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In this article: We'll review our best pick 6 1/2 inch coaxial speakers for your car or truck with quick reviews, product photos and price comparisons to help you save money.
6 1/2″ coaxial speakers are probably the most common aftermarket speakers purchased for cars and trucks. They're easier to install than a 6 1/2″ component speaker and in many cases are comparable in performance too. If you're looking to upgrade or replace your factory speakers, you've come to right right place.
There are a number of benefits to upgrading your car's system with a set of aftermarket coaxial speakers. We've seen so many cases where factory car speakers blow or distort prematurely, aren't loud enough or just sound terrible. Unless you've purchased a luxury car with an upgraded sound system, odds are you'll benefit significantly from one of our best pick 6.5″ coaxial speakers. And even if you do have an upgraded or amplified sound system from the factory, it doesn't mean you won't hear improvements from a quality aftermarket speaker.
Aftermarket speakers are made with better quality materials than typical OEM speakers. They can have an increased longevity and in most cases will provide improved audio performance too. There's a variety of added benefits and features to some aftermarket speakers too like weatherproofing and water resistance. One of the best parts about aftermarket speakers is that they're affordable. You'll find that in most cases, replacing your car's speakers with factory speakers is more expensive than a higher quality aftermarket coaxial speaker.
But what is a Coaxial speaker anyway? If you don't know what the difference is between a component and coaxial speaker, here's a quick overview:
Component Speakers are typically comprised of three main components: the driver, tweeter and crossover. Each component is separate from one another. The tweeters and driver are matched together, along with a crossover which limits the ranges of frequencies that the driver and tweeter omit. The easiest way to tell if your vehicle has a component speaker set is if the tweeters are installed in a different location from your drivers. Most commonly, you'll see this with cars that have the tweeters in the A-Pillars next to the windshield and the driver in the front door panel.
One of the main benefits to a component speaker is you can introduce directionality into your system. All that means is you can point the tweeters in a different direction than the drivers which can significantly improve sound quality believe it or not. And because the tweeters are not built into the speaker's cone, the driver can have more surface area to produce a wider range of frequencies.
Coaxial Speakers on the other hand, have the tweeter, driver and the crossover mounted together in one chassis. They are very popular because they are much easier to install, cheaper to manufacture, and don’t take up as much space as the component set. On a coaxial speaker, you'll find the tweeter built into the center of the driver. The crossover is also normally built in or not at all.
If you still don’t know the difference between a coaxial and component speaker and would like to learn more, click here for more information. And for more information about installation, be sure to take a look at our how to install your car speakers article.
Here Are Our Best 6 1/2 Inch Coaxial Car Speakers of 2023
- Best Overall 6 1/2″ Coaxial Car Speaker Pick: Focal PC 165 FE
- Best Entry Level 6.5″ Coaxial Speaker: Morel Tempo Ultra Integra 602 MKII
- Best 6.5″ Convertible Coaxial/Component Speaker: JL Audio C3-650
- Best 6 1/2 Inch Speaker for Volume: Alpine R2-S65
- Best 6.5″ Coaxial Speaker for Factory Upgrades: Infinity PR6512is
- Best 6 1/2″ Coaxial Speaker for Bass: Rockford Fosgate Power T1675
- Best 6 1/2 Inch Coaxial Speaker Under $100: Polk Audio DB652
Best Overall 6 1/2″ Coaxial Car Speaker Pick
Focal PC 165 FE Review
One glance and you’ll want to hear these speakers from Focal. The PC 165 FE is our pick for the best overall 6 1/2 inch coaxial speaker. The flax-fiber woofer cone has a unique textile look to it that gives it a high-end appearance. The speakers back up the high-end appearance with a smooth and natural sound that is unique to a flax-fiber woofer.
We’ve always loved Focal products. We’ve featured their products in various best lists for years now, including our list of best 6.5” component speakers. Before the PC 165 FE we had the K2 Power. A list of recommended car speakers should never exclude a few brands, one of them is Focal.
Naturally, a Flax Evo series speaker like the PC 165 FE features Focal’s flax woofer cones. Flax creates an acoustically ideal surface because the channels in the material dampen vibrations. It’s around half the weight of traditional fiberglass but maintains some of the same features like rigidity. It’s one of the unique materials Focal uses that you won’t find on many other speakers.
The flax cone can only do its job so well because of a unique surround design though. Focal calls it’s surround design TMD for ‘tuned mass damper.” The surround allows the rigid woofer to move effortlessly and without flexing. This combination of parts provides the speaker with its unique sound and precision.
The unique architecture of the inverted dome tweeter also contributes to the warm sound of the Focal PC 165 FE speakers. The M-shaped profile softens the highs and keeps the speakers from sounding too harsh. The recessed location in the center of the woofer cone helps to break up directionality for a more filling sound too.
At Focal, details are not missed, even when it comes to the frame. It’s made from a magnesium and aluminum alloy and laser engraved. Precision, precision, precision.
Focal rates these coaxial speakers at 70 watts RMS with a peak of 140 watts. Like a few other options on our list, these speakers benefit from a good amplifier but don’t necessarily require it. The sound gets better with a good bit of power behind it though. These speakers have a frequency response that hits between 60 and 28k Hz to cover the ideal audible range.
|Model||PC 165 FE|
|Power (RMS)||70 watts|
|Power (Peak)||140 watts|
|Frequency Response||60 – 28,000 Hz|
- Excellent warm and natural sound with clear midrange
- High-end look that is hard to cover up with a grill
- Made from only the best materials
- Difficult to fit in some locations due to larger-than-standard cutout size
Best Entry Level 6.5″ Coaxial Speaker
Morel Tempo Ultra Integra 602 MKII Review
There is a lot to love about Morel speakers and they consistently end up on our “Best of” lists. The former Tempo Ultra Integra 602 was one of our favorites, so we were excited to check out the updated MK.II version. The new model looks almost the same and has basically the same specs but has a few small changes that make the updated version even better than the original.
One of the things that Morel does to enhance the audio quality is to develop products that provide the proper phase of music. The Tempo series uses a recessed tweeter that is designed to work with the woofer cone to ensure perfect time alignment. This makes your music smoother and more controlled.
Concentric alignment with the woofer cone allows the speaker to perform consistently across all frequencies without losing frequencies or introducing distortion. The result is clean, clear, lively audio that is realistic and life-like to create a dynamic sound stage.
Typical coaxial speakers combine the woofer and tweeter, which works fine, but sacrifices some tonal values and leads to a muddy mixture of high and low frequencies. What Morel did was to recess the tweeter and mount it separate from the woofer cone.
The woofer cone is made from treated pressed paper which provides great rigidity and helps these coaxial speakers deliver a warm sound. Not so good for damp environments though. The 1-inch silk tweeter adds to the audio quality by producing softer high frequencies without harshness.
By lowering the rim of the tweeter, Morel was able to properly align the frequencies coming from both speakers to produce a natural, full, and aligned sound.
The speaker carries a massive magnet that is selected by Morel specifically to enhance precision and, of course, volume. But the design is also engineered to reduce heat even at high volumes, which is always a good thing.
The highly acclaimed MXR crossover built right into the loudspeaker. The design lets the proper frequencies be split off to the tweeter or the woofer with nearly no loss throughout the frequency band and ensures you get the cleanest and most powerful sound without the bulk of traditional passive crossovers. The design keeps everything clean and out of sight.
Not only do these speakers sound amazing, but they can also handle a ton of power. To get the most from these speakers, you’ll want to use a high quality amplifier. Morel rates them to handle 110 watts RMS with a peak of 220 watts. The speakers can reproduce frequencies between 50 Hz and 22,000 Hz. That covers all the audible frequencies your ear can hear. These speakers are excellent for use as rear fill speakers particularly in the doors where they help to blend and balance mid and bass frequencies. They also make an excellent choice for front speakers to help create a truly dynamic sound stage with proper phase shifting for a natural sound. These speakers measure larger than typical 6.5” speakers. The Mk.II versions are even slightly larger than the first gen models and will require modifications on many cars.
|Model||Tempo Ultra Integra 602 MKII|
|Power (RMS)||110 watts|
|Power (Peak)||220 watts|
|Frequency Response||50 – 22,000 Hz|
- Incredibly detailed tones with a natural feel
- Sounds even better when mated to a high-quality amplifier supplying around 100 watts
- Technically a 6.75” speaker, so could require modifications
- Mid-range frequencies can be muddy when the speakers don’t have enough power
- Paper cones can lack long-term durability
Best 6.5″ Convertible Coaxial/Component Speaker
JL Audio C3-650 Review
Sometimes you want a coaxial speaker, sometimes you want a component. Either way, you want a durable, great sounding speaker. The JL Audio C3-650 is considered a convertible speaker because the center mounted tweeter can be removed and mounted component-style with a phase plug or fitted as a built-in tweeter coaxial-style.
We really like this choice for a speaker for two reasons. One, the C3 lineup is an excellent choice for a well-performing speaker. We wouldn’t consider it a competitive stereo choice but it performs very well. And two, the versatility of the speaker design that’s a direct result of JL’s R&D. JL Audio is very well known for their R&D in the audio world and this is yet another example of it.
Even though the removable tweeter is the star of the show, it’s the high-quality mica-injected polypropylene woofer cone that does the most work. A butyl rubber surround keeps the cone stable. Butyl rubber is always a good sight to see in a surround – it’s a tried and true product that typically is only featured on a higher quality speaker. JL Audio also engineered a glass-filled polymer frame that uses cooling channels to increase the voice coil responsiveness and prevent unwanted vibrations, resonance, and distortion.
JL Audio speakers undergo a process that the company has developed over their decades of experience to perfect the way a speaker sounds in a car while in motion. By applying DMA to these speakers, what you hear is a better representation of certain frequencies. Properly tuned, you’ll get cleaner, tighter, more punchy bass from these 6.5-inch speakers in a vehicle setting.
The C3-650’s tweeters are some of the best you’ll find. They are crisp, clear, and full without being tinny or harsh. They feature a ferrofluid cooling mechanism that enables these little guys to remain clear and stable even at high volumes. The one-inch silk dome ensures smooth and rich frequencies that don’t overpower the interior of a vehicle.
The tweeter assembly simply twists into the phase plug region of the woofer when mounted as a coaxial. When removed, JL Audio supplies a phase plug that fills the space and ensures that your woofer produces a broad soundstage.
To get the most out of the convertible design, JL Audio engineered these speakers to work with a separate crossover network. We think this is a good thing even though you don’t see it on too many coaxial speakers. The crossovers ensure that high-frequency sounds go to the tweeters while the woofer gets the midrange and bass. A crossover network makes a substantial improvement in the way a coaxial system sounds.
JL Audio rates these for an RMS of 75 watts continuous power handling. They recommend an amplifier ranging from 25 watts up to 150 watts per channel to get the most out of the speakers. The speakers can produce frequencies between 48 and 25,000 Hz, well within the ranges of the average ear. In some applications, these speakers take a little tuning to get everything set correctly, but the results are worth it.
|Power (RMS)||75 watts|
|Power (Peak)||225 watts|
|Frequency Response||48 – 25,000 Hz|
- Makes going from coaxial to component easy and simple
- Can purchase matching speakers for front door component setups and rear door coaxials
- Incredible bass and midrange with quality tweeter
- Should really be amplified with proper power
- Not well-suited for open air installations
Best 6 1/2 Inch Speaker for Volume
Alpine R2-S65 Review
It’s been a long time coming, but high-res audio is finally having its moment in the car audio world. After decades of being relegated to expensive home theaters and recording studios, brands like Alpine are betting that buyers want to take advantage of the modern capabilities available. To get the most out of your music, you need a great-sounding speaker, and that is exactly what the next generation of Alpine R-series speakers brings.
CFRP Woofer Cone and Tweeter Diaphragm
It starts with the proprietary woofer cone design. Flex and weight are the two enemies of a speaker cone, which is why we emphasize it so much in our reviews here. Alpine uses carbon fiber intermeshed with a polymer reinforcement for the composition of the cone. The fibers are aligned with the curvature of the cone to produce an ultra-strong, incredibly lightweight surface that structurally minimizes distortion and unwanted harmonics that come along with a flexing, heavy cone. The new tweeter design uses a magnesium dome that sets off the highs perfectly against the aggressive mid-bass frequencies generated by the woofer.
A strong and light cone is only useful when the speaker incorporates a surround design that can take advantage of the performance. Many manufacturers have introduced proprietary designs and technology to improve the surrounds. In this case, Alpine uses its patented design that stands for High-Amplitude Multi-Roll. This surround design allows for lots of movement without putting stress on the cone to shift or distort. This helps to prevent frequency and volume loss at higher power levels.
Frame, Basket, and Magnet
The overall design of the RS-65 coaxials is intended to allow the speaker to fit in tight locations. The lightweight aluminum frame and basket fully surround the spider and magnet, making these an excellent choice to mount without the use of a box or baffle. A neodymium magnet gives the speaker a shorter profile too without a loss in performance, while the design of the grill reduces the overall height of the speaker (if you decide to use it).
Power and Performance
Alpine says these speakers will handle 100 watts RMS and can take a peak input up to 300 watts. If you are picking these speakers, you are looking for loud and full frequencies. These speakers focus most of their attention in the lower-mid and bass range, while the tweeter nicely fills in the high frequencies.
The speakers are rated to handle frequencies between 35 Hz and 40,000 Hz. You’ll want to use an aftermarket amp that puts out at least 45 watts per channel and don’t be bashful about going higher than that. These speakers like power.
|Power (RMS)||100 watts|
|Power (Peak)||300 watts|
|Frequency Response||65 – 40,000 Hz|
- Intense, deep mid-range frequency that outperforms many other designs
- The newest generation of R-series speakers brings high-res playback to the car audio community
- Midrange frequencies can become muddy at high-volume levels
- Not suitable for a factory replacement speaker without amplification
Best 6.5″ Coaxial Speaker for Factory Upgrades
Infinity PR6512is Review
We used to think that you couldn’t really get a good sounding 6.5-inch coaxial speaker without spending big money. Then, Infinity came along with the PR6512IS and blew our minds. We were concerned that these would just be some rebadged garbage, but that’s not at all what you get with this set of affordable coaxial speakers.
Apart from their stylish design and low pricepoint, we really love how universal these are. They’re one of the few speakers on this list that really don’t need to be amplified to get great volume and performance from them but will benefit from the extra power. They also are surprisingly great for handling bass. They’re our choice for upgrading your factory system with.
Like higher-priced Infinity speakers, Infinity extends their proprietary Plus One+ technology to their PR6512is. This design pushes the woofer cone to the very edge of the basket, effectively increasing the surface area of the cone by nearly 25%. That directly translates to deeper coverage, fuller sounding bass without the need to overpower the speaker. The woofer cone is a polypropylene design that uses a rubber surround.
The tweeter in these speakers rivals those costing hundreds more. The use of an edge-driven motor allows the tweeter to produce smooth, consistent high frequencies without getting harsh. A textile dome adds to the softening characteristics that allows the tweeters to sound so good.
Most four-ohm speakers measure that resistance at the speaker, meaning you’ll have higher resistance overall which reduces the amount of power available to your speakers. These speakers measure at 2.7 ohms to allow for a true four-ohm overall resistance once you factor in speaker wire. Again, this design makes the Infinity PR65 an excellent factory upgrade for a system while also making for a good choice in amplified aftermarket systems.
Infinity provides a rated power handling of 55 watts with a peak of 165 watts. A moderate amplifier will make these speakers sound the best, but many aftermarket car stereos and factory head units will provide enough power for them to still sound good. They operate in a frequency range of 53 Hz up to 20,000 Hz. This range means you won’t get super high frequencies typical of music containing string instruments and horns. Bass performance is excellent, even with a small amplifier.
|Power (RMS)||55 watts|
|Power (Peak)||165 watts|
|Frequency Response||53 – 20,000 Hz|
- Totally affordable way to get the unique Infinity sound and look with performance to back it up
- Ideal for a factory upgrade or where long runs of wire are needed, like in a limo
- Lacks high frequency range that others have
- Not necessarily a ‘high performance’ speaker
Best 6 1/2″ Coaxial Speaker for Bass
Rockford Fosgate T1675 Quick Review
Next on our list is the Rockford Fosgate Power T1675. These speakers have been on our list for nearly three years now, outlasting many others that normally cycle through or have new versions released. Probably because there's really not much to upgrade!
An oversized 6.5″ (still fits 6.5″ openings) pair of coaxial car speakers, these speakers are very well priced for their level of performance. They put out a peak 140 watts per speaker, have a 4 ohm impedance and great sensitivity at 88 dB. Since they're an oversized speaker, their cone is a bit larger, giving it more surface area to power the low frequencies. Designed as a high powered OEM speaker replacement, these Rockfords are also a great factory option. Whether you have an OEM, aftermarket head unit, or even if you have a high-powered amplifier – the T1675 is another great option and worth your consideration.
|Power (RMS)||55 watts|
|Power (Peak)||165 watts|
|Frequency Response||53 – 20,000 Hz|
- Superb lows and highs
- Great sound quality and performance for the price
- Works best in conjunction with an amplifier
- Crossovers are huge
Best 6 1/2 Inch Coaxial Speaker Under $100
Polk Audio DB652 Quick Review
Undoubtedly a stylish pair of speakers, the popular Polk Audio DB652 also packs a punch with 300 watts peak power handling per speaker. With a good frequency range, sensitivity of 92 dB, and incredible price in the $70-80s, the DB652 gets the CarAudioNow Best Value award.
Prior to the DB652, we favored their predecessor DB651. The newer DB652 only improves on their prior winner on our list. They feature polymer/mica composite woofers with durable rubber surroundings that are built to withstand heat and moisture without falling apart. The tweeter is a liquid-cooled 3/4″ silk/polymer dome with Neodymium magnets for crisp and clear high frequency sound reproduction. The tweeters even pivot, allowing you to aim them wherever you'd like. And like most of Polk's speakers, the DB652s are water resistant and marine rated, so if you're looking for a great speaker to put into your boat, these are the speakers for you.
|Power (RMS)||100 watts|
|Power (Peak)||300 watts|
|Frequency Response||40 – 22,000 Hz|
- Great for use in marine environments (water resistant)
- Excellent power handling
- Stylish grills
- Highs can be harsh
Looking for a different type of speaker? Check out these lists!
About this List
We take our best lists very seriously. Our number one priority is for our viewers to trust that the information here is legitimate and give the the knowledge and confidence to choose a product that suits their needs. The best pick 6 1/2″ coaxial car speakers that we compile for this list are based on our own extensive research and first hand tests with speakers. Our list is a guideline, based on what we think are quality made speakers that will sound great, last long and are built by manufacturers you can trust. We don't copy other lists from across the web either. They originate here. We're also constantly updating our lists so if you ever need a pair of 6.5″ coaxial speakers in the future, be sure to check back for the latest and greatest.
How We Tested
In order to find the best 6.5″ coaxial speakers, CarAudioNow has combined several reviews across the industry with first-hand tests. There are many criteria that we take into consideration when rating and reviewing each speaker, including:
- Style (Looks, Design)
- Power Ratings (Peak, RMS)
- Quality (Materials used, manufacturer, etc)
- Online Reviews (From multiple vendors such as Sonic Electronix, Crutchfield, Amazon and more)
The result from our combination of sources and testing is a list of the top rated and reviewed 6.5″ coaxials. And in addition to our compilation of best rated products, CarAudioNow also provides multiple comparisons of prices from vendors to try to get you the best price for all of your products. But in the end, the best speaker is one that meets your specific needs and is compatible with your car.
Common Speaker Terms & Ratings
When comparing and choosing coaxial speakers on today's market, CarAudioNow takes into consideration several key criteria: Lets define a few common terms that are compared when rating a car speaker:
Power Handling: Power handling is the measurement a manufacture gives to rate how much power a speaker can handle and operate at. It is given by two measurements, RMS and Peak (or MAX). RMS Power rating is the amount of power the speaker handles continuously, while the Peak Power rating is the amount of power a speaker can handle in short bursts. When comparing speakers, RMS Power is the more relevant and important rating to look at.
Sensitivity: The speaker sensitivity rating is a measurement of the amount of sound the speaker will emit from the power it’s given. The higher the sensitivity, the more efficient the speaker is with the power it’s given. For lower powered systems, you want a higher sensitivity rating. For a higher powered system, you want a lower sensitivity rating. Lower sensitivity rated speakers are meant to handle higher power.
Frequency Range: Frequency range is the frequencies that the speaker emits sound at, measure in Hz. Normally they are given from a low frequency to high, for example: 20 – 22,000 (22k) Hz. This measure how low and high the speaker can actually emit sound at.
Speaker Design and Materials
Woofer: The speaker woofer can determine the responsiveness, and quality of the speaker. The stiffer and more lightweight the material used, the more effective the speaker is. Polypropylene is a very common material used for the cone, as well as woven fabrics such as kevlar. Aluminum and titanium are also used in higher end speakers.
Woofer Surrounding: The woofer surround also is an important aspect of the speaker system and effect the sound as well. Durable, lightweight, and free moving materials are used to allow the woofer to move with as little energy possible. The material is essential for a long lasting and performing speaker too. As speakers get older and used, humidity levels and wear-and-tear can crack and even break the surrounding of the woofer. Rubber surrounding is typically the most long lasting an high performing material. Foam an cloth surroundings are found on less expensive component speakers, with lower performance and shorter life spans.
Crossovers: When you purchase a component car speaker system, a crossover is almost always a part of the package. External crossovers are typically used to lessen the amount of distortion a speaker might have by separating the frequency inputs. Signals can cross through coated wiring and cause distortion, so an external crossover system will limit this.
At the end of the day, remember that ultimately the best pair of 6 1/2 inch coaxial car speakers will meet the needs of your vehicle, your music preference, and your wallet. In some cases, the products on our list might not be the ideal setup for you so make sure you keep your personal preferences in mind when choosing your next set of speakers