Adding a new set of speakers is a great way to improve the sound quality of your car stereo system. Whether you’re looking to replace a set of old worn out factory speakers or just looking for better sound, switching out your speakers is something well worth considering.
While it is easy to drop a whole lot of cash on new speakers, particularly if you want a fancy component system, you don’t need to spend a lot to improve your sound. Speakers have improved significantly in recent years, and there are now a lot of excellent speakers available at a very reasonable price.
So, to help decide on which speakers are right for you, we’ve compiled this list of reviews of the best budget car speakers for under $100.
A Quick Look at our Favorites of 2020:
|Rockford Fosgate |
|BOSS Audio CH6930|
|JBL Stage 9603||92-db||4.30/5|
|BOSS Audio CH6530||90-db||4.10/5|
The 10 Best Budget Car Speakers under $100:
1. Rockford Fosgate 3-Way Coaxial Speaker – Best Overall
If you are after the best budget speakers on the market, you really can’t go past a set of Rockford Fosgate’s Series R165X3 speakers. These 3-way speakers feature a ridged polypropylene woofer cone, silk dome tweeter and piezo super-tweeter and produce a punchy bass along with lovely clean mid and high range frequencies.
They also have an excellent built-in network crossover that divides the frequencies between the speaker components, ensuring you get fantastic sound quality, and for under $100 you won’t do better.
They can handle 45 watts RMS (90 watts peak), and they have a frequency response of 52 – 20,000 Hz. They will sound great connected directly to your factory fitted or aftermarket stereo. But they’ll perform even better with a boost from a mid-power amplifier, meaning that should you want to do so later you can upgrade your system and get truly outstanding sound.
2. JVC CS-J620 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers – Best Value
These JVC car speakers look good and sound great, and will make for fantastic replacement car speakers. They have a very respectable frequency response of 35 – 22000 Hz, and their sound is enhanced by a well-designed combination of a flexible mica cone woofer, a hybrid rubber and cloth surround and one-inch balanced dome tweeters.
These great value JVC speakers can handle 35 watts RMS power (300 watts peak) and will be able to handle being powered by a modest amplifier should you wish to install one.
In terms of build quality and overall sound, these speakers won’t match what you’ll get from our top-rated Rockford Fosgate’s; but, as you’ll only be paying half the price, we feel that these are easily the best budget car speakers under $100 for the money.
3. BOSS Audio Systems CH6930 Car Speakers – Premium Choice
A well-known and respected brand in-car sound systems, Boss Audio Systems, have come up with a lovely set of budget speakers with the CH6930’s.
With their rigid polyurethane cone, rubber surrounds and piezoelectric tweeters these speakers produce lovely clean sound with solid bass. They are capable of handling peak power of 200 watts RMS and have a frequency sensitivity of between 50 – 20,000 Hz.
Boss is so sure that you’ll love these speakers that they come with a three-year platinum online dealer warranty.
4. JBL Stage 9603 3-Way Coaxial Car Audio Speakers
If you are looking for an affordable way to get good-quality speakers, you should have a closer look at these 3-way speakers from JBL. Sure, they’re more expensive than many of the speakers on our list, but you’ll get them for well under $100.
These speakers feature an injection molded polypropylene woofer cone, a PEI balanced dome tweeter and piezoelectric super-tweeter. They can handle 70 watts RMS (210 watts peak) and have a frequency range of 45 – 20,000 Hz.
In your car, these speakers will sound fantastic, with clear and sharp mid to high tones and a solid low-end bass that would be lacking in your old factory fitted speakers.
5. BOSS Audio Systems CH6530 Car Speakers
When it comes to buying budget car speakers, these three-way speakers from Boss Audio Systems are another great choice. They can handle 150 watts of peak RMS power and have a frequency response from 100 to 18,000 Hz.
Their three-way speaker design means they deliver nice full-range sound, bright and crisp high and mid-tones with solid punchy bass.
6. Infinity Reference Series Coaxial Car Speakers
These are well built and very good sounding speakers. They have plenty of punch with solid bass, but for our money, their strength lies in the quality of their mid and high tones which are bright, vibrant and an absolute joy to listen to.
Infinity’s REF6522ix speakers can handle 60 watts RMS (180 watts peak) and will work well with an external amplifier or directly from your stereo head unit. A stylish speaker, they have a noticeably larger cone than you’ll see on many speakers of a similar size, and this no doubt contributes to the solid punchy bass that these speakers produce.
7. JBL Premium Component Speaker System
If you are after great sounding speakers, a component speaker system is the way to go. But, as we mentioned at the start of this article, they are quite expensive, and you shouldn’t expect much change from your $100 for these entry-level component speakers by JBL.
Being a component system, you’ll get six individual speakers in the box, two mids, two tweeters and two crossovers. If you are looking get the best sound with these speakers, you should also consider splashing out for an amplifier and sub-woofer. Of course, having six separate speakers also makes the installation considerably more complicated, and you may want to have them installed by a professional.
These speakers can handle 200 watts RMS (270 watts peak) and have a frequency response of between 67 -21,000 Hz.
These are very nice sounding speakers, but to be honest, if you are still running your factory fitted stereo system these are not the speakers for you and you will get a better result from a less expensive full ranger speaker.
8. Pioneer Max 3-Way Car Speakers
A great choice of car speakers if you’re looking to replace your damaged or poor quality factory fitted speakers with smoothing with a better sound and more robust bass.
Pioneer’s TS-A1670F speakers have a carbon and mica reinforced woofer cone with an elastic polymer surround as well as 11mm PET dome tweeters and are can deliver a wide dispersion of sound with deep, strong bass.
The can handle 70 watts RMS (320 watts peak) and are well suited to be powered by an amplifier. They have a frequency response of 37 – 24000 Hz.
9. Kenwood 3-Way Car Speakers
An older model speaker, these Kenwood KFC-1665S speakers are none-the-less a good choice for anybody looking to upgrade from their old factory fitted speakers. They are excellent quality and reproduce balanced highs and tight mid-range detail, but they do lack somewhat in bass.
They feature a polypropylene woofer with treated cloth surround and 1-inch balanced dome tweeter and can handle 30 watts RMS (300 watts peak power) and have a frequency response of 35 – 22000 Hz.
10. Kicker Full Range Stereo Speakers
Kicker has a reputation for producing speakers that are easy to fit and install, and with these speakers, they’ve delivered again. These 46CSC654’s are a very popular car door speaker that is seen by many as a natural step up from their poor quality factor speakers.
While not the most expensive speakers on our list, they’re also not the cheapest, and for the money, you may find some of our other suggested speakers to be of better value.
They can handle 100 watts RMS (300 watts peak) and have a respectable frequency response of between 40-22,000 Hz.
Whether you are buying budget speakers or high-end models, the things that need to consider, for the most part, remain the same. Having already set your budget, you need to consider the type of speakers that you want and then the unique specifications and features of the various models that fit your budget. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the things you should consider.
When it comes to choosing car speakers, there are two basic types to consider, coaxial (or full-range speakers) and component speakers.
Full-range speakers have the cone and tweeters within the same unit, they are generally cheaper, and for less than $100 almost all of the speakers you can afford will be in this category.
Component speakers, on the other hand, separate the different parts, or components, of the speaker into separate speaker units and these are re installed in different places within your car. The best sound quality can usually be obtained from component speakers, but keep in mind that as well as being expensive to buy, they are more complicated to install.
We have only identified one component speaker system in our reviews for this article, and it is not our top choice.
Many car speakers can be purchased in different sizes, but you must know the size of the speakers you need. In most cases, you’ll be wanting a set of speakers that you can drop straight into the hole left by your old factory fitted model.
Build quality is more of a consideration when purchasing budget speakers. At the lower end of the market, you are not going to be able to expect the same exacting standards as in high-end speakers, but even at the cheap end of the market, some speakers are better quality than others.
Sensitivity and Power handling
To work effectively, your speakers need to be able to handle the power output of your stereo unit or amplifier. Power is measured in watts RMS and is the amount of power a speaker can handle before the sound quality gets distorted.
If you want to run a high powered amplifier, you need to ensure your speakers can handle the power. Otherwise, your music will sound terrible, and you will likely damage your speakers.
Sensitivity refers to the level of power that speakers need to produce sound. If you have speakers with higher sensitivity, they will need less power and are suitable for low powered stereo units such as factory fitted or cheap aftermarket models. Low sensitivity speakers require more power.
Hopefully, having read the reviews in this article, you now have a better understanding of the best car speakers that you can buy for under $100.
To recap, our top choices are:
Best Overall: Rockford Fosgate R165X3 3-Way Coaxial Speaker
Best Value: JVC CS-J620 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers
- A Quick Look at our Favorites of 2020:
- The 10 Best Budget Car Speakers under $100:
- 1. Rockford Fosgate 3-Way Coaxial Speaker – Best Overall
- 2. JVC CS-J620 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers – Best Value
- 3. BOSS Audio Systems CH6930 Car Speakers – Premium Choice
- 4. JBL Stage 9603 3-Way Coaxial Car Audio Speakers
- 5. BOSS Audio Systems CH6530 Car Speakers
- 6. Infinity Reference Series Coaxial Car Speakers
- 7. JBL Premium Component Speaker System
- 8. Pioneer Max 3-Way Car Speakers
- 9. Kenwood 3-Way Car Speakers
- 10. Kicker Full Range Stereo Speakers
- Buyer’s Guide