A 6.5 speaker is many people’s go-to for ease of installation and a coaxial system for a rather affordable price, but is it really as simple as that? Will the installation and audio be all you expected, or will the ones you choose fall flat? That’s what our audio experts are here to answer today with the best 6.5 speakers.
Reviews of the Top 6.5 Speakers
The Kicker CSC65 is a pair of 2-way coaxial 6.5 car speakers designed to fit most cars for your convenience. The frequency and sensitivity are excellent. The small vehicle speakers can reach down to 40Hz and way up to 20,000 Hz. The sensitivity is at 90 dB, which allows for a loud and expansive sound that will outperform your factory speakers.
The EVC Technology will improve the performance of the woofer, which can deliver booming bass at 300 watts peak power handling and 100 watts RMS.
Design-wise, the cones and the surrounds are made of sturdy materials that will only add to the durability of the car speakers.
Rockford Fosgate P1650
The P1650 is part of the Rockford Fosgate Punch series, and they do pack a punch! These car speakers have a beautiful sleek black design and come in a small and easy-to-install package.
They come as a pair with the mounting hardware and are designed to integrate easily into your system. The 2-way units feature PEI dome tweeters, a Santoprene rubber surround, and a built-in crossover. The injection molded mineral polypropylene cone makes these car audio speakers high excursion.
The FlexFit2 basket also makes the Rockford Fosgate P1650 much more desirable because it can be slightly adjusted when mounted in the holes for the OEM speakers.
The Pioneer TS-F1634R proves that even budget 6.5 speakers can still be easy to install and provide decent audio. They are full-range loudspeakers that have a low impedance, wide frequencies, and a low mount. They match well with an OEM head unit, complement your vehicle interiors, and are a much better choice than your car’s factory speakers.
The mid-range performance is as good as the well-balanced high notes, but what stood out is the bass. There is no to minimal distortion even at high volumes, and they are an almost universal fit for most vehicles.
These JBL speakers feature carbon-injected Plus One cones for outstanding performance. The speaker cone in each car audio loudspeaker is bigger than other car speakers, which really helps the audio quality.
JBL incorporates their patented UniPivot tweeter, which allows users to aim the sound directly to the seating location for a more realistic sound regardless of the mounting area.
The JBL GTO629 also allows for adjustments and compensation for less than ideal placement. For example, the dual-level tweeter volume can be adjusted to suit your personal tastes. The frame, the cone, and all other components of the car speakers are geared towards a superb frequency response.
Infinity Reference 6532IX
The Infinity Reference 6532IX also has the Plus One cones that are larger than other speakers and allow for more air flow and bigger bass. These are some of the best car speakers for high frequencies with the 1-inch edge-driven textile dome tweeter. The construction is also of superior quality, with a polypropylene woofer cone and a rubber surround for maximum excursion.
These speakers are an excellent match for aftermarket or factory car audio systems due to their high sensitivity and low impedance. If you really want to make the most of the frequency response, pair the 6532IX with an amp.
The Kenwood KFC-1695PS speaker set is great for your sound system and offers an impressive bass response. It is a seamless match for many vehicle models and has a polypropylene cone and rubber surround for endurance and durability.
The balanced dome tweeter will enrich the speaker performance for the higher frequencies. The Kenwood speakers are equipped with an acoustic sound harmonizer that will help produce high-quality sound and improve the frequency response.
On top of the harmonizer, a sound field enhancer will propel audio signals even further to widen the sound field.
4 New Rockford Fosgate R165X3
The Rockford Fosgate R165X3 is a great 6.5-inch car speaker for value because they come in a set of 4. They are 3-way car coaxial speakers that can handle the high-frequency audio along with the mid-range and the bass all on their own.
You can get about 90 watts of power from each of the Rockford Fosgate speakers with a decent sound pressure level for optimal performance. The installation is very simple because these car speakers come with universal mounting holes, which can save you professional installation costs.
Skar Audio TX65
The Skar Audio TX65 speaker pair can handle constant vehicle vibrations with sturdy surrounds. The high foam silk dome tweeter plus the powerful ferrite magnet will give you deep bass.
The copper voice coil equipped within the Skar Audio TX65 can handle a high input power, long playing hours, and are vital to heat dissipation. The frequency response starts from 45 Hz and goes all the way up to 20,000 Hz, which is quite impressive for a car speaker.
If you need more emphasis on the high notes, the Skar Audio TX65 may the best 6.5 speaker for you, even without the help of an amp.
If you are choosing between 2 or 3-way 6.5 car speakers, our audio team always suggests 3-way models if possible. This is because they provide better sound quality with dedicated drivers.
As one of the best 6.5 car speakers, the Pyle PL63BL brings forth excellent audio with poly injection cones, piezo tweeters, and a dedicated mid-range tweeter. Our sonic engineers really like the refreshing blue cones that add a bit of edge to the regular black appearance.
Get ready for lower distortion, a wider soundstage, and longer playing hours regardless of the power handling with durable high temperature voice coils.
BOSS Audio Systems CH6530
If you don’t like the blue Pyle 6.5 car speakers, then you may like the red CH6530 speakers from Boss Audio. These speakers are one of the best 6.5 car speakers for audio quality because of the construction.
The cones are resilient and made from polyurethane, and the high temperature voice coils and stamped basket allows for optimal heat dissipation. The piezo tweeter and the mid-range cone can outdo your factory speakers with no effort.
Boss Audio also offers a 3-year warranty that is not offered by many 6.5 speaker manufacturers.
6.5 Speaker Buyer’s Guide
The car audio world is full of products that claim to be the best, and our audio professionals understand that it’s not easy to sort through the subpar products. A checklist is the best way to ensure you will get what you’re looking for, which is why our team compiled the below criteria for the best 6.5 speakers.
For many people, one of the first things to look for is the power handling of the speakers. There are two separate ratings – the peak power and RMS power ratings. It’s important to differentiate the two because you may risk blowing out your speakers if you only go by the peak power.
The peak power is the wattage at which you can pump your speakers in short bursts. Because it’s only recommended to be played for a short period, the peak power will be higher than the RMS power rating, which is the continuous power output.
In other words, the RMS is the loudest your speaker can be for long periods of music playing without risking damage. If your goal is to have loud sound emanating from your speakers, then high power handling is important.
For 6.5-inch speakers, our team recommends a combined power handling of 200 watts at the very least for max power. Of course, the higher, the better, but remember to consider the RMS more than the peak.
Sound Quality and Bass
The sound quality of the best 6.5 car speakers will ideally blow you away, but the definition of awesome sound is different for everyone. The car audio industry is always coming up with new innovations to incorporate into the speakers.
The sound spectrum is divided into the low notes, known as bass, the mid-range output, and the highs. Car speakers are usually coaxial speakers that are 2, 3, or 4-way. The type you choose will also impact the sound quality, which we will cover in a bit.
The bass quality in the car speaker system will depend on the type and the range. However, our experts will preface this by saying that 6.5 speakers are not known for their bass output, so expect the help of an amp for resounding low notes.
(For great sound quality, we have listed the loudest speaker with Bluetooth here)
The frequency response is the range of notes the speakers can hit. The wider the frequency response range, the more realistic and higher quality the audio will be. The human audible range  is within 20 Hz to 20 kHz. In reality, speakers that can produce any sound outside of this range won’t make much of a difference for your audio experience.
Most speakers can hit 45 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which is decent enough to relay all the sounds in our everyday songs. Because 6.5 speakers are not dedicated subwoofers and must account for full-range sound, they may not reach as low as a separate sub. For this reason, the bass quality in these speakers may need to be improved, and they can be with the help of an amp.
Sensitivity and Impedance
The sensitivity also impacts the loudness of your speakers, and it is measured in dB or decibels. The best-selling speakers on the market usually have at least an 88 dB rating. Our experts suggest at least a 90dB sensitivity, which can be hard for a component speaker, but it’s more often seen in a coaxial speaker.
However, our engineers also say that if your power output is already high, you can go lower on the sensitivity rating to lower the risk of distortion at high volumes.
Then there is the impedance, which is your speaker’s resistance to the electrical current. The lower the impedance rating is, the less resistance your speaker has to the power, making it more efficient. Our audio team suggests an impedance of 4 ohms for the best compatibility with an external amp.
You can find two types of crossovers in 6.5 inch car speakers – internal and external or passive and active, respectively. External crossovers give you more customizability, but you also need to have some know-how to do it correctly.
Integrated high pass crossovers, for example, are considered passive and don’t need power the way active ones do. Passive crossovers typically go between the amp and the driver you have.
An active crossover goes between the amp and the receiver, and its role is to redirect the right frequencies to the right drivers. Again, active crossovers are adjustable, while passive ones will remain the same.
How do you make sure your car speakers last for as long as possible? You look at the materials used to create them. Aside from the cone, you should also pay attention to the magnet, voice coil, basket, and surrounds.
The material will also impact the sound production of your car loudspeakers. Let’s start with the construction of the cones. Polypropylene woofer cones are excellent, as are silk dome tweeters for the high notes.
You can also find paper woofer cones, which are affordable, lightweight, stiff, and can be altered for a variety of purposes. If you choose paper cones, make sure they are treated. Our audio team says treated paper will be more resistant to environmental factors such as humidity and heat.
There are also the coveted Kevlar-reinforced cones as another example. They are very tough, yes, but they also make the woofer cone very stiff. Other examples of woofer cone construction materials include carbon fiber, fiberglass, ceramic and mica-injected cones.
As for tweeters, synthetic materials are resistant to humidity, which can be a constant factor inside the cabin of a car. They are also more lightweight, which gives them more fidelity. However, the fabric tweeters are more desirable. Our audio engineers recommend silk, as they provide a balanced sound that is the most realistic. You will find silk tweeters in higher-end models.
There are also aluminum and titanium tweeters, which are the most durable and hard-wearing. The metal tweeters are the ones capable of big bass and heavy-duty performance.
The next part that is crucial for the construction of car speakers is the surround. The surround is the part that encompasses the cone. Rubber surrounds are our team’s top suggestion. They are the most climate-resistant, which is not what we can say about foams.
When you’re checking out your next pair of 6.5 car speakers, be sure to pick the most durable materials within your budget that still have room for max excursion and high fidelity.
Coaxial vs Component Speakers
There are two types of speakers, coaxial and component speakers. We briefly mentioned the two types above, but our sound engineers will now go into more detail.
Let’s start with coaxial speakers, which are all-in-one designs. Coaxial speakers have all the drivers in one, while a component speaker system has a dedicated driver for each part of the audio spectrum. Because there is a driver responsible for each section, component loudspeakers can produce much more accurate sound.
Coaxial speakers can also produce all the parts of the spectrum but with less precision. That’s not to say they are of lower quality or any less desirable. In full honesty, unless you are a very passionate audiophile, most regular listeners may not be able to notice a big difference.
Because our team has years of experience, it’s easier for our members to distinguish muddier sound from the coaxials due to the drivers’ proximity to each other.
Component units will take more setup and more time, but because they are composed of separate drivers, you will have more freedom of placement. You can successfully find the best location for each for the best sound reproduction.
Our experts suggest coaxial speakers for people looking for a hassle-free upgrade to their factory car speakers. They do not provide the same versatility as the component speakers do.
Do 6.5 speakers have good bass?
Yes, 6.5 speakers have good bass, but it is nowhere near as impressive as a dedicated subwoofer. Keep in mind that 6.5 speakers were not created to deliver earth-shattering low tones. Instead, they are meant to hit the entire audio range.
Do 6.5 speakers sound better than 6x9?
No, 6.5 speakers do not sound better than 6×9, but remember that this is a very general statement. For example, poor quality 6x9s constructed with flimsy material will not sound better than high-quality 6.5 speakers. 6×9 speakers do have a larger cone surface.
Can you replace 6.5 speakers with 6x9?
Yes, you can replace 6.5 with 6×9 speakers, but not without some tweaks. 6.5 speakers are the conventional round shape, while 6×9 speakers are elliptical, or oval. You cannot expect to mount them in the same speaker holes without some adjustments.
Our Top Pick For a 6.5 Speaker:
The Kicker CSC65 walks away with the title of the best 6.5 speaker. Our team was impressed by the coaxial speaker pair that provides adequate power with advanced features such as EVC technology. The construction is also extra durable with PEI dome tweeters and a UV-treated woofer with a polypropylene cone. The high sensitivity rating will bring expansive sound to your car system.