Jeep Wrangler has been an American classic and favorite since the mid-80s, yet it is an acquired taste. I can remember gawking at it as a kid, and shamefully, sometimes as an adult. I don’t know. I guess I’m intrigued by its open design and rugged air.
If transportation were animate, the Jeep Wrangler would have an “I don’t care” attitude. There’s just something we all love about a rebel. The Wrangler is that rebel.
It exudes a sense of adventure and thrill-seeking, mystery and fun. It’s not awfully roomy and doesn’t represent luxury, nor does it guarantee a smooth ride, but it’s definitely one of a kind. You can’t confuse it with any other vehicle. That’s for sure.
The Wrangler is for the bold at heart, the trailblazer. It has removable doors and a spare tire in back of it for goodness’ sake.
In fact, to me, Wrangler symbolizes liberty. What better way to enjoy the open road than to ride freely and blast your music through the stratosphere while you’re venturing from terrain to terrain?
But how can you drive such a cool vehicle like the Jeep Wrangler and not upgrade the factory speakers in the soundbar to a unit more audacious and powerful or at least one or two levels up from standard?
Oh, before we go any further, put a bookmark right here. I wanna touch on something for the readers who may not be speaker enthusiasts: What the heck is a soundbar in the first place?
In a nutshell, soundbars or speaker bars, are thin speakers, most notably used with a television set, computer, or MP3 player. They are used in automobiles and in other places and capacities, too. Their main purpose other than looking trendy is to produce a reliable, high-quality audio performance. Also, they have multiple drivers.
OK. Now that we’ve taken care of the formalities, let’s do a little window shopping online for the best speakers for your Jeep Wrangler soundbar.
Focal 165 AC
Focal is an incredible company, so it’s no surprise that the 165 AC model is my absolute favorite from the list. It emits a clear, crisp sound that I could listen to all day. I have several Focal branded speakers—some older, some newer—and the 165 AC proves that like a fine wine, this company gets better with age.
This particular model gives tip-top performance every time, so I can’t complain. A guy I know connected them to his car radio directly. I can’t vouch for that because I haven’t experienced it first-hand, but that’s just another facet that makes the 165 AC versatile. They just have that “it factor,” you know?
What’s more, it’s an affordable option. I don’t mean one of those cheap, poorly-made speakers that you can buy for less than 30 or 40 bucks. I mean an inexpensive speaker set that is powerful and competitive.
They are certainly a candidate for anyone looking for a smooth, qualitative sound without racking up a huge debt. And, at this point, they’ve become my go-to speakers. My Wrangler’s factory speakers pale in comparison to these, big time. In fact, there is no comparison.
The crossover feature is one of the driving forces behind its success. I mean, these things had the tweeters and woofers commanding attention from everyone within a certain radius. I kept them turned up about as loud as they would go for quite awhile. The music quality was so textured and full-bodied the whole time.
This set comes with voice coil, wire mesh grilles and a DFS woofer cone, complete with butyl rubber surround. I give the bass an 8 out of 10. The highs and lows are great but not at the expense of the midranges. They have elevated sensitivity. In case you can’t tell, I’m thrilled about my purchase.
They may not be the fanciest speakers in the world, but they get the job done. The 165 AC Series is the embodiment of clarity; I can hear every word of my music, windows up or down. There’s no distortion or interferences whatsoever. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything negative about it.
These speakers blow many of its contemporaries out of the water for half the price.
- Woofer: 61/2″ (165mm)
- Voice-coil diameter: 1″ (25mm)
- Voice-coil height: 07/16″ (11mm)
- Magnet: 31/3″ (85mm)
- Tweeter: Aluminum inverted dome
- Crossover: (4,7Khz) 6dB/oct
- Max. power: 120 Watts
- Nom. power: 60 Watts RMS
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 91dB
- Frequency response: 60Hz – 20kHz
- Accessories: Supplied grilles
Polk DB 522 and 652
We’ll tackle two of Polk’s most popular options: DB 522 and DB 652. At the end of the day, at least in my opinion, these speakers are freakishly similar in nature, so there’s not much of a contrast there, but let’s start with Polk’s 522 model.
It promises limited distortion. It delivers. It promises a rich, balanced sound, and it doesn’t disappoint. The only question I have for myself is, Where have they been all my life, especially when my budget was tighter?
I can’t believe I had been missing out on all that peak power handling and the Dynamic Balance technology, which incorporates laser imaging to reinforce low “rumble.” Resonance is imperative, after all.
The DB 522 brings forth that full-range response and distortion-less sound most of us aim for when pumpin’ up the volume in our Jeeps (or whatever we’re in at the time).
There’s absolutely nothing inconspicuous about these speakers. Trust me. If you like bass that doesn’t let up and highs that stay the course, then the 522s could be the answer to your handwringing.
They are solid and cut no corners on volume capacity and intensity. The high-frequency output must not and cannot be ignored, point blank period. With their construction, you can put them in just about any type of vehicle. I’m talking about even in an ATV.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen it where some vehicle makes, Jeep for example, are left out in the cold when it comes to speaker compatibility and such. With this set of speakers, however, that is not the case. In general, Polk has a universal approach to car audio, thus its reputation. That’s one reason I respect them so much.
Undoubtedly, the DB 522s will stand the test of time with you and your ride simply because of the way they’ve been engineered. They’re ruggedly built and weaponized against the elements.
Like I stated, the DB 652s and 522s are pretty much the same animal, so to speak, but here are two deviations:
The 652s are bigger in size. Its frequency response is 40-22k Hz compared to the 522s at 55-22k Hz. With that said, I feel like the 652 version is the more powerful and spirited option, but you can’t really go wrong with either choice.
Technical characteristics (DB 652)
- Type: 6.5″ coaxial
- Driver Complement (inches & mm): 6.5″ 165 mm
- Tweeter Complement (inches & mm): 0.75″ 19 mm
- Cutout Dimensions (inches & mm): 4.09″ 1 5.0″ 127 mm
- Mounting Height (inches & mm): 0.47″ 12 mm
- Mounting Depth Top (inches & mm): 1.77″ 45 mm
- Mounting Depth Bottom (inches & mm): 2.12″ 54 mm
- Peak Power Handling: 300 W
- Continuous Power Handling: 100 W
- Nominal Impedance (ohm): 4
- Frequency Response (Hz): 40Hz-22kHz
- Grille Height: 20 mm
- Sensitivity (dB): 92
Instead of going home, Mopar went big. For quite some time now, they’ve been extending upgrades to Jeep owners who want to up the ante on their sound systems, and at an economical price. That’s me all the way. Since you’re here, it must be you, too, so let’s carry on.
The installation process was a tad more time-consuming than I would’ve wished, namely on the front driver’s side. Nevertheless, once it was installed, I partook in some of the nicest sound quality on the market, and with giant brands like Rockford Fosgate ruling the roost, that can be some big shoes to fill. Well, Mopar filled them.
The 77 Kick 10s have a lot of weight to them as well as depth to their sound, 75 watt RMS, and 150 watt max. They can be used for either back or front applications. Your old covers should fit these after you replace the factory speakers, no problem.
Now, their clarity is not as noteworthy as that of the 165 AC’s, but I’m still impressed. I learned you can’t judge a book by its cover. Besides that, they are plug and play and release a fair amount of bass. It’s an adequate, convenient offer.
Rockford Fosgate R165X3
Rockford Fosgate needs no introduction. The R165X3s deserve one, though.
Overall, these full-range speakers offer that trademark Rockford Fosgate sound, which is in a class all its own.
They are 6-1/2 inches a piece. The accompanying Polypropylene woofer cone produces clear-cut and voluminous sound. The bass is up to the mark. You’ll be blasting every song and instrumental with hard-hitting 808s, marveling at the full effect of that incredible, unyielding bass. Yes, these speakers make drums stand out.
In addition, they’re lightweight but rigid, making them easy to install. And you won’t have to empty your savings account for them. I did price comparisons at several stores offline and checked with online vendors, as well. They’re affordable even if you’re on a reasonable budget.
Come to think of it, their high-end frequencies leave more to be desired, but please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. Their high-end frequencies are excellent by most—and debatably, all—first-class standards. But, this particular model doesn’t live up to the Fosgate way of doing high-end frequency. That’s the only way I know how to put it, really.
Then again, I can only speak for myself. That was my individual experience. Your experience and perspective might be the polar opposite of mine if you decide to give them a try. OK, so now it’s going to seem like I’m contradicting myself, but I’m not. Bare with me.
Maybe I should say it this way: 92% of the time, the highs are amazing. The other 8% of the time, they’re just meh.
The piezo supertweeter is as fun as its name sounds. It, coupled with the crossover system, takes high frequencies to another level. Every time they’re at work, I detect a tinge of flair, a specific characteristic that I just can’t put my finger on. Whatever it is, it gives the R165X3 character, unduplicated flavor. You’ll know what I’m talking about as soon as you hear it.
I just don’t understand why the highs seems to fall flat now and again. The lower frequencies are quite great at all times, by the way.
If you’re seeking to throw an amp in the equation, these full-range speakers come with a slim wire and some terminal clips that can help you with any soldering that may be required. I apologize for getting all makeshift-y on you. Just know, these speakers are worth every penny.
- Configuration: 3-Way Full-Range
- Nominal Impedance (Ohms): 4-Ohm
- Frequency Response (Hz): 52Hz-20kHz
- Midrange Nominal Diameter: 6.5″
- Midrange Mounting Depth: 2.15″
- Tweeter Nominal Diameter: 0.5″
- Power Handling (RMS): 45 Watts RMS, 90 Watts MAX
- Crossover: Tweeter High-Pass (HP): 6dB
- Sensitivity: 91 dB
- Grille/Trim Ring Included
- Integrated tweeter crossover
Wrangler drivers, before you buy any solitary speaker for your sound bar, make sure you’ve done your own personal research. My recommendations are not gospel, just suggestions, so you must make the executive decision.
What works best for you?
When in the market for speakers, always check for certain facets and specs first. The key is matching your speakers with your system. Remember to take the following aspects into consideration:
Sensitivity, which measures how much sound a speaker yields from the power applied to it.
Power-handling, which lets you know how much power a speaker can handle. It’s measured in watts.
From there, decide if you want full-range (coaxial speakers) or component speakers, each offer features and functions after its own kind. Full-range speakers consist of woofers. The woofers handle the lows. They also consist of a tweeter mounted onto the woofer. The combination creates the highs.
Some versions have ancillary drivers, midrange or supertweeter.
If you want to replace factory speakers, like we’ve been discussing, the safest, headache-free way to go is full-range speakers. They come in a variety of sizes, power ranges and price points.
The thing about a component speaker is, it’s crafted with better resources and styled and designed much the same, with excellence in mind. The rest is a given.
Component speakers usually cost more than full-ranges because of the additional technologies and workmanship. Generally, a component system includes individual tweeters, woofers, and external crossovers. They work together as an ensemble cast.
This affords the user some versatility, which opens the door to sharp-sounding music with depth, punch, and vivacity. You may also want to look into whether you want pivoting or swiveling tweeters. Check the manufacturer’s track record and consumer reviews and ratings while you’re at it.
This is not an exhaustive list.
So, which set of speakers should you choose? There’s only one right answer: Choose whichever one you want.
I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. I just know we’ve tapped into a plethora of data and stats, and let’s face it, that can be daunting, thinking over everything all at once; and you’re probably having brain overload; or maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, I’d say take the information you’ve been presented and armed with and sleep on it. When you’re ready, you’ll make an educated purchase. I’m rooting for you. Let me move out of your way and get out of your hair.
Now, the open road is yours. Own it in your Wrangler.