An Overview of The Best Car Door Speakers

Car door speakers are a crucial part of your car stereo sound.They’re the very first thing we would recommend you to upgrade before anything else.Given their location,they can be huge difference-makers.Sometimes swapping your speakers out is all you need to experience immediate,noticeable difference.Not to mention that replacing your speakers is the single most cost-effective way to a better listening experience.

One of the few downsides of upgrading your car door speakers however is the big money sink that goes into these speakers – if you really want to get a good set, you have to shell out some serious cash.Sure you end up saving a lot of money in the shorter term with how cheap some car speakers are nowadays,but going for high-end models in the first level can get kind of costly.To that end, when you’re dropping upwards of $130 on a set of speakers, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.You cannot be an expert in everything and for this reason we are here to help.

First Things First : What to look for in your door speakers

  • Sensitivity : Some people think that the higher the sensitivity rating the better the sound quality – That’s completely wrong.Sensitivity rating doesn’t tell you how good a speaker sounds.It simply measures how well the speaker uses power applied to it.If you have a high-powered stereo system (an aftermarket receiver or an external amplifier is used),then consider speakers with low sensitivity.Otherwise speakers with higher sensitivity rating will make the best match.Properly powered speakers will give you the highs and mids your music has been missing.

    The chart below illustrates that a few dB in sensitivity can make a big difference:

    SpeakerSensitivity ratingPower needed to produce a given volume
    Speaker A85 dB100 watts
    Speaker B 88 dB50 watts
    Speaker C 91 dB25 watts

  • Power-handling : the general rule says that your speakers should be able to handle the power your receiver or your amplifier can put out.So,if you have a powerfull amplifier mounted in your vehicle,you’ll need to look for speakers whose power-handling is close to the output of your amp.On the other hand, speakers intended to be powered solely with an aftermarket receiver don’t need to handle a lot of power.When it comes to power handling , there are two major key specs you need to be aware of.RMS and Peak power handling.RMS power handling refers to the level of power ( measured in watts) a pair of speakers can handle on a continuous basis.Brands and manufacturers usually like to brag about their speaker’s peak power handling, don’t be fooled by that.RMS is the accurate measurement you’ll need to consider the most.
  • Build Quality : Most Factory speakers are known for being made with cheap materials that get worn down over the course of a few months.Low quality materials are responsible for flat boring sound that strains ears.Aftermarket speakers on the other hand provide the best bang for your buck.
    Some of the materials you should look for in speakers you’re about to purchase include :

    • Rubber surrounds last longer and provide better sound quality.
    • Foam and textile surround are also a second option.They’re not the best but they’re still of a much higher quality than foam and paper.
    • Speakers aren’t designed to provide bass (low-frequencies reproduction).But if you still want to experience bass in your music to at least some extent,look for speakers with rigid ,yet lightweight woofer materials like PP (polypropylene) mixed with mica or metal-coated synthetic fabrics which tend to last longer.

Reviews of the Top 8 Best Car Audio Speakers

1.JBL GTO938 Speakers Review

  • Design : 3 WayJBL GTO938 speakers review
  • Frequency response : 45 – 21 kHz
  • Sensitivity : 94 dB
  • Power Handling :
    • Peak : 300 watts
    • RMS : 100 watts
  • Impedance : 2 Ohm
  • Warranty : 1 Year

The JBL GTO speakers are one of the best car speakers on the market,all things considered.Most forums agree.We personally think they are worth every penny.Most importantly, these speakers deliver an excellent crisp and rich sound with punchy lows.JBL likes to brag about their patented Plus One® woofer-cone technology,which basically delivers a more overall speaker cone surface area than the competitor models of the same size.This translates to more bass.I mean, think about it: Speakers make sound by vibrating air,thus the larger the cone, the more air it can vibrate, and the more bass you will get.Furthermore,the larger the cone size,the wider the radiating surface area.

What we like the most about GTO series speakers is their high sensitivity rating which is the highest among the car speakers we reviewed.Sensitivity rating is a vital key spec that you should take into consideration before purchasing speakers for your vehicle.It measures how the speaker responds to power applied to it (the highest, the better).The amount of power required to deliver the same volume decreases almost by half with each increase of 3dB.This means that GTO speakers with 94 dB only needs 50 watts to produce the same volume of a 91dB speaker using 100 watts.That’s a huge advantage.Thus,these speakers will sound great running off a factory headunit,but they’ll really shine when driven by a powerfull aftermarket stereo or an external amp.

GTO speakers also feature one of the highest continuous power handling rating (RMS), which simply means these speakers can maintain a high volume level on a continuous basis without experiencing distortions or damage.Combine that with their highest sensitivity rating and you get speakers that are ready to rattle some eardrums and make dogs howl.

We’ve found that GTO speakers with small sizes sound great despite their narrow frequency range.Also, their bass isn’t as full and punchy as the rear deck speakers.However,the mid-ranges and highs are where these speakers really shine.They can deliver highly detailed sound with satisfyingly deep levels of bass.You’ll breathe a new life into your music with a set of these speakers being installed in your car’s front doors.

JBL GTO528JBL GTO speakers come in various configurations and sizes.If you’re a seasoned car audiophile,you can opt for component speakers,which allows you to better fine-tune the sound output to your preferences because of their separated woofers and tweeters.However,this type of speakers require custom installation to mount the tweeters in optimal locations for better stereo imaging and sound stage but are worth it if you want to get the most optimized acoustical design from your vehicle.

Otherwise,if you’re just wanting a significant upgrade from your factory speakers no muss, no fuss,there are two-way and three-way speakers.These speakers usually consist of a woofer with either one or two tweeters.With the woofer being the component that reproduces lower frequency sounds,and the tweeter(s) being the driver that reproduces higher audio frequencies.

JBL’s UniPivot design allows you to aim and adjust the angle of the tweeters toward your ears, so you enjoy excellent stereo imaging even if the speakers are mounted deep down in your front doors.And since every car is built with its unique acoustical properties,having adjustable tweeters is a plus that most speakers we’ve come across don’t provide.

These are very well-engineered speakers, and you can’t go wrong with them.

2. Pioneer TS-A6985R Speakers Review

Pioneer TS-A6995R review
  • Design : 4 Way
  • Frequency response : 27 – 38 kHz
  • Sensitivity : 91 dB
  • Power Handling :
    • Peak : 550 watts
    • RMS : 100 watts
  • Impedance : 4 Ohm
  • Warranty : 1 Year

Pioneer A series speakers are another one of the best car speakers out there.They’re not that expensive,but again ,they’re very well engineered and would be great investment for anyone who’s tired of the flat, boring sound produced by worn out factory speakers (believe me, I’ve been there).

So what’s so special about these speakers? First of all, they feature the widest frequency range in the market,and they’re highly sensitive.Combine that with their impressive power handling rating and you get speakers that can really shine.No matter your musical preference,and no matter your vehicle’s acoustical properties, you’ll enjoy crisp, concert-quality sound throughout your car.

The design of these speakers is great as well.It’s really well-conceived.They actually come in various sizes and configurations.The 6×9 speakers for example come in three way,four way and five way.An N-way speaker has N sound drivers in it,and the more “way”, the better.4-way speakers for example comprise of the woofer,the tweeter,the mid-range and an extra component called the super-tweeter.

These additional tweeters enhance and widen speaker’s frequency range.The advantage that a wide frequency range presents is special realism.In fact,sound is created when the speaker vibrates air molecules,thus audio isn’t only heard but also felt,although you may not realize it much of the time.Much of the fullness and sound warmth is felt from frequencies you can’t actually hear.

What sets the Pioneer A-Series apart from most 6 x 9 speakers is that they also come in five-way configuration, which is a major step above other speakers from other brands.That being said,Pioneer A-Series five-way speakers will make it possbile to feel your music,mainly the low bass frequencies, which can reach as low as 27Hz.

Pioneer’s 6 x 9 speakers are built to perform.They’re build to handle 100 watts of power on a continuous basis without experiencing damage.They also back their RMS power handling capability up with 600 watts of peak-wattage to give the speakers plenty of room to handle huge spikes and eventually prevent them from clipping and distorting as wattage fluctuates throughout a song.That being said,you’d have to push really hard to damage Pioneer A-series speakers.

Pioneer TS-A1685RPioneer A-series speakers come in a wide array of door speaker sizes,with the 6.5-inch circular speakers being the most common,though this depends on your car model.Some cars require 6×8 speakers,others require 5.25-inch speakers.Generally speaking,the only difference between these speakers sizes in the Pioneer A-Series is the low-end bass.Since the 6.5 car speakers feature a relatively larger woofer with multiple tweeters,you’ll experience crisp highs, clear mids, and strong bass.No matter what speaker size you pick, Pioneer A series speakers are fully capable of blasting whatever you’ve got on your playlist without distortion.

3. Infinity Reference 9633cf Review

  • Design : 3 WayInfinity-Reference-9633cf-review
  • Frequency response : 46-30 kHz
  • Sensitivity : 94 dB
  • Power Handling :
    • Peak :  300 watts
    • RMS : 100 watts
  • Impedance : 4 Ohm
  • Warranty : 1 Year

Infinity is one of our most-reviewed car audio brands. They’re a company known for their long tradition of making affordable speakers, and their Reference speakers line is no exception.Since 1983,Infinity has been part of the Harman International Industries group, which also includes JBL.

Infinity speakers can be found in a wide variety of applications including multi-channel surround sound home theater packages,marine applications,bookshelf speakers and in-wall home speakers.That being said , it’s no coincidence that you’d also find them in vehicles.And besides speakers, Infinity also produces subwoofers and car audio amplifiers.However, we’ve found that their speakers and subs are of a much more consistent quality than their other products.

On their own, Infinity Reference speakers feature a well balanced frequency range no matter your musical preference,interests, or predilections.And to put it simply,this will save you from the hassle of fooling with your car stereo’s EQ settings very much.

Our only complaint about these speaker’s sound output was the lack of low-end frequency, which is only at 46Hz.I mean the bass sounds punchy and alive but it lacks much of the fullness that you’d usually hear with speakers that have a deeper frequency response.

The speakers linked to above are 6×9 in size.Their sensitivity rating of 94 dB is quite high, but these speakers are lagging behind the competition when it comes to power handling rating.However,since they’re very sensitive,they don’t need to handle tons of power.

Infinity Reference 6032cf reviewInfinity Reference speakers come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.Their 6.5 car door speakers are also available in shallow version.And just like their rear deck counterparts,these door speakers feature a sensitivity of 93dB and an above-average RMS power handling of 60 watts with a peak of 180 watts.And despite their narrow frequency range,Infinity Reference 6.5 speaker’s audio was very crisp and well-balanced without requiring EQ tweaks.

4. Polk Audio DB691 Review

  • Design : 3 WayPolk Audio DB691 review
  • Frequency response : 35-22 kHz
  • Sensitivity : 93 dB
  • Power Handling :
    • Peak :  300 watts
    • RMS : 100 watts
  • Impedance : 4 Ohm
  • Warranty : 1 Year

Polk Audio is another authoritative brand in car audio industry founded on an obsession with sound .They hold numerous patents in the world of loudspeaker design,and has a long legacy of innovation and experience , creating the most impressive car audio systems out of pure passion.And when you name a series of car speakers after the abbreviation for decibels (a unit of measurement for volume),you’re telling people who buy these speakers one thing – turn it up! This is exactly what you get with Polk’s db series of speakers.

Polk speaker’s sensitivity rating range between 92dB and 93dB in both door and rear deck speakers.That’s quite high,given that the majority of speakers available on the market have a sensitivity ratings that range between 88dB and 90dB.An 88dB speaker would need almost three times wattage to deliver the same volume as a Polk’s 93 dB speaker.With that being said,Polk speakers will make a day and night difference in the sound quality,making you feel your favourite tracks as much as you hear them.

Polk db691 (Linked to above) is configured for a 4-ohm impedance load, and it comes with two built-in tweeters,making it a “three-way car audio system”,which means it combines three sound devices in one unit, targeting different frequency ranges.

5. JBL GTO Series – JBL GTO638 6.5-Inch 3-Way Speakers

  • Top-mount depth : 2″
  • Design : 3-Way
  • Size : 6-1/2 – 6-3/4-inch
  • Frequency response : 50 – 21 kHz
  • RMS – Power handling : 120 watts per set / 60 watts each side
  • Peak – Power handling : 360 watts per set / 180 watts each side
  • Sensitivity : 92 dB
  • Impedance : 2 Ohms
  • Warranty : 1 year

We’ve covered this brand before in previous reviews , but it bears repeating – It’s one of the best car speaker brands out there.With a really great looking grille,a high sensitivity rating and a modest RMS power handling,the JBL GTO speakers are simply awesome.What we like the most about JBL Grand Touring Series (GTO) is that they are available in a wide variety of sizes,various designs and configuration options including component versions giving you the choice to choose whichever might meet your needs and fits your vehicle.

JBL has a pedigree stretching back for more than 70 years full of success and innovation.And they have earned themselves a reputation for innovative design and substantial experience in this industry.By incorporating their latest loudspeaker technologies such as JBL’s Plus One woofer cone,built-in crossover network,edge-driven mylar-titanium tweeter and supertweeter,the GTO speakers are able to deliver stunning sound output,while keeping the costs at a reasonable level.For those who want to hit the road with rich, detailed notes,and for a price that deosn’t break that bank, put your trust in JBL GTO speakers and you’re good to go.

Another great advantage to the JBL GTO speaker series is their adjustable tweeter made from My/Ti (Mylar and Titanium composite) which allow for great efficiency and extended high frequencies.A large voice coil on the other hand increases power handling and limits distortion at an acceptable level.Furthermore,the ability to adjust the tweeter will significantly optimize the overall sound quality and the result ? Well,nothing but crystal clear music,better imaging and more accurate sound-stage.To enhance your listening experience,and to be able to direct that sound where you want,JBL went the extra step and designed a Unipoint rotating tweeter pod which allows higher-frequencies to be dispersed mainly towards the listener region.

All JBL GTO speakers are made using high-quality materials and most advanced manufacturing technologies. They pass the industry’s most exhaustive quality tests and long hours of environmental testing,including long hours of variable temperatures floating between -35° C and +90° C,high levels of humidity and UV light exposure stimulating rear deck mounting.Not to mention extensive vibration testing.

Finally,it’s not by coincidence that these speakers score higher and produce some of the finest sound quality.Nor is it random that they’re one of the best selling speakers on the market.

6. Infinity Kappa Series – Infinity Kappa 62.11I

  • Top-mount depth : 2-1/8″
  • Design : 2-Way
  • Size : 6-1/2 – 6-3/4-inch
  • Frequency response : 45 – 25 kHz
  • RMS – Power handling : 150 watts per pair / 75 watts each
  • Peak – Power handling : 450 watts per pair / 225 watts each
  • Sensitivity : 95 dB
  • Impedance : 2 Ohms
  • Warranty : 3 year

The Infinity Kappa series of car speakers provide a fantastic audio experience.One of the things that struck me about the Infinity Kappa 62.11I was their simple but elegant appearance.There are no visible mounting screws and the visually appealing chrome on the grille and on the tweeters match modern interiors. Behind this modern look,it conceals many treasures and strong specifications to be discovered.

First off,the Kappa series by Infinity is a set of speakers with the highest sensitivity rating out there,and the highest among speakers we are going to review.Sensitivity rating refers to the volume produced by 1 watt measured at 3 feet.The higher sensitivity means that speakers can function at their best with less power.Which makes these speakers suitable for factory speakers replacement.However if you want to take full advantage of what these speakers have to offer,drop an external amp into the mix and enjoy rich music even at high volumes.

The power handling rating, RMS particularly isn’t the highest available,But it doesn’t have to be because of the high,prominent sensitivity.These 6.5 speakers can handle 150 watts per pair on continuous basis and 450 watts at the peak.

In terms of drawbacks, the biggest one by far is that this set is slightly expensive when compared to other speakers in the same category, you’ll definitely want to be sure these are the speakers you want. It’s a pricey set, and it might set you back a lot more than some other car speakers out there.Still,the price is absolutely,definitely worth it compared to the quality of sound you will get eventually.This set means business;it’s well-made,and you’ll definitely enjoy and fell that you got what you paid for.It’s no brainer that Infinity has put a lot of effort and time into making Kappa speakers the best they could be,so I don’t mind shelling out some extra bucks if it means I’m getting more effectiveness and high sound quality.

7. Pioneer A Series – Pioneer TS-A1685R

  • Top-mount depth : 2-3/16″
  • Design : 4-Way
  • Size : 6-1/2 – 6-3/4-inch
  • Frequency response : 34 – 30 kHz
  • RMS – Power handling : 120 watts per pair / 60 watts each
  • Peak – Power handling : 350 watts per pair / 225 watts each
  • Sensitivity : 91 dB
  • Impedance : 2 Ohms
  • Warranty : 1 year

We have talked about Pioneer several times before.Pioneer is a major brand and one of the pioneers when it comes to car audio industry,so naturally we wanted to include them in this article.They offer a wide range of speakers series including D-series ,G-series , A-series , pro-series as well as marine certified speakers.

That being said, the Pioneer TS-A1685R is a really nice model with great looking appearance – These speakers feature a multi-layer mica-matrix,rigid woofers,yet lightweight for an outstanding responsiveness sensitivity and sound propagation with less distortion so you can experience fuller,clean bass.They’ll deliver remarkable sound running off a modest factory stereo, but they’ll really shine when driven by an external amplifier or at least by a powerful aftermarket receiver.

The TS-A1685R speakers feature a soft dome tweeter/midrange driver using a wave guide enclosure for smooth off-axis response.This design allows mid and low frequencies to be directed and widely dispersed inside your vehicle which results in a smooth on and off-axis frequency response.

This newly designed tweeter disperses sound more widely with superior control, providing you with the finest sound under all conditions, regardless of speakers mounting location.Pioneer has extended their tweeters performance, so they can reach as low as 34 Hz which is the lowest among all speakers in this lineup, and stretch to as high as 30 KHZ which is the highest.That makes these speakers the flagship in this guide in terms of frequency range coverage.

Don’t drive another day listening to your flat,boring music, when you can truly revitalize and breathe a new life into your sound system with these speakers.

8. Polk DB Series – Polk Audio DB6501 Component System

  • Top-mount depth : 1-11/16″
  • Design/Conf : Component
  • Size : 6-1/2 – 6-3/4-inch
  • Frequency response : 35 – 23 kHz
  • RMS – Power handling : 100 watts
  • Peak – Power handling : 300 watts
  • Sensitivity : 92 dB
  • Impedance : 2 Ohms
  • Warranty : 1 year

The other brand to consider when you’re looking for the best car door speakers is Polk Audio,particularly their DB series. We’ve already reviewed a few Polk Audio DB speakers,and it bears repeating. They’ve actually mastered the art of providing speakers of high quality.

On its own ,the Polk Audio DB6501 is a 2-way component system featuring 6-1/2″ woofers made from a combination of polymer/mica and durable rubber surrounds for long lasting and reliability.The 1″ Liquid-cooled tweeters made from silk and polymer on the other hand rely on Neodymium magnets to deliver accurate high-frequency reproduction,resulting in sharp,detailed highs.The tweeters can be either surface or flush-mounted with the supplied swivel-mount-cups.And for powerful sound-imaging,mount them so they can broadcast toward where you’re sitting.

Polk DB series are marine certified, which means the materials they’re built with are durable, so you can enjoy your music for years and years to come.Polk db speakers come in 2 or 3 way options and are available in all common speaker sizes including slim/shallow mount versions.And they’re also available in both coaxial and in component configurations.

Why Buy Car Speakers ?

There are a number of situations in which it might be preferable to install aftermarket speakers instead of  standard speakers , Particularly if your vehicle is old ,low cost model .

The following issues can be quite common in factory audio systems:

  • General sound equipment quality issues .
  • Damaged , or unresponsive speakers or components .
  • Flat, boring sound, mainly caused by weak/broken standard audio receiver, or head unit .
  • A lack of dynamic, variable sound output at every frequency level, which can be due to low quality equipment,inadequate magnets in the speaker driver, or the absence of an amplifier .
  • Lack of low frequencies (bass) which could be covered by a subwoofer.

You may not need to upgrade your standard car audio system if it fulfils your needs . This is generally the case with new , high end model vehicles. However fitting your vehicle with a good set of  speakers will certainly improve the overall performance of your sound system and immerse you in a pleasurable atmosphere .

Upgrading In-Car Speakers Considerations

Most cars are initially equipped with four speakers including two front speakers in the front doors or the dashboard , and two back speakers in the back doors or the back dash .

Often times people (Drivers) tend to change the two front speakers which is ideal (in some cases), given that the driver is situated there .

if your goal is to increase volume , especially the bass , I would recommend changing only the back speakers to a set of 6×9 speakers. These type of speakers provide decent sound quality , besides being very easy to install in some vehicles that have an inbuilt parcel shelf to accommodate them , which is generally the case with hatchback cars.

The following factors should be considered before a final speaker purchase is made .

Speaker Sizes

Finding the right speakers to fit your vehicle doesn’t have to be a confusing task.

There are approximately five speaker sizes that are used in cars . Before you start shopping , it’s very recommended that you find out more  about speakers that are already installed in your car.The standard in-car speaker sizes include 6.5 , 6×8 ,6×9 , 5×7 …etc

If you are completely sure that you want to replace your car’s current speakers, you can simply uproot them and take your measurements.Some online sellers often provide accurate info on the types of cars and models that their speakers are compatible with .

Types of Car Speakers

Coaxial Speakers

Coaxial speakers (also called full-range) are the most common type of in-car speakers . They contain all the speaker elements in one unit. In their simplest form they consist of a woofer for the lows, and a tweeter mounted onto the woofer to produce the highs.

You can opt for full-range speakers if you’re looking to replace factory speakers with a minimum of muss and fuss. Given that most vehicles are released from factories with full-range speakers already installed, upgrading them is simply a matter of dropping new ones in the existing slots/enclosures.

Coaxial speakers are commonly designated into 2-way, 3-way or 4-way speakers :

  • 1. Two-way car speakers : Two-way car speakers are the most common type speakers . They usually consist of a woofer which is the component that’s responsible of lower audio frequency sounds , and a tweeter which is the driver that reproduces the higher audio frequencies . These type of speakers are capable of producing reasonably good quality sound .
  • 2. Three-way car speakers : Three-way car speakers also referred to as tri-axial speakers . They usually consist of a woofer , a tweeter and an additional component called the mid-range . The mid range component will enhance the coverage of the middle frequency range and boosts overall sound performance by balancing the frequency slope and outputting the frequencies most natural to the human ear . That’s why 3 way car speaker produce better sound quality than 2 way car speakers.
  • 3. Four way car speakers : Four-way speakers consists of an extra component  (besides woofer,mid-range,tweeter) called “super-tweeter” . It’s main role is producing an ultra high frequency sound . It makes a great difference especially when your vehicle is not in motion as those high frequency sounds cannot normally be heard is a noisy environment (travelling/on the road for example) .

Component Speakers

Unlike full-range speakers , Component speakers use a superior speaker design that will give you the best possible sound . Typically component systems consist of separate woofers , tweeters ,and external crossovers – all of which come designed to work in concert with one other.

The argument of component versus coaxial speakers is a bit complicated , and there’s no simple answer to which one is better .

Speaker Type Advantage or Disadvantage
Coaxial or Full-Range SpeakersLess expensive; direct fit; crossovers not needed
Component Speakers Superb sound quality; greater customisation opportunity

If sound quality is the most important factor in your decision making process, then you should consider component speakers. Otherwise, full range speakers will probably get the job done just fine. Full range speakers are also the better option if you’re planning to upgrade your setup and don’t have a lot of experience.

Conclusion

So there you have a complete comprehensive buying guide that gives you all there is to know about and what to consider to help you in your quest to find the best car speakers. As there are many factors involved in making your decision, we can understand that it can a bit daunting . However , one good tip to keep in mind is to never lose track of your budget limits.

Once that has been determined, you can now choose which type of speakers fits your budget. Then you begin narrowing down your choices to which best fits your vehicle or lifestyle and finally, which features would suit your needs.

Secondly, make sure to read the car speakers reviews of those brands that made it to your top list. get to know more about their pros and cons .There’s nothing more accurate than a testimonial from a real user of the product.

Finally , My personal vote goes for JBL GTO938 as it showed a very good set of advantages and only minor disadvantages. Furthermore, when 170 people recommend it, you cannot simply ignore the fact that they’re satisfied with it and it is actually good.  Vital factors + lots of excellent customer reviews have convinced us that JBL GTO938 speakers are really the best car speakers out there.

Related Posts