Best Car Speakers for Bass & Sound Quality [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

Best Car Speakers for Bass & Sound Quality

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There are a lot of car speakers out there with really intense bass, but often there is so much bass that it gets in the way of everything else, muddying the mids, overpowering the high frequencies, and making even the best recordings sound like sludge.

But there are also speakers you can get that have the same deep, fast and powerful bass response – enough to make even the most extreme bass-heads happy – but that still sounds great throughout the rest of their range.

That’s the kind of speaker we love here at Speakergy – incredible sound all around and really slamming bass – and that’s what we’d like to concentrate on today, with our 2022 buyer’s guide to the best car speakers for bass response and overall sound quality.

If you need to hit the road, and don’t have time to read the whole article, here are our top choices:

  1. Our Favorite Component Speaker Systems for Bass and Sound Quality – Hertz MPK 130.3 200W Max 4-Ohm 5 1/4″ Two Way Car Audio Speaker Component System
  2. Our Favorite 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality – Focal 165CA1 SG 2-Way 6.5-inch Coaxial Speaker Pair
  3. Our Favorite 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality – Focal RCX-690 Auditor 6×9 3-Way Triaxial Speakers

Why Do Some Bass Speakers Sound So Awful?

We’ve all been there – a good friend invites us for a drive so they can show off their new speakers. They flip the switch and blast a really great jam and, beaming with pride, turn expectantly toward you to see your reaction.

You know you have to smile and say something positive just to get them to turn their gaze back onto the road, but all you can think is ‘why does it sound like this? Why can’t I hear the music?”

Turns out, this is what a lot of speaker manufacturers these days think we want – big, booming bass and little or nothing else. Now we’re all about the big, booming bass, but we also want to hear the distinctive tone of the singer’s voice, the sharp attack of the high hat, and the way a guitar can cut through the complexity and steal the show.

The problem with so many of these overwhelmingly boomy speakers lies in a couple of fatal design flaws:

Priority on the Woofer – So many speaker companies spend lots of money, or at least most of their budget, on a powerful woofer driver – large surface area, long-throw voice coil, huge magnets – and very little money (or, for that matter, attention or design) on the midrange or tweeter drivers, leaving them incapable of keeping up.

Mid-Bass Bloat – Usually the very same speakers, which are already heavily favoring the woofer driver on many levels, feature physical design, crossover circuitry, and equalization which heavily emphasizes the mid-bass region – between 250 and 500 Hz. This range is so strongly boosted – often to give cheaper or mid-priced speakers the illusion of deep bass – that vocals, guitars, keyboards, and in fact pretty much all of the other musical sounds are swamped.

Mid-bass bloat is especially overwhelming to the all-important midrange frequencies but can overpower detail and musical information all the way up to the very highest notes.

So What’s an Audiophile Bass-Head To Do?

The real question is what speaker companies should do!

Because really this woofer-centric, bloaty, and swampy musical signature is not what the overwhelming percentage of their customers want.

But it is just as easy for them to design and build speakers that have balanced, detailed and accurate sound from the lowest lows to the highest highs, and still have intense – even strongly emphasized and increased – bass, deep bass and sub-bass, and luckily some manufacturers are doing just that, and as a result, some of the best car speakers for bass are also the best car speakers overall.

So yeah, what we’re looking for here is clear, accurate, and loud car speakers with bass that will totally jazz even the most maniacal bass-heads – I, and a few others here at Speakergy, fall into this category, and we love car speakers with bass that pounds our heads and our guts and still sound, you know, like music.

Who Makes the Best Car Speakers for Bass That Actually Sound Good?

That’s just what we’re here to find out!

We’ve auditioned a lot of car speakers – really, a lot! – and have found a few really amazing performers that we’d like to share with you, bass speakers for car, truck, or SUV installations that will absolutely blow your stock speakers away!

These are speakers that really deliver on the low end, with incredible physical and impactful deep bass that can at times feel almost overwhelming – but, crucially, never actually overwhelms the rest of the music.

And so the rest of the music comes through as beautifully and as powerfully as that slamming bass, with clear, rich vocals, crisp high frequencies, and tons of detail all the way up and down. The speakers on our list will also have amazing dynamic energy and excitement – and the ability to play really loud – and accuracy and musicality that makes them sound great with lots of different kinds of music.

And did we mention really slamming bass?

So let’s get right into the recommendations. We will include choices in the three most popular areas – component speaker systems, 6.5-inch speakers, and 6×9-inch speakers, and we’ll organize our picks from the least to the most expensive, so it will be easy to find a speaker that fits your budget and sounds amazing.

But whichever you choose, you will get great bass and great sound, a well-made and durable product, and great value – after all, you need to keep some money for gas!

The Best Automotive Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality in 2022

Best Component Speaker Systems for Bass and Sound Quality

Our Favorite Component Speaker Systems for Bass

Hertz MPK 130.3 200W Max 4-Ohm 5 1/4" Two Way Car Audio Speaker Component System
  • Power Handling - Peak W 200 | Power Handling - Continuous W 100
  • Impedance Ω 4 | Frequency response Hz 60 ÷ 22,5k | Sensitivity dB SPL 91
  • Voice coil Ø mm (in.) 25 (1) | Woofer size mm (in.) 130 (5) | Tweeter size mm (in.) 29 (1.14)
  • Woofer magnet High density flux ferrite | Tweeter magnet Neodymium | Woofer cone Pressed-pulp cone with cotton fibers
  • Tweeter dome Tetolon | Crossover type 2 Way Passive Crossover | Crossover cut off 3,5 kHz

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inch Woofers: 1.14 Inch Tweeters
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way with External Crossover
  • Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 22.5 kHz
  • Power Handling: 110 watts RMS: 220 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: Woofer: 2.48 Inches
  • Tweeter: 0.67 Inches

You may have noticed that we chose Focal products as our favorites in the 6.5 and 6×9 sizes, and for sure the incredible Focal Access 165 3-Way Component Speaker System is one of our favorites as well, but if we were pressed to choose our absolute favorite – which we are – it would have to be the fun, punchy Hertz MPK 130.3.

The 130.3 is a really dynamic and detailed speaker, with energy that makes any and all music more engaging and exciting. It also has deep, clean, and fast bass, with so much slam it can be quite overwhelming, but it also integrates seamlessly with the mids and highs. An enormously entertaining speaker system, and just incredible bass!

Best Component Speaker Systems for Bass – Premium

Morel Virtus 603 6-1/2" 3-Way Component car Speaker System
  • 6-1/2" 3-Way Virtus Series Component Speaker System
  • Power Handling: Peak: 600 watts per set / 300 watts each side // RMS: 280 watts per set / 140 watts each side
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 55-22kHz
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inch Woofers: 3.5 Inch Silk Midrange Drivers: 1.14 Inch Silk Tweeters
  • Speaker Type: 3 Way with External Crossover
  • Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Power Handling: 140 watts RMS: 300 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: Woofer: 2.36 Inches

As much as we love the Hertz 130, just above, we have to admit that the Morel Virtus is a better speaker – incredibly detailed and accurate from the deepest bass to the highest highs, this is a true audiophile component system, which is as sweet and musical as it is high resolution.

The deep bass, admittedly, does not have the immense slam factor of the Hertz, or of even some less expensive speakers, but it goes deeper, is faster and more open, and provides absolute foundation – not perhaps the best choice for the manic bass-heads in the crowd, but a bass-loving audiophile’s dream come true!

Best Component Speaker Systems for Bass – Mid-Priced

Rockford Fosgate T2652-S Power 6.50″ Aluminum Component Speaker System

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inch Woofers: 1 Inch Aluminum Dome Tweeters
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way with External Crossover
  • Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Power Handling: 100 watts RMS: 200 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: Woofer: 2.5 Inches

Rockford Fosgate Power series speakers are our mid-priced choice in all three categories – 6.5, 6×9, and here in our component system recommendation, and for good reason. Premium quality in all but price, these are speakers that can handle some serious power and volume and sound great for years – not just the bass, but the smooth and open mids and the beautifully extended high frequencies.

But we’re here for the bass, and the specially optimized 6.5-inch subwoofers in the Power component system are awesome in this regard, with so much force and so much extension that you can get quite lost in just that driving beat. And yet somehow they never overwhelm the higher frequencies, and this ends up being not just a slamming car speaker system, but a remarkably balanced and musical one as well.

We also love the Rockford Fosgate Punch component system – a very similar sound signature, with perhaps a bit more dominant bass, if not quite the sub-bass extension, for a considerably lower price.

Best Component Speaker Systems for Bass – Budget

JBL GTO609C Premium 6.5-Inch Component Speaker System

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inch Woofers: .75 Inch Aluminum Dome Tweeters
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way with External Crossover
  • Frequency Response: 53 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power Handling: 99 watts RMS: 270 watts peak
  • Impedance: 3 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: Woofer: 2.0625 Inches

Leave it to JBL to make a super-exciting basshead speaker that is also musical and accurate. The GTO component system can play really loud, with intense dynamic energy, and keeps the excitement going even after hours of listening, with no harshness at all and no listener fatigue.

They also really pump out bass, with their incredibly efficient separate 6.5-inch woofers, which go deep – amazingly deep, for this price range especially! – and are fast, detailed, and accurate. They are also, it should be said, booming, with a kind of power and emphasis on the sub-bass to the mid-bass range that can be pretty awesome, yet still never swamps the rest of the music.

Best Component Speaker Systems for Bass – Super-Cheap

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inch Woofers: 1 Inch Balanced Metal Dome Tweeters
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way with External Crossover
  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Power Handling: 30 watts RMS: 180 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: Woofer: 2.2 Inches

We should probably say that you’re never going to get a really high-quality separate component speaker system for your car or truck under a hundred bucks – except that that’s not true at all! Enter the Cerwin XED650C, with sound quality better than much more expensive component or coax speakers, powerful and dynamic sound, and incredibly deep and strong bass response.

No, they aren’t Morel, Hertz, or Focal. The Cerwin Vega speakers have maybe a little less refinement and maybe a bit more edge than any of the other choices for best automotive component speaker systems, but this can in fact make them super-fun and engaging to listen to. 

And the bass is strong, solid, and deep – noticeably louder than the mids and highs, but with control and accuracy that makes it all come together and work beautifully.

Best 6.5 Inch Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality

Our Favorite 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass

Focal 165CA1 SG 2-Way 6.5-inch Coaxial Speaker Pair
  • 165CA1 SG - Focal 6.5" 2 Way Coaxial Speakers
  • Adjustable aluminum inverted dome tweeter
  • Integrated crossover (4.7kHz)
  • 85mm (3-1/3") magnet
  • Mounting depth: 63mm

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power Handling: 60 watts RMS: 120 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 2.56 inches

I kind of want to write a warning, or a disclaimer, that the Focal speakers are not for bass-heads – they do not go out of their way to pound bass into the cab of your car or truck and are actually a very well-balanced speaker system. And this is especially obvious with these superb 6.5-inch two-way coaxials.

But then I listen to them, hearing just how amazingly deep, tight and fast the low bass is, and realize that with such high-quality bass and sub-bass you can equalize the heck out of them, and get the lows as big and slamming as you want – so yeah, maybe they are a great bass-head speaker, especially if you sometimes want more balance and highly value overall musicality, accuracy and resolution, but still gotta have the hit.

Whatever and however you listen, these are great speakers, and highly recommended!

Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Premium

Sale
Rockford Fosgate T1650 Power 6.5" 2-Way Coaxial Full Range Speaker (Pair)
  • The Power T1650 is an impressive 2-way coaxial full-range speaker designed as a high-powered OEM replacement that is truly perfected for...
  • The T1650 are a pair of Power 6.5” black speakers that include integrated concealed crossovers and mounting hardware
  • The 4-Ohm speaker power handling rated at 75 Watts RMS/150 Watts Max
  • Get Power series sound quality in a drop-in speaker. Be prepared, these are more than OEM replacement speakers, their sound quality has been...
  • Famous Rockford Fosgate build quality with a full 1-year warranty when purchased from an authorized Rockford Fosgate reseller

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 44 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power Handling: 75 watts RMS: 150 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 2.52 inches

Ok, I admit it – the Focals are not just my favorite 6.5s, they are the better speaker! And still, I am happy to dub these Rockford Fosgate T1650 6.5 inch two-way as the best premium car speakers for bass and overall sound. Why? Well, the bass, for a start!

If anybody still has the crazy idea that “little” 6.5s can’t really slam you with the beat, or won’t go that deep, they have never heard these Rockfords, which have such immensely satisfying (and just immense) low end, and yet still manage to let the rest of the music compete, and have an at least fairly balanced overall sound signature, with bright and engaging mids and highs, tons of detail and very low distortion.

Not cheap, but an amazing value and an incredibly fun speaker!

Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Mid-Priced

JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker – Set of 2

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 53 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power Handling: 60 watts RMS: 180 watts peak
  • Impedance: 3 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 2 inches

The shape and extended surface area of these JBL GTOs are optimized for deep bass, and they in fact go deeper, with more speed and control, than lots of even pretty expensive subwoofers I’ve tried. At the same time, these ingeniously designed speakers have a pivoting tweeter that can point up from the bottom of the door to let the highs and mids compete with all that bass.

So what you end up with are car door speakers with bass that’s deep, tight, and fast – and that can easily and effectively be eq’d up even stronger – and still an amazingly balanced, sweet, and detailed overall sound, with plenty of accuracy and detail. Great for all kinds of music, and a remarkable value for the money – typical JBL!

Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Budget

Cerwin-Vega Mobile V465 Vega Series 2-Way Coaxial Speakers (6.5", 400 Watts max)
  • Low-resonant deep-drawn stamped cast baskets
  • Curvilinear cone design for superior mid-bass/off-axis performance
  • 1" titanium dome tweeters
  • Vega signature red rubber surround
  • Includes speaker grilles

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power Handling: 75 watts RMS: 400 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 2.78 inches

But as great of a value as the JBLs are, these Cerwin Vega V465 2-way 6.5 inch speakers have to take the grand prize, and not just for their remarkable bass – super-tight, fast and open, and very, very strong. The aluminum dome tweeter has amazing detail and is exceptionally accurate, and has plenty of bite and sizzle.

And just like the bass, the mids and highs can play really loud without a hint of harshness or distortion, and without losing their coherence or musicality. Such an ideal balance of power and quality means not just a very exciting musical experience, but the same kind of excitement for hours, or even years – and speakers that will definitely hold up for that long, given Cerwin’s legendary material and build quality.

The best value I know in the most popular size of auto speakers, and an amazing speaker for bass and overall sound quality.

Best 6.5 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Super-Cheap

Sale
CERWIN Vega XED62 XED 6.5-Inch 300 Watts Max 2-Way Coaxial Speaker Set …
  • 6.5″ 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers ; Power Handling: Peak: 300 watts
  • Curvilinear polypropylene cone ; Butyl rubber surround
  • 0.75″ balanced metal dome tweeter ; Frequency Response: 60 – 18000 Hz
  • Top-mount Depth: 2.2″ ; Mounting diameter: 4.96″
  • Sensitivity: 94dB

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6.5 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Power Handling: 300 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 2.2 inches

So it should be no surprise that Cerwin Vega – our repeated pick for the best value, here and in other articles and buyer’s guides – also makes our pick for the best budget car speaker for bass and sound quality. The Cerwin Vega XED62 speakers pack so much quality and technology into such an inexpensive speaker, and such material quality and durability as well, that it is almost impossible to understand how they did it.

Ok, yeah, the bass is not as deep as their V series speakers (just above), and the tweeters may not have quite the detail or accuracy, but if you compare these XEDs to anything else anywhere near this low, low price, they blow all the competition away. And while the bass is not as deep as on more expensive speakers, it is deep enough, and strong enough, to give the feeling of a real and exciting foundation with any and all kinds of music.

Really, for this money? Unbelievable!

Best 6×9 Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality

Our Favorite 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass

Focal RCX-690 Auditor Series 6 x 9 3-Way Coaxial Speakers (Pair)
  • Mylar, Inverted dome tweeter
  • Polypropylene cone
  • Max power 160W
  • Nom power 80W RMS
  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 92dB

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6×9 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 3 Way
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power Handling: 80 watts RMS: 160 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 3.2 inches

A truly advanced speaker from the company fast establishing itself as one of the true players in the ultra-high-end audio world, the Focal Auditor is not only far higher quality than you might expect from this price range – with light, stiff, low polypropylene cones and Focal’s iconic inverted dome mylar tweeter and super-tweeter – it also sounds unbelievably good.

Almost spookily present, warm and realistic vocals give this speaker a beauty we normally associate with the finest audiophile systems, and the highs are smooth, sweet, and strikingly extended. And the way this all is so organically supported by super-deep, quick and powerful bass makes the Auditor not only supremely satisfying to listen to, but pretty thrilling as well. And with the strong, long-throw woofers and high-efficiency magnets, you can turn the bass up as pretty much as you want!

Best 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Premium

Rockford Fosgate T1693 Power 6″x9″ 3-Way Full-Range Speakers

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6×9 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 3 Way
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Power Handling: 100 watts RMS: 200 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 3.39 inches

For a more striking bass presentation out of the box – bass that really hits and makes all kinds of music really moves- the Rockford Fosgate Power series 6 by 9s do have the edge over the Focals, for sure. And while they may not have the same sweet, smooth presentation, they have a brightness and bite that many people will like a lot more, and can make for a very engaging listen.

And, as their name suggests, these are powerful speakers, that can handle up to 200 watts each but will come alive with small amps and even factory-installed stereos. A tough, high-quality unit in every way, the Rockford Power 3 ways will last for years, even with a bit of blasting, and still sound stunning. Intensely strong deep bass, clarity, and dynamic energy – these are really great sounding speakers and at the price a no-brainer!

Best 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Mid-Priced

Sale
JBL GTO939 GTO Series 6x9" 300W 3 Way Black Car Coaxial Audio Speakers Stereo
  • 6 x 9-inch three-way loudspeaker pair.
  • Plus One woofer cone with rubber surround
  • Adjustable mylar-titanium tweeter and supertweeter with level control
  • 300 Watts peak power handling; 2 ohm impedance
  • Three-inch mounting depth

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6×9 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 3 Way
  • Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power Handling: 100 watts RMS: 300 watts peak
  • Impedance: 2 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 3 inches

Just like the same JBL speaker in 6.5 sizes, these 6×9 GTO939 3-way speakers have remarkable woofer drivers, which are optimized in size, shape, and surface area to go really deep and have plenty of impacts – more, in fact, than a lot of pretty pricey subwoofers.

But because they are JBL they also have beautifully balanced mids and highs, with detail, accuracy, and warm musicality, and the amazingly engaging and fun musical energy and dynamics we associate with the company. These are really satisfying speakers – for the bass slam and for overall listening – ones you can listen to for hours and love for years.

Best 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Budget

CERWIN VEGA V469 6-Inch x 9-Inch 500 Watts Max/100Watts RMS Power Handling 2-Way Coaxial Speaker...
  • VEGAWhen people think of Cerwin-Vega Mobile they think of robust quality.
  • Low-Resonant Deep Drawn Composite Basket
  • Curvilinear Cone Design for Superior Mid-Bass and Off-Axis Performance

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6×9 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power Handling: 100 watts RMS: 500 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 3.43 inches

In case you’re keeping count, Cerwin Vega has made it onto our list of best car speakers for bass and sound quality more than any other brand – a full five times! They are, for sure, the king of cheap basshead speaker systems, with products that not only bring the bass, but have clean and accurate higher frequencies as well, and are very well made and durable speakers as well.

The Cerwin V469 is a great case in point, and though strikingly inexpensive is essentially a premium product in look and feel – and in sound. Deep bass that is not just solid, but fast and accurate as well, with real definition and character, vocals and mids that are warm, dark and detailed, sharp, bright high frequencies, and tons of dynamic energy throughout.

If you are on a budget but don’t want to compromise on bass quality or quantity, or on overall musicality, these powerful Cerwin Vega 6×9 two ways are the perfect speaker.

Best 6×9 Inch Car Speakers for Bass – Super Cheap

CERWIN Vega XED693 6 x 9 Inches 350 Watts Max 3-Way Coaxial Speaker Set …
  • Curvilinear polypropylene cone; Butyl rubber surround
  • Linear woven treated red spider ; 1″ balanced metal dome CV tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 50-18,000 Hz ; Top-mount Depth: 3.4″
  • Sensitivity: 94dB

At a Glance:

  • Size: 6×9 Inches
  • Speaker Type: 2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 18 q kHz
  • Power Handling: 50 watts RMS: 350 watts peak
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Mounting Depth: 3.4 inches

Strikingly well built for their price, the Cerwin Vega XED693 3-way speakers have an incredibly well-integrated sound all the way from their crisp, clean highs through the midrange and vocals and down to the big, beautiful bass. The whole frequency range is clear, low distortion, warm and musical, and with really exciting musical energy and dynamic range.

And the bass! No, not as deep, maybe, as some of the really premium (and much more expensive) speakers on our list, but it is actually kind of hard to tell, since these super-affordable Cerwins have such well-designed woofers and crossovers, and hit hard with deep bass as well as solid, rich and detailed mid-bass – a low end that adds drive, excitement and substantial foundation to all kinds of music, without ever overwhelming or obscuring the rest of the picture.

Far more than you’d have the right to expect from this price level, and a well-made and durable speaker system to boot!