What are the best 6.5 car speakers?
For some, it's clear that the Hertz HSK 165 are highest quality speakers you can get on this size, but they won't fit everyone's budget.
Some will prefer JL's ZR line. Also not a cheap treat.
That's why I've made this selection of my favorite 5, and that's after testing over 60 units!
When it comes to finding the best aftermarket car speakers, I'm relentless and over the course of the past years I've tested and installed hundreds of speaker sets.
Enough talking, here's my comparison:
|TOP PICK!||1. Hertz HCX 165
||Power: RMS: 100W Peak: 200W||Sensitivity: 92 dB/SPL||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|2. JVC CS-J620
||Power: RMS: 60watts per pair/ 3watts each Peak: 600 watts per pair/ 300 watts each||Sensitivity: 92 dB||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|3. JBL GTO629
||Power: RMS: 45W Peak: 180W||Sensitivity: 98 dB||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|4. Pioneer TS-A1676R
||Power: RMS: 50W Peak: 320W||Sensitivity: 90 dB||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|5. Rockford Fosgate P1650
||Power: RMS: 55W Peak: 110W||Sensitivity: 91 dB||VIEW ON AMAZON|
List of best 6.5" Speakers
1. Hertz HCX 165
These speakers are not only loud, but full sounding, and come with their own crossovers (essentially bass and treble frequency splitters) to maximize the clarity of your highs and lows via the woofer and tweeter cones.
The HERTZ HCX 165 6.5" 2-Way Hi-Energy Coaxial Speakers include all the new line features such as an oversized magnet, pure copper voice coil, dampened mesh fiber, and many others. There is also a revolutionary Rotary High-Frequency Contour system in place that enables rotation and inclination of the tweeter.
All these features work together to make it easier to eliminate limits during installation, allowing you to get a response from any position.
These speakers can support loud volumes; however, they lack mid-range when playing high-volume sounds.
- Include all new line features
- Installation flexibility and versatility
- Thrilling, excellent sound
- Lack of mid-range when playing loud sound volumes
2. JVC CS-J620
JVC CS-J620 car speakers feature a 1” Poly-Ether imide tweeter specially designed to handle sound highs that traditional speakers cannot reach. The speakers have a hybrid rubber and cloth surrounding a Mica cone that works together to present full-range sound.
They are also engineered with a shallow-inch frame for easy installation. Furthermore, the speakers come with a pre-arranged hole pattern and the package includes screws and mounting tabs to make the installation process effortless.
The speakers lack rubber washers needed between the speaker and the metal, plus you’ll probably have to drill your door to fit the designed template.
- Way better than traditional types of speakers
- Easy installation
- Promote full-range sound
- Lack rubber washers
- Probably have to drill your door to fit the template
3. JBL GTO629
With over 60 years of experience in audio design, JBL is one of the top brands for premium audio products in the world.
They also manufacture the factory speakers for numerous car brands that come pre-installed with most vehicles, so their premium products tend to have much better fit and overall sound than their competition.
- Sensitivity: 98 dB
- RMS: 45-watts
- Peak Power: 180-watts
- Frequency Response: 53 Hz - 21,000 Hz
- Type: 2-way
The GTO629s are some of the best value speakers you can install in your vehicle, and they offer a wide variety of features that you won’t get with most replacement speakers.
Let’s take a look about the love/hate factors on these speakers.
2-way speakers are exceptionally good at delivering the best possible sound quality over the full range of the audible spectrum, especially when it comes to vocals and genres of music like classic and jazz.
The GTO629s also have adjustable sensitivity for their woofer, tweeters, and super tweeter so you can balance the frequency response to your taste and listening preferences.
These speakers also have a built in crossover network to split frequencies from incoming headunit signals, making them an excellent choice for use with an existing car stereo.
Thanks to their peak power of 180-watts, they can also handle signal from a newer and more powerful head unit or amp as well, increasing their overall versatility.
The base 45-watts RMS of power output of these speakers is lower than many in their class, which is great for compatibility, but not so great when it comes to overall power and performance.
To really bring out the full potential of these speakers, a powerful head unit or additional speaker amplifier is going to be a necessity.
- 2-way component speaker design
- Adjustable sensitivity for woofers and tweeters
- Dedicated 12dB/octave, high-quality crossover components
- watts RMS means greater versatility and compatibility with existing head units
- Lower RMS power means optimal performance requires a more powerful head unit or separate amplifier
- External sensitivity controls are susceptible to passengers bumping or nudging them
4. Pioneer TS-A1676R
It is a well know fact that Pioneer offers one of the highest value for money ratio in the whole car audio industry.
Whether they are making speaker towers for high end home theater systems or premium quality earbuds for audiophiles on the go, Pioneer is the brand to beat in all things audio.
That being said, the Pioneer TS-A1676Rs are everything customers and audio fanatics have come to expect from Pioneer:
First of all, we love 3-way component speakers.
The added mid-range performance is a major selling point for car audiophiles, and the “wall of sound” performance for these speakers is truly exceptional.
The bass is superb, the highs crystal clear, and the mid-range sounds so good on vocals you’d swear the singer was riding shotgun.
They also have a lower RMS for increased compatibility with existing stereos, but they can handle up to a whopping 320-watts from an upgraded head unit or stand alone amplifier if necessary.
If your budget is forcing you to upgrade one piece at a time, these are an excellent choice.
50-watts RMS isn’t a whole lot of RMS power, so you may find to get the most out of these speakers that you need a more powerful head unit or a good stand alone speaker amp.
Additionally, installing these speakers may require adapters for certain vehicles, and there is no adjustable sensitivity for the woofer, mid, or tweeter cones.
All of that is handled by the built in crossover.
You may find that you need to tweak the equalizer on your stereo a bit to get the sound you are looking for.
- Amazing audio quality and high value to cost ratio
- Compatible with most factory head units
- Plenty of power capacity for upgraded stereos and stand alone amps
- Attractive design and speaker grille
- Lower RMS power means these speakers may not be as loud as expected without a good head unit or amp to drive them
- Installation may require adapters for some makes and models
5. Rockford Fosgate P1650
These speakers are part of Rockford Fosgate’s Punch line of speakers, and they definitely live to their name in every way.
These versatile speakers can definitely kick out some serious volume, all while maintaining a premium audio fidelity that is virtually distortion-free.
- Sensitivity: 91 dB
- RMS: 55-watts
- Peak Power: 110-watts
- Frequency Response: 45 Hz - 20,000 Hz
- Type: 2-way
Their injection molded mineral-filled polypropylene cones are durable and well made, providing years of reliable service.
Here’s our likes/dislikes for these excellent 2-way speakers.
The Good:These speakers are amazingly loud for 55-watt RMS cones, even when they are run on original factory stereo systems.
Hook them up to a high quality head or amplifier, and they just get better.
Their bass response is truly phenomenal for the size of the speaker cone, and the central tweeter keeps your highs crisp without being painfully harsh or sharp.
They also come with some of the most versatile and forgiving mounting kits and grilles available, making them ideal for DIY installers who may lack experience with mounting car speakers.
The lower max power on these speakers may limit what they can be connected to in terms of a standalone amplifier or high-power head unit, and while they are louder than most comparable speakers in their class, the upper power range limitation is certainly a drawback.
Also, these speakers are easily outperformed by similar 3-way speakers in its class, making it decent for replacements but not necessarily the best choice for long term upgrades.
- Loud even at 55-watts RMS
- Excellent sound quality for a 2-way speaker
- Easy to install with adaptable installation rings and hardware to fit more models
- Lower power draw means greater compatibility with existing stereo systems.
- Max power rating is lower than comparable models
- 3-way speakers in its class offer better performance in terms of response, sensitivity, and power
Upgrading your car audio can be a complicated process with a lot of considerations.
You have to decide if you are keeping or removing your existing factory head unit, whether or not you want an amp to boost overall power, and of course if you are going to supplement your new door speakers with a subwoofer to add some extra kick.
Whatever you decide to do, you need to set a budget that you are willing to spend, select your components carefully, and make certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can mount all of this equipment in your current vehicle.
After all, nobody likes waiting for a part, attempting to install it, and having to ship it back (often with a restocking fee) just to order what you should have gotten in the first place.
However, once you’ve got this system in mind, you are good to go.
In terms of replacement 6.5-inch speakers for your new system, I have a recommendation based on my reviews that is sure to please any car audio enthusiast regardless of budget.
Overall, if I were replacing my factory car speakers on a budget, my first choice would be the Hertz HSK 165s. These speakers are high end hardware, so even if you get the speakers first and the better stereo later, these speakers are good to go and won’t need replacement.
Also, the included crossovers are extremely easy to install for DIY first timers and don’t require a tremendous amount of car audio experience to configure and connect. Additionally, the sharp looking grille design and durable construction mean that these speakers will outlast the harshest of conditions for years to come.
I can confidently recommend the Hertz HCX 165 as the best 6.5 speakers.