Not everyone has $2000 or more to drop on a high-end speaker system, replete with multiple tweeters, super tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers. However, that does not mean you need to otherwise just resign yourself to a terrible sounding audio system.
Still, when not going for the best quality speakers, there is one area that often suffers more than most: bass. Because bass notes require a low frequency wavelength, the speaker membranes generally need to be large. Of course, that is not always the case.
That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best speakers for bass without a subwoofer. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can make the best decision about which speaker system is right for you.
Best car speakers for bass without subwoofer 2017
- Kicker Black OEM Replacement Marine 6.5″ 4 Ohm Coaxial speaker Bundle – 4 Speakers
- Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2″ (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system
- Alpine SPR-60C 6.5″ Car Audio Component System (Pair)
- Infinity Kappa 60.11CS 6-3/4″ component speaker system
- Pioneer 5×7 / 6×8 Inch 4-Way 350 Watt Car Stereo Speakers Four
- New Kenwood KFC-1795PS 6.75″ 330 Watt 3-Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers Stereo
- Pioneer TSD6802R 6 X 8 2-Way 260 Watt Speakers
- Kicker 40CS654 6.5 inch 2-Way Speakers
- Alpine Spr-50c 5.25-Inch 2 Way Pair of Component Car Speaker System
- Kicker 40CS6934 6×9 inch 3-Way Speakers
Best car speakers for bass without subwoofer Comparison Table
|Model||Type||Size||Power Handling(Watts RMS)||Sensitivity (dB)||Rated Impedance(Ω)||Top Mounting Depth (in.)|
|Kicker Black OEM Replacement Marine||Coaxial||6.5 Inch||50||90||4||2.62|
|Infinity Reference 6500CX||Two-way car audio component loudspeaker system||6.5 Inch||90||93||4||2 1/16"|
|Alpine SPR-60C||Component Speaker System||6.5 Inch||110||87||4||2.38|
|Infinity Kappa 60.11CS||Component Speaker System||6.5 Inch||90||93||3||5-1/8"|
|Pioneer TS-A6886R||Four Way Car Speakers||6" x 9"||60||91||4||2-3/8"|
|New Kenwood KFC-1795PS||Coaxial||6.75"||80||88||4||6-3/4"|
|Pioneer TSD6802R||Two Way Car Speakers||6" x 8"||60||88||4||2-3/4"|
|Kicker 40CS654||Two Way Car Speakers||6.5 Inch||100||90||4||6-1/2"|
|Alpine Spr-50c||Two Way Car Speakers||5.25 Inch||100||87||4||2-1/4"|
|Kicker 40CS6934||3-Way Speakers||6" x 9"||150||92||4||3-3/16"|
Kicker Black OEM Replacement Marine 6.5″ 4 Ohm Coaxial speaker Bundle – Best Speaker Bundle
Our first product comes from Kicker, a brand that is known for producing a quality product at a reasonable price. In this instance, the price is still reasonable for what you get, but what you get is not necessarily the most impressive setup available.
One of the best features of this product is the fact that you are purchasing four speakers at once. When looked at that way, you are essentially paying a little over $35 per speaker–which is the best deal on our list. Moreover, these speakers are less likely to require an amp due to decent sensitivity of 90 dB.
Infinity Reference 6500CX 6-1/2″ (165mm) two-way car audio component loudspeaker system – Best Component Speakers without an Amplifier
Infinity is known more of a mid-tier brand than anything else, and as such have a much smaller market than some of the other brands on our list. Essentially, you are paying for a product that will produce better than average sound quality, but it will also cost more than the average speaker set too.
This speaker system has a decent power output of 90 RMS watts that also combines with a great power consumption efficiency that provides a sensitivity of 93 dB. This means you will not need an amp to get good sound out of the system.
Alpine SPR-60C 6.5″ Car Audio Component System – Best Component Speakers with an Amplifier
Alpine is a legacy brand that has developed a great reputation for producing some of the best audio equipment over the past half century. This product looks to continue that trend by providing some of the best component speakers available on our list.
First, this speaker set put out some of the highest power ratings at 110 RMS watts. Moreover, the Alpines also produce one of the broadest soundstages available out of any speaker set on our list.
Moreover, these speakers are incredibly efficient, sporting a sensitivity of 90 dB. This allows your amp to get a great sound, and extends the lifespan on these speakers. Something that is only enhanced with solid, if unspectacular, 1” tweeters.
Pioneer, like Alpine, is another legacy brand that has made a name for itself by producing top-quality audio equipment for decades. However, Pioneer is often seen as just a shade under Alpine and Kenwood.
Often this has to do with a preference to lean on overall quality, rather than stressing or highlighting any single, niche feature. In that vein, this Pioneer speaker system checks all of the boxes by being above average, but does not truly standout in any category.
Kenwood is our final legacy brand and generally has had one of the better reputations for high-end audio equipment. Unfortunately, that reputation has slid somewhat as their current design philosophy focuses on hitting certain benchmarks at the expense of a more complete product.
For instance, this speaker set is actually the most powerful on out list at 300 watts per pair / RMS: 250 per pair. That may not seem like such a big deal, but the Kenwoods are actually surprisingly inexpensive for producing all of that power as well.
Pioneer TSD6802R 6 X 8 2-Way 260 Watt Speakers – Broadest Speaker Soundscape
Whereas the prior Pioneer sought to capture the most consumers by producing a big tent wherein the various features of sound quality were all checked off as being better than average, this speaker set uses an entirely different approach.
These Pioneer speakers are less interested in producing the best overall sound quality and instead focus on producing the best sound replication. As such, the frequency range of these speaker combined with the largest tweeters on our list allows more depth to the soundstage.
Kicker 40CS654 6.5 inch 2-Way Speakers – Best Coaxial Speakers for Bass
Kicker first made their name in the 1990s by producing competition quality subwoofers at a reasonable price. As such, it should come as no surprise that the company is still able to produce excellent bass at a low cost.
This set of Kickers does just that by offering a speaker system that is both powerful and efficient. The 100 RMS watt usage is one of the highest on our list, but the 90 dB sensitivity ensures that the speakers use that energy wisely.
More often than not, if you are in the market for a coaxial woofer and tweeter pair, you generally are not as interested in plunking down an additional investment in an amplifier system. However, even with coaxial speakers, you generally need an amp to get the most out your speakers.
This is where these Alpine speakers come into play. These speakers are designed to run from your factory preamp without sacrificing their sound quality–something that is made even more impressive with a solid, if not amazing, power usage of 80 RMS watts.
As mentioned prior, with Kicker’s inauspicious origins as a manufacturer of semi-professional grade products at consumer grade prices, it should not be surprising that the brand captures not only the best bass speakers on our list, but the best budget speakers on our list as well.
However, unlike the best bass speakers, these speakers are budget in the truest of sense. While they are not poor quality in terms of durability, they also do not produce the best sound quality–especially when compared to some of the other products on our list. These speakers have a narrow soundscape and are tied for the least powerful.
Best car speakers for bass without subwoofer – Buyer’s Guide:
Speakers will always lag behind in terms of sheer power when it comes to bass. This is because bass is almost entirely determined on the size of the speaker’s membrane. Granted, the various qualities of the speaker come into play, but ultimately, too small a membrane will never be able to compete with a subwoofer.
Still, bass quality is not measured entirely by the maximum amount of thump. Except for a handful of genres, bass is often measured by the richness and purity of tone. In that regard, woofers can be more than capable of handling the job. Of course, even systems that do not thump but still produce a quality sound may require some additional push from an amplifier.
In fact, few speakers will be able to produce their best bass from the factory preamp alone. Keep in mind, this is not to suggest that you require an amplifier to get good sound or even a decent quality bass. However, it is incredibly unlikely that the factory preamp can produce a powerful enough signal to power speakers such that they thump the way bassheads truly want.
Whether or not to purchase an amplifier will really come down to your budget, the speakers you are powering, and how important to sound quality of your speaker system is to you. Keep in mind, you can quite often get away with a decent sounding system with just an improved speaker set and the factory preamp.
However, if you are an audiophile, it will be difficult to get the kind of sound quality you likely demand simply from the factory preamp. In that instance, you will almost certainly want to purchase an amplifier to take full advantage of your speaker’s capabilities.
Keep in mind, however, that not all speakers require an amplifier to get the most out of them. In fact, if a speaker system is not that powerful and exceptionally sensitive, chances are an expensive amplifier will not provide much advantage to the speakers over a factory preamp.
Sensitivity is best understood as a value that determines the speaker’s power efficiency. While this may sound like an ancillary factor, sensitivity can determine whether or not you need to purchase more hardware to get your speaker system producing the best sound quality it is capable of.
Essentially, the sensitivity of a speaker is how loud the speaker can get using a single watt of energy. The higher the sensitivity, the louder a speaker can get with one watt, the more efficient the speaker is, and this has far reaching implications when it comes to more than just additional hardware.
Speakers that are more efficient are far less likely to require the boosting of an amplifier. However, more efficient electronic components are also simply more durable. By not requiring as much power to function, speakers with higher sensitivities are able to save the wear and tear on their components.
It is fairly obvious to any consumer that audio equipment is often judged in terms of raw wattage power consumption. However, that is not necessarily as straight-forward a comparison as it may seem. For instance, there is a big difference between peak power and rms power.
Peak power represents the maximum wattage that the speaker can use at any given instant. However, speakers generally do not run at peak power for more than a second or two–often far less than that. Moreover, if speakers run continuously at peak power, they run the risk of damaging the components.
A more accurate assessment of speaker power performance is RMS wattage. This represents the average wattage level that the speaker will consume for most uses. If a speaker has a high peak wattage but a low RMS wattage, that speaker will actually play softer than a speaker with the reverse configuration.
Impedance often combines with sensitivity in determining how well your speakers can use the energy that is pushed into them. However, unlike sensitivity, impedance is not nearly as straight-forward as “higher is better.” In fact, a higher impedance will require more energy from the source signal to produce the same volume sound as a speaker with a lower impedance.
In effect, this can be seen as a slight efficiency standard, but it also has implications for the the speaker’s ability to produce volume and its longevity as well.
Essentially, the lower the impedance, the louder a speaker can get from the same amount of energy–keep in mind, this assumes both speakers have equal RMS wattage ratings as well as equal sensitivities. Of course, lower impedance speakers are dealing with more energy and will naturally wear down quicker.
One thing to keep in mind, whatever the impedance of your speakers, an amplifier’s impedance needs to match. If the different pieces of hardware do not match impedance ratings, then you are placing your equipment at risk of damage or outright failure.
Component vs Coaxial:
When it comes to the speaker’s form, you will have to choose between component and coaxial. These two types of speaker format differ in how they handle the tweeters primarily. For instance, coaxial speakers will have the tweeters added as part of the speaker system.
This allows the speakers to better control to the soundscape such that it will not seem like the highs and mids are vastly different in terms of their volume and quality. However, for a true audiophile, the coaxial setup will ultimately limit the ceiling of these speaker’s soundscape. They simply will not be able to produce the best sounding audio.
Component speakers, on the other hand, separate the tweeter and the woofer and require you to set them up individually. This has the advantage of producing a better audio quality from the speakers themself, but it also requires the user to be far more knowledgeable about acoustics.
For instance, the distance and angle of the tweeters from the listener compared to the distance and angle of the woofers from the listener will impact whether or not the highs sound comparable to the mids and lows. If the user is not prepared for this type of adjustment installation, they should probably stick with coaxial.
Unfortunately, there is no set of speakers that will be able to do all things perfectly. You will have to pick an choose which features are the most important to you. Keep in mind, just because this list is bass focused does not mean you should just ignore the other qualities of sound.
For example, if you are looking for a set of speakers that can produce decent quality bass while still managing to produce a great mid and high quality sound as well, we recommend that you look at the Pioneer TS-D6802R. With a broad soundscape and large tweeters, your entire audio collection will thank you.
However, if you are looking for the most thump for your buck, Kicker is probably the only game in town. While the Kicker 40CS654 may produce the best bass, you will need to keep replacing them–and often. Of course, if you are looking for a great deal, the Kicker DS65 are inexpensive and durable–though not the best sounding.