Listening to music in your car can be quite relaxing, especially on road trips. In fact, for many people, the car music listening experience is of critical importance for making the daily commute to work and sitting in traffic. Seeing as the car audio experience is so crucial, its important to have a great sound system in your vehicle.
The problem is, there are hundreds of car audio manufacturers out there, and they all claim to be the best. So, it can be somewhat difficult to know which one to choose.
While all the car audio brands on this list are high-quality, Pioneer really stands out from the crowd. Pioneer speakers have a very high quality sound and an excellent build quality. The highs produced by Pioneer speakers are reliably clean and crisp, but not harsh like models from some other brands. Also, the mids are very clean and feature a generous amount of bass.
Top 10 Car Audio Brands
Pioneer Corporation, more popularly known as Pioneer, is among the most reliable car audio brands that provide the best overall value. Pioneer makes a vast array of audio and video systems for cars. Also, the company licenses some of its technologies to other brands. They are that good.
A Little More About Pioneer
Pioneer was started in Tokyo, Japan in 1938 by Nozomu Matsumoto. At it’s start, Pioneer was an electronics repair shop. It specialized in repairing speakers, radios,. and other audio equipment. Now, the company specializes in manufacturing A/V equipment, a small branch of which is car audio systems.
Pioneer significantly contributed to the development of the first car CD player. They also pioneered the first head unit with a detachable face. Today Pioneer is still at the bleeding edge, providing some of the most innovative car audio systems you can get.
Products For More Than Just Cars And Trucks
Best Pioneer Product Recommendation
Are Pioneer Car Speakers Good?
JBL is world-famous for its high-end sound equipment, especially its speakers and headphones. The company has been in business for several decades, so it’s a brand you can definitely trust. JBL is always one of the top brands to choose from when shopping for car speakers.
A Little More About JBL
The company is located in Los Angeles, California. The company is composed of two independent divisions including JBL Professional and JBL Consumer, serving the commercial and residential markets, respectively. JBL Professional is known for producing high-end studio equipment and tour sound systems, as well as DJ and production sound systems. They even produce cinema-level gear. While JBL Professional makes pro-gear, JBL Consumer produces sound equipment for vehicles and home entertainment systems.
The Best JBL Products
JBL makes all kinds of gear for audio applications including amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers, sound processors, headphones, and wireless speaker systems. JBL car audio systems are currently in use in millions of Toyota car models around the world.
Best JBL Product Recommendation
The JBL GTO629 Premium 6.5-Inch Co-Axial Speaker quite possibly the best car audio product from JBL. This system comes with a pair of coaxial speakers. These are excellent speakers deliver a rich sound. They have pivoted tweeter for extra-crispy highs. Speaking of which, the bass and highs can be adjusted independently. This gives the user far more control over their sound than the average system.
Are JBL Car Speakers Good?
JBL car audio speakers have a low price but offer a high quality. They are a great option for car audio for this reason. JBL car speakers are known to have outstanding sound quality and performance. They generally have an excellent balance and pitch, and provide a thumping bass. The best thing about JBL speakers is that this quality is consistent over any style of music.
For about $170, you can get a set of four of these JBL speakers. They are inexpensive and very high quality. If you are experienced with other high quality speakers such as Sony Xplodes, Pioneers, Kickers and Kenwoods, you will find these these JBL speakers are on par with those. In fact, in some ways these are even better. This is because these 180W JBL speakers provide a crisp treble and a really hard hitting base.
It’s got built in tweeters that really highlight the sound frequencies that are typically drowned out by other speakers. Most of all, the mounting plates and vibration-deadening gaskets that are provided with these speakers enables these speakers to deliver all that sound without a single rattle. These speakers are refined and very affordable, definitely a great buy.
Kenwood has been known to set standards and trends in the car audio industry. Every year, the company introduces new and innovative audio equipment. They manufacture complete audio systems as well as individual audio components. Their product lineup is vast. So, you can pretty much kit your entire vehicle out with Kenwood audio products as they radios, speakers, and everything in between.
A Little More About Kenwood
Like Pioneer, Kenwood is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company was started by William Kasuga in 1946, just after World War 2. When it first started, the company was known as Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. Then, it was later renamed to Trio Corporation. Finally, the people within the company settled on the name ‘Kenwood’ and it’s been that way ever since. The name Kenwood is a portmantua of ‘Kenmore Appliances’ and ‘Wood’.
The Best Kenwood Products
Kenwood is one of the oldest makers of audio receiversTop 10 Car Audio Brands -, home theatre systems, and communication radio equipment. Remember, the company was started in 1947, that’s before the transistor, folks. The company started making car audio components in 2001. It stops making home theatre units and home audio receivers in 2007.
Today, Kenwoods main focus is home audio systems and car audio systems. Its car audio systems are available as aftermarket systems, but they are also distributed to OEMs to put in their products. This includes car speakers, car amplifiers, receivers, navigation systems, and accessories.
Best Kenwood Product Overall
The Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP6-channel car amplifier is, by far, its best product. It’s a 4-channel system that can handle 75 watts RMS per channel. It has factory radio inputs, so it’s easy to set up. It also features a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to help ensure an excellent music experience.
Are Kenwood Car Speakers Good?
Yes. Kenwood car speaker offers an excellent sound experience. You would be amazing by the difference between the cheapest Kenwood speaker and a standard speaker found in a car. Also, even under harsh conditions, Kenwood car speakers are known to outrank other low-cost car speakers in terms of performance and reliability.
This speaker provides some of the most crisp highs that I have ever heard from a pair in this price range. So, if your car speakers sound a little muddy, but you aren’t wanting to spend a lot of money, then these speakers are a great pick for you. They don’t have the most base in the world, but there is plenty of kick in these drivers.. much, much more than factory radio speakers.
Bose is known for its expensive as-seen-on-tv home audio systems. So lets just stop right here for a minute.
We have all seen ads for product like that on TV real late at night. Usually its a bunch of snake-oil salesman preying on little old ladies with credit cards up all night watching TV. So, that is what I expected from Bose’s home sound system they were selling in the early 2000s. That is until I heard it.
I was extremely impressed with the audio that came out of one of the systems that I heard at a store in the mall. They really do know what they are doing with acoustics. and that has translated over to car audio products very, very well. Bose is known for top-of-the-line car audio systems. They didn’t make it higher on this list because Bose products are known to be very expensive. Bose systems and speakers are worth the price. This is one of those times that you really do get what you paid for.
A Little More About Bose
Bose Corporation, more commonly known as Bose, is an American audio gear manufacturer that is located in Massachusetts. Bose was started by Amar Bose in 1964. For those of you that are keeping track, that was after the invention of the transistor. Since Bose started out, it has been known to protect its brand name, trademarks, and patents by viciously perusing trademark infringement claims.
Most people don’t know this, but the company’s first product was a speaker known as the Bose 2201. It was a speaker sold back in 1966. It was made up of 22 individual speakers built into one cabinet all facing in different directions. The idea behind the design was to use the walls as sound reflectors. That is the same concept that was put into the home audio product I mentioned earlier.
Bose used to have a lot of stores but as of today, most of the stores in Australia, Europe, Japan, and the U.S are closed. This was not due to lack of business but rather so the company can better focus on selling its products on online platforms. This includes website such as Amazon, Best Buy, and more.
Best Bose Products
Bose is well-known for its home sound systems, and headphones as well as its professional sound systems, speakers, and car audio platforms. Car audio systems from Bose are a popular alternative for OEM to provide as an upgrade to a car’s standard audio systems. Bose systems are used by car manufactures such as Renault, Chevrolet, Nissan, Audi, Hyundai, Fiat, Porsche, Mazda, GMC, Infiniti, and Cadillac.
Other than car audio systems, Bose also makes home A/C systems and computer speakers. They also make TVs, home theatres receivers, and of course portable speakers. The company also has a relatively large market share in the consumer and aviation headphones and headset market. Bose also has military contracts to manufacture headsets.
Best Product Overall
The best product from Bose is its Performance Series sound system. It’s an OEM sound system that is designed for luxury cars like the Corvette Stingray, Infiniti Q50, and Infiniti Q60.
We would absolutely love to recommend a set of Bose car speakers for you to buy. Why?
Because they are fantastic speakers; practically the best you can get. The problem is, Bose does not sell its car speakers directly to the public. They only provide them to OEMs like BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc.
So, the only way you are going to get a Bose sound system installed in a car as an after-market kit, is to make one yourself. This can be done with a little bit of research and some phone calls to local junk yards. There is a site called car-parts.com, and they are an internet database of local junk yards. You can find out what cars came with those speakers, and then search for the part on that website.
The best thing about car-parts.com is that it has an automatic interchangeability database. So, you can search for a part for a specific car, and it will return every single car that happens to use that same part, often at a much lower price.
A Little More About Alpine
Alpine Electronics, more commonly known as Alpine, is a manufacturer of consumer electronics based in Japan. The company was started back in 1967 with the original name of ‘Alps Motorola.’ It was started as a partnership business between Motorola and Alps Electric. Later, the company was bought out by Alps in 1978, which is when it became Alpine Electronics.
The company’s headquarters is located in Tokyo, Japan. The company is known for being the first-ever manufacturer of automotive navigation systems. Back when GPS was very new, Alpine was way ahead of its time. In fact, Alpine’s first navigation system was created in 1981 for Honda. Then, in 1982, Alpine made the first computerized car equalizer. Alpine has also significantly contributed to other major innovations such as car CD changers, radio head-units, and in-dash receivers among others.
Best Alpine Products
Alpine makes several audio and video systems including but not limited to car multimedia systems, amplifiers, digital signal processors, subwoofers, and speakers. Alpine also makes audio systems for marine vessels.
Alpine also manufactures BioLite displays. A BioLite display allows for a wide viewing angle and much better visibility in sunlight. Alpine is also a provider for OEM and aftermarket automotive navigation systems.
Alpine’s OEM audio systems are used in Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Land Rover, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Lincoln, Audi, Honda, and Jaguar cars, among others.
Best Alpine Product Overall
The CDE-172BT Bluetooth Receiver is the best Alpine product. It’s a single DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) head unit that is packed to the brim with features. It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices, in both wireless and via USB configurations, and it also features a detachable faceplate and even a CD slot.
Are Alpine Car Speakers Good?
These speakers will provide a huge upgrade to any factory setup. Alpine is world-renown for their focus on sound quality in their products, and the S-Series is no exception. In the mid-level speaker market, it would be very difficult to find anything much better than these. They provide superb clarity and great tonal balance.
A Little More About Rockford Fosgate
Fosgate Electronics saw some financial challenges in the late 1970s, so it was sold to Camelback Capital Corp. After being purchase, Fosgate Electronics was renamed Rockford Corporation. The company is known as Rockford Fosgate and its headquarters is located in Arizona, U.S.
Best Rockford Fosgate Products
Rockford Fosgate makes world-class, top-notch car speakers and amplifiers. They also make excellent car subwoofers and even motorcycle audio systems. The company also produces digital signal processors, speaker enclosures, and car audio accessories.
The company also manufactures audio systems for UTVs and marine vessels.
Best Rockford Fosgate Product Recommendation
This companies best product is the Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Prime automotive audio amplifier. This amp is a single-channel class D car amplifier and has a power output of 500 watts RMS when using 2 ohm speakers.
Is Rockford Fosgate Good?
Yes. Rockford Fosgate products are known to have an average price and a quality level that surpasses other items in the same price-range. This is why they are so popular to use as an upgrade to currently installed sound systems.
These are really fantastic sounding speakers If you have a speaker system that is lacking in low-end response, putting these speakers in their place will be like night and day. These speakers can transform a sub-par system into a power-house setup. Sure, there is only so much bass you can get out of a 6.5″ speaker, but these little wonders will leave you pleasantly surprised.
The speakers have a lot of weight to them, and in the world of speakers, bigger is better. The heft gives these speakers a rock-solid feel. These sound great hooked up to a stock head unit. They sound great at 4 Ohms and 55 W RMS. You will not be disappointed using these as an upgrade to a stock system.
Kicker makes performance car audio systems at a reasonable price. They are well-known for their excellent subwoofers, which perform well even when being used for extended periods of time. These speakers don’t get hot very quickly at all. This is all due to their high-quality construction. So, Kicker’s products are mainly known for their reliability, even though they have high performance as well.
A Little More About Kicker
Like Rockford Fosgate, Kicker started in 1973. The company was founded by Steve Irby. Kicker’s offices are located in Oklahoma, in the United States. The company started out as a maker of sound systems for auditoriums and churches. Then, in 1980, Kicker developed a full-range speaker box to be used in cars and small trucks. Later, in 2008, Kicker developed its first home audio system.
When Kicker found success with their initial products in the car audio industry, that suddenly gave them the leverage to manufacture more car audio systems. And well, that’s what Kicker did. Now, the company has a large network of global distributors and dealers and several hundred authorized dealers in the USA.
Kicker makes a vast array of high-performance car audio systems that include but are not limited to automotive subwoofers, automotive coaxial speakers, automotive tweeters, mid-bass drivers, full-range speakers, car amplifiers, component systems, equalizers, and digital signal processors. They also make subwoofer boxes and other accessories. Kicker also produces home audio systems.
Best Product Overall
Kicker makes many car audio systems, but the KICKER 43CWR124 car subwoofer is what we would consider to be its best product. This Kicker subwoofer measures 12-inches across and has a RMS power rating of 500 watts. This little speaker can handle up to 1000 watts peak power using 4 ohms speakers. The best thing about this woofer is that it will work with both ported and sealed subwoofer enclosures.
Are Kicker Speakers Good?
Absolutely. Kicker speakers offer exceptional quality sound across all frequency ranges. Kicker speakers are known to deliver clear and crisp sound, while featuring some of the best durability you can find in the industry.
These speakers will provide an excellent upgrade path to a factory system. You can wire these straight into your current amp supply and they absolutely scream.
Despite not being very popular, Infinity is one of the best car audio brands you can buy. Its automotive speakers are prized for having an efficient, optimal acoustic design. Infinity car woofers and tweeters are designed in a way that their positions are optimized to enhance acoustic imaging for the best listening experience possible.
A Little More About Infinity
Infinity is an audio brand that specializes in manufacturing speakers more than anything else. The was started in 1968 in the United States by Arnie Nudell, Cary Christie, and John Ulrick. The company’s main offices are located in Los Angeles, California.
Since the company was started, it has had intense focus on using innovative materials to manufacture the speakers it sells. So, the speakers made by Infinity are often made of high-end such as neodymium magnets and polypropylene cones. The company’s innovation goes way back. In fact, its first speaker was made a servo woofer and electrostatic panels.
Them, in the 1970s, Infinity produced electromagnetic induction tweeters and midrange speakers. In the next decade, the company produced the Infinity Reference System. This is one hell of a speaker; It has 76 tweeters, 24 midrange speakers, and twelve 12” woofers.
In 1983, Infinity was bought by Harman International Industries. Then, in 2017, Harman became a subsidiary of Samsung. So, Samsung owns this company today. Harman is located in Connecticut and continues to make its products under the Infinity brand name.
Infinity primarily makes cars and boat speakers along with speaker systems intended for home entertainment. Infinity produces amplifier and processor remotes, car amplifiers, component and coaxial speakers as well as component and coaxial subwoofers. They make a wide range of powered subwoofers, midrange speakers, digital signal processors as well.
Best Infinity Product Overall
That would have to be the Infinity Reference REF6522IX coaxial car speakers. This speakers are sold as a pair. Each speaker is built around a 2-way design and has a power rating of 60 watts RMS and 180 watts peak. The frequency response range of these speakers are from 53 Hz to 21 kHz. The human ear can hear from 20hz to 20khz, so these cover nearly the entire human audible spectrum.
Are Infinity Speakers Good?
9. JL Audio
JL Audio produces some of the best-sounding car and marine speakers you can get. They have award-winning designs and have patents on a lot of their technologies. Also, the subwoofers this company makes are some of the best in the entire car audio industry.
A Little More About JL Audio
JL Audio is a well-known producer of consumer audio systems. The company is headquartered in Florida and was founded in 1975 by James Birch and Lucio Proni. The name ‘JL’ was created by combining the first letters of founder’s first names.
The first products this company made were home speakers. JL Audio the company entered the car audio market in the late 80s, then shortly later JL Audio won several awards after winning competitions for car audio systems.
It started selling subwoofers in 1991 and component speakers the following year. After having such break-through success in car audio systems, the company started designing home audio products in 2004.
JL Audio specializes in automotive amplifiers, subwoofers, speakers, and processor remotes. They also make components speakers, car equalizers, midrange speakers, and subwoofer boxes along with OEM sound system adapters and other car audio accessories.
The company also manufactures audio systems for boats and other marine vessels including but not limited to marine speakers, subwoofer enclosures, radio, remotes, subwoofers, and marine source units. It also makes home products like in-wall subwoofers, powered subwoofers, in-ceiling subwoofers, and subwoofer crossovers.
Best JL Audio Product
For the title of Best JL Audio product, we would have to give that to the JL Audio 10TW3-D4 car subwoofer. It’s a 10 inch subwoofer that has a power rating of 400 watts at 4 ohms. It’s practically the best shallow mount car subwoofer you can get.
Are JL Audio Speakers Good?
Yes. JL Audio makes only top-quality products. While they may not be the highest-end speakers available, they are definitely on-par with other great audio brands. JL audio components typically have factory-compatible mount-points, which makes upgrades really easy.
Everyone knows that JL Audio is known for great sounding speakers! These JL drivers have very clean highs and deep, deep lows. This high level of performance is easily achievable with a stock radio head unit. If you are looking for some hard hitting speakers, these are definitely for you.
10. Polk Audio
A Little More About Polk Audio
Polk Audio was started in 1972 by Sandy Gross, George Klopfer, and of course, Mathew Polk. Polk Audio is located in California. The team of co-founders were were classmates in college when they decided to form their company. After they graduated, they made a speaker system that was meant for a music convention. Their first successful speaker system was designed and released in 1974.
Polk Audio was acquired by Directed Electronics in 2006. Since 2008 Directed Electronics has been known as DEI Holdings. The corporation still sells some of its audio systems under the Polk Audio brand name.
Polk Audio still makes all kinds of equipment ranging from car audio systems to portable speakers, and including soundbars, 5.1 speakers, outdoor speakers, bookshelf speakers, and wireless speakers among other audio products. The company also makes FM stereo receivers and amplifiers.
Best Polk Audio Product
The Polk Audio DB651 2-way car speakers are, in our opinion, its best product. The speaker set includes 2 6.5″ inch by 6.75 inch speakers. They each have a power rating of 120 watts RMS and 360 watts peak output.
Are Polk Audio Speakers Good?
Of course! The brand is known for providing excellent in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at a great price. For the money, it’s hard to find speakers that deliver a better quality sound. They are great for high frequencies and generally do a pretty good job with the lows as well.
If you are looking for a quality option that can handle a high-powered amp, these will do the job well. These speakers can easily be added a surround sound speaker setup and they will delivered time and time again. If you have the right amp these things will absolutely scream.
Listening to music in your car is important. If you think about it, you spend a lot of time in your car. In fact, the average Americans drives about 25 miles and spends about one hour behind the wheel Each day. And as we all know, the drive to work can be grueling when you are stuck in traffic and have to pay attention to the road. So, it’s important to have good sound in your vehicle.
Pioneer is always a great choice. They have a ton of experience in the industry, and the economies of scale allow this company to make excellent products at a low price-point. They make high quality speakers and innovative, high performance radio head-units.
With the many providers of car audio out there, it can be hard to know which one to buy, so we hope this article helped you make that choice!