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Best car speaker lines for 2024

Explore our customer favorites and best-sellers

In this article: We'll discuss five of our best selling car speaker series:

  1. Perfect for a factory upgrade — Kicker's CS Series speakers
  2. Step ups with serious pedigree — JL Audio C1 Series speakers
  3. Premium favorites — Focal's Universal Integration Series speakers
  4. For a natural sound — Morel's Tempo Ultra Series speakers
  5. The audiophile optoin — Sony's Mobile ES Series speakers

What makes them customer favorites over and over again? Let's dive in! Then we'll give you some solid shopping advice to help you achieve your goals.

They're dead. They're blown. They're buzzin' and a'cracklin'. Or they're just plain lousy. That's why you need new speakers, but what comes next? With so many options for replacements, choosing new speakers can feel dizzying. The big thing you need to know is that each speaker manufacturer takes a unique approach to sound and emphasizes different qualities of music reproduction, depending on the series.

To give you a place to start, we've highlighted these time-tested customer favorites. After reading this article, if you want a deeper dive into what to look for when shopping new speakers, check out our car speakers buying guide.

What makes these favorites?

The speaker series we highlight below are not only some of our best selling speakers. They have also earned an average Crutchfield customer rating of 4 (or more) stars*, which means that our customers really like the speakers once they've installed them.

[Check out all of our best-selling and top-rated car speakers]

Kicker CS Series car speakers

Kicker CS Series — Perfect for a factory speaker upgrade

What you need to know: These are certifiable bang-for-your-buck speakers. If you like it loud, Kicker's CS Series can handle up to 150 watts RMS, which means you can get impressive detail from these bad boys at a high volume (connected to a sufficient power source, of course).

Something special: Kicker has designed these speakers to fit in more vehicles than ever, which means there's a good chance they'll be a match for yours.

Factory radio friendly? Yes. These speakers generally have high sensitivity, so they'll make the most out of the low power from a factory radio.

JL Audio C1 Series car speakers

JL Audio C1 Series — Step-ups with serious pedigree

What you need to know: If you want something special when you step up from your factory speakers, consider the C1 Series and its vibrant yellow design. An injection-molded, mineral-filled polypropylene woofer provides solid punch in the midrange and natural roll-off to the highs. And JL Audio equips this line with an aluminum edge-driven tweeter, a rarity for "entry-level" speakers. Not only does that tweeter design minimize distortion at high volumes, it gives this series its distinctly crisp sound.

Something special: The C1 Series is designed for excellence by the very same team of engineers responsible for JL Audio's flagship C7 Series.

Factory radio friendly? Totally. Their high sensitivity optimizes your factory or aftermarket radio's power for the best sound possibe.

Focal ICU 165 Universal Integration Series car speakers

Focal Universal Integration Series — Premium favorites

What you need to know: Focal has been a longtime favorite of both Crutchfield customers and our Advisors. If subtleties are what you focus on in your music, their Universal Integration Series uses inverted dome tweeters to deliver a wide, lifelike soundstage in your car.

Something special: You'll find many signature Focal innovations at play here like polyglass woofers for strong, accurate playback as well as uniquely designed tweeters that provide a more immersive sound.

Factory radio friendly? Their high sensitivity makes them okay for factory radios, but we recommend powering them with an aftermarket amplifier to truly enjoy that legendary Focal sound.

Morel Tempo Ultra Series car speakers

Morel Tempo Ultra Series — For a natural sound

What you need to know: Enjoy a refined, softer sound, thanks to the Tempo Ultra Series silk dome tweeters. High power-handling in this speaker series means you'll be able to enjoy all that luscious, new detail at low volume just as well as high. Morel also enhances the Tempo Ultra coaxial speakers with recessed tweeter placement in the woofer cone. This helps eliminate phase problems and gives you an improved sound stage if you're not opting for a component system.

Something special: You'll get impressive performance right out of the box, but customers tell us that these speakers respond exceptionally well to fine-tuning from a digital signal processor.

Factory radio friendly? Given the investment you'll be making in the speakers, we don't recommend running them off a factory radio or even an aftermarket stereo. An aftermarket amp will serve up the sound Morel had in mind for you.

Mobile ES speakers

Mobile ES Series — Audiophile sound in your car

What you need to know: In decades past, Sony's Mobile ES Series has been synonymous with impressive sound quality and customer satisfaction, earning a cult following. Well, Mobile ES is back with a new series of speakers and they live up their storied reputation with five star ratings and reviews like this: "LOVE LOVE LOVE these speakers!!"

Something special: Premium materials and design make these Mobile ES Series speakers worthy of High-Res playback. With high-frequency capability up to 40,000 Hz, they reveal texture and detail in your high-resolution audio files, adding more realism and atmosphere to instruments and vocals.

Factory radio friendly? Like the Morel speakers, we recommend aftermarket power, and if you have audiophile tastes, consider Sony's compatible High-Res gear like their GS Series amps and their Mobile ES Series stereo.

More than speakers: Sony's audiophile gear covers more than just the speakers. Read all about the Mobile ES history and their current offerings in our review of the Mobile ES line.

Popular car speakers

What's popular vs. what's for you

If you're ready to upgrade, there are a few considerations that should always top your list:

  • How much do you want to spend? Modestly priced speakers offer significant improvement over the ones that come with your car. But if you boost your budget, you'll get even better materials and design for an all-around more accurate sound.

  • What's your favorite music? The tone and style of the music you typically listen to will help you choose based on a speaker's strengths.

For more detailed information, don't forget to read our car speakers buying guide. And if you need help, contact our Advisors.

*Note: The star ratings cited are aggregate ratings for the all sizes of speakers in each series. In the case of the Focal and Morel speakers, you'll find that the linked lists of speakers feature two generations within the series.

Popular questions customers ask

It's simple – you replace your car speakers because you want your music to sound better. Car makers cut corners when it comes to car speakers, and aftermarket speakers use better materials and superior construction to deliver improved sound. Replacing your old speakers is an inexpensive way to get better sound in your car.

Replacing your car's speakers usually involves removing interior panels (doors, dash, rear dash, etc.), unbolting the factory speakers, using a bracket and wiring harness to install replacement speakers, and then reinstalling your panels. As a Crutchfield customer, you'll benefit from our free, vehicle-specific instructions, free wiring harnesses that eliminate splicing, and our friendly, toll-free technical support.

No! Speakers are sold in pairs, and it's common to replace your front speakers first, then later replace your rear speakers. It's a good idea to choose the same brand speakers for front and back, if possible. That way, the tone settings that sound good in the front seat will sound good in the back seat too. Of course, you can replace all your speakers at one time for the most dramatic improvement.

Like we said above, it depends on the RMS power rating of the speakers. Speakers with an upper range of 50 watts RMS or higher will definitely sound better powered by an external amplifier. If you intend to power them with your factory radio, then speakers with a lower RMS power rating and higher efficiency rating will sound best.

Cone size isn't the only factor in determining if a speaker fits your car. Sometimes speakers are too tall or too deep to fit your vehicle. In addition to measuring every speaker model we carry, we also measure thousands of vehicles. That's how we know that we're recommending the right stuff for your car or truck. If a speaker you're interested in isn't listed as fitting, give us a call. Sometimes minor modifications can make it work.

Please share your thoughts below.

  • isaac from Mosinee

    Posted on 1/27/2022

    Love to see the Tempo Ultras make the list, not just 'easy to install entry level' speakers. The Morels are the best, most natural, most 'full' sounding speakers I've heard that aren't ridiculously expensive. Can't say enough good about them!

  • Tim Hamele from Madison

    Posted on 10/5/2021

    I have components and coax in my truck plus a sub and the Morels are outstanding! Highly recommend.

  • Johan Claassen from Capetown RSA

    Posted on 10/2/2021

    I fitted an Alpine UTE-72BT in my station wagon. Can I replace the rear 4x6 speakers with Alpine SXE-4625s speakers, being only 20rms or what would you suggest

    Commenter image

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 10/11/2021

    Johan, you should be okay power-wise, but fit will be the main issue to address. Unfortunately, our database only includes vehicles sold in North America, but you could remove the factory speakers and measure the allowable depth/room for tweeter protrusion.
  • Joseph from La Habra Heights

    Posted on 9/29/2021

    This is the information people should read before purchasing any speakers. I truly appreciate the time and dedication put into this comparison. As you mentioned, some speakers may require Amps or Digital processors to really get the true sound for the speakers, please add which Amps or Digital processors work best for the total package. Thank You Again!

  • Barclay Murphy from Oak Lawn

    Posted on 4/15/2021

    I have a 2019 jeep grand cherokee with 6 speakers no subwoofer. Can you make a suggestion for upgrading the speakers? Also I saw that you have a service to make factory connections prior to the speakers leaving your facility for easier and quicker connections. Would that work for all 6 speakers and what parts would I need?

    Commenter image

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 7/16/2021

    Barclay, if you haven't found a solution yet, give us a call and an Advisor can make a recommendation for your Jeep. And fyi, all the required integration harnesses and brackets are included with your purchase, and yep, with the ReadyHarness service, we can ship your gear to you with the harnesses already connected.
  • Jon from Boston

    Posted on 1/12/2021

    Hi guys, great article. I just purchased a 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan (162TSI) and even though I got the upgraded stereo, I'm not so happy with it. If money wasn't a consideration, what front speakers, amp, and subwoofer would you recommend for best overall sound quality. Thanks so much for any advice. Jon

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 1/12/2021

    Jon, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • JA Sal from McAllen

    Posted on 11/18/2020

    I want to upgrade the speakers to my 2017 Chevy Colorado (w/o bose). Which speakers would you recommend for someone in a budget (up to $100) to use with factory receiver?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 11/18/2020

    JA, We can definitely help you find some speakers that'll sound great in your truck. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.
  • steve from Ocean

    Posted on 10/28/2019

    I picked the morel ultra component speakers -??tp-445- A-Alpine amp and the alpine BT-149 - head unit and I am loving my new system!

  • Jagtinder from Chandigarh, India

    Posted on 10/21/2018

    Sir, I like u people. From India I badly need my ecosport speakers replacement. I installed Kicker CS series as a replacement for my factory fitted ones. I To my disappointment they are not as good as I wanted. I wanna replace them. Please guide. My requirement is good performance clear bass at low volumes. The kicker won't provide that, but I they are good at high volumes but not at slow down. Please guide, and money is no constraint and I don't want amplifier fit. I m seeking this advice fully knowing u don't provide ur service in India. But just for since I admire u guys if u can help.

    Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    on 10/22/2018

    Jagtinder, naturally fit will be an issue, but if you can measure your speaker openings, you should be able to view most speaker dimensions in online manuals. Because you'll be using head unit power, Infinity or JBL might be a good option, as their low impedance makes the most of lower power. However, you could expand your options if you added a small amp like these.
  • Kevin Johnston. from Philadelphia

    Posted on 10/15/2018

    You guys are great.I love your articles and I learn alot from you guys...

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