Riding through traffic needs a little distraction to keep you sane through the delay, and what best to do that other than some sound from your stereo? So, whether you listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks or your morning mantra, one thing to make it worthwhile is getting the best budget car speakers. This way you’ll be within your budget as well.
A rule of thumb for speakers is that a good speaker depends on the sum of its parts. Parts such as the tweeter, crossover assembly and woofer speak volumes about the sound quality you will be getting.
Although speakers may have the same components, their quality differs from one manufacturer to another. And we all know that quality equals to more money, right? However, this does not mean that if you are on a budget, you cannot get a good speaker. There are awesome varieties of car speakers to choose from. So if you want to find out what options you have, tag along and we will guide you!
Just like the name suggests, this product may give you a superior sound experience. It is a 6.5 inch full range and three-way audio speaker. It offers 300 watts of power per pair, meaning each speaker offers 150 watts.
Coming to the components, the cone is made from polyurethane which is a hardy material. Therefore, it can last longer. The voice coil of this speaker is able to withstand high temperature making it ideal for all seasons. The advantage of this is that the voice coil will last longer with little wear and tear.
As for the basket, it has been made strong and rigid which makes the sound output clean and clear. Similarly, the tweeter is a piezo-electric type and is resistant to overloads. It can be used effectively without the need for a crossover because of its electric property.
Other specifics; impedance is 4 ohms, sensitivity is 90db, frequency is 100Hz 18kHz, dimensions are 96.3”x 6.3”x 2.4”, mounting depth is 2.13”, mounting hole is -5.5” and the weight is 2.5 pounds.
The manufacturer recommends that you should ask a professional to install it for you. This is to ensure the installation is done properly and safely.
- The speaker cone is durable
- Piezoelectric tweeters are resistant to overloads
- Voice coil can withstand high temperatures
- The speaker is surrounded with rubber which is impermeable to air
- Comes with a three year dealer warranty
- Low impedance thus requires more power
- Hazy pictures
- Poor design ergonomics
- Volume 1 is still high and cannot go below that
This is a 6.5 inch three-way sound speaker system. It is round shaped and is quite eye-catching because of its blue colored cone. It comes with a pair of 6 inch by 5 inch 180 watt speakers which make them a good replacement for your car’s factory speakers. These speakers offer both high and low sound ranges.
This triaxle speaker system has a poly injection cone which enhances stiffness without adding extra weight. The voice coil for this speaker is an ASV 1 inch which is effective for high wattage and temperature. Moreover, the strength and fatigue properties of the voice coil give these speakers a longer play time.
Similarly, this speaker has a midrange piezo tweeter that has an inch of neodymium film. This provides a smooth, loud and clear sound in each speaker. These speakers also come with gills, wires and mounting hardware.
Other specs include; frequency response between 95Hz to 20kHz, impedance is 4 ohm while the dimensions are 10.32’’ x 7.56” x 2.91”.
- Appealing to the eye due to the colorful cone
- affordable compared to other speakers
- Installation is easy and straightforward
- Comes with pre-drilled holes for easy installation
- Has a one year warranty
- Customers complained that these speakers are not durable
- Poor frequency range
- Returns require you to pay $15 shipping fee
- Poor build quality thus may blow sooner than expected
- Speaker does not fit well in some vehicles e.g Acura Integra 92
If you are looking for a speaker that is going to make road trips enjoyable without trading an arm and a leg, then this Rockford Fosgate speaker could be a viable choice.
It is appealing in terms of aesthetics and can be installed in an array of cars. Being a three-way speaker, the woofers, tweeters and midrange drivers work individually to produce good sound quality.
This speaker features cones made from polypropylene, silk dome piezo tweeter as well as midranges. It also comes with a metallic grill for preventive purposes. Similarly, there is a steel frame around the speakers and rubber material that follows which also prevents wear and tear.
For this speaker, the wires come with spade terminals. The ends of these wires have been tinned to enable direct installation to an amp or an existing wire. For those who don’t want to cut the factory wiring, a quick splice or a harness adapter could come in handy.
Apart from that, the speakers come with already drilled holes for screwing. According to the manufacturer, the holes should fit. However, in the event that the holes don’t match that of your car, you can always drill new ones.
Other specs are; dimensions 8.1” x 7.1” x 10.9”, sensitivity is 91 db, impedance is 4.0 ohms and mounting depth is 2.15”.
- Easy to install
- Good audio quality
- Good material quality
- Can be installed in a number of different cars
- Great for small cars due to its compact shape
- Lack of bass
- Slightly distorts high volumes
- Requires a subwoofer for high and mid sounds
These coaxial speakers are one of the best car speakers on a budget that Infinity offers its customers. It is a 6.5 inch two-way speaker that may be a good upgrade from your factory speakers. And good thing, it can save you some bucks.
These car speakers are full-range speakers and feature a polypropylene woofer cone that has a rubber surround for durability. With its 1 inch edge-driven tweeters, you can mount door speakers of 6.5 inches to 6.75 inches owing to the included brackets. In fact, these speakers are considered as a shallow-mount which may enhance the sound output. Shallow mounts are also known for being light weight and
The maximum power output for this car speaker is 180 watts while the nominal power output is 60 watts RMS. Items that you get in the packaging box when you purchase this product include; 2 speakers, 2 speaker grilles, mounting hardware and the warranty card. The manufacturer’s warranty for this product is one year.
Other specs of these speakers include; frequency range of 53 Hz to 21 kHz, sensitivity of 90 db and impedance of 30 Ohms.
- Good quality sound
- Comes with 2 grilles for extra protection
- Includes a pair of resistors
- Comes with a bass blocker
- Has a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
- Lack bass
- Poor return/replace policies
- May blow easily (as per reviewers)
- Installation instructions are not easy to follow
- Does not include wires or connector clips
If you are still unimpressed with the previous four, maybe the Pioneer TS-F1634R car speakers could be the best budget car speakers you are looking for. This is a full range two-way speaker that can serve as a good replacement for OEM speakers. It measures 16 cm in diameter.
These speakers come with wire adapters which are specifically made for the door speakers. This feature makes it universal to be used for any door speaker. Unlike other speakers, this speaker does not come with the metallic grilles that usually protect the speaker’s interior from damage and intrusion by foreign objects. Instead, it comes with two horizontal bars on each speaker that are removable.
The composite woofer cone of these speakers is made using injection-molded polypropylene (IMPP) and has a treated cloth surround. Once you buy this product, you get two 2-way speakers, two 12” speaker wires, 8 speed clips, eight 5/8” self-tapping screws, specifications and template are printed on the box while the warranty sheet is found in the box with all the other components.
Other specs include; power range of 2-30 watts, frequency response is 31 Hz to 16 kHz, impedance of 4 ohms, mounting depth is 41mm and the cut out dimensions is 125mm.
- Great sound
- Serves as a good replacement
- Comes with wires
- Wire adapters make it easy to mount on car doors
- 1 year warranty
- No speaker grills
- Lacks bass
- Loud sound is not pleasant
- Poor customer service
- Contains harmful chemicals that may cause birth defects and other reproductive issues
Kenwood company has been in business for more than a century and are known for using quality materials in making their speakers. This simply means you can take a chance with these guys because they definitely know what they’re doing.
The Kenwood KFC-6965S speaker is a three-way type of speaker. It is a sport series of dimensions 6” x 9”that comes in a pack of two. This speaker can handle power of up to 400 watts per pair.
The woofer cone is made of polypropylene which is a sturdy material which enhances the durability of this product. As for the cone tweeter, polyetherimide is the material used and is 2” 50 mm in length.
Other specs include;
- 600 watts maximum output
- 89dB sensitivity
- fits into the 6” x 9” holes
- frequency range is 60 Hz to 25kHz
- dimensions of 153 x 229mm
- 1” mid-range section
- P.E.I has a balanced dome design of ¾ inches.
When you unbox this product, you get; 2 speakers, 2 speaker grilles, 2 grille frames, 8 x 4 x 70 machine screws, 8 small flat washers, 8 large flat washers, 8 split lock washers, two 11” speaker wire, 8 x 1 self-tapping screws and warranty information.
- Great replacement for car factory speakers
- Best materials to provide high-quality sound
- Powerful bass that comes with high-quality treble
- Sleek and appealing to the eye with its silver finish
- Comes with a number of awesome components
- Its design makes it difficult to install
- May blow faster than expected
- Short wire leads
- Sound quality not as good when on loud volume
If we are talking budget speakers, there is no way that a JBL speaker will miss on the list. This is because this company is popular for its great speakers and some of them are as affordable as you want them.
The JBL CLUB6500C is a two-way component car speaker. Component car speakers have components such as tweeters and mid bass drivers matched for optimal sound quality. This means you will be getting good sounds from your stereo if you opt for this speaker.
This product has been manufactured in Mexico and has a high sensitivity design which can assure quality sound. When you order for this product, the package comes with; a pair of woofers, a pair of crossovers, a pair of tweeters, a pair of tweeter surface mount, a pair of tweeter accessories.
For durability purposes, the mid-woofer has a rubber surround. Rubber is a good material in speaker as it is not only flexible but also sturdy.
A peek into the specs of this product; dimensions are 15.1” x 5.8” x 8.1”, weight is 4.17 pounds, impedance is 3 ohms and power range is up to 360 watts.
- JBL is a popular brand
- Tight bass for low frequency sounds
- Tweeter comes with many mounting devices for convenience
- Product comes with its own brackets and screws
- This speaker can handle high power
- The installation instructions provided by manufacturer is not clear
- At high volumes sounds are distorted
- Installation may pose as a challenge
- Speakers may not last longer as expected
This is yet another Pioneer next generation speaker on this list that you can go for. If you are here, then you are not yet impressed but who knows, maybe this is the one!
So, this speaker is a three-way kind of speaker that is also a full range speaker. This means you can easily upgrade and get high performance from your stereo. You can also purposely match the subwoofer with the full range loudspeakers so as to provide both seamless and smooth sound.
The cone design is a multi-layer of carbon and mica reinforced polypropylene for extra durability. Thanks to this design, the sound reproduction and responsiveness is at its optimum. To secure cone in place, a lightweight elastic polymer surround has been used.
As for the dome tweeter, it is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is 11 mm and is hard due to its material composition. Additionally, these speakers come with free Alphasonik earbuds, how cool is that?
The specs for these speakers include; dimensions of 13.5” x 3.5” x 7.5”, weight of 3.6 pounds, max power is 320 W and has 60 rms.
- High impact bass
- Can be easily upgraded to high performance
- Made with hardy and quality materials
- It’s a 3-way car speakers
- Comes with free Alphasonik earbuds
- You will have to get your own speaker wires
- Playing very loud music may end up with a blown speaker
- Sound quality may not be at per with your expectations
- May not last long
This is the newest speaker in the D-series and is an upgrade of the Kicker DS693. Although it has a number of features found in its predecessor, this new speaker is engineered to provide even better sound.
Kicker 43DSC69304 is 6”x 9” 3-way coaxial car speaker. So apart from its big propylene woofers and PEI dome tweeters, this speaker also features the super tweeter. The super tweeter is an additional driver that can handle higher frequencies on the audio spectrum which makes it great in the sound department.
This speaker is rated for its ability to handle 70 watts RMS as well as its high sensitivity. It features a thin profile which means it is lightweight and thus portable while its tweeter protrusion is zero to minimal. Better yet, this speaker is considered one of the best budget car speakers out there.
Other specs you can find interesting include;
- Its dimensions of 2.8” x 2.8” x 7.5”
- The weight is 7.94 pounds
- Power handling RMS of 70 watts and peak of 140 watts,
- Frequency range of 30 to 20,000 Hz,
- Impedance is 4 ohms
- The top-mount depth ranges from 3 to ¼ inches.
- Upgraded sound quality
- Has a super tweeter to handle higher frequencies
- Can handle 70 watts RMS
- High sensitivity of 92 dB
- Woofers are made of polypropylene material
- Weak bass
- Does not come with a speaker adapter
- Though good replacements, they may not last
- Requires 1 AA battery which is not the case with other speakers
Lastly, we have these speakers on our list. Why do we have it? Simple, it is an awesome upgrade on a budget. These speakers can deliver high quality sounds which make it a great option when considering upgrading your factory car speakers.
The great thing about these speakers, is that they are marine certified and thus can be used in boats, motorcycles, convertibles and ATVs. These speakers are also dirt resistant and have been tested for fog, salt, UV and humidity and are quite hardy. So if you are considering speakers which can withstand harsh weather conditions, here’s your chance!
The cone is made of propylene and is UV tolerant. It also has a waterproof inner and outer surrounds. It is easy to install for any vehicles you are considering to install on. This goes for cars, boats and ATVs.
The specifications for these speakers are;
- Cut out diameter of 4.76 inches
- Bottom mount is 2.01 inches while the top mount is 1.74 inches
- Handles up to 100 watts RMS and 300 watts peak power
- Frequency range is 55 to 22000 Hz
- Sensitivity is 91 dB
- Impedance is 4 ohms
- Great sound, it is crisp and clear
- Great for those who love loud sounds
- Marine certified can be used on boats
- Sturdy against dirt, UV, fog and humidity
- Cone is made with durable material
- Grilles are included for this design
- May not last longer as expected
- May have some distortion in the sound quality but not very much
Buying Guides of Best budget car speakers
Now that we have an idea of what are options are, it is time to learn on what factors to consider when picking out your car speaker. Here are what to consider;
Sensitivity indicates how loud a speaker is. It is measured in decibels (dB) and is determined by either a non-echoing environment or a room. The higher the sensitivity of a speaker, the louder music it plays. The average speaker has 87 to 88 dB while an excellent one has over 90 dB. To put it simply, always go for the highest decibels. In fact, we have seen that even budget speakers can have high sensitivity too.
How much power a speaker can handle is measured in watts. This value indicates the ability of the speaker to handle power without causing any damage. Every speaker is known to have two power ratings; the peak and RMS. The peak power is the maximum power that a speaker can handle. The RMS on the other hand, is continuous output that a speaker can handle without causing damage. Therefore, when considering a speaker, check out the RMS and go for the highest you can get for your money.
Speaker configuration and size
When you need to upgrade from your factory car speakers, you have to know their measurement in order to get speakers that will fit. To do this, take out the old speakers and measure them. Luckily, most stores can give you specifications based on your car’s model. If you want to replace your full range speakers and you need to replace with a similar full range, you also need to know the size and configuration.
Speakers with extra features are also favorable to settle for. Some speakers for instance come with bass blockers which are filters that prevent low frequencies from damaging your speakers. You can settle for speakers with detachable tweeters or ear buds or other awesome features you may opt for depending on your preference.
Like with any other electronic, you need to be vigilant about the warranty. Do not settle for less, because when anything happens, you need your warranty to fall back on. Go for warranties that are longer and read reviews to know if former customers were assisted with the company when issues came up.
How we picked the best budget car speakers
We picked out the best car speakers based on;
Brands that we picked out are household names when it comes to matters on speakers. Take a brand like Kenwood for instance, it has been in the business since 1947 and thus have diverse experience which reflects in the quality of their products.
Of course we had to look at price because our main aim was to get speakers for those on a budget. We wanted to feature speakers under $100 and that is how we came to this list.
The speakers that were picked out had to be of good quality in terms of the material used in its construction. Therefore, most of the speakers here feature propylene cones which are hardy and can withstand harsh conditions. Also, the Polk Audio DB522 speaker was included as it is marine certified.
Although price was a major determinant, it was not the only one because we couldn’t compromise features for price. For our list, we picked speakers with awesome features in terms of sensitivity, power output, design and other extra features but affordable.
There’s nothing that beats good customer reviews, is there? For this list, we settled for speakers that had many positive results. We are not saying that there weren’t negative reviews, but the positive ones took the lead. All these speakers received four stars and above in terms of easy installation, material quality and sound quality.
How to install a car speaker
Once you have settled for a new speaker to replace your old factory one, it is time to roll your sleeves and get to work. To install a car speaker;
Step 1: Assemble tools for the job
The tools you may need include;
- A variety of screwdrivers
- Torx drivers
- An electric drill
- Allen wrench
- Socket wrench
- Wire cutter
- Soldering iron and solder
- A crimping tool
- A file
- An electric tape
- A hobby knife
- A panel popper tool
Step 2: Disconnect your car’s battery
To avoid getting electrocuted, ensure you disconnect your battery’s negative terminal. This will also prevent any damage to your car’s electrical system.
Step 3: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions
All store bought speakers come with instructions from the manufacturer. This serves as a guide for that you will be doing in the installation process. Following these instructions not only ease your work but also ensure the process is conducted correctly.
Step 4: Remove any panels or speaker grills
Before any work can take place, panels or grills should be removed. Using a tool like the flat head screwdriver, pry the grill off. Remove screws or bolts that hold the grills or panels in place. Cars are different, so while some grills can be accessible other car models require you to remove the seat, open the trunks or remove entire door panels.
Step 5: Remove the factory speaker
The factory speaker is attached to the wiring harness so you should be careful not to rip it off while removing it. Depending on your speaker, you may have to unscrew bolts, chip adhesive foams or glue that hold the speaker in place. Just a tip, save the screws in case you will want to return your factory speakers in the future.
Step 6: Connect the new speaker
Once the factory speaker is out, it is time to connect your new speaker. Compared to the other steps, this could be the easiest step depending on the model of your car because it is simply connecting the new speaker’s wiring harness to the car’s wiring harness. However, if your car does not have the simple type connection, you will have to solder or use a crimped connection.
Step 7: Test the speakers
Before you call it wraps in your installation, you need to test if the speakers work after you connected it to the car. Reconnect your car’s battery and turn on the stereo to test the speaker. Listen to the sound on loud volume and also observe the vibrations. If satisfied, your work is done. In the case that the speaker’s don’t work then there is an issue with the connection. Check it out and fix it.
Step 8: Secure the new speaker
After confirming that your new speaker is working well, it is time to secure it in place. If your new speaker is a perfect fit, you will have an easy time screwing it in place. However, if the speaker does not fit as expected, you may have to drill new screw holes, install mounting brackets or use adhesive to secure the new speaker in place.
Step 9: Install and test subwoofers and tweeters
Step 10: replace panels and grilles
Once everything is working perfectly, replace the panels and grilles.
Important Q/A about budget car speakers
Q: Can I get a good car speaker under $100?
A: Yes, you can. Brands such as Kicker, JBL and Rockford Fosgate have such options
Q: Which is better, a two-way or three-way speaker?
A: Three-way is more efficient because it has three drivers where frequencies can be divided frequently.
Q: Does installing a new speaker myself save money?
A: Of course, installation by a professional may be costly while doing it yourself is easy and cheap.
If you have come this far, it means you now have some knowledge on the best car speakers on a budget. Apart from understanding the options of affordable car speakers in the market, you now know what features to look out for and how to install the speakers by yourself. To say it is an achievement will be an understatement because you can now save even more. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter and with the few safety tips we’ve shared with you, you will be good to go. So, good luck on your new car speaker!