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Best car speakers for 2018

Explore our customer favorites and best-sellers

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

  1. Kicker's CS Series speakers
  2. JL Audio C1 Series speakers
  3. Focal's Universal Integration Series speakers
  4. Morel's Tempo Ultra Series speakers

What makes them customer favorites over and over again? Let's dive in!

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 four 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 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 digitial 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.

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 via phone, chat, or email.

*Note: The star ratings cited are aggregate ratings for the all sizes of speakers in each series, and current as of November 2018. In the case of Focal, you'll find that the linked list of speakers feature two generations within the series. 

Last updated 11/8/2018
  • 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.

    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...

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/19/2018

    Shane, you should see a catalog in your mailbox this week. If you don't, reach out to Customer Support at 800.955.9091.

  • ShaneKessock from Boynton Beach

    Posted on 3/16/2018

    I also ordered a catalog over 3-4 weeks ago and still havecnotnreveivesvit asbofbrod3/15/18,,,What is the average wait time for a catalog to be rebeibed as Crutchfield has been so fast and accurateccimekenrm

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/14/2015

    James, if you'd like to subscribe to our free catalog, please enter your information here.

  • James Bailey from Evansville

    Posted on 8/13/2015

    Put me on your mailing address for a cataloge

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