What is the difference between RMS peak and max power ratings in car audio
RMS vs MAX ratings speakers
Without getting into the electrical engineering side of this topic, for the most part you will want to ignore the max ratings. They have ALMOST no bearing on the actual power handling capability of your speakers. You need to focus on the RMS number. RMS or Root Means Square refers to the continuous power that you speakers can effectively handle.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say my speakers are rated at 300 watts. At the time of this post, there are VERY few CAR speakers that can handle over 125 watts RMS. Keep in mind most quality speaker manufactures will use the RMS numbers to rate their speaker power handling capability. Most low end retail stores that offer speakers will be advertise using the MAX ratings. When you look at the fine print most will show you the RMS ratings somewhere in a difficult spot to locate.
Keep in mind power handling is important but there are many other factors in selecting quality speakers. If you are primary concern is price, you will probably not care about the quality of sound. I may be wrong, but I have been in car audio a long time. Most people that are only focused on price are generally not concerned about the quality of music.
A good quality speaker that is made with better materials will cost more money to make. We have provided some examples in our site of some lower end speakers and some examples of higher end speakers.