Audio

10 Best Budget Car Speaker of 2021

Best Budget Car Speakers

A busted speaker does not have to ruin your driving experience as you will not always need to spend a fortune to replace it, given the many budget speakers available out there.

Budget car speakers typically cost under $100, and if you choose wisely, you will still end up with something well-built that delivers superior sound quality.

Although many options can make choosing the best budget car speaker a little confusing, it should not be if you know what to look for as you shop. This post explains how to choose one and reviews some top-rated budget car speakers to give you recommendations.

10 Best Budget Car Speakers – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime

1. Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime (Best Overall)

  • Durable rubber surround
  • Integrated tweeter crossover
  • Grilles create a more pleasant look
  • Mounting hardware included
Polk Audio DB522

2. Polk Audio DB522 (Best for Money)

  • Marine certified
  • UV tolerant cone
  • Zero tweeter protrusion
  • Simple drop-in installation
Pioneer TS-A1370F

3. Pioneer TS-A1370F (Best Brand)

  • Sturdy multilayer mica matrix cone structure
  • Seamless transition between woofer & tweeter
  • Smooth frequency response
  • Clear high frequencies
Boss Audio Systems CH6530

4. Boss Audio Systems CH6530 (Best Cheap) 

  • Highly affordable
  • Durable polyurethane cone
  • Rough rubber surround
  • Efficient Piezoelectric tweeter
Alpine SPS-510

5. Alpine SPS-510 (Best 2-Way)

  • Great-sounding poly-micacone woofer
  • Sturdy rubber surround
  • Powerful 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter
Kicker 43DSC504

6. Kicker 43DSC504 (Best 5.25-Inch)

  • 5.25-inch fits most vehicles perfectly
  • Rigid polypropylene cone
  • Polyester foam surround for increased efficiency
  • High sensitivity – 90 dB
Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime

7. Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime (Best 3-Way)

  • Full-range 3-way
  • Integrated tweeter crossover
  • Silk dome Piezo tweeter
  • Grilles & mounting hardware provided
JBL CLUB6520

8. JBL CLUB6520 (Low Impedance)

  • Grilles & mounting hardware provided
  • 92 dB high sensitivity
  • PEI balanced dome tweeter
  • Durable polypropylene woofer cone
Polk Audio DB652

9. Polk Audio DB652 (Sporty-Looking)

  • Removable sport grilles
  • Great sounding dynamic balance technology
  • UV tolerant polypropylene cone
  • 92 dB high sensitivity
Kenwood KFC-6965S

10. Kenwood KFC-6965S (High Power Handling)

  • Handles up to 400 watts peak power
  • Larger 2-inch polyetherimide cone tweeter
  • Higher 92 dB sensitivity

PRODUCT

1. Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime

(Best Overall)

Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime
  • Durable rubber surround
  • Integrated tweeter crossover
  • Grilles create a more pleasant look
  • Mounting hardware included

2. Polk Audio DB522

(Best for Money)

Polk Audio DB522
  • Marine certified
  • UV tolerant cone
  • Zero tweeter protrusion
  • Simple drop-in installation

3. Pioneer TS-A1370F

(Best Brand)

Pioneer TS-A1370F
  • Sturdy multilayer mica matrix cone structure
  • Seamless transition between woofer & tweeter
  • Smooth frequency response
  • Clear high frequencies

4. Boss Audio Systems CH6530

(Best Cheap) 

Boss Audio Systems CH6530
  • Highly affordable
  • Durable polyurethane cone
  • Rough rubber surround
  • Efficient Piezoelectric tweeter

5. Alpine SPS-510

(Best 2-Way)

Alpine SPS-510
  • Great-sounding poly-micacone woofer
  • Sturdy rubber surround
  • Powerful 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter

6. Kicker 43DSC504

(Best 5.25-Inch)

Kicker 43DSC504
  • 5.25-inch fits most vehicles perfectly
  • Rigid polypropylene cone
  • Polyester foam surround for increased efficiency
  • High sensitivity – 90 dB

7. Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime

(Best 3-Way)

Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime
  • Full-range 3-way
  • Integrated tweeter crossover
  • Silk dome Piezo tweeter
  • Grilles & mounting hardware provided

8. JBL CLUB6520

(Low Impedance)

JBL CLUB6520
  • Grilles & mounting hardware provided
  • 92 dB high sensitivity
  • PEI balanced dome tweeter
  • Durable polypropylene woofer cone

9. Polk Audio DB652

(Sporty-Looking)

Polk Audio DB652
  • Removable sport grilles
  • Great sounding dynamic balance technology
  • UV tolerant polypropylene cone
  • 92 dB high sensitivity

10. Kenwood KFC-6965S

(High Power Handling)

Kenwood KFC-6965S
  • Handles up to 400 watts peak power
  • Larger 2-inch polyetherimide cone tweeter
  • Higher 92 dB sensitivity
Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime

Photo: Rockford Fosgate

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 80 watts
  • RMS Power: 40 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

It is all about the sound quality with the Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime, which is why it is our best overall product. With this 5.25-inch speaker, you get an integrated tweeter crossover to ensure the best of every sound output.

Unlike budget speakers that will use foam and other less durable materials, this one has a rubber surround. The rubber surround is also more resistant to moisture and ensures lower sound distortion.

Rockford makes this budget car speaker with a durable polypropylene cone that also improves the sound output significantly. The silk-dome tweeter is flush mounted to ensure you get a better fit.

When it comes to the installation, you can be sure that you will have an easier time as the manufacturer provides the mounting hardware, instructions, and the grilles. The provided grilles also have a more pleasant look to ensure the speaker looks fantastic in your vehicle.

Although the bass is not very powerful, this is an easy problem to fix with a good amplifier and should not be a deal-breaker.

Pros:

  • Highly durable construction
  • Superior sound quality
  • More pleasant look
  • Flush-mounted tweeter
  • Easy to install with the mounting hardware provided

Cons:

  • Bass is a little lacking

2. Best for Money: Polk Audio DB522

Polk Audio DB522

Photo: Polk Audio

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 300 watts
  • RMS Power: 100 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

For marine certified speakers with an IP55 rating, the Polk Audio DB522 will give you the best value for money as it is hard to get better quality without spending more money. Their marine certification means they are tested for salt, fog, and humidity, making them ideal for use in all environments.

Besides the marine certification, these speakers will outperform the OEM speakers by delivering superior sound quality. And with the UV tolerant cone, you can be sure theses speakers do not discolor or degrade for a long time to come.

The drop-in installation ensures quick and easy installation. Many users will also love the more seamless and flush mounting thanks to the zero protrusion tweeters.

The grille seems to have some issues fitting some vehicles, but it should still work well with a little DIY inventiveness. Also, an amp should give the bass a nice boost if it is still not adequate for you.

Pros:

  • Certified to be safe for marine use
  • Easily outperforms factory speakers
  • Cone does not discolor or degrade
  • Seamless and flush mounting
  • Easy and quick to install

Cons:

  • Grille has fitment issues
  • Not enough bass

3. Best Brand: Pioneer TS-A1370F

Pioneer TS-A1370F

Photo: Pioneer

  • Speaker System Class: 3 way
  • Output Power: 300 watts
  • RMS Power: 50 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

Pioneer is among the oldest vehicle sound system manufacturers, and they are famous for making some of the best sounding car speakers. If you are looking for the best budget car sound system and prefer to buy from a top brand, the Pioneer TS-A1370F is an excellent choice.

Overall, this sturdy car speaker features a carbon mica reinforced injection-molded polypropylene cone that will deliver many years of excellent service. With superior quality construction, you also get low sound distortion even at the high output.

This 3-way speaker runs on Pioneer's open and smooth system. With this system, you get a smooth frequency response and a seamless transition between the woofer and tweeter for exceptional sound quality.

When it comes to installation, this speaker allows for a simple drop-in mount. Better yet, it will provide a custom OEM fit.

While the highs seem a little too strong, you should still be okay if you utilize your equalizer. The bass is also acceptable for budget 5.25-inch speakers.

Pros:

  • Sturdy cone construction
  • Transitions smoothly between woofer and tweeter
  • Smooth frequency response
  • Easy to install
  • Delivers low sound distortion

Cons:

  • Highs are a little too strong
  • Bass is a little lacking

Boss Audio Systems CH6530

Photo: Boss Audio Systems

  • Speaker System Class: 3 way
  • Output Power: 300 watts
  • RMS Power: 150 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

Any motorists shopping for car speakers on a very tight budget will love the Boss Audio Systems CH6530 as they are as cheap as they can get without compromising the sound quality.

Despite being some of the most affordable car speakers out there, these are still highly durable 6.5-inch car speakers. They will feature a more resilient polyurethane cone that also offers excellent sound quality.

The rubber surround is also an excellent addition because, besides being durable, it can withstand more abuse without affecting the sound quality.

These speakers use the Piezoelectric tweeter, which is more resistant to overload. Also, you can use the tweeter with no crossover. And with the stamped basket design, you get a rigid and robust platform. This platform allows you to hear a clean, clear sound.

Although the screw quality seems quite lacking, this is hardly a concern for what you pay for the speaker.

Pros:

  • Relatively more affordable
  • Durable and more resilient cone
  • Rubber surround can withstand more abuse
  • Tweeter is more resistant to overload and is usable without crossover
  • Strong and rigid stamped basket

Cons:

  • Provided screws are lacking quality

5. Best 2-Way Budget Car Speaker: Alpine SPS-510

Alpine SPS-510

Photo: Alpine

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 170 watts
  • RMS Power: 55 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

With the 2-way Alpine SPS-510, you get a pair of super easy to install speakers that you can have in your car in no time, even if you do not have prior experience installing similar speakers.

Besides the ease of installation, these 2-way car speakers have a durable poly-micacone woofer that produces a crystal clear sound and packs a nice bass. For the tweeter, you get a 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter that will also deliver exceptional sound quality.

Because these speakers will use a rubber surround instead of foam, they can take more beating for long with minimal wear and tear while still maintaining excellent sound quality.

Although these speakers could be a little louder, they are still as loud as you would expect from a 170-watt pair of coaxial speakers. Lack of covers should also not be a big deal as their absence does not affect sound quality.

Pros:

  • High-quality poly-micacone woofer
  • Sturdier rubber surround
  • Larger and great sounding tweeter
  • Super easy to install

Cons:

  • Could be louder
  • Covers not included

6. Best 5.25-Inch Budget Car Speaker: Kicker 43DSC504

Kicker 43DSC504

Photo: Kicker

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 200 watts
  • RMS Power: 50 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

The 5.25-inch Kicker 43DSC504 is the perfect replacement for your factory speakers. Besides being the right size, they will also work with most car sound systems.

These top-notch speakers also offer high sensitivity of up to 90 dB. And with their lightweight foam surround, you can be sure that you will be getting more efficient speakers for excellent sound quality.

Durability is also guaranteed as these speakers feature a more rigid overall construction and with polypropylene cone.

The mounting holes do not seem to line up nicely for some vehicles, but you should not have any issues doing a little DIY modification for a perfect fit. While the lows are also a bit lacking, everything else, including the bass, is fantastic for a pair of budget speakers.

Pros:

  • Perfect replacement for OEM speakers
  • Offers higher sensitivity
  • Lightweight foam surround provides higher efficiency
  • More rigid and durable cone

Cons:

  • Holes do not line up very well
  • Lows are a little lacking

7. Best 3-Way Budget Car Speakers: Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime

Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime

Photo: Rockford Fosgate

  • Speaker System Class: 3 way
  • Output Power: 130 watts
  • RMS Power: 65 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

If you prefer the convenience and sound quality of a 3-way speaker, the full-range Rockford Fosgate R169X3 Prime should serve you well.

These speakers will include a built-in tweeter crossover to ensure that the outputs are distinct and clear enough. Better yet, it also uses a more efficient silk dome Piezo tweeter.

The cones also do not disappoint as they are rigid and durable polypropylene. The speakers are built on a stamped steel base and with a rubber surround to give them a long service life.

When you buy these speakers, you will also get the grilles to enhance the overall appearance and mounting hardware to ensure you have what you need for installation.

While this speaker might not have a mighty bass, what you get is still enough if you listen to music at moderate levels. Also, the fit is not the best but is still acceptable for a budget speaker set.

Pros:

  • Provides a full range sound upgrade
  • Tweeter crossover ensures greater sound clarity
  • Highly durable cones
  • More efficient tweeter design
  • Easy to mount with supplied hardware

Cons:

  • Does not pack a lot of bass
  • Not the best fit

8. Low Impedance Budget Car Speakers: JBL CLUB6520

JBL CLUB6520

Photo: JBL

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 300 watts
  • RMS Power: 50 watts
  • Impedance: 3 Ohms

The JBL CLUB6520 offers a relatively lower impedance than others on our list. With the 3-ohm impedance, the speakers will be more efficient as they allow sound to pass through easily.

Better yet, with these speakers, you get a relatively higher sensitivity of up to 92 dB, which means they are louder than most other budget models out there.

The PEI balanced dome tweeters are more lightweight than the silk-dome tweeter, ensuring they deliver a brighter sound. And with the polypropylene woofer cone, these speakers are designed to take quite a beating.

While these speakers seem to take more time to break-in after installing them, you will love the sound once they loosen up, including the bass.

Pros:

  • Lower impedance for increased efficiency
  • Offers relatively higher sensitivity
  • Lighter and brighter tweeters
  • Highly durable woofer cones

Cons:

  • Takes quite some time to break-in

9. Sporty-Looking Budget Car Speakers: Polk Audio DB652

Polk Audio DB652

Photo: Polk Audio

  • Speaker System Class: 2 way
  • Output Power: 300 watts
  • RMS Power: 100 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

Looks always matter even when shopping for the best budget car sound system. However, looks should be the least of your worries with the Polk Audio DB652 thanks to the removable sports grilles that give the speakers a more pleasant and sporty appearance.

Besides the appearance, these speakers will use dynamic balance technology to deliver a signature sound quality that makes your drives more pleasant. You can also use these marine-certified speakers in almost any environment as they are effective at keeping dirt and water out.

These are high sensitivity speakers with a 92 dB rating, and they are built to last with UV tolerant polypropylene woofer cones that will not degrade quickly.

Despite the mounting holes not lining up very well for some vehicles, you should not have any issues mounting the speakers. Also, they could do with some extra bass, but what you get is still quite okay.

Pros:

  • More pleasant sporty look
  • Delivers a signature sound quality
  • Marine certified speakers
  • Higher speaker sensitivity
  • Cones do not degrade or deteriorate easily

Cons:

  • Mounting holes do not line up very well
  • Needs an extra bass kick

10. High Power Handling Budget Car Speakers: Kenwood KFC-6965S

Kenwood KFC-6965S

Photo: Kenwood 

  • Speaker System Class: 3 way
  • Output Power: 400 watts
  • RMS Power: 45 watts
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms

With the capacity to handle up to 400 watts of peak power, the Kenwood KFC-6965S packs more punch than most other budget car speakers out there.

This car speaker is also built for durability. They have more rigid polypropylene woofer cones that you can be sure will serve you long and offer exceptional sound quality.

The more powerful 2-inch polyetherimide cone tweeter and 1/2-inch super tweeter will ensure that your mids and highs are perfect. Overall, these speakers give you a crisp sound with little to no distortion for an unforgettable listening experience.

Although the provided directions are a little unclear initially, they are still relatively easy to follow and very helpful once you figure them out.

Pros:

  • Handles more power
  • More durable woofer cones
  • Crisp sound with no distortion
  • Larger and more powerful tweeters

Cons:

  • Directions are a little unclear

How to Buy the Best Budget Car Speakers 

How to Buy the Best Budget Car Speakers

1. Compatibility

When buying new speakers for your vehicle, it is vital to make sure that they can fit it perfectly. If the speakers are not compatible with your car, they can be unusable, or you may need to make expensive adjustments to use them.

You need to check the speakers' size and shape and compare this with the mounting hole on your vehicle to determine if they will fit.

Besides the physical fit, you also need to make sure that the speakers are compatible with your vehicle's stereo system. Hence, you need to understand your stereo system well before shopping for speakers.

2. 2-way or 3-way

Another critical decision that you will need to make when shopping for the best cheap car speaker involves choosing between the 2-way and 3-way speakers.

The 2-way speakers like the Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime are co-axial speakers that include a woofer and tweeter. These speakers are easier to install and are hence the best choice for those that prefer DIY installation.

The 3-way speakers like the Boss Audio Systems CH6530, on the other hand, consist of a woofer, tweeter, and a mid-range component. They often offer a high-frequency range but can be a little complicated to install.

3. Power Handling

The power handling capability is crucial as it determines how powerful a speaker will be and other things like the maximum sound output and quality.

When it comes to power handling, you will need to consider both the RMS, which is the continuous power the speaker can handle and the peak or maximum power.

You can expect to get anything from 80 to 300 watts for these budget speakers for the peak power. When it comes to RMS, anything between 40 and 150 watts is okay.

4. Build Material

Because you do not want to buy new speakers within a short time, you also need to consider the build material to ensure you get something highly durable.

The good news is many budget speaker models still use high-quality materials that will not break or degrade quickly.

For maximum speaker durability, look for something made with rubber surround instead of foam and a woofer made of a rigid material like metal-coated synthetic fabric. Also note that besides durability, high-quality materials can also improve the sound quality significantly.

Conclusion 

Even if you are shopping for the best budget car speakers, there are still plenty of options to pick from out there, and our detailed review should help you narrow down your choices.

There is something for everyone on our list, but the Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime takes our top overall spot as it offers superior sound and has an exceptional build quality.

But, if you are looking for the cheapest option without compromising the quality of the speakers, the Boss Audio Systems CH6530 is an excellent choice.

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