Last updated on May 22nd, 2019 at 07:45 pm
Upgrading your car's factory speakers with a pair of the Best Coaxial Car Speakers will give new life to your daily driving. Coaxial speakers combine the woofer and the tweeter onto the same axis. Compared to component speakers, where the tweeter and the larger woofer are separate and need to be mounted separately. Coaxials are a combo package. This allows the projection of a full range of sound and frequencies from ‘one' speaker. They’re easier to install and easier to wire. You can even replace component speakers with coaxials if you’d like. This type of speaker is arguably the most popular speakers on the market.
There are a number of benefits to upgrading your vehicle's stereo with a set of aftermarket coaxial speakers. Car manufacturers don't focus on their speakers as much as they should. In most cases, the factory speakers that come with your car are cheaply made. They aren't built for audio performance either. Aftermarket speakers are made with better quality materials than OEM speakers. They have a longer lasting life, and in most cases will provide improved audio performance too. There's also a number of added benefits and features to aftermarket speakers, like weatherproof and water resistance. And 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 OEM units is more expensive than a higher quality aftermarket coaxial speaker. If you're not 100% positive your car will fit a 6 1/2″ speaker, check out our car speaker fitment guide to confirm the speaker sizes for your year, make and model.
Here is a list of 2019's top rated and reviewed 6 1/2 inch coaxial car speakers to help you choose the best products for your car's stereo:
|Our Rank||6.5" Coaxial Speaker||Speaker Type||Power Handling||Frequency Response||Price|
|1||JL Audio C5-650X||2 Way||RMS: 75 Watts|
Peak: 225 Watts
|48 - 25k Hz||$$$|
|2||Hertz HCX 165||2 Way||RMS: 100 Watts|
Peak: 200 Watts
|50 - 22k Hz||$$|
|3||Focal K2 Power 165KRC||2 Way||RMS: 80 Watts|
Peak: 160 Watts
|60 - 20k Hz||$$$|
|4||JL Audio C3-650||2 Way||RMS: 75 Watts|
Peak: 150 Watts
|48 - 25k Hz||$$$|
|5||Alpine SPR-60||2 Way||RMS: 100 Watts|
Peak: 300 Watts
|65 - 29k Hz||$|
|6||Rockford Fosgate Power T1675||2 Way||RMS: 75 Watts|
Peak: 150 Watts
|55 - 22k Hz||$$|
|7||Polk Audio DB652||2 Way||RMS: 100 Watts|
Peak: 300 Watts
|40 - 22k Hz||$|
Before you scroll down to our full list of 6 1/2 inch coaxials, make sure you know the difference between a coaxial and component car speaker:
Component Speakers are typically a pair of tweeters and mid-bass drivers (speakers) that are matched with a crossover that limits the frequency range each speaker reproduces. You can tell if your car has components if you have more than one speaker for each channel, or if the tweeter is separate from the mid-bass driver. Usually component sets are in the front of the vehicle.
Coaxial Speakers have the tweeter, mid-bass driver and the crossover mounted together in one space saving speaker. They are very popular because they are much easier to install and don’t take up as much space as the component set. Coaxial speakers are usually found in the rear of the vehicle.
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.
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.
Unsure what speaker size your car has? Search for your make and model using our Speaker Fitment Guide to find out if the speakers on this list match the speaker size of your car!
Best 6 1/2 Inch Coaxial Car Speakers List
JL Audio C5-650X Quick Review
On the top of our list of The Best 6.5″ Coaxial Car Speakers is the JL Audio C5-650X. The C5-650X features long-excursion mineral-filled polypropylene woofers that have longer travel that push more air, as well as a cast alloy frame with a patented cooling design that increases its efficiency and power handling.
One of the great unique features that the C5-650X has is external crossovers. These give you 4 position tweeter level and 3 midrange level controls so you can tweak the sound to you preference.
- Great build quality
- Powerful sound
- Superb sound clarity and quality
- High price tag
Hertz HCX 165 Quick Review
You won't find a bad review about this pair of coaxial car speakers – the Hertz HCX 165. Built with an over-sized magnet, a damped mesh fibre cone and loss-less polymer rubber surround, the HCX 165 was designed to produce smooth, clear and loud music efficiently. They are manufactured with high quality materials with high standards. The combination results in one of the top speakers on the market today. It's an all around great product and an excellent choice for almost any application.
- Smooth and clear sound quality
- Higher power handling
- Quite affordable
- Large metal plate around the screw hole, making installation tricky in some cases
FOCAL K2 Power 165KRC Quick Review
The Focal K2 Power 165KRC has a power handling of 160 watts peak per speaker, a high sensitivity of 93 dB and great frequency range. It is undoubtedly one of the best quality and performing set of coaxial speakers on the market, meant to blow away it's competitors.
The 165KRC features woofers that are made from Aramid, foam and glass fibers that are designed to play all types of music with precision and power. These woofers are mounted in a zinc-aluminum alloy baskets that are non-magnetic, which eliminates all interference.
In addition to the innovative design and engineering, during assembly Focal meticulously tests every model to ensure that they meet Focal's standards. But, with a heavy price tag, it might dig deep into your wallet which is why it is number 3. But if you have the cash, the Focal K2's are truly one of the ultimate coaxial speakers.
- Crisp, clear sound quality
- Innovative design
- Great coaxial speakers
- A bit pricy
JL Audio C3-650 Quick Review
The JL Audio C3-650 loudspeaker is an impeccable coaxial speaker with plenty of bass, power, and control. It gives you the opportunity to mount the woofer and tweeter separately, filling the car with rich and crystal-clear sounds from your stereo. They call it a convertible component. But if you don’t want to mount the woofer and tweeter separately, you can just install the twitter inside the woofer and still receive optimal performance from like a coaxial speaker.
JL Audio did not disappoint with the construction and aesthetic looks of the C3-650. They used innovative construction techniques that not only enhance the speaker’s beauty but also improve its quality of music production. The unit uses a 6-1/2” mica-filled polypropylene woofer designed to ensure perfect delivery of the low and midrange frequencies. It has a glass-filled polymer frame with elevated frame cooling that prevents any interference to your music.
The tweeters are made with a silk soft dome that features Ferrofluid cooling and damping to prevent overheating when handling extremely high frequencies. They provide great musical clarity and if mounted separately, a phase plug is provided and installed in their place within the woofer. The system also features a 2-way external crossover that you can use to adjust your woofer’s and tweeter’s settings to match the speaker’s output to your tastes.
- Quality construction for durability
- Clear, rich and powerful sound quality
- Grills Included
- On the pricy side
Alpine SPR-60C Quick Review
The Alpine SPR-60C is one of the best coaxials on our list for those looking to replace their existing speakers and use with an aftermarket head unit. But, they're also an excellent choice for an amplified system and can handle power with ease so you can be confident in turning it up without hearing any distortion.
The SPR-60C features multi-layer hybrid fiber woofer cones for great bass response, silk tweeters for producing highs that bring out your music's high details and powerful neodymium magnets that are smaller and lighter but pack just as much punch. Type-R speakers have come fit the demographic for those who like to ‘crank it to the max', so if you fit the profile, the SPR-60C's are the speaker for you.
- Stylish, sleek design and easy to mount
- Great bass and extremely clear low’s
- Good power handling
- Decent volume output
- Mounting brackets are a bit fragile
Rockford Fosgate T1675 Quick Review
Next on our list is the Rockford Fosgate Power T1675. An oversized 6.5″ (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 a great upgrade to your car's stereo. 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.
- Superb lows and highs
- Great sound quality and performance for the price
- Works best in conjunction with an amplifier
- Crossovers are huge
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.
- Great for use in marine environments (water resistant)
- Excellent power handling
- Really easy to install
- Slightly harsh highs
Best Car Speakers: 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 criteria and terms that are compared when rating a 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
You know you want the best 6.5 coaxial car speakers, the only question is, how to fit them?
The thought of installing a car speakers can be quite intimidating. They're built into doors, sometimes the dashboard and maybe the rear parcel shelf. How do you get the old ones out and replacements in without damaging all that trim? And if you're upgrading to a coaxial system, you'll need a way of mounting new tweeters high in the doors.
Fact is, car speaker installation is easier than it looks. All you need are a few simple tools and a little knowledge. We'll provide that know-how here, hopefully inspiring you to tackle this not-too-difficult project. The subsections that follow address:
- Vehicle-to-vehicle differences
- Parts needed
- Tools needed
- Replacing door speakers
- Adding tweeters
- Dash-mounted speakers
- Speakers in the parcel shelf
It would be great if car manufacturers could standardize they way they build doors and install speakers, but they don't. Every vehicle is different. As a result we can only provide generic advice on installing a coaxial system or those 6.5 coaxial speakers you've picked from our “Best Car Speakers” list. We will however address the most common place manufacturers like to place speakers: the doors, and also the parcel shelf and dash.
In addition to the speakers, consider buying two other items:
- A vehicle-specific wiring harness. This connects the speakers to the dedicated plastic plug on the end of the wiring loom in the car. The alternative is to cut the wires and make crimped or soldered connections.
- Speaker brackets or speaker adapters. These are for when either your new speakers are a different size to those already in the vehicle, or the mounting holes don't line up. How will you know if you need them? Well the 6.5 coaxial is such a common size you may not need them at all, but it may be that you can't tell for sure until the door trim is off.
The biggest challenge you will face is removing interior trim without damaging it. For that you need a set of special “pry” tools. These look like a flat-bladed paint scraper with a slot cut down the middle. Some are bent midway down, making them good for reaching into tight spaces up near the door hinge. Fortunately they're inexpensive and you can pick them up at your favorite low cost tools store.
Having alerted you to that requirement, here's a list of what you will probably need:
- Pry tools – flat and angled
- Cross-head (Phillips) screwdrivers (or bits for your drill)
- Small sockets – metric and inch
- Crimp tools (if you're not going the dedicated wiring harness route) or a solder gun and heat shrink sleeving.
- Craft knife (for cutting through foam or sealant.)
- Hole saw of the size needed to cut openings for tweeters, preferably with the finest tooth pitch you can find. (Obviously, not applicable if you're installing co-axial speakers.)
Replacing Door Speakers
Most modern cars have the speakers mounted in the doors. You may still find a few with them in the dash and others in the rear parcel shelf. Here we'll concentrate on those in the doors, and add some tips for dealing with those other locations. To start with we'll assume you're replacing the OEM co-axial speakers. In the section after this we'll address how to add tweeters, if you're going the coaxial route.
1. Park where you've got room to open both doors fully, then disconnect the battery.
2. Study the door trim to find any securing screws. Remove any that are visible, others may be hidden under removable trim pieces, perhaps under the armrest.
3. Remove the window controls. Most cars have switches in the arm rest and this panel can usually be popped up (being careful not to scratch any surfaces.) Then disconnect the wiring. If there's any possibility of mixing the wires, wrap masking tape round them and mark it up appropriately.
If your car has crank windows the handle has to come off. It may be held in place by a screw but more often there's a spring clip between the handle and door trim. Your pry tools should be good for removing this.
4. Most cars have a “sail panel” covering where the door mirror mounts. This will likely need to come off before the door trim will lift away. Unless you see screws holding it in place use your pry tool to reach down the sides and pop it out.
5. Remove the door trim. Start by sliding your pry tool between door and trim panel at the bottom corner. Slide the tool sideways until you find a retaining clip. Jiggle the tool to put the clip in the center slot, and pop the panel up. Slide to the next clip and repeat. Keep doing this until you can slide the tool the entire way around the perimeter of the door panel. (Not every panel is held on by retaining clips. You may find that after removing a few screws it will just lift up and off.)
Once the panel is free, carefully lift it away, watching for any cables going to the door release. If these get in the way just disconnect them cables. Sometimes it's enough to just turn the panel 90° and lean it on the door.
6. Now the speakers are exposed, undo the retaining screws. If they are original the vehicle manufacturer may have used foam adhesive or sealant to help hold them in place: cut through that with your craft knife. Lift the speaker out and slide off the wiring connectors. There's almost always a fat and a thin terminal: the fat one is positive.
7. Test fit the new speakers to see if the screw holes line up. If they don't you'll need to use a speaker adapter. Install that in the door before hooking up the new speakers.
(If you're installing a combination car speaker set, drop down to the tweeter section below now.)
8. Make the electrical connections. If a purpose-made harness isn't available either crimp or solder and heat-shrink the wires. If you're concerned about whether you got the polarity right, reconnect the battery and play some music through them. You'll soon tell if they sound right or not!
9. Tuck the wires away in the door making sure they won't rattle, then mount the new speakers in place.
10. Refit the door panel. Sometimes it takes a good thump to seat the retaining clips. Reconnect switch controls and put that panel back in place. Install any screws you took out and put any other pieces of trim back. Then go to the other side of the vehicle and do it all over again!
Start by following steps 1 through 7 of the door speaker instructions above. Then do the following:
- Decide where you'll mount the tweeters. They should be as high and as far forward as possible to create the best soundstage, but make sure they won't interfere with the window operation.
- Mark the location on the inner side of the door trim panel and on any metal you'll need to cut in the door itself. Use the hole saw to cut the two openings. File sharp edges smooth and use touch-up paint on the bare metal.
- Install the mounting hardware supplied with the tweeters. (This will include a grille for the opening you've cut in the door.)
- Connect the wires from the audio system into the crossover. Hook the speakers up to the output side.
- Mount the external crossover box inside the door. You'll need a way of making this secure so it doesn't come loose and start rattling.
From this point the test and reassembly points are the same as in the door speaker section above. Resume at Point 8.
Dash Mounted Speakers
If you're lucky these will be covered by removable grilles. Take out any retaining screws or just pop the grilles out with your pry tool for access to the mounting screws. If you're unlucky the only way to reach these is from beneath the dash. That's a much harder project, unless there's a way to remove the entire upper panel.
Speakers in the Parcel Shelf
These are usually accessible through the trunk or liftgate. The biggest challenge may be contorting yourself into the shape needed to work on them. As with the door speakers, be sure to make good electrical connections.
Ready to start?
A speaker upgrade is an easy way to improve your automotive audio experience. Read our reviews to learn which we consider the best car speakers. In just a few hours you'll be enjoying music as the artists intended.