Best Component Speakers

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Let's face it - not all cars come with stellar sound systems. One of the best ways to improve any stereo system is to replace the factory speakers with a good set of component speakers. Decent speakers are capable of superior performance, bringing out minute details in your music without sounding shrill, tinny, or harsh. Higher-quality speakers can pump out music at higher volumes without distortion or loss in sound quality. Be advised, though - you'll pay a premium for the privilege of increased performance.

Although this list features multiple picks, it is ultimately your decision that you will have to live with. Therefore, be sure to sample each system before deciding which one is right for you.

Best Component Speaker System Overall:

Not needing to stick to a strict budget doesn't meaning having to spend a fortune, either. There are plenty of choices in the market for speakers that do everything well - and at a fair price. Here is a list of the best component speaker systems overall, after factoring performance, price, and overall value.

Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

The Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT is the definitive audiophile-grade component speaker system, with true-to-life sound reproduction without any hints of color or distortion. This particular system was designed for aftermarket installations with a shortage of speaker mounting space, so the speakers will simply drop in to the factory openings without requiring modification. Read Full Review

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    Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

    DLS UP6i 2-way Component System

    The DLS Ultimate UP6i is incredible value for money, delivering audiophile-grade performance at an attainable price. The UP6i features detailed midrange and highs, and resists distortion at higher volume levels. This system can handle up to 150 watts RMS and 180 watts max, so don't be shy about using a high-powered amplifier. Read Full Review

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      DLS UP6i 2-way Component System

      Focal Polyglass 170 V 6-3/4" 2-Way Component Speakers

      Though it's pricey, Focal's Polyglass 170 V offers the company's characteristic warm and natural sound - even at higher volumes. Though not everyone will find the added performance to be worth the extra money, the Polyglass 170 V offers top-notch sound quality and can help build a system that goes far beyond a simple upgrade over OEM. Read Full Review

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        Focal Polyglass 170 V 6-3/4" 2-Way Component Speakers

        JL Audio C5-650 6-1/2" Evolution C5 Series 2-way Component System

        JL Audio's top-of-the-line C5-650 is for those who seek excellent sound clarity going beyond "just" an upgrade over the factory system. These speakers require a high-end amplifier to get the most out of your investment, though the performance resulting from a complete system will satisfy even dedicated audiophiles. Read Full Review

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          JL Audio C5-650 6-1/2" Evolution C5 Series 2-way Component System

          Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System

          If you want loud, Alpine's Type-R speakers are well-known for being a sure bet. The SPR-60C offers a great balance of performance and price, making it an excellent overall pick. Beyond just being able to get loud without distorting, this system produces excellent sound that is sure to be a substantial upgrade over your factory set. Read Full Review

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            Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System

            Best High End Component Speaker System:

            This is a collection of extremely high-performance speakers - true audiophile-grade equipment that turns a properly-equipped car into the proverbial rolling concert hall. With these speakers, that statement becomes less of an exaggeration and more of an attempt to put into words how the audio sounds. Without further ado, here is the list of the best high-end component speaker systems on sale today, chosen for their top-notch performance and high quality materials.

            Focal Utopia Be Kit No. 7 Component System

            Focal spared no expense in developing this flagship component speaker system. The entire system is handmade, including the beryllium-dome tweeter and glass fabric/foam composite woofer cone. A large part of the system's performance can be attributed to the Crossblock crossover. The Utopia Be Kit No. 7 comes packaged in a bespoke carrying case, and boasts a price tag north of $5000. Read Full Review

            Focal Utopia Be Kit No. 7 Component System

            Morel Supremo 6 Component System

            Morel's top-of-the-line speaker system features a combination of exclusive technology and uncompromised build quality. The expensive Supremo is aimed directly at discerning audiophiles who will appreciate the impeccable accuracy and range that these speakers have to offer. Read Full Review

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              Morel Supremo 6 Component System

              Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

              The Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT is designed around accurate sound reproduction, making it a favorite amongst audiophiles and critical listeners. This system resists distortion, and delivers warm, lifelike sound that other speaker systems simply can't match. The best part is the price - while expensive when compared to average component speaker systems, the Esotec System 242 GT is priced downright reasonably for this level of performance. Read Full Review

              Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

              CDT Audio ES-62iUS - 6.5" 2-Way Gold Series Euro-Sport Component Speaker System

              Surprisingly affordable given its extreme performance, CDT's ES-62iUS guarantees smooth and accurate sound reproduction as long as you invest in a quality stereo and high-quality sound files. These speakers certainly offer the listening experience expected from a high-end system, and will faithfully reproduce all of the compression found in low-quality files. Read Full Review

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                CDT Audio ES-62iUS - 6.5" 2-Way Gold Series Euro-Sport Component Speaker System

                Pioneer Stage 4 TS-C172PRS 6 3/4" Component Speaker

                Pioneer's top-of-the-line TS-C172PRS makes use of a unique 3-layer material which Pioneer developed specifically for this purpose, along with sealed tweeters to provide smooth frequency responses. $900 for a 'mainstream-brand' component speaker system may seem stiff, but this is without a doubt top-shelf equipment. Read Full Review

                Pioneer Stage 4 TS-C172PRS 6 3/4" Component Speaker

                Best Budget Component Speaker System:

                The quality of the speakers used in an audio system can make or break the entire experience. In an obvious attempt to cut costs, many automakers equip their vehicles with speakers of dubious quality. While most consumers are satisfied with the factory sound system, there is definitely plenty of room for improvement. We realize that not everybody is able or willing to drop close to a thousand dollars on a decent set of speakers, so here are the best component speaker systems that won't break the bank, based on overall performance at a budget-friendly price.

                Polk Audio db6501 6-1/2" Component System

                If you're looking for better sound quality without breaking the bank, do yourself a favor and move the Polk Audio db6501 component speakers to the top of your list. For less than $200, the db6501 delivers outstanding midrange, clear highs, and satisfying bass. For best performance, be sure to use an amplifier that can provide the recommended 10-100 watts RMS. Read Full Review

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                  Polk Audio db6501  6-1/2" Component System

                  Focal Integration IS-165 6.5" 2-Way Component Speakers System

                  Though the Focal Integration IS 165 is not quite what you'd call budget-friendly, these speakers offers some of the best sound quality you can get at a very reasonable price. Though you will pay a little more than for the most budget-conscious picks, Focal's sound quality is worth a bit more if you can swing for it. Read Full Review

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                    Focal Integration IS-165 6.5" 2-Way Component Speakers System

                    Alpine SPS-610C 6.5" Component Speakers

                    The SPS-610C is a continuation of Alpine's entry-level 'Type-S' speaker line. Alpine took the opportunity to redesign the components, resulting in improved sound quality up to moderate volume levels. Cranking the volume will cause distortion, but be sure to keep your expectations in line with the budget price. Read Full Review

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                      Alpine SPS-610C 6.5" Component Speakers

                      Kenwood Kfc-P709Ps 6.5-Inch Performance Series Component Speaker System

                      Performing beyond what any OEM system could manage, Kenwood's KFC-P709PS is a great choice for improving your in-car listening experience without flattening your wallet. Available from major retailers for under $100, these speakers perform well for their class. Read Full Review

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                        Kenwood Kfc-P709Ps 6.5-Inch Performance Series Component Speaker System

                        Pioneer TS-A1605C 6-1/2" 2-Way TS Series Component Car Speakers

                        Available for less than $100, the Pioneer TS-A1605C presents great value for money. Performance is on par with other top component systems in this class, and is sure to be a noticeable upgrade over your factory system. Bass can be a bit lacking and some distortion is evident at much higher volumes, but overall sound is clear and excellent for what can be expected at this price. Read Full Review

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                          Pioneer TS-A1605C 6-1/2" 2-Way TS Series Component Car Speakers
                          Leave a Question or Comment
                          15 comments
                          • EL_NAN EL_NAN

                          Hi William, I was interested in the Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System, as it seem really good rated, and had an opportunity to listen to Alpine SPS-610C 6.5" Component Speakers and that didn't impress me, then i listened to some Focal Coaxial and some Focal Components... and sounded great, they didn't have Focal Integration IS-165 6.5" 2-Way Component Speakers System, but I'm really tempted to get them, since I can afford to try this Focal at that price them now....Thanks

                          Posted on 3/29/2014 8:45 pm | Reply
                          • VolvoJoe VolvoJoe

                          stock look. I know a new amp is needed for the main speakers and sub. Can I retain the Bose amp for the seat speakers and the noise cancellation speakers? Is the Head Unit sufficient or do I also need some type of Clean Sweep / EQ product? There is nothing on the Internet to help me with aftermarket sizing. Lastly, why is Bose liked by so many people? Their speaker construction quality is very basic stamped metal frames with paper cones.

                          Posted on 10/24/2012 4:27 am | Reply
                          • VolvoJoe VolvoJoe

                          I have a 2011 Infinit M37S with the Bose Studio Surround Audio System. All reviews say it is one of the best. Unfortunately, I disagree. What do you suggest I do to upgrade it? I would think Front Door Speakers first, then rear speakers, leave the seat speakers as is, next subwoofer, then amps. I need to know what audiophile quality speakers will fit the various locations and still retain the

                          Posted on 10/24/2012 4:22 am | Reply

                          VolvoJoe,The Infiniti M37 comes with a center stack that integrates just about every single entertainment/info/HVAC control, so your upgrade options are relatively limited from the start. I'd recommend looking into a unit such as the JL Audio Cleansweep, since that'll allow you to connect aftermarket gear while retaining the stock look.I don't have details specific to the Infiniti M37, but I do know that Bose components tend to be incompatible with aftermarket parts. I'd recommend leaving the center channel and seat speakers in place, and focus your upgrade efforts on the rest of the speakers in the front and rear doors (and subwoofer, if desired).You'll probably need a new amplifier to drive the new speakers, since the factory-supplied Bose amp is most likely rated for a non-standard impedance. As far as brand recommendations go, companies like CDT and Focal make excellent speakers for the money. You may need to source (or fabricate) brackets to fit the door speakers properly. The factory speaker covers should fit right over the aftermarket speakers.Also, to answer your last question: why is Bose liked by so many people? I'm not too interested in starting a flame war, so I'll keep things simple. Bose built up quite a reputation for themselves several decades ago, and many people simply like the sound characteristics of Bose systems.Good luck!

                          Posted on 10/24/2012 2:30 pm. In reply to VolvoJoe | Reply
                          • Mr. Mike Mr. Mike

                          William: I am US/Canada representative for PHD Audiophile speakers. These are car speakers. PHD is well respected car audio line in Asia, Africa, Europe & S. America where they have won numerous awards and accolades. Web site is PHD.it to look at the lines. I would be interested to have you do a review on speakers. Their same line of speakers would be CDT, Focal, DLS,Dynaudio and Hertz.I can send anything you would need technical to evaluate & send a pair for you to test drive and review. Please let me know what my next step would be.Thank you.

                          Posted on 8/22/2012 6:22 pm | Reply
                          • jchokanson jchokanson

                          Hi William,I have an '06 Porsche Cayman that came with a stereo system that was wanting. I just bought an Alpine Nav system with the additional power pack to drive the stereo but the sound is still flat and lacks depth. The car requires a 3 way component speaker system and the stereo shop is recommending the JL C5653 component speaker system, with an 8' JL sub woofer TW5? I listen to all kinds of music and am a bit of an audiophile, is there recommendation good, or is there something else I should be considering. I don't really want to blow the budget, but don't mind spending another 1500 for speakers,sub, and an amp for the sub. Thanks.

                          Posted on 7/17/2012 7:17 pm | Reply

                          jchokanson,The Cayman is equipped with non-standard speaker sizes, so you'll have to get creative if you want to make improvements. This is going to be quite lengthy, so please bear with me. Here are my suggestions:Alpine head units are generally some of the better-sounding ones out there, short of high-end 'dead heads' from Nakamichi or McIntosh. The Power Pack is designed to be a convenient way to boost RMS output power, but it falls flat if you need it to be a real amplifier.Since the Cayman is a small car, you may be able to get away with using a decent 4-channel amplifier to power the 3-way components. The remaining two channels can be bridged to send enough power to a separate subwoofer. I'm a big fan of the JL Audio Slash v2 series (300/4v2 would be best for your case), but feel free to explore other options.There's nothing wrong with the JL Audio C5-653, but there are certainly better 3-way component speaker systems out there. Many Rainbow brand components are practically drop-in replacements for most German automobiles, though price can be an issue. CDT also makes excellent 3-way systems for the money.The JL Audio TW5 is a 'slim' subwoofer, and is currently only offered as a 13-inch model. This is a great choice if you're looking to save space, but you'll get much better bass performance if you stick with a standard-size subwoofer and an enclosure. JL Audio's W3v3 series subwoofers perform very well, and are relatively affordable to boot.If I remember correctly, the rear cargo area of the Cayman isn't completely sealed off from the passenger space. That would be the ideal location to install a subwoofer enclosure, so the bass waves won't have to travel through too many obstacles. It's tempting to put the subwoofer box in the front cargo area, but this means the subwoofer output will have to travel through the thick firewall. It's a good spot for the amplifier, though.Even with wiring and installation, you should be able to build a system like the one I described for under $1500.

                          Posted on 7/20/2012 2:44 pm. In reply to jchokanson | Reply
                          • davesql davesql

                          Hi William,would like to know your choice and opinion on what component speaker would be best for vocal clarity listening? currently i'm using CDT HD-62US as u mention above, this component seems to be screaming at high notes and the tweeter seems to be too sharp and thence to spoil the pleasure of listening at high volume. placing tweeter near the mid range seems to be awkward position as the sound seems to be dull when there is a passenger next to you hence blocking the tweeter sound..

                          Posted on 6/11/2012 10:23 pm | Reply
                          • stephen03 stephen03

                          Hi William,I don't have much experience with car speakers but I am looking to get an upgrade. I saw the Focal Polyglass 165 VB you reviewed and it sounds like a good deal. I went to an audio shop and the guy recommended Boston Acoustics SR60 and I was wondering if you had any experience with these as to how they compare to the Focals you reviewed? Or if you had any recommendations for speakers under 300 or so? Thank you in advance!

                          Posted on 4/8/2012 5:54 pm | Reply

                          Both the Focal Polyglass 165 VB and the Boston Acoustics SR60 are excellent speakers for the price. Don't let anyone push you into deciding what is best for you. Try to audition both of these speakers to find out which one you prefer the sound characteristics of.

                          Posted on 4/9/2012 9:56 am. In reply to stephen03 | Reply
                          • reubadoob reubadoob

                          William,I have a 04 Nissan Xterra w/ Rockford Fosgate sound system and I would really like to do a component system upgrade. The speaker sizes are as follows:Front Door 6-3/4"Back Pannel 6x9'2 Tweeters on the A-PillarsWhat are your top 3 recommendations. I'd really not like to do serious modification of the vehicle. i.e widening the speak holes, etc. But if it's the only route I will. Thanks for all your help!

                          Posted on 5/13/2011 1:22 pm | Reply
                          • peterlim33hotmail.com peterlim33hotmail.com

                          Dear William,Thanks for your prompt reply on my question on above subject and aplogise for my late reply.... I really appreciate your assistance in this matter.Last but not least, I would like your advise how can I improve my system performance, currently, my set-up as follows:Two ways active as follows:- Ameron Component Speaker (AM68MK2) power by DB Drives Amp - this component will be switched out when I receive my Focal Polyglass 165VB- 10" Moving Air Woofer power by SoundStream (Mono Block)- Player: Pioneer P99RSThanks in advance for your assistance in this matter.Regards,Peter

                          Posted on 5/2/2011 7:35 pm | Reply

                          Peter, if money is not a concern, I would recommend purchasing a Pioneer Stage 4 amplifier to match the P99RS. That would be the PRS-A900, which you can see here: http://www.bestcovery.com/pioneer-premier-prs-a900For your subwoofer, try a JL Audio W7 model (http://www.bestcovery.com/jl-audio-10w7-3-subwoofer). You'll definitely want a dedicated subwoofer amplifier, and you might as well stick with Pioneer's Stage 4 line which in this case would be the PRS-D1200M. If you can, try taking a W7 subwoofer for a test run to see if you like its characteristics.Judging by your equipment choices, I'm going to assume you're an audiophile. If you've got the money, you definitely won't be disappointed with the P99RS/PRS-A900 setup with quality speakers like the Focal Polyglass. Also, unless you plan on entering competitions, the JL Audio W7 is one of the better options out there when it comes to subwoofers.Let me know how it works out. If you want more 'reasonable' product recommendations, I can help you out there too.

                          Posted on 5/9/2011 7:06 pm. In reply to peterlim33hotmail.com | Reply
                          • peterlim33hotmail.com peterlim33hotmail.com

                          Dear William,Is RockFord Fosgate P400.4 suitable for use on Focal Polyglass 165vb?I will be changing my component to Focal Polyglass 165vb and saw your recommendation on RF P400.4, thus, would like your comment on the suitability or any better amp to support 165vb?Thanks for your kind assistance.Regards,Peter Lim

                          Posted on 4/27/2011 11:08 pm | Reply

                          Hi Peter,That's a great component speaker choice. There's no reason why the Rockford Fosgate P400.4 wouldn't work with the Focal Polyglass 165 VB. I would also check out the Alpine MRP-F300, which is in the same price range as the Rockford amplifier. Either one will do the job well.Good luck, and happy listening!

                          Posted on 4/28/2011 10:06 am. In reply to peterlim33hotmail.com | Reply