You are tired of not being able to enjoy your favorite songs at full volume or with rich bass while driving your car? No problem! You have the possibility to equip any car with new speakers. The best part is that you can install them yourself and you don’t have to spend a fortune on very high quality.
With our big car speaker test 2022, we want to help you find the car speaker that best suits your needs. We have compared coaxial speakers and component speakers with each other and listed the most important advantages and disadvantages. This should help you decisively in your buying decision.
The most important in a nutshell
- You can upgrade your car at any time with a new car speaker and enjoy music of the highest quality. You can either do the installation yourself by hand, or you can hire a professional hi-fi installer.
- Before buying a car speaker you must know the dimensions that are intended for your car. You can find this out either by measuring yourself or by searching for it on the internet.
- When comparing car speakers, do not look at the maximum power, but at the average power, which is abbreviated as "RMS. This will give you a realistic indication of the performance of your speaker.
car speaker test: editors’ favorites
The new XS-FB series 3-way speakers give you clear sound and powerful bass in a compact size and lightness. The car speaker from sony has a 10cm diameter and is ideal for those who are looking for a small speaker with a strong sound for their car. The speakers are compatible with all car radios.
The XS-FB series loudspeaker is suitable for flat installations thanks to its very flat design.
The best 13cm car speaker
In the test for the diameter of 13cm convinced the car speaker from JVC. This is a 2-way coaxial speaker with a maximum power handling of 250 watts and an average power of 30W RMS. This puts it in the middle of the field in terms of performance for car speakers. With a mounting depth of 43.5mm, the JVC speaker is one of the thinner devices on the market.
Included in delivery is the JVC CS-J520X speaker, 8 suitable mounting screws, suitable speaker cables and 8 mounting clamps. So you are perfectly equipped for the installation.
The best 16cm car speaker
Last price updates: amazon.De (31.01.22, 01:09), other stores (30.01.22, 16:31]
Also in the test for the 16cm class wins a speaker from JVC. With a maximum power handling of 300 watts and an average power of 30 watts RMS, this car speaker meets the requirements of most car fans. The manufacturer gives a frequency range of 35 – 22.000 hz and a sound pressure level of 92 db/W.M an.
This car speaker convinces especially by its price-performance ratio. For your money you get a lot of technology for your car.
The best 16cm speaker
The CO 165 EVO car speaker from audio system convinces with its 2-way coaxial system and a power of 2 x 130/90 watts. Its installation depth is 63 mm and the outer diameter is 165mm. The impedance is 3 ohm.
The car speaker of audio systems convinces especially by its sound and its easy installation. The car speaker is characterized by its long life and a balanced frequency spectrum.
The best 16.5cm car speaker
JBL GX series speakers attract attention with their sound. The GX602 car speaker fits all standard modules. with harman’s tweeter diverter, this speaker allows you to customize your sound.
In addition, the speaker has a special 3-ohm coil for optimal power distribution in your car. And with plus one-woofers, soft cone tweeters and an irresistible design, these speakers offer more than just ultimate sound.
The best 20cm car speaker
Last price updates: amazon.De (31.01.22, 01:20), other stores (30.01.22, 16:31 h)
In the large 20cm diameter class wins in our test the car speaker alpine SXE-2035S. The 3-way speaker has a maximum power handling of 280 watts and an average power of 45 watts RMS, providing fantastic sound quality and an immersive audio experience. The speakers have a frequency response of 60 hz – 20.000 hz and a sensitivity of 92 db/W/m.
This speaker is one of the more powerful models and is therefore worthwhile for you if you like to listen to loud and high quality music.
Guide: questions you should ask before buying a car speaker
For whom is a car speaker suitable?
But not only older used cars are affected. Many car manufacturers don’t put much emphasis on the speakers they install as standard in cars.
you have of course the possibility to have a much more expensive audio system installed, but then you have to expect a much higher list price.
What is the price of a car speaker?
- The cheaper price range start at 20€ to 50€. These variants usually have a lower RMS power and come to their limits with very loud music. this version is worth it for you if you don’t want to listen to your music at full volume.
- The middle price range includes devices between 50€ and 200€. Here it is partly already the leading suppliers of car speakers with relatively high RMS power. These car speakers are perfect for drivers who like to listen to loud and bass-heavy music. The price-performance ratio is very good here.
- The upper price range starts at 200€ and can go up to 3000€. These are the best devices on the market. Accordingly, you can consume music in the highest quality on these systems. However, such a model is only worthwhile if you particularly value quality.
Where can I buy a car speaker?
Electrical specialized trade internet
||webshops of the leading brands
specialized trade: in the electronics store, you have the advantage of competent advice. As a customer, you can be relatively sure that almost every question can be answered. Furthermore, the assortment here is very broad, because the store usually has its own department for speaker systems. In addition, the specialized trade lists a very large assortment of accessories. Most specialist dealers also offer maintenance and repair services.
Internet: the internet is a very good alternative to the specialized trade. You have the disadvantage that the advisory competence is lower than in the specialized trade, however, you have the same, or even a larger assortment of speakers and accessories. Also price-wise one has here the best possibilities to find a favorable offer. Here, for example, amazon or ebay are recommended.
In what size should I buy a car speaker?
In Germany, you will find almost exclusively the sizes 10cm, 13cm, 16cm, 16.5cm or 20cm.
However, the size of your speaker is very important. The device is usually installed in the front doors. The series loudspeakers, which were previously installed, have a certain size, which you must orientate yourself to. Unfortunately, it is useless if you have a depth of 40mm, for example, and then buy a speaker with 70mm.
What is the wattage of a car speaker??
The power of your amplifier and the load capacity of your car speakers must be matched to each other. The relationship between the two components is similar to the relationship between tires and the speed of your car: tires must always be designed for the maximum speed of a car. If you have a fast car, it would be very dangerous if you have tires for low maximum speeds. In the same way, it would be wasteful if you drove a small car but had the most expensive sports tires.
Analogous to this comparison, you should therefore make sure that the speakers can handle the power of the amplifier. Conversely, it is of little use if loudspeakers with a high load cannot deliver their "musical performance" due to an amplifier that is too weak.
In summary, it can be said that more wattage means more power capacity. So if you want to listen to music very loud but still high quality, we recommend you a high wattage.
Decision: what types of car speakers are there and which is the right one for you?
There are two different types of car speakers: the coaxial speaker and the component speaker. The main difference between the two types is that with a coaxial speaker you only have one speaker that covers all frequency ranges. In a component speaker you have several speakers that are installed. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type, you will find in the following comparison.
What distinguishes a coaxial car speaker and what are its advantages and disadvantages??
The coaxial loudspeaker has an interleaved design. This means that a small speaker in the middle is installed on a larger speaker. With a coaxial loudspeaker, low, medium and high tones come from the same source. This makes the speaker sound most natural to the ear. For inexperienced hifi tinkerers, this type of speaker is best suited, as this is the easiest to install. Even for small cars, a coaxial speaker is worthwhile, because sounds in all frequency ranges are played out with only one box. You can attach this to the dashboard.
- Uncomplicated installation
- Optimal for small cars
- Covers all frequency ranges
- No direct alignment possible
- Sound is lost when installed in the footwell
What distinguishes a component speaker and what its advantages and disadvantages?
In a component loudspeaker, the woofers and tweeters are not interleaved. These are separate loudspeakers. Component loudspeakers are recommended especially for music connoisseurs and lovers. You have the option of installing the woofer in the footwell and the tweeter at the top of your head. Low, medium and high tones resound from different sources. So the sound is distributed very harmonically. The installation of component speakers, however, are significantly more complex than the alternative coaxial speakers.
- Alignment to driver possible
- Very good sound
- Different components can be combined
- Installation is complex
- Components must be installed separately
Buying criteria: these are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate car speakers
In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between a number of possible car speakers.
The criteria by which you can compare car speakers includes:
In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.
If you have already looked at car speakers, you have probably noticed that there is talk about maximum power and average power. However, you do not have to pay much attention to the maximum power. It only indicates the maximum power in watts that your speaker can theoretically reach for a short time. But for the actual practice this does not say much. Important for you is the average power. This is indicated with the abbreviation RMS. Written out, the abbreviation means "root mean square", and is a more realistic estimate of how much power your speaker actually has.
The more RMS, the better the performance of your loudspeaker.
many manufacturers specify the sound pressure level in decibels for their car speakers. This gives an indication of the volume the speaker system can reach in the car without distorting the sound. Normally, car speakers have a maximum of 90 decibels or just above. higher values are technically difficult to realize and are not really needed in practice.
In case you don’t know exactly what 90 decibels is, we have prepared a small comparison table.
Sound level (db) sound source driving potential
|0 – 20 db
|20 – 40 db
||computer fans, background noise in the house
|40 – 60 db
||normal conversation volume
||harmless, but disturbs concentration
|60 – 80 db
||can cause long term damage
|80 – 100 db
||dangerous in the long run
|100 – 120 db
||very dangerous in the long run
So make sure that your ears are not exposed to loud music for a long time.
in practice most car speakers have an impedance of 4 ohm. Higher (8 ohm and 16 ohm) and lower values (2 ohm) are also possible. The impedance of an amplifier indicates the type of speaker it is designed for.
According to Ohm’s law, the lower the impedance of a car speaker, the more current is transmitted from the amplifier. If too much current flows, it can lead to a loss of sound quality or cause a safety circuit to switch off the amplifier due to overheating. In the worst case, the transistor of the power amplifier can be broken. For this reason, amplifiers and speakers must be compatible in terms of impedance specification:
Ideally, the impedance of your car speaker matches the specification of the amplifier. An amplifier with the specification of 6 ohm can be connected to a speaker with a nominal impedance of 4 to 8 ohm.
Diameter and installation depth
Before you can choose a car speaker, you need to know what diameter the speaker may have. Here again, many car models differ, which is why you need to find out in advance what kind of system is currently installed in your car. It would be a pity if you buy a car speaker with a diameter of 16,5cm, but your door only has a hole of 10cm for the speaker. The most common sizes of car speakers are 10cm, 13cm, 16cm, 16,5cm and 20cm.
With the installation depth it is the same game. Try to find out what is the installation depth of your standard speakers and orient yourself on this value. Here again, a speaker with 70mm depth is useless if you only have room for 50mm.
2-way or 3-way
Before buying a new car speaker, the question is whether you want to buy a 2-way or 3-way system. But what is the difference?
With a 3-way system, a slightly better sound is possible, because not only the highs and lows, but also the mids are well controlled. Most 3-way loudspeakers therefore have a somewhat stronger bass than 2-way loudspeakers. However, the latter are more frequently used for the vehicle, as their design can produce an optimal sound in the smallest possible space.
2-way speakers can be purchased as coaxial speakers for the car. These consist of several units arranged concentrically and interleaved, and special transducers. the main difference to the 3-way speaker is that there is only one tweeter and one woofer. The center is not perfectly covered.