Are you ready to replace your old car speakers? If it is time, you have an important decision to make.
Chances are you already know your budget limits, and what you want from your new car speakers. This has probably helped you narrow down your choices to a few companies.
Two companies that manufacturer affordable, quality car speakers are JBL and Rockford Fosgate. Both have high ratings with consumers, and multiple series to choose from. However, the best way to decide which brand of car speakers is right for you is to compare them side by side. This way you can make an informed decision and get exactly what you want in terms of price, durability, and audio quality.
Note: Be sure to check out our guide for our review of the best interior car speakers in 2021.
JBL Car Speakers
Part of the Harmon corporation, JBL is an American company that has been manufacturing car speakers since 1947. They have a long line of products that include home and Bluetooth wireless speakers, and ones that are voice-activated. With their variety of speakers, there’s a good chance you’ve already listened to their exceptional audio capabilities.
Here some of JBL’s top-rated car speakers that also come with an affordable price tag.
These are some of the company’s best 6x9 coaxial car speakers. If bass is your thing, then you will love how rich and full it sounds from the large carbon injected cones. A larger cone allows for more airflow when it is vibrating. This means that bass will be heavy and punchy. A subwoofer might not even be needed to rattle your car windows.
Tweeters are an important component and the GTO939 speakers have soft dome ones. These tweeters can give audio a staging effect in higher frequencies. You will be able to hear every musical nuance for a more enjoyable sound experience. The tweeters also have large voice coils for smooth handling of power and to prolong the life of the speakers.
GTO939 are three-way speakers that come with two level volume adjustment. If you hear any irregularities in your audio due to placement, this can be easily adjusted. You can customize the settings to your preferences, so your audio sounds exactly the way you like.
If you are worried about the fragile wiring system that is common in most vehicles, don’t be. The speakers have a low impedance at 3 ohms. There is even a built-in 12dB crossovers that ensure the right frequencies are delivered to the correct drivers.
- Most frequency bands will be crystal clear since these are three-way car speakers.
- Built-in crossovers to improve audio quality.
- Highs are clear and lows are “punchy” without the need for equalization.
- The low impedance means that the speakers will work with your car’s original stereo.
- Thanks to the large woofer cones bass production is excellent.
ConsDue to the cones construction, they may not be able to run on high powered amplifiers
If price is a concern, these are quality budget speakers. Even though they have a lower price, JBL did not cut back on their design.
The co-axial speakers measure only four inches, which means that they are easy to install and fit in smaller cars. Don’t worry about their small size, they still have a high RMS capacity. With an amplifier you can crank up the volume, but you don’t need to add one if it is not in your budget. The GTO429 car speakers are designed to give you a great audio experience, even if you are using your factory amplifier.
Sound quality isn’t a concern with these small speakers. The cones are able to handle most frequencies, without distortion at higher volumes. Lows are heavy and the highs are crisp and clear.
A subwoofer will help to add punch to the lows. The speakers small size does limit the amount of bass they can put out. If you listen to music in the mid-range frequencies like jazz or rock, these speakers will give you a kick.
- Budget friendly low price.
- High and mid frequencies are crisp and clear.
- Their small size makes the speakers easy to install in almost any vehicle.
- Mounting is flexible so you find the configuration that sounds best to you.
- The speakers are compatible with almost all factory installed heads.
- The mountings are plastic and easy to break during installation.
The GTO6428 four inch coaxial speakers come at an affordable price. These are two-way speakers so you get a woofer for lower rangers and a tweeter as the drivers. The frequency range is between 75HZ to 21000HZ . Higher frequencies will have a crisp sound and you will also get most of the lower ones.Power handling is impressive, given the speakers small size. They have a peak power capacity of 120 watts with 80 RMS. You will definitely notice an improvement over your old car speakers
The tweeters have a sturdy construction of Mylar and titanium. The dome is lightweight and responsive at high frequencies. If you like to turn up the volume this won’t be a problem. There are large voice coils in the tweeters that reduce distortion. You can even attach an external amplifier and sound will still be sharp and clear.
Built-in crossovers are part of these speakers. This ensures the right frequency goes to the proper driver. This way you have the right equalization and a better staging effect.
- Tweeters are sturdy, but still lightweight.
- You can adjust the tweeter for direction and positioning.
- The impedance sensitivity is 91dB.
- Thanks to the 2-ohm design, the speakers can work with most car stereo systems.
- Affordably priced and simple to install.
- Bass response is lacking.
The GTO609C car speakers are priced a little higher than other JBL models. However, if you frequently drive over rough terrain or just want a pair of car speakers that will last for years they might be worth the higher price.
One of the reasons many consider these the best car speakers in the GTO series is the design. The amplifiers can power up to 270 watts for a crisp, clear sound. This is perfect for head units or if you have a factory amplifier. You won’t have to spend extra money on additional components.
The cones are carbon injected for plenty of air flow. The plus one cones are light and stiff so they respond great on low frequencies. You can get the notes from these that you’d expect from large home stereo speakers.
Installation is a breeze. You won’t have to spend a lot of time getting them wired into your vehicle. They come with a patented I-mount system, so you’ll have plenty of flexibility no matter where you choose to mount them.
- Their durable design can withstand the most rugged driving conditions.
- Crossovers are clean and sensitive for improved audio.
- They will work with most head units.
- Able to stand up to 270 watts of power.
- If you are on a tight budget, these are a great upgrade.
- The higher end frequencies can sound over-boosted.
If you are looking for larger car speakers, these two-way component ones measure 6.5 inches. Their peak power capacity is 420 watts. JBL knows that RMS is an important feature, and these are 140 watts per speaker. You can crank the volume, without worrying about distortion ruining your favorite song.
The cone is polypropylene, so it produces steady tones. This material is also designed to last for years. You also have the advantage of a large surface for higher bass notes. Since these are component, two-way speakers it will seem like the staging is closer when you are listening to them.
Installation is a breeze, and the tweeters can be installed in separate location. The woofers are stationary, and must be connected to the default location per the factory’s specifications.
- Tweeters produce clean sounds.
- Mid and high ranges are smooth and clear.
- Amp power is used effectively due to their low resistance.
- The car speakers work great with most factory systems.
- Simple to install in minutes.
- Sub bass can be below par.
There is no denying that JBL manufactures high quality car speakers. Their speakers are priced for most budgets, without cutting corners on design or ability to produce excellent sound. With several series of car speakers to choose from, there is a chance that you will find the right pair from JBL.
Rockford Fosgate Car Speakers
Founded in 1973, Rockford Fosgate has become known for developing premium car speakers. This not only applies to the speakers ability to deliver amazing sound, but also their professional appearance.
The brand may not have the extensive line of products, like JBL, but the ones they do have are worth taking a look at. Their car speakers are also affordable, which is always good news to consumers.
Rockford Fosgate R165x3
The R165x3 are three-way car speakers so you get low, mid and high ranges that are crisp and clear. The bass is adequate, an improvement over your old speakers, but it won’t rattle any windows.
Measuring 6.5 inches, the speakers will fit in almost any vehicle. They feature a lightweight and sturdy construction. You will also appreciate their sleek design that looks great in any car, truck or SUV.
- These are some of the most affordably priced speakers in their class.
- They have a sturdy build that will last for years.
- Since they are three-way speakers they can catch most frequencies.
- You will notice a difference in sound quality over your factory speakers.
- There can be distortion at higher volumes, especially bass
Rockford Fosgate P16 Punch
Instead of paper cones that are often in budget car speakers, these are constructed from durable polypropylene. Sound quality is better due to the sturdy design, but bass has a greater impact. Even high volume levels won’t distort sound quality. The tweeters are ideal for high frequencies, every note will be sharp and clear.
Everything you need to install the speakers comes with your purchase. They have Rockford Fosgate trademarked FlexFit Basket design that allows for easy adjustment in your car’s speaker frame.
- VAST surround technology for improved audio.
- Installation is a breeze with the speakers’ FlexFit Basket design.
- Power handling is enhanced for better sound and durability.
- Affordably priced for most budgets.
- These speakers are only two-way so some frequencies might not be as clear as you’d like.
Rockford Fosgate P1692 Punch
The woofer cone is polypropylene and filled with mineral materials that ensure durability. The speakers also have integrated concealed crossovers that makes sure that the various sound frequencies are sent to the right components for the best audio performance.
The butyl rubber surround improves audio quality, while also adding protection to the speakers. You also don’t have to worry about areas in the car not getting the full audio experience, VAST technology takes care of that. No matter where you are sitting, you will still hear great audio.
- Easy installation due to the FlexFit Basket design.
- Full bass range that is sharp and clear.
- Mid and higher range frequencies are crystal clear.
- Music production is enhanced with Vast surround technology.
- Excellent sound quality that is affordable.
- Bass efficiency can be lacking, especially at higher volumes
Rockford Fosgate P1572 Punch
The woofer cone is injection molded to reduce strain and give an exceptional performance. You will notice the difference of paper woofer cones. Distortion is reduced and the sound is refined for an overall better listening experience. There is even a concealed crossover in the speakers so frequencies are sent to the right components.
What really sets these car speakers apart from others in this series is their noise reproduction capabilities. You’ll hear every musical nuance for a rich, full sound. They also come with OEM adapter plates and Rockford Fosgate trademarked FlexFit Basket frame design for simple installation.
- PEI tweeters have built-in crossovers for an improved performance.
- Bass is sharp and punchy at most volume levels.
- Surround technology produces crystal clear audio.
- The speaker frames are durable and easy to mount in your car doors.
- Measuring 5x7 inches smaller car owners may have difficult installing the car speakers
Rockford Fosgate R168x2 Prime
These speakers are a little lower priced than the Punch series by Rockford Fosgate. This doesn’t take away from the fact that they can produce quality sound. They measure 6x8 inches and have an RMS of 55 watts. Peak power handling is 110 watts.
They have silk dome tweeters and polypropylene cones for durability and exceptional sound quality. You’ll be able to hear most frequencies, without annoying distortion. Audio is crystal clear, even if you only have front mounted speakers. For the best performance it is recommended that you install a set in the front and back of your vehicle.
Mid-range frequencies sound great with the R168x2 Prime car speakers. Bass will not be “thumping” but you will hear an improvement over your old car speakers. Without an external amplifier, higher frequencies might not be as crisp at high volume levels as you’d like. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not quality car speakers.
- Mid-level frequencies are crystal clear.
- Priced to fit any budget.
- Great option for your first step in replacing factory speakers.
- Bass might not be as crisp as you’d like.
Rockford Fosgate has designed car speakers that are ideal for anyone that listens to mid and high range frequencies. Their speakers are priced for most consumer’s budgets, and they have a durable and attractive design. If bass isn’t your main concern, it is worth taking a look at these car speakers.
Few Things to Consider
Before you rush out to buy new car speakers, there are few things you need to consider. You don’t want to purchase a set, only to find that they are not able to produce the quality audio you want.
1. Do you want two or three-way speakers?
If you only want high and low range frequencies than two-way speakers are ideal. However, if you want mid-range frequencies, you will want a set of three-way car speakers. The main difference is that three-way speakers not only have woofers and tweeters, but also mid-range capabilities and often built-in crossovers.
2. Will installation be easy?
You don’t want to spend an entire day trying to install your speakers. Make sure that the set you choose comes with everything you need for a simple installation. It is also a good idea to check the dimensions. Make sure the speakers will fit in your car before buying them.
3. Will the speakers work with my existing car stereo?
This is rarely a problem. Even though modern vehicles tend to have thin stereo wires, most car speakers are designed with this in mind. If you are still unsure, simple check with the manufacturer.
As you can see, both JBL and Rockford Fosgate manufacturer car speakers that are durable, easy to install, and most importantly, produce quality audio. They are both affordably priced for most consumers budgets.
Where they differ is that not only does JBL have more speaker series, they also produce better bass than most by Rockford Fosgate.
Rockford Fosgate does excel at high and mid-range frequencies, though their bass is lacking. This is not to say that their production of low frequencies isn’t a step or more above factory speakers, only that they won’t give you that thump many people look for.