As a music lover, you want the best possible audio quality inside your car, but what if your budget can only allow for so much? Standard speakers just aren’t good enough, but more high-end products may be just out of your range.
There are other options to suit your needs. A mid-range speaker will give you the great sound quality that you desire, without breaking the bank. Choosing new speakers can be overwhelming. Manufacturers all take a unique approach to speaker design, and the different series and price brackets will reflect the different qualities of music reproduction.
To give you a good place to start, we’ve broken down the best 10 mid-range car speakers. Hopefully, this will help you make sense of the array of choices and find the right speaker for your needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Polk Audio DB6501||92-dB||4.1/5|
The Ten Best Mid-Range Car Speakers – Reviews 2020
1. Infinity Kappa 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker — Best Overall
Our top choice for mid-range speakers is the Infinity Kappa two-way coaxial. It has an RMS rating of 100 watts and peaks at 300 watts. Installation is easy— it fits easily into the standard factory speaker locations in most cars.
These speakers feature Injected Carbon Glass Matrix frames and formed-glass-fiber woofer cones for superior strength. Each tweeter features a fabric diaphragm for wider high-frequency dispersion.
Although these speakers are expensive, they will give you high-quality audio reproduction for your money. They have clean and tight mids and produce a respectable lower end, considering the size. Although it’s only a two-way, this speaker tops our chart for its superior build quality.
2. Pioneer Surface Mount 3-Way Bass-Reflex Speakers — Best Value
Pioneer is a well-known audio brand, revered both for its quality and affordability. These are the best mid-range speakers for the money, featuring a three-way, full-spectrum audio range. They are surface-mount rather than flush-mount speakers, making them a versatile option for your car. They feature a great middle and high-frequency range, though the bass response is lacking, putting out a mid-bass frequency at best.
While surface mounting is convenient, it can be a problem in some cars, like hatchbacks. You’ll need a roll of double-sided tape or micro-netting to hold them down. Additionally, the wiring going into the unit has no clips, making it permanently fused to the body and difficult to customize.
3. Alpine Coaxial 2-Way Car Audio Speakers — Premium Choice
Alpine is the go-to brand for high-quality car audio. Its R-S65 coaxial speakers are no different, with a 100-watt RMS audio rating and a peak rating of 300 watts. They have quality woofers made from hybrid fiber and multi-roll rubber surrounds, as well as silk dome tweeters with durable and long-lasting parts.
These speakers feature a frequency range of 65-29,000 Hz, which may not be enough bass for some, although it will be perfect for most. All these features come at a high cost, keeping Alpine from our top two positions. With punchy middles and clear highs, these speakers are worth paying extra.
4. JBL Premium Co-Axial Speaker
JBL is a trusted leader in all branches of the audio world, and its foray into car audio has the same quality tenets. The GTO629 speakers boast carbon-injected cones for more bass, more air movement, and more durability. They have patented Uni-pivot tweeters that can be aimed directly at your ears, even if the woofer is mounted low in your car.
These speakers pack a punch, with a superb and surprising bass response coming from such small woofers. Clean and crisp middles and highs make for a well-rounded audio experience.
Be sure to check if they will fit in your particular vehicle or if you need to do modifications. An external amplifier is recommended to get the power they need to perform optimally.
5. Polk Audio 2-Way Component System
While Polk Audio is not a well-known brand, it is slowly making its mark in the car audio world. These speakers come with handy adaptor rings for easy installation and an outboard two-way crossover for accurate frequency separation. This gives you component speaker quality at a coaxial price.
The woofers feature polymer/mica composite cones and silk/polymer composite dome tweeters to top them off. These are seated inside a stamped steel basket, so they’re built to last. These speakers are also marine certified, making them water resistant. They feature an RMS rating of 100 watts and a peak rating of 300 watts.
6. JBL Premium Component Speaker System
This split-speaker system from JBL has a unique “i-mount” feature. This makes both surface and flush mounting your speakers a breeze. They also have injected-carbon woofer cones for added flexibility and improved bass response. The tweeters have larger than average coils for increased high-frequency clarity.
Users report great bass response, even more so with an additional amplifier, and crisp, accurate mids. The high-frequencies can come across as fairly “tinny,” but with added EQ, they can be tamed. There is also the added benefit of component parts — woofers, tweeters, and crossovers — to further customize your audio fidelity, all at a reasonable price point.
7. Alpine 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers
The Alpine SPS series coaxial speakers have an RMS rating of 80 watts and a peak rating of 240 watts. Knowing Alpine’s reputation, you can be sure of quality audio reproduction and materials. While these speakers can run great with standard stereo power, an additional amplifier will get them to that “sweet spot”: punchy mids and crystal-clear highs. All this at an affordable price makes them a great option to step up your standard system.
Users do report a poor bass response, even with an added amplifier. However, with a few tweaks in EQ, this can be improved somewhat.
8. Rockford Fosgate 2-Way Full-Range Speaker
These impressive two-way, full-range speakers from Rockford Fosgate are easy to install to replace your old blown standard speakers. They include adaptor plates and mounting hardware to make the job quick and painless. They have an RMS rating of 45 watts each, with peak power rated at 90 watts.
The integrated crossovers will give you great audio definition, with plug-and-play simplicity. They have durable carbon fiber and polypropylene-molded woofers and aluminum dome tweeters. However, with only a 75-22,000Hz frequency range, you may be left wanting for bass response.
While they are an affordable price, one may feel that they are a little overpriced for the power they = deliver.
9. Polk Audio Coaxial Speakers
These Polk Audio coaxial speakers feature a water-resistant basket and UV-tolerant cone, making them a long-lasting speaker. They have a respectable RMS rating of 100 watts and a peak rating of 300 watts, so you can be sure to get enough volume and power.
They are a harsh-sounding speaker, however, with definite EQ tweaking needed to sweeten up the sound. With poor bass response and cutting mids, an additional amplifier is highly recommended to give them extra responsiveness. While being an affordable and powerful option, this item has a warranty problem. Still, they are a good point of entry for the budget-conscious music lover.
10. Kicker D-Series 3-Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers
The Kicker D series have an advantage over the other speakers listed here in that they boast a three-way frequency band. They push out an RMS rating of 70 watts and have a powerful peak rating of 360 watts. They also have a unique, thin-line profile with minimal tweeter protrusion. This makes them uniquely unobtrusive, no matter where they are installed.
However, there can be installation issues due to size, so you may have to do mounting alterations in order to fit them properly. They also have a reputation for poor sound quality and can distort if pushed even slightly. A weak bass response and muddy middle frequencies are also a common complaint. While they are an affordable option, sound quality will leave you wanting, with the Kickers being only a minor upgrade from standard car stereos.
If you’re ready to upgrade your car’s outdated standard speakers, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
While a modestly priced mid-range speaker will be far superior to the ones preinstalled in your car, they come with their own set of caveats. You’ll need to decide whether a component system is the right fit for you or if coaxial speakers will do the job. A coaxial will provide great audio quality at a reasonable price, without the need for additional amplifiers and crossovers. However, a component system will give you the best audio experience possible, albeit with a heftier price tag. Component speakers also require additional amplifiers and crossovers and can be complicated to install properly.
The materials that speakers are constructed from make a significant difference to sound reproduction and to the price. You’ll need to find the right balance of material quality and cost.
Mounting speakers can be a painless plug-and-play process, especially with a coaxial. However, it also depends on your make and model of vehicle. If customization is not something that floats your boat, you’ll need to make sure the speakers you purchase fit directly into the factory speaker openings of your car. Some speakers come with adjustable mounts, which can help, but modification may still be needed.
A useful workaround is surface-mounted speakers, like the Pioneer TS-X200. These are not restricted to standard speaker openings and can be easily mounted anywhere in your car.
If you are a bass lover, bear in mind that a coaxial will not give you much bass output. They have small woofers that are designed specifically for middle and mid-bass frequencies. An important but often overlooked point is your musical taste: Different speakers have unique strengths and weaknesses, and the type of music you listen to will often dictate the choice of speaker with the right capabilities. If you’re a dance music enthusiast, for example, you’ll definitely need an additional sub-woofer to get sufficient bass output.
Another important consideration is amplifiers. Most coaxial speakers can operate sufficiently with your car’s standard stereo. But they will perform at their optimum with additional amplification. This will improve sound reproduction across the entire frequency range.
There is also the danger of under-powering speakers. If they are trying to draw more power than they are being supplied, they will likely distort and eventually blow. While an additional amplifier will add to the total cost, they will provide a more well-rounded audio fidelity and make sure your speakers are not being under-powered.
The Infinity Kappa tops our reviews for the best mid-range speaker. With its powerful output, easy installation, and high-quality materials, it is sure to produce great audio in any car. Its surprisingly potent bass response is a huge win in a mid-range speaker.
The best mid-range speaker for the money is the Pioneer TS-X200. These three-way speakers are affordable and easily mountable and have an all-round superior audio reproduction.
It can be a dizzying experience wading through the wide array of features and specifications of mid-range speakers. Hopefully, we’ve made it easier for you to choose the right speakers for your unique musical tastes.
Featured image credit: Polk Audio DB652 Black Ultramarine Dynamic Balance, Amazon
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The Ten Best Mid-Range Car Speakers – Reviews 2020
- 1. Infinity Kappa 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker — Best Overall
- 2. Pioneer Surface Mount 3-Way Bass-Reflex Speakers — Best Value
- 3. Alpine Coaxial 2-Way Car Audio Speakers — Premium Choice
- 4. JBL Premium Co-Axial Speaker
- 5. Polk Audio 2-Way Component System
- 6. JBL Premium Component Speaker System
- 7. Alpine 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers
- 8. Rockford Fosgate 2-Way Full-Range Speaker
- 9. Polk Audio Coaxial Speakers
- 10. Kicker D-Series 3-Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers
- Buyers Guide