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Best Component Speakers

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.

Polk Audio db6501 6-1/2" Component System

The Polk Audio db6501 is a fine choice for those who want great performance without spending too much money. These speakers feature high-tech construction for maximum sound quality and durability. The cone material is comprised of Polk’s ‘Dynamic Balance’ polymer/mica composite, which ensures stiffness and light weight. The butyl rubber surround contributes to the excellent sound quality, which features crisp responses throughout. The performance-enhancing tweeters contain a neodymium magnet for tight, controlled voice coil movement. The system is rated at 10-100 watts RMS, with a peak power handling capacity of 300 watts. Whether you like your music loud or not, the Polk Audio db6501 boasts enough performance to really ramp up how your music sounds.

The 5.25-inch version of this speaker system is called 'db5251'.

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

Considering that Focal tends to be considered a 'high-end only' brand, it may seem out of place to have these on a budget list. While it's true that the price for the Integration IS 165 may be a bit higher than the other picks, it's an incredible deal to be able to have Focal component speakers at such a reasonable price. With its polyglass woofer and inverted tweeter, the IS 165 delivers the company's renowned natural and detailed sound. If you're willing to pay a little bit more, the Focal IS 165 offers a jump in performance over many other of the relatively affordable choices.

Alpine SPS-610C 6.5" Component Speakers

The SPS-610C may seem like a minor touch-up of Alpine's previous SPS-600C, but this updated model truly deserves its new name. Both the tweeter and woofer have been reworked, with improvements aimed at increasing efficiency and controlling unwanted behaviors that reduce sound quality. Power handling remains the same at 80 watts RMS and 240 watts peak, but the SPS-610C returns better performance at all volume levels. Distortion starts showing up at extreme volume levels - this is a 'budget' speaker, after all. For casual listeners looking for an improvement over factory speakers, the Alpine SPS-610C is a good fit.

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

Kenwood has an established reputation for delivering solid products - usually at an extremely reasonable price. The KFC-P709PS is an excellent upgrade over any factory system, and is available at a price that won't break the bank. This particular speaker system is able to handle up to 80 watts RMS, with a max of 240 watts. The KFC-P709PS produces clear sound overall, and the lofty power handling rating translates into a speaker that can stand having the volume cranked high. Though nothing in this price range is likely to satisfy a picky audiophile, the Kenwood KFC-P708PS offers the ability to have an upgraded casual listening experience on a budget.

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

It's always a plus to be able to buy speakers from a trusted brand without having to empty your savings account. Pioneer's TS-A1605C component speakers present a great balance between performance and price, coming in at under $100 at many major retailers. Though no speaker in this class is likely to satisfy someone with higher performance demands, the TS-A1605C offers a substantial upgrade over factory systems with its crisp, clear highs and decent bass output. A 60 watt RMS power rating and the ability to handle up to 350 watts max provides good flexibility, though installing an amplifier capable of extracting the most performance is recommended.

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Focal Utopia Be Kit No. 7 Component System

If your needs focus more on absolute sound quality over price, then this may be a viable solution. Focal’s incredibly expensive Utopia Be speakers are among the absolute best component speaker systems that (a lot of) money can buy. These speakers are extremely high-end through and through, from the hefty aluminum padded carrying case that they come in to the high-quality, high-tech materials used in the construction. The woofer cone is made of variable thickness foam sandwiched between two layers of glass fiber. The tweeters are constructed of ultra-expensive beryllium foil in an inverted-dome layout, which gives it performance like no other. Together, these speakers have the capability of recreating a vast range of frequencies, so the term ‘mobile concert hall’ is not stretching the truth one bit.

The other members of the Utopia Be family are the Kit No.5 and Kit No.6, which are 5.25-inch and 6.5-inch speakers, respectively. Kit No.7 is a 3-way system while Kit No.5 and Kit No.6 are both 2-way.

Morel Supremo 6 Component System

With a label like ‘the pinnacle of Morel’s component line’, these speakers shouldn’t be taken lightly. Morel is already a ‘boutique’ brand that specializes in high-quality audio equipment, so the Supremo line is truly something else. These are speakers built to handle extremes, judging from the hefty magnet and exclusive ‘Hexatech Aluminum’ material used in the voice coil. Max power handling is a substantial 1000 watts, though the 140 watt RMS rating allows for more reasonable volume levels. The Supremo speakers give up nothing in terms of sound quality, with outstanding response and accuracy in all ranges. Once you ignore the extortionate price and rather clichéd name, you’ll find that this component speaker system delivers all of the performance and attention to detail that you expect from something in this rarefied company.

Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

Dynaudio is better known for developing premium sound systems for certain automakers, but they also have a range of high-quality component systems designed to bring music to life in just about any car. The Esotec System 242 GT is considered to be a 'gold standard', with absolutely lifelike sound reproduction which is well-worth the high price tag. This two-way system can handle 100 watts RMS, thanks to the quality construction and robust materials used for the loudspeakers. The system also features a set of oversized 1.1-inch (28mm) tweeters - this results in strong midrange and highs, all of which are clear enough to make low-quality audio files sound terrible on this system. Perhaps the best part of the Esotec System 242GT is that its neutral, distortion-free sound output can be installed in just about any car due to the cleverly-sized drivers which eliminates the need to cut body panels.

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

At first glance, CDT ES-62iUS is one of the most natural-sounding coaxial speakers on the market. However, the deep, silky sound produced by the CDT Audio ES-62iUS will please even the most discerning listeners who know that top-quality performance means big money. Given that, the ES-62iUS is actually a decent value for this class, with a price tag coming in at under a thousand dollars. These 2-way speakers boast power output rated at 200 watts RMS; combined with high-quality materials and high-end design, it's imperative that you stick to high-quality audio files. Simply put, this system will pick up all the noise and distortion created by overly-compressed files. Sound quality can be best defined as smooth and relaxed, though this is not to say that these speakers lack accuracy in any way.

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

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

Pioneer is not a company that chooses to rest on its laurels. This company chooses to constantly refine and upgrade its products, as seen with the latest Stage 4 lineup of audio components. The previous 'TS-C' series speakers were always seen as high-end audiophile components, but the TS-C172PRS takes things to a new level. Pioneer developed a new 3-layer material named 'Injection Molded Matrix' to use for the cone, which combines accuracy with power handling capabilities not seen in cheaper materials. This speaker features one of the smoothest responses to frequencies with practically zero distortion thanks to the stiff woofer cone, resilient surround, and sealed chamber soft dome tweeters. The TS-C172PRS can handle anywhere from 5 to 50 watts RMS with up to 200 watts peak. While this component system is expensive, true audiophiles will swear that it's worth every penny.

Dynaudio Esotec System 242 GT 2-way Component System

Dynaudio is better known for developing premium sound systems for certain automakers, but they also have a range of high-quality component systems designed to bring music to life in just about any car. The Esotec System 242 GT is considered to be a 'gold standard', with absolutely lifelike sound reproduction which is well-worth the high price tag. This two-way system can handle 100 watts RMS, thanks to the quality construction and robust materials used for the loudspeakers. The system also features a set of oversized 1.1-inch (28mm) tweeters - this results in strong midrange and highs, all of which are clear enough to make low-quality audio files sound terrible on this system. Perhaps the best part of the Esotec System 242GT is that its neutral, distortion-free sound output can be installed in just about any car due to the cleverly-sized drivers which eliminates the need to cut body panels.

DLS UP6i 2-way Component System

The DLS UP6i is just about the ultimate all-around 6.5-inch component speaker system you can buy. The UP6i belongs to the aptly-named 'Ultimate series', and thus is one of DLS's highest-performing component speaker systems. The 4-ohm speakers can handle up to 150 watts RMS with a max of 180 watts, so be sure to use a suitably powerful amplifier for best results. The neodymium/ferrite magnet allows tightly controlled throws, and the aluminum cone further enhances sound quality. The included 28mm (1.1-inch) tweeter brings out the highs in the music, separating the frequencies for a more natural sound and response. If you’re looking for the best sound quality at a reasonable price, look no further than the DLS UP6i.The 5.25-inch version of this component speaker system is called the 'Ultimate UP5i'.

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

With Focal generally considered a more 'high end' brand, it's expected that their Polyglass 170 V component speaker system will offer top-notch performance - especially when also taking into consideration the equally high price tag. Generally, while only the most discerning listeners will hear enough of a difference to justify buying these speakers over a more affordable set, those who can appreciate subtleties will find much to enjoy about the Polyglass 170 V. Power output is ranked at 60 watts RMS, with a peak of 120 watts. As expected from a Focal speaker system, sound output is warm, clear, and natural. As with any higher end setup, the addition of an accuracy-focused amplifier is highly recommended to extract the full performance potential.

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

JL Audio's C5-650 component speakers offer excellent performance regardless of what you throw at them. This speaker is definitely not what you would call a 'budget' choice - the heightened performance just about requires investing in a high-powered amplifier, and sound deadening is highly recommended. The C5-650 stands out for its excellent clarity, producing smooth and crisp sound. There's plenty of power as well, with power handling rated at 75 watts RMS and a peak of 225 watts. If you're seeking some of the best sound quality you can have in your car, the JL Audio C5-650 should be on your short list of choices to consider.

Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System

Alpine's Type-R speakers are designed to be able to get very loud without distorting. The SPR-60C is no exception, cranking out crisp highs and strong bass at any volume. One of the main benefits of this speaker's design involves the special neodymium magnets, which allow the speakers to be much more compact than usual. Small crossovers and swivel design tweeters help the SPR-60C stand out for more than just its performance and relatively reasonable price. Power handling is rated at a substantial 110 watts RMS, with a max of 330 watts. As with most setups, if you want to extract top performance from these speakers, a suitable amplifier is highly recommended.

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