Remember how Wilson Pickett’s swag in Mustang Sally sounds like little squeaks from your car speakers? You don’t have to live with that. Music is what makes a long drive memorable. And factory car speakers might be robbing you of this luxury. An affordable upgrade to aftermarket speakers can make a huge difference to your self-exploration trips. In we delved into the market to find you the 10 best budget car speakers that completely transform your car journey at little cost. Billy Joel will sound brokenly fine again in Piano Man for a small price. Poets of the Fall will capture the depth of Late Goodbye again. Replacement car speakers also come in handy when the original speakers blow.
- 1 How do I select the right car speaker for me?
- 2 Which are the best budget car speakers?
- 3 TOP 10 BEST BUDGET CAR SPEAKERS IN 2017 – CHART
- 4 1. Rockford Fosgate R14X2 Prime Full Range Coaxial Speaker
- 5 2. Pyle PL63BL 6.5-Inch 360-Watt 3-Way Speakers
- 6 3. Pioneer TS-A1676R 6.5-Inch 3-Way Speaker Pair
- 7 4. BOSS Audio CH6530 300 Watt
- 8 5. Kenwood KFC-1665S 300-Watt 6.5-Inch 2-Way Sport Series Flush Mount Coaxial Speakers
- 9 6. Kicker DS65 6.5″ Coax Speakers
- 10 7. JVC CS-J620 300W 6.5″ CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers
- 11 8. BOSS Audio NX654 400 Watt (Per Pair), 6.5 Inch, Full Range, 4 Way Car Speakers
- 12 9. Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime 6 x 9 Inch 3-Way Full-Range Coaxial Speaker
- 13 10. Alpine Type-S SPS-410 4″ Coaxial 2-Way Car Audio Speakers
How do I select the right car speaker for me?
There are some key items to consider before you purchase budget car speakers. Here’s a comprehensive check list:
Type: There are two types of car speakers systems to choose from:
- Coaxial car speakers/ Full range speakers: Such speakers usually produce the full range of frequencies in audio using woofer for lows and tweeter for highs. And these two drivers are mounted coaxially. Such 2-driver systems are called 2-way speakers. Some higher-end coaxial speakers may also pack a separate driver for midrange called supertweeters. They are called 3-way speakers.
Full range speakers are easier to install. They require no special cables. They are more affordable and still provide better audio than normal factory speakers. They make an excellent replacement when the original car speaker goes kaput.
- Component speakers: These car speakers come with their components separate i.e. woofers, tweeters, crossover circuits are shipped as different components. You can place them around the car for the best sound imaging based on your taste. By positioning the drivers, you can make them feel more “live”. They give the audio better depth and make the listening more realistic.
Component speakers are of better quality than coaxial speakers. But they are also pricier, more complex to install. Repairing them will again cost more than full-range speakers.
Speaker size: Speakers come in standard or custom sizes. You need to check whether they fit the void left in your car or not. You can either measure the current speakers before you go shopping. Or you can shop based on the make, model and year of the car. E-commerce websites have made this process easier. At the top of the product, you can enter the make, model and year and know instantly whether it will fit the car.
Sensitivity: Measured in dB, sensitivity indicates the speaker’s loudness. Higher the sensitivity, the better. Sensitivity at 90dB and above is considered excellent. Budget car speakers may range from 85dB – 90dB. While comparing sensitivity rating, it’s important to see whether it’s measured in a room environment or a non-echo environment. The sensitivity rating at the room environment would be 2-3dB higher than non-echo environment for the same speaker.
Power Handling: This is a measure of how much power the car speaker can handle without being damaged. It is measured in Watts(W). You may either compare peak rating or RMS rating, the latter being more reliable. RMS rating is the continuous output the car speaker can give without damage. Peak rating is the maximum power rating it can handle for an instant.
Driver materials: The materials with which different components of the car speakers are made make a difference to the sound. Here’s a short comparison.
- Woofer material: To reproduce the low frequencies convincingly, woofer material should be stiff and light. Most woofers rely on polypropylene films. An addition of mica may enhance stiffness and improve the accuracy of bass. Synthetic material coated with metals like aluminum or titanium is excellent. So are woven fabric films.
- Surround materials: This material goes around the woofer cone. It should allow the cone to move smoothly but also stand against temperature and other natural elements. Rubber is the best choice.
- Tweeter material: Tweeters produce the high frequencies and require soft supple materials. Popular choices are silk and textile blends. If you are a treblehead go for harder materials like metal, ceramics and graphite.
Which are the best budget car speakers?
We scoured the market for the best budget car speakers which satisfied the following parameters:
Sound Quality: The main reason for upgrading to aftermarket car speakers. With affordable speakers, we cranked up the volume and checked how far the bass stretched without distorting. Any crackling sound with moderately high volume and in they went to the dustbin. Bass makes the audio fun so we ensured it was powerful. We also checked that the midrange sounded pleasant and the high weren’t sibilant.
Loudness: You need to hear the audio over the engine noise and the road noise. This is especially important while getting GPS directions. We checked the sensitivity of the speakers and saw that they lived up to the claim. We ensured that they have reasonable bass component to sound solid over the noise. Low-quality bass may sound tinny over noise.
Fitment option: We picked up the best budget car speakers which were available in different sizes and would fit a large range of vehicles. These have easy assembly steps so you can make a DIY project out of it.
Price: We went looking for the affordable car speakers. We aimed for a nice balance of quality against price. We checked the value that these speakers bring for money. The higher the ratio of value against price, the higher they rank.
TOP 10 BEST BUDGET CAR SPEAKERS IN 2017 – CHART
The Rockford Fosgate R14X2 are the most money-efficient car speakers for the price. They come in a whole range of sizes so they can fit all shapes and sizes. These 2-way speakers pump enough power to blare over the noise of an old Chevy. Their well thought-out kit makes assembly a cakewalk. The all-round set up finds a top place in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Rockford Fosgate R14X2 series car speakers are 2-way systems with a woofer and tweeter each. We found them in sizes 4 inches, 5.25 inches, 6 x 8 inches, 6.5 inches and 6.75 inches. The 4-inch speaker pumps 30 Watts RMS power, while the 6.5-inch one is rated at 45W RMS. This comes as full kit with two speakers, two grilles, two 15’ speaker wires, eight 1.25” screws and 8 speed clips. The tips of the wires are tinned and can be connected directly to the existing wire setup in the car.
These budget car speakers pack a woofer with vacuum propylene cone. The surround material is the coveted rubber. The speaker is set in stamped steel basket. The silk dome tweeter is flush mounted coaxially. The crossover circuit required to split frequencies into low and high frequencies is integrated into the circuit. The top mount depth for the 4-inch speaker is 1-11/16”. The screw holes on the frame sit 6.5 inches apart diagonally. Rockford offers a one-year standard warranty on them.
The Rockford Fosgate R14X2 car speakers have a sensitivity rating of 85dB. They have a weighty bass that rocks the classics like Gasolina. The bass has decent clarity. At the uppity up volume you get a slight muddiness. But it’s the kind of bass that casual bassheads would like. The highs are smooth and detailed. Those who liked the laid-back taste of bass will like these speakers. The audio is clean and you can hear the vocals clearly over the engine noise.
These are an excellent bargain and show a definite improvement over factory speakers at a small price. That’s the very definition of our budget car speakers.
- Multiple standard size
- Ready-to-install kit
- One-year warranty
- 85dB for sensitivity
- Good bass and clean audio
- Bass could get slightly muddy
The Pyle PL63BL car speakers are a popular choice amongst those on a shoestring budget. These 3-way speakers boast of a dream spec. They might not be as a mystically great but they are good replacement for the factory car speakers. They have a number of size and design choices. Their small price earns them a high place in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Pyle PL63BL car speakers look like a million bucks. These have blue poly injection cone that shine through when the grilles are off. These are available in sizes 4” x 6”, 4”, 5.25”, 6” x 9” and 6.5 “. You get 2-way, 3-way and 4-way versions in each size. We picked the 6.5-inch speakers of 3-way model to investigate. These are rated at 180W RMS power and 360W peak power. There are choices of maximum power ranging from 180W to 400W to choose from in this model. We love the models where you get custom options in size and power rating.
You can see the midrange driver and tweeter mounted coaxially on the woofer. These affordable car speakers use a non-fatiguing butyl rubber surround. They have a 1” neodymium film dome midrange. The highs are handled by the ¾” piezo tweeter. They come with grilles, wires and mounting materials. A 1” high temperature ASV voice coil powers the sound. The mounting depth goes 1.9 inches. The grille is black plastic mesh. The blue of the surround is not visible through it though.
The Pyle PL63BL car speakers are for the people who like a balanced sound. These are the anti-thesis of Rockford Fosgate R14X2 which favor bass. People who like classical music, rock and jazz will love the natural audio of the PL63BL. These are rated at 89dB for sensitivity. The audio is clear and crisp. They sound as good as or slightly better than the factory speakers. The midrange driver plays vocals without any hesitation and clear articulation. So the words sound clear and you can sing along.
- Choice of size and configuration
- Balanced audio with straight bass
- 89 for sensitivity
- Bass doesn’t sound great at high volumes
Pioneer TS-A1676R car speakers bring reliable build and excellent audio performance to the table. Coming from the Pioneer of audio these have a good hold on designing quality audio signatures taking into account the movement of the car. The choice of sizes and output powers show that Pioneer knows their audio well. These shoot straight to the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Pioneer TS-A1676R car speakers are slightly pricier than our previous two choices. But this show clearly in their built quality and design. These look smart with their smooth charcoal black finish and partial grille with silver highlights. They are available in sizes 4”X 6”, 5.25”, 6” x 8”, 6” x 9” and 6.5”. You get to choose between 3-way, 4-way and 5-way systems. We selected the 6.5” model for review. This shows an RMS power handling of 50W and a maximum power handling of 320W. You get models ranging from 200W to 600W peak power handling.
These affordable car speakers have a multilayer mica matrix cone with elastic polymer surround in the woofer. The midrange driver holds a 1-5/8” paper cone. Accompanying these two is a 3/8” PET dome tweeter. The top mount depth goes to 1.75”. The diagonal distance between the screws is 5-5/8”. These come with 2 grilles, two 12” speaker wire, eight ¾” self-tapping screws and speed clips. They offer a 1-year warranty.
The Pioneer TS-A1676R car speakers are rated at a full 90dB sensitivity. With these you will see a marked upgrade from your factory car speakers. They go for a balanced audio signature. The bass is punchy and clear. There’s no distortion at high volumes. The details of vocals and guitars shine through midrange driver. The highs are smooth and without any sibilance. The frequency response extends from 32Hz and upwards compared to the cheaper speakers which start at 100Hz and overcompensate with boomy bass. The advantage with A1675R is that you can hear bass even at low volumes.
- Handsome design
- Balanced and detailed audio
- One-year warranty
- 90dB for sensitivity
- Sound much better with an amp and subs
Boss Audio CH6530 car speakers are for those who like to wear their music on their sleeves. Their daring design apart, they bring a healthy share of bass for those who rock to EDM on their travels. With the gutsy audio and stylish looks they’ll go with a flashy vehicle. These ride down the high road to the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Boss Audio CH6530 car speakers look attractive with their red surround set in a black background. The shiny surface is only partially obscured by the grille which is partly mesh and partly plastic cutouts. These come in 6.5-inch size with maximum power ranging from 200W to 300W. We picked the latter with 150W RMS. The mounting depth comes up to 2.125”. Because they are coaxial their assembly is a simple process.
These are 3-way budget car speakers with a woofer, midrange and tweeter drivers. These have a poly injection woofer cone. The surround is made of rubber. The voice coil is made of temperature-resistant 1-inch aluminum voice coil. It is combined with a polyimide dome midrange driver. A Mylar tweeter efficiently handles the highs and is much more durable than paper cone… All of them are set together in a stamped basket.
The Boss Audio CH6530 car speakers are rated at 90 dB sensitivity. These get loud and raucous. The bass pumps hard when the Techno and hip hop songs come along. It also creates a solid base for the classical, jazz and rock genres. It does not get distorted significantly even if you play bass-heavy music. The vocals sound clear at moderate volume. Treble is detailed and smooth. It does not sound sibilant.
These budget speakers will be an upgrade to factory speakers at a very small investment. Boss Audio offers a 3 year platinum online dealer warranty with these.
- Red cone shows through partial grille
- 3-way full-range sound
- Powerful bass
- 90 dB sensitivity
- Needs better quality control
The Kenwood KFC-1665S car speakers are a hoot for the price. These look suave and do not ruin the décor of good-looking cars. But they don’t require a significant investment over the factory car speakers. These offer good bass at moderate volumes, hence their place in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and features
The Kenwood KFC-1665S car speakers are done in a black and grey. These are 2-way speakers with a tweeter mounted coaxially over the woofer. These are 6.5 inch speakers boasting of an RMS power of 30W. They offer a peak power of 300W. The top mount depth comes up to 1.75 inches. The whole arrangement is set up inside a steel basket. This basket has multiple mounting holes that work with 3-hole and 4-hole mounting arrangements. The grille protects it from dust and other environmental features. It feels durable and can withstand the abuse of everyday use.
These budget speakers have a polypropylene woofer with a treated cloth surround. This surround reduces distortion. The voice coil is made of aluminum. A 1” balanced dome tweeter handles the high frequencies. A ferrite magnet lends power to the audio. These speakers are accompanied with 2 grilles, two 12” speakers with female quick slides and bare wire ends, eight 1” self-tapping screws and eight speed clips. A warranty of one year is mentioned. We wish there were more sizes and RMS power choices of these speakers.
The Kenwood KFC-1665S car speakers are an inexpensive replacement for factory car speakers. These play oomphy bass at moderate volumes. The bass is boosted to add color to the audio. There’s not much sub-bass content, so the audio sounds a little hollow at low volumes. The midrange has clear vocals and guitars. The highs are smooth without any harshness. The bass gets distorted at the highest volumes but you are unlikely to crank up the volume that high. The sensitivity and RMS rating ensures these get loud enough.
- Elegant design
- 92W sensitivity
- Bass loses some power at very low volumes
The Kicker DS65 car speakers are charming accessories for your car décor. They are one of the pricier sets on the list bit their audio speaks for them. These are quality speakers with equal focus on the full range of frequencies. They are also highly durable, lasting for years without the pain of repair. These earn a trusty place in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Kicker DS65 car speakers have a wheel hubcap design. The grille is not a usual mesh grille but a partial cover with spokes. These are 6.5-inch 2-way coaxial speakers. We wish these would come in other sizes. The design is entirely done in matte black with a small yellow highlight around the rim of the cone. These come as a pair and need not be combined with a separate subwoofer. They require a mounting depth of 1-7/8”. These are rated at 50W RMS.
These budget car speakers pack a polypropylene woofer cone with ribbed, UV-treated surrounds. The half-inch balanced dome PET tweeters handle the highs properly. Kicker offers a 2-year warranty compared to the one-year warranty. These come with 2 speaker grilles, two speaker wires measuring 12 inches, 4 plastic butt connectors, and eight 1” self-tapping screws.
The Kicker DS65 car speakers have a natural audio with decent extension on both bass and treble side. Unlike the cheaper speakers, you can hear the bass even at the lower volumes. The bass is powerful here, it beats with a punch. The audio is energetic right from orchestral to Dance genres. The vocals are clear and discernible over the engine noise. The highs are smooth and detailed. The audio is huge upgrade on the factory car speakers. At 90dB sensitivity, they sound loud enough throughout the cabin.
- Balanced yet clear audio
- High quality bass
- Stylish hubcap grille design
- 90dB sensitivity
- The spoke design may not go with all interiors
The JVC CS-J620 car speakers are an inexpensive set with looks that defy their price. They are best matched with an external subwoofer to take full advantage of their audio. These shine through a partial grille. The audio is well-rounded with decent bass and clear audio. These babies jive straight to the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The JVC CS-J620 car speakers are 2-way coaxial speakers. These are rated at 30W RMS power. These are 6.5 inch speakers done in all black. Only the tweeter shines through in silver color. There’s a partial black ABS composite grille over the driver arrangement. Their peak power output is 300W RMS. The top mount depth goes down to 1-23/32”.
These budget car speakers have a woofer with a mica cone. It has a rubber and cloth hybrid surround. This is mounted with a 1” poly-ether imide balanced dome tweeter. The basket has multiple mounting holes which can fit different configurations. These come with speaker wire extension cables, mounting screws and tabs.
The JVC CS-J620 car speakers are well-rounded in audio performance. The bass is punchy enough at moderate volumes. The lower-end is definitely powerful for the price. The vocals ring bold over the vehicle noise. The highs do not have any bite to them. The audio is quite balanced for the price. Their audio can be hoisted on the bass of a subwoofer. And a complete system will not cost much with these affordable speakers.
- Sound much better than stock speakers
- 92dB sensitivity
- Stylish grille
- Grille is not as dust resistant as mesh grille
Boss Audio NX654 car speakers are an attractive pair with the power of bass behind it. These are amazingly affordable for the range of audio they offer. They come in the standard size and they make a valuable upgrade on the factory car speakers. These shoot right into the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Boss Audio NX654 car speakers are done in black and grey colors. These are covered in a subtle partial metal mesh. These are available in sizes 4 inch, 5.25 inch, 6 x9 inch and 6.5 inch. These are available in a choice of maximum power ranging from 250W to 800W. Do note these are not RMS ratings. We selected the 6.5 inch 400Wmx. 4-way model for testing.
These budget car speakers pack a poly injection woofer cone. The cone is surrounded in rubber. The voice coil is 1.5 inch aluminum. There are two tweeters mounted coaxially on the woofer. The midrange is handled by the 1.5 Mylar Cone. This entire arrangement is set in a cast basket. Boss Audio offers a 3 year platinum online dealer warranty and stand behind their product.
The Boss Audio NX654 car speakers are a serious upgrade on stock speakers in terms of audio. There are oodles of bass here. It beats with authority over whatever genres you play. It provides the perfect base for the songs on the road. The audio has a body that is audible even at the low volumes. There’s no distortion in the audio at moderately high volumes. The vocals are heard clearly over the noise of the road. The highs are clear. At 90dB sensitivity, they can get loud.
- Stylish build
- Decent bass
- 92 dB sensitivity
- Choice of size
- Needs better quality control
The Rockford Fosgate R169X3 car speakers are a work of quality. These are slightly pricier than the 2-way speakers on the list. But they are completely worth every penny. Their audio runs full range with decent representation from bass to highs. These deserve their place in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Rockford Fosgate R169X3 car speakers are coaxially mounted 3-way speakers. We checked out the 6” x 9” model. They are rated at 65W RMS power. They can be mounted at the depth of 2-15/16”. The woofer is made of a vacuum polypropylene cone. They have a rubber surround. This is accompanied by a piezo supertweeter for midrange and ½” silk dome tweeter for highs. These are all set in a steel basket. A crossover circuit is integrated into the design.
These budget car speakers come with 2 grilles, 2 speaker wires, eight 1.25 screws and eight speed clips. Rockford provides a 1-year warranty.
The Rockford Fosgate R169X3 car speakers tirelessly work their three drivers to deliver an audio with substantial bass. For the price, the audio is surprisingly full. The lower frequencies have a good push which remains audible even over the ambient noise from the road. The words sound clearly even when the co-passengers chatter about incoherently. They do not show any distortion or sibilance.
- Good build quality for the price
- Full-range sound
- Decent bass
- 90dB sensitivity
The Alpine SPS-410 car speakers are quality fare. They are versatile and can be used for a number of applications. The brand new look from Alpine complements the décor of most cars. These are durable for everyday use. We couldn’t help but put it in the best budget car speakers list.
Design and Features
The Alpine SPS-410 car speakers look simple but classy. It’s all black with a metallic finish on the tweeter. These are 2-way coaxial speakers. These 4-inch speakers are rated 45W RMS power. They pack a poly-mica cone woofer. It is surrounded by butyl rubber. The top-mount depth comes up to 1-21/32”. Mounted on the woofer is a silk dome tweeter. It can be swiveled up to 10 degrees for a more directional audio towards the travelers in the vehicle.
The Alpine SPS-410 budget car speakers use the extra investment to create a detailed and balanced audio. They don’t ramp up the bass indiscriminately. The bass, mids and treble are in sync with each other. The audio sounds clear and high over the road chatter. At 86dB, these are heard above the hubbub of the road and the vehicle.
- Good build quality
- Balanced audio
- 86 dB sensitivity
- Needs to be paired with subwoofer for good bass