Best Car Audio Brands in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

It’s safe to say that travel has gotten more advanced over the years, however nebulous a statement that might be. From the domestication of the first riding animal to the creation of the raft and to the endless automation that marks today’s motor vehicles, getting from here to there is becoming more comfortable and convenient all the time.

The challenges facing a traveler are many and numerous, but we’ve managed to overcome nearly every last one with time. Roads take too long to walk, ride, or even drive, so the boat and aircraft were invented. People wanted to travel at night, prompting the creation of the running light, and so on through history.

Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. Pioneer TS-F1634R
  • Compact speaker size
  • Easily accessible hardpoints
  • Removable cover for easy adaptability
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2. BOSS Audio Systems CH6520
  • Polyurethane cone
  • High-temperature voice coil
  • Attractively priced
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3. Rockville RXM84
  • Larger sound membrane
  • Over 100dB sensitivity
  • CEA compliant power supply
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4. JBL Car Speaker
  • Minimal space requirements
  • Lightweight
  • Onboard power
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5. OontZ Angle 3
  • 100ft media range
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Highly portable
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6. Atrend SC6x9PR
  • Highly resilient construction
  • Full enclosure
  • Exceptionally powerful sound
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7. Sbode Outdoors
  • Weatherproof
  • Highly portable
  • 15h play time on a single charge
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8. Brand-X L105X4
  • Durable metal construction
  • Four distinct input feeds
  • Low impedance
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9. Alpine S-S50
  • Minimal footprint
  • Strong magnet
  • Full rubber surround
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10. XTC-3300
  • Low cost
  • Compact
  • Easy to mount
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Vehicles have become safer as well, to the point where some of them can practically steer themselves away from collisions. Seat belts, airbags, and crumple space form a car accident triad that has saved more than a few lives over the years, and new safety features are added yearly to try and chisel away at the heart-rending statistics on annual automotive statistics.

Some features were invented purely as a status symbol, intended less to boost the cars performance or save the occupant’s lives as to make viewers green with envy at the decadent car the owner displays. Spoilers, enhanced hubcaps, and custom decals and hood ornaments adorn cars when the owner really and truly wants to lord their new ride over anyone they see.

As impressive as the outside of a car looks, the real enjoyment for the owners is generally to be found inside, where plush seats and climate control make it a pleasure to ride around. Integrated, dedicated internet access and a good entertainment system can complete the effect. For those looking to have everything in one car, the in-car ice box keeps snacks fresh and drinks cool to increase your road-trip stamina.

It is the rare piece of the car’s design that fits all three of these categories, especially since some manufacturers specifically eliminate one in favor of the other. There is one thing, though, that can genuinely be considered a part of the car for all of these purposes: the sound system.

The in-car stereo is all three categories combined; a status symbol and indicator of the car’s quality, a sorely needed means of making long trips more enjoyable, and the companion of many a driver struggling to stay awake late at night or on a long, empty road. It is one of the oldest additions to a car and easily one of the most refined from its original form, and the improvements continue to this day.

Car audio has been around since the 1930s, when it took off almost instantly on an invention by the Motorola Corporation. Since then, manufacturers have been in continual contest with one another to make their cars host the best sound, without compromising the rest of the electronics in the car.

However good car stereos get, though, there are plenty of drivers out there that simply aren’t satisfied with the built-in models that come with the car. Some want a more powerful sound, others are after a better bass scale or more channels for their phones and other media. For drivers like these, the most common – and sometimes only – option is an aftermarket audio upgrade, replacing the original audio technology with a different speaker set.

Once you are shopping for a speaker instead of the whole car, there are a plethora of new vendors to choose from. After all, you’re now looking for a totally different appliance, so it stands to reason that it is made by different people. Picking out a good one will mean a new and distinct set of criteria to make sure that you really are raising your car’s value and not lowering it instead.

Anyone who has shopped for electronics knows that an uninformed consumer is liable to make all kinds of rash decisions, surrounded by lurid and often misleading advertising for dozens of models of any product they are after. We’ve cut through the ruckus and narrowed this field to the ten best car speaker brands to help you choose the right car speaker the first time.

Our Best Car Audio Brands / Best Car Speaker Brands Reviews and Comparisons

1. Pioneer TS-F1634R

Product Highlights

These speakers include a two-way function that makes them a useful addition to a car phone as well as whatever tunes you want to crank up.

Features

  • 6.5” diameter
  • 200W power supply
  • Four ohms impedance
  • Two speakers included

What We Like About Pioneer TS-F1634R

These speakers are small enough to be unobtrusive and clear enough in both directions to add to your phone and music experience.

What We Don’t Like About Pioneer TS-F1634R

No connection equipment is sold with these, so any adapters and wiring will need to be purchased separately.

PROS

  • Compact speaker size
  • Versatile universal connection points
  • Two-way speaker can be used for intercom or phone
  • Easily accessible hardpoints
  • Removable cover for easy adaptability

CONS

  • Do not come with connection equipment
  • Wire points can be fragile

2. BOSS Audio Systems CH6520

Product Highlights

These speakers do not skimp on the materials, with every component built to handle higher stresses than the competition.

Features

  • 6.5” diameter
  • 125W power supply
  • Four ohms impedance
  • Two units included

What We Like About BOSS Audio Systems CH6520

BOSS speakers tend to be considerably more durable than others, sealed against moisture and grit with thicker driver springs and membranes to take on higher temperatures and forces.

What We Don’t Like About BOSS Audio Systems CH6520

Thicker materials can adversely affect the sound quality, especially at the high and low ends of the scale.

PROS

  • Polyurethane cone
  • High-temperature voice coil
  • Rubber surround protects against damage
  • Piezoelectric tweeter resists overload
  • Attractively priced

CONS

  • Reduced sound quality
  • Ocasional power fluctuations

3. Rockville RXM84

Product Highlights

These speakers are a step up in both size and power, giving you a bigger and better sound experience.

Features

  • 8” diameter
  • 250W power supply
  • Four ohms impedance
  • Single unit sold

What We Like About Rockville RXM84

This brand uses a higher standard of testing and manufacture than most, allowing you to buy with confidence for the long term.

What We Don’t Like About Rockville RXM84

Unlike most packages, each purchase of this product will only net you one speaker.

PROS

  • Larger sound membrane
  • Narrow profile for door installation
  • Over 100dB sensitivity
  • Superior testing standards
  • CEA compliant power supply

CONS

  • 8” diameter may prove too large for some car speaker brackets
  • Only one unit per purchase

4. JBL Car Speaker

Product Highlights

JBL might be known for its miniature Bluetooth sets, but these car speakers provide the same great quality in your car or your hand.

Features

  • 5 ¼” diameter
  • 180W power supply
  • Sold in pairs
  • Battery powered

What We Like About JBL Car Speaker

These speakers have their own onboard power supply, keeping them from draining your car’s battery as they work

What We Don’t Like About JBL Car Speaker

Self-contained batteries will need to be charged or replaced regularly, and eliminate the reliability of integration to the car’s electronics.

PROS

  • Minimal space requirements
  • Lightweight
  • Onboard power
  • PEI balanced twitter dome
  • Propylene Plus cone for added insulation and sound direction

CONS

  • Batteries can run out
  • Harder to mount and maintain

5. OontZ Angle 3

Product Highlights

Set it up in your car, take it with you when you park, and connect it to anything – this speaker can handle it all.

Features

  • Stable triangular build
  • Two stereo drivers
  • Bluetooth 4.2 for near-universal connectivity
  • 10W power supply

What We Like About OontZ Angle 3

Although sized like a personal speaker, this unit delivers sound quality and strength on par with most vehicle-mounted models.

What We Don’t Like About OontZ Angle 3

There is no native way to mount this speaker; you will either need to improvise a bracket or carry it in such a way that it doesn’t rattle about as you drive.

PROS

  • 100ft media range
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Highly portable
  • More than 12 hours play time on one charge
  • Extremely versatile connectivity and charging options

CONS

  • Cannot be connected to car wiring
  • No manufacturer mounting options

6. Atrend SC6x9PR

Product Highlights

These car speakers make your vehicle into a real mobile theater, with large-scale cones and full carpeted cabinets.

Features

  • Cabinet face 6”x9”
  • Sold in pairs
  • ⅝” front baffle
  • Speaker cone face is 8.5”

What We Like About Atrend SC6x9PR

These speakers use multiple layers of insulation and sealant to minimize signal leakage and ensure complete sound delivery.

What We Don’t Like About Atrend SC6x9PR

The size and surface of these speakers can make them unsuitable for smaller or more cramps vehicles.

PROS

  • Highly resilient construction
  • Full enclosure
  • Exceptionally powerful sound
  • Nickel-plated terminals ensure solid electrical connection
  • Polygill dampening creates wider bass range

CONS

  • Carpeted finish can be damaged easily
  • Unsuitable for smaller cars

7. Sbode Outdoors

Product Highlights

This compact unit fits all your audio needs in one, including phone calls, radio, and music from a variety of media.

Features

  • 100ft connectivity range
  • Weighs 1 pound
  • Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity
  • Integrated microphone and FM receiver

What We Like About Sbode Outdoors

Thanks to a rubberized fabric interior, this speaker can keep you company at the shower, pool, or beach as well as on the road.

What We Don’t Like About Sbode Outdoors

Many users report issues with the FM radio function, even relatively close to the transmitters.

PROS

  • Weatherproof
  • Two-way voice calling when paired to phone
  • Can pair to another speaker for surround sound
  • Highly portable
  • 15h play time on a single charge

CONS

  • Not submergible
  • Dubious FM functionality

8. Brand-X L105X4

Product Highlights

This speaker’s slender enclosure is constructed of exceptionally durable materials and includes multiple channel feeds and crosses for ideal sound quality.

Features

  • 740W power supply
  • 45dB boost
  • Single unit sold
  • Two ohm impedance

What We Like About Brand-X L105X4

Using this speaker allows you to take advantage of a wide range of crossover options in any of its four input channels.

What We Don’t Like About Brand-X L105X4

As a relatively complex model, it is hard to operate it to the fullest while driving the car.

PROS

  • Durable metal construction
  • Four distinct input feeds
  • Fully crossover from each channel
  • Low impedance
  • Connectors and wiring included

CONS

  • Difficult to set up and operate
  • Extremely high power requirements

9. Alpine S-S50

Product Highlights

These speakers have built themselves a reputation for being reliable models and versatile enough to mount on any car.

Features

  • 5 ¼” diameter
  • 87dB sensitivity
  • 170W power supply
  • Sold in pairs

What We Like About Alpine S-S50

Alpine’s minimalist design cuts out ancillary features in favor of making a speaker that you can depend on well into the future.

What We Don’t Like About Alpine S-S50

These speakers do not include many of the conveniences that other models tend to include.

PROS

  • Minimal footprint
  • Strong magnet
  • Carbon-fiber reinforcement in speaker body
  • Full rubber surround
  • Extra-tough driver spring

CONS

  • No added features
  • Not compatible with all car models

10. XTC-3300

Product Highlights

These mini speakers can be mounted inside or out on your car, giving you either a great stereo inside or a powerful public address system to the rest of the road.

Features

  • 97dB boost
  • 500W power supply
  • Sold in pairs
  • Mount on car surface or angle

What We Like About XTC-3300

These are inexpensive and versatile additions to your car’s audio with a number of mounting options to fit into any vehicle.

What We Don’t Like About XTC-3300

Many users report low durability and inferior-quality materials in these speakers.

PROS

  • Low cost
  • Compact
  • Easy to mount
  • Simple to setup and use
  • All mounting supplies included

CONS

  • Fragile construction
  • Poor sound quality

Final Verdict

Getting an aftermarket car speaker is among the most common alterations to a private car, and with good reason. It is relatively cheap, requires little adjustment to the car’s electronics, and can be enjoyed by whole families and lone drivers alike.

An added audio package can make any trip more enjoyable when coupled with your favorite broadcast or playlist. So find one that fits your needs, budget and available space and get ready to crank it up on your next drive.

If you ever decide to switch cars, see a mechanic about taking the aftermarket speaker with you. They are designed to be easily attached and removed, with little to no damage to either the car’s or speaker’s wiring. If you’re not interested in keeping it with you for the switch, make sure to factor in the added value of the speaker when deciding on a price.

One less-known thing to keep in mind about speakers, and, in fact, any after-market modification, is the effect they can have on your insurance policy. Many insurance providers require owners to declare within a certain amount of time from the modification any serious change to the car, and getting a new speaker will definitely qualify for that.

Depending on how good of a speaker system you’ve added to the car, you may even want to take out a seperate policy specifically for the car audio. Added car audio systems can be quite expensive and theft or damage insurance can come in very handy in case of mishap.

For both of these reasons, many car owners are beginning to switch to compact mobile speakers connected to their car audio systems or mobile phones by Bluetooth or in-car WiFi. For the vast bulk of motorists, these provide all the amplification and quality needed to enjoy a long drive without sacrificing their insurance coverage or putting out too much on installation.

Most compact speakers will have enough battery for all the driving you would plan for one day anyway, and can be charged as you go or even work plugged in. Additionally, they can be carried with you at rest stops and hotels. Some people prowl these areas looking for any unsecured electronics, and a fixed aftermarket speaker system would be a noticeable and attractive target in your car.

One further word of caution is in order as well with any modification to a car – the car speakers may need specialized wiring work to install, and will pose an added drain to the battery. Make sure to get a qualified and experienced technician for the installation and check your battery to certify that it will be able to handle the added load.

David M
 

David M Foster is an award-winning sound engineer with over 13 years in the sound industry. He now works as a freelance sound engineer. He uses his insider knowledge and vast experience of the industry to shed more light on sound systems. He is a family man and the head content at Speakerchampion. Learn more about us.

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