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8 Best 6.5 Component Speakers in 2022 – Reviews and Buying Guide

From Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again to Talking Heads’ Road To Nowhere, Americans have been writing songs about driving since vehicles first hit the road.

And whether it’s Rihanna’s Shut Up And Drive or Springsteen’s Born To Run, a classic road tune sounds better when it’s turned up to the max.

But what happens when you crank those factory speakers?

The bass disappears into distortion. And the highs get lost altogether. It can start to feel like you’re on a highway to hell.

So why do factory speakers sound so bad? Well, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) speakers are typically single cone speakers – the cheapest kind of speaker they can get away with. With a single cone speaker, one speaker is producing all your highs and lows.

For great quality sound at all volumes, you need a 6.5″ component speaker. A component speaker is built up of a woofer for the lows and a tweeter for the highs. A crossover channels the appropriate frequency to the right output.

Suddenly, your vehicle’s speakers are a two-car garage: take the 4×4 off roading and hop in the Ferrari when you feel the need for speed.

Worried about installing your component speakers? You can find component speakers that work with your factory amplifier and all the OEM wiring – but if you want to take your sound system to the next level then an aftermarket amp is always an option.

We’ve picked the best of the bunch, from big-name brands like Rockford Fosgate and Alpine. All built with premium materials and with a range of options for installation.

So whether you’re road trippin’ or driving to where the streets have no name, take 6.5″ component speakers along for the ride.

The Best 6.5″ Component Speakers in 2022

Let’s get right into the list and help you find the best 6.5″ component speaker system for your vehicle.

Premium Choice
Alpine SPR-60C
Alpine SPR-60C
  • Delivers clear & loud music and high volumes
  • Design fits in almost any vehicle
  • Swivel tweeter lets you dial in the speaker to match your listening position
View on Amazon →
Best Looking
JBL GT0609C
JBL GT0609C
  • 2-way 6.5 inch component system
  • Premium matte black and chrome exterior looks
  • Delivers a full-range audio experience
View on Amazon →
Best Tight On A Budget
Rockford Fosgate R165-S
Rockford Fosgate R165-S
  • Sounds exceptionally with just 40 watts of RMS power
  • Premium construction
  • Looks great and fits well in most OEM locations
View on Amazon →
Best With Your OEM Receiver
Infinity Reference 6530CX
Infinity Reference 6530CX
  • Sounds top quality even at low power output
  • The crossover feature improves clarity and response
  • Good low-end response down to 53 Hz
View on Amazon →
Best for Loud Bass Response
Polk Audio DB6501
Polk Audio DB6501
  • Excellent bass response down to 35 Hz and up to 92 dB sensitivity
  • Unique visual aesthetics with stainless steel grills
  • Suitable even for use in boats, ATVs, and motorcycles
View on Amazon →
Best for Fine Tuning
Kicker 46CSS654
Kicker 46CSS654
  • Frequency response of 35 – 21,000 Hz
  • Crossover allows for 3 tweeter levels (0, +3, +6 dB)
  • Premium construction resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures
View on Amazon →
Best for Deep Bass Response
MB Quart Zc1-216
MB Quart Zc1-216
  • Pumps out harder and louder without sacrificing sound quality
  • Military-grade titanium makes it durable and reliable
  • Titanium tweeter gives a smooth and clear in-car listening experience
View on Amazon →
Best Budget Pick
JBL CLUB6500C
JBL CLUB6500C
  • 92 dB sensitivity allows pumping the speakers loud
  • Great looking grills gives your interior a premium look
  • Plenty of mounting options
View on Amazon →

Below we’ve highlighted the eight best options on the market.

1. Alpine SPR-60C – Best Premium Option

Alpine has been creating premium audio products for decades and the SPR-60C is no exception. Inside these speakers, you’ll find quality components that deliver excellent sound quality and high volumes.

Alpine SPR-60C
Pros
  • The 100-watt RMS rating means you can pump these speakers at high volumes
  • The swivel tweeter lets you dial in the speaker to match your listening position
  • The shallow mount design lets these speakers fit in almost any vehicle
Cons
  • While loud, the woofer can’t produce a deep low-end frequency response
  • The dull appearance of the grills makes these speakers ideal for flush mounting

The woofer has a multi-layered hybrid fiber cone with rubber surrounds. It also features Apline’s HAMR surround technology that allows for deep and powerful bass response. The neodymium magnet is shallow and allows you to fit this 6.5″ component speaker into tight spaces.

The tweeter helps this package shine. Featuring a 1” silk dome, you’ll get amazing frequency response out the tweeter. The included crossover allows you to choose between 4 different sensitivities so you can dial in the sound as well.

Once dialed in, the tweeter also swivels up to 15 degrees. This means you can aim the tweeter to match your listening location perfectly.

To get the most out of the Alpine SPR-60C you’ll need to upgrade the amplifier in your vehicle. These speakers feature 100 watts RMS handling and 330 watts peak handling. If you like your music loud and clear, these are the ideal speakers for your vehicle.

Alpine also made these speakers easy to install. The shallow design of the woofer ensures you can fit these speakers anywhere. The crossover is tiny and can fit inside doors or tight spaces as well. 

Bottom Line A premium product that delivers. The Alpine SPR-60C delivers crystal clear sound and high power handling for thumping bass. View Latest Price on Amazon →

2. JBL GT0609C – Best Looking System

We love the look and sound of the JBL GT0609C. This 2-way 6.5 inch component system is ideal for drivers that want their speakers to look as cool as they sound. The included grills offer a unique style and aesthetic that instantly will change the appearance of the interior of your vehicle.

JBL GT0609C
Pros
  • The 3-ohm voice coil on the woofer compensates for cheap OEM vehicle wiring
  • The vented woofer magnet stays cool and allows for greater volume levels with no distortion
  • It has a great-looking design and aesthetic that is ideal for surface mounting
  • 12dB/Octave passive crossover improves the audio quality of the system
Cons
  • While the speakers can run off 25 watts of power, you should run them with at least 100 watts of RMS power

Of course, these speakers sound amazingly as well. JBL makes amazing stage and performance speakers and these components meet the same standards

The woofer is impressive and delivers impressive sound quality. You’ll get 92dB of sound out of these speakers down to 67Hz.

What makes this woofer unique is its 3-ohm impedance. Most car audio speakers are 4-ohm. Unfortunately, car manufacturers often cut corners and use undersized wires to cut costs. The 3-ohm impedance allows the speaker to run efficiently even under harsh circumstances.

The tweeter is excellent as well and pumps out frequencies up to 21kHZ. This ensures you experience a full-range audio experience in your vehicle. It can also improve listening quality for passengers that have hearing issues.

JBL outdid itself with the aesthetic of this speaker system. The matte black and chrome exterior looks amazing. We feel it’s a great combination of minimalist and modern style that is an instant upgrade to your car’s interior.

The tweeters look great as well and feature flush or surface mount options with the included hardware.

Bottom Line JBL delivers a great-looking car audio component system that packs a punch. View Latest Price on Amazon →

3. Rockford Fosgate R165-S – Best Tight on Budget 6.5″ Component Speaker

Easy to install and budget-friendly, The Rockford Fosgate R165-S is our pick for the best overall component speaker system. Included in the package you receive a 6.5” midrange speaker and .5” tweeter.

Rockford Fosgate R165-S
Pros
  • The system sounds great with only 40 watts of RMS power
  • These speakers fit great and are easy to install in most OEM speaker locations
  • The integrated crossover simplifies installation
Cons
  • The integrated crossover means you can’t fine-tune the frequencies to each speaker
  • A low-end frequency limit of 60 Hz means you miss out on deep bass response

Let’s go over the midrange/woofer. The mica-injected polypropylene speaker cone offers durability and great looks. The cone also has a tough stamped steel basket. The speaker looks and feels well made. While the bass response is a little low, the 6.5” speaker should be more than adequate for most audiophiles.

The tweeter is a .5” mylar balanced dome tweeter that pumps out crystal clear high frequencies. You can choose from a flush, surface, or angle-mounted installation.

To make installation easier they mounted the crossover directly into the tweeter. This means you won’t have to find a spot to place an external crossover. The crossover has a set to 4.5 kHz and ensures the tweeters do not reproduce any unwanted mid or bass frequencies.

Bottom Line Rockford Fosgate R165-S delivers a budget-friendly component speaker that is easy to install and delivers clear sound and punchy bass. View Latest Price on Amazon →

4. Infinity Reference 6530CX – Best for Use with your OEM Receiver

Do you enjoy the factory receiver in your vehicle and don’t want to replace it? Then these component speakers from Infinity are ideal.

Infinity Reference 6530CX
Pros
  • The crossover features a brightness feature that improves high-frequency clarity and response
  • Massive sound improvement even without an external amplifier
  • Good low-end response down to 53 Hz
Cons
  • You’ll need an external amp to get the most out of these speakers
  • Dull aesthetic design

Most factory car stereos feature an internal amplifier. These amps provide limited power to speakers. Luckily, Infinity designed the Reference 6530CX to sound great even with limited power. With an RMS rating of up to 90 watts, you can safely run these speakers at a much lower power rating.

This makes them ideal to install without buying an additional amplifier or new stereo receiver.

The Reference woofer features a polypropylene cone and can pump out up to 93db of sound. This speaker features one of the lowest frequency responses on this list. At 53 Hz, you can experience deeper bass frequencies from the Infinity Reference 6530CX.

The tweeter is equally impressive and provides an audiophile-grade listening experience. The crossover lets you dial in the perfect sound and adds a brightness feature to further improve high-frequency response.

Infinity includes a ton of mounting hardware with this component system. You get their patented Starfish mounting brackets that make tweeter installation easier. The woofers are easily installed as well thanks to the included adapter rings that fit various speaker openings.

Bottom Line These component speakers sound great even without an aftermarket amplifier making installation easy and cost-effective. View Latest Price on Amazon →

5. Polk Audio DB6501 – Best for Loud Bass Response

For many audiophiles, deep bass is extremely important. The best way to get deep and loud bass is to add a subwoofer. If you don’t have the space for a subwoofer, these components from Polk Audio deliver a deep bass response that sounds great.

Polk Audio DB6501
Pros
  • Excellent bass response down to 35 Hz and up to 92 dB sensitivity
  • Great looking silver cone and stainless steel speaker grills
  • Marine-certified for use in boats, ATVs, and motorcycles
Cons
  • If you don’t like the stainless steel speaker grills you’ll need to buy other grills

Bass and midrange sounds are delivered through a polymer/mica composite mineral-filled cone. This lets the cone pump out deep bass while reducing noise and distortion.

At 35 Hz, this woofer goes lower than any other speaker on this list. The system can handle up to 100 watts RMS as well if you plan on pumping the bass as loud as possible. Even at high volumes, you’ll get clear and crisp bass out of this speaker.

The tweeter is a work of art as well. Featuring a 1-inch silk/polymer dome and neodymium magnet, you’ll get crystal clear high frequencies out of these tweeters.

One of the unique features of these speakers is their silver cone and stainless steel speaker grills. This gives the system a unique visual aesthetic compared to every other speaker on this list. Its aggressive styling might not be for everyone though.

Incidentally, Polk has certified all the dB Series speakers for marine applications as well. This means you can safely install these speakers on boats, motorcycles, or ATVs – it’s a true all-rounder.

Bottom Line You won’t need a subwoofer as the Polk Audio DB6501 delivers a deep and engaging bass response. View Latest Price on Amazon →

6. Kicker 46CSS654 – Best for Fine Tuning

Everyone has different tastes in music. While some prefer loud bass and piercing highs, others might enjoy crystal clear sound. These 6.5 component speakers from Kicker let you set up the sound to match your listening preferences.

Kicker 46CSS654
Pros
  • Titanium dome tweeters sound amazing
  • Excellent frequency response of 35 – 21,000 Hz
  • Crossover allows for 3 tweeter levels (0, +3, +6 dB)
Cons
  • The crossovers are quite large and may be hard to fit in some doors

The set features a well-designed external crossover that features 3 attenuation levels and a crossover point of 4000 Hz. If you prefer more high frequencies in your music simply adjust the crossover from 0 to +3 or + 6 dB. This feature can also help improve balance of high frequencies if you use a subwoofer in your system.

Kicker has always been a premium woofer brand and this speaker set is no exception. The cone is built from polypropylene and is resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures. Surrounding the cone is a polyester foam surround that lets the speaker breathe and deliver a pumping bass response.

The .75” titanium-dome tweeter sounds great as well. It delivers high-end frequencies up to 21K Hz. Mounts are included that let you choose between 3 different mounting options: flush, angled-flush, and angled surface mount.

You’ll have no problem fine-tuning your system with the many tweeter mounting options and the versatile external crossover.

Bottom Line The Kicker 46CSS654 has excellent flexibility and lets you fine-tune your listening experience to match your favorite musical genres. View Latest Price on Amazon →

7. MB Quart Zc1-216 – Best for Deep Bass Response

While this system only needs 60 watts of power, it still pumps out some serious bass. With a frequency response down to 20 Hz, no other woofer on this list can match the deep bass response of this speaker system from MB Quart.

MB Quart Zc1-216
Pros
  • Deep bass response down to 20 Hz
  • The removable tweeter phase lens allows you to tune the high frequencies
  • The tweeter clarity reduces fatigue from extended listening sessions
Cons
  • Sensitivity is a little low at 88 dB
  • The woofer can be difficult to fit in shallow-depth installations

Military-grade titanium makes these components durable and reliable. This lets you pump the speakers harder and at louder volumes without sacrificing audio clarity.

The woofer is the star of this component system. It pumps out amazing deep bass with minimal power The entire speaker system only needs 60 watts RMS to run efficiently. With a peak rating of 120 watts, you have plenty of breathing room if you want to test the speakers as well.

The cone features mica-filled polypropylene composition encased with a UV butyl surround. This makes the woofer incredibly durable and capable of pumping loud volumes for extended periods.

The titanium tweeter gives a smooth and clear listening experience. There is also a removable phase lens on the tweeter. This lets you tune your listening experience to your favorite musical genres.

While only pumping out 88 dB, you’ll still get a deep and clear sound from the MB Quart Zc1-216 component speakers.

Bottom Line Sometimes deep bass is more important than loud bass. This speaker system from MB Quart goes deeper than any other woofer on our list. View Latest Price on Amazon →

8. JBL CLUB6500C – Best Budget-Friendly Speakers

While inexpensive, this speaker system from JBL still packs a punch. The CLUB6500C features a polypropylene cone, soft dome tweeter, and external crossover. You get everything you’ll need to outperform plenty of overpriced component speaker systems if you choose these speakers from JBL.

JBL CLUB6500C
Pros
  • Cost-effective speaker option
  • 92 dB sensitivity means you can pump these speakers loud
  • Plenty of mounting options with the included I-mount and Starfish mounting brackets
Cons
  • Poor frequency response compared to our other picks

This system sounds great even without an external amplifier. You’ll only need 60 watts of RMS power to run these speakers effectively. Peak handling power is a modest 180 watts so you still have plenty of breathing room for larger amplifiers if you choose to install one for the system.

These speakers run with an impedance of 3 ohms as well, letting you install them without upgrading the factory speaker wiring in your vehicle.

Thanks to the low cost, no need for an external amp, and reusing your factory wiring, these speakers are by far the most cost-effective way to upgrade to a 6.5-inch component speaker system.

Did I mention how cool these speakers look? Just like the other JBL speakers on this list, these components come with great-looking speaker grills that will upgrade the appearance of the interior of your vehicle.

The only downside to these speakers is the poor bass frequency response. Dropping to 55 Hz, you’ll miss out on deep bass frequencies if you use this system without a subwoofer.

Bottom Line if you want deep bass and clear highs on a budget this speaker system from JBL is a great option. View Latest Price on Amazon →

The Buyer’s Guide to Choosing 6.5″ Component Speakers

Upgrading your vehicle’s speakers can be a hefty investment. Luckily, we’ve produced this short component speaker buying guide for you to review. You’ll be able to find the best car speakers for you.

Here you’ll find plenty of info including speaker terminology, what makes a good speaker, installation tips, and more.

What Is A Component Speaker?

Car manufacturers install full-range speakers as standard: these speakers are built with a single driver that handles all sound frequencies. As such, the low frequencies (bass) are often lost and larger full-range speakers fail to produce crisp higher frequencies as well.

A component speaker, on the other hand, is built up of several parts. 2-way component speakers have a woofer and a tweeter, handling low and high frequencies respectively. A crossover directs the frequencies into the appropriate component, ensuring a crisper, clearer sound quality all round.

What Makes a Good 6.5″ Component Speaker

Here’s what you should look for when researching component speakers for your vehicle

RMS Power Rating

Speakers will show a peak and RMS power rating. While a high peak rating is cool it doesn’t guarantee a high-end speaker. RMS power is the amount of power the speaker can handle at all times.

A higher RMS rating means you can run your system with a larger amplifier. This also means you’ll generally get better sound quality at loud volumes.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is the loudness of a speaker. The higher the sensitivity gets the louder the speaker gets.

Construction Quality

Just like any other product, you want to get the best product possible for the best price. Many of the products on this have high-end materials. From polypropylene cones to titanium tweeters, premium materials will give you better sound quality and the speakers will last for ages.

Style and Design

If you’re not hiding the speakers inside your doors you need to consider the style and design of the speakers. You should choose a speaker setup that matches your style and aesthetic.

Speaker Size

From the best 5.25 car audio speakers to elite level 6×8 speakers, size matters. Whether you’re looking for a balance of affordable performance or the loudest 6×9 inch speakers around, size is an important guide in finding the right speakers for you.

Impedance

Impedance refers to the amount of resistance the speaker offers to the power that comes its way. Measured in ohms, a higher resistance speaker will need a more powerful amp – and a powerful speaker with a really high resistance will need an aftermarket amplifier altogether.

Impedance is usually 2-, 3-, or 4-ohm. To learn more, check out our in-depth guide to 2-ohm vs 4-ohm speakers.

Component vs Coaxial Speakers

There’s no getting around it – component speakers offer the best sound quality by splitting the woofer and the tweeter. But if you’re looking for something that simplifies installation and is a little more wallet-friendly, then top rated 6.5 inch coaxial speakers offer a good alternative. Because the tweeter, woofer and crossover are combined into a single unit with a coaxial speaker, it’s more manageable for audio newbies.

Installation

For many, installation is an intimidating process when it comes to speakers as we don’t all have experience with the electronics and wiring involved.

To simplify the installation, look out for an in-built crossover. With the crossover integrated into the speakers, you don’t need to find additional space in your door for the unit.

Another trick to make installation a breeze is to choose a component speaker with a 3-ohm impedance like the JBL GT0609C 2-way Car Audio Component System. A lower impedance will mean less resistance to the current from an amplifier, so you can get away with keeping the cheaper factory wiring.

Essential Components

Below is what you should expect inside the box when purchasing a 6.5″ component speaker system.

Woofer Speaker

The woofer is the main speaker in any component system. It is responsible for providing deep and rich bass sounds while delivering crystal clear midrange sounds. Most systems use a 6.5” woofer mounted in the doors or on the rear deck in a vehicle.

Tweeter

The tweeter reproduces high-frequency sounds. They are normally 1” in diameter and mounted higher up in a vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t have OEM tweeters installed, you may need to use hardware to surface or flush mount the tweeters.

Crossover

The crossover separates your audio signal and delivers the sound to the appropriate speaker. This ensures the speakers play the correct frequencies.

Integrated crossovers directly attach to the speakers and offer little customization. External or active crossovers are a separate component and may let you dial in frequencies to match your vehicle precisely.

How To Mount Your Tweeter In A Component Speaker

Because of the split component setup, the woofer and tweeter will be mounted separately in your vehicle. This is an essential part of the installation process, and you should know what you’re looking for before you buy.

Surface Mounting

Surface-mounted tweeters simply attach to an exterior surface in your vehicle, either on the dash or door panel. This is the simplest way to mount your tweeter, but it can intrude on your vehicle’s decor and has a distinctly DIY feel. To surface mount your tweeter, simply choose your spot and mount the tweeter with a screw.

Flush Mounting

Flush mounting provides a cleaner look – the tweeter will be recessed in your dash or door panel, smoothly integrated into your vehicle. However, the location must have enough depth to accommodate your tweeter, and it requires a more complex installation to drill out the space for the tweeter and run the wiring to your crossover.

Angle Mounting

Angle mounting lets you adjust the angle at which your tweeter sits, offering superior directed sound quality. Usually, angle mounting will be integrated into a flush-mounted tweeter. For truly customizable sound, look out for angle mourning options with your 6.5″ component speaker.

Frequently Asked Questions About 6.5″ Component Speaker

Do You Need an External Amplifier for 6.5″ Component Speaker Systems?

Aftermarket component speakers tend to need more power than OEM speakers. While you can run most of these speakers off your car’s receiver, they normally do not have enough wattage to run component speakers at higher volumes.

This can cause distortion or damage to your new speakers. Investing in an external amplifier that matches the RMS power rating of your speakers will ensure they always have ample power to run effectively.

Do You Need a Subwoofer With a 6.5″ Component Speaker System?

While adding a subwoofer will greatly improve bass response and increase volume levels it is not a necessity for most vehicles. Most of our picks above offer great low-end bass response down to 60 Hz.

Subwoofers let you go even lower and pump frequencies as low as 20 Hz. If you want to feel the bass while driving, you might want to invest in a subwoofer or two for your vehicle.

Unfortunately, adding a subwoofer will also require more amplification and will greatly increase the cost of the speaker system as well.

Wrapping Up…

Many music enthusiasts agree that a car’s sound system isn’t complete without a quality set of component speakers.

Native speakers often lose whatever quality they did have when played at loud volumes. Component speakers can give you the boost you’re looking for without sacrificing sound clarity.

However, every individual is looking for something different from their speakers. Whether you want something you can show off, or something that will last with the bass turned high and the volume higher, there’s a set of 6.5″ component speakers for you.

Just be sure that whatever model you choose has a solid RMS power rating, enough sensitivity to get the party going, a quality build, and the design you’re looking for.

You don’t need to settle for the sound system your car came with. Amp up and feel the music with the best 6.5″ component speakers.

Robert Muñoz

I’m Robert, a US-based auto electrician, auto mechanic, trained engineer and fanatic about all things motor vehicle. After studying engineering in college I returned to my original passion - car mechanics - and I ran a garage for a number of years serving my local community. Through my garage, I got involved in numerous road safety campaigns in my local area until eventually, I decided to share what I've learned with the world. Know more about me... You can follow me on LinkedIn.

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