Best Focal Car Speakers

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Best Focal Car Speakers

When going on a long journey, or even a short one, it’s made all the more pleasurable when you drive along to your favorite music with high-performance car speakers. 

And if you’re looking specifically for Focal car speakers, then we commend you on your decision. Focal is a world leader in high-fidelity audio and has been in the business now for over 40 years.

The tricky thing about shopping for Focal car speakers is that there are many different ones to choose from. But, don’t worry, that’s where I come in.

I’ve been doing my homework and after much deliberation, I was able to handpick my top 5 favorites. My reviews on these are coming up very shortly.

And then after that, I’ve got a handy buying guide for you, which walks you through some of the key things that you might want to think about before you buy.

It’s particularly helpful if you don’t already know your stuff when it comes to speakers, because it really goes back to basics and explains all that nasty jargon.

Then I'll top that off with a section where I answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

So, without further ado…

OUR TOP PICK

Focal Access 165 A1 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component Speaker Kit

While component speakers usually cost considerably more than their coaxial counterparts, I would argue this kit is very reasonably priced, coming in at under $300. 

And although the accompanying photo shows just one speaker, you do in fact receive a full pair.

This kit can be used with either high-powered, or low-powered stereo systems, since it’s power-handling comes in at a maximum of 120 watts. 

It throws out up to 92 decibels of sound, showing the high sensitivity you need if you want to install it in a low-powered stereo system.

Like with the similarly named 165 CA1, this kit also features patented adjustable aluminum inverted-dome tweeters.

And these are designed to act like miniature woofer cones, dispersing high frequency sounds evenly, and with fine resolution.

What I love about this kit is the deliberately oversized voice coils in the woofer which make for deep and accurate bass.

Plus I'm a big fan of the adjustable tweeter level and it’s 3 different settings.

All the mounting hardware is included in the box when it arrives, along with an owners manual, so that despite having an external crossover rather than an integrated one, it should be quite straightforward to install.

Pros

  • Component speakers such as this one have superior sound quality 
  • Can be used with either high-powered, or low-powered stereo systems
  • Features high sensitivity, throwing out up to 92 decibels of sound
  • Features patented adjustable aluminum inverted-dome tweeters
  • Deliberately oversized voice coils in the woofer which make for deep bass

Cons

  • Occasionally customers have found the mid range a little lacking

EDITORS CHOICE

Focal PS165FX Flax 6.5” 2-Way Component kit, RMS: 80W - MAX: 160W

This speaker kit comes from Focal’s Performance range, and is a component speaker system with an external crossover.

So, that info alone should speak to you of the superior sound quality and power handling. But you should not be put off by the idea of having to install all the separate parts.

All the mounting hardware you will need is supplied in the box, even the screws, and there are videos on Youtube which show you step by step how to install it.

What’s different about the Focal PS 165FX, is that rather than use fiberglass in speakers as they usually do, this time they’re using flax fibres which create a very rigid, lightweight cone that resists unwanted vibrations.

It also features Focal’s trademark inverted-dome tweeters, which act like miniature woofer cones, dispersing high frequency sounds evenly, and wide, creating a really natural sounding soundstage.

You can either surface-mount the tweeters, or have them lying flush for a more discreet look.

I also like how you can tweak the tweeter and midrange level adjustments on the crossovers to get that perfect blend of highs and lows.

It has a sensitivity of 87.6 decibels which is not quite as high as we would like, but is still very very good.

Amazon occasionally has deals on these speakers - worth a look.

Pros

  • Superior sound quality and power handling
  • Flax fibres to resists unwanted vibrations
  • Focal’s trademark inverted-dome tweeters
  • Tweak tweeter and midrange level adjustments

Cons

  • Takes some time to properly install

BEST VALUE

Focal RSE-165 Auditor 6-1/2' 2-Way Component Speakers

Now this is a very affordable option as far as component speakers are concerned. And it comes highly recommended, having earned really good customer ratings on the net.

This comes from Focal’s Auditor Series, designed to provide excellent sound quality at a good, competitive price.

What makes this Auditor model stand out against those in other Focal series is it’s exceptional components.

For example, in order to compensate for low speaker placement, the woofer's cone features a phase plug. This is great for sound dispersion, and gives you a rich and full sound.

And the inverted dome tweeters are made with “Silk Aluminum” to give you real crisp detail.

And you have a choice of where to mount them too, in the sail panel, high up in your doors, or on the dash.  

Moreover, these speakers are really built to last, and can take a knock and still yield excellent sound quality.

The prewired external crossovers will give you a seamless distribution of frequencies to both the tweeters and the woofers.

The power-handling is very good, able to handle 60 watts RMS. Plus it offers great sensitivity too, coming in at 90 decibels of sound.

Pros

  • Great value for money and built to last
  • Phase plug to compensate for low speaker placement
  • Focal’s trademark inverted-dome tweeters
  • Seamless distribution to both the tweeters and the woofers
  • Great sensitivity and power handling

Cons

  • Takes some time to properly install

RUNNER UP

Focal 165CA1 SG 2-Way 6.5-inch Coaxial Speaker Pair

This particular pair of Focal car speakers has earned the title of Amazon’s Choice for Focal Car Speakers.

Such a title is only awarded to products where the product is of top quality and is available at a good, fair, and reasonable price.

We believe it’s popularity with customers is derived from two main factors. The first is that being coaxial speakers they are far easier to install than component speakers.

And the second is their very affordable price, amongst the lowest in the Focal brand range.

Yet despite the affordability, you're still getting a top quality piece of kit. The components in the built-in crossover provide a seamless distribution of sound.

These beauties also feature a patented adjustable aluminum inverted-dome tweeters.

And these are designed to act like miniature woofer cones, dispersing high frequency sounds evenly, and with fine resolution. Plus you can pivot the tweeters as you wish.

It has a high sensitivity, coming in at 92 decibels, which means it’s perfect for low-powered car stereos, with 15 watts RMS of power or less.

Pros

  • Amazon’s Choice for Focal Car Speakers
  • Relatively easy to install
  • Great value for money
  • Patented inverted-dome tweeters
  • Perfect for low-powered car stereos

Cons

  • Not as good quality of sound as that of component speakers

RUNNER UP

Focal ICU 100 Universal Integration 4' 2-Way Coaxial Speakers

If your vehicle can only fit a 4 inch speaker, and not a 6.5 inch one, then this is quite possibly the best option for you.

As a coaxial speaker kit, it is not only more affordable than a component speaker set up, but it’s far easier to install.

And you won’t have to compromise on sound quality. The ICU 100 is an upgraded version of the many speakers that went before it. 

There’s a new inverted aluminum and magnesium tweeter, for even more detailed treble reproduction. Moreover, this tweeter has a 2-position +3 dB adjuster (Flat/High) for treble boost.

It can take a maximum power of 80 watts, and has a 90.3 decibels of sensitivity, yielding plenty of sound relative to the car’s perhaps lower powered stereo system.

Customer feedback on these beauties has been superb. Top ratings from most reviews.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • More detailed treble reproduction
  • 90.3 decibels of sensitivity
  • Superb customer feedback

Cons

  • Not as good quality of sound as that of component speakers

Best Focal Car Speakers Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide.

This should help you make up your mind about which one to get.

Why People Choose Focal Car Speakers

Focal speakers are perfect for the budget conscious audiophile. They outperform your vehicle’s factory issue speakers and take your listening experience to a whole new level.

From the range of audiophile speakers on the market, Focal have made a mark for themselves in the more affordable end of the market.

There’s plenty of innovation that goes into making their speakers, and each of their ranges has something different to offer.

Their trademark feature is their inverted dome tweeters. They are designed to act like miniature woofer cones, dispersing high frequency sounds evenly, and with fine resolution.

Type of Speaker

The Focal brand includes different types of speakers, namely coaxial speakers, also known as full-range speakers, and component speakers.

The coaxial speakers fit into a single speaker assembly, whereas most component speaker systems are separate, with separate woofers and tweeters, and hence, the various components have to be mounted separately.

So, as you can imagine component speakers are harder to install, and they tend to cost more.

But many people feel they are worth it because they offer better sound quality, better power handling, and better tweeter & woofer technology options.

I made sure to include both types of speakers in our top 5 picks.

Speaker Size

Many, but not all Focal car speakers are universal in size, so you must ensure that you buy the right size for your particular vehicle.

Sensitivity

A speaker’s sensitivity is a measure of how much sound a speaker yields, measured in decibels, from the power supplied, which is measured in watts RMS. 

Factory installed speakers are usually meant for low-powered car stereos, with 15 watts RMS of power or less.

The best choice of speakers in this instance would be ones with high sensitivity ratings of 90 decibels or above.

If, however, you have a high-power system installed in your car, of 16 watts RMS or more, then you won’t need such high sensitivity in your speakers.

Power-handling

Power-handling, as the name suggests, is a measure (in watts) of how much power a speaker can handle.

A low powered system won’t need a large amount of power handling. But if you have powerful external amps, then the speaker needs to be able to match the output of the amps.

Speaker Materials

The materials the speakers are made of will influence both the speaker’s durability and it’s sound quality.

  • For the woofer, you should be looking for stiffer materials for a more accurate bass response.
  • For the tweeter, softer materials will yield a mellow sound, while harder materials will yield a brighter and snappier sound.

And of course, being situated in a vehicle, the speaker materials must also be able to stand up to some extremes in humidity and temperature.

Cost

Even within its own brand, Focal car speakers can vary quite considerably in price, with some pairs costing under $200, while at the other end of the spectrum, they can cost almost $500 a pair.

Whichever price range you go for, you can be sure of getting good value for money. When shopping around, our advice to you is to have a set budget in mind and to make a note of the prices as you go along.

Seller

If you’re doing all your car speakers shopping online, please be sure to buy from a reputable seller.

As online retailers go, we’re quite fond of Amazon, for several reasons:

  • you can sometimes check if the speakers will fit your model of vehicle
  • you can check out genuine customer reviews
  • You can ensure fast delivery
  • You can often pay in interest-free instalments upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Focal car speakers any good?

Although Focal speakers are often found to be noticeably more affordable than some of the other audiophile car speakers on the market, I can easily vouch for their excellent sound quality.

What I will say is that their component speakers offer an even better sound quality (and power handling) than their coaxial offering does.

Are Focal car speakers worth the money?

The short answer is a resounding (pun intended!) Yes.

If you consider yourself an audiophile, or if you simply love listening to music in your car, then having good quality speakers such as those from Focal, can really make any journey that much better, no matter what the traffic is like.

And what makes Focal car speakers such good value for money, is that they are built for those with a budget, and are designed not only to offer great sound quality, but are also designed to be affordable. Why not check out some of the prices?

What are the best car speakers for sound quality?

The best type of car speakers for sound quality, is hands down the component variety, rather than the coaxial or full range variety.

For more information on this, please scroll back up to the section in the buying guide entitled “Types of Speaker”.

Since this article is about Focal speakers specifically, we would argue that the best Focal car speaker for sound quality is our number 3 pick, the Focal RSE-165 Auditor 6-1/2" 2-Way Component Speakers.

There are a number of features that make it the best for sound quality. Namely, the phase plug for better sound dispersion, seamless distribution of frequencies to both the tweeters and the woofers, and the Silk Aluminum makeup of the tweeters themselves.

What are the best sounding 6.5 inch car speakers?

We’ve mentioned this already, but it bears repeating here.

The best sounding 6.5 inch car speakers in the Focal brand range is our number 3 pick, the Focal RSE-165 Auditor 6-1/2" 2-Way Component Speakers.

What should I look for when buying car speakers?

To sum up what we’ve covered in the buying guide, you need to:

  • check what size of speaker you require (typical sizes include 4 inch diameter and 6.5 inch diameter)
  • Decide whether to get coaxial speakers which are generally cheaper and easier to install, or to get component speakers which are trickier to install but offer superior sound quality and power handling
  • Decide on your budget
  • Learn the lingo, as described in our buying guide, above
  • And finally, check out the accompanying customer ratings and reviews

When you know what you’re doing you can be sure you won’t be disappointed!

Happy listening!

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