If you’re a big fan of cruising down the road while blasting your favorite tunes, I bet the factory audio system isn’t really cutting it. That’s because most vehicles come packed with coaxial speakers that handle the entire frequency range. They’re cheap and easy to install but do a poor job of reproducing the lows, mids, and highs. So, what’s the average driver supposed to do here?
The best solution is to upgrade to component speakers, and today, we’ll take a close look at the best mid-range speakers for a car. With the right set, you’ll get to dramatically improve the sound quality in the cabin. And the greatest thing about this – you won’t have to empty your bank account to do that. So, without further ado, here are my top five picks!
Best Mid Range Speakers for Car Review
1. Infinity KAPPA-86CFX – Best Mid Range Speakers for Car
The best way to describe the KAPPA set is “the golden middle”. These speakers aren’t super cheap, but not unreasonably expensive either. As for the technical characteristics, they’ve got a 100W RMS power handling (pretty decent), a 40 Hz – 25 kHz frequency range, and easily fit in pretty much any car. I was also impressed with how bright and pronounced the highs are. This is achieved thanks to the edge-driven tweeters with bigger-than-average coils.
In the package, you’ll find a long list of extras, including a detailed user guide, a pair of stickers, foam gaskets, screws, and clips for easy installation. Another big pro is Infinity’s customer support service. The agents are very quick to respond and do a great job of helping the clients. My only complaint has to do with durability. The Kappa speakers are well-built, that’s not an issue here. However, if you push them really hard, they might blow.
- Edge-driven textile tweeters with large coils for crisp highs
- Include all the necessary hardware + user manual
- Backed by client-oriented customer support
- Minor issues with durability
Strong, customer-focused support, a generous package with instructions and high-quality hardware, and a great level of audio detail are this kit’s biggest selling points. It packs 100W RMS (300W peak) and fits easily. The speakers are a bit fragile, though – keep that in mind.
2. Rockford Fosgate PPS4-6- Best Mid Range 6.5 Car Speakers
As far as the finest 6.5” mid-range speakers go, PPS4-6 sits right on top of the list. First of all, it packs temperature-resistant voice coils and a refined/reinforced cone. As a result, the speaker is highly sensitive, but durable and crisp at the same time. Engineered for high SPL conditions, it will bring your favorite tracks forward, make them “pop”. This is a US-made product, by the way – designed, engineered, and tested.
On top of that, Rockford backs its product with a standard 12-months warranty, which is always great news. A quick note: the Fosgate speaker is sold individually, not in a pair. And, it is a bit larger than you’d expect. That means some DIY modifications will, most likely, be necessary to make it fit in the factory mounting spot. Other than that, PPS4-6 is an excellent unit with an extended lifespan and solid audio quality.
- High-temp coils + reinforced cone for extra sensitivity
- Designed and manufactured in the United States
- Covered by the company’s one-year warranty
- Larger than the market average
If you’re in the market for an American-made, SPL-ready mid-range speaker, Fosgate might be the right pick. Thanks to the premium-quality parts (oversized motor, fiber paper cone, and high-temp coils), it delivers clarity, punch, and precision that put most stock speakers to shame.
3. Alpine R-Series – Best Mid Range Speakers Car Audio
Alright, this right here is the most expensive speaker set on the list. Let’s see whether the steep price is justified, or not. Well, the sound quality is incredible. Even though this is a mid-range set, it manages to bring the low frequencies forward, breathing new life into bass-heavy tracks. The highs also sound decent, but it’s the mids that shine through. The amount of detail is impressive, and you’ll get almost no distortion at peak levels.
And with a 300W peak/100W RMS output, you won’t ever feel like the speakers don’t have enough volume. Add swift, 100% charge-free shipment and delivery across the United States, and you’ll see why this 6.5” set is so popular, despite the price. So, if you’re ready to pay a bit extra for premium quality, Apline’s product might be right up your alley.
A quick note: the R series includes kits like R-S68 and R-S69. The main difference – they have bigger woofers. However, they’re quite expensive, and, honestly, the slightly deeper bass doesn’t compensate for the steep price.
- Superb sound quality: deep bass and strong mids
- Minimal to no distortion at high volume levels
- Fast, charge-free delivery across the US
- Slightly on the expensive side
Alpine’s mid-range speaker set has only one con – an expensive price tag – and lots of pros. These include market-leading audio quality, little to no distortion (even when cranked up to 11), and prompt delivery across the country. If that sounds like a good deal to you, put R-S65 on the list!
4. Skar Audio FSX8-8 – Best Car Mid Range Speakers
Drivers in the market for a loud speaker will like what Skar has to offer. This unit puts out 350 watts of peak power and 175W RMS, which is more than enough for a big camping party. The included ferrite magnet allows it to be much louder than the industry average. I also want to mention how precise and accurate the sound is. You won’t hear any booming bass frequencies or sizzling noise in the highs.
As for the mids, they sound even better, especially if you listen to guitar- and piano-heavy tunes. Now, this isn’t a US-made speaker. Instead, like most Skar Audio equipment, it is produced in China. While this could be a con for some car owners, the build quality, durability, and real-world performance are actually on par with the best speakers on the market.
- Impressive power output: 350W peak, 175W RMS
- Accurate bass response: no booming tones
- Premium ferrite magnet for extra volume
- Not US-made (produced in China)
Advanced power handling is the biggest selling point of the FSX8-8 set. The speakers are good for 175 RMS, can fill out an entire beach or camping site, and boast accurate representation of highs, lows, and mids. Made in China, this kit is one of the best options for the average car owner.
5. JBL Stadium GTO620 – Best Budget Mid Range Car Speakers for the Money
And what does JBL bring to the table? Why should you pick it over the competition? The answer is pretty simple: this is one of the most affordable aftermarket speaker sets out there. However, that’s not the only reason why it’s so popular in the US. GTO620 features top-quality fiber woofer cones. They’re pretty light, sturdy, and 25% larger than the market average.
The soft domes, in turn, make the highs sound brighter, bigger, and smoother. On the downside, when pushed to the limit (like when you play music at extreme volumes), you will hear lots of distortion. But, if you stick to recommended volume levels, there will be absolutely no audio deformation. The Stadium speakers are a bargain and might very well be the best mid-range car speakers if you’re on a tight budget.
- Smooth high frequencies thanks to soft dome speakers
- Extended cone area for precise SPL performance
- The least expensive speaker set on the list
- Might distort at loud volumes
Decent power handling, extra durability, and a broad frequency range – that’s what you can expect from the JBL GTO620 speakers. They’re pretty loud, too, but do distort at “cranky” levels. That’s compensated by an affordable price and fast delivery, along with easy fitment.
Things to Consider Before Buying Mid-Range Speakers
Do you prefer to do your own picking instead of just buying a speaker set from the list? If that’s the case, there are some key factors to keep in mind while shopping for a mid-range speaker kit. Take a look:
Power Handling. This term describes how loud the speakers can get, and it’s measured in watts. The most important thing to remember here is that peak and RMS volume levels are entirely different things. As the name suggests, peak describes the power output at maximum levels, but that’s when you’ll get lots of distortion and (potentially) damage the equipment. So, always look at RMS as the true indicator of how loud the set can get.
The Frequency Response. According to experts, our ears can only hear as low as 20 Hz and as high as 20-22 kHz. Now, there’s actually nothing audible at 20 hertz, but you will hear deep bass at 40-50 Hz. Some speakers start at 60-65 Hz, and that’s also ok, but, again, the bass might lack some presence in certain music genres. As for the highs, anything that goes beyond 20 kHz is practically noise.
What Is A Midrange Speaker? Do I Need One?
As you’ve probably already guessed, these speakers are specifically designed and engineered to handle the mid-frequency range. They reproduce frequencies in the 500 Hz – 4 kHz range, where all the “action” takes place. Yes, this is considered to be the most important range, as human voices, instruments, and everything in between won’t sound right if the mids are poorly represented.
Therefore, you do, most definitely, need midrange speakers if you want to truly enjoy modern-day music. Even if you’re not an audiophile, you’ll instantly feel (or, rather, hear) the difference compared to stock factory audio systems. And remember: “midrangers” usually go into the doors, and you need to make sure that they are at least two inches away from the tweeters to avoid interference, distortion, and other problems.
What’s The Difference between Mid-Range and Full-Range Speakers?
It’s pretty big. Full-range speakers, also known as coaxial speakers, are what you could call a “one-man-band”. They are built to reproduce the entire frequency spectrum, including the lows, mids, and highs. Full-range speakers are pretty easy to install and are available at an affordable price. In contrast, mid-range speakers are component speakers. They are designed differently and only handle a specific frequency range.
As we already learned, mid-range loudspeakers focus on the 500-4K range, while subwoofers work with the lows. Tweeters, in turn, do their best to accurately represent everything above the 4K mark. Summing up, if you’ve got the budget, component speakers will, without a doubt, sound better. However, as a quick and cheap solution, full-range speakers are still a more reasonable pick.
Why Should I Choose Mid-Range Speakers for my Car?
We already covered this when talking about the biggest pros of midrange speakers and how they compare to full-range speakers. However, there’s one more thing to add. On its own, a midrange set might not sound that great. True, certain units easily handle the lows and the highs as well, but if you want to get the best possible sound quality, you might want to start saving for a woofer and a set of component tweeters.
In certain situations, the cheap factory speakers in your vehicle will sound better, because they cover the entire frequency spectrum. And no, it’s NOT recommended to use midrange speakers with a stock coaxial set, because you’ll end up with a messed up stereo image and the sound quality will actually worsen.
While power handling/volume and the frequency response are the most important features/aspects for a set of mid-range speakers, you still gotta keep compatibility, pricing, the package, and engineering quality in mind. Let’s talk about it all in more detail to help you find the perfect kit for your car!
#1: Compatibility/Easy Fitment
With coaxial speakers, you don’t have to worry about this, because they fit 99% of cars out there. That’s not the case with component speakers, though. So, how do you ensure compatibility? It’s pretty simple: all you gotta do is grab a tape and measure how big the factory speakers are. Place them upright and take the measurements at the largest point of the cone to get accurate specs.
Later, you can use that info to pick the correct component mid-range speakers while shopping offline. At online stores, you’ll always find speaker dimensions in the official description (something like “9 x 8.2 x 4.4). Or, if you like a certain set, but aren’t sure it will fit your vehicle, get in contact with the manufacturer. They’ll help you sort this out and ensure compatibility.
#2: Build Quality and Distortion
I’m not talking about brick-strong materials or resistance to impact here, of course, because with mid-range speakers, you install them once, and that’s it. What’s more important is the quality of the individual components. For example, it would be best if the speakers were manufactured for high SPL conditions. Next, see that the coils can withstand extreme temperatures and that the cone is reinforced for a clear, loud audio output.
But how do you know whether the speakers will distort or not? Again, check the coils. The larger they are, and the wider the surface area, the higher the power handling rating will be. That, in turn, means low distortion levels. If you’re buying at a physical store, just ask them to turn the speakers on and crank the volume up.
#3: Pricing + the Package
I did say earlier that component speakers are more expensive than full-range units, and that’s still very much true. On the bright side, a decent set of mid-range speakers can still be a (relatively) affordable purchase. Right now, the market offers solid kits that cost less than $100, and yes, it will be a pair, not just one single speaker. For more volume and better audio quality, you’ll have to pay more.
The upper limit for most drivers will be $200, which leaves $140-170 as the “sweet spot”. For that kind of money, you can expect a strong power output, minimal distortion, a wide frequency response, and maybe even a standard warranty for some peace of mind. As for the package, it will include the actual speakers, all the necessary cables, clips, and gaskets for hassle-free installation.
The importance of mid-range speakers can’t be overestimated, and that’s true for pretty much any audio system. Without them, there won’t be presence or “body” in music, no matter how great the highs sound or how punchy the bass is. Today, we checked out five market-leading mid-range speakers that fit most modern-day cars and come at a reasonable price. Say, JBL’s Stadium is quite cheap yet smooth and silky.
Skar Audio, in turn, boasts strong power handling (175W RMS). The Alpine speakers cost a bit more than the market average but compensate for that with impeccable audio quality. Rockford is all about advanced engineering, while Infinity comes in a generous package. If you’re ready to take your car’s audio system to the next level, pick one of these speakers, and enjoy!