Polk Audio DB6501 Review

I used to enjoy music right from the factory speakers of my Picanto just fine until I heard the same song from my friend's car loaded with component speakers.

I can’t really pinpoint what’s different, but I am pretty sure he was better. From then on I know I've been missing a whole lot from my then audio system thanks to its coaxial speakers.

You see, some of us may enjoy listening to music no matter the bitrate, lossless-ness, or simply the overall quality. But when you have heard a better version, there’s no going back.​

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Things to Consider Before Buying Component Speakers

Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System (Pair, Silver)
389 Reviews
Polk Audio DB6501 6.5-Inch 2-Way Component System (Pair, Silver)
  • Adaptor Rings make it easy to fit the db6501 in 6-1/2 inch and 6-3/4 inch applications
  • Two-way Butterworth outboard crossover with vented housing, electronic tweeter protection circuit
  • Woofers feature polymer/mica composite cone with butyl rubber surround, Kapton voice coil former. 6.5-inch component system with pair each of woofers, tweeters, crossovers
  • 25mm liquid-cooled silk/polymer composite dome tweeters with neodymium magnet for clear, detailed highs
  • Special Shipping Information: This item cannot be returned to Amazon.com. For additional information concerning this policy, please visit our Product Specific Returns Policy Page

Last update on 2017-06-22 PST - Details

By and large, component speakers are better than their coaxial counterparts. There are coaxial speakers that sound great alright, but nothing still beats hearing different frequencies coming from separate and dedicated speakers.

Imagine an orchestra. Each instrument player plays his or her own instrument, right? And they are grouped according to the instrument they play. But together, they create harmony.

What if we mix them up? A violinist beside a bassist besides a cellist beside a trumpeter. They may still let out a harmonious melody, but you know they could have been arranged better.

It’s the same thing with speakers. It’s better to “group” the frequencies according to their ranges and send them out to separated speakers than fusing all drivers in one cone.

So if you are after better sounding music, you may consider getting yourself your own pair of component speakers.

But take note that since you are dealing with more device pieces, you need more space in your car. Also, installation is going to be more complicated because you have more cables to hook up and hide.

In short, if space and installation are an issue, your reading ends here and go for coaxial speakers instead. Otherwise, carry on.​

Polk Audio DB6501

Before the marine-certified DB6502, there was the DB6501. Both have the same size, but the former is called to be an upgrade in features.

The DB6501 may not be as high-performing as the DB6502, but it still claims to be feature packed in itself. The materials are said to last long. The technical specs are asserted to give high quality music.

It’s 6 1/2’’ in diameter, which is a common size for a significant number of cars. But if you have a European import, the adaptor ring will help these component speakers fit.

If you are, however, into loud music, Polk Audio’s DB6501 may come as a disappointment as it has a continuous power handling of only 100 W.​

Pros

  • High sensitivity.
  • Comes with 2nd-order Butterworth crossover.
  • Made of high-quality materials.
  • Adjustable.
  • Rustproof.

Cons

  • Low power handling.
  • Tweeter may sound harsh if not carefully adjusted.

Polk Audio DB6501 Features

  • High sensitivity. As I have mentioned earlier, the power handling of these speakers are quite low, so the volume may be compromised.
  • However, it is compensated by its sensitivity. This means that you don’t need much power for the speaker to play loud. And at 92 dB, it’s what Lifewire considers “very good.”​

  • 2nd-order Butterworth crossover. According to Audioholics, a crossover with a 2nd-order filter has the following advantages:
    • Flat amplitude response. This means that it can produce sound accurately.
    • 180 degree phase shift. This means there can be a minimal to no tilting in the coverage pattern.
    • Less sensitive to misalignment. If your drivers are misaligned, the sound will still be OK. Hence, you don’t need a very accurate driver alignment.
  • High-quality materials. A speaker should not only produce audiophile-level sound but also brave daily use without giving up too soon. Which is why the folks at Polk Audio incorporated as many durable materials as possible in the DB6501.
    • Mica. Mica composite when used as a reinforcing filler and extender enhances the original material’s ability to withstand heat. In the world of speakers, a polymer cone reinforced with mica translates to better heat resistance, higher thermal stability, and increased flexural strength despite the constant movements-be it rapid and big.
    • Kapton. In voice coils for midrange speakers, using Kapton may be more preferrable to aluminum. The former is not influenced by the circular current effect in a magnetic gap. This means there’s high Q factor and low resistance because there’s no mechanical brake. As a result, the mid frequencies are more detailed.
    • Butyl rubber. This type of rubber is another heat resistor. On top of it, some other benefits of butyl rubber are flexibility, high-damping capability, and age resistance. In other words, it can weather abrasion, chemical attacks, and premature tearing.
  • Adjustable. Although most car factory speakers are sized 6 and 1/2 inches, there are those such as European designs that would required 6 and 3/4”. The good thing about Polk Audio’s DB6501 is that it comes with adaptor rings so you can adjust it accordingly.
  • Rustproof. Although we are not soaking our speakers in any liquid, rust can still find its way to them due to several factors our science teacher has warned us in high school. And when rust has started making our speakers their hideout, parts start to fail one by one.
  • To lessen our worries, the guys at Polk Audio designed the speaker baskets to be rustproof making it more solid yet acoustically inert.

What They Say about Polk Audio DB6501

Due to the combined engineering of durable materials and technically high-quality specifications, Polk Audio DB6501 has received mostly positive feedback from its users. Its almost perfect rating at Amazon is a testament to that.

But of course, some of you might still not find this product in accordance with your liking. So I am creating a list of alternatives you may choose from.​

Polk Audio DB6501: Alternatives

​1./ Polk Audio DB651

Polk Audio DB651

If space and/or installation is an issue, but you still want a similar performance as the DB6501, try the coaxial version of this product.

Every material found in the DB6501 is also sported by the DB651, even the adaptor rings. But what makes the latter better is that it is marine certified. Thus, if you are planning to take it boat riding, no problem. It is amphibious.​


2./ Rockford Fosgate R165X3

Sale
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)
1418 Reviews
Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-Inch Full-Range 3-Way Coaxial Speaker (Pair)
  • Vacuum Polypropylene cone with rubber surround
  • Mounting depth: 2.15 inches
  • Silk dome pole mounted Piezo tweeter and midrange
  • Integrated tweeter crossover
  • Grilles and mounting hardware included

Last update on 2017-06-22 PST - Details

If a 3-way speaker is more like you but still space and installation are an issue, maybe the R165X3 is designed for you.

This full range coaxial speaker also has materials that are intended to last a long time and specifications that when combined are meant to sound awesome.

Be warned, though, that this speaker has a continuous power handling of only 45 W, so if power is a big deal, check out other alternatives.​


3./ Alpine SPS-610C

Alpine SPS-610C

If you are looking for a more powerful 2-way component system, you may check out Alpine SPS-610C. Its materials are similar to DB6501 with the mica/polymer cone, butyl rubber surround, and silk dome tweeter.

But the Alpine one has higher power handling at 160 W RMS, which spells louder volume. If you have a pretty noisy truck, this may work better for you.

However, note that this fits only 6 1/2” speaker niches. So if your car is imported from Europe, this may not fit properly.​


Conclusion

Crappy speakers produce crappy music, so we have to be very vigilant when choosing speakers that will accompany our singing to our heart’s desire. One of the choices is always between component and coaxial speakers.

The sounds coming out of component speakers are allegedly superior than coaxial ones because of the dedicated drivers for the frequency ranges. And the Polk Audio DB6501 is one of the few who’s ahead of the pack thanks to the materials it is made of and the technical specifications that balance power and sensitivity resulting in sonic quality.

So if you think that these component speakers are the answer to your prayers, learn more about it here.​

Erin Taylor
 

Chief editor of YouthTune, a music adventurer. I love learning about music and audio devices, which I eventually share with others so that they too can go on exploring the melodious world of music.

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