advantage.
Many speakers come with grills, and nowadays, manufacturers are getting more and more innovative with the designs. If you don't like grills or fabrics of a certain speaker, it's not a problem, as this is more of an aesthetic feature. Grills do not affect the nature of the sound.
A Secret or Two on Tweeters
When you are installing a new set in your car, you should definitely pay attention to pivoting tweeters.
If you are looking for a better soundstage, pivoting tweeters should be in your sight for their outstanding high-frequencies.
Detachable dome tweeters will come in handy when you want to switch vehicles. To be honest, no car stays with you forever, which doesn’t need to apply to a good set of speakers.
If you want to reuse your carefully selected speaker set, detachable tweeters will do you a huge favor as they can easily be reinstalled.
A final piece of advice to complete this buying guide: Trademarks and pricing should not steer you to or from a certain pair of 6.5-inch speakers. Focus on the aforementioned features in order to suit your style and vehicle!
Best 6.5 Car Speakers - FAQ
Q: What are the loudest 6.5 speakers?
A: In terms of loudness and high volumes, you cannot go wrong with the Polk Audio DB652 Dynamic Car Speakers.
This option produces thunderous bass and pumps out the high volume with clear sound. Any music lover will be amazed by its maximum power. If you need something powerful for a party on the road, these will do the job.
Naturally, the logic behind this choice is that more watts produce a louder sound, but it's not just that. You can really hear the difference when you compare these speakers to some others that have the same wattage.
Q: What is the best 6.5-inch subwoofer?
If you want to upgrade your set of coaxial speakers with a subwoofer, our recommendation is the Skar Audio EVL-6.5. It will generate the extra bass that you need. More importantly, it works well with a range of frequencies.
And you may not know this, but that's the most optimal size for a subwoofer because they are more responsive than larger ones.
Q: What are the best car speakers for sound quality?
A: The best 6.5 speakers for the sound quality is something every audiophile needs in their car.
Based on our experience, product testing, and reviews, the KICKER CSC65 Coaxial Car Speakers offer unmatched sound quality, power handling, and bass response.
These speakers are also the best bang for your buck on the car speaker market.
Q: What's better, 6x9 or 6.5 speakers?
A: Size does matter!
For cars, we'd always suggest 6.5 speakers over 6x9 ones. They are easier to fit in, and their cone is basically a perfect match for the vehicle.
Additionally, the shape of 6x9's cone affects bass, resulting in slightly deeper tones, but you should base your buying decision on a complete audio performance - and that's where 6.5 car door speakers win.
Q: Is higher wattage better for car speakers?
A: Yes, it's true that the higher the power (watts), the louder and cleaner the speakers will play. Small differences in power, however, don't make much of an audible change.
After it's all said and done, we recommend:
KICKER CS Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Audio Speaker
Why it is better?
Congratulations; you're ready to say goodbye to your old, worn-out factory speakers. With 6.5 speakers' audio improvements, your next road trip is going to be a hundred times as enjoyable.
These choices will perfectly fit into the interior of every car while you won't miss a beat.
Out of all our recommendations, the KICKER Series CSC65 6.5 Inch Audio Speaker stands out as the best car speaker overall. Its qualities make it an investment worth every penny.
A budget-friendly alternative, the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5 car speakers, also account for incredible sound clarity and build quality.
Do you have some additional questions? Do not hesitate to contact us!