In this article, we are going to compare the 8 best component speakers in 2021 for a gander at exactly what is on the current market. Whilst we have reviewed many car speakers in the past we typically tend to focus on coaxial models for the ease of installation and use.
Coaxial models generally tend to have a lower price tag and putting together your own system from component speakers can be a little pricier as well as a daunting thought for some, though it really needn’t be. Today we are going to have a little look at a range of component speaker types to give you a clue as to what you could hook together in harmony for full range sound essentially creating your own array suited to your preferences.
Buying the dedicated speakers separately gives a fuller control over how you have your sound. We hope that by the end of our reviews you will feel much more at ease with component speakers and our complimentary buyers guide should also help as well.
Table of Contents
- View The Best Component Speakers Below
- 1. JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System
- 2. Infinity PR6500CS Primus 6 1/2" Component Speaker System
- 3. JL Audio C2-650 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component Speaker System
- 4. CT Sounds Strato Pro Audio 6.5 Inch Component Speaker Set
- 5. Rockford Fosgate T1650-S Power 6.50" Series Component Speaker System
- 6. Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2" (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system
- 7. JBL GT7-6C 6.5" 2-Way GT7-Series Component Speaker System
- 8. Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6-3/4" component speaker system
- Component Speakers Buyers Guide
- 60 RMS each.
- Dedicated frequency speakers.
- Premium components.
- 2 woofers and 2 tweeters.
- Good crossover.
- Good high end clarity.
View The Best Component Speakers Below
Crossover - Whether you want a two-way or a three-way speaker, you want the crossover in your component speakers to be versatile and adaptable to different setups. A good crossover will allow for flexibility in which frequencies you prefer to hear, which can give you a wide range of listening options depending on the bass focus or high end focus of your music.
1. JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System
We open with a premium pair from JBLs fantastic high-fidelity GTO series which is one of their most innovative lines. They feature large carbon-injected cones, designed with PlusOne technology which give them a greater surface area. They displace much more air than other 6.5 inch speakers in their class. This gives them superior bass-handling abilities.
They are equipped with JBLs patented UniPivot tweeters enabling users to direct the sound to where it is wanted. The components used are high quality and well-made. They mount effortlessly with a mounting cutout diameter of 5-1/16 inches and a mounting depth of 2 inches. They are priced accessibly low, well below the hundred dollar mark making them a very affordable option.
+ 60 RMS each.
+ Dedicated frequency speakers.
+ Premium components.
Why We Liked It - They produce high-fidelity sound and are robust and make an excellent replacement set of component speakers which give you an audio upgrade for your automobile.
2. Infinity PR6500CS Primus 6 1/2" Component Speaker System
Next we have another affordably priced option which serves up a full range component set. The set consists of 2 well-constructed 6.5 inch woofers which are paired with 2 tweeters optimized for hooking up together.
They have a great crossover and despite being quite a basic set, and provide great clarity especially in the higher frequency registers. They have great dynamics played off between each end of the spectrum, but the middle could be a little better in our opinion and the materials used are lower end quality but at this price range for component speakers, beggars really can’t be choosers, these guys offer good value for money, generally speaking.
They certainly make for a good upgrade to any stock car speaker set even when connected to a factory amplifier they are notably richer. They have a po of 280 watts with continuous handling on 70 watts and are recommended for use with an amplifier capable of 5-200 watts of power.
+ 2 woofers and 2 tweeters.
+ Good crossover.
+ Good high end clarity.
Why We Liked It - They are a very affordably priced option, which seem well-manufactured. The sound is crisp and they have a good overall frequency response.
3. JL Audio C2-650 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component Speaker System
This next set of component speakers from JL Audio are another traditional woofer/tweeter combo which have an advanced adjustable crossover. The crossover has 3 separate positional tweeter levels each to sculpt the overall audio.
The woofer features a mica-filled polypropylene cone cushioned in a butyl surround. The tweeters are ¾” in diameter and silk-domed. Each of the drivers have a tiny 1” voice coil and a symmetrical roll spider incorporated into their design. They have a pretty impressive peak power of 200 watts per pair (100 each) and a root mean square power of 60 watts each. They match the frequency response of the pair above
This set is priced more or less where we would expect, given the better quality components used within its fabrication, its power handling, and their fully adjustable crossover. You will need to get some wire splices separately for installation.
+ Quality materials used.
+ High output pair.
+ Fully adjustable crossover.
Why We Liked It - They are a great selection that serve up well balanced sound which can be tailored to suit your individual preference and switched to be more accommodating for radio shows for example, with more spoken word versus audio with booming bass.
Two-way or three-way - Two-way component speakers will most often feature a tweeter and a mid-range driver, while three-way speakers will add a woofer into the mix. The quality of the additional woofer will depend on the price of the component speaker, and the more you spend, the better bass focus you'll get from your speakers.
4. CT Sounds Strato Pro Audio 6.5 Inch Component Speaker Set
Now for a slightly lower priced set which sit just comfortably over the hundred dollar mark and come as a set with absolutely everything you need for a hassle-free installation.
The package features dual 6.5-inch mid-range drivers with woofer grilles for better audio dispersion teamed with a pair of high output aluminum silk dome tweeters which measure 25mm, a little larger than some, for effectively coping with the higher frequency responses remarkably well.
The mid-range drivers are paper coned and nestled in a cloth edge surround to help dampen any unwanted resonance. They employ a 1” voice coil and a high-quality Y30 Ferrite magnet.
You also get a pair of ABS 2-way class crossover boxes which work as a passive frequency filter network and give you a little control over how much bass (for example) you want in the mix. They are easy to mount in your car, they feature spring terminals and make for a marvelous upgrade to stock speakers which won't set you back too heavily in terms of an investment.
+ High performance drivers.
+ Great crossover.
+ All the required wires.
Why We Liked It - They are easy to install, and again present great value for money, plus we love the brushed aluminum on the tweeters, they look awesome aesthetically.
5. Rockford Fosgate T1650-S Power 6.50" Series Component Speaker System
We are no strangers to a set of Rockford Fosgate, we have in fact reviewed our fair share of coaxial sets in the past from their acclaimed Power series. This superb set of component speakers can actually deliver higher output capabilities than others which match their dimensions.
They feature a Vertical Attach Surround Technique or (VAST surround) developed by the folks at Fosgate which makes them much more efficient and also allows for better response and audio dispersion. The new surround actually gives the woofer an extra 25% area to radiate making it 6.75 inches the same size including the surround as a typical 6.5”. In addition, they have a new flex fit basket which mounts more easily and securely into a OEM opening.
They utilize an external crossover for more audio detail and a more natural sounding balance between the high and low-end frequencies. The treated cloth dome tweeters also have a high tech mounting system to assist with a quick and simple mount. They have been designed with a cooling method in the process whilst they work, so they can withstand high temperatures much more adeptly than some.
Together they have a peak power handling of 240 watts per pair (RMS of 160 between them both).
+ Technologically advanced driver designs.
+ Great crossover.
+ High output and high temp handling.
Why We Liked It - They make for a stunning example of innovative product development, they are optimized to cope extremely well whilst working at high output levels. They cost a little more than a few we have highlighted, but the manufacturing and design aspects involved speak volumes.
6. Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2" (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system
If you are after a high output set of component speakers for your car you might find yourself enticed by this next set from Infinitys Reference series. They top the Primus set we reviewed previously with a peak power handling of 540 watts per pair, a whopping 270 each.
They are very competitively priced at around one hundred bucks but you get a lot for your cash. For starters 2, 6.5-inch rigid woofers with high-grade rubber surround to keep unwanted resonances from canceling the audio waves and causing distortion or muffling and 2 removable grilles.
2x ¾ inch patented Uni-Pivot Tweeters which come with pivoting tweeter mounts and 2 alternate tweeter flush mounts which can be customized. Having them pivot means the sound is better dispersed and high-frequency audio is ultimately clearer.
You also get 2 component crossover boxes, universal mounting brackets and all the hardware needed. They have even thrown in some single-sided sticky foam to pad the backs of the speakers.
+ 540 watts peak power handling (pair).
+ Pivoting tweeters to direct sound.
+ Good crossover.
+ Great bass.
Why We Liked It - They are exceptionally powerful, they deliver great sound which is effectively balanced by their excellent crossover circuitry. They come with everything you need to mount them and they still rack up to less than one hundred making them a solid investment.
7. JBL GT7-6C 6.5" 2-Way GT7-Series Component Speaker System
Back over to one of JBLs most popular series for a look at a higher output selection. Like the others available in the line they are fabricated with the same high quality polypropylene cones which benefit from the mathematically engineered PlusOne cone technology to increase their surface area and handle bass much more effectively.
The grilles are a little cheaper than on the premium line but they differ very little from the first set in terms of their fantastic crossover and well-thought-out design. The drivers actually perform better on this low price set because of the higher power handling they offer.
They actually have a peak power handling of 300 watts per pair which is around 100 RMS each as opposed to the 60 RMS of the Premium series pair which retail for about 40% more cash outlay. They mount easily and have a good frequency response, providing full range sound rich with well-defined highs and impactive lows.
+ Plus One cone tech.
+ Cheap high output option.
+ Great quality drivers.
Why We Liked It - They are a higher output set of component speakers that wont break the bank, they mount easily and the crossover is pretty effective.
8. Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6-3/4" component speaker system
Last on our radar today is another Infinity set which bring the same high output peaks per pair of 540 watts as the Reference set we reviewed.
In direct comparison to one another, this set has a slightly higher price tag but that really is to be expected given that the quality of the parts used and the crossover circuitry has seen an overhaul, meaning it is essentially an upgraded model.
They are similarly built in terms of cone composition and driver design but the crossover box on this pair is far superior and expertly engineered from premium parts.
The tweeters in this fantastic foursome, are soft-domed, edge-driven and made from high end is woven fabric. The 5.6-inch woofers benefit from Plus One surface increasing cone technology and are formed with carbon injected glass fiber cones, for great rigidity and optimal performance with bass registers.
+ Plus One cone tech.
+ Awesome car speaker upgrade.
+ Exceptional crossover circuitry.
+ Better mids than the Reference set.
Why We Liked It - They are an impressive high output set of component speakers that deliver awesome audio quality at good levels. They are very robust, especially well built and simple to install, with a price tag that wont set you back heavily.
Placement - If you're planning on installing your new component speakers in your car, it's worthwhile to think about the location in which you'll get the most out of them. Midrange speakers will be best off mounted on the doors or the dash, woofers will be best under the passenger seat, and tweeters should be mounted to a corner of the dashboard or the top of a door.
Component Speakers Buyers Guide
In this week's buyers guide we are going to tackle two essential questions pertaining to purchasing a great set of component speakers but first lets dish the facts out in a comparative manner to discern the key differences between coaxial and component speakers, to determine the benefits of the latter.
Component V's Coaxial?
This is a widely debated subject in car audio social circles and it is an argument which is difficult to settle because it is very subjectively down to your individual taste. So let's get down to brass tacks.
The fundamental difference between the two is that on is a combination of speaker drivers stacked together and the other has the drivers split into different pieces.
Coaxial speakers are sometimes called full-range speakers. They’re usually the type you have installed in your car as standard. They are generally 2-way class and consist of a woofer-tweeter combo. They come configured and self-contained and install easily.
Component speakers have dedicated individual drivers and can be configured via your equalizer however you like. Separating the woofer and tweeter gives you more control over their placement optimizing their sound. Optimal placement can require interior modifications to your vehicle which can be a deciding factor and the nail in the coffin as far as some are concerned.
Having them split means they take a little longer for installation and wiring them to the correct channels can need a little more thought, care, and attention.
There are advantages to using component speakers but whether or not they are better is tricky to conclude. As a general rule, component speakers sound arguably better and are considered superior by most audio enthusiasts. They tend to have better audio comparatively to a coaxial set priced in the same region. Component speakers also allow for much more customization in terms of equalization, their crossovers are usually more advanced and allows listeners to adjust their audio to their preferences.
Which you require is down to your amplifier and your car (if you simply won't modify it). Other things which will weigh in are your end goals, preferences, skills and lifestyle.
If you are looking for an easy install and quick replacement then coaxial is probably advisable but if you are a bass head looking to pump up the volume or consider yourself to be an avid audiophile then components are the only way to go, so long as you aren't put off by the installation challenges.
What To Look for in a Set of Component Speakers?
They should be at least 2-way class, typically this will be a mid-range or budget bass woofer complimented by a high-frequency tweeter. Having a different electro-dynamic driver to deal with a dedicated set of frequencies means the electrical signal response can be more accurately picked and reproduced into sound waves.
The woofers should be made from a rigid yet flexible material and absolutely must have a surround of some sort to absorb resonances because without they become muddy and will distort at higher volume levels.
The tweeters will usually be dome style maximizing their tiny stature. Tweeters have to deal with very high-frequency motion and are therefore at risk of overheating. This is usually countered with ferrofluid cooling and by using materials which are more heat resistant in the first place. Tweeters are sometimes suspension mounted or pivoting this is ideal as it means the sound can be directed to the listener and allows for the necessary freedom of motion they require working at such high outputs.
Other than the general caliber of the materials used and the level of craftsmanship in its manufacturing the key thing which will determine a set of component speakers for your car is your amplifier restrictions. Any modern set of speakers is going to make for a noticeable upgrade from a factory speaker model in your car but the speakers no matter the price or level of quality will only be as good a the amplifier you have.
The power it is capable of in conjunction with the set-up you are looking to have will be the limiting factor in terms of power consumption and power handling. Fortunately, we have reviewed a few different sets. You will also need to know what impedance and ohms your amplifier channels can provide which we go into a little more in detail in our Top 10 Best Car Amplifiers article where we address channel requirements.
With speakers being a highly competitive market, you can grab your self a good online deal if you know what you are reading. It is, however, important to note you really do get what you pay for, and the models well above and far below the hundred dollar threshold, are miles apart.
How To Install a Set of Component Speakers in Your Car?
Fortunately, the installation of component speakers in your car is not too taxing a task. The world wide web is a fountain of knowledge and a great source for DIY step by step information. If you know enough about your amplifier and understand basic circuitry, you can essentially install most sets in a matter of minutes with a few simple tools and the right wires and splices.
If you are attempting an install yourself we recommend a quick online search as YouTube has some installations you may even be able to find the exact model you intend to purchase. Like this one for the JBL GTO609C set we began with today unboxed and installed on Tech 4Cars YouTube channel.
There are a multitude of component speakers on the market, modern manufacturing has reduced the cost of production considerably in the last decade which means you can really get a lot more for your money on the current market.
Having a set of component speakers instead of a coaxial set can dramatically improve the listening experience and they often allow for a better crossover adjustment. The benefits are certainly notable and many companies are designing model which fit with very convenient mounting methods so installation is of minimal effort.
Finding the right set for you is, of course, limited by your amplifier and budget the rest is essentially down to preference. Ultimately the decision is in you, the buyer's hands but we hope today's best component speakers review and handy buyers guide will have served as a useful tool in aiding you on the search for a new set of component speakers for your car.
If you are unsure about mounting, it always recommended seeking the advice or services of a professional for speaker installation, though if this is not a viable route, then as mentioned, there are a wealth of instructional videos online. Some are even specific to the exact model such as the one we provided in our how to install section.
Did you Know
The first car radio was installed in 1924 in NSW Australia, and by 1946 there were over 9 million car radios in use all with early tube transistor amplifiers and early speakers.
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