Reliability and high quality sound have become ubiquitous labels that car audio manufacturers love to attach to their speakers. Every car audio brand out there throws these terms around as a marketing ploy. A gimmick used in an attempt to ingrain in consumer’s minds the idea that their products are more worthy of the customers hard-earned money than the other brand.
But as the brands squabble with consumerism jargon and advertising tactics, there is actual research being done into what makes a product worthy.
So ,What car speaker brands lived up to their claims of being reliable and trustworthy?
Disclaimer on Our Best Car Speaker Brands
This list is carefully prepared after several hours of extensive research while considering parameters like cost, consumers’ reviews, popularity, reliability, and many more.
This is not by any means a comprehensive list. There are tons and tons of great speakers out there. However, we did want to give you a few good options. These brands represent different price points, styles and traditions. With any luck, you’ll find something that meets your needs and satisfies your craving for soul-shaking music.
Best Car Speaker Brands
Pioneer, Infinity, Polk, JBL, and Kicker continue to top the ranking according to the latest consumer reports survey, standing out as the leading car speaker brands in consumer’s minds. And that’s no coincidence. These perennial leaders have a significant advantage in overall score, but several other brands — including Rockford Fosgate — are moving up the rankings.
The following reviews reflect how consumers perceive each brand in three categories: sound quality/performance, design/style, and value. Combining those three factors gives us the total brand-perception score.
If we missed a car speaker brand you love, let us know in the comments!
The Stylish : Polk Audio Car Speakers – DB Series
You can usually recognize Polk Audio speakers at 20 feet. They are the most stylish speakers on the market and they have a very unique and distinctive design. And that’s what we love most about them. They’re above par speakers that aren’t afraid to push the envelope. For example, check out this Polk Audio DB6501 with a stainless steel mounting hardware and muscular ABS grilles (seriously).
- Price. Polk speakers come at lots of different price points. The set of speakers linked to above is a 6.5-Inch in size priced below $70, which is very reasonable for anyone looking for a solid set of speakers that doesn’t break that bank. However, you can also find plenty of Polk speakers at higher price points – from $100 up into the $200 range. However, some of our favorites are less expensive and can get the job done at lower costs.
- Design. The overall design is fairly stunning. Polk dB speakers provide an excellent sound quality for the money. These speakers are marine certified. They’re built with high quality standards and attention to the smallest details. Which means, they can withstand exposure to moisture and UV rays. That being said,they can be mounted in various applications including boats of all types, off road vehicles, as well as cars. Additionally, these speakers feature stainless steel mounting hardware and muscular ABS grilles that will add a stylish touch to your car’s interior,making your vehicle look as good as it sounds.
- Sound quality. Polk designed these speakers for people who want to feel their music as much as hear it. Polk is one of the few car audio brands who makes speakers with impressive specifications. For example,while most car speakers have sensitivity ratings that range between 88dB and 90dB.Polk db speakers are rated for 92dB (and higher for some models). Combine that with their great power handling ratings and you get speakers that can really rattle some eardrums.
The Affordable : Pioneer Car Speakers – TS-A Series
Pioneer is one of our most-reviewed car stereo brands.They’re a company know for their long tradition of making affordable car audio components,and their car speakers line is no exception. However, Pioneer occasionally has reputation for hit or miss quality. So how do their speakers measure up?
- Price. Pioneer car speakers are very affordably-priced, which is why the made this list, since we’re assuming most people reading it aren’t seasoned audiophiles. And with most of their speakers under $50, you can get a really decent set. Moreover, we’ve found that their car stereos are of much more consistently good quality than their speakers.
- Sound quality. The sound was surprisingly good. We have come across a ton of you who have tried and loved car speakers from Pioneer. One of their most useful features was the “multiple-way” design, which greatly extends speaker’s high frequency response, giving them a perfectly balanced sound all throughout the audible frequency range. If music and high sound quality mean anything to you, we’d recommend giving this set a try.
- Design/Style. These are fairly cool looking speakers, built from the ground up to breathe a new life into your music. Pioneer’s A series of speakers are built with sensitive, yet rigid materials and feature one of the widest frequency range in the market. That means, you won’t have to fine tune your car stereo’s E.Q settings very much to hit the sweet spot.
Pioneer car speakers come in 3 different categories: the D-series, A-series, and G-series. They also have special application speakers.
- D-series : These speakers are the least expensive. However they’re still excellent, high quality speakers. The most remarkable aspect about the D-series speakers is the cone which is made of volcanic rock that provides crisp, clear and distortion free sound.
- A-series : The A-series speakers are the best car speakers for bass. They are the most suitable speakers for those who are interested in boosting their bass and low frequencies. A-series speakers come with a bigger and better cone which is the part responsible for boosting the output. They also come with an extra sensitive tweeter for higher frequencies.
- G-series : Pioneer G-Series Speakers are a perfect fit to replace your stock car speakers with some high performance sound.
The Entry Level : Rockford Fosgate Prime Speakers
The Rockford Fosgate offers a simple and sleek design. Their flat-black color and their glossy dome tweeters make them look like high end luxurious speakers. However, sound quality is another story. Don’t get me wrong, they can get the job done, but they don’t really wow me the way some classy car speakers we’ve reviewed before do. Still, the sound quality is one step ahead of standard factory installed speakers. Don’t drive another day listening to tired-sounding tunes when you’re able to buy a Rockford Fosgate.
- Design. One of the best features of Rockford Fosgate Prime series speakers is their shallow mounting depth. At 2.15 inches mounting depth for 6.5″ inch speakers and 2.85″ inches for 6×9 speakers, you can fit em just about anywhere. Additionally, these speakers feature quite high sensitivity rating which will result in higher volume with significantly low amount of power. Unfortunately, these speakers are lagging behind the competition in terms of power handling ratings – We’d like to see some improvement in those numbers.
- Price. The Rockford Fosgate speakers are reasonably priced and are very affordable. That’s part of what makes them so appealing. The set of speakers linked to above is below $40, which is quite a good deal. However, that doesn’t make sense to us. I mean what’s the difference between $35 and $50 really? That’s more or less the same market. So, often, it isn’t a question of whether or not Rockford Fosgate Prime speakers are good; rather, it’s more a question of why you would choose a Rockford Fosgate if you could spend $10 more and get something much better.
- Sound quality. Don’t get excited. There’s nothing fancy here. The sound that these speakers can deliver is nothing to write home about. Rockford Fosgate Prime speakers are good entry-level speakers. And they make a good replacement for factory-installed speakers.
The Premium : JBL GTO Speakers
This is what you can get if you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks. It’s one of the highest quality set of speakers you can buy. JBL GTO series of speakers feature a great modern design. They are constructed well, and they are built to last. JBL is well-known for their high quality speakers that have made showings at countless concerts and events. The company’s pedigree is highlighted by several audio innovations and countless manufacturing successes. And their long time dedication to audio systems allowed them to be one of the best car speaker brands.
- Price. The price of JBL GTO speakers are usually at a perfect balance. Some car speaker can cost up to a few hundred dollars. You can usually find a set of JBL GTO speakers for around $90 (some models are sold for less). This stood out to us as not being too cheap, but not on the expensive side either.
- Sound quality. The audio quality of the GTO speakers is impressive. This is the best of all, bar none. Our only complaint was the relatively narrow frequency range of 53 to 21 kHz. The lows aren’t where we hoped they would be. However, since both the highs and lows are beyond the range of our hearing capabilties, most people won’t be able to notice a difference. The mid-ranges and highs are where GTO speakers shine. That being said, you’ll be able to hear detailed, natural sound, clean lyrics and recognize new guitar chunks.
- Design/Style. The design of GTO Premium grilles is very appealing. They’re practically simplicity personified. The best thing about these speakers is their 93 dB sensitivity rating – the highest among the auto speakers we reviewed. This means, these speakers can yield the loudest volume using less power. When you combine the highest sensitivity rating(93 dB) with one of the highest continuous power handling rating (125 Watts), you get speakers that can deliver soul shaking music.
The Reliable : Infinity Reference Speakers
We’ve reviewed plenty of Infinity speakers on this site before, and the story hasn’t changed. Infinity produces quality speakers for a great price. If you are on budget and wanting to keep your set under $50,we can’t think of a better option for a set of speakers than Infinity Reference Series. Infinity Reference speakers are highly recommended for people who aren’t into bass heavy music. You can (and you must) certainly sub these speakers out for another of your choosing in case big bass is high on your list of priorities.
If you’ve got a few extra dollars to spare, think about Infinity Kappa series. They’re a bit expensive, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with them than with Reference series.
- Price. Infinity Reference speakers are moderately priced; between $40-$80 depending on the model you chose. This is a balanced, reassuring price that we were happy to pay after using them. Premium speakers like Kappa series on the other hand are one step ahead and can cost up to twice as much as their cheaper counterparts.
- Sound quality. Infinity speakers produce good sound, no more, no less. Our only complaint was the lack of low-end frequency. That being said, the little bass produced by these speakers sounds thin and lacks punch and fullness that you’ll hear with speakers that can reach deeper frequency response. The lack of low notes won’t feel as lively. However, despite this criticism,we’ve heard from a ton of you who have used and loved these speakers.