The best aftermarket car speakers are not just for music aficionados — they’re for anyone who loves to listen to their favorite music while on the road. Sound engineers design aftermarket car speakers to handle the punchy bass and crisp highs of today’s popular music, and they probably offer a drastic upgrade over your car’s standard speakers.
Not only do some of the best car speakers make your music sound like the musicians are performing live in your car, but they also look nice once installed. Our list includes the best aftermarket car speakers for all music lovers and budgets.
The Pioneer TS-6900PRO is one of the best aftermarket car speakers available. Part of Pioneer’s TS line, its peak wattage checks in at 600 and it delivers excellent audio quality, especially if you listen to music with a lot of bass or drums. Sound engineers conceived the TS-6900PRO to produce consistent and realistic sound that will make you feel like you’re sitting a foot away from the band. It’s a relatively compact unit, too, so it won’t take up a huge amount of space in your car.
JBL is one of the most trusted names in the world of sound systems, so it comes as little surprise that it makes one the best aftermarket car speakers. The GTO 860 delivers accurate sound thanks in part to a woofer cone made out of fiberglass. Its design prevents overheating, and it’s one of the loudest speakers on the market, so you can crank up the volume as high as your eardrums can handle. Stuff a pair of GTOs in your front doors and you’ll turn your car’s stereo into a home theater system.
Depending on which car you install them in, aftermarket speakers generally deliver a different sound depending on the arrangement and spacing of each cabin. You will likely get more echo in a spread out, spacious model like the Chrysler Pacifica than in a relatively compact car like the Porsche 718 Boxster. Thankfully, the Infinity Kappa 62IX features adjustable tweeters so that you can manage this echo by aiming sound precisely where you want it. This solution gives you better sound quality than many standard speakers yet provides you with some control over what your setup delivers. This speaker is compact enough to fit in just about every vehicle model, and it looks so good you can leave it bare without ruining your car’s looks. Not to mention, the sound quality is top-notch.
Polk DB6501 ($100+ per pair)
Polk Audio’s DB6501 provides a crystal clear sound with minimal distortion at a lower price than many other available options. The sound quality is excellent, but these speakers may not be the most attractive choice for your vehicle. You’ll have to choose between compromised visual appeal or taking some extra time to hide the speakers under your car’s stock speaker grille. The trade-off is that Polk’s DB6501 is marine certified, which means it is water- and dirt-resistant. The Polk DB6502 speaker is a good option if you want to upgrade the sound system in an off-roader like the Jeep Wrangler that routinely gets muddy.
The Kenwood KFC-6965S may share its name with a fast-food restaurant, but it still offers the best way to upgrade your current sound system on a budget. The speaker is relatively basic, but it covers all the bases and basses without going overboard. Even if you don’t add in the subwoofer or treble, these speakers still have pretty good sound quality on their own. If you’re desperate to upgrade what you’ve already got and don’t have the budget to spring for a more expansive and higher quality option, the Kenwood is a great choice. However, you may want to consider other options if you’re trying to build an entirely new system.